Almost had a good Harley story...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Steveo., Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Steveo.

    Steveo. Adventurer

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    ... And then they bent me over for $565 for a tire.

    I was heading from Calgary down to Idaho for vacation on my Monster and had to make an emergency stop in Cranbrook, BC. I left Calgary around lunch with decent tread on the tires and a full tank of gas and my wife driving my truck with my kids. She was being the best wife ever and let me ride so I would have my bike for our month long stay in Coeur D'Alene. Topped up my fuel in Coleman, checked the bike and headed for Cranbrook, in 40 degree temps. When I pulled in for fuel and was checking the bike, I noticed this:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously I was going nowhere on that tire and the search began in town for a replacement. The only shop with one was the Harley dealer and with only 25 minutes before closing, they agreed to help me out. New tire installed in less than 30 minutes (with my wife giving me dirty looks) and we were on our way, right after I paid.

    Turns out in Cranbrook, tires are ridiculously expensive. $565 installed for one Dunlop D209HD!!! I almost died. When I questioned it he said "that's an expensive tire. I paid and left because my wife was dying to get going as the kids were getting antsy after a long slow drive through a ton of construction.

    After looking at the invoice, they charged me $120 in labour(standard tire change, according to the service guy), charged for wheel weights that they didn't use because they couldn't balance my wheel and $365 for the tire. Add a pile in taxes and my ass is still sore.

    To make matters worse, my new set of tires that I ordered Tuesday should be arriving today, although now the rear isn't needed for a while. I paid about $300 for a set, delivered to our summer rental!!

    Moral of the story, stay away from the Harley dealer in Cranbrook and don't leave for a road trip without fresh tires. Even though they appeared to have a fair bit of life left, I'm assuming the high temperatures, rough roads and some spirited riding shortened the last bit of life.
    #1
  2. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I had a similar experience last year but with a happier ending. I needed a new tire for my Aprilia on a Monday while on a trip. The Hon/Kaw/Suz/Yam dealer in Wytheville, VA had a tire that would fit but wouldn't mount it on an Aprilia. Next I called the local Victory/Polaris dealer. They also had a tire. They said come on over. I was in and out in about an hour, tire mounted and balanced for somewhere around $150. The name of the dealer was Hilltop Cycle.

    Obviously you got a more expensive tire but $120 for mounting?? I think I paid $45 or $50.
    #2
  3. Carl Childers

    Carl Childers Ghost in the Machine

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    I've had experiences good and bad with Harley Davidson dealers when out on extended road trips and needing parts or service on my HD. Sounds like you learned a valuable lesson when it comes to leaving on a trip with anything other than new or almost new tires.

    If it's any consultation even all but the wealthiest Harley riders refer to the dealership as "The Stealer" and like me do my own work and tire changes or seek out good independent shops.

    Gotta say......being out on the road and needing help sure leaves you at the mercy of the helper! Been there done that.
    #3
  4. Steveo.

    Steveo. Adventurer

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    The tires weren't in bad shape and should have easily made the 600km ride down to my new set of tires waiting in Idaho. My dad (who has logged an uncountable number of miles on his bikes) even remarked that he thought I was a little premature replacing my tires when I got Stateside. I think it was the extreme heat, some rough, gritty pavement and about 200km of unpatrolled roads where speed limits may have been exceeded that severley shortened the tire life.

    I'm pissed that the shop took advantage of a rider who was obviously against a wall, but happy the tire didn't come apart and send me off the road. In the end, I learned two things: New tires sooner and the Cranbrook Harley dealer is a scam.
    #4
  5. Carl Childers

    Carl Childers Ghost in the Machine

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    Agreed, sometimes poor quality tires get past quality control, also that you got ripped off. Sadly these days most old fashioned motorcycle shops have been replaced by the boutique variety or the motorsports mega store that is all about the $$$ and nothing about helping riders.

    Harley dealers that worked me over: Zion Harley Davidson in Utah and the now defunct Coeur D'alene HD in Idaho.

    My good list of shops that helped me and didn't rake me over the coals:

    Kamloops HD in Canada and a family owned shop Lawrence HD in Coeur D'alene that put me ahead of their other shop work when I showed up with a bald rear tire, had me back on the road in no time and charged a very fair price.
    #5
  6. Steveo.

    Steveo. Adventurer

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    I'm actually in Coeur D'Alene for July, so I'll stop by Lawrence and have a look. I haven't seen a real shop here yet and would like to wander through. Thanks for the heads up. ...Steve
    #6
  7. TALLGUY

    TALLGUY Been here awhile

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    I think that pulling into a HD dealer and finding them to have the correct size tire, actually taking you out of service order (especially on an off brand bike) and removing, mounting, balancing (Sort of) and replacing in 30 minutes during the busiest month of the year for that amount of money makes you fortunate.

    I get that over years some of us have been privileged to work with great (and cheap) service deparments but in todays world of people not even changing their own oil, you are luck to not need to wait a week for help.

    Good reminder that leaving some tread on the old tire is better than trying to get every last bit out of it.

    Glad you caught the tread loss before you wrecked, I found a guy one day who didn't.

    TG
    #7
  8. Steveo.

    Steveo. Adventurer

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    I get paying full retail for the tire but to be charged 1.2 hours labor for a 30 minute job, and then paying for balancing and wheel weights when they didn't even take it near the machine is ridiculous. I was thankful to get the tire swapped, just not so happy about the reaming at the till. A shop should be fair and honest if they want to build a relationship with its customers. I math rough there several times a year but now instead of stopping in to pick up the odd supply, I'll make extra sure I'm prepared so that I don't have to stop there for anything. I'll make sure everyone I know does the same.
    #8
  9. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    dont moan at us.I feel for you but you need to go back to them and let them explain about hhe weights etc.Dont let them get away with it!
    #9
  10. Steveo.

    Steveo. Adventurer

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    I'm out of the country and just rode through on my way out. When I'm back in Canada, I'll for sure be stopping in. If I didn't have my wife and 3 tired kids waiting to follow me to the border, I'd have questioned it then but I was in a rush to get going.
    #10
  11. blacktruck

    blacktruck Wanderer

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    Sad to see they got you like that. I've purchased many truck tires over the years and haven't paid that much for one of them. I understand profit centers in a typical business but that seems to me to be ripping off the unexpected out of town customer. I guess they figured that you wouldn't be back so they better make what they could while you were there. I can't say you did wrong by paying, they had you bent over and they knew it. I would make sure it was known far and wide about the costs involved with that purchase. Send a letter to HD with documents too. Might not get a nickel back but the dealer will wish they had been a bit more ethical while you were there in their shop.
    Hard way to go but as they said, life goes on. Like any other brand, got some good HD dealers and some, not so much.
    Stay safe man..
    Ken
    #11
  12. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    #12