Hidden Maintenance Costs (Continued)
(continued from previous post)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
Source: Bikeland.org & 1098Desmo.com
The original post can be found at:
"I know that you believe that you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I meant"