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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few of my own to get the discussion started:


  • Chrome muffler guards re-installed improperly after having a trailer hitch installed, I had to fix the problem.
  • Front brake rotor bent after having new tires installed. Another dealer replaced the rotor under warranty.
  • Heated grips failed after having right hand controls replaced under warranty.
  • Left controls/turn signal switch failed after having heated grips replaced under warranty (see above)

Does anyone wonder why I try to do most of my own maintenance and repairs?


Honda should void the warranty if they discover that you have had your bike worked on at a Honda dealer!
 

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They always make fun of me because I ride on a car tire. They call Dyna-beads " Snake oil " . They wonder why I have never brought my bike in for the " scheduled " maintenance. That's three reasons I love to hate these guys.
 

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I had a 2008 VTX 1800 that I had bought the 3 year service contract on. Every time I took it in for an oil change they would put 5 quarts in it (3.9 required unless you split the case). I took it in for a 24K mile service a couple of weeks before heading off to ride the Dragon & BRP. I picked up the bike on a Friday evening and noticed a screw missing out of the cover on the clutch fluid reservoir. Called and made them bring me the screw because I live 20 miles away. Installed the screw and took off to the gas station to gas up the bike for a weekend trip and saw coolant on the case after I had filled up the 5 gallon tank. Come home pulled the tank off found trash under the radiator cap. Then I noticed a plug wire was not back in the cover groove so I pulled all four covers off and two plug wires were not even pushed back onto the plugs. The plugs were not gap correctly. At that time I found the hoses on the back of the air filter were not put back on. And they had only blown out the old air filter instead of changing it. When I looked at the site glasses for the front brake and clutch they still had white milky looking fluid in them. I changed the fluid myself and caught samples from each spot. Had to be bleed the left front brake four times before fluid ever came out and when it did it was white. I was getting in a bad mood about this time because I had told the shop foreman I was headed to the mountains and the brakes needed to be right. Then I got to wondering about the valves so I pulled the cover and couldn't get the small crank cover off because they had stripped it on an earlier valve PM. I loaded the bike back on the trailer and took it back to the service dept on Saturday Morning and told the shop foreman what all I had found and I had my fluid samples. I told him the mechanic did adjust the valves because the cover had been over tighten the time before. I talked to the mechanic and he swore he adjusted the valves so I asked him to show me how the got the stripped cover off so he could see the alignment marks. He tried for about 15 minutes while we all watched. He couldn't get. To get the cover off I had to get a nut extractor and I froze the cover a couple of times with freon then put the extractor on a hammer ratchet and hit it. It come loose. It only required 13 ft lbs of torque. Installed a new cover myself. I ended up adjusting the valves myself. The only thing I didn't find any problem with on that service checkup was the final drive fluid was at the correct level. They may not have even checked it because I would change it every time I had the oil changed it's only $4. I went and talked to the store manager about my service contract $1000 for three years of service and I had taken pictures and fluid samples. He didn't want to refund my money he wanted to pro rate the refund and with 24K on the bike I had been in for a lot of bad service. Every time I had been in for service it was the same thing stuff was screwed up it's just that this one was a big PM. They finally give in and refunded my full amount and suggested that I probably wouldn't want to visit their store any more. So what do you do my next Honda Store is 70 miles away. I've been doing most of my own work on my Gold Wing. I miss the ease of working on the VTX.
 

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Years ago I took my CB-750 to the dealer because of repeated fork oil leaks. Since it was a high mileage bike I had them replace the fork sliders also.

After I picked it up, I rode it the three miles home and inspected the new fork tubes. There was fork oil on the tubes just above the plier marks on both brand new tubes. So I immediatly rode it back to the dealer to have it fixed again. Just after I pulled up to the service area, the kid comes out and says "good that bike is still here. I did not tighten the tripple tree bolts yet". Sure enough they were not even finger tight. Neither were the axel bolts. I read the service manager and the kid the riot act. All he could say was "sorry, you're right". They drove me home an did the job at no cost. Even refunded my money for the first fix. Sttill, I never went back to that dealer again after they tried to kill me.
 

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When I crashed my Aero 750 years ago I took it to the local Honda shop only because I had a broken collarbone. They repaired the bike for me.
Wrong windshield
Wrong saddlebags
Floorboards installed upside down- yep that's not a misprint

Talked to the service manager and store manager they told me it was what they did and I could deal with it.

Haven't gone back since.
 

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I am sure there are some great dealer mechanics out there. But are they the ones that will end up working on your bike?

I'll take my chances doing my own work.
 

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Haven't let a dealer touch my bikes since the mid-80's. Back then, twice I found screwdrivers in my bike after they had worked on it. Once laying on top of the motor and once under a seat.

Once I picked up my bike, after having the valves adjusted and on the way home, noticed it smoking. I pulled over and found a shop rag, soaked with oil and kerosene wadded up on top of the motor.

My current Goldwing was bought used at a Honda dealer. They had done a "tune-up" and "gone over the bike in order to sell it. I found four missing fasteners when I re-did the work at home. (I always check their work!)

I get they did not want to "invest" anything in the bike but they put new sparkplugs, air cleaner and changed the oil, all of which they added onto the price of the bike. Why not put it back together with all the
proper fasteners in place?
 

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Don't know about the Honda shops in other areas of the country, but at my local Honda shop "Goldwings" are the 1%...the service manager told me once that the Wing owners know more about Wings than he does (and he is 1/2 owner of the business)...they have so many other models of bikes & 4 wheels & jet ski's & lawn mowers to work on, they don't know much about, or care about a Wing...BUT they are glad to sell you a Wing...
 

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Sadly, it is businessmen, not enthusiasts, that own and run the dealerships. Get em in, get em out, collect the money and deal with the complaints later. The bottom line is all that matters.

Other than recall or warranty work I will not take my bike to a dealer. We are lucky, in my area we have a competent mechanic at Michigan Chrome Shop in Richmond, MI that I would use if I needed work done that I could not handle myself.
 

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I have said it before and I will say it again, Honda needs to take some serious lessons on customer service, etc. from Harley Davidson dealers. Not all are perfect but they sure try and make it that way.
 

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Wife took her HD Sportster in for service and left with rear axle nut almost off. I got a new tire put on my 1985 Wing, one nut that holds the front axle on was missing and the other one was just about gone. I am a slow typer soo will quit hear but I have many more stories.
 

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When the Honda shop was still open in Georgetown, I didn't have to worry about such things. I could hand the keys off to Bob and know that my bike would be taken care of. Now Georgetown Honda is gone and I do almost all of my own work.
The only time My bike has gone to the Honda shop has been for a tail light that got replaced under warranty and for the brake recall.
Oh, and a flat that I had on the road last year.

If you buy my DVD's you can learn how to work on your own bike, and save yourself time, money, and frustration. No one will care better for your bike than you will.
Definitely worth the money!
 

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A big problem with being in a limited market area like Central Louisiana is that one store will have all the top franchises but HD. I remember when I bought my first bike in the 70s a local dealer in South Louisiana didn't have what I was looking for so I bought one out of town. The valves were out of adjustment and the bike wouldn't restart if you shut it down until it cooled down. The local dealer didn't want to work on it so I called Honda. A Honda regional rep met me at the store and he asked the dealer if he wanted that franchise. I got good service after that.
 

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Strange but I have always got pretty good service at any Honda dealer that has worked on my wing :thumbup:
 

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Bad service - GOOD service!

This is nothing new.
Waaaay back in 1970, I bought my first NEW bike, a Honda CB350, from a place called Ralph's Cycle Shop. (long gone)
Had problems from the beginning. Left it for the 500 mile service. I'm SURE it was never touched. It was still in the
same spot when I came back to get it.
Then the battery went dead. (brand new bike)
Then I found that the centerstand was bent!
And...it never shifted right.....among others.
They did not want to fix anything.

One day, out for a ride, I saw a shop named Slegers Motorcycle Shop in Hanover New Jersey.
I wanted a windshield for the bike and they had them in the window, so I went in and stood in
line at the parts counter. While standing, I was looking over a new BMW that was on display next
to me. The owner, Hank Slegers, came over and asked if I was interested in the Beemer. I told him
that I had just bought a new bike, the Honda. He asked how I liked it. I started to tell him of the
problems that I had with it. Hank got this concerned look on his face and said "No one should treat
a customer that way! Come with me!" He took me in the back and introduced me to his service
manager, Jack Creelman, and said, "Jack, take care of this man". I was given an appointment
for few days later. Short story....When I got it back, everything was fixed right....at NO CHARGE
to me....on a bike I bought elsewhere!!!
Needless to say, a few years later when I was ready to buy that BMW, and you KNOW where I
went to buy it!
Boy, I miss Hank. He was a VERY nice man. He passed away some years ago and his
shop is gone now. :cry:
By the way, I rode that R90/6 more than 172,000 trouble free miles over the next 30 plus years
through every state and province shown on my maps below!
Best money I ever spent!
 

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I went to the nearest dealer to buy some crush washers for upcoming oil changes, when the guy at the parts counter asked me what they were for. When I told him, he said, "Do people actually change those?"

On another note, I've got an excellent Wing mechanic that has his shop at his home, exactly 1 mile from my house. This week, as he put on new tires, he replaced 3 screws that weren't correct and a front seal that he said didn't look good. Nice to have him looking out for me.

John
 

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Three fork seals blown in first 6K. First and second while touring. Had to pay due to being "wear" item not covered by warranty. After third repair spent many hours calling, sending letters, getting purchase dealer involved and finally two months later Honda provided a partial refund.

Next, got a slow leak on road in Wyoming. Pulled into Honda dealer at 3:15 pm, waited at service counter for at least 15 minutes watching a "circle-jerk" of poor communication and bad service to customers in front of me. Finally, when I told them I needed a new rear tire for my Wing, the clerk replied "we don't stock no Wing parts. It's after 3:30 so we can't order it today. We can order it at 9:30 tomorrow and it will be here Thursday afternoon (it was Monday at the time) and we'll take care of you first thing Friday".....NO KIDDING!....I replied "watch this" while I ordered a new tire on my phone from Dennis Kirk for overnight delivery the next afternoon. His response was they had to use their parts vendor. I had the local Yamaha dealer change the tire for me.

My local dealer ordered two clutch reservoir screws for my Wing. Four weeks later they called while I was on vacation. Two weeks later (total of 6 weeks) I go to pick up the screws. They can't find the screws or the computerized order. Three phone calls and two days later they apologize and reorder the screws. Five weeks later I go by to check on the screws and you guessed it, there were no screws and they couldn't find the order. Five weeks later, after 4 months they call, I go down to get the screws and they can't find them and Leave in total frustrated disbelief...an hour later they call and tell me "someone placed them in the Kawasaki parts bin."

Local dealer again....they have a really great mechanic who knows and loves GoldWings, so I go there, but their service policy/procedure is you schedule a day that you want to drop your bike off for scheduled service and they will TRY to "get to" your bike and have it done in two or three days from the day you schedule your "drop off". The Service Manager at my Harley dealer thinks that is the funniest thing he as ever heard other than my clutch reservoir screw story.
 

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I too have had some bad and good service from dealers. First the good. After buying a new 1987 ninja 750 i got a recall notice for the front brake hose. Took it to the dealer who I bought it from in the morning and got a call back a few hours later that it was ready. When I picked it up he explained what had been done and showed me what had been done. Now the bad. I bought a brand new honda rebel 250 back in 1986, Took it in for its 600 mile check up before doing so I marked the spark plugs. Later that day I went to the dealer and paid the bill for the check up. I look at the bike in the parking lot and inspected the plus guess what, they had not been change even though i paid for them. Asked the service manager to see my bike and showed him that the plugs were not change as i was billed for them he apologize and refunded the money for the plugs I never went back to them again. I do most of my own work on my cars and bikes. I worked in the parts and service industry for a short time and from i see it is just the bottom line. customer service barely exists any more. I recommend if you can do it yourself do it. That way you will know that it is done. With the help of this forum and some fellow riders you will find that there are a lot of things you can do yourself.
 

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I found, and this holds true for the place that I work for, is that there is a lot of work and few good people to do the work. The place I work for has only 1 tech and 1 parts / doing everything else that needs to be done person. (me) Even my customers have mentioned to the owners that my depart needs another person to help out, but this falls on deaf ears. I this week have had to work from 7:30 am to 10:00 pm to try to catch up with export orders. The owner himself has stayed with me and I mentioned it to him that if he hires a kid to help with the export orders and the stock orders it would be a great help and we can give customers better service. He tells me that they are looking for help but can't find someone. I find that hard to believe considering how many people are looking for work in my area. As I was told once I work for people who are millionairess so they must know what they are doing. My customers and myself disagree.
 
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