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Bro, I look at it in a much more pragmatic way.

They simply are a reflection of society in general. Image over substance.

The only thing that bothers me to some extent, and actually less every day, is the fact they are a bunch of fakes. If they were to tacitly accept the fact they are a bunch of bean counters instead of pretending to be a part of a family or brotherhood, the whole thing would be easier to swallow.

Let them keep pushing, there are other bikes out there.
 

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Well, we ride Harleys because that's what we do, but there are some great bikes out there.
The two bikes I would seriously consider are the Yamaha FJR1300 and the BMW R1150RT. I came real close to buying another BMW several times but I don't like the full time power assisted ABS. If they had a selective non power assisted system it would be a real close call.
The other bike that I could live with is the Honda ST1300.

The japanese bikes are very good but have the same problem Harley has, the service support is non existent and the dealers are a bunch of jagoffs.

BMW is the only motorcycle company that provides adequate support.
The argument factories have no influence on dealers is just so much bull$hit. As an example there is a conglomerate here that owns the franchises for three HD dealers, most japanese franchises (except Kawasaki) and the BMW franchise.

The tone at the BMW franchise is very, very different from all the others.

See, the funny thing is that this group also owns Cadillac franchises among others, so they are well versed in treating customers correctly and taking care of problems in an efficient manner.
Conclusion is that they treat you like $hit and rake you over the coals simply becuse they can get away with it.

The BMW store is the exception, not because they have a different management team, but because whatever you may think of BMW riders in general, they do not buy motorcycles to ride to the nearest tavern or hot dog stand, and they don't put up with $hit.

In the end it's not the dealers, it's us as a group that put up with them. This is the reason many of us dislike the airheads that put up with market adjustments in the pricing and $500.00 oil changes, nothing personal.
I could care less how they ride, if they trailer the sumbit(h in circles or what winds their clock, but they are the reason we can not get parts in a timely manner while having hundreds of T shirt and panty designs available at any time.

This is also the power of these boards. As new riders get realistic information and have a few dealer experiences, the initial infatuation wears off in a hurry. Just like when the date with the great tittz shows her real personality. The ranks of those that will not stand for business as usual is growing every day.
 

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No flame war here, everyone has their own experiences and problems. The late BMW's also have a lot of problems with surging they have been dancing around for a while, and it has been quite a few years since I owned a BMW.
Maybe it's the area of the country we live in, some smaller family run HD dealers, notably in OR, ID and MT, also have professional attitudes and discuss problems truthfully while trying to be helpful within their means. They also have much less personnel turn over and the service people have been at it for a while. That's all one can ask for, $hit is going to happen with anything mechanical sooner or later.
 
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