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Discussion Starter #1
Out of curiosity, wondering what the spread is around the country on labor for our bikes?

I've dealt with 2 dealerships. Where I bought my bike, 70 miles away charges $89/hr. The other, only 5 miles away charges $120/hr. Both are suburbs of major cities. And neither is particularly customer focused.

So what are you paying when you take your bike in?
 

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The going rate is about a hundred dollars an hour at dealers.
 

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Yes mines a 100 dollars an hour. Its a big dealer ship carrying 3 other model bikes
 

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So what are you paying when you take your bike in?
Take...my bike...in?

What is this?

Okay, I'm jerking your chain. But seriously, my bike has seen the inside of a shop once. For a blown fork seal 18000 miles ago. Performing service, maintenance, upgrades, adjustment, etc is merely a matter of following instructions. I'm very good at following instructions.

What would get me to bring it in might be a case of costing more in tools to have a repair or service done that might only need to be done once during my term of ownership. I felt the fork seal was a good case of that. Of course, I already have a reasonably sizeable collection of tools from my years in automotive service, including air tools, so I'm pretty well equipped already.

Shop rates here currently run about $75/hour. But no Victory dealer. Just as well I spin my own wrenches.
 

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My Vic shop is $125.... They give some good customers a 10-20% discount depending on how much you spend there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Take...my bike...in?
Yeah, following instructions is easy, and these are easy bikes to work on. But consider lack of space (for storing specialty lifts) and a definite lack of skills on my part - there are just some things I can't do myself. Like changing tires. Know lots of people that do their own, but I ain't one of them.

A man's got to know his limitations!
 

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I just needed a new NG regulator for my bbq. It's a $40 part easily replaceable by anyone with basic skills and two wrenches.

Due to house insurance I decided to not do it my self but get a proper plumber to do it. 15 minutes work while I watched.

They don't just change the regulator but the entire control box because
a.) he said they don't have much success with just the part
b.) the markup on a $40 part isn't as much as a $200 part.

Minimum 1.5 hours labour plus the box came to $361.

The bbq now works better than it has since we moved here. He also said I had him for the time so he could check anything else while he was there. Nothing though.

The thing is, I wouldn't mind paying $80 per hour to a mechanic for things I can't do if the results were always good and the price was fair. Not so in this industry for some of us. Luckily I haven't encountered anything I can't do on the bike so I'm good so far.

The car on the other hand needs new plugs. The shop wants $450.
:frown
 

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So @ say $105 an hour how much you think the poor tech is making? My guess if he's lucky about $12 an hour. Just seems like such a lop sided cost share thing. I realize the deal has costs, overhead, franchise fees, schools for tech. But they are also making $$ on parts that are um pricey shall we say, mark ups on oils etc. So why are they so high? Is one dealers service so much better than say an $89 an hour place?
Way back in the olden days when I worked as a tech (we called them mechanics back then) Our shop rate was like $25 an hour and we made $11 when I started and was 12 or 12.50 when I left. So why such a mismatch now.
 

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Hmm If you all didnt have 9 months of winter and 5 of darkness I might think about school and a move. LOL
 

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So @ say $105 an hour how much you think the poor tech is making? My guess if he's lucky about $12 an hour. Just seems like such a lop sided cost share thing. I realize the deal has costs, overhead, franchise fees, schools for tech. But they are also making $$ on parts that are um pricey shall we say, mark ups on oils etc. So why are they so high? Is one dealers service so much better than say an $89 an hour place?
Way back in the olden days when I worked as a tech (we called them mechanics back then) Our shop rate was like $25 an hour and we made $11 when I started and was 12 or 12.50 when I left. So why such a mismatch now.
Most is due to government regulation, insurance and cost of real estate. Oil filter disposal, no longer get paid for used oil, now have to pay to have it removed. Same for Antifreeze and the oil dry we sweep off the floor, all this is hazardous waste now. Compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, Liability insurance, unreimbursed warranty cost, parts cost, warranty parts cost, good will repairs, advertising, special tools, computerizes diagnosis equipment, training, education, front end costs, unrecoverable labor costs (secretaries, receptionists, etc), shop supplies, office supplies.

So, now we pay certified techs around $28.00 per hour paid flat rate and retail labor rate is $95 per hour. Warranty labor rate is discounted off of that, maybe at $75 per hour and not paid at the same labor time.

Instead of your lease being $750 per month (Triple net lease) it is now $3,000 per month. I won't even go into insurance cost increases! They will make you puke.

All I know is that when I take any of my vehicles to a shop, I know the shop owner earns and deserves every damned cent as long as they do a fair and honest job.
 

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overpricing = no me

if prices were decent more would use the stealers, i do realize they have overhead, + who knows how much time they "really" spend on the work!!!!!! i enjoy the DIY + have a friend that can do it all, prolly sharper than most Vic service guys even though Ducati was his specialty!!
 

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At most of the Dealerships here it's 55$ a half hour so I charge 55$ an hour unless I really like you or you ride a Victory then I'll fix your bike for a donation to the beer fridge. You better come ready to learn because I don't care if you're the most fumble fingered shadetree mechanic out there I can teach you how to do the the preventative maintenance. A basic set of decent quality metric combo wrenches, a set of 3/8 and 1/4 drive sockets in metric, ratchets to match and some good screwdrivers and a set quality( DO NOT skimp here) ball end allens and you're set.

Face it, the Victory's require so little PM (preventive maintenance) anyone can do it. I know the dealers need to make a living, used to own part of one, but paying 180$ for an oil change is silly. One of the biggest reasons I chose Victory over HD (other than overall it's a better motorcycle IMHO) is the ease of maintenance. On our bikes the final drive belt is an hour or, so on an HD (other than a Sporty) it's 8 hours and you need to remove basically the whole left side. Even the fork seals are pretty basic with a decent motorcycle jack and the brake pads are easy and even greasing the rear suspension pivot bolt is pretty basic. Other than tires and air filter, plugs and lubing the headset bearings that pretty much covers consumables. I've got a tire machine and a balancer so I'm set.
 

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My major complaint against the stealers is the "flat rate" pricing. It's an industry created number that is supposed to allow them to recover costs when the job duration times of junior and senior tech's are averaged.

I used to work a couple of blocks away from the stealer that I took my vehicles to for things beyond my capabilities. Jobs estimated and charged for at 4 - 6 hours and my vehicle was back in the lot ready for pickup in less than 2 hours. The first couple of times they explained the "average" lie to me. On subsequent repairs with the same thing happening they couldn't really justify the practice. When it's not under warranty it doesn't go to them. People in my office were using a very good mechanic who charged by the hour that I used from then on but finding one who does that is almost impossible.

And if you really want to see some abuse of the flat rate pricing system you should see what goes on with the body shops. Family members under piece part contracts easily earn 14 to 20 hours during a regular work day. And that's one reason your insurance rates are so high.

I don't begrudge any company making enough to cover costs and a fair return. Charging me for more hours than you spent is theft. How has charging for something you haven't done become acceptable in that industry? The owners are sitting on a gold mine.

Lots of owners have more than one dealership. We have one here who brags and advertises having 25 different locations and 14 brands of vehicles. Pure greed.

Not everyone is in the same situation but I believe the majority of motorcycle franchises that have the established brands are doing well. Yes it's a fluctuating market based on disposable cash but in areas that are not economically suppressed the dealers are doing fine from what I can see. Those handling Honda, HD, BMW, and other "majors" seem to be doing quite well and growing. One dealership I know that only handles Polaris products does extremely well in their multiple dealerships and is renovating and expanding.

I do like working on my own equipment whether it be the bike, the car or the washing machine. I just enjoy it. I do however need to rely on the pro's once in awhile and I just wish it wasn't such a rip-off. Most of us would go to jail for charging people for something that wasn't honest. The distrust was brought on by the industry themselves.
 
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