Harley dealer refuses tire service for other brands

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by acap650, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. acap650

    acap650 acap650

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    A friend recently had a punctured tube on a road trip. It was a Sunday and the nearest open dealer was a Harley dealer. He was able to ride the bike there using tire sealant but when he arrived he was told they could not service the bike since it was a BMW (F800GS). They said they could only work on Harleys with the tools they have, even though he would remove his wheel and supply a new tube he was carrying.

    I've never heard of any Brand X dealer refusing emergency tire service. I mean, it's a motorcycle wheel with a bad tube. Customer hands them the wheel and new tube, they break the bead, pull bad tube, stuff new tube and inflate. Customer pays the bill, installs his own wheel and is safely on his way.

    I suspect it's a top down HD policy but haven't been able to verify this. If true, it just speaks badly to Harley's support for motorcycling goodwill.
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  2. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

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    Pretty standard for any dealer actually. Some will make exception if you are a long way from home, but not many.
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  3. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Gasoline Alley Harley-Davidson in Red Deer, Alberta refused to take my money for an oil change on my Buell XB12XT. That's draining oil from a Sportster engine and spinning on a new Sportster oil filter, then pouring new oil into a Sportster engine. They were not a HD/Buell dealer and referred me to Calgary, 90 miles south. HD needs a serious dealer sweep to the curb.
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  4. bomber60015

    bomber60015 tikkun olam Supporter

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    As recently as 5 years ago, it wasn't HD policy, but, rather, dealers.

    While I don't like it, I understand the policy . . . if you'r guy has never seen an XYZ and scratches the wheel . . .

    Defense isn't found only in sports any more . . .
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  5. jmlmjmjm

    jmlmjmjm Long timer

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    It is certainly NOT a top down HD policy.
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  6. Peels

    Peels Long timer

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    I experienced this also. almost exactly. Usually I buy my tires online and find a shop to fit them, I got into a situation where I hadnt ordered, but I needed them quickly, so I decided to support local even if HD. So called local shop. dont have BMW near me....(wouldnt use much I did) Originally on the phone he sounded like he might be helpful, went to check and see if he had the tire...

    "well we do have it, but...i wouldnt want to mess another brands warranties or anything"

    my bike is 16 yrs old and both wheels were off and in my truck.. what are we warrantying? LOL
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  7. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    I heard of the BMW dealer in S.F. doing the same to a traveling non-BMW rider, but that was years ago.
    On a happier note FWIW the tubes HD carries are very good quality (made in Japan Dunlops last time I bought some), fit many other bikes and have been using them on my Norton Commando for years.
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  8. slipknot

    slipknot Long timer

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    I would avoid any dealer with that policy regardless of my owning the brand they sell. If their shop is so narrowly focused that it cannot change a tire they are incompetent. And please refrain from the usual lawyer crap. It is a cheap excuse that has been overblown ad nauseam. Any HD franchise has a tire machine. Any 15 year old can change the tire without scratching especially if a customer removes the wheel. This kind of chicken shit approach to business is just another example of tribalism in Duhmericah. If it ain't one of us we can't touch.
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  9. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    As stated and not often enough in Robbinsville, NC
    Not for my local multiline dealership. They carry Honda, Ducati, Triumph, Suzuki, and Kawasaki, and the service department often changes tires on Yamahas and Harleys (even though both a Harley dealer and a Yamaha dealer are a few miles down the road).
    #9
  10. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    Ho boy... here we go again!!! :cry....:lurk......:snore

    Why didn't he install the tube himself? You said he could have removed the tire, and had the tube - hell, he was halfway there to being able to replace the tube!! A rider with an Adventure bike ought to know how to change a flat in the field, and have the tools required. What would he have done in the Field? Otherwise, Why not go to the convenient, local BMW Dealer?

    How about naming the HD Dealership in question and we can just call, ask to speak to the manager, and find out the actual reason why. Top Managers are usually not there on Sundays.

    Anyway, Kegel HD in Rockford, Illinois replaced the two tires on my Triumph Bonneville two years ago, no problem. Actually they all liked the bike and seemingly all yewsta' have a Triumph back n' the day.

    Dealerships are franchises, owned by private individuals - they make this type of policy. Mostly due to liability fears. It's up to the individual. Try taking a HD to a single brand dedicated BMW shop for a tire replacement, see what happens, then report back, thanks.

    I like the idea that folks here downgrade HD Dealerships like mad, but then when they need something they go to one.

    How did the guy resolve it BTW?
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  11. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    I'm sure he meant he could have removed the wheel, and he had a tube. Probably didn't have tire irons and a bead breaker on him.
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  12. acap650

    acap650 acap650

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    He did not have the tools, bead breaker, tire levers but will in the future (at least he had tire sealant and it got him home).
    The BMW dealer was far away and closed on Sunday.
    There are many policies set by the company.
    I worked at two BMW dealers and we always serviced bikes for travelers on all brands, put them first in line and did repairs if we had parts.
    I'm not a Harley hater and think they do first rate work servicing Harleys.
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  13. Badge320

    Badge320 Wild Hog No. 3

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    The first HD dealer I worked for would do an emergency tire service for anyone traveling, regardless of the bike brand. The only exception was any fancy custom wheels (and this applied to Harley models as well).
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  14. acap650

    acap650 acap650

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    Certainly not, but it may have helped. Let's not go there or this thread will be moved to Yo Momma.
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  15. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    You only need to break the bead on one side, old tube out, new tube in. East speazy.
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  16. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

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    I needed a new tire the last time I crossed Wyoming. I plugged the one I had and limped into the nearest Suzuki dealership. I was on a DL-1000. They said they MIGHT be able to get to me today, but it would probably be tomorrow, not sure because the guy that does that is out getting a hair cut. I explained that I was far from home, didn't want to have to sit around all day and then pay for another night in a motel.

    Long story short - left there and went to the nearest BMW dealership. They had a tire that fit and they got me in and changed it out for me right away.
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  17. acap650

    acap650 acap650

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    Yes, but need levers, etc.. Will have them in future.
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  18. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    As others have implied I think that's really up to the individual dealer, rather than being a corporate policy. A lot of dealers (no matter the brand) will often try to do whatever they can to help a moto traveler get back on the road. Occasionally you run into some that turn you away. But for the most part, at least from the stories I've heard and people I know who have done it, if a dealer can help you they will.

    Now, they may make you pay handsomely for that service, but that's a whole 'nother discussion entirely.
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  19. NarcoPolo

    NarcoPolo Been here awhile

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    Years ago, I could not get Honda dealers to work on my GoldWing while on a trip. My wife and I left on a month long trip from the Texas gulf coast to the Canadian Rockies. My stator went out during the trip and dealer after dealer refused to work on it. I offered to have the part shipped overnight to the shops, but they refused to do the job. They said they were too busy and it was too big of a job. It didn’t matter to them that I was the original owner of this 4 year old GoldWing and I was stranded on the road. I had to rent a U-Haul and tow it through several states, checking all Honda dealers along the way until I found a dealer in Utah willing to do the job. They got me in and out in one day. I gave the service manager and the service tech a nice tip for their assistance and we were back on the road. After the trip, I wrote to American Honda about the lack of support from numerous Honda dealers until I received service assistance in Utah, and later spoke to a Honda rep. I was told that 4 years was good service from my stator and they were disinterested in my troubles getting the bike serviced on the road.
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  20. Whiskey Tango

    Whiskey Tango 1*

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    Wow, so sad - on all counts.
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