Friday, October 5, 2012

More on motorcycle shops

Each type of service facility, dealer and independent, has its pros and cons overall. A dealer has direct access to factory-proven service data including bulletins and other communications that are distributed only to dealers and are not available to the public (and thus not to independents), as well as a phone line into the factory for technical help, factory-developed training which in most cases is made even sweeter by accompanying certification, direct access to OEM parts at a significant discount, and roving factory technical reps ready at a moment's notice to step in with help. Unfortunately, some of these benefits can be two-edged and become liabilities. Official data can be skewed in the OEM's favor rather than be forthright, or purposely limited, for example, and in fact almost always is. And dealer techs tend to see only newer machines, and not a vary wide range of vehicle types, resulting in a limited exposure to common vehicle issues and less real world understanding of powersports technology. Independents on the other hand often benefit from a wider service experience, are free from OEM politics, don't suffer from warranty's hassles, economic drain and effect on customer confidence, but they also can't get parts easily, are behind the curve on new information and special tools, and don't have the dealer's access to real-time technical help. So there is good and bad on both sides.