We sometimes cover low volume motorcycles here like the Ural which have a surprisingly strong following in this country. Urals attract a very hands on type of owner, which is a good thing since dealers tend to be few and far between. We have also discussed the coming of Chinese motorcycles, the high volume low price machines that will be showing up in ever greater numbers. A few urge caution because without any established dealer network, their reputation of low quality might give a person pause before paying even a low price. What good is a great price if you can’t get spare parts or dealer service?
Lately, though, we’ve been hearing stories about some of the more well known brands giving dealers and their customers the run around when it comes to parts availability for normal repairs and dealer reimbursement for warranty service. Although their advertisements make it appear as though they have a full U.S. presence, some dealers and customers would argue otherwise. This isn’t good.
With some of the buying, selling and consolidation among motorcycle brands, you have to be sure the after sale support will be there once you’ve paid for your new motorcycle. If manufacturers burn their dealer network too many times, they may find the dealers reluctant to carry their products or service them.
If you’re a capable owner with the skills necessary and access to parts, you can perform much of your own work but warranty issues could still be a problem.
We’re going to investigate this issue in more depth, but in the meantime, if you have any examples of this happening, whether you are a customer or a dealer, let us know. A little light on this problem could be a good thing.