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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #1
As I post this I am listening to Mick Jagger sing "It's only Rock and Roll But I like it!"

My dealership is full of lovable guys. They remember my name. The tech who worked on my bike remembers exactly what I had done to my bike almost 2 years ago. This is a major dealership with a lot of traffic from Northern Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania coming into the Lower Shenandoah Valley for our awesome roads, scenic byways and all the Revolutionary and Civil War history.

These lovable dealership guys come up to me and greet me whenever they are busy or just standing around on snowy days when I make a point to ride on over and impress everyone (mind you I live 5 miles from the Dealership, but who's counting.)

That's why I get so disappointed when they fling the BS at me.

Two weeks ago I needed a spot lamp bulb to replace one that had burned out, and I ended up buying two just to have a spare. I talked myself into buying the second one out loud, in front of the new parts counter guy, and then looked at him as he looked up the part number and asked "Now why exactly should I buy this bulb here and not <Discount Auto Parts Store> down the street?"

He told me the bulb had better anti-vibration characteristics. I believed him. I came on here and told you all about it. Someone was very nice to me and schooled me without ridicule.

Seriously - it seems like the peeps at my dealership have had customer service drilled into them ad nauseum - I mean seriously, so many of them remember the details of what I have bought and said down there that I must be the topic of weekly customer service meetings!

Why does it not occur to them that the very best customer service builds trust? And that despite all the friendliness, I don't trust them?

I would really like to have my engine rebuilt and blueprinted locally. But I have to drive it up to see Scotty in Central NY at some point. Why? Because I fell like I can trust him more. He puts his reputation on the line (I have seen his posts here and at other forums for years) so I know that he will give me value for the money I will pay him.

Harley survives because of pull demand. The MoCo remembers lean times, and I know some dealers who were little more than single door-front shops in industrial areas down by the railroad in so many places, and today are giant retail boutiques boasting thousands of feet or merchandise, but I have to believe that they remember the lean times too. I shouldn't have to be some grizzled biker who knows every manufacturing iteration of the Shovelhead Motor to get treated respectfully at my local dealership. And by "respectfully" I mean quit BSing me.
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #2
Another example -

Just talking casually, I asked on of the parts counter guys a few weeks ago about what I would be looking at to buy a 120R Motor around Christmas when they would give 20% discounts on parts.

Immediately a mob formed around my section of the counter.

"You don't want that motor...."
"Not streetable and we won't install it anyway...."
"Big pile of junk...."
"What you need instead of that motor is a 113" big bore kit...."

The last comment was what ultimately prevailed. We went from a passive inquiry on my part to a written estimate on a 113" big bore build.

I know a guy who has sold the USAF about $1 billion (yes that is the number) of services. Not hundred-million dollar aircraft, but in increments like $50 thousand contracts to cut the grass for a year at Bagram Air Field in AF.

He tells me that his huge sales secret is keeping his mouth shut. He goes into sales calls and meetings with COs and lets them tell him what they want, and he then pushes his pricing people to get him pricing that he can propose to these clients and hopefully win business.

His point? Shut Up and listen.
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #3
I have a standard motorcycle cop jacket that I wear. Black with zippers and waist belt, like Brando.

It looks brand new. It was bought at Whitt's in Manassas, VA likely back in 1992, by my father who also bought a long chain wallet and a black leather vest.

He gave me all of these items back in 2012 when I bought my bike.

It loks brand new (as I stated) because he wore in minimally, applied leather care product to it annually, and it was made in the USA. As were the wallet and vest.

I mentioned to the sales girl that the parts counter who keeps reminding me that she is not married. She was born around the time that jacket was sold to my dad. She laughed and said (and I swear to God that this is true):

"I had no idea that Harley Davidson ever made anything in the US. Are you sure about that?"

She is cute, but she is rumored to have some baggage (strike 1) and likely has nothing in common with me (strike 2) and she is also not my wife (strike 3). Sometimes it's a good idea to gossip with the girls at the clothes counter, as they all have poop that they share on each other.

I don't see any Justin Beiber-loving "Millenials" at the Harley store. Unless their grandparents brought them. Get me a hot middle-aged woman and she can sell me clothes all day long just telling "Aw Sweetie you look real good with that...."
 

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Dealers won't stop BSing anyone,they want you to feel Harley parts are better or they always lean on the warranty statement "If you buy Harley parts you won't void your warranty" What a LOAD of crap,and the mark up is huge. The MoCo loves people who have everything done through them but truth is if the pricing on parts and maint items was even close to other aftermarket vendors more of us would do one stop shopping. I would never be able to afford a Harley if I was dependent on them for my maint and aftermarket upgrades. The cheap part of owning a Harley is buying one, the expensive part is making it yours. Dealers get to know your name to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling but in the big picture they want your MONEY!!!
 

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City Chicken, sounds like you have a good relationship with all the folks at the dealership. But like any group anywhere, you have to always have your BS sniffer on.

We have two dealers here in Louisville. I have bought bikes from both of them in the past but don't know if I will ever buy another bike from either one of them. Not the friendly, remember your name type of guys at your dealership so any future bike purchase I may make will be mostly based on prices and I believe an out of town dealer will cut me better prices cause they know that's about all they will have to offer me to get my business.
 

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As I post this I am listening to Mick Jagger sing "It's only Rock and Roll But I like it!"

My dealership is full of lovable guys. They remember my name. The tech who worked on my bike remembers exactly what I had done to my bike almost 2 years ago. This is a major dealership with a lot of traffic from Northern Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania coming into the Lower Shenandoah Valley for our awesome roads, scenic byways and all the Revolutionary and Civil War history.

These lovable dealership guys come up to me and greet me whenever they are busy or just standing around on snowy days when I make a point to ride on over and impress everyone (mind you I live 5 miles from the Dealership, but who's counting.)

That's why I get so disappointed when they fling the BS at me.

Two weeks ago I needed a spot lamp bulb to replace one that had burned out, and I ended up buying two just to have a spare. I talked myself into buying the second one out loud, in front of the new parts counter guy, and then looked at him as he looked up the part number and asked "Now why exactly should I buy this bulb here and not <Discount Auto Parts Store> down the street?"

He told me the bulb had better anti-vibration characteristics. I believed him. I came on here and told you all about it. Someone was very nice to me and schooled me without ridicule.

Seriously - it seems like the peeps at my dealership have had customer service drilled into them ad nauseum - I mean seriously, so many of them remember the details of what I have bought and said down there that I must be the topic of weekly customer service meetings!

Why does it not occur to them that the very best customer service builds trust? And that despite all the friendliness, I don't trust them?

I would really like to have my engine rebuilt and blueprinted locally. But I have to drive it up to see Scotty in Central NY at some point. Why? Because I fell like I can trust him more. He puts his reputation on the line (I have seen his posts here and at other forums for years) so I know that he will give me value for the money I will pay him.

Harley survives because of pull demand. The MoCo remembers lean times, and I know some dealers who were little more than single door-front shops in industrial areas down by the railroad in so many places, and today are giant retail boutiques boasting thousands of feet or merchandise, but I have to believe that they remember the lean times too. I shouldn't have to be some grizzled biker who knows every manufacturing iteration of the Shovelhead Motor to get treated respectfully at my local dealership. And by "respectfully" I mean quit BSing me.
City Chicken, I will not Mention the Groves or Patriot names here or for that matter the old man store in the woods. Which one?
 

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Head to Orange or Shenandoah
 

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Same thing here...you can tell when they are lying...their lips are moving...LOL...
One hd dealer around here is run like the mafia...check your wallet on the way out...
The other one is a little better, but still takes the corporate bull line when convenient...
Me and two friends, brand new bikes, they attempted to deny obvious warranty claims with a straight face...we professionally and firmly reminded them of their legal responsibilities...and they fixed all three under duress...
Find a good independent hd mechanic WHO YOU CAN TRUST...I have one and he is awesome!!! He's so reasonable, that I don't even ask him how much in advance...if I'm around, he doesn't pay for his beer...
Good luck.
 

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You said they are nice guys at the dealership, but they are GUYS.
No matter the setting, it seems like there is always expert opinions available, whether it's accurate or not. You get more than two men together, and someone usually has to "out expert" another, often the stuff just comes out of the mouth without thought.

Disclaimer: The above does not apply to facts that are available on the WWW, which have to be true because it's the Internet. :eek
 

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Call me Gig.
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Two weeks ago I needed a spot lamp bulb to replace one that had burned out, and I ended up buying two just to have a spare. I talked myself into buying the second one out loud, in front of the new parts counter guy, and then looked at him as he looked up the part number and asked "Now why exactly should I buy this bulb here and not <Discount Auto Parts Store> down the street?"

He told me the bulb had better anti-vibration characteristics. I believed him. I came on here and told you all about it. Someone was very nice to me and schooled me without ridicule.
There is the chance that he heard or was taught that at some point and believed it and has been passing it along ever since.
 

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same here you want to trust them and build a relationship of clear communication but something happens to keep me at a distance. I rented a new harley for a weekend from my trusted dealer last year took the complete coverage as my own geico insurance won't transfer to a rental - during the ride the cb radio push button switch came apart and stopped working - I showed the rental return agent she said sorry this is rider abuse we have to charge you $36 for a new switch but we will install it for free no labor cost to you.
 

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Between Eternities
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Discussion Starter #13
Head to Orange or Shenandoah
Waugh's is closer and Orange is one beautiful place to ride. I heard Shenandoah was just bought by a new owner (maybe this was last year, or the year before) and I haven't been to Waugh's in almost 15 years so I am hoping they have the same set up and don't look like a black and orange version of Best Buy for Bikers.
 

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I went through something similar with a couple of the shops here. Over the phone both times. One was telling me the Amps in a harley davidson battery are stronger than Amps in other batteries. To help him out, I asked if he meant the HD battery had more cold cranking amps, and he quickly corrected me "NO, the Amps are stronger even if they have the same number of CCA". I hung up.

When asking about how long my rear shocks should hold pressure (I'm having a slight leaking issue i believe) they first answered with a question: Are you using an HD pump to air it up? I said no, my friend has a very expensive hand pump for mountain bikes and I use that. That's the problem right there. The shocks are leaking because you're not using a HD pump to air them up. I hung up.

last one..the bike starts fine when its been sitting for a while whether it be over night or weeks since the last ride. But when I ride it for a while, and it doesn't seem to matter how far, then park it for a couple minutes when I try to start it struggles a little. It cranks a bit longer instead of coming to life right away and then sounds like it's flooded when it does start? The answer- Sounds like a battery issue to me. I hung up.

I can honestly say I'm afraid to take the bike to the dealership for work. If it's something that's warrantied I guess I'll have to, but damn man! where do they get these guys from. I tell myself the brains are in the back at the toolboxes and not at the phones.

anyway, just my .02.
 

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Guys, this is business. No offense but your local, die hard , back alley, subsistence level indie shop doesn't have the inventory, doesn't have the supplier network and doesn't have the image that the MoCo wants its authorized dealers to display. Back when Harley's were ridden exclusively by badass bikers who would as soon kick the sh-t out of you as look at you the MoCo was sinking into the financial toilet. They figured out the real buying decisions involving big ticket items like Harleys are made by couples and couples want and demand service, Nordstrom style customer service with couches, big screen TVs and espresso machines and lots and lots of apparel and logo merchandise.

Your back alley indie might know more about bikes and may in fact give you better repair work for your $ but try to find one you can trust in a strange town on a moment's notice when your primary packs it in. You're going to look across the freeway and see that big black and orange sign and head for it out of a reasonable expectation that that authorized dealer will take care of you and get you back on the road and if the problem is a warranty issue, that dealer will make it right. That to me is worth a few bucks of premium for the parts and service. The branded accessories and riding gear are admittedly marked up to a similar degree but I believe the MoCo does a pretty good job of assuring quality before they let their brand image go on the package and, again, it's worth it to me to assure that dealer network is on hand and available when my wife and I go out on the road. And that doesn't even take into account the Saturday BBQs and the support for our local HOG chapter.

FWIW, I do use an indie shop near my home but I always manage to drop a few HMUs (one Harley Monetary Unit = $100) every year at the authorized dealer and I don't begrudge the markup.
 

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Guys, this is business. No offense but your local, die hard , back alley, subsistence level indie shop doesn't have the inventory, doesn't have the supplier network and doesn't have the image that the MoCo wants its authorized dealers to display. Back when Harley's were ridden exclusively by badass bikers who would as soon kick the sh-t out of you as look at you the MoCo was sinking into the financial toilet. They figured out the real buying decisions involving big ticket items like Harleys are made by couples and couples want and demand service, Nordstrom style customer service with couches, big screen TVs and espresso machines and lots and lots of apparel and logo merchandise.

Your back alley indie might know more about bikes and may in fact give you better repair work for your $ but try to find one you can trust in a strange town on a moment's notice when your primary packs it in. You're going to look across the freeway and see that big black and orange sign and head for it out of a reasonable expectation that that authorized dealer will take care of you and get you back on the road and if the problem is a warranty issue, that dealer will make it right. That to me is worth a few bucks of premium for the parts and service. The branded accessories and riding gear are admittedly marked up to a similar degree but I believe the MoCo does a pretty good job of assuring quality before they let their brand image go on the package and, again, it's worth it to me to assure that dealer network is on hand and available when my wife and I go out on the road. And that doesn't even take into account the Saturday BBQs and the support for our local HOG chapter.

FWIW, I do use an indie shop near my home but I always manage to drop a few HMUs (one Harley Monetary Unit = $100) every year at the authorized dealer and I don't begrudge the markup.
This.
 

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If you want to feel ripped off go buy some computer cables I purchased a new computer a little while ago. I had the shop transfer the files from my old one to my new one. When I got it home I went to hook up my monitor and found the connection was different on my new computer. I called the shop and they told me I had to buy an adapter. I told them they should have seen that when they had both of them there. I was told that if I came and got it they would give it to me at cost price. I went and got the adapter and picked up a new network cable. When I got the bill it showed both cost and list price. The adapter and the cable coat me three dollars and twenty five cents. List price for the two items was 72.50. Yep. The adapter cost them a buck and a half and they had it priced at 35.40. Now that is a rip off
 

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Steve92106, no disrespect to your explanation, but re read CC's first post, it's about the BS ing that is so flagrantly obnoxious. The parts guys answer should have been, we'll nothing really, we try to be competitive,but I'll give you x% off, or some viable explanation why he couldn't discount, or the reason why it's a better part. I personally don't want to go in to a dealership and be jacked sideways when I/We come out because of the treatment. I'll stop now.
 

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Everyone has to make a living. If you show no support to your local Dealer, he'll soon go out of business . It is that simple .

Same could be said for the local Indie who is so great at fixing things for you.

Both need to make a living, your choice is up to you ONLY.
 

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I just bought a new RoadGlide from my local dealer. I've known the folks at this dealership since the early 70s. The son that's running it now I consider a good friend. His father now I could NEVER buy from him. Attitude. His thought process was, "There's the price, if you don't buy it someone else will." Now I know I'm still going to wind up paying that price anyway but don't be an a$$ about it, lol.

I've known the sales manager for better than 30 years, were members of the same motorcycle club, etc. He made me a deal I was happy with so I bought the new bike. We were talking about their service dept. I trust my friend not to outright lie to me. He said they get these guys from the mechanics schools. If the computer tosses a code and tells them what the problem is and what part needs to be replaced they're good. He also said if there was troubleshooting involved that the computer didn't advise, I better go somewhere else. If I rode in with a Shovelhead they wouldn't have a clue what to do to find and fix a problem.

I trust my dealer to provide simple services and warranty repairs. I've got another dealership with better mechanics if I run into a real problem that seems to confound my local guys. Then I've got an indie shop if there's a real problem.
 
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