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I have a question for you guys. NONE of the bike shops around here will work on a bike over 10 years old. I find that really strange, because the way I see it, they're missing out on a LOT of income. Seriously, the way bikes are made nowadays as opposed to back in the 70's and 80's when I was raising hell on them is amazing. No points, fuel injection, water cooled engines nowadays are awesome! Is it because nobody remembers how to work on the older bikes or newer ones require a lot more immanence than I thought? How about in your area? Anyone work on bikes over 10 years old? Just curious as there's something up with Cathy's Victory and I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. John isn't in any hurry to have it running as he doesn't want her wrecking it.
 

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The Harley dealer will not work on a bike over 10 years old, so the British dealer here hired a Harley certified mechanic and is raking it in. They will work on all makes, they are so busy their bike electrician can't even schedule installing of LEDs. You actually have to schedule an appointment for tire changes ( they will do emergency tire repairs). The other dealers will work on their makes only. We also have a couple of non dealer shops. I keep telling everyone Pensacola is the place to live.
 

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Here's my take on the subject with some real world experience. I've been in the retail auto parts business for over 30 years. The auto and motorcycle repair industries are on the same business model, MAKE MONEY. The way they make money is selling time (labor rate). The parts that are part of the job is just a small piece of the total job. So "turning the bay" as it's called, getting vehicles in and out of shop, is where the money is. Parts for newer models is much more available and makes it easier to get jobs in and out. If a shop has to wait and order a part that takes days or even weeks to get they are not making money but have their money invested in parts till the client pays them. Parts are required by law to stay in the supply chain for a minimum of 10 years after a model is produced, that's where the 10 year or newer vehicle requirement from shops come from. Other issues that come up when working on older vehicles is that usually more parts are needed that the actual failed part. Let's take something as simple as a rear tire replacement. Shop takes rear tire off. Most of the time the caliper needs to come off. It's been on there for years since the last tire change. The caliper bolts have been taken off multiple times thru out the years. But the threads are wore our and in really tight, head is almost rounded off. This takes time the client doesn't want to pay for. Then the bearings that are in there are over 10 years old and need replacing. Then it's noticed the old caliper is weeping a bit. Shop notice the 10 year old swing arm bushings are bad. In order to have the vehicle leave the shop and be safely on the road the shop needs to replace this stuff and more. The client says no. The vehicle leaves the shop and is involved in a wreck, guess who gets sued. Believe me, it happens. The client only wanted to pay the $200 or so for tire change and not the $500 to have a safe vehicle. I know this seems extreme but unfortunately it's why most shops put the 10 year limit in place. A have a few friends that are independent repair facilities that will work on anything. They are "old school" and do a great job and there is a long wait for you to get your vehicle worked on. They are so busy at times they don't know what to do, but they are not making that much money due to what I explained above, vehicle sitting around waiting on parts. I'm passionate about this subject, not just because I'm a supplier but where the mentality of the client has gone wanting you to do the work and not pay a fair rate. Are there dishonest shops out there, absolutely. I'm blessed that the last time any of my vehicles were in a shop was in 1985 when my wife was in the hospital having surgery and my water pump went out. If you find a local independent shop that does good work and will work on older vehicles, please be patient and not be surprised when the first quote to complete the job ends up costing twice. OK, I'll get off the chair and shut up.
 

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Les, I see where you are coming from, we have one of the not so good repair shops here and we have a dealer here that I wouldn't let change air in my tires. But that said the British shop here is one of the best shops let alone a dealer I have seen.They will not let it out of the shop until it is test driven and approved before it leaves. Their test rider fills out a written report to the service manager before you pay the bill.
 

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I am fortunate i have never had to take a bike in for repairs. i have taken rims in to have tiers mounted. For my old 1800VTX there was a honda dealer told me to go to the parts dept buy, pay for the tire then take it 5 feet over to the service dept to have it mounted. Really come on. I bought from Rocky Mountain atv and a cycle salvage did the mounting. For my truck i am lucky to have a backyard mechanic that loves working on cars. He is a heavy equipment operator by days. He is sick organized and also takes care of all the warranties. The guy knows everything.
 

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Up here in Ontario nobody in the large shops will take on bikes older then 10 years but we have a really good pile of small shops that love the older bikes. That being said we have a lot of vintage bike clubs up here that have a massive amount of knowledge they are itching to share. Buy them a coffee and bend their ear. In the commercial industrial unit my shop is in I have one fella who has retired from being a motorcycle racing mechanic. All he does is restore vintage bikes. Hand makes body parts and tanks as needed, lots of knowledge and vintage tools to share with his friends. 2 units down from him there is a fella who does motorcycle training classes during the day and repairs anyone's bikes during the nights / weekends.

It's all about networking with the riders and clubs.

90350
 

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Been fortunate so far. Haven't had any repairs I couldn't do myself, so not sure what their policies are.
I do know some will not take trade ins older than 10 years.

Here's my take on the subject with some real world experience. I've been in the retail auto parts business for over 30 years. The auto and motorcycle repair industries are on the same business model, MAKE MONEY. The way they make money is selling time (labor rate). The parts that are part of the job is just a small piece of the total job. So "turning the bay" as it's called, getting vehicles in and out of shop, is where the money is. Parts for newer models is much more available and makes it easier to get jobs in and out. If a shop has to wait and order a part that takes days or even weeks to get they are not making money but have their money invested in parts till the client pays them. Parts are required by law to stay in the supply chain for a minimum of 10 years after a model is produced, that's where the 10 year or newer vehicle requirement from shops come from. Other issues that come up when working on older vehicles is that usually more parts are needed that the actual failed part. Let's take something as simple as a rear tire replacement. Shop takes rear tire off. Most of the time the caliper needs to come off. It's been on there for years since the last tire change. The caliper bolts have been taken off multiple times thru out the years. But the threads are wore our and in really tight, head is almost rounded off. This takes time the client doesn't want to pay for. Then the bearings that are in there are over 10 years old and need replacing. Then it's noticed the old caliper is weeping a bit. Shop notice the 10 year old swing arm bushings are bad. In order to have the vehicle leave the shop and be safely on the road the shop needs to replace this stuff and more. The client says no. The vehicle leaves the shop and is involved in a wreck, guess who gets sued. Believe me, it happens. The client only wanted to pay the $200 or so for tire change and not the $500 to have a safe vehicle. I know this seems extreme but unfortunately it's why most shops put the 10 year limit in place. A have a few friends that are independent repair facilities that will work on anything. They are "old school" and do a great job and there is a long wait for you to get your vehicle worked on. They are so busy at times they don't know what to do, but they are not making that much money due to what I explained above, vehicle sitting around waiting on parts. I'm passionate about this subject, not just because I'm a supplier but where the mentality of the client has gone wanting you to do the work and not pay a fair rate. Are there dishonest shops out there, absolutely. I'm blessed that the last time any of my vehicles were in a shop was in 1985 when my wife was in the hospital having surgery and my water pump went out. If you find a local independent shop that does good work and will work on older vehicles, please be patient and not be surprised when the first quote to complete the job ends up costing twice. OK, I'll get off the chair and shut up.
I understand your point here. Businesses are concerned about liability and when something goes wrong soon after a service visit. customers are quick to point a finger and say why didn't you tell me something else was wrong. People are also sue happy today.

On the flip side we all have to be on our toes about fraud. Many moons ago, I took my car in to the local stealership to have the carb rebuilt. About an hour later they called to tell me that my timing belt was in bad shape & needed replaced because if it broke, my engine would be toast. My car had 60,000 miles on it. I asked the service writer if he was sure it needed replaced so he said he would go take a look and talk with the mechanic again. While he went to talk with the mechanic again, I went back and pulled the invoice where this SAME dealership had just replaced the timing belt for me 6 months earlier and checked the mileage on their repair bill.
He called back and assured me it was in bad shape. For some reason they had no record of doing the timing belt repair and I didn't mention to him that they did the job. I know they did put a new belt on because the old one broke and left me stranded.
I then asked him how long timing belts lasted and he said 50 - 60,000 miles. I then asked him why mine only lasted 5000 miles. He said it should last a lot longer and said whoever put it on probably didn't do a good job. I then told him it was their dealership that did the work. He of course was embarrased and I asked him to check that belt out for himself again. He later called back and said I didn't need a timing belt and I said I knew that. I told him to have my car ready in 30 minutes I was picking it. When I got there I asked the service writer if they finished the carb repair and they did. I showed him their invoice where they replaced the timing belt 6 months previous. and he was red faced. I told him thanks for repairing my carb for free, grabbed the keys and walked out the door and left.
Women especially face cases of fraud like this every day.
 

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another dealer ripoff story.
my local dealer has been running a deal the past couple years for free tire install as long as you buy the tire from them. can't beat free, right? especially from a dealer. i've taken them up on that a couple times already. not sure how much they marked up the price of their tires, but it seemed to be in line with what i'd previously paid for the same tires and prices i've seen online. actually just replaced my front tire a few months back and the price was reasonable. now i need my rear tire replaced so i called them up for a quote for the new Dunlop Elite 4 rear and they quoted me $380. this was way higher than i've ever paid for a rear tire and i've been getting nothing but the Dunlop Elite 3 from them for nearly a decade. i looked up the price online and every search result i could find was quoting me around $255. literally couldn't find a single one over $275.

so i thought maybe it was just a mistake and called them back and get a different guy from the parts dept and now i'm quoted $430!! i spoke with their service shop and they reaffirmed their free tire install if you purchase the tire from them. if you bring in your own tire, they would charge $80 for the job to replace it. i understand it's a business and they have to make money, but marking up $175 on a tire so they can advertise a free tire install that they normally charge $80 for? that's just plain ripoff city. is it possible both different people in their parts dept made a gross error? or smoking the same weed?

when i told them that literally everyone else is selling the same tire and size for around $255 they said they would price match with their supplier (meaning their supplier is charging them the same price as the home consumer) so i placed the order since they don't currently have it in stock. my invoice actually states the subtotal is $430 then subtracts a $175 discount. so if they are making a mistake, that's 3 times they've made the mistake with me. is it possible they just have the incorrect price for this one tire? or do you think they are ripping people off here? how many customers are just going to willingly be overcharged like this because they don't have the fortitude to price shop?









 

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I think you called their bluff and they gave in. They're probably counting on most people not doing that.
 

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Wow. A quick search showed top price online at $220, amazon at $200. They gave you the $80 dollar option still making it a $300+ tire. Their final offer is better, but still... Tomorrow I'm gonna ask my local yamaha shop (maxim honda/yamaha, in Allen) see what they quote. I'll post the response here.

Did they charge tax on the $430 price?
 

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The last time I had an independent shop change a tire, they got the tire the very next day, and, while installing said new tire, discovered that the inner rear brake pad was metal -to metal. This after the shop selling me the bike supposedly had checked the bike out before the sale (@ 5000 miles) Before that, a different independent called to have me pick up the bike, without performing the tire change, because they were closing down, due to failure to pay the rent. ( the independent shop I took it to next, changed over to selling used cars, and went out of business within a year.)
 

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It's sad - personally I don't think of a bike that's only 10 years old as outdated or whatever. Heck my car is a 93 Pontiac and it runs a lot better than my friend's brand new Mercedes.

So will these shops service a 2009 Vstar but not a 2008? I find that strange.
 

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The dealer I have used a couple times has that 10 year rule. But it isn't set in stone, and all I had to do was show up with the bike and speak with the service manager. He said "I would be proud to work on it". Overriding his service writer. I think they just want to avoid the money pit jobs, and that gives them an alibi reason to say no to work they don't want to do. I also think that if you use a shop for a while before the 10 year point is reached, they will be more likely to continue working for you, as long as you are a customer with a good repute.
 
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