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Discussion Starter #1
Have you heard that some service shops, (independent and Honda) refusing to work on bikes
10 years or older?

Most feel at that aged rubber fittings, connecters, and rusted bolts can crack aluminum parts.
 
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Have you heard that some service shops, (independent and Honda) refusing to work on bikes
10 years or older?

Most feel at that aged rubber fittings, connecters, and rusted bolts can crack aluminum parts.


Can't say as to why, but I haven't had any of those issues servicing my 17 year old VTX. I haven't needed anything for it outside of normal maintenance parts and they have been readily available. I don't know how it will be when I need a bike specific part. I have needed a part for a 12 year old truck before that they said was no longer available.
 

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so it sounds like my 2005 would be on it’s own if it had a breakdown and needed a dealership service. Might as well have the famous BMW’s and their dealer network Sounds like the same situation. Hope I never need to find out.
 

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I ran into the same “we don’t work on anything older than 10 years” at a local H-Shop. I think it’s because the mechanics are young and inexperienced.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I ran into the same “we don’t work on anything older than 10 years” at a local H-Shop. I think it’s because the mechanics are young and inexperienced.

It all could be, (especially with Honda) to get you to think about buying a new model.

Same excuse is: "They don't make parts anymore for this model."
 
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Let's go back and recall where a typical dealership makes it's money.

It's not on the showroom floor. Yeah, they make enough to keep the lights on, and the A/C running, but that might be about it.

The dealership makes it's money in (a) parts and (b) service.

So, if they have a quality mechanic or two, they may take exception to such a blanket statement, but mainly they won't.

The incentive is to keep the mechanics and service team familiar with the products that are current.

So, you find the shops in your region that will deal with the equipment you have - and keep dealing with them.

...or, do most of it yourself.
 

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I ran into the same “we don’t work on anything older than 10 years” at a local H-Shop. I think it’s because the mechanics are young and inexperienced.
I don't think this is the reason. My local Honda shop does have a sign that says they don't work on bikes older than 15 years. When I was in So. Calif. having some service, I overheard the Service manager tell someone on the phone he won't work on a bike that was a 1988. He hung up and stated last time he did that the case fell all apart and stuff just broke left and right....

I think their concern is if they start to work on the bike, and parts that were not broke break, the customer will expect THEM to replace and pay for those parts... and, if the customer is willing to pay for it, the parts may not be so available, and the bike just becomes a disaster that they wasted time on.

Can't say that I blame them. I take care of a lot of people over 80 years old... I can't find any spare parts either!!! :wink2:
 

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This topic brings back my years at the VW dealership. If it was a VW and it rolled in for work, it got worked on. Customers were told of costs before services were rendered, and they either agreed or declined. I personally rebuild a 1968 type 1 (beetle) engine at the dealer in 1988, for a customer with all VW parts. Big bill. Met the owner many times at VW meets. He was always great full. It’s sad really that they can’t continue to support the product down the road a ways. Too bad about litigations and liabilities, wrecks a lot.
 

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If I went to a Honda (or any other dealer) that stated that they would not work on bikes more than 10 years old-I would never, ever, consider buying a product from them. Take care of your customers and you generate loyalty. Crap on them...not so much.
 

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I can somewhat see where they are coming from in not wanting to work on old models. After a certain age, things kind of have a tendancy to have things go wrong during service just because of age when fooled with, disassembled. Of course the customer says "those things were working fine" before service, so you must fix all these issues free.
I was in electronics repair for 34yrs and saw TV sets where the whole plastic cabinet would basically just break into 20 pieces just removing the back, then you try to explain you didn't cause the damage.
 

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I don't think this is the reason. My local Honda shop does have a sign that says they don't work on bikes older than 15 years. When I was in So. Calif. having some service, I overheard the Service manager tell someone on the phone he won't work on a bike that was a 1988. He hung up and stated last time he did that the case fell all apart and stuff just broke left and right....

I think their concern is if they start to work on the bike, and parts that were not broke break, the customer will expect THEM to replace and pay for those parts... and, if the customer is willing to pay for it, the parts may not be so available, and the bike just becomes a disaster that they wasted time on.

Can't say that I blame them. I take care of a lot of people over 80 years old... I can't find any spare parts either!!! :wink2:

I'll give you an example why most shops won't work on older bikes: We had a guy bring in a metric cruiser that wasn't running properly. It was 15 years old. Our mechanic discovered that the cam chain had jumped a tooth and done some internal damage. Because the bike had sentimental value to him, the customer decided to repair it even though he was told the cost would be more than the bike was worth. We order $2000 worth of parts and begin to disassemble the engine after it is out of the bike. We are then told that the rear cylinder head is back ordered for 60 days, but we have all the other parts. Three months later we are told they no longer make cylinder heads for the bike. So now we have a bike sitting in the shop for 5 months, disassembled, and we can't get a critical part. All the parts we ordered now have to be shipped back (assuming the dealer will accept returns on 5 month old parts) at our expense. We can't bill the customer for disassembly and then give him back the pieces, so we locate a used engine. It arrives with no gaskets (none!) and doesn't run. We are still trying to get a refund on that engine. A second engine is located, installed and the bike is put back together. How much do you think we lost on that deal? Needless to say we no longer work on anything older than 10 years or that has been extensively modified.
 

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I used to have an R107 Mercedes. (380SL) Everything I needed, I could get from M-B. That is more the exception than the rule. There's a local bike shop that is an all brand bike shop. The owner is in his 70's and semi-retired. He has a yard full of parts bikes so he usually has the part needed. The back room is full of fairly rare parts. When he retires, I expect older bikes around here will be do it yourself or it doesn't get done.
 

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I'll give you an example why most shops won't work on older bikes: We had a guy bring in a metric cruiser that wasn't running properly. It was 15 years old. Our mechanic discovered that the cam chain had jumped a tooth and done some internal damage. Because the bike had sentimental value to him, the customer decided to repair it even though he was told the cost would be more than the bike was worth. We order $2000 worth of parts and begin to disassemble the engine after it is out of the bike. We are then told that the rear cylinder head is back ordered for 60 days, but we have all the other parts. Three months later we are told they no longer make cylinder heads for the bike. So now we have a bike sitting in the shop for 5 months, disassembled, and we can't get a critical part. All the parts we ordered now have to be shipped back (assuming the dealer will accept returns on 5 month old parts) at our expense. We can't bill the customer for disassembly and then give him back the pieces, so we locate a used engine. It arrives with no gaskets (none!) and doesn't run. We are still trying to get a refund on that engine. A second engine is located, installed and the bike is put back together. How much do you think we lost on that deal? Needless to say we no longer work on anything older than 10 years or that has been extensively modified.
Exactly!

One of these will lead to bad mouthing by the customer, and even sometimes an attempt to sue in small claims court, or worse.

And although the customer referenced above was sentimentally attached to the bike, more often it’s just inherent “frugality” and the customer feels abused by the dealer’s “unwillingness” to fix their bike.
 

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Have you heard that some service shops, (independent and Honda) refusing to work on bikes
10 years or older?

Most feel at that aged rubber fittings, connecters, and rusted bolts can crack aluminum parts.
Well great, one more thing to worry about in terms of Honda service! LOL.

This is B.S. if the cutoff is just 10 years. My 2008 is in great shape, no dry rot, good mechanicals, and so on. I could understand if the policy was for units >25 years or something like that--antique bikes--but 10 years? I think there is something else going on. I'm guessing it is more related to the service department's lack of expertise. My "local" Honda dealer, 30 miles away, is so full of 4x4s, 3 wheeler CanAms, and those idiotic Batmobile Death Cars, I'd imagine the shop guys are only able to stay proficient with the relatively recent products. They have a 2 week wait for *anything* getting into the shop, and it's getting toward the end of the riding season here.
 
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Exactly!

One of these will lead to bad mouthing by the customer, and even sometimes an attempt to sue in small claims court, or worse.

And although the customer referenced above was sentimentally attached to the bike, more often it’s just inherent “frugality” and the customer feels abused by the dealer’s “unwillingness” to fix their bike.

And that's just what the customer did....he was unhappy with some aspect of the repair (don't recall what it was), so he bitched about it. This is after we jumped through hoops to get his bike up and running as he wished and lost thousands in the process. No good deed goes unpunished.
 

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All I can say is thank you for the independent shops out there. Most things I can do myself on my 20 year old Valkyrie. However I can still take it in if I need something I can't/won't do such as fork seals.
 
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Well great, one more thing to worry about in terms of Honda service! LOL.



This is B.S. if the cutoff is just 10 years. My 2008 is in great shape, no dry rot, good mechanicals, and so on. I could understand if the policy was for units >25 years or something like that--antique bikes--but 10 years? I think there is something else going on. I'm guessing it is more related to the service department's lack of expertise. My "local" Honda dealer, 30 miles away, is so full of 4x4s, 3 wheeler CanAms, and those idiotic Batmobile Death Cars, I'd imagine the shop guys are only able to stay proficient with the relatively recent products. They have a 2 week wait for *anything* getting into the shop, and it's getting toward the end of the riding season here.


You guys need to go run a Honda dealership since know so much about running a Honda dealership… So 10 years is acceptable but 25 years isn’t? How do you come to such an arbitrary decision? Go buy a Honda dealership and show us how it’s done…

I really suspect if you needed only a basic repair, something easy, they actually would probably try to accommodate you. But to tear down an engine etc. that is that old, I do not blame them for having restrictions.

You’re implying something modern requires less expertise and is easy to work on, compared to something older that would require more expertise to tear down, Because the mechanics only “stay proficient“ on the new stuff. Likely the exact opposite is true, as more modern machines are more complex. Any of those mechanics would probably tell you that tearing down an old machine isn’t difficult, but far more likely to result in more problems as I and the helicopter pilot above stated. And, more over, simply finding parts is issue.

There is a bottom line reason why a dealership puts a restriction on what age bike they will work on. It has nothing to do with trying to sell you a new bike. It has everything to do with whether or not they can successfully make a profitable transaction. And they have found that that likelihood is low on a very old motorcycle.
 

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Government mandate?

When I first read this post days ago, I thought it must be a local thing, or very few shops have this policy. I admit, I’ve never had any of my motorcycles (or cars for that matter), inside a professional mechanic shop.

As I thought more on the subject I started to think about the dealers’ reasoning. If you can’t afford a newer bike, you won’t pay for the repairs when done. (Nah)

Then, after some insightful posts, especially the one about the metric cruiser, I realized something. I was about to purchase a Victory Cross Country when production stopped. Of course, the sudden clearance prices on new bikes made them even more appealing. In speaking with salesmen, I incquired about the future availability of parts for a company who no longer produces motorcycles. He informed me that a government regulation requires manufacturers of all autos to provide parts support for 10 years. (Never verified)

After thinking about that, the 10 year rule doesn’t sound so arbitrary. Just my two coppers.

EDIT: After reading, it appears there is no such mandate. (Sorry) Manufacturers only parts requirements are warranty periods so far as I can tell. I didn’t want to be the source of misinformation.
 
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