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#970408 by SturgisSoundguy
Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:57 pm
Things I learned during this Rally:

Black Hills Harley DOES NOT ANSWER THEIR PHONES, they turn them off and you get a message that says 'We're too busy to talk to you". You can't ask them about anything so... Bear with me here.

First off I have never been a fan of Black Hills Harley since I bought my first Harley. They were "snooty" in 2003 and quoted me $2000 more for exact same 100% stock FXDWGI Wide Glide I bought elsewhere, I paid $18780 out the door, they wanted just over 10% more for the same bike, how nice. Gillette H-D wanted $3000 more, they at least told me "we probably won't see you for any service after the sale". They both did the same thing when we bought my wife's V-ROD in 2009, quoted significantly more than we found elsewhere and since we travel a lot we have easy options for finding H-D dealers that have customer service we like. Gillette H-D has not gotten one cent from me since, not even a t-shirt sale. Since 2003 my bike has been to B-H Harley exactly once, every other factory service has been at other dealers, the $6000 warrantied engine replacement was done at a dealer we liked, they appreciated the work. My wifes V-ROD has also only been there one time to B-H Harley, and they didn't fix the problem. Thankfully we have both bikes on the Harley ESP so it was only $50.

Fast forward to this years Rally. My brother Joe's V-ROD decided to not shift out of 1st gear in Deadwood. I rode home and got the van and breakdown trailer and hauled the bike to my place. That's when we tried to call B-H Harley and got ignored. I told Joe we had rescued a guy on a Geezer Glide a few years back in Wyoming and we got him to Gillette H-D with a fried clutch and broken shifter linkage and dropping him off at the end of the day (before the Rally) and he called us to let us know they got him fixed the next day by lunch. It was an Eagle Rider rental bike so maybe that's why.

We called Gillette H-D and blah, blah, busted tranny, blah, blah, and they said bring it by. We got up at 5:30am the next morning and hauled his V-ROD to Gillette and dropped it off when they opened. The shop guy signed it in, broken tranny, we went to breakfast, well donuts anyway :D 45 minutes later they call us and let us know his bike won't shift out of 1st gear. Gee we didn't know that, oh wait, we told them on the phone YESTERDAY and wrote that on the sheet when we dropped the bike off. They also kindly let Joe know they don't do major repairs during the Rally and couldn't even give him a quote on a total rebuild for his tranny. They could look into it further in about 9 days. Maybe they could have told Joe that when he called and told them his TRANNY was BROKEN and saved us the trip to Gillette and back.

We loaded his V-ROD back onto the trailer and hauled it home to Sturgis. We decided to take it down to B-H Harley and speak to someone in person in the service department. They wrote it up, "Tranny won't shift" and told him they could look at it today and get back to him, he okayed up to $3000 in repairs. They did look at it, they called and let him know they drained the tranny oil and there is metal in the oil. They also told him it was 10 HOURS to REMOVE the engine and trans, 10 HOURS to put it BACK IN, and then more time to actually fix it at $120 an hour shop time. Minimum $3600 plus more time/parts, and they don't have a guy factory trained on the V-ROD, they service guy told him they had never cracked the case on a V-ROD. Joe told them to put the tranny oil back in put the plug in it and we'd pick it up. Which we did.

The next day we are at Harley world at the Sturgis Community Center to test ride bikes. The H-D factory people there are all nice, they ask what we all ride, Joe explains about his V-ROD and tranny problem. The H-D factory guy Joe was talking to happened to have worked the V-ROD project/plant gets in the computer and looks up a V-ROD tranny job, 3.5 Hours to remove and replace, 7 hours to COMPLETELY rebuild with all new internals for the tranny job. HHHHhhhmmmm 10.5 hours for the entire job according to the H-D factory people... no price on all the parts.

He made a few calls and his V-ROD is going to a dealer in Salt Lake for the repair, $85 an hour shop time. He lives in northern Nevada halfway between Reno and Salt Lake.

To give B-H Harley credit for what they did right, they looked at it promptly, and they only charged him 1/2 an hour shop rate for draining the tranny oil to look at it and put it back in.

I saw a Road King at the Harley test rides I liked. When we buy our next bikes odds are 100% it will be somewhere else. Someplace they answer the phone when you call, and aren't too busy to let their local customers make regular service appointments during the Rally which Black Hills Harley DOESN'T, and give you straight answers the first time, and aren't "too busy to fix your major repair" when it needs repair.

Hopefully none of you went through anything like this and had a great time at the Rally and rode home happy.
#971103 by SturgisSoundguy
Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:24 pm
Just a follow up to my brother Joe's V-ROD breakdown during the Rally. We took it to Salt Lake Harley, they opened the bike up and found a broken Shift Return Spring/Actuator. (I had an event with the Enlisted Association Of The Nation Guard, United States in Reno so that made getting the bike to Salt Lake easy and my brother lives in northern Nevada)

$1600 total parts and labor. I'll try to attach a picture of his V-ROD disassembled, literally down to the frame!

Only $2000 less than Black Hills Harley's "low end" $3600 estimate for the same repair.

Something to keep in mind if you are at the Rally and your bike breaks down.
#971171 by SouthTexas
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:57 pm
Thanks for the posts, SturgisSoundGuy. No surprise here. Just curious, why not test ride the Indians? As a past Harley guy with multiple breakdowns far from home over the years, I love the new Indians. 47,000 trouble free miles.
#971187 by SturgisSoundguy
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:49 pm
I looked at the Indian bikes and I have heard plenty of good things about them.

Haven't seen one yet that makes me want to switch from my Wide Glide.

I'm not stuck on Harley's trust me. This is the only Harley I have owned, same with my wife's V-ROD. We've both owned quite a few other brand bikes.

I got almost 75,000 miles out of the original engine on my Wide Glide before it chunked and needed to be replaced. I have the extended warranty, new engine cost me $50 out of pocket.

Harley is the only vehicle you can warranty for 17 years and unlimited miles. Indian nor any other bike manufacturer can touch that.

I have a 14 year old motorcycle with 3 years of worry free warranty left. That alone makes me consider a Harley before any other bike and since I am not stuck with one "local" dealer I can find the ones who actually offer good after the sale service.
#971944 by upnorth51
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:03 pm
I have ridden Harleys for over 50 years and after test riding the new Indians at the rally I bought a new Roadmaster at DePere Wi Indian in Green Bay within a month of getting home. The new Indians deserve a look, they are a very advanced bike and great to ride.

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