First service – HOSED
May 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm #2815
I just got a call from the shop I brought my bike to for it’s first scheduled service.
I was more than a little suprised that they told me the total comes to $211. Seeing as the first schedule service is at only 600 miles, I can’t think of anything that the bike would require service wise other than an oil change and a little lube here and there.
Can anyone think of any reason I shouldn’t call schenanigans on this when I pick up the bike tonight? For the cost I could buy some stands and the oil to do it myself for the next few times.May 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm #18385
I would have to call them right now and ask them exactly what are they charging you for and what did they do to the bike. Then go from there.May 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm #18386
#1 parts , never really the bulk of the cost
#2 Labor… .usually 80% of the cost, however don’t get pissed at the mechanic… he only gets at most 10% of what your getting charged and that’s on the high side of the pay scale.
#3 Specialty ….. motorcycles are considered specialty shops. That’s all they deal with and specialize in. Same reason you pay almost a standard of $100 when walking in a tat parlor… or the $200 just walk in an emergency room. Though with motorcycles you have the benefit of learning what to do and cutting that cost.
Make sure when you pick it up to get your moneys worth. Ask them what they did…ask them if they checked the torque on the bolts as most first services recommend. Ask them if they checked the tension on the chain/belt. Wear them out with question…just please make them thoughtful intelligent questions.
I am an auto mechanic and people always look at me like I am a thief or trying to get one over on them. If you understood the pay scale there would be a very different opinion of who is trying to get one over on ya.May 12, 2009 at 6:02 pm #18395
I did speak with them and they did list off that in addition to the oil change, they cleaned and lubed the chain, lubed the throttle cable, checked the tire pressure, and retorqued a number of bolts. At a listed labor price of $70 an hour, I was just left to question if that was fair or not.
I do understand first hand working in a specialty field that charges a premium and only passes along a minor portion to the person that the performs the majority of the labor. As an EMS (Energy Management System, not Eastern Mountain Sports) systems engineer I get contracted out to a company at a cost of 25-45k a week, yet somehow only bring home 60k a year. I’m sure the carpenter that works on a million dollar house would love to have his fair share of the profits, but of course doesn’t. If farmers saw the $2 and change you pay for a gallon of milk they would all be billionaires. This is capitalism, and I didn’t invent it, I just live with it.
No one is calling you a theif, so don’t get sensitive on me (this is a biker forum isn’t it?). However there is a contingent among your profession with a dubious reputation which leave the rest of us to question their scruples. This is why many people will take their car to a different shops to get a second opinion before major service, and why many insurance companies require that you get more than one quote before they will authorize a claim to be paid. This is to make sure that one shop isn’t taking unfair advantage of the customers ignorance on the subject.
P.S. The $200 you pay at the emergency room is primarily the fault of HMOs. Blame them for lobbying against nationalized health care or health care regulation under the argument that it would reduce the standard level of care, and thus why the US is ranked 37th in the world for health care by the World Health Organization, just behind Costa Rica.
http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.htmlMay 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm #18398
hehe…me …sensitive….nah I was only offering a break down of charges. I wasn’t accusing you or anybody on this site of such a thing as that. However for the ones we don’t know… I try to entail a little more information then necessary before the fingers get pointed.May 12, 2009 at 6:15 pm #18399
Me? Point fingers? Nahhhhh.
“I find that waving the gun around pretty much gets the same job done!” -Dennis Leary-May 12, 2009 at 6:21 pm #18400
yea…. thats why I also suggested asking questions…it serves purposes. A professional and helpful tech/mechanic is all to willing to help….it saves him from guessing at your problems later. Another one is that it makes the shady ones uncomfortable having to answer questions as you might hit one that will show his ignorance. Another is to make YOU an informed customer. I get a thrill every time a customer asks me something. I encourage it. I tell all my customers that if you don’t understand ask them to show you. There is nothing stopping them from taking you behind the “Big Curtain” and pointing things out and explaining how it works or should.May 12, 2009 at 6:32 pm #18403
Maybe take your bike for service in Russia and see what kind of service you get?
If it’s too expensive, work on it yourself. Why pay a dealership who pays rent on a building, employs skilled workers, pays property tax, income tax, matches taxes on their paychecks, maintains inventory, pays tax on that along with utilities and taxes on those as well. It’s certainly cheap to maintain a place of business isn’t it? How dare those evil owners not pay their techs $60/hr out of the $70.
If $2.50 a gallon of milk is too much for the production, refining, packaging, and transportation of the milk to your local grocery store, than get your own cow. I’m not sure what the problem is?May 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm #18406
I do understand the cost of running a brick and morter Zig. That being said, it still isn’t a reason for people not to question what they are paying for. I refuse to line someone’s pockets just because they ask me to.
Walk into a dealership and pay MSRP if you want to, but I’m not about to go for it.May 12, 2009 at 7:28 pm #18408
ermm $60 an hour out of $70….. IF you ever see that… I want company name and relocation addy
You can bet on average the labor rate is 2x what the highest paid tech is getting. The lead tech at my shop is getting less then that. National average automotive labor rate is about $90 an hour… depending on locale… highest paid techs…maybe $24 an hour. $30 if you’ve been in a long time and work for a dealer.
Oh and never mind we only get paid a flat rate… so take an oil change… you get .3 hours… thats three tenths! Alignments… well the hot rocks company pays 1.2 hours for that…flat rate no matter condition of vehicle. They charge you $70 give or take depending on specials… and theres no materials involved…
I like your optimistic view though… could you call my boss and convince him of it?May 12, 2009 at 8:51 pm #18410
I don’t dispute asking what you were charged for if you are unclear. Perhaps they should’ve also been more up front on what a 600 mile service goes for to being with as well.
I just wanted to make the point that there is a whole heck of a lot more that goes into an hourly rate than what the tech sees in his paycheck. It’s not the fault of capitalism, but of an overbearing tax and regulation system. Cut out all the matching payroll taxes, workers comp & unemployment insurance, property, income taxes and such and imagine how much money they could pay their employees then or even discount their products and services!
Just throwin’ out a different perspective…May 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm #18417
Clean and lube chain — 10 minutes.
Lube cables — 5 minutes.
Tire pressure — 3 minutes. Maybe 4 if they’re using a hand pump.
Retorquing bolts… 15 minutes if they check pretty much every one that’s visible.
That must have been one complicated oil change.May 13, 2009 at 12:35 am #18422
lol…have to look at bill to see what they charge for each individual service.May 13, 2009 at 2:43 am #18425
It’ll be based on what some book says it’s supposed to take, and they charge that amount (and take, at most, half the actual time).May 13, 2009 at 3:17 am #18428
True, but cut out the taxes and we would all have to ride enduros because there would be no paved roads Could be fun…
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