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Media inquiry: Short of parts in time of Covid?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Dan Schwartz, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. Dan Schwartz

    Dan Schwartz n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Vermont, US
    Hey, y'all.

    I'm a journalist, based in Vermont, and I've been wondering whether this coronavirus pandemic has been making it hard for people to keep their bikes running. My Honda XR650L's been on its stand for a whole week because the local shops are out of the 48-tooth sprocket I need, which, admittedly, probably has nothing to do with the pandemic. But the question's stuck in my head. Has anybody, or anyone you know, been having trouble getting the parts or shop maintenance they need? If so, would you, or they, talk to a reporter?

    All the best!

    Dan
    https://danjschwartz.com/
    #1
  2. TripleTriples

    TripleTriples Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    1,530
    Location:
    OH
    No troubles here. I've placed two orders for parts in the last few weeks, both from Rocky Mountain. Parts I needed were in stock and showed up in two days.
    #2
    greasyfatman and Zahnarzt like this.
  3. clogan

    clogan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    476
    Location:
    Rockvale, TN
    Not bike related, but I was in O'Reilly's yesterday. Shelves were full, staff was full. No waiting. Quickest in/out I've EVER had at the O.
    #3
  4. plumber mike

    plumber mike Highdive Deepened

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    11,841
    Location:
    Paha Sapa
    Mrs. Plumber got more TP and hand sanitizer today at the store. All our usual stuff is there.
    The only thing that’s a problem on any of the bikes is my sons gas won’t explode anymore. Cheap and available. Too bad the local riding area is closed. We are planning a little trials course in the backyard to get our fix.
    #4
  5. Cow Boy Brad

    Cow Boy Brad brad1098

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,581
    Location:
    So. IL.
    No.

    eBay and the local shop are open. . . ADV is also
    #5
    REALGRAVEROBBER likes this.
  6. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    39,321
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    :lurk
    #6
    AdamChandler, Coma and plumber mike like this.
  7. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,208
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    FWIW, I wouldn't dream of finding a specific sprocket on the shelf of any local retailer, even in a large city during the best of times.
    #7
  8. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,494
    Location:
    Lexington, IL
    Most of my orders are take 3-4 times longer than usual. Waiting on shims for setting wheel bearing preload for 6 weeks now - usually it’s 2 weeks or less
    #8
  9. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,993
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    ha ha.... "but I can order it too".... thats what I tell 'em. over 1000 offerings on fleabay right now

    gas is cheap
    #9
    tbas3 and REALGRAVEROBBER like this.
  10. nevermind

    nevermind increasingly less

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,835
    Location:
    duh?
    :spam:spam:spam:spam:spam:spam:spam:spam
    #10
  11. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27,732
    Location:
    Helltown
    You're right, that has nothing to do with the virus. Most shops don't stock non stock items. Never have. A 48T sprocket is not stock for a XRL.

    I've got a 48T sprocket I'll sell you. $3,500, and I'll throw in the XRL it's attached to!
    #11
    mitchapalooza likes this.
  12. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    27,732
    Location:
    Helltown
    :nod
    #12
  13. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,302
    Location:
    Denmark
    How about bringing good stories, instead of highlighting the worst?
    What are you trying to accomplish by bringing a story about a guy or two who cant source a part?

    If your bike had a week of downtime due to you needing an aftermarked sprocket, then thats just the result of poor planning, and/or bad maintenance.
    #13
  14. MrBob

    MrBob Cisgendered Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    22,580
    Location:
    Leon county
    I ordered a gasket kit for my DR 650 6 days ago. I still don't have a shipping date. The bike has been sitting for about a week.
    #14
  15. Stasher1

    Stasher1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    721
    Location:
    Lilburn, GA

    Not all of them actually have the item in stock. Some are simply drop shipping and skimming their cut off the top.

    I didn't even realize this was a thing until this week, but apparently some Ebay sellers list items on ebay, take your money (plus shipping), and then buy the item from Amazon and have it shipped (Prime) to your address as a gift. They pocket the shipping plus whatever they charged over and above Amazon's price.

    Not a problem when Amazon has 2-3 day shipping, but right now Amazon is prioritizing hand sanitizer and toilet paper shipments, so everything else is pushed out 2-4 weeks. The stuff I ordered mid-March isn't scheduled for delivery until early May...which is the reason I was shopping on Ebay in the first place.
    #15
  16. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,993
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    I've been ordering parts & pieces off evilbay for the last 3 weeks for a project & all deliveries are same as usual pre-covid. almost exclusively US postal. either 1st class or Priority... 3 to 5 days its here (Alaska)
    #16
  17. REALGRAVEROBBER

    REALGRAVEROBBER LEAVING GRAVES EMPTY

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    878
    Location:
    GFY, Montana
    The new business model is to have minimal inventory on hand.

    Brick and mortar store experience:
    Go drive yourself to a brick and mortar store, convince them to sell you what you want.
    Leave your contact information.
    Drive yourself home.
    Wait 2 weeks for said item you paid for to arrive.
    Hopefully get telephone call but often they lose that and forget about you.
    You get the telephone call, or you finally call them and ask them to find your order, research if it was ordered, research if it actually arrived and where it may be.
    Then drive yourself to the brick and mortar store again to retrieve it.

    Ordering things through the mail:
    Find item via computer / smartphone.
    Buy it.
    It arrives at your address.

    I buy a lot of small parts and pieces for my 29 motorcycles. >95% is bought on eBay (50% used, 50% new). The rest are from vendors like Kibblewhite for valvetrain parts, or other sellers who aren't on eBay. I can not imagine circumstances (aside from being broken down while out of town) that will compel me to go through the brick and mortar garbage experience. Here in Missoula Montana:

    1.) The motorcycle store does not have what you want.
    2.) Likely will explain they can not get what you want.
    3.) Argue with you, that you do not want what you are asking to buy.
    4.) Magically believe you have zero other options whom will accept your business.

    I used to go to the Big SKy BMW KTM Kawasaki sdealership here, but after about 3 eBay purchases I'll never go back to in-person grief. It's easier to teach yourself how to repair your own machines than the poor experiences of the aforementioned 'service' (you get serviced all right, just not in a way you imagined) shops.

    If buying on eBay doesn't soothe your heart strings enough because it isn't 'local' just consider that some motorcycle store in Nebraska just sold you your chain oil, and that business and its employees are quite similar in trying to survive as your local benchwarmer business that doesn't stock what people want.

    I am not experiencing any trouble with supply of parts or anything else, but I buy through the mail because overall the experience is excellent.
    #17
    Johann likes this.
  18. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,722
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Some stuff has been a bit erratic here, on the other hand some things have arrived very quickly. Local service is currently worse than importing, it had almost reached par with shipping from China before shit happened.
    #18
  19. Johann

    Johann Commuterous Tankslapperous

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,561
    Location:
    Europe
    The only things I buy from dealers are oil, filters, tyres (local shop does free fitting) and riding gear. I don´t expect them to have any more than that in stock, maybe bulbs and spark plugs but even that isn´t a given. The one very rare time I had to return items bought online it was a painless experience, I could see that dragging on for months at the local dealers. The dedicated parts counter that used to be part of most bike shop doesn´t really exist any more in most of Europe, it is generally just an interface to the service dept and a place to order stuff they don´t stock. For OEM stuff I can get parts from the Netherlands 1500 miles away faster than I can from a dealer 25 miles down the road.
    #19
  20. Coma

    Coma Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,489
    Location:
    The Emerald Coast
    Amazon appears to be using Covid to ship when they please as opposed to the two day you pay for.
    I wonder if consumers could get traction with a system that Prime pays?

    eBay shippers appear to get an USPS shipping number then drop it in the box when convenient for them. The USPS then gives no tracking updates till sometime after it’s delivered. I’m not sure such a thing is possible, it could be just the crappy USPS.
    #20