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Dealers never do the correct (Owner's Manual) Service?


Guest darren_uk
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I'm new to biking; 2 years now and just exchanged for my second bike. Putting me into context, I'm a guy in his 40s.



I've only ever used the same dealer - a "premier exclusive Yamaha" dealer.



As I'm new, I go through the Owner's Manuals.



I've noticed that what it says in the "Periodic Maintenance" section which explains what to do at 10000km / 20000km / 30000km / 40000km / annually doesn't fully get done even by the authorised workshops.


In fact, a dealer service appears to be: change the oil, change the oil filter. And that's it.



It seems there is a difference between what the manufacturers (e.g. Yamaha) says must be done to keep your bike in tip top condition, and what the Yamaha Dealer's Yamaha trained staff in the workshop says must be done.



As an example: brakes which I guess would be a legal requirement to be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions:

- The book says brake hoses replaced every 4 years: I have no note to say this has been done on my 6 year old bike.

- The book says replace brake fluid ever 2 years: I bought my first bike at 1 year old and kept it until 3 years old, and diligently (i.e. had the money) had it "properly" serviced; all that was done was oil and filter. Not even the brake fluid was replaced.



I'm further concerned that when I come to buy a future bike and the dealer says, "Full dealer service history" in fact, it won't be. Yes it'll have had an oil change and an oil filter change every year, but beyond that nothing more (unless remediation work) will have been done.



And this is what the dealer network is saying countrywide (based on past service invoices I check): We will not give the bike the correct service in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.



I'm the newbie here, and it looks like the Owner's Manual's Periodic Maintenance is totally ignored even by the authorised workshops. Can someone clarify? E.g. any dealers on here that can tell it like it is?

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Welcome to the Forum Darren...... 8-) Pop into the newbies section and say hi to all the guys..... :)


Do-it-yourself mate......this is the very reason that a lot of us DIY our bikes. I like to know what quality of oil is used on the change, and the plugs, air filter etc are all replaced too..... 8-) FSH?......soft, strong and thoroughly absorbent..... :wink:

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Doing it yourself is a good option. Cheaper (most of the time) and at least you know exactly what has been done.


I took my bike to a propper triumph dealer. They phoned me to say it was fixed so I went and picked it up. Sat on it (still on the premises) and it wouldn't start. Some guy comes over and says 'oh...was that the problem' Yes... it was the fact that it would not start that was the problem... and they missed it.


The reason I used the triumph dealer, is becuase the bike shop that I usually go to, everytime I picked my bike up, it had no fuel in the tank. This was the case even when it went in with a full tank, and it was just a fairing I needed. Hmm.


It does not suprise me that they do not do it by the book.


I have to say though, some garages are really good. The one in my village is brilliant and I will always go there now for stuff I can't do myself.

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Hello everyone,


I just want to put forward the otherside of the argument. I work in a Franchised bike Dealership


My bike (A BMW R1100S) had a 48,000 mile and 12year Annual service done at the dealership I work at to the manufacturers specification when that bike was launched. The service schedule has now changed to make ownership more affordable.


They did everything (including lubricating the clutch splines). Changed all consumables, stripped cleaned and lubricated everything. And adjusted what was left. They also MOT'ed it and cleaned and valeted it.


This took nearly 16 hours of workshop time and £221 in parts (this was parts at cost). If i had had to pay for this service it would have been £1021 + vat. So £1225 at our lower labour rate for older bikes.


Would you pay this kind of money every time you go in for a service? I wouldn't (and don't).


And thats before anything they found wrong was put right. Tyres, brakes, batteries, ect.....


Now when a customer comes in we can't expect them to pay that much, Especially for a £1650 bike (thats what i paid for it) So some of the service parts don't get done either by customer agreement, the manufacturer taking items out of the service schedule or past knowledge tells us what needs to be done and what doesn't.


We are of course completely open about all of this, and agree the work that is going to be done before hand.


If we didn't do this no one would come back to us.


But equally by the dealership not giving you the option or informing you that items are due is just stupid they are throwing money away.


Also some manufacturers (ducati, BMW, Harley) are better at keeping to the service schedules than others in my experience, but equally it also depends on the dealer network. Others seem hopeless. Mainly bikes sold on price with heavy discounting the dealerships anticipate that you don't want big bills and try to live up to this expectation.

They are also competing for work against each other. how many people phone round for quotes? the difference on a 4 year 16,000 mile service on some kwaks a few years ago varied between £250 to £1061. one is a full service (brake line and coolant hose change,ect) the other is for a run of the mill valve clearance check. who would you go to?


So basically it comes down to the normal things Cost, benefit and wanting to do the work (or picking other work that pays better).


And just remember that even if it has a FSH that parts still could be knackered. A service doesn't include a chain and sproket replacement or tyres even if they're completely worn out.


Dont know that any of this helps, but I hope it gives an idea of the thought processes that dealerships use. The only way you can ensure of the work they are going to do is to use a garage you trust and talk through with them what you expect.

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Never used main dealers

I've tried this in the past with my cars and always found them horrendously expensive so had no reason to suspect they are any different for bikes


I've tried a few places that only offer service and repairs services and ended up with a one man band for my bike (Marc Patterson)


I've ended up with Marc because he is the only one I've felt completely confident in and totally at ease when he has my bike (very rare to find someone like this) 8-)

The others I've tried were probably OK TBH, but for me if I get even slightly suspicious about them, that's it, I won't go back


When I move the search will be on for someone local as I don't fancy the one hour ride

I may even have to consider getting my tool kit up together and doing it myself, but its been a while since I've done any mechanics :|

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Hello everyone,


I just want to put forward the otherside of the argument. I work in a Franchised bike Dealership




basically it comes down to the normal things Cost, benefit and wanting to do the work (or picking other work that pays better).


Dont know that any of this helps, but I hope it gives an idea of the thought processes that dealerships use.

Good point, valid one too. Makes sense.

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