Dealers should make IBR riders (and all travelers) a priority!

#21
Where what you say is accurate to "some" IBR riders and maybe it's also accurate to presume their dealer issues are being related in this case to the IBR, I think the reality of this issue is more about how some dealers treat - or disregard - any typical travelers to the dealer outside their home state.

Dealers that make a decision to dismiss a traveling rider on an under an hour repair, over choosing to give higher priority to the guy that lives across the street is making a very big mistake IMO.

Where catering to your local clientele is good business, disregarding the circumstance of a failure, to any travelling riders of the marque you are supposed to support, will ultimately hurt your business because of the attention it will grab in social media. And in my opinion, it SHOULD impact your business. It has happened to me some years ago - that dealership is now gone and replaced with a competent dealer.

I have also been on the other end, where a very busy dealer - Engle Motors in KC [I'm from NM] - literally dropped everything to swap out a dead fuel pump on my 07 R12RT in 2012 - to the point of taking one out of a new bike on his showroom because he didn't have one in stock - is the other end of the stick. I haven't shut up about it when I get a chance to let everyone know if they need BMW support on the road and are in the area, Engle is your go to.
I wonder if some of it has to do with the demographics of the area the dealer is in. In my story the dealer is in Reno, probably not a ton of local customers vs traveling. So perhaps their business is more reliant on traveling riders. Whereas my local dealer, who is very good, shuts the doors at 5, no matter what. They have a very strong local client base and while they will help travelers I don't see them going above and beyond like the place in Reno did for me. This could explain the wide range of different levels of service we are all encountering out there.
 

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#22
Dealers that make a decision to dismiss a traveling rider on an under an hour repair, over choosing to give higher priority to the guy that lives across the street is making a very big mistake IMO.

Where catering to your local clientele is good business, disregarding the circumstance of a failure, to any travelling riders of the marque you are supposed to support, will ultimately hurt your business because of the attention it will grab in social media. And in my opinion, it SHOULD impact your business. It has happened to me some years ago - that dealership is now gone and replaced with a competent dealer.
Dealers make dozens of decisions daily. It's hoped that any one of those decisions favor me as a rider at that particular point in time if I happen to be on their doorstep with a failed/failing motorcycle...and I am not able to repair it myself.

I think we can agree emphatically that where a dealer makes their money is in service and aftermarket-parts.

Not knowing the specific details of this establishment...along with what hoops they felt they needed to (or wanted) to jump thru for this specific situation is conjecture for most of us discussing this in this forum.

Could they have already been in a situation where they've already bumped customers that had appointments for a *different* traveling rider, thus extinguishing any chance of a quick turn-around?

Again, I'm not on any of the major social media outlets, but if a person really wanted to make a stink, it would have been vented there. Not a small forum dedicated to a small minority of motorcyclists.

The discussion *is* interesting because it does flesh out the fragility of not only the machines (no matter what brand...) but of the people that ride them and the miracle expectations for repair to happen.

Nope, don't read that as backing that specific dealer, because I concur with your earlier assessment.
 

SteveAikens

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#23
Don't know if it has been mentioned but the dealer in question here DID call back later to apologize.

From John's daily report.

"Speaking of SLC, we have seen reports regarding the HD shop which was mentioned in an earlier report. The dealership may have been slow to get started on the repair but seems to have done their best to help things along on a very old machine, which had more than a few issues complicating what should have been an easy fix."
 
#24
It depends on the dealer does he have an available slot, is he prepared to disrupt his work schedule for that day?
As per Steve Atkins example with the BMW dealer.
The OP seems to think that a main dealer of any make should drop everything at a moments notice to accommodate a rider with a problem working for a small independent as she does they can be more flexible as i said we only have one version of the story
 

Harrison203

Staff member
Premier Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#25
Staff did not hear directly from the dealer after the visit, but did get a report from another customer which suggested there may have been more to the story than the initial report.

As Steve noted, no one is likely to excuse them for a 3 hour claim for an hour job. But they did fix it in just over an hour the next morning, despite it having over 250,000 miles on it, with what was reported to be less than satisfactory maintenance, including stripped or rounded off bolt heads and some other issues which may have hindered what should have been an easy repair.

That bike was probably one of the least farkled bikes in the rally, but some dealers will not touch a bike with LD farkles on it.

Some of us may have higher expectations based on the support of dealers like Bob Wooldridge's BMW of Atlanta or Bob Brown in Pomona, CA, or Max BMW in NH, or the dealers in Sunnyside, WA, or Gorham, ME. There are others too, which have jumped at the opportunity to assist an IBR rider who found themselves needing help when on the clock.

Letting those dealers know they are appreciated on public forums might help get others dealers to see the benefit of helping LD riders and might be a better use of time than dwelling on a dealer which did not yet see the benefit of timely assistance.

FWIW, IMO, YMMV
 

cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#26
My guess is the "book time" for the stator is hours and that is what was first quoted. I did a stator in an older Softail and I recall it taking more than an hour, but not too much more.

With 10 or less HD's participating in the IBR it is not surprising the dealers are unaware of it and the rider's need for time. Since I have a good relationship with the owner of the dealer where I purchased my bike I plan to ask him if there is anything that could possibly be done for the next IBR to alert the dealers of the IBR. Being a friend of our RM he is well aware of the IBR so he is a good place to start.
 

Andy

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#29
The final drive on my BMW failed on the way to the start when I was in Grand Junction CO. The BMW dealer there was awesome. They had a final drive overnighted in and the bike was back on the road an hour after the FedEx truck showed up the next day. I was going to swap the drives in the hotel parking lot but when they said they'd do it for $100 I let them.
 
#30
Maybe luck, but I have never had a problem with Harley dealers squeezing me in when I am on the road. I have only called ahead once for tires, the other times I just dropped in when the tires needed refreshed and I have always been out in a few hours. I noticed an earlier post about a member having problems at Scottsdale Harley. I was towed into Scottsdale a few years ago on a trip from the West Coast to the East Coast. The tech would not stop working on the bike after the shop closed and was there till 9PM (on his own time) trying to figure out what was wrong with the bike. He went home then returned first thing in the AM, about noon he had finally figured out the Power Commander was going out, flashed the ECM and I was on my way.
 
#31
Has anyone asked the dealer why he could not repair the stator? At the moment all you have what was said in the report which is only one opinion.
I'm a long time customer of the dealership in question, and I went over to talk to Don when I saw a tracker stop at the shop.
Long story short- he rolled into the smallest dealership in the Salt Lake area at 3:30 pm, with a smoked stator, on a bike with 250,000 miles on it. While they did have the stator in stock, they did not have other miscellaneous hardware that had to be replaced, and borrowed what they needed to to turn the bike around the next morning, in time for him to make the 1st checkpoint.
As a footnote, Don lost his transmission on the way home, and decided to not repair the bike.
 

SteveAikens

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#32
While they did have the stator in stock, they did not have other miscellaneous hardware that had to be replaced, and borrowed what they needed to to turn the bike around the next morning, in time for him to make the 1st checkpoint.
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Excellent explanation. As always, more information helps clear things up. Thanks.

Now, can someone tell me how to un-jump the conclusion I jumped to regarding the repair time??? :(
 

Lisa

Staff member
Premier Member
IBA Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#34
I agree there seems to be an over inflated sense of their own importance with some just because they are doing an IBR ride.
Just to clarify, there is a big difference between doing an Iron Butt certificate ride and being in the Iron Butt Rally (IBR). The IBR is only held every two years, whereas most rides can be done any time. It is not uncommon for a rider to wait 10 years to get into the IBR, and spend thousands of dollars to participate. So yes, it IS a big deal and not an over inflated sense of importance when a dealer is unwilling to go the extra mile for a rider in need. I think it's also fairly uncommon, actually. We've had dealers go way above and beyond to keep a rider 'in the game'. And fortunately, SLC HD was able to replace the stator the next morning and get Don back underway.

I did have a conversation yesterday with my dealer friend and we agreed that a part of the problem is that the dealer might not even be aware there is a rider in need but the parts manager or service staff may not have the same sense of urgency that a rider is experiencing. One bonus about social media is that we can quickly get the word out and hopefully mitigate the problem, sooner rather than later.

I also don't believe that this problem is brand specific - I've been blown off or waaayyy overcharged by more than one dealer in the last 20 years and it's always disappointing. Fortunately I think there are more helpful dealers than problem children AND we have a fabulous community of selfless riders who will give the shirt off their back, or the part off their bike, as needed. Every time we go through this, I am once again amazed by the people in this group.
 
#35
I agree with what you say Lisa it will be disappointing to lose out on a IBR rally if your bike breaks down and i sympathise with the rider who found his self in that situation and with fuel in this country at £1.27- 1.50 per litre 3.79 ltr = 1 US gallon i know how expensive to do a IBA ride or an IBR, my point is no dealer is under any obligation to give him priority over anyone else.
Having said that most dealers will do there best to help as a goodwill gesture.
 
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Lisa

Staff member
Premier Member
IBA Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#36
my point is no dealer is under any obligation to give him priority over anyone else.
I'm struggling a bit with this statement. As I think more about it, I think you and I are using the word 'obligation' differently. You would be correct that legally, the shop is under no obligation to try to speed the rider through their queue. But, obligation to be helpful to a traveler in need would be my thought and yes, I believe we do have an obligation to prioritize their more urgent need over mine in most situations. Because in most situations, me waiting an additional day to get my bike out of the shop will not negatively impact me. Notice I say Most - and in MOST cases that's the truth. I may be mildly inconvenienced but, again, if someone gets panty waddage over that, perhaps they need to take a look at the whole 'self important' thing you mentioned. I want to think that most or MANY riders would choose to allow the dealer to push the traveler ahead of them through the queue, if they were given the choice. And I have gotten a call like that from a dealer, asking if I would OK delaying my repair work a day or two. But if the dealer or their staff is making the ultimate choice not to help someone expediently, then, yeah, I have a large problem with that.
 

cacomly

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#37
... my point is no dealer is under any obligation to give him priority over anyone else.
To add to Lisa's comment, in the US Harley Dealers do make a point to make travelers on the road a priority and get them in and out as quickly as possible. That is why this case was a surprise to those of us who are more familiar with or ride Harleys
 
#38
Haven't read the entire thread but I do know the dealer in Greenville and the dealer in Pensacola went above and beyond for me in not only helping me get new tires THAT THEY TOOK OFF A SHOWROOM FLOOR BIKE and shipping my take offs to my home FOR FREE, but also making my bike a top priority in attempting to get me back on the road when my pump died.

I had no expectation or feeling of right to such services, they both did so on those own given the known situations.