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800 S. Francisco St.
Mission, TX

Our website is all about motorcycles, especially BMW cycles. We cover rides in the Southwest and Mexico, motorcycle modifications and review motorcycle products. 


Harley Davidson Service Woes!

Ricardo Perez

My 2008 HD Ultra Classic
My dad was a mechanic so naturally we grew up around cars and servicing vehicles.  One of my dad's cardinal rule was never buy a car that rolled off the assembly line on a Monday or Friday. That was back in the day when we would typically special order the car you wanted. Another "rule" that I've learned along the way is to never take your vehicle in for service right before any holiday. Well, I violated one of my cardinal rules and took my Harley Ultra Classic in for a new rear tire.
I dropped the bike off on Wednesday afternoon, December 28th. I use Metzelers and made sure they noted that. The Serviceman recommended doing the 40K service since I was approximately 1,200 miles short of the 40,000 mile service interval. So I said sure, and while he was at it he might as well do the state inspection, put the nostalgic type grips on, replace the brake fluid cover since it was leaking, a warranty issue, and either fix my battery operated oil dip stick which went south soon after I bought it, or replace it with the stock item.
He said that the bike would probably be ready by Thursday afternoon. I called on Friday morning asked if bike was ready and was told, "yep" just finishing it up now. Of course, we all know that's code for, "he hasn't started yet".  So I said I'd pick it up before their 6pm closing time. While I was on the phone he mentioned that everything was okay except the nostalgic grips were not available for the TBW (throttle by wire) bikes. I politely mentioned that I had asked the service guy if those were compatible with the TBW bike and, of course, he had said they were.
My wife drops me off at about 3:30pm and the guy at the counter asks me if I had already paid for the tire as he's tallying up my invoice. I hadn't paid for it and said so, adding that it must be a New Year's complimentary item. He says well it's not on the invoice expecting me to understand what that means. He then starts a phone conversation with someone back in the Parts Department and after a while finally decides to go look at the bike. When he returns he says that they hadn't put the tire on. I just dejectedly say, "that's the only reason I brought the bike in for".  He wondered out-loud if it could be done before 6pm as he looked at the serviceman that worked on my bike. He got one of those blank stares that says, sure it can be done by 6pm but what fool do you think is gonna do it. In reality, he never spoke. After another longer wait the counter guy tells me that the Metzeler is not in stock and it would take a week for it to come in. By this time I'm trying not to be an SOB just two days before New Year's Eve so I just tell the guy to get my bike because I wasn't wanting to leave it for more than a week. I really wanted to ask why they didn't check to see if the tire was in stock when I dropped it off, but figured that would only frustrate me even more so I didn't ask the obvious.
By the time I get home I notice that they didn't fix or replace the brake fluid cap as was on the work order or the dipstick. So then for the "coup de grace" I decided to look at the state inspection sticker, you guessed it, no new sticker.
Like Timmy said in the movie "Sandlot", 'I blame myself for underestimating the beast and going about this all wrong'. 
Of course, I didn't get out of there without paying about $440 for the 40K Service. Now the constant question that gnaws at me is, 'what are the odds of they actually doing what's on the checklist for the 40K service?' Gotta admit that the odds are heavily tilted towards the 'no way' side. 
Now I must admit that I'm just letting off steam; all in all my dealer is good and I must admit that they, especially the Service Manager has gone out of his way to make things right and I'm sure this won't be an exception.  Let's just chalk it up to holiday blues and better days will come my poor bike's way.  Anyway, Happy New Year!

20,000 and 40,000 Mile Maintenance
change oil and filter
clean magnetic drain plug change primary chain case fluid
clean magnetic drain plug change transmission lubricant,
clean magnetic drain plug lubricate the following:
front brake lever, throttle & cables, speedometer cable, clutch control cable and lever, jiffy stand, tour pack and saddlebag hinges and latches, shift lever, brake pedal, steering head fittings pivot shaft service and re-torque - flh - flt - fxr inspect and lubricate detachable windshield bushings inspect air cleaner, service as needed
test battery voltage & charging system output tighten battery connections, 
check electrolyte on wet cells check lighting & horn for proper operation check and adjust primary drive chain
check and adjust clutch and cable freeplay inspect engine stabilizers and mounts inspect fuel valve, lines and fittings for leaks 
clean tappet screen on big twin evo models 
replace spark plugs
check and re-torque critical fasteners 
inspect tires, tread depth & adjust pressure check wheels, 
inspect brake pads and discs for wear check and adjust rear belt check shock absorbers check air suspension for pressure and operation inspect oil and brake lines and fittings for leaks inspect brake fluid level and condition check engine idle speed and adjust as necessary check & adjust operation of throttle and enricher check ignition timing & vacuum hose on carbed evo big twin check cruise control operation
replace fuel injection filter
road test