Yamaha Starbike Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Service sticker shock:

I took my 2006 Stratoliner in for a service last Saturday and had a very hard swallow when it came time to pay for it. $402.00 :eek:and that did not include an oil change. Now, most of this was based on labor, charged at $75.00 per hour for 4.2 hours. The only other charges was $24.00 for air filter, $10.00 for plugs, and $20.00 for shop supplies.

I guess I got a good deal because I brought the bike in at 10:00AM and it wasn't ready until 4:00PM -- it took they 6 hours.

Now, my question to you all is, should it have taken that long? Did I get saddled with a mechanic that is not very familiar with my bike and the service department knew it would take a long time; is that why they charged me a flat 4.2 hour service? They charged me almost $150.00 just to check the valve adjustment (this was the 1st time for this activity and the bike has over 34,000 miles; the valves where within .001 to spec and no adjustment was done nor was necessary). I know for a fact, just as an observer, this activity was extremely frustrating to the mechanic and he spent the majority of the service time doing this activity. NOTE: I recall when I had the rear tire replaced at this same location a few weeks ago it took them almost 2 hours to accomplish the activity.

Why does Yamaha recommend this valve clearance check and adjustment serice every 16,000 miles. They are hydrolic valves and the service is very time-consuming and complex. If my bike is typical, even after 34,000 miles, there was no need to adjust them.

Other's take on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
Im not sure if cycle shops operate the same as automotive shops , but in an automotive shop they have a database that prorates the job. Say you want brakes on tour 05 Dodge ram, the mechanic or service manager will look that particular job up in the database and lets say it is rated at 2hrs. That means that you are paying 2 hrs wether it takes 4hrs or it takes 15mins. So your not going to get stuck with 6hrs labor if you have a mechanic that is a little slow or just is not familiar with your particular vehicle. This also means that if the mechanic is a seasoned pro and it only takes him 1/2hr, you are still paying for 2hrs labor. Which at first glance could seem like it sucks, but why should a guy that is good at what he does get penalized and not make as much money because he is more efficient at what he does. The job rates are based on an average mechanic performing the job. Hope this was a little helpful in understanding the pricing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Valves

I think 16,000 miles is a little early. From what I understand very seldom do they actually need adjusted. But, what they are saying is checked not adjusted. Of course it takes almost as much to check them as to adjust them. Most of the job is getting to and setting them up. I do every other check making it 32,000 miles. Some people have gone longer. We seldom hear of anyone having a problem.

They are not hydrolic valves. We have push rod tubes that house the push rods. I read Yamaha said the cams are low on the engine to help keep weight low.

It is not as hard a job as I had thought when I paid for the first tune up. I plan to do the next check myself. Removing the tank and covers seem to be the biggest part of the task. Three to four hundred dollars seems to be the going rate for most bikes. I think your dealer is in line with others.

I guess we either need to do it our self or pay the money.

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I have had the valves checked on this one @ 24,000 & I paid $168.00 This is the 2nd Stratoliner I have had & the service tech told me it is best not to combine services.On my first one I sold it 85,000 mi & part of the deal was he wanted the valves checked so even @ 85,ooo they were still in spec.The shop I go to charges $55.00 an hour. Oil change is $27.50 plus $7.10 filter [email protected] $3.90 total $54.10 plus tax & oil disposel comes to $65.47 I watch for their coupon 10% on line
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think 16,000 miles is a little early. From what I understand very seldom do they actually need adjusted. But, what they are saying is checked not adjusted. Of course it takes almost as much to check them as to adjust them. Most of the job is getting to and setting them up. I do every other check making it 32,000 miles. Some people have gone longer. We seldom hear of anyone having a problem.

They are not hydrolic valves. We have push rod tubes that house the push rods. I read Yamaha said the cams are low on the engine to help keep weight low.

It is not as hard a job as I had thought when I paid for the first tune up. I plan to do the next check myself. Removing the tank and covers seem to be the biggest part of the task. Three to four hundred dollars seems to be the going rate for most bikes. I think your dealer is in line with others.

I guess we either need to do it our self or pay the money.

Dave
Actually, they are hydrolic valves but they still can be adjusted when necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
One thing to remember is that if the shop owner is not making a profit, he will shut down. I am not excusing excessive profits here, but being in business, I know that $75 and hour for work performed is not a lot, when you take into account lease or mortgage payments, hydro, the capital cost of the tools in the shop, wages, front end support staff, etc, etc.

Sure, you can do the jobs less expensive, and often that is the fun of owning a bike. But, if you don't support the shop when you can, then eventually he wont be there when you really do need him. And you find out the closest shop is two to four hours away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,880 Posts
Service cost

One thing to remember is that if the shop owner is not making a profit, he will shut down. I am not excusing excessive profits here, but being in business, I know that $75 and hour for work performed is not a lot, when you take into account lease or mortgage payments, hydro, the capital cost of the tools in the shop, wages, front end support staff, etc, etc.

Sure, you can do the jobs less expensive, and often that is the fun of owning a bike. But, if you don't support the shop when you can, then eventually he wont be there when you really do need him. And you find out the closest shop is two to four hours away.
I understand what you are trying to say,however, when you can buy filters and plugs(same ones),for example, for less than half that the shops charge and spend a few minutes to install ,it sure don't come to 75 an hour for labor. If my shop charges 75 and your shop charges 50, guess who would be covered up, and who would be looking out the window at the traffic going by. The HUGE markup on filters and plugs,oil, and the rest PLUS 75/hour labor, obscene.The parts stores and catalog outlets are not exactly charities and not for profit organizations. Just a different view here. Ride safe :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Manual

CanadianRocky,

I bought my service manual on a CD from E Bay. I think it was around $15. There are some that can be read online. Here is one source.

http://www.paulmilner.com/

Good point on the hourly rate. I was in service and repair years ago. I soon learned the payer and the receiver will never agree. Not even close.

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I think some of it has to do with that some people are not mechanically minded and are uncomfortable with working on their own bikes. I have been working on motorcycles since 1968 and come from a very significant mechanically experienced family. My father literally fixed tanks in the desert of North Africa during WW2. My brother is a licensed mechanic who does rotisserie restorations of MGB's. Both him and I have been building choppers for close to 40 years. And not the buy from the Catalog and bolt it on method either. But fabricating our own motor mounts, forward control units from plate steel and building gas tanks from scratch.

My point is that even with that background, I do little servicing of my own bikes anymore. I want to ride them. The most I do is wash and polish.

As a consumer, it is my responsibility to make sure I am working with a reliable shop. I have found out in life that often, the price has little to do with the quality of work done. But once I have established a working relationship with the shop I also feel that there comes a point where I have to trust that the work they are doing, is worth the money they are charging.

It is not always true, but there is something to the old axiom that you get what you pay for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My last reply here: My original intent on this discussion was not to complain about the $75.00/hour. Why should it take a factory-trained mechanic over 6 hours to do a service?

NOTE: Do a Google on the shop manual -- you will find a free down-loaded PDF version.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
My last reply here: My original intent on this discussion was not to complain about the $75.00/hour. Why should it take a factory-trained mechanic over 6 hours to do a service?

NOTE: Do a Google on the shop manual -- you will find a free down-loaded PDF version.
I ordered a Yamaha shop manual. Maybe in it they give a break down of how long the service should take. If so, I will post it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
I just got my shop manual and the 16,000 mile service is a 32 point check that includes changing spark plugs, oil, repacking Steering bearings, change transfer case oil, check valve clearance and adjust if necessary.

I would say that it would be four hours of work to do it thoroughly.

Most of it you could do yourself, and leave the things to the shop that you cannot do, such as the valve clearances repacking the bearings.

Even at that, you will spend two hours in the shop, so the difference is about 2 hrs, or maybe a couple of hundred bucks.

I did not buy my motorcycle to save money, I bought it to spend money.

I would say that there might be better ways to save money. Such as planning on a tire change around the service and that way they can combine the jobs, as an example.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Maintenance

Rocky,

I let the spark plugs and valves go untill 32,000 miles with no regrets.

If you are willing to pay for the maintenance you can never go wrong by doing too much maintenance.

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Rocky,

I let the spark plugs and valves go untill 32,000 miles with no regrets.

If you are willing to pay for the maintenance you can never go wrong by doing too much maintenance.

Dave
I have always believed that Preventative Maintenance saves you money, not costs you money.

My total maintenance bill for the year for all of my equipment, both work and play, is probably 50 grand. Of that, only about 5,000 is unscheduled work because of the PM programs I have incorporated. In 9 years of operation I have been parked only about four or five times and even each one of those was no more than a few days with the equipment out of service.

If the wheels of my trucks are not rotating, i am not making money.

I like money.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top