Are all motorcycle parts two weeks away?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Hesaid, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    So I'm a bit new to wrenching on bikes, so maybe this is normal and I'm just out of touch, but it seems like everytime I need a factory part, it takes the better part of two weeks to get. I understand that most dealers don't have one of everything in stock, but shouldn't they be able to get it from a distribution center in a timely fashion?

    I spend my days wrenching on cars, and German cars at that. OE or OEM hard parts are readily available, mostly next day, though we do have one supplier ~45 miles away that delivers several times a day. For "dealer only" type stuff, it's usually two days, maybe three if it's too big to go by UPS. The only time we have to wait a week is if something needs to be specifically made or programmed in Germany and then shipped.

    So far it seems that every Suzuki part I've needed has had to be ordered, and it goes like this:

    Monday: I place an order for a new brake lever.

    Tuesday: ?

    Wednesday: ?

    Thursday: I call to see how my order is coming. I'm told it's not here yet. They thought it would have been there yesterday, but wasn't.

    Late Thursday: I get a call to let me know that my part is there, and they'll be shipping it to me as soon as they can.

    Friday: I'm told my part is shipped.

    Saturday: Nothing, it's the weekend.

    Sunday: See above, you heathen bastard, you shouldn't even be thinking about working on motorcycles on the Lord's day!

    Monday: I get an email with a tracking number telling me my package is ready to be shipped.

    Tuesday: My package is in transit.

    Wednesday: My package is in Vernon, CA.

    Thursady: My package is in my town, out for delivery.

    Lunchtime Thursday: I have my part.

    This amounts to approx. a week and a half! Is this normal?

    MV
    #1
  2. bete

    bete misguided adventurer

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    ya unfortunately it seems to be the norm, even worse when you have a big snow storm and UPS cant get to you. bete
    #2
  3. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

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    Sadly, yes. When I called every Suzuki dealer within 50 miles of Sacramento looking for part X and none could get it in less than a week, I would just order it online. After 3 or 4 iterations, I just stopped asking the dealer. I moved to SoCal and now I don't even know where my local dealer is.

    I used to have a BMW, and the BMW dealer had an impressive array of parts on hand, even for old bikes. And they, like the BMW car dealer, could get parts within a couple days, though for cage parts I had options other than the dealer. I could get parts for my '86 Saab in less time than for my '04 Suzuki, even as Saab was in bankruptcy.

    Two issues are at play here: first, the far smaller market size for motorcycles means there just isn't the supply of parts that there is for cars. Second, and more importantly, the Japanese manufacturers have entirely different supply chains than the Europeans. My experience with European cars comes from being the guy who couldn't afford to pay you to work on it :D

    Other than a couple Jeeps, I've always driven European cars, and it's always surprised me how many parts were not only outsourced but shared with other brands. When Bosch makes part X for six models over three brands, that OEM part is gonna be easy to get. Need a fuel injection part for a BMW E21? Pull it from a Volvo in the junkyard. The Japanese have far more control over their supply chains: I had to replace control arms on my '82 E21 and a friend's '85 Camry in the same week sometime around 2004. Despite the E21 control arms being more complicated, they cost a *third* of what the Camry ones did. The only source for the Camry parts was Toyota, whereas I could order the BMW parts from any of a number of sources.
    #3
  4. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    Talked to them again today. Said most everything, except the backordered stuff, shipped yesterday. I still don't have a tracking number, that should arrive later today, tomorrow at the latest. So, no parts until the first part of next week. Two weekends without the bike, and then we have other plans for the following weekend. I have got to find something better...

    MV
    #4
  5. cross-country

    cross-country .

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    I have the same problem everytime I try to order me some DapperDan.
    #5
  6. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    I was waiting for that. I'm starting to think that if Fop made motorcycle parts, I'd be in better shape.

    MV
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  7. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    I have a tracking number! And an estimated delivery date! The delivery date falls on a Sat, when there's no one here at the shop to recieve packages, and this box of course won't contain the back ordered part(s), but it's progress. Right? So much for motorcycles this weekend... Again.

    MV
    #7
  8. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

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    I'm laughing -- I've been order parts for a buncha nutbox vehicles for longer than I'd care to admit . . . . . . I've noticed that parts folks are all taught the same mantra . . . .

    "I'd like a kanuten valve for my Belchfire Intimidator, please."

    "Wayne got it -- week ten days."

    If we could only find this Wayne fella, we'd be in tall grass.
    #8
  9. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    Seems to be the case these days for bikes though can remember dealers being well stocked long ago...
    I need a primary gasket for a DR650 and neither local dealer stocked one, very sad for a common maintenance part on a bike that has been in production and selling well for 16 years....same deal on a radiator cap for a Triumph, a routine maintenance item on the triples (they become leaky with age), found one at the local Subaru dealer and it WAS in stock.
    It kills me when they say they can order these things for me since it is too easy to do that myself and have the parts on my doorstep in a few days. I would like to give the local dealers my parts business and don't mind paying a bit more but when they can't bother to stock even low cost standard maintenance items it makes it tough...
    #9
  10. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    Yeah, I love the "We can order it" line. Hell, I can order it. Look folks, it works like this:

    1) Local supplier:
    a) Has higher cost, due to having to stock an inventory
    b) Has quicker turn around, due to having a stocked inventory

    2) Warehouse (mail order or internet):
    a) Has lower cost due to bulk buying, lower staffing, lower real estate
    b) Has slower turn around time due to having to ship from the aforementioned lightly staffed, out of the way locatation warehouse.

    For some reason, dealers seem to have gotten it in their head that with today's modern ordering/shipping/tracking and so forth technologies, they'd be able to do away with stocking an inventory, while still keeping the higher prices. Somehow, they haven't figured out the flaw in this plan. So consumers turn to the internet. and the dealers suffer. I think I mentioned this in my Jacket Journal .

    Of course, in my case, I'm starting to wonder if the higher priced dealer might be able to produce parts in less than two weeks...

    MV
    #10
  11. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    Have you ever tried to order from Bike Bandit? I have ordered lots of factory Suzuki stuff over the years and normally get it delivered to Orange County within 2-3 days. FWIW- I live just down the street from Suzuki's North American headquarters but I would never think to order from the local dealer because of the famous delays.

    and with Bike Bandits AMA discount, it's usually cheaper than from the dealer too.
    #11
  12. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    I don't use the local dealer because I think they are a bit dishonest.

    I order parts from Max BMW. They always seem to get stuff for me pretty quick.
    #12
  13. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

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    I go to my local Suzuki dealer and they check directly with the Canadian Suzuki parts warehouse to see if it's actually in stock and then they get it, usually in as little as 2 days.

    Never really had a problem, and the CDN distributor seems to have what I've needed.
    #13
  14. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/X4r4U-y5WJs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  15. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham Been here awhile

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    Try getting parts for a Buell from the dealer. The local HD dealers I've talked to don't even have the catalogs any more so the only way to order something is if I look up the part number myself and tell them what to order. Even then, sometimes I'm told they can't order it because "it's a Buell part number." I order everything online.

    When I had an sv650 I think I ordered stuff from http://www.oneidasuzuki.com/ There was one other website I used but I can't remember it right now.

    When it comes to car parts even though local dealers usually have the parts I still order online because the dealers around here charge above MSRP.
    #15
  16. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    I've encountered something unexpected over the years.
    As noted, you go to the dealer and order parts, they order the parts, they eventually get the parts, you travel back to the dealer and get the parts. This often covers the better part of two weeks.
    So when I first got a Moto Guzzi, I was figuring I was in deep trouble getting parts, because there aren't a lot of dealer. But not so. It turns out that there are a few dealers that order direct from Italy and stock almost everything. I can go online and three days later I have parts. One dealer sends the parts with a bill that simply says send it back if it isn't right, or send him the money. It unexpectedly works better then the brands that have dealers everywhere. I only deal with delays if it is a really unusual part.
    #16
  17. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    I hit bike bandit , amazon prime or other web dealers and normally parts are on my door step in 2-5 days.
    #17
  18. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    I'm in Australia... one example ...

    Tried to order Pelican 1550 cases

    ...6 weeks delivery :eek1 SIX WEEKS!

    Ordered on line from the states - 2 weeks and half the cost INCLUDING DELIVERY TO MY DOOR.

    Local Motorcycle Dealer? Ok .. about half the time
    order part ... they say 2 ~3 days .. come back, no part... come back .. wrong part .. reorder ... come back, no part... come back Finished. Can take 2 weeks. Some times they have it in stock! Only a little more $ than ordering it on line....

    BM motorcycle parts, bicycle parts (even complete bicycles if you want) from the UK - one week delivery (usually .. though I've had one approach 2 weeks?)

    Honda car part from the states ... 2 weeks delivery
    Motorcycle clothing from Germany ... 2 weeks delivery


    I've no idea why shipping from the UK is so reasonable and that from the states/Germany takes twice as long.


    Most of the time these days I don't bother with 'local dealers'. I don't have to leave home, traffic there and back, park, to order, pay and receive it. About 98% of the time I get the right part at a good price. That compares very well with the (non competitive) local dealers/importers.

    ----------------- There is a retailer here who is complaining about loosing business to internet sales ... and wants the 10% GST federal tax imposed on all overseas purchase. The government (acting sensibly for a change) says that it costs more to collect the tax that what the tax generates so they don't bother. For me the extra 10% is not a problem.. the savings in both time and costs STILL make the internet purchase worthwhile. Even if they upped the tax to 30%!!!!

    ========================
    As you can see my parts supply can be 2 weeks away. As a result I keep a stock of 'running spares' like cables, filters, brake pads, chains etc. When it approaches servicing time I preorder the parts. I usually have better stock than the local dealers' shelf on my own shelf!
    #18
  19. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

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    I have used Bike Bandit, but, they won't ship to my preferred address, so they'll be getting very little of my business.

    I went next door to my local dealer today, and talked with the parts girl. She was impressed with the prices I was able to find online, and tried hard, but was unable to match them. I told her matching them wasn't required, as long as she could work some deals, and get parts quicker, I'd be happy. So I think I'll be giving the local dealer another shot at my business. All in all, my current order would have cost me approx $100 more to buy from the dealer. But I'd have had the parts by the end of the first week, which would have equated into two, possibly three extra weekends of riding. Seems like a deal to me.

    MV
    #19
  20. greer

    greer Long timer

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    If you continue to hit snags locally, you might try Rocky Mtn. I've gotten excellent service from them since they've started stocking factory oem parts. But it's good to stay local when you can.

    Sarah

    http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/
    #20