dealerships vs independent shops

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Billbo, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

    OK, I read very often here that HD Dealerships often charge way too much money for their goods and services - to the point of being affectionately referred to as "Stealerships" by many of the folks posting here. I read posts pertaining to GOOD dealers and BAD dealers and good vs bad shops. Glider even put out a list of things the HD Dealers say and do that are not quite honestly true. I would think, after all I read here, that no one would still be using a HD Dealership for parts or service unless, perhaps, they are still under warranty. Question - Is everyone - out of warranty - going to Independent repair shops or back to their HD Dealer?

    Just real curious - maybe this is a poll or something - but I dont know how to do that yet.

  2. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

    thanks - you are quick!! I really am curious where to take my bike to - the dealer or an independent in the area - so that is why I asked.

  3. Jim B.

    Jim B. Junior Member

    My local dealer (Santa Maria, CA HD) is very good and I get a 10% discount because of my local HOG membership. My local independent shop costs slightly less but I have learned that I need to schedule any work several days or a week or two in advance. They have just one mechanic and he is pretty busy. If he is ill, then the wait is even longer. My local dealer can usually get me in the same day I call or within 2 days of my call. (I'm all thumbs when it comes to things mechanical or I would do some of the work myself.)
  4. thedommyLlama

    thedommyLlama Member

    I do what I can myself and anything else I take to an independent shop. I was lucky to find an good guy that tells me when it would be cheaper for me to get the parts myself and bring them to him.
  5. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    There usually are some small independent shops around that I would trust over the dealerships. Go in and ask some questions and see how they answer them. See if they take the time to explain how they do customer work. Take a peek into the shop area and look at what's going on, how neat everything is.
    See if they look like they are taking care of the customer's property. By that I mean, see if they lay chrome parts on a mat and see if they look organized.

    What I don't like about dealerships is you talk to a service adviser and usually can't talk directly to the mechanic.

    Talk to other HD bike owners. Where I live, word gets around quickly when a shop is fair and does good work. I would also ask if they use Genuine parts and gaskets. I have caught 2 car Dealerships Charging list price for Genuine Parts but were using knock off look alike. Imagine an Authorized Dealership using knock off parts and charging for Genuine at list price. That is Stealing in my book.
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Like Smitty I find a dealer I can trust I ask a lot of questions and have got to know a couple of techs that I trust plus I have an extended warranty
  7. TXMikey

    TXMikey Junior Member

    I've had real good luck with the dealer I bought my bike from; very helpful and responsive to my needs. The only issue with them is they aren't very convenient since my job transferred to a different office. Otherwise, they get my business.

    I have taken my wife's Honda to an indy shop a few times, and it seems like each time I've had to take it back to get something corrected that wasn't done right. Nice folks, and seem to be really helpful, but just haven't earned my trust.

    I've started trying to do some of the simple maintenance myself. Takes me most of the day to just change the oil, but my wife claims it's because I "dawdle" too much. I prefer to think of it as being very thorough. :33:
  8. SeaRider04

    SeaRider04 Active Member

    I try to do most that I can, otherwise, go to dealer, they may charge higher than Indy shop but most of the time, they know where the problem is and get it fix right at the first time rather than keep coming back to Indy shop, in the end, Indy shop may cost more.
  9. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I live in a fairly isolated are and have never been in an hd dealers because i havent found one yet nearest indy is 30 miles away and only has metric tools and does not want any harleys in his workshop although i have seen one or two in there
    so i invest in a service manual and get the tools i need and do the work myself
    as my bikes are early 90s i keep a spare ready just in case ive a problem and have a long wait for parts

  10. nogoslim

    nogoslim Active Member

    The best way, in my book, is to buy a service manual, a parts manual and an electrical diagnostic manual, buy the required tools and then read and post on this forum, then you'll learn how to wrench on your own scooter. It's just part of the Harley life style, to know your bike inside and out, to be able to service and repair it is to be one with the bike. Not only will you be proud of it, but you'll be proud of yourself! Jump in, follow your nose, it's not as hard as people think.... Then you'll be able to use a dealer and an independent shop on your own terms!