Originally Posted by der_saeufer
I don't know what kind of dealerships you go to, but my experience with Japanese-brand dealers here in California is that the majority have almost no parts in stock and lengthy waiting lists for service at hourly rates similar to the BMW dealer.
I have literally *never* bought parts for any of my Japanese bikes at a dealer--the answer is always the same "we can order it and have it next week", well guess what, so can I, for less money. It's not as if KLRs are a rare bike only made for a couple years; one would think that common parts would be in stock.
My old local BMW dealer (A&S), on the other hand, while they were very proud of their bikes and their techs' time, had literally everything in stock or available next day, and prices were within 5% of what I could order parts for. I bought almost every part I needed from them when I had a BMW, including valve shims for my "K75", which are currently under the cams in my KLR after SIX Kawi dealers couldn't come up with them. It's cool, they were way cheaper from BMW anyway.
Also, tires... none of the dealers around Sac would mount tires they didn't sell, and the markup was obscene if they even carried the tire I wanted. I bought some spoons and I just do them myself now.
I agree. Dealers should be able to provide customer service and parts. If not, then they need to find another line of work. I owe absolutely nothing to the dealers who screw people on bike purchases and then fail pursue the maintenance of those bikes. If better dealers (who sell online) garner the market share, then so be it. I'll be damned if I ever have to physically drive to a dealer again, provide them the part number and then drive back days later to pay a premium for something I did all the homework on.
Furthermore... I'm pissed a greedy dealers who drive up sales prices and fees. This hurts both the consumers and the manufacturers as it reduces the market share and makes it harder for companies to provide new/innovative products. Hard working engineers and manufactures are penalized because of fat, lazy american salesman.