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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Stopped by the factory in Spirit Lake to see where my baby was born. Got turned away. Apparently they don't do tours. They didn't explain it at the time but apparently they think that someone wants to steal secrets on stuff they're working on. They don't have to show sensitive stuff. All I wanted to see was the Vision line and see how it was made. I'm an aircraft mecanic by trade and just wanted to see it. I was on a busness trip and rode my bike quite a way out of the way to get there. I don't have the opportunity to go near there very often so special events at the factory don't work for me. Spent over $25,000 on my 2012 Vision and accessories. Dissappointed to find that they are not customer friendly at the factory. If you get the urge to go out of your way to see the factory, don't bother. You'll probably get turned away too even though we are the people that keep them in busness.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 09:54 PM
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Although this is a Cross Country vice a Vision, and its not the same as being there, here is a time lapse of the assembly line


Personally I can't see why they would let you tour the plant. It is an industrial work area, not a tourist attraction. There would be way too much liability if they kept working while you were walking around. Maybe you wouldn't but I am sure there are lots of folks who would sue their keisters off if they got hurt. And they can't stop production to give people tours every time one shows up...they'd never be able to make a bike if they did that.

So occasional special events would be the only time I would expect them to offer tours...even to their most loyal customer

That being said, I drive by the Harley plant in York every time I go see my parents but I've never stopped in. I understand they give tours but not sure how they do it. I would expect they either have scheduled times when the plant isn't in operation or have an overlook area sectioned off; but that is just a guess.

My only suggestion is to visit an industrial plant that does offer tours on an active line to see how they do it. Then come up with a plan that Victory could use to allow the same thing at their plant. Who knows maybe they would

Of course that wouldn't stop the industrial spies

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 10:08 PM
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I know you can schedule plant tours if you call well in advance, I've actually had customers do this when they come to Iowa. But I don't think you can just stop in unannounced, especially if they are building or testing new models.
They give plant tours several times a day for several days in a row at the Victory Rally in August. It's pretty interesting and the employees are always super nice.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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As I said before, I work in aviation. Customer service is a very high priority. We allow customers into the hangar around $40,000,000 aircraft. I have been able to get tours of aircraft manufacturing facilities on a moments notice. Guess I was expecting more. Guess I was wrong. Lesson learned.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 10:59 PM
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Not trying to offend but you are comparing apples and oranges. The clientele for a $40,000,000 aircraft are no where near the same as for a $20,000 motorcycle. And, since they build a working relationship, they might be able to setup tours for dealers "on a moments notice" as well; every Tom, Dick, and Harry walking in off the street on the other hand...

BTW, here is how Harley sets up tours of their York plant. I guess they aren't very busy so they can afford to interrupt production twice a day for "Steel Toe" tours

Of course it looks like you might not be able to get a tour of their plant if you just stop by and they are out of tickets

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 11:41 PM
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All of the tours that I have been on through lumber mills, a plywood plant, a sugar plant (in Cuba) and a chemical manufacturing plant required booking in advance. Employees can't just drop what they're doing to guide a tour whenever someone wanders in off of the street. Better luck next time.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatlocker95 View Post
Not trying to offend but you are comparing apples and oranges. The clientele for a $40,000,000 aircraft are no where near the same as for a $20,000 motorcycle.
To say nothing of the difference in the numbers of the groups who may want to drop by for a looksee.

I toured the Honda plant in Marysville Ohio and the Ducati plant in Italy and both were pre-scheduled tours that the factories do on occasion. Both had tour guides who kept the flock on their prescribed paths and neither spent enough time anywhere to annoy the workers or really learn anything. The Duc plant even made us check our camera at the door.

The Ducati plant had a really nice museum out front that anyone could pop in and tour. Maybe when Victory has 50 years of successful racing under their belt, we'll get a pop-in museum too!




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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatcaneyedo View Post
All of the tours that I have been on through lumber mills, a plywood plant, a sugar plant (in Cuba) and a chemical manufacturing plant required booking in advance. Employees can't just drop what they're doing to guide a tour whenever someone wanders in off of the street. Better luck next time.
Agree. I too have been on many tours and they are scheduled. Even the most popular places like Coke and Bud have scheduled tours. I can not imagine that at this time there is a high demand for DAILY tours at the Spirit Lake plant to dedicate someone for this task. However with the growing popularity of the brand this may change soon.

I also agree with Vicbuilder that when you take a tour during the rally it is well oragnized and the employees are very informed and nice.

Even with all this I still can relate to your disappointment and wish something could have been worked out for you. Like you note lesson learned and next time maybe a call ahead could have avoided this.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 09:10 AM
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next time maybe a call ahead could have avoided this.
I think this is the bottom line

I was a part of a group of 11 victory riders that rode up from so cal to the bay area last weekend, our first stop was the Arlen Ness Victory dealership/facility. One of our group emailed a week in advance, we got a VIP tour of the entire facility. Was very cool.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 09:31 AM
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The Ducati plant had a really nice museum out front that anyone could pop in and tour. Maybe when Victory has 50 years of successful racing under their belt, we'll get a pop-in museum too!
We can only dream of a factory backed race team.

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