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Thread: Always double check the dealer!

  1. #1
    Member molson42's Avatar
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    Always double check the dealer!

    Ok, I usually do my own basic maintenance but almost always go to the dealer for the first service, trusting they'll check everything and make sure nothing is wrong.

    Well... after having to loosen my chain just a bit, because the dealer tightened the crap out of it, the "wax" pasty like lube they put on is beginning to wear off... revealing the chain is rusty. Now, the chain actually was beginning to rust when I dropped if off to the dealer and I specifically asked if they would clean and lube the chain, even though I brought it to them in poor condition. They of course said the would. Well it appears to me they only took a cloth and wiped it down and then gooped on whatever the crap it is they use for lube. I washed rooster this morning, cleaned & lubed the chain. I only wish I took a before picture.

    Has anyone else had this kind of crappy service from their selling dealer?

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    Senior Member Maxpower's Avatar
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    I would have no problem calling the service manager and letting him know you dont like to complain for the sake of complaining but you also don't like to be taken for a moron. Also if he isn't made aware he may not realize for a long tine that he has is employing a crappy mechanic. You might be saving someone else problems with a bike they trust to the dealer
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    The "wax pastey" stuff they put on is perfectly acceptable - "surface rust" is a fact of life, unless you regularly lube the chain. Unfortunately, the white pastey stuff doesn't immediately dissipate the rust, meaning the rust is still visible, rather than still being there and invading the links.

    Asking a dealer to "clean" the chain is quite frankly "insane" - as is the very notion itself. Your version of "clean" is never going going to match the dealers. I would recommend a "X" ring or "O" ring chain, and that you make no attempt to clean it other than to clear it of sand etc. Anything else it just going to chase the crap into the links.

    I apologise if this answer is not the one you were expecting, but sometimes, it just has to be said

    I applaud your intent, but sometimes the solution makes it worse ......
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  5. #4
    Member molson42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple View Post
    The "wax pastey" stuff they put on is perfectly acceptable - "surface rust" is a fact of life, unless you regularly lube the chain. Unfortunately, the white pastey stuff doesn't immediately dissipate the rust, meaning the rust is still visible, rather than still being there and invading the links.

    Asking a dealer to "clean" the chain is quite frankly "insane" - as is the very notion itself. Your version of "clean" is never going going to match the dealers. I would recommend a "X" ring or "O" ring chain, and that you make no attempt to clean it other than to clear it of sand etc. Anything else it just going to chase the crap into the links.

    I apologise if this answer is not the one you were expecting, but sometimes, it just has to be said

    I applaud your intent, but sometimes the solution makes it worse ......
    I get what you're saying and appreciate your candor. The fact that my chain was so tight (less than 1/4" slack) and then seeing what I saw under the wax lube just made me mad.

    I guess I expected they would clean the chain as in spray it with appropriate cleaner, scrub it down with a brush, wipe it down and then lube. The truth is this is the first chain I've owned in a long time and I guess I expected too much from the dealer.

    I will call them to let them know, however, that when some asks them about cleaning the chain, they really should explain what they'll do and what they won't do. Like you said, my definition of cleaning is apparently much different than theirs.

    I would respectfully disagree, though, that asking the dealer to clean the chain and expecting them to do a thorough job (when they tell me "yes we'll clean and lube your chain) is not insane. I've been in the same business for the past 25 years and when I tell a customer I'm going to clean their generator, as a part of the maintenance they're paying me to do, I don't have my technicians just rinse it off. We do a thorough job because word of mouth is the best advertisement.

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    Last edited by molson42; 10-06-2018 at 02:56 PM.
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  6. #5
    Member molson42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxpower View Post
    I would have no problem calling the service manager and letting him know you dont like to complain for the sake of complaining but you also don't like to be taken for a moron. Also if he isn't made aware he may not realize for a long tine that he has is employing a crappy mechanic. You might be saving someone else problems with a bike they trust to the dealer
    I will be calling them, for sure. I'd like to think that it's not a common occurrence but I'm sure it is. I do expect a lot when I'm paying a professional to do a job.

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    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
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    It has been said, if you want something done to your specs, you have to do it yourself.
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  8. #7
    Member molson42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plumbstraight View Post
    It has been said, if you want something done to your specs, you have to do it yourself.
    True story!

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    Senior Member TopPredator's Avatar
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    I won’t take any of my vehicles to a dealer unless I know the mechanic. I couldn’t imagine how much I would have spent having a dealer service my TWs I’ve learned to service my TWs from all the great members on this forum and it’s done right. Replace that damn OEM chain with an X or O ring chain now and save your OEM for an emergency replacement.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    I have to say you often get what you pay for with dealer services. How expensive was this service you had done at your selling dealer? Around here the dealers get between $75-$100 per hour for shop time spent on your bike. I suspect the chain service you requested and expected if done to your specific specs would have required removal of the chain and a good soaking in rust removal solvent plus a good brushing with a wire brush and then re installing it, for adjustment and lubing. Easily a good hour of shop time if done right so between $75-$100 for that part of this service alone.

    Face a couple facts here. The standard factory installed chain on a TW is just a basic inexpensive roller chain, nothing special at all and certainly not worth spending $75 on to get it cleaned and lubed. For $75 you can get a high quality X ring chain and just forget about it for a very long time.

    Shoddy workmanship from dealer service mechanics is a rather common occurrence in the MC world. More often than not the actual certified mechanics are working on real technical issues while a couple of lesser qualified Set Up guys are doing the menial work such as chain cleaning and adjusting. Call these guys, mechanics in training under some minor supervision of the real "certified mechanic". Your stock chain is subject to rust no matter how well it is maintained. It is subject to needing constant adjusting as it wears. Owning a motorcycle is a very expensive proposition if you plan to have it fully maintained by the dealer for any and all service and adjustments. DIY is the name of the game when you buy a MC and the only time it should require dealer service is when something truly does brake or go out of serious adjustment. If a little rust on any part of your new bike appears that you don't like then the guy to take care of this issue is you unless you have very deep pockets. Complaining to the dealer over such minor issues will likely not serve you well in future servicing issues as the dealer will consider you a unsatisfied complainer over minor issues. I will go out on a limb here and say that very few of the TWs owned by members here on this forum ever go to the dealer unless something serious does go wrong and then usually only if they are under the original warranty. If you don't own a wrench and know how to use it or have no mechanical understanding of MCs in general then a TW is not the bike for you. They do in fact require a pre flight check almost every time you toss a leg over the seat.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    I think your chain looks great. Your standards must be extremely high and there's nothing wrong with that just different from my point of view. I think potential crappy service from a dealer is something to watch for but not over a chain...which hopefully gets well used.
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