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

#1
I'm not sure this is the right place for this. And I'm not happy that my first post on this forum is to slam a dealer. But I just read in the day 3 report that the HD dealership in Salt Lake City couldn't take the time to replace Don Stadtler's stator on his Heritage Softail (all of 1-2 hours, max) AND THEY HAD THE PART IN STOCK!!!!
Seriously??? You've got a guy competing in the friggin' IBR on YOUR BRAND and you can't nudge a few lousy oil changes to get the man back in the dance? Meanwhile, the owner of the little indie shop that I work for drove from Philadelphia to Ohio on the 4th of July to help one of our customers replace his wrecked rear wheel a few years ago. We always put away-from-home riders at the top of our service list. And the Harley dealers wonder why so many customers hate them...wasn't somebody going to organize a list of shops and people who would be proactive in helping IBR riders during the rally?
 

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#2
Welcome...your last question first.

Such a list would be outdated quickly...things change too much, so we do the best we can with the sources of data we have (Google, et. al.)

My bet is that the 'service writer' knew nothing about the IBR (or anything else related to LD riding...) and that being a part of "The Big Dance" really didn't mean anything to them. I'd also be willing to be that the service manager probably doesn't know a thing about those same topics. Sad, but true, we are a minuscule part of the overall motorcycling community.

A city such as SLC - probably has several dealers, and the fact that they weren't all polled at the time the problem was found may or may not have facilitated the repair.

Totally agree with you on the top-of-the-list to those that are traveling, but simply have no idea what that specific dealership has as far as mecanic head-count, etc.
 
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#3
Mechanic head count??? BS. We have two; the boss and one other guy. We still manage to bust our asses for anybody on the road. Doesn't matter if they're LD riders; if they're away from home we do whatever we can to help them. That's because we are riders, too, not bean counters.
Good point about the list getting outdated quickly (we had four shops in our area that closed in the last year.) It would be nice if IBA members had a way of marking Google listings they're familiar with as LD friendly
 

Scott Parish

Premier Member
#4
I have benefited more times than I would like from the hospitality and expedited service when traveling on my MC. While this one dealer was not as accommodating as we would like; I would hesitate the trash the whole brand as we have seen other HD dealerships put IBR riders at the front of the line to get them back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.
 

SteveAikens

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#5
First - for those reading this that don't understand Stephanie's ire - this from the Day Three Report.

Don Stadtler’s HD Softtail was diagnosed with a bas stator. The HD shop in Salt Lake City had a stator available, but they told him it would take 3 hours and they could not get to it. He called he Rallymaster, who used to be a HD rider (check the 2001 IBR finisher stats). She told him she had replaced several Harley stators (they apparently fail frequently) and it could be done in an hour, in the parking lot if necessary. When Don went back to the dealership, they conceded it could be done in an hour, but would not do it in the parking lot, and must not have been willing to free up a shop bay for a rally rider on the clock and in need of help. He was finally told they could get to it tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., which should have him on the road just after 10:00 a.m.

I am just as unhappy to read this as she is, perhaps more so. However, we do not know whether Don told the dealer he was riding the Iron Butt, nor whether the dealer even knew what the Iron Butt Rally is.

That said, ANY dealership that won't make a hole in his local riders time, for a traveling rider with a less than an hour fix needs a lesson in exactly what a dealership's support should be like for the marques customers.

Further, LYING to a customer about how long a minor fix like this would take is inexcusable to me.

I honestly hope this bites that dealer in the ass in a huge way.

To be clear - I agree with Scott, this is NOT a brand issue - it's an individual dealership issue.

Personally, I trash Harley all the time, they have it coming... But it's all good-natured fun. Clearly Harley riders have made a mistake not choosing BMW as their steed of choice...;)

This dealer though, certainly won't get a recommendation from me.
 
#6
I mentioned Harley dealers (plural) because we do get so many customers who claim they'll do just about anything to avoid having to go to HD of (fill in the blank.) I HOPE that most of them would help out a traveler, but this is the second incident like this that we have seen this week! We got a call from a new guy a few days ago. He was checking his bike over for a trip he was leaving on in about five days. He noticed that one of our local dealers had installed his new front tire backwards. He called them and asked them for help; could they flip it or set him up with a new tire? They claimed they did not have the time to help him with that before his ride. That dealer would not make the time to correct a mistake that THEY had made!!! So he called us. I got on the phone to Dunlop and they said it was okay to turn the tire around (which shocked the heck out of me!) So we got his tire re-installed, and he's off on his ride.

BTW Harley stators do not fail "all the time" or even "frequently." They just have a knack for picking the worst time to do it!
 

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#7
That said, ANY dealership that won't make a hole in his local riders time, for a traveling rider with a less than an hour fix needs a lesson in exactly what a dealership's support should be like for the marques customers.

Further, LYING to a customer about how long a minor fix like this would take is inexcusable to me.

I honestly hope this bites that dealer in the ass in a huge way.
The *only* way this happens is to simply post on social media (y'know, the biggies like FB, Insta, etc.) and vent *there* about the way this dealer treated a rider.

My point is still the same as I posted earlier; they (the dealership, and their employees) had no clue about the IBR *or* the IBA. Still doesn't justify the treatment of a rider - any rider - that's in the middle of a ride that needs assistance.
 

BMW RT Pilot

Premier Member
#8
I'm not sure this is the right place for this. And I'm not happy that my first post on this forum is to slam a dealer. But I just read in the day 3 report that the HD dealership in Salt Lake City couldn't take the time to replace Don Stadtler's stator on his Heritage Softail (all of 1-2 hours, max) AND THEY HAD THE PART IN STOCK!!!!
Seriously??? You've got a guy competing in the friggin' IBR on YOUR BRAND and you can't nudge a few lousy oil changes to get the man back in the dance? Meanwhile, the owner of the little indie shop that I work for drove from Philadelphia to Ohio on the 4th of July to help one of our customers replace his wrecked rear wheel a few years ago. We always put away-from-home riders at the top of our service list. And the Harley dealers wonder why so many customers hate them...wasn't somebody going to organize a list of shops and people who would be proactive in helping IBR riders during the rally?
Sing it, girl! :)
 
#9
I'm not sure this is the right place for this. And I'm not happy that my first post on this forum is to slam a dealer. But I just read in the day 3 report that the HD dealership in Salt Lake City couldn't take the time to replace Don Stadtler's stator on his Heritage Softail (all of 1-2 hours, max) AND THEY HAD THE PART IN STOCK!!!!
Seriously??? You've got a guy competing in the friggin' IBR on YOUR BRAND and you can't nudge a few lousy oil changes to get the man back in the dance? Meanwhile, the owner of the little indie shop that I work for drove from Philadelphia to Ohio on the 4th of July to help one of our customers replace his wrecked rear wheel a few years ago. We always put away-from-home riders at the top of our service list. And the Harley dealers wonder why so many customers hate them...wasn't somebody going to organize a list of shops and people who would be proactive in helping IBR riders during the rally?
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.
 

SteveAikens

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#10
Frankly, I would be very skeptical of anything heard from the dealer at this point.

Remember, until his statement was challenged, he stated - and would have charged - THREE HOURS - for a less than an hour replacement - that could and has been done in a damn parking lot.

To me, it appeared this dealer did all he could to AVOID helping a traveling rider.

In my motorcycling world - which dates to 1956 - that is totally unacceptable.

I have no interest in anything he has to say. Then again, I don't ride a Harley - but I damn sure know a lot of travelling Harley riders that I can warn off.
 

CVO James

Premier Member
#11
Personally, I trash Harley all the time, they have it coming... But it's all good-natured fun. Clearly Harley riders have made a mistake not choosing BMW as their steed of choice...;)

Ouch Steve! I have two Harley’s in the garage. Along side a newly acquired 2014 K1600 GTLE!
 
#15
I did the National Parks Master Traveler Basic (’17) and Silver (’18) Awards and thankfully only had to deal with three dealers along the way. All of which were dealing with tires. Two I would tell you to not do business with as they are very much price gougers (Peacock Ltd. in Baldwin, Michigan, and Bob Lanphere's Beaverton Motorcycles in Beaverton, Oregon). I could have purchased and mounted two tires on both of my bikes for the price they charged me for one. The third dealership (Blue Ridge Power Sports in Harrisonburg, VA) was awesome. I was at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway on my phone looking for a place to replace a tire when one of their customers happened to stop to take a break and talk to me. He highly recommended them and told me they would do me right, and they did. They had fair prices and a "can do" attitude. This was a Saturday and their service department was completely booked. They got me out as soon as they were able and apologized that they could not get me on the road sooner. As a result, I took the time to give them a good review on their customer feedback. In retrospect, I should have taken the time and given the price gouging ones a bad review. I usually don't give bad reviews, I just don't do business with them anymore.
 

Dr. Tiki

Premier Member
#16
Corporate Harley has told dealers to make out of town travelers a priority. Though some dealers choose to ignore it... seems Salt Lake City is one of them and from my personal experience, Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale is another.
 

kwthom

Rider
Premier Member
IBA Member
#17
If a dealer has 'X' amount of capacity (service area & tools times the number of qualified mechanics...) the idea that service has a fixed capacity seems to be the issue.

If these 'hard-ass' dealers really don't want to piss of their regular, local clientele for some ya-hoo from Bumble-crank, Wherever on a journey, then it's their business - regardless of the mantra from Bar-and-Shield Corporate.

So, when the shoe is on the other foot - and that *other* ya-hoo is traveling and broke down in Bumble-crank, should *that* dealer jump thru hoops?
 
#18
I agree there seems to be an over inflated sense of their own importance with some just because they are doing an IBR ride.
Come ladies and gentlemen keep it real.
 

pmw121

Premier Member
#19
I had an experience from both sides of this conversation at a BMW dealership in Northern Nevada where I was passing through from Chicago and needed tires, oil change and final drive oil change. The Dealer had delayed my service by a couple hours to deal with a local’s over scheduled repair. No problem, I had lunch and hung out at the shop all day. I get my bike back and down the road ran into issues. It was 4:30pm. I called the shop and the service manage vowed to stay late and wait for me along with another mechanic. I arrived back there at 6pm where I drove the bike right up onto the lift. Upon inspection it was assumed that the mechanic did not tighten a bolt all the way that was holding my speed sensor on. The three of us worked on it until 9pm using parts off of other bikes and parts he had in stock to get it back to factory state.

While this mistake was avoidable the important part was that he took care of someone on the road that still has 250 miles to go that evening.

I told my local mechanic this story and his response was that he wished he could do that but he had to be home every evening by 6:30 because he was a single parent. There is always two sides to every story. But in this story of discussion it sounds like the dealer is just a tool.
 

SteveAikens

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#20
I agree there seems to be an over inflated sense of their own importance with some just because they are doing an IBR ride.
Come ladies and gentlemen keep it real.
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.