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Thread: Supporting My Local BMW Dealers

  1. #106
    therideistheway therideistheway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Seattle, Boseman, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles

    It's All About Trust and Value

    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Because it's a repair to a BMW motorcycle that is being performed at a BMW motorcycle dealership? Besides the wheel itself, the job often involves removal of exhaust, brake and bodywork components. There's a correct procedure, including tightening torques. If you have no expectation that the tire guy should know this stuff, there's no reason to go to a dealership.

    Also, the cost difference within the dealership (or any shop) between having a top-level guy do it or having a helper do it isn't that great. The hourly rate reflects the cost of having the whole facility there in the first place: people, insurance, equipment, real estate, etc.
    Anton, I agree with your observations. For us, it's always about finding trust, knowledge, and skills as a combined value package that we are willing to pay for. Everyone has strengths, things they're good at. My wife and I aren't very skilled mechanically so we look for the Big Three, Trust, Knowledge, and Skills at fair - not bargain-basement! - prices. We want to pay fair or sometimes slightly elevated prices to service providers who have those qualities so they can prosper and stay in business for a long time. We also believe in tipping the technicians who are competent and perform well. This is the type of customer loyalty we show for great service providers. If, on the other hand, the service is bad for any reason, we discuss the problem at the technician and service manager levels once and only once. If it happens again, we find another service provider.

    Obviously not everyone likes or wants the extra expenses of doing business this way, but but we can do it at this time in our lives, so that's how we roll. And it solves the inconvenience, pain, and delays our mechanical incompetence causes, keeping us on the road (oorah!!) instead of under the machines. The results are a win-win for everyone involved.

    By the way, I change the oil and filter, air filter, and rear end gear oil on our motors myself. I do this like a calming meditation and much sooner than recommended. When our engines are (rarely) rebuilt or inspected, they look perfect even with 200K+ miles!
    "If motorcycling is the way, Ride On!"

    -Wolfgang, #200025 Life

  2. #107
    Registered User wkuwiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    NW arkansas

    your money your choice

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    This is absolutely an apples vs mangos argument. The vast bulk of the costs you cite are for the tires and have nothing whatsoever to do with how much the shop pays the technicians that work there. I understand frustration with the costs some (but not all) shops charge for tires. The issue I mentioned which you seem to take umbrage with is - low technician wages vs complaints about service costs. The price of tires is not at all what I was talking about.
    After reading a great deal of this thread I am not surprised it can tend to wander. Paul's right when it come s to the price of tires vs what it takes to run a shop.

    Case in Point: My local dealer is a small shop that is one of the best motorcycle shops I've found. It is a local one owner shop here in NW Arkansas. When I ran into a similar issue as the Original Poster (OP) I asked about the high tire pricing. They were high! The owner was very straight forward - he just can't buy tires in bulk to get the discount. He has to go through a distributor bc his shop's not big enough for a trailer load of tires. I appreciate his candor. But he will mount a tire for me if I were to show up at his door with a flat on my rim.

    As for areas where they excel - for mechanical work there is no one I trust more. The owners knowledge, experience and shop training are all excellent. When I watch how quickly and effortlessly he dissembles my R1100RT or '14 1200 I am reminded that practice makes permanent and familiarity of working on bikes day after day instill a knowledge most of us don't have time to possess. I read so often about people struggling to get there bikes apart and back together. With these guys it's second nature. And for that I will gladly pay.

    Yes, I have No Mar for tires, change my own oils, etc but that's about all I want to do on the newer bikes. My time is consumed by work and I want to ride whenever I can. After flying all over the country the last thing I want to do is to come home and spend my free time pulling apart a bike and putting it back together (even if I were as skilled as some of the demigods on this forum!).

    Get to know your dealer, your mechanics, and the staff (not just the sales guy). Bring them donuts (top cases help). See if you can watch them work. Heck, once when short handed the owner was replacing the HES on my '01 RT and a parts order had landed at the BMW auto shop nearby. I asked him not to leave my bike and that I'd take the shop truck to fetch it. "Key's are by the door" was his response. We spent the rest of the morning talking about old Texas swing music and laughing. It's my experience that dealers are great. This one is exceptoinal. Perhaps it's my area of the country, perhaps it's an easy going style. Either way - I'll support them and appreciate them whenever I am able.


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