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Old 10-17-2010, 10:41 PM   #1
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What has happened to so many motorcycle dealers these days?

So I have 3 examples of one particular brand of motorcycle, among the bikes that I own and ride.

My newest steed (2009 model) was chosen for a hill country ride, with a mere 1060 miles on her. I get 26 miles from my hotel room outside of Kerrville and she stops running....appears to be a failed reg/rectifier. I am 5&1/2 hours from home. I tow bike 2 hours to dealer and am happy as a lark when I enter the dealership because there, on the floor, is an identical make, model and year to mine. I should be able to get back on the road, right?

Nope. I am fully in warranty, so when I ask and then beg some consideration from the dealership OWNER (the mechanic and the service manager both want to get me going, but he told them NO already), I get the excuse that the brand of the bike has a bad reputation for taking months to get a part (not ever in my experience), so I call another dealer 4 hours away and they agree to overnight the replacement part to him off their floor model so I can get back on the road by using the part off his floor model.

Guess what? NOPE, the owner says now that even though the other dealer will do this, he has a company policy to never remove any part from a new bike. Well, , why did I spend thirty minutes solving his last explanation for why he wouldn't help me. So I begged one more time.....I get out to ride like this about once a year with my friends and you will have a brand new part Monday morning, so please help me out here......and I volunteer to pay $500 or whatever he wants to just get me going again.

Sorry, the owner says, can't help you. I have "a responsibility to the future owner of that motorcycle not to rob parts off it". So where is the responsiblity to me as a dealer of that brand of bike? Or at least where is the desire to just help out a fellow rider of his brand that is broken down far from home?

So am I just all screwed up here or what?

Had he done this work for me (yes, the bike was in warranty and a service bulletin, according to the mechanic, indicates they are having problems with this component), I would have been on here naming names and praising his dealership with thanks and respect for getting me back on the road.

Instead, here I am, posting this with enough anonymity that his dealership is not named, but seriously wondering why a dealer would treat a person (and obviously, a potential future good customer that owns a pile of bikes) that owns three late model examples of the motorcycles he sells in a way that leaves me stranded without a bike?

He did volunteer that I could leave the bike with him and come back (10 hours round trip with a trailer) and get it when he gets the parts in (which, again, according to him could be 2 months, even though the other dealer looked it up and determined that plenty of units are available overnight an that he would pull the one off his floor model and send it overnight THAT day).


I actually am in the market for an $18K model he is currently taking orders for 2011 delivery. Wanna guess his chances for selling one to me? ZERO.
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Last edited by Desmorider; 10-17-2010 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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Sorry bud, but if I was the manager I wouldn't pull parts off of a new bike either.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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Sorry bud, but if I was the manager I wouldn't pull parts off of a new bike either.
It was the owner, not the manager, but that is why I am asking. BTW, I own a dealership (I didn't mention that to him) and I would do that in a heart beat, as I would likely have a customer for life.

Just wondering.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:07 AM   #4
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Sounds like a Duc. My rectifier went out too.
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:23 AM   #5
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So if u own a dealer why are u looking to buy a bike from a different dealer. Does make sense y he wouldn't take the part off his floor model. But I think In ur situation he prob could have..mm but rules are rules .
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:36 AM   #6
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Such . I would pull the part, why not? The world is not going to end.

Just someone saying no to say no.
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tejano? Rape me
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
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So if u own a dealer why are u looking to buy a bike from a different dealer. Does make sense y he wouldn't take the part off his floor model. But I think In ur situation he prob could have..mm but rules are rules .
maybe he owns a car dealership.. he didnt specify
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:29 AM   #8
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I feel it their responsibility to stay the away from the new bikes. They would get much more negative feedback from customers if it was known that they borrowed from new bikes. It may help a few, but in the long run the word would get out. It brings into question many things. Was the part right? Was it a cert. tech who installed new parts? Ect.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:37 AM   #9
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Should have bought a Honda

So let's say they pull the part off the bike, then a customer walks in and wants that bike NOW. Now who's screwed?
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:00 AM   #10
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Should have bought a Honda
I have 2 Hondas/ They have both suffered regulator/rectifier failures. Very common on VFR/RVF models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevo View Post

So let's say they pull the part off the bike, then a customer walks in and wants that bike NOW. Now who's screwed?
The bike in question had been on the floor for over 16 months. But I guess it is possible. They would have the replacement NEW reg/rec the next AM by 10. I suppose losing my business forever didn't also 'screw' the owner?

But I certainly see your point. I guess I am too willing to try and help the person that needs it and is standing right in front of me than concocting a scenario that might happen one time in 500?
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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This is lame, and you did get screwed, but you should have seen it coming.

Like Bevo said, he doesn't want to pull a part off an existing bike in case someone does come by.

I don't really think they care about repeat customers. They like it, but they care more about the new guy... since there are way more new guys than you. The only time you get treated like a king at a dealership is when you are buying something. Otherwise you're just some chump.

You should have mentioned your inclinations to buy ANOTHER bike. That woulda got the greed taking over.
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:16 AM   #13
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To play devils advocate for a second...

I have worked in the "dealer" setting before for 15 years or so...

It is a VERY bad practice to rob Peter to pay Paul becuase happens and
to be fair, 99.9% of the Pauls you pay with Peters rectifier are grateful for
about 5 minutes then they are back to bidness as usual and you are stuck with a brand new,
unsellable unit while you wait for a part that could
potentialy be back ordered.

Are there exceptions to be made? Yep. To a drop in, one time client who's
emergency isn't exactly your emergency, not really.

Sorry, just the truth...
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmorider View Post
I have 2 Hondas/ They have both suffered regulator/rectifier failures. Very common on VFR/RVF models.



The bike in question had been on the floor for over 16 months. But I guess it is possible. They would have the replacement NEW reg/rec the next AM by 10. I suppose losing my business forever didn't also 'screw' the owner?

But I certainly see your point. I guess I am too willing to try and help the person that needs it and is standing right in front of me than concocting a scenario that might happen one time in 500?
I've wanted a bike "NOW", before. One dealer had one, the other could get one the next day. Guess who made the sale? Also, if I had walked into a dealership and inquired about a certain model, and had they told me, "yea, we have one but it's missing a part we pulled off it", I'd be like, "WTF, that's how you service bikes here?"
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Should have bought a Honda

So let's say they pull the part off the bike, then a customer walks in and wants that bike NOW. Now who's screwed?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmorider View Post
I have 2 Hondas/ They have both suffered regulator/rectifier failures. Very common on VFR/RVF models.



The bike in question had been on the floor for over 16 months. But I guess it is possible. They would have the replacement NEW reg/rec the next AM by 10. I suppose losing my business forever didn't also 'screw' the owner?

But I certainly see your point. I guess I am too willing to try and help the person that needs it and is standing right in front of me than concocting a scenario that might happen one time in 500?
I was about to say, that has been an age old Honda issue.

As for robbing a part to put on a new one. The dealer should have done what it takes to get him back on the road. Customer service should be first and foremost. The dealer could have easily gotten a brand new rectifier in for the floor model (probably and upgraded/updated one since the manufacturer knew there was issues) and everything would have been fine. The economy is too rough right now not to keep customers satisfied and loyal.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:09 AM   #16
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You guys are missing the point that dealer B was willing to send him the part, and dealer A wouldn't install it. Whether you think its a good idea or not......Dealer B was willing to do it. Sounds like Dealer A jsut really really didn't want to work on the bike. Which, to me, is strange. Don't dealers make most of their money in the service department?
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:12 AM   #17
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Also depends on how the dealership is ran.

If each dept acts like a separate company like many car dealerships there will be more loss then gain in swapping parts etc.

Unless an item is strictly unbolt(wheels, wiper blade arms etc) our BMW dealership will refuse any parts swapping. If any item is removed it becomes an issue not under warranty but as install. Other dealerships wouldnt honor the work from another shop if there isnt a warranty claim for the matter.

As for parts orders, overnight orders effect the dealer's overall profit. The parts department gets a discounted payment for the warranty parts ordered not full price. Any charge in shipping comes directly out of that and is an unprofitable practice for that department.

As for the service department, they need to operate within the means of the service warranty when it comes to test procedures, verifying to warranty w authorization that item is faulty. Sometimes that includes a field service technician coming out to verify and authorize the claim. The problem for service is the fact that the claim can be repealed months later, leaving the dealership stuck w the bill while the customer is long gone due to some missing documentation or even misworded stories from the technician to the warranty claims booker.

That's the sad reality. After all that, then the dealership can step up and override customer service.

Warranty dealerships hear "my vehicle is broke, you will fix it now!"
Independants hear "please, could you fix my vehicle"

In the end it is a business, since sales does compensate for alot of service you would think repeat business would be important. Service w shop expenses, paying for the unproductive hourly advisors/managers/etc dont make a whole lot of profit; techs are paid by the job. Parts gets paid by the upselling from list/employee/standard/warranty prices. Sales by a spiff off the top of the sale(which is always the 'negotiable' price you see drop during sells. Often it seems the independant departments of the business cannot see past their own range of service view.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
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You guys are missing the point that dealer B was willing to send him the part, and dealer A wouldn't install it. Whether you think its a good idea or not......Dealer B was willing to do it. Sounds like Dealer A jsut really really didn't want to work on the bike. Which, to me, is strange. Don't dealers make most of their money in the service department?
He was still requiring a replacement part from the floor model. Dealer B was going to send Dealer A a replacement for their floor model. He wasn't looking to wait overnight for the part to get there.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Don't dealers make most of their money in the service department?
Do you ever finance service? Ever hear of a manufacturer offering service incentives?
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
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You guys are missing the point that dealer B was willing to send him the part, and dealer A wouldn't install it. Whether you think its a good idea or not......Dealer B was willing to do it. Sounds like Dealer A jsut really really didn't want to work on the bike. Which, to me, is strange. Don't dealers make most of their money in the service department?
Not if the warranty doesn't pay.
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