Friendly, Observant Dealer Staff - Page 4 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #31 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-13-2008, 10:15 PM
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I know I have said this before (somewhere), but……the Honda Dealer here, has been outstanding. No they do not have every single part there is for every single Honda ever made. They do, however, bend over backwards to help me get something. I do my own research so it is easier for them. A lot of times I come up with something they have not heard of. All that means is the next guy that comes in will have a few more choices.

There are many challenges, in this state, for Dealers (among others). For one thing, they get taxed for their inventory at the end of the year. Hardly conducive to keeping stock long term. I have talked with other types of venders, who told me it is more cost effective to keep their inventory in Oregon (or Idaho) and have 18 wheelers run up and down the interstates with daily orders….even the way fuel prices are (or were). There are distributors that require them to keep a specific amount of their product in stock to get any kind of deal. I am not a business owner, but I am sure there is more.

HD has it easy. They only sell one type of bike. True there are many variations, but it is still the same basic machine. So this is all an HD mechanic has to know. Their parts only come from one place – HD. Even at that, I haven’t found one dealer that will work on an old shove head! IMO, comparing HD dealers to Honda dealers is apples and oranges.

The Honda Dealer, here, will work on any motorcycle Honda made. However, consider what Honda dealers sell (here anyway). A huge variety of motorcycles and ATV’s. The type of service staff required is way different than HD. And of course, this is all expected to be delivered for next to nothing.

Parts? Think of all the machines Honda has put on the market, over the years. To expect some youngster to know all this stuff, is setting the bar to high. This is a job for an ‘old timer’. They are hard to find, that can work for what is being paid.

Before you say it, I am not one of the ‘have mores’. I have been blue collar all my life. Getting a break and hunting for ‘the deal’ is something I have always done. I must confess that I try to keep my money local. So I may be jaded on something’s.

There are more HD’s on the road than GoldWings. So it is logical they are catered too more. When you hear ‘HD’, you have a clear picture (good or bad) in your mind. When you hear Honda, not so clear. When folks look at my GW, it is usually ‘that is a beautiful motorcycle…..what is it?’ Face it, ‘we’ are the underdog.

What is needed are GoldWing Dealers. There aren’t any. The GW is just a part of the larger Honda family. An expensive one at that. There are good Honda Dealers. When one is found, it should be supported. I rode HD for 30 years. Never did I entertain the thought I would sticking up for Honda……but there it is.
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post #32 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-14-2008, 10:06 AM
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Well I have been to the local Honda shop at least three times this past week.

I wanted a clutch switch for a bike-2005 GL1800, they did not have it.
I wanted some new lug nuts for a rear wheel, they did not have any.
I wanted a set of NKG plugs for the GL1800, they did not have any.

I run a plumbing business and have people who count on me, so I keep things like water heaters and parts on hand.

What I see with most dealers is just mass confusion, and employees talking on the cell phone taking personal calls when they should be serving the customer. I have had them stop in the middle of helping me, and take a personal call.

One day I will have a shop that sells and services the Wings only. But for now until the economy picks up that has been put on hold for a bit.

It is all just common sense. Someone is alongside the road, and has a cut tire, so they hitch a ride or get to town and show up at your shop and you say, well sir we had a tire like that last week, we can order you one:P:P:P:P:P:P:P GEE!!

That is the norm not the out of the ordinary.


The 1800 is my bike. The very best motorcycle ever made. I was enthralled with my first test ride on this machine. It is a great bike. A crotch rocket with storage bags.............As for oil I use the slick kind, and I like round tires, but as of late I have found square ones work best on the rear. Pirelli Eufori 195/55/16 @ 32 PSI
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post #33 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-14-2008, 11:41 AM
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Kit -

I don’t disagree with you. For what ever reason, motorcycles don’t have the support service cars do. You can bet, however, there are a lot more hot water heaters ‘out there’ than there are Gold Wings.

I don’t need to go to a dealer for tires or plugs for the Jeep. There are other places to get them. Even so, when the main seal went out on the Jeep I had to get it shipped down from the dealer, in Tacoma. The one here didn’t have it. No the dealer was not doing the work.

I too, would like to see more of the most commonly need Gold Wing parts ‘on the shelf’ at Honda motorcycle dealers. I asked the dealer, here, why they don’t have anything. The answer, I got, was their ‘bread and butter’ is dirt bikes and ATV’s. So, that is who they cater too. Right now, the scooter market is taking off. The demand is so great, Honda can’t keep up with it. So they have started selling small Chinese made scooters. Probably don’t have any parts for that either.

I’ve run into the same thing with firearms. Loose some stinking little spring or pin and you screwed. So I got in the habit of keeping spare part for all my fire arms. There have been a few times gunsmiths, I know, have called me looking for a part they have needed.

Like it or not, for the most part, we have evolved into and ‘on demand’ society. The days of warehouses, closely located, full of parts and products are long gone. Everything is ordered on demand. Usually from some distributor that is nothing more than an internet conduit for over seas manufactures. All the machine shops, I used to get my engines worked on, are gone too. Everything is ‘throw away’ now. Rebuilding something and keeping it for a long time, has become a thing of the past.

I’ve done a little looking around, on the internet. The only parts I have come up with, for the GL1800, are ‘bolt on goodies’. You know cup holders, chrome parts, heated seats, GPS, sound systems, blah blah blah…… There are tires (please not tire debate!), not much more.

If you were in my AO (or other way around) I’d be one of your steady customers. That is the solution, GoldWing stores/shops. I don’t see this happening anytime soon though.
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post #34 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-24-2008, 11:25 AM
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It is hard to justify $20K+ for a bike yo only ride a few months a year but down here in florida I see lots of Wings. I agree with the service, we have two local dealers, Champions who has the we want to help you pretty much down pat with lots of smiles or going over to the dark side there is House of Power (aka Cons) where to get anything done for a reasonalble price you either have to get in someones face and scream bloody murder or take your bike to ACS anther repair shop. Calling Honda does no good, they are hopeless. All in all, I love my wing, and would not give it up, I just bought the Handa repair manual and do it all myself.

Rich A.
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post #35 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Can't believe a rant can go on so long. In August 07 I complained about the dealer woes and it's only got worse. Since last Tuesday I've been calling the dealer to order parts. I even have part #'s to boot. Twice a day I got the parts answering machine and no call backs. Finally yesterday, after the same rigmarole i asked for the store manager. He answered politely and after listening to me he agreed and put me on hold to go to the parts dept and get them to take my order. After 2-3 minutes the parts answering machine came on. Call the manager back and now got his machine on that he was away for the day and call back tomorrow. What the hell. Closed up shop early and rode the bike over to personally order the parts. Got there and two morons behind the parts counter are laughing about there long weekend adventures while the phone rang twice and went to to answer machine. After banging my fist on the counter to let them acknowledge that I exist I lost it and gave them a piece of my mind. Long and behold one of the idiots was a manager. Got my parts ordered and told them I will be back tomorrow afternoon to pick them up. The one idiot then asked me if I would like to receive a phone call when the parts arrived. I had to laugh and just walked out smiling and pointing my finger at him. Think he got the message....not... Sorry rant over, back to work. Tony

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post #36 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 01:37 PM
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It would be cool if anyone with pull enough to talk with Japanese Honda CEO's could pursuade them to read some of our concern's, maybe then they would see that American's still love there Bikes but view the MGT. and business'es at a lower plane, may'be they should pay the staff better, something has to be done on all levels so we the owners of older machines can keep riding just has safely has owners of new machines!
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