One point that is incorrect is that not all dealers pay same price for their vehicles. A dealer moving a 1,000 bikes a year will pay less than a dealer moving 500, a dealer moving 100 bikes will pay less than a dealer moving 50 units.
Not all dealers are created equal, for some it's because of lack of cash, others have a lack of business skills others should just be in another business.
For savings it's important that your dealer be on the ball and have the cash. Beginning of the season when the new models come out is when business savy comes into play. The good dealers will preorder a large number of units thereby getting a good discount, this is important because at some point a total number of units is planned for the market and that is what will be produced for the year. Manufacturer will not fire up an assembly line to make one or two bikes.
Whereas smaller and/or mismanaged dealers will only order what they think they can sell in a worse case scenario and they know they will not be able to easily get other bikes to replace the ones they sell so they hold out for the high price since they will not be able to make it up in volume.
Case in point, when I shopped around for my Volusia most dealers in the Montreal area where asking $8,500can for the base model and over $10,000 for the SE ( saddlebags,windshield and backrest package). Add $1,000 to $1,200can for the Anniversary Edition ( which was only a special color "Pearl White", plus orange lighting for the speedo, studded seats and an anniversary key?). They justified the Anniversary edition price by it's uniqueness and that only one was available per dealer.
Well I'll try and make this short, after visiting over twenty dealers within a 50 mile radius of montreal, I had finaly resigned myself that the best price I could hope for was $9,500 can for a regular SE and that there was no way I was going to pay an extra thousand dollars to get a white one.
On my way to the chosen dealer to buy a gray/silver SE for $9,500 I was still thinking that I could do better and decided to drop in to one more dealer before putting money down. Well that was the best move I ever made. First of all he was the first one to offer me a test ride while he finished with another customer. He also had six of those exclusive one per dealer bikes. And he gave me his best price right off the bat, $8,750 for the Anniversary SE, or $8,500can for a regular SE model of which he had two of every color available.
Bottom line a Brand new Anniversary Edition S.E Volusia for $8,750ca or $6,550us.
Of course a dealer has to have deep pockets to do this, dealers do not want to start a price war that they may not win if they start undercutting other dealers prices by too much.
Best bet is ask around/ shop around.