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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Stealerships

On this Forum and many others i have visited there is the same reference to poor dealership Customer Service...especially from the Service Department. Please let me provide an "Insiders" perspective to this pervasive problem. First let me say it is totally inexcusable not to have a Top Notch Service Department. I started in the Motorcycle Industry as a Technician for over 15 years. I prided myself on 'Fixing Things' and not just parts changing. Then I lost my mind and bought a Dealership, 30 years ago. We are a Yamaha only small "Mom & Pop" shop. Although the Service Department generates a good cash flow as labor rates and parts prices are high, it actually isn't a 'Profit Center' for the business as Technicians are the highest paid employees and 80% of our insurance costs are due to Garage Keepers Liability. Over 30% of our power costs are also due to the Service Department. Markup on parts isn't what it used to be and Parts & Accessories sales have plummeted due to lost sales to the Internet. 30% of the Dealers in the USA have gone out of business since 2008. Only 316,000 motorcycles, All Makes & Models, were sold in the USA last year prompting Bloombergs to print the headline "The American Motorcycle Industry is Dead"!
So what does all this have to do with Customer Service in the Service Department? let me explain:
Small shops like mine have all but ceased to exist as they are bought up by corporations, some Automotive, that have multiple dealerships that are TOTALLY Profit driven. The Service Department is NOT a Profit Center so little attention is given to having even a Good Service department......Sad, but true.
So what can a motorcyclist that needs service that only a professional can provide do? May I suggest you search out the small dealership, even if you have to travel a bit to a 'Small Town' near you. You might need to even try an independent shop but do some research first to find a Professional one.
I am afraid this trend will only get worst unless the Motorcycling Public starts supporting the small shops (Or even the Big Ones!) that provide professional service.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 09:30 AM
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to the forum. This post was caught in the spam filter / moderated post. A couple things I looked for; Not selling anything;Not trying to promote your business; No personal information as to identity in signature; Not a spammer******And some valid and useful information Please post again to get your post count up

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 09:48 AM
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My first oil change and secluded service were very disappointing when the so called mec , tec was revving a cold engine on my V to show how well that he had done with my bike
The second time at the same dealership , I had them mount and balance my new shinko tires , the rear tire was done well enough , but the front they did not remove the original
balancing weight and every bump over 55 mph created a tank slapper , I balanced it my self and repaired the problem.
Why should I spend $$$$$ at a dealership so that I can get crappy work ??
Because of the crappy service I will only allow warranty work on my bike
Sorry if this get`s your goat, but if they wont my $$$$ then they need to do quality work
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 11:21 AM
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I have 2 independent shops close to me that i normally go to and they do really good work. I just got my bike back from the dealership getting repaired from an accident. I took it to them because it was mostly cosmetic and thought it would be easier since most the stuff would need to be ordered from Kawasaki. Well that was my first mistake

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 04:22 PM
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Agreed, not all stealerships are the same. It just sucks till you find the right one! My brother is the GM of NWF Adventure Motorsports in Pensacola, FL. http://http://www.adventuremotorsportsofnwf.com/ He has put together a top notch tech/service team. They are know throughout the area as a premier shop especially among the BMW crowd. It helps that everyone on the team are dedicated motorcyclist themselves!

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 08:40 PM
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Agreed, not all stealerships are the same. It just sucks till you find the right one! My brother is the GM of NWF Adventure Motorsports in Pensacola, FL. http://http://www.adventuremotorsportsofnwf.com/ He has put together a top notch tech/service team. They are know throughout the area as a premier shop especially among the BMW crowd. It helps that everyone on the team are dedicated motorcyclist themselves!
Funny. I just tried to make a deal on a left over Moto Guzzi there and they low balled my trade like crazy! Based on the first post in this thread and the down trend in sales I can now see why. It is a buyers market, but not a sellers / traders market. I might just put mine out on the open market and see what happens and then go with cash. From their inventory, it looks like they are getting out of Moto Guzzi.

Sloans up in Murfreesboro only keeps a minimum number of Moto Guzzi bikes each year. At least I know I can get my maintenance parts there for my '10 Café Classic.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 09:14 AM
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Funny. I just tried to make a deal on a left over Moto Guzzi there and they low balled my trade like crazy! Based on the first post in this thread and the down trend in sales I can now see why. It is a buyers market, but not a sellers / traders market. I might just put mine out on the open market and see what happens and then go with cash. From their inventory, it looks like they are getting out of Moto Guzzi.

Sloans up in Murfreesboro only keeps a minimum number of Moto Guzzi bikes each year. At least I know I can get my maintenance parts there for my '10 Café Classic.
Yeah, trade ins are almost worthless right now. My brother convinced the owner to carry Moto Guzzi and he has owned many over the years. They have a following but a small one. He fell in love with Guzzi while in Italy serving in the Navy. They have a long history just like Harley but no one is familiar with them so it's a hard sell here in the U.S.

You will never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychologist office!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 09:14 AM
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The last two Kasasaki dealerships I've been in, just from talking to the employees, I have absolutely no faith in them whatsoever and would not allow them to touch my bike. The last time in the shop where I bought my bike, a guy was in there with his bike for the third time complaining that they still have not fixed his problem. And after having a conversation with one of the mechanics recently, I understand why...he was a moron.

My son is a junior in high school and has talked about possibly going to school to become a motorcycle mechanic (at UTI). I think it would be a fun job, and we need good mechanics, but I'm honestly trying to talk him out of it. I'm sure dealers don't pay them what they are worth, as it seems obvious by the work that some of the dealers around me do. If they paid well, I think the quality of work would be better.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 01:06 PM
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 02:36 AM
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In my city, I asked a couple car mechanics where they take their bikes. Same place got top reviews on Yelp. (Are we not allowed to name the shop? Not clear on that. In any case, it's easy to find.)

Can't imagine the nightmare of getting the bike back with an unbalanced front wheel. I'm still getting familiar with my 650. I wonder whether I would have caught on before I went down.

Thanks for the perspective. It's sad that things have gone that way.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 08:17 AM
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Yeah, trade ins are almost worthless right now. My brother convinced the owner to carry Moto Guzzi and he has owned many over the years. They have a following but a small one. He fell in love with Guzzi while in Italy serving in the Navy. They have a long history just like Harley but no one is familiar with them so it's a hard sell here in the U.S.
They are having a upturn in popularity due to their V7 line of bikes. In the '70s a 750cc motorcycle was considered a large motorcycle. Now it is considered a beginner bike. Moto Guzzies are rolling art. They are also easy to maintain. Unfortunately, they are mostly found in higher population areas like BMW.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 08:19 AM
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In my city, I asked a couple car mechanics where they take their bikes. Same place got top reviews on Yelp. (Are we not allowed to name the shop? Not clear on that. In any case, it's easy to find.)

Can't imagine the nightmare of getting the bike back with an unbalanced front wheel. I'm still getting familiar with my 650. I wonder whether I would have caught on before I went down.

Thanks for the perspective. It's sad that things have gone that way.
Car mechanics that don't maintain their own bikes? HUH?

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 08:22 AM
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The last two Kasasaki dealerships I've been in, just from talking to the employees, I have absolutely no faith in them whatsoever and would not allow them to touch my bike. The last time in the shop where I bought my bike, a guy was in there with his bike for the third time complaining that they still have not fixed his problem. And after having a conversation with one of the mechanics recently, I understand why...he was a moron.

My son is a junior in high school and has talked about possibly going to school to become a motorcycle mechanic (at UTI). I think it would be a fun job, and we need good mechanics, but I'm honestly trying to talk him out of it. I'm sure dealers don't pay them what they are worth, as it seems obvious by the work that some of the dealers around me do. If they paid well, I think the quality of work would be better.
I think what you meant to say was that if the dealers paid well, they would attract higher skilled technicians.

A poor quality technician is a poor quality technician no matter what you pay him/her.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by KipPrdy View Post
In my city, I asked a couple car mechanics where they take their bikes. Same place got top reviews on Yelp. (Are we not allowed to name the shop? Not clear on that. In any case, it's easy to find.)

Can't imagine the nightmare of getting the bike back with an unbalanced front wheel. I'm still getting familiar with my 650. I wonder whether I would have caught on before I went down.

Thanks for the perspective. It's sad that things have gone that way.
Best to mention what city you are in, anyone in that city can contact you for more info. As to posting names, there is a advertising section of this forum, anyone could join from one of these dealerships and post how good a service they got= free advertising and possibly fraudulent.It could also go south where someone got bad service and decided to take it out on them by posting on this forum, again not permitted , however if several members with the same experience have had a run in, someone says ; in Dawson don't go to the Sun D**N dealership, this isn't promoted but you may be helping another member from regretting taking it to this dealer for service.

Someone asks about the slack setter , many of us post links to for example Amazon or Twisted Throttle, they are also a advertiser on this forum.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 08:40 AM
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The last two Kasasaki dealerships I've been in, just from talking to the employees, I have absolutely no faith in them whatsoever and would not allow them to touch my bike. The last time in the shop where I bought my bike, a guy was in there with his bike for the third time complaining that they still have not fixed his problem. And after having a conversation with one of the mechanics recently, I understand why...he was a moron.

My son is a junior in high school and has talked about possibly going to school to become a motorcycle mechanic (at UTI). I think it would be a fun job, and we need good mechanics, but I'm honestly trying to talk him out of it. I'm sure dealers don't pay them what they are worth, as it seems obvious by the work that some of the dealers around me do. If they paid well, I think the quality of work would be better.
I can't speak of where you live but here in Canada the motorcycle mechanic is seasonal, riding time all the bikes are on the road except the broken ones or those needing service, just before riding season everyone wants their bike out of the shop, in our winters, many bike mechanics get laid off, some shops offer storage and service as part of the storage, this keeps the mechanics working during the winter, several also take trade ins , service on these bikes is minimal, just to sell, again keeping the mechanic busy. I have a shop near by that is also a wrecker, during the winter the mechanic extracts all the good parts off the wrecked bikes and catalogues them . They have 4 motorcycle lifts and are busy year round, they also stock close to 1/4 million worth of tires.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 12:08 PM
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Most motorcycle shops where I am do snowmobiles in the winter, motorcycles in the summer, and quads year round. Keeps them busy.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 01:25 PM
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I think what you meant to say was that if the dealers paid well, they would attract higher skilled technicians.

A poor quality technician is a poor quality technician no matter what you pay him/her.
Yes, that is what I meant. Thanks for wording it better.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 02:28 PM
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Luckily my first experience with two wheelers was at my local shop. A mom-and-pop Hondazukiaggio dealer. Most of their work and sales are Scooters as it's a tourist town and they also do 50cc rentals. Anyway, they've always been good to me and I've never had to take my bike back and say "Hey, this doesn't seem right". Heck, until recently, they were still only charging 76 dollars an hour for labor when everyone else around here charges 100 flat. They've gone up this year to keep up with the industry (96 bucks/hour), but they still give us a break on storage in the winter.
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