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MCN  says:

Poll: Would you pay more for better dealer service?

Two major dealers – George White and V&J Superbikes – who sold bikes and kit at rock-bottom prices have recently gone into administration. The situation highlights the difficult decision made by some dealers to offer cheap prices and an Easy Jet-style service in an attempt to attract bargain-hungry customers. But is that the right way to go? Or would you...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (18 April 2012 17:20)

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Jan 10

Posts: 126


No I would'nt it is expensive already I know we all need to make a profit but not to be ripped off. I use a great local dealer who is very reasonable and has one of the best honda mechanics in the country and does a fantastic job looking after my cbr600f 2011 who I bought off George White.

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Sep 11

Posts: 402

jollyboy says:

We already pay through the nose for dealer service. They make plenty of profit on the sale of bikes as it is then they rip us off in other areas. This is why more and more people buy cars online rather than from their friendly (?) local dealer. Use an online service to buy your vehicle and you get it even cheaper which at least takes the edge off the cost of things like dealer servicing.

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Mar 10

Posts: 119

MudDoctor says:

Where do second hand bikes

come from? Thin air? If the main dealers go under, then there will be no new bikes sold, so the stock of good used bikes falls.

Main dealerships cost a lot of money to run, but irrespective of how polished the floor is, how shiny the bikes, how clean the workshop, a dealership can sink or swim based on how it interacts with its customers.

Striking the right balance between the hard sell and ignoring potential customers can be hard for some dealers, but most get it right. The salesman has to develop a keen eye to distinguish between a tyre kicker, a joy rider and a serious prospect, but should also know how to develop a relationship with his or her customers.

I agree that a good service should not be optional, it should come as standard, so a 6000 mile service at a main dealer should cost the same, no matter which dealer you take the bike to.  If a dealer wants to retain his customers, the added value to a service is cleaning the bike, offering coffee, a range of magazines to read while you wait etc. Added to that, of course, is that the bike has been serviced or repaired correctly. Fail in that, and the owner will go elsewhere. Lose the customer's trust, you lose the customer.

However, it should not be forgotten that there is a place for the back street workshop, who don't have to pay for a shiny showroom, sales staff, or warranty claims. Because their livelihood depends on repeat business, then their modus operandi is cheap labour rates, and a friendly attitude, and of course, competence. There will be a limit to what they can do, with modern bikes requiring special tools, software and diagnostics, so you may end up having to go to a main dealer anyway, but on the whole, they offer a cheap alternative for the used bike owner.

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Mar 06

Posts: 73

colinS2R says:

I think people care more about having polite and friendly staff, motorcycle dealerships fail miserably at this in my opinion. I know when i find a dealer or a service dept that treats me like a human being I am very loyal to them and have been over the years often travelling longer distances to give them the business. It costs nothing to be friendly.

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Sep 11

Posts: 12

maxiscooter says:

Yes but no, but ...

I totally agree with MudDoctor's comments below.

I would just like to add that the two dealerships mentioned in the article allegedly failed partly because of the demands of the bike manufacturers. For example why do Honda allegedly require a physically separate building to sell their bikes? It's all very well to require this of a car dealer because the prices and volumes are that much higher and the dealer can generate enough cash to pay for tiled floors, smoked glass windows, sofas, air con and fancy lighting. When you're selling bikes for an average price of £6K there's not enough profit in that in these austere times to pay for luxurious showrooms. It's a shame some dealers have to borrow large sums of money to operate and retain their franchise. To me it's not surprising that some dealers have sadly gone out of business because of the uneccessarily high overheads and interest payments that they've been burdened with.

I'd be more than happy to buy a bike from a basic building with no heating, concrete floor and basic lighting providing that the staff are helpful, firendly and interested. And yes, I'd be happy to pay another £200 for my bike if it meant the dealer would be there in 12 months time to service it.

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Jan 08

Posts: 283

steven.hood7 says:

Selective Services Only.

I bought my 4th Fireblade in August 09[CBR1000RR8. 1780 miles] Having owned 3 CBR600 and 3 Fireblades previously i know the services are 4,000 miles.

 I decided that if the 2009 R1[Crossplane Crank] had 6,000 mile service intervals, then thats good enough for my RR8. So at 6,000 miles i changed the oil/filter and done the squirting of oil on the sidestand pivot/clutch cable/levers etc and saved myself £120. [£156 quoted]

 At 12,000miles same again. Did'nt change the airfilter and the MPG was still exactly the same 46 mpg. No loss in power. Bike was fine. Brake fluid slightly dis-coloured only. Had this bike have had a fluid clutch, it would have been changed but it is cable operated. Saved myself £215.[quoted £256]

 At 18,200miles it went into my local Honda dealership for the Main Service[Valves] and obviously at the same time the airfilter that was overdue. 4 valves were adjusted to Honda spec, Airfilter not that dirty. Brake fluids replaced, oil/filter etc. This service was done during the winter so was cheaper as arranged.

Quoted £300 for labour plus parts.[ Winter price £239 for labour plus parts]

 If it was'nt for the bike needing a chain &sprockets kit and a new battery[18,200 miles] the service would have been payed for by the savings i made on the service intervals and doing 2/3rds of the basic services. Afterall: Its a fuel injected car system now and dont need short service intervals.

You've just got to cut your cloth to suit what you are prepared to pay for and what you can and can't do yourself to make savings in this life to feel less ripped-off...............Steve.     

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Feb 12

Posts: 242

Titosfuneral says:

Pay *more* ?? No. The dealers already charge ridiculous prices to work on the bike. I go to a local so called "backstreet" shop for all my work on my bike because every time I've had a quote from the Yamaha dealership in my town, it's nearly double what I end up paying. It's not that the work is done any better. The standard of work at the "backstreet" shop is excellent and it's a very friendly place to go. Why on earth would I go to the dealership for service and repair? In my eyes this completely undermines the reasoning for using a main dealership. You buy from a main dealer because you are "establishing a relationship" with them. When the bike and service are more expensive and the standard or work is no better why would you bother?

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Aug 02

Posts: 2760

spondonste says:


I  have always shied away from dealers with glitzy showrooms becuase those glitzy showrooms have to be paid for. The manufacturers are mostly to blame for running up dealer costs by demanding overly expensive showrooms. I would rather buy from a small business with keen bike interested staff than a pristine showroom with latte machine and sales people that know nothing of the product.

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Apr 12

Posts: 24

mchale2020 says:

Not so clear cut...

My experience with dealers and independent shops isn't exactly that great and initially when I thought I was paying a premium for quality service, the end results have usually been the opposite. I think the problem is the way a lot of shops are ran. If it's a dealer, there's probably a lot of new bikes sitting in the show room gathering dust because no one can afford them at the moment, so it puts pressure on the service teams to make up for the lack of money coming in to service customer bikes. However, there is a shortage of competent staff on hand and a huge waiting list just to get simple repairs completed because you have more work than technicians. Jobs get rushed and the smaller details are swept aside but the customer still ends up paying full price for a half-assed job. The manufacturers need to provide dealers bikes that are easier to sell to support the business and generate new customers. At the same time, dealers really need to make a connection between their customers. With bikes, it's all about trust. As for independent shops, it can be a real gamble, but the ones I've experienced it's usually just a mechanic and an aid with a shop full of motorcycles and it's going to take two weeks to see any results on your bike. And if their is a quick turn around on your bike, something was probably over looked.

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Aug 09

Posts: 180

busaman195 says:

pay more!

pay more,it`s already  over the price i`d like to pay for a service,50+ an`s hard enough to keep the bike on the road with tyres etc,this is why some people don`t bother with it,

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