What the mechanic at the dealership said to me
Stopped at multi-dealership in Pikeville Kentucky some years ago. 3PM friday afternoon. Bike was running rough.
Me: Bike is running rough and I'm several states from home.
Them: We will be happy to take a look but we only have two mechanics on duty right now.
Me: I'll wait
A bit later:
Them: We don't have the service manual for your bike. We sold our shop manual to a guy who needed one right now and our new one hasn't come in yet.
Me: I have one here.
Them: Great, roll it in and let's start looking.
Me: It has never had the valves adjusted and has 10,000 miles. Book says check valves (bucket and shim type) every 7,500 miles.
Them: Probably not the valve clearance. With a Kawasaki you can usually go 30,000 miles before you need to replace the shims but we will be happy to take a look. Did you buy gas from XXXXX stations? They are known to sell bad gas".
Me: I don't remember, rather be safe than sorry, still have two weeks of vacation and want to ride
Me: I can start the disassembly process.
Them: OK, lets get it up on the forklift and strap it down so it doesn't fall.
Me working in their shop with my tools and my book and no question about "insurance requirements".
Them: All the clearances are fine. You don't need any new parts. You could use a new air cleaner but it can wait a while if you want.
Me: I'll take it
Bike all back together.
I overhear the service manager/mechanic talking to the owner:
Mechanic/Service Manager: "Well, he did most of the work with his tools and his manual. I don't see how we can really charge him much at all. Hell, we should hire him. "
Owner: "Well he was in for 4 hours and I have to pay you guys overtime (remember Friday night). Charge him for the air cleaner and one hour of labor. That will make us all even and everyone wins".
Mechanic/Service Manger: "Mr. XXX, that will be $$$$$". Oh and BTW, since you asked there is a good clean reasonable priced motel just up here (instructions provided). Places to eat right there too.
I really wish I could remember the name of the place but it wasn't far from a Motel 8 and Pikeville Ky just can't be that big. Scored another great servce deal at a Kawasaki dealership in Hazard KY (yes, there is such a place) on the return leg. Helpful and didn't try to rape me on price. Even gave me a free dealership T shirt and all the staff signed it. They had a new (several years old by then) W650 and were still listing it at original MSRP. I talked with the owner about that one. He said it had never even had the battery charged and was brand new and he was selling it but wasn't giving it away. Still wish I had had the money then to buy that one.\
So.......... There really are some good honest people out there still trying to make a living and not a killing. There are also those who only want the big $$ deals. Shop wisely. Caveat Emptor
And ride safe.