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Dealership Blues

5191 Views 37 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Pete
After dealing with this new dealership, I'm experiencing what a lot of y'all have been. I bought a rear tire from JP Cycles for $150.00 shipped to my door. Had dealership put it on today, $94.?? after taxes. I understand an hour labor and taxes , but damn! Did find out there is an open recall on something to do with the abs. I'll have that done when I do the cam chain tensioner upgrade. Which will probably sooner than later. Y'all ride safe and enjoy. :ride
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Having 2 tires put on Saturday morning. Was quoted 2 hours labor plus $18 to balance both. Total around $178 plus tax. Bought my tires from Jake Wilson. Some dealers around here will not install them if you do not buy the tires from them. Some will, but, charge an extra fee because of this.
Sounds pretty reasonable to me especially since you didn't purchase the tire from them. Kinda like taking a steak to restaurant and having them cook it......

I have two local guys around here who do it. Fifty bucks worst case...it's a two fifty, so it fights them...LOL. that's balanced too.
2 tires and a front and rear brake job set me back a grand, materials and labor plus tax, at the local stealership. Found a friend close by who has a tire changer and static balancer. Guess where it'll get done next time.
We have an indy that will mount tires for $25. A couple more in the area are $35.
My indie charges $25 each, balanced if I bring him the wheels and tires off the bike.
If the $94 was to R&R the rear wheel in addition to mounting the tire, I'd say it's about right. I usually pay around $35 when I carry the old tire/rim in. It seems like every time I finish reinstalling the rear wheel, I say "next time I'm paying someone to do it". :spank:
Sounds pretty reasonable to me especially since you didn't purchase the tire from them. Kinda like taking a steak to restaurant and having them cook it......

I disagree. I used to have my cage tires drop shipped from Tire Rack to Discount Tire for mounting and balancing. They never charged extra. Now, Discount Tire will match the price I see for the same tire at Tire Rack.
Our indies do not care where you get the tire. Shop work is shop work. $25 each if they are off the bike. That includes balancing.

Only person to bitch to me about getting my tires (Dunlops) from Jake Wilson and (Avons) from motorXoutlet.com is my dealer. When the bike goes in for prepaid maintenance interval they usually notice it has new tires on it.

I tell them the same thing, match the price within 10 percent and I am your customer. They decline. Same with putting them on......
Told my local stealer the same thing about matching the price. So what does he do????raises his labor charges.
Many years ago I was in the auto parts business--worked at several parts stores, did the purchasing for a small chain of stores, account sales for a warehouse distributor, then their Director of Purchasing, etc., etc. Anyway, the parts distribution & sales for motorcycle parts are in many ways similar to auto parts distribution & sales. Way back when, you could purchase something at a parts store and your invoice stated the retail price and then a "discounted" price you were charged by the parts store. Garages and other installers charged their customers the retail price for the part(s) and also the labor/installation charge(s). Yes, they made money not only on their labor but also on the parts. And many garages and other installers did not permit "take-in" parts. If you wanted them to do the work you had to buy the part(s) from them.

Of course we all know HD dealers also make money on the parts as well as installing the parts. If you find the same part(s) cheaper elsewhere good for you, but your dealer may not want to install the parts you bought elsewhere. Some will and some won't. And even if they do and the part is in some way defective, do you think he will eat his labor to replace a bad part that you bought elsewhere and he didn't make a dime on?

HD dealers have a tremendous amount of overhead (IMHO too high overhead is part of the problem) and of course that is paid for by customers. I have an indy I use for everything because he is Harley certified, many years of experience, has never jerked me around, and I trust him. But he isn't any cheaper than a HD dealer. When I take my bike to him I know whatever he does will cost just as much as a HD dealer--but I know him to be honest and conscientious, much more so than a dealer.

Yeah, I wish everything HD related didn't cost so much. But it is what it is and you live with it or you find another ride.
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It ain't just HD Dealers, it's all cycle dealers. Heaven forbid you pick up a screw and ruin your tire on your Kawasaki Vulcan on a holiday weekend and the only shop open is the HD shop. They turned me away as soon as they saw it was not an HD, did not even check the tire size or even lift it to see if they could temp plug it to get me home. Their excuse was their mechanic only knew how to work on HD's. But there is a Suzuki shop somewhat close to home that will change tires, or work on any bike, no matter the brand. They get a lot of business in the shop. I know a lot of guys who take there HD's there to get tires and save $100+ dollars from what the HD shop charges. I don't see how some places stay in business by turning away so much. I would gladly pay some one $30-$50 a tire to change my tires if I brought them the rim and a tire I got some where else.

I flat refused to pay the stealerships that much money. At one point I even used tire irons and static balanced mine. Now I have a buddy that has a tire machine, I load the wheel and tire in my tuck, drive to his house, change them, then re-install them at home.

Sorry for the rant. It really gets me on my soapbox.
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It's plain and simple; they have no way of knowing if the part you bring in is a good product or not. They won't open themselves up to a liability or potential for a lawsuit. Let's say you take a tire you bought at a discount website to a dealer and they install it for you. 15 miles down the highway you have a blowout and end up severely injured in the hospital. Too many people in that situation would try to sue the dealership for a faulty install. No way to find out if it was the tire that was the cause or the install. Therefore, it's not worth it for a dealer to open themselves up to such a liability that could close the shop altogether because of one instance like that. No major dealership would do this, just like no restaurant would allow you to bring in your own steak to have them cook it. If you don't want to spend the money at the dealership, find an Indy shop that will install the tire for you and buy it online. Some Indy shops will match online prices saving the hassle altogether.
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I called before hand, told service mgr. I had a rear tire I wanted put on my RK and if he would be interested. He said sure, no problem. When did I want it done. So no I didn't just show up with a steak and expected him to cook it. If they could sell me tires for what I can get them for. Then I'll buy from them. They look at it like labor is labor. No matter if changing a tire or building a motor. The Yam./Kaw. dealer will do the same thing. They have changed tires for me before. I'm really not complaining. It's just it cost 2/3 the price of the tire to put on. I do understand the overhead thing. Btw the tire balanced out with no weights.
My brother and I went together and bought our own tire machine. Tired of what we thought was a rip off by our local dealers. We are real popular with our riding buddies.
I have thought several times of getting g one of the manual tire changers, like the ones from no-mar. At 4-500 bucks it pays for its self in one set of tires almost it.

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My HD dealer, Blue Bayou in Monroe LA, had no problem with me bring my on tires for them to mount. They charged their standard shop rate and I hung around and timed them.

And this was before I even bought a bike from them.
Yes I have experienced this. I live in a place where there are only a few big dealers. No Indys either. My dealer will not install anything you did not buy from them. They will not work on any bike older than 10 years or you did not purchase from them. I just figure that's how things are these days they are making a lot on the bikes and don't really need to work on much else. Seems like they could just write on the ticket "customer supplied parts are not guaranteed or warrantied" and be ok. I'm retired and new to Harley, so it puts me in a tuff spot until I get the rest of the tools I need and some more knowledge. Thanks to this forum I did my first service myself and hopefully anything else I need will be advised here. Amen for today.
No just tires but oil changes too. When I bought my bike end of April in 13', a basic oil/oil filter change was 45 bucks, plus tax, just under 50. Jan 1, 2014, it went to 84 friggin' bucks, PLUS TAX, for an OIL CHANGE.... Obviously now I do my own.

My dealer, if you buy the tires from them, only charges you for installing one tire, not both, so basically it's half price on the labor. Guess you can't complain about that. My own problem, and admittedly of my own creation, is the tires I want to put on my bike I can only get through my 'authorized H-D dealer', you cannot get them from anybody else. So of course ka-ching ka-ching.... The vast majority of the guys in my local HOG chapter, most of who bought their bikes from the local dealership, buy their tires online, and get one of three Indies around here to install and it ends up saving them about 30% when it's all said and done. If I could get the tires I want online, that's what I'd do. Tee shirts: May of 13' they were 18 to 22 bucks. Now they are 30 to 40. Before I spent thirty bucks on a Harley tee shirt, I'll go to SuckMart and buy a package of 6 gray teeshirts for 8 bucks and buy a Sharpie and write Harley-Friggin'-Davidson on the back of it. Everything under their roof has gone up horribly in price and I've been told by a couple of employees just how badly their sales are down. And to make it all worse??? This dealership is owned by someone who owns three others and if the 'numbers are down' he of course blames it on the employees and cans them. A) there are simply not the same number of people walking in the door because of HIS pricing policy, and B) The people that do walk in the door, more and more walk out empty handed BECAUSE of the prices. Yet the owner blames his employees. What a cluster****.
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