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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I hope I am posting this in the proper forum (being a noob and all).

I recently bought a black 2006 Road King at a dealer in Oregon (I live north of Seattle - GO HAWKS - SUPERBOWL AT LAST!!!!) and have about 300 miles on it. After a ride yesterday, I pulled the bike into the driveway and washed it (no soap or cleaning products - just water). I was drying the bike and noticed something upsetting in two spots in the paint.

The first problem is on the left side of the tank next to the fuel gauge "cap". There is an area about 4" in diameter just to the left of the cap on the rounded front corner of the tank where the paint is obviously dulled. The rest of the tank on both sides is glossy to where you see your reflection in it like a mirror. The problem section is not shiny at all.

The second problem is in the painted area on top of the headlight stretching back to the RPM gauge. That area is about 4" square and I would also describe it as dulled, but unlike the area on the tank, this area is not even at all. Not only is it not even in that the problem area is not completely dulled (it is spotted and the dulled spots cover about 2/3 of that 4" square) but the spots themselves are not even. It almost looks like a bunch of smudged fingerprints, with varying degrees of "smudginess".

I wiped both sections down carefully with the soft cloths I was using and there does not appear to be anything on the surface causing the problem. It almost appears as if the clear coat has failed or was worn away in some way.

I have done nothing as yet to try to fix the problem like applying a polish or wax. Some advice as to what to do here would be great. Should I try a polish or wax first? Should I call the dealer where I purchased the bike and see what he recommends? Or should I take the bike to the local HD dealer (about 25 miles away - the dealer is 300 miles away) and have them check it out?

My buddy also bought the same bike I did at the same time and his paint job is perfect. I will see if photos will show the problem areas and post them if they do.
 

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fcastle
Don't mess with it. Take it back to your local dealer right away and show it to him. If you don't get any satisfaction from them then it's time to pick up the phone and call the factory.
Good Luck
 

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XLIII
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And as an aside, use a good motorcycle or auto wash type soap on it. The soap will suspend the dirt and allow it to be rinsed away w/o scratching. Otherwise, you're rubbing it into the paint.
 

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I have been really unimpressed with the paint care at the dealerships. I watch brand new bikes put on the showroom floor that look great. Go back a week later and watch the nerdy kids they hire rubbing the bikes down, particularly black ones with a quick squirt of spray polish on a dirty rag. I would never accept my brand new bike looking like that off the floor. All swirls and fairly deep scratching. They did not look that way when they arrived.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the quick replies. Amazingly, it is sunny today (obviously due to Seattle's win yesterday....) so I will be at the dealer's doorstep shortly. I will post the result.

Also, I have read in a couple other threads about people who love the Mr. Clean Auto Wash system. Any negatives from anyone here?

UPDATE (01/23): I rode to HD of Seattle today and showed the bike to the service manager. She looked at the problem areas and said the one looked like it was buffed and the other looked like some chemical got on it. The manager’s basic attitude was this: since I did not note the problem when you took delivery, I am SOL unless the dealer from whom I bought the bike wants to fix it. She said if the selling dealer did not note any problems with the paint during their pre-delivery inspection, then the Seattle dealership could do nothing. I told her I had ordered the bike and it was nighttime when I picked it up, only seeing the bike in the parking lot of the dealership in the dark. She said, “Day or night, it’s your responsibility to look for problems when you walk around the bike as the time of delivery”. She looked at the problem areas again and acknowledged that she wanted a different opinion. She told me to go to their paint shop. The shop is at a different location and I was unable to make it there before they closed for the day. The manager told me that depending on what the guys at the paint shop say, she could email photos directly to HD to get an authorization for work. She said most likely the selling dealer will have to fix it. Am I being reasonable if I am upset by the manager’s attitude?

I called the selling dealer when I got home and talked to my salesman. He checked the file and said no paint problems were noted. He told me to get back to him after I went to the paint shop.

I next called my buddy who had purchased his Road King at the same time. He told me he would call the service manager at Downtown Harley (south of Seattle while HD of Seattle is north of Seattle) since he has a great working relationship with that dealership. The manager there said, “Have him bring the bike in and we will do whatever we can to help him out.” The manager there wanted me to send some pictures as soon as I could if I was unable to make it to the dealership soon. She said they would probably be able to get the problem fixed under warranty. She said nothing about me having to go back to the original selling dealer.

Now that is the attitude I was expecting from the first dealership! I am now wondering if I should even bother going to the local paint shop (about 15 miles away) and instead just deal with Downtown Harley. The only downside is DT Harley is 50 miles away and obviously they will need to keep the bike if they are going to do anything to fix the problem (harder for me to get a ride home then back at some point). I suppose I have nothing to lose by going to the local paint shop to see what they say.
 
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