As someone who owns a dealership, I'll answer these questions from the other side.
Unlike motorcycles, new cars have tons of websites and buyer reports to help with haggling the price of a new bike down. I want to buy a new bike and my questions are:
1) how much have you been able to talk the dealership down on a new bike?
I don't haggle. The price is the price. If I really like you, I might knock a few bucks off of the destination charge. Mind you, that's being generous. These are hard costs that I pay out of my pocket. Also, I don't charge the ridiculous destination charges that most dealerships do. I charge just about what it costs me to have it shipped and assembled. I'm confident that our price is lower than anyone else in town. I refuse to lose money to make a sale. That's just not good business.
2) what throw-ins were you able to get?
Our profit margins are low enough. I *might* throw in a helmet if you buy a full set of gear.
3) is there a way to know how much markup is on a bike?
Only if the dealer is willing to divulge that information. We don't.
4) what other tips do you have to getting the best deal
Be polite, and buy more stuff. The more stuff you buy, the more I'm willing to deal. We've had customers buy three bikes at a time, and in cases like that I'm willing to go close to cost on at least one unit.
5) what pitfalls should I look out for?
Be sure to *thoroughly* look over any used bikes. Look over the new ones too. Be sure you're clear on any and all warranties. Also, financing is just a bad idea if you can avoid it. Some dealers get kickbacks from finance companies for sending them your business. Remember, when a dealer is arranging financing, he's not shopping for the best deal for you, he just wants to move his merchandise.
Get as much information as you can on the service department? Do they have a good reputation? Do they charge over retail for their OEM parts?
I know its a lot but anything you can give me to keep from getting screwed would really help!