Does a dealer service your bike? Should he?
Need to relay something very scary that happened to me today. I just got the bike this week. Bought it used. Previous owner's story: Bike was sold by a dealer in Houston, TX. The bike was in that same dealer for a 100 mile checkup after sale. Then the 600 mile service. So, the bike has been serviced twice by the dealer.
Segue to this evening.
I took the V out for a flogging. I am riding twisties very aggressively. I hear this horrible grinding noise from the rear. It gets worse. I get alarmed. I pull over. I inspect. I crap my pants.
The rear brake caliper is loose! No bolt in the bottom. Bolt half out on top. The image of that caliper wrapping itself around the rear hub while I am in full lean resonates in an unfavorable manner. WTF?!
This sort of thing is not unusual.
When I owned my Aprilia Tuono, one day, the lower cowl just disappeared. Fell off the bike. Just got it back from the dealer for warranty work.
Then there is my BMW story. I had them install bar risers, and they simply stretched my wiring harness 1". Pulled a connection apart on the harness. But they charged me $75 to "reroute wiring".
Three years ago I began servicing my own bikes. I will continue.
Lesson is this. Whenever anyone works on your machine, check their work. If you are sending the bike in for service, make some sharpie marks on a few nuts and bolts just to be sure they actually did pull the valve cover to do the valve check. Believe it or not, that same BMW dealer once charged me for a 6000 service but did not even pull the valve cover. They knew the bike was still in spec (they always are), but they charged me to do the work.
When I got home tonight, after calling my wife to get me in the pickup truck, I pulled out a torque wrench and was horrified at the half assed job the assembly idiot did on the Versys. I am surprised that the previous owner did not have some serious accident with the thing.
I forgot that most of the time when you pay $495 for dealer prep of your brand new bike, it is actually being assembled by a teenage cretan with the IQ of a lemon. So, I guess it is my fault.
So, if you guys think the talent level in most dealer service departments is different from that on the sales floor, think again. If you need work you cannot do, then go to an independent shop of a reputable person. I beg forgiveness from all the good, competent dealer mechanics who read this. You already know you are the minority.
If anyone would like to know who any of these dealers are, please PM me. I would love to damage their reputation, but my ethics prevent me from doing it publicly.
Finally, though I am new here, I notice that there is not yet much material or FAQs here regarding wrenching the V. I plan to document stuff as I do it and share it. I think it would be great is we had a FAQ effort like that on F650.com. That resource is brilliant. It actually allows folks to prevent the things like above from happening. Cause, as my story shows, if you want something done in a manner you can 100% trust, you almost have to do it yourself.