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BIKELAND > FORUMS > DESMOSUPERBIKES.com > Thread: Keeping them Honest- 1098 Maintenance Costs Exposed what you don't know will cost you NEW TOPIC NEW POLL POST REPLY
Editor


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posted April 14, 2007 09:08 PM        Edited By: admin on 3 Jul 2011 23:43
Keeping them Honest- 1098 Maintenance Costs Exposed what you don't know will cost you

At Bikeland and 1098Desmo.com we're always looking out for your best interests. When we heard that Ducati North America (DNA) had improved their manufacturing tolerances we were excited... excited to hear the their bikes previously renowned to require a lot of service now needed up to 50% less service. With lower MSRPs and 50% less maintenance, DNA is hoping to convert Sportbike riders who frequent the Big Four and get them riding Red.

How does this translate to the real world? In December 2006, Ducati sent a bulletin to its dealer network outlining the new, lower service costs for their motorcycles - costs which go hand in hand with DNA's marketing campaign highlighting lower maintenance as a major selling feature of their products.

Click here to download this article in printer friendly PDF format complete with photos

The introduction of the bulletin reads:

"Dear Service Manager,

This is to inform you that Ducati Motor Holding has changed the service maintenance program starting with the MY 2007 production motorcycles. All 2007 Maintenance Schedules will be posted online at www.ducatiusa.com in the Dealer Only area under MRP/Service.

There appears to be some confusion regarding the service intervals on all MY 2007 models. Ducati Motor Holding has extended by 25% the maintenance service intervals giving us an opportunity to change the customer perception that our product is "high maintenance". In order to achieve such goal it is very important that all Ducati dealers will cooperate by applying to all 2007 customers the lower maintenance cost recommended by the factory.

Ducati North America is expecting some variability in what the dealers are charging for scheduled maintenance based on individual labor rates, but in order to change the customers perception of high maintenance it is very important that all dealers will follow the factory guide lines that is reflecting a substantial reduction in parts and labor cost from the MY 2006 services."

Ducati's marketing material contains this bold statement:

"50% less maintenance cost on every 2007 Ducati

We are proud to announce that all 2007 Ducati models require less frequent service, fewer parts and less labour during each service and, as a result, greatly reduced scheduled maintenance costs - by as much as 50%. Reducing the cost of service when you visit your Ducati Dealer for maintenance is one way to measure the new quality of Ducati. It also contributes immensely to making the Ducati ownership experience as satisfying as the Ducati riding experience. Research and development is the number one investment at the Ducati factory. This investment in performance and quality includes our factory processes, machinery and the people who build each Ducati. By 'engineering-in' quality through design, materials and testing, every Ducati owner will enjoy significant and quantifiable improvements in every Ducati motorcycle. To a rider, the best measure of quality is the riding experience. You can feel a new smoothness to the legendary Ducati L-Twin, a more progressive nature to the powerful brakes and more confident road holding in every turn. Reliability and quality - one ride is all the proof you will need.

50% less - 100% Ducati.
Standard equipment in every 2007 model."



Fast forward to April of 2007. The 1098's have hit the roads and pretty soon it will be service time. We just took delivery of our long term 1098 test unit but it's raining out so we had an afternoon to kill. We cleared off our desks and sat down with pen in hand to find out just how much a first service would cost Joe Average.

DNA specifies one hour for the first service on their new flagship bike... gone is the expensive and time-consuming belt adjustment. According to the maintenance bulletin, for its first stop in the shop Ducati says the 1098 requires an oil & filter change, a chain adjustment and a check of the brake and clutch fluid. The dealer is to road test the bike. Total parts required - oil, filter and the crush washer for the drain plug, and one hour's labor for a maximum 1st service cost of $144.38 set by Ducati (with a small margin allowed for varying labor rates).

Starting with Skagit Powersports, nine times in the Dealer News Top 100. The service department of Skagit Powersports told us that it would be $245 labor plus parts charges. When we asked if they were aware that DNA only required a simple oil change, they became extremely upset and told us that they weren't "ripping people off", then they hung up on us.

When we called Skagit back to inform them that they had been part of a price checking test, their attitude suddenly changed. Later in the day they emailed us and told us that after our call, they checked the rates and determined that we were correct, and it really did take one hour. They went on to defend themselves by claiming that their service agent didn't have access to the book when he gave the quote. It sure seemed like he knew what he was talking about when he was yelling at us telling us we were wrong!

Jim from Skagit Powersports told Bikeland that it was difficult for them to be aware of the actual maintenance costs since they "carry nine different brands of motorcycles, quads, and water craft. So there is no way to remember them all".

Maybe Jim should take a walk into his showroom and look at all those Ducati brochures they have clearly stating 50% less service is required on the 2007 product.

Heading into Oregon, we found our first two honest Ducati dealers... random calls to Salem Ducati and Bend Euro Moto were impressive. Both dealers flat out told us that the first service was only one hour - that the only parts required were oil, filter and the washer, and proudly promoted the fact that Ducati's now required far less service than before!

The call to Dunbar Euro-Sports in Massachusetts netted two quotes. The first quote was three to four hours... after being left on hold, they returned with their final answer of two hours. The two-hour quote included a fastener check and would cost $250. When we informed them that we knew about DNA's recommended one-hour service for this bike, the folk at Dunbar begrudgingly offered to do exactly what Ducati recommended they do.

Great Bay Motorcycles in New Hampshire told us that the 1098 required a belt tension check (not required by DNA) and it would cost us $80 per hour for three and a half hours of their time - plus materials.

Next on the list was Gengras Ducati in Connecticut where we find our third honest dealer. Gengras told us it would only take one hour for the service, pointed out that Ducati's now needed less service and were happy to inform us that the bike only required the oil change and anything else wrong with the bike (ie: loose steering bearings etc) would be covered under warranty.

New Jersey's Jack Trebour Motorcycles was close, but no cigar. They quoted us an hour and a half, telling us that the bike needed the clutch and the brakes to be bled.

In Florida, Florida Sports Cycle & Marine hit us up with the now apparently standard hour and a half charge - one hour for Ducati, add a half for the "vig".

We found another honest dealer in Tucson, Arizona - Renaissance Motorcycles. Bill diligently informs us that Ducati's now require less maintenance, and that the first service is only one hour! Bill from Renaissance tells us he quotes "by the book"... and he actually does! Imagine that!

Now we head over to California, and we find Modesto Ducati with a quote of one and a half hours for the first service, part of which includes clearing the "service" display from your dashboard... probably an extra half hour's worth of work in that, wouldn't you agree?

That's a bargain compared to Monterey Peninsula Sports.

Located only a short drive from Ducati North America's headquarters, Jeff from this dealership knows a lot more than the OEM does. He informs us that the 1098 needs a three and a half hour service. When the one hour recommended service is pointed out to him, Jeff tells us that the people he's talked to at Ducati service say "you should check the belts" and that waiting to check them until the recommended 7500 miles is "too long" and that the 1098's he's checked have had loose belts already.

When we again tell him that DNA recommends one hour, he told us "Ducati says one hour but the reality is it takes longer" - at least two hours for the minimum service he points out.

Is this an issue of honesty, price gouging or simply a lack of education on the part of Ducati dealers? We're not sure - but from a consumer's standpoint it doesn't really matter. It comes down to this: when you're marketed a vehicle that requires less maintenance as a selling feature and you're told so repeatedly in marketing campaigns, what on Earth would prompt the OEM's dealer network to work to the contrary of this?

From a consumer's standpoint you can only draw one of two conclusions:

1 - The OEM isn't being straight forward and a Ducati really does need more service than they claim (ie: the dealer knows better than the OEM)

2 - The Dealers want more of your money and they don't care if Ducati's require less service... they're going to charge you whatever they want... too bad for you.


Of the 13 dealers we contacted, only 4 of them charge what Ducati recommends you pay for servicing your 1098 and only 2 of them offered you a choice of how much service you wanted.

The four dealers that we surveyed who bill by the book are Bend Euro Moto, Salem Ducati, Gengras Ducati and Renaissance Motorcycles.

The two dealers we contacted who allow you to have either the recommended service, or pay for additional adjustments they felt necessary are Richmond Motorports and Dunbar Euro Sports, however (and this is a big however) they only offered this after they were asked.

If you don't know, you're on the hook for more.

Here's the deal as Bikeland sees it. When there's a disconnect as big as this between an OEM and their dealer network, there is a problem. Ducati has worked hard to build beautiful motorcycles, and they've hit the nail on the head with the 1098. It's sold out everywhere you go... Charging more than what is set out by the OEM is only going to cost the dealers business in the long run.

Bikeland contacted Ducati North America for comment. DNA states that they have worked very hard to get the message out that their bikes now require far less maintenance than before. (We agree... just look at their marketing material). Ducati tells us that if they find out about dealers price gouging on service or charging rates that don't match their scale, the dealers "will hear about it".

We want everyone to know that the information published in this article was done so with the full support and knowledge of DNA. They're on the consumer's side and want you to have all the information.


Click here to download this article in printer friendly PDF format complete with photos

Looking forward to servicing your 1098? Here are the DNA mandated shop charges inclusive of labour, but not including taxes

600 mile service - $144.38
7500 mile service - $ 256.88
15000 mile service - $ 362.20
After 7500 mile Valve service ("Service A") - $ 294.80
After 15000 mile Valve service ("Service B") - $366.30



Caveat emptor!

Source: Bikeland.org & 1098Desmo.com

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fish_antlers


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posted April 14, 2007 09:44 PM        
The dealers are defeating the entire "Low Maintenance" campaign... they're doing more harm than good
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aliveagain


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posted April 15, 2007 05:15 AM        
Love the sound of the bike! But I agree,that first impression is a lasting one and with the internet so mainstream,I would be pissed and start screaming to anyone willing to listen.I also wish you could have broken it down a little further by showing what they charge hourly and the cost of the filter and quart/litre of oil.
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fish_antlers


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posted April 15, 2007 07:00 AM        Edited By: fish_antlers on 15 Apr 2007 07:02
What kinda pisses me off is what's the point of a company re-engineering their engines to make them low maintenance, then marketing this and telling the public about it if the dealers are going to charge double or triple anyways?

Who really should be pissed (other than the consumers) is Ducati (and DNA) ... seems to me like they've gone to a whole bunch of work to make their products BETTER and now they have some greedy dealers screwing it all up for them
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WARBIRD


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posted April 15, 2007 09:33 AM        
Good job on the article fish.................
I am sitting here shaking my head in disbelief....

Quote:
"Here's the deal as Bikeland sees it. When there's a disconnect as big as this between an OEM and their dealer network, there is a problem."



Thats exactly right, and this kind of "get every penny you can from the customer" attitude is sickening. It hurts the motorcycle business in a major way..........and it's not confined to just the Ducati dealers you contacted either. I would say the results would have been the same no matter which brand you would have contacted.
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fish_antlers


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posted April 15, 2007 10:25 AM        
quote:
We want everyone to know that the information published in this article was done so with the full support and knowledge of DNA. They're on the consumer's side and want you to have all the information.


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mrcengr


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posted April 15, 2007 05:33 PM        
Great work Bikeland, but why, when you were in New Hampshipre, didn't you speak with one of the top 3 Ducati shop's in America, BCM Motosports ??????

Again........great work......but wake-up.

Mike Cecchini
Bethesda, Maryland

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Editor


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posted April 15, 2007 05:54 PM        Edited By: Editor on 15 Apr 2007 17:55
quote:
Great work Bikeland, but why, when you were in New Hampshipre, didn't you speak with one of the top 3 Ducati shop's in America, BCM Motosports ??????

Again........great work......but wake-up.

Mike Cecchini
Bethesda, Maryland


Mike,

Thanks for your comments. Please note that the calls were placed at random to Ducati dealers listed by DNA in the dealer network guide. There was no preference given to any dealers suggesting any were better or worse. Simply a random selection of 13 dealers across the country.



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mrcengr


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posted April 15, 2007 06:05 PM        
Ok.........and understood.
Sometimes random works...... and sometimes it dosen't.

Thanks for exposing those who are just in it for the $$$. We need L-O-T-S more of this in America.

Thank you,

Mike

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Editor


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posted April 15, 2007 06:19 PM        
quote:
Ok.........and understood.
Sometimes random works...... and sometimes it dosen't.

Thanks for exposing those who are just in it for the $$$. We need L-O-T-S more of this in America.

Thank you,

Mike


Thanks again for your comments. We've editted the article to clarify that the dealers were selected at random.

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Rich Miller


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posted April 15, 2007 08:55 PM        
Let me give the Salem Oregon shop some props. Not only did I pay MSRP with no set up or freight for my S, they threw in license and title! 1st service? 1 hour and a total bill of $114.00 I've heard really nice things about the Bend shop too, but there's one further north in our state that I would watch closely.
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fish_antlers


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posted April 15, 2007 10:32 PM        Edited By: fish_antlers on 15 Apr 2007 22:35
We weren't so lucky with the frieght/PDI from Bend..... got stung for a grand total ...

Other 1098 owners wanna post up your experiences?

Where are ya all??? Yer all reading, but yer not responding....

Click here to create a free account and post a comment or start a topic! There are almost 8000 fellow riders contributing to this community!


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fish_antlers


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posted April 15, 2007 10:36 PM        Edited By: fish_antlers on 15 Apr 2007 22:37
Welcome aboard mrcengr! Glad to have ya! Make yerself at home!
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OddDuc


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posted April 16, 2007 07:39 AM        
I linked your report to 1098-forum. Many are going to have talks with their dealers. They were charged for several hours and much more money.

Most have been charged shipping and setup fees. One in excess, something like $2800. Someone said they walked from a deal where the dealer was doing 'market price adjustment'. I've never understood why shipping and prep should be an extra charge anyway. It should be part of the overhead in the retail price. I mean, if the dealers don't have bikes shipped to them, nor set them up, they have nothing to sell but a picture. Much like how gratuities at restaurant are now expected, because they are payed to little it has to make up their pay. It seases to be a gratuity and becomes suplimental income to the restaurant owner.
Another thing that varies all over the place, paperwork fees. Anywhere from 25 to 200 dollars I've seen claimed.

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fish_antlers


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posted April 16, 2007 08:02 AM        
Welcome aboard OD
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dougmeyer


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posted April 18, 2007 04:13 AM        Edited By: dougmeyer on 18 Apr 2007 04:19
Many may know that I was a Kawasaki dealer for 11 years. I was very active in the dealer community and the topic of after sales charges was often discussed. The root of these charges really goes to overall dealership profitability, and ultimately, viability. Every customer wants a large discount, but the money has to come from somewhere. If a dealership is required (or chooses) to sell their bikes for highly discounted prices to get them out the door, they simply must find the money somewhere to stay alive. So, instead of selling for list they sell them for "100 over" and tack $500-$800 on the back end to pay the help and rent. Dealers ARE charged for the freight. They DO incure labor costs for set-up. These costs used to be pretty high and there has always been some justification to recover those costs, but bikes (especially the 1098) are coming to the dealer more fully assembled, so in my opinion there is no justification for large PDI costs. I would (and did) feel comfortable paying for two shop hours of labor to do my bike. After seeing how complete the bike came, that was probabaly an hour too high. Freight charges are probably higher than at anytime in history due to "fuel surcharges" (the freight company's version of "set-up").
Some dealers use "set up services" that pick up their bikes, store them, uncrate them, assemble them, and deliver them. They do everthing but fluids and start up. Of course, they do charge for this service and like anything a well run business sells, those charges will be marked up some and pass it along. Again, if the bike is discounted, the dealer must get the profit somewhere if they are to stay in business.
Here's the Big But.
If the bike is sold at MSRP these after sale charges COULD be absorbed, and I feel there may be justification for a small reimbursement, on the order of a couple hundred dollars, but they certainly are not justified as an additional profit center.
Remember, for every bike like the 1098 that sells as full price (which is an very rare gift to a dealer) there ten that sell for a couple hundred dollars over cost.
The motorcycle business is a VERY low margin, tough business and the money has to come from somewhere if they are going to be there tomorrow.
Doug


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OddDuc


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posted April 18, 2007 07:09 AM        
I'm sure you can see where the add-on charges on the back end can leave people with the impression that they forgot to include a little ky. I know full well the customer pays for everything but packing more 'junk in the trunk' to make up for a lack of cup size on the front end bites. I'm sure the argument will be that the retail would have had to be 1k higher for that and the higher initial price would attract less customers. True, it would thin the herd, but that problem and argument is for dealers and DNA to hash out.
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worm~hole


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posted April 18, 2007 09:45 AM        Edited By: worm~hole on 18 Apr 2007 09:50
...Doug...are the dealer's "business expenses" part of the buyer's OTD equation?...in other words, do the fees that a dealer pays an out-sourced asssembly center's a tax write-offs for the cost of doing business?....I know its a weird question, but I had to ask, so please excuse my ignorance....I mean, some companies pay for signage and call it a write-off, sponsor a NASCAR and get good advertising and call it a write-off....is it like that?....why not just say the bike cost THE SAME x-amount at any dealership and make it so that the dealers are guaranteed a minimum profit and anything extra within the x-amount is on them?...that would make them shop for a better out-sourced labot, etc. ....in turn it would make out-sourced businesses more competitive for the dealer's dollar....
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dougmeyer


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posted April 18, 2007 07:06 PM        
Odd,
I think you may have misunderstood. I did not say that high "tack ons" were justified on the1098. I said the opposite because the bike can be sold at MSRP. It is only when the selling price needs to be reduced are tack ons at all understandable ( I did not say warranted, just understandable). There is no free anything in business and profit is not a dirty word, it is necessary to sustain any business. take it away and the business goes away OR it starts to cut costs in other undesireable ways to survive, such as wages and benefits to the employees, the quality of the physcal location, the overall enthusiasm to continue the business. The owner(s) must make a decent living to wish to continue. Of course there can be abuses, but simple economics cannot be ignored.
Worm,
The idea of "write -offs" is a commonly misunderstood one to those not running a business.
Here's a very simplified example: If a business takes in $1,000,000 selling stuff that it paid $900,000 for, it made a $100,000 profit. Taxes would be paid on that amount if there where no expenses or "write offs". But, if it cost the owners $500,000 to create the sales, by paying people, advertising, buying tools, paying rent, paying a set up company, etc. that $500,000 is "deductable" and he would only pay income taxes on the $400,000 remaining instead of the original 900. These are all "legitimate" expenses "written off". The unsavory connotation of "write offs" comes from something like the owner buying a new Ferrari and claiming it was a legitimate expense of the business, the payment becoming inllegitimate "write-offs".
Your example would make perfect sense except for one very strange, apparently unalterable fact. Motorcycles are a purchase in which the price is negotiated. Because of this fact, the dealer is never guaranteed a fair profit- he has to fight for it on each deal. Sometimes he loses sometimes he wins. For every cent you gain by getting a "deal" with a discount off MSRP on that Monster, some other guy (like me when I purchased my 1098) had to pay MSRP (or more) to even out the income necessary required for the dealer to stay in business and make a living. In my experience, it is very rare for motorcycle dealers to sell at a premium over MSRP, but there is absolutely no shame in selling for that amount plus a FAIR reimbursement for additional expenses like freight. It always amazed me that a customer never understood that when I reduced the price of a bike, say $100, it was EXACTLY THE SAME as if I was handing them a $100 bill. It's my choice of course, to do that or not,.
I paid MSRP and a fair freight and PDI because I wanted that bike and I wanted it now. It was my choice to do that. I could have waited a year until the prices softened a bit or there were some used ones on the market.
I would like to have a new Z06 Corvette, but they are still selling for $10,000 OVER MSRP. I choose NOT to pay that and will wait.
My choice- ain't Capitalism great?
Doug



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worm~hole


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posted April 19, 2007 03:37 AM        
...thanks for taking the time to explain it to me (us)
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stevewfl


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posted April 20, 2007 01:48 PM        
Its a great article. I'm sure word will spread quickly regarding the greedy dealers.

Dealing with most dealers makes me wanna' anyway.


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2010 Concours14
'08 R1 YAMAHA
ZX14 gone!
CBR600RR track bike

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ma2ra


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posted April 24, 2007 01:46 PM        
I do not have a 1098 but a Sport Classic PS1000LE. My question is if the 50% less is across all 2007 models I do not see a difference in the specs from the 2006 SC to the 2007 SC. So how is this possible?
At 6000 sched Maint on a 06 SC is so different from a 07 6000 Sched. Maint. Thats a bit confusing !!!
So the dealer has a free hand as to maint cost? I was looking for the DNA Mandated maint cost for 2006 but could not find it on Ducati.com
This article really shows the underbelly and hope that DNA is taking heed to this problem.
I put a call into DNA to ask them what the sched. Mandated maint should be and I am waiting for a call back.
JC

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ma2ra


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posted April 24, 2007 05:06 PM        
Just spoke to DNA.

BTW they know about this article and says it's not their position.
They said your list of mandated shop charges was not stated by them DNA wahtsoever

here is DNA's, on the phone persons, stance. They are reluctant to really answer any of the questions I had. They kept telling me to speak to the dealer.
Well each dealer has his own idea and pricing of what is right and wrong so you will get many many answers or the dealer may say for you to get in touch with DNA. So pass the buck here pass the buck there.
They do recommend to dealers a Service / shop time "Guide line" the one that is in this article was not given to this writer. They don't know how bikeland came upon and got these numbers and charges figures.
They said the dealer sets their own hourly rates and fees.
The minimum requirement is what is in the owners manual.
If the dealer feels that the bike needs more they can do as they feel is right for the bike.
Thye said there are some dealers that do abuse the situation so it's is my discretion to choose the right one.
As for the 06 07 issue.
The 07 DS motor has some better components and better quality things then the 06. I asked if they had a list of these better quality parts that is different and I was told to ask the dealer.
The default answer for most questions is.
Follow the manual that came with the bike
and
Ask your local dealer.
I thought the buck stops at DNA?
I guess not.
They denied pretty much everything this article said.
Where did bikeland get this info? DNA right? Well DNA -Gate is well on now.
JC

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fish_antlers


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posted April 24, 2007 05:31 PM        Edited By: fish_antlers on 24 Apr 2007 18:24
quote:
Just spoke to DNA.

BTW they know about this article and says it's not their position.
They said your list of mandated shop charges was not stated by them DNA wahtsoever

here is DNA's, on the phone persons, stance. They are reluctant to really answer any of the questions I had. They kept telling me to speak to the dealer.
Well each dealer has his own idea and pricing of what is right and wrong so you will get many many answers or the dealer may say for you to get in touch with DNA. So pass the buck here pass the buck there.
They do recommend to dealers a Service / shop time "Guide line" the one that is in this article was not given to this writer. They don't know how bikeland came upon and got these numbers and charges figures.
They said the dealer sets their own hourly rates and fees.
The minimum requirement is what is in the owners manual.
If the dealer feels that the bike needs more they can do as they feel is right for the bike.
Thye said there are some dealers that do abuse the situation so it's is my discretion to choose the right one.
As for the 06 07 issue.
The 07 DS motor has some better components and better quality things then the 06. I asked if they had a list of these better quality parts that is different and I was told to ask the dealer.
The default answer for most questions is.
Follow the manual that came with the bike
and
Ask your local dealer.
I thought the buck stops at DNA?
I guess not.
They denied pretty much everything this article said.
Where did bikeland get this info? DNA right? Well DNA -Gate is well on now.
JC




All of the facts are explicitly clear... there was no mistaking DNA's position when they spoke with Bikeland, nor was there any issue surrounding the facts and the fee schedule.

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dougmeyer


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posted April 25, 2007 06:48 AM        
You're both right, and here's why.
DNA can make statements about the bike and the technology, and make their recommendations to the dealers about service. BUT, they cannot tell the dealers what to do. The dealers are their customers and really very little more. The OE makes the product and as a wholesaler can choose who they sell their products to and at what price. They can set requirements to be an approved seller of their products, can elect to provide support to the dealer in the form of marketing and advertising. But the dealer is an independent businessman and he can elect to run any kind of shop he wants, short of commiting illegal acts.
It sounds to me that Fish heard their recommendations and stated them accurately, and DNA restated these RECOMMENDATIONS to ma2ra.
Doug

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