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View Full Version : Sticker shock........



36654
04-10-2010, 11:07 PM
Perhaps I'm a bit out of date, but today I took the opportunity to support a new dealer and have them mount and balance a rear tire for my R11RS. Now, I already had the new tire (mail ordered last January before the new dealer opened) and I had removed the wheel from the bike, so the job was pretty simple. Just mount wheel on the tire changer, break the bead, pop the first bead over the rim, then repeat. Reverse the operation to mount the new tire. Then mount the wheel on the balance machine and spin.

By way of reference, my local car tire shop and the BMW car dealership charges $10 per wheel for mount and balance when I bring in mail order tires from Tire Rack and the local Honda bike shop is perhaps $12 per tire when the wheel is off the bike.

In my case with the new shop, the charge was $29.95 Plus $3 tire disposal + $1 tire tax + $1.80 shop supplies for total of $35.75 before sales tax. Now, the rim didn't appear to be scratched or damaged which is always appreciated, but there wasn't any effort extended to clean-up the old balance weight adhesive. So, the job was done adequately.

However, am I just out of date relative to BMW shop charges or were these charges on the high side? I'm honestly seeking comment from the group.

Thanks

PS - Has anyone had any experience with those Harborfreight hub inserts for mounting BMW rear wheels on standard balancing machines?

ted
04-10-2010, 11:16 PM
That's not a bad price, my local dealer charges 0.5 hours labor per tire at $89 per hour, plus supplies, per tire. And he won't mount a tire if you bought it somewhere else (don't blame him a bit for that one.) Most cycle shops don't have some lesser-skilled person dedicated to changing tires and have to use a regular mechanic.

If you want to pay only $10, take it to the tire shop or the car dealer.

marchyman
04-10-2010, 11:20 PM
That's a medium price. The range is about $20 ~ $80 (but that included taking the wheel off the bike, too). Some places flat out won't mount a tire they didn't sell you.

That's just one of the reasons I mount and balance my own tires.

58058D
04-11-2010, 01:30 AM
I've done a ton of tires on my buddie's machine, and no way would I charge only $10 if I was good enough to do it for money (maybe a 12-pack of Torpedo...). Done right, it does take a bit of time, certainly more than 7.5 minutes ($10 portion of $80 per). I'm sure I use at least $2 of supplies - new weights, lube, wrags, etc, Not sure whether the cleaning of old mastic should have been included, sort of depends, but other than that it sounds like you paid an appropriate price. I would question the tire tax if there was no purchase....but what do I know. I do know that by the time shipping is thrown in to a mail order pair of tires, my dealer and Cycle Gear are both very competitive in price and you know whether or not you have the tire when you need it, plus you can inspect the date codes, etc.

When I ordered my static balancer, I ordered the BMW hub piece with it, have not heard any comments re: Harbor Freight's BMW adapter.

Motodan
04-11-2010, 01:50 AM
If you've got a BMW car dealer that only charges that much for mount and balance, you're getting one hell of a deal.

gertiektn
04-11-2010, 04:12 AM
Guys! It is the cost of doing business.

Facilities, employees, benifits, equipement, supplies, inventory, insurance and the bank note... it all adds up.

You want the service, then you pay... we don't work for free...do you?

Volume usually gets a bit of reduction. It is the cost of parts that drives me nuts.

dwestly
04-11-2010, 08:00 AM
Also, recognize that the dealer didn't sell you the tires, so they are not making any money off product sales. Some dealers either won't mount tires they don't sell, or charge a higher price for non-sale tires. While most reputable dealers don't take this stance, its not unheard of.

dwestly
04-11-2010, 08:01 AM
Also, the dealer didn't sell you the tires, so they are not making any money off product sales. Some dealers either won't mount tires they don't sell, or charge a higher price for non-sale tires. While most reputable dealers don't take this stance, its not unheard of.

JAMESDUNN
04-11-2010, 09:17 AM
I have my tires installed at an independent (ex-BMW dealer) where I pay 35.00 per tire, up from the 25.00 he charged a few years ago. He is very competive on tire prices; I consider the fee a good deal.
JD

36654
04-11-2010, 10:56 AM
I have my tires installed at an independent (ex-BMW dealer) where I pay 35.00 per tire, up from the 25.00 he charged a few years ago. He is very competive on tire prices; I consider the fee a good deal.
JD

That is for the case where the wheel is off the bike?

SCJACK
04-11-2010, 11:09 AM
My local dealer went to $50 for this exact service a couple of years ago so I purchased the full size, Harbor Freight tire machine and motorcycle wheel adapter along with a Marc Parnes Balancer and some Mojo Blocks (to stop scratching when the wheels are in the jaws of the machine) and a mounting/dismounting bar, etc. I have plenty of space in my extra garage/workshop so I bolted the machine to the floor in the concrete. By the time I had everything including a supply of patches, mounting goop, etc. I had spent $375 but I have three, two wheelers and I don't have to drive an hour (round trip) and wait an hour or more each time I need this done. I've already had to install three new tires and fix one flat so I've recovered $200 plus the cost of gas and my time vs paying the dealer $50 a pop so the machine will pay for itself and I have the satisfaction of knowing that it was done exactly the way it should be done.

JAMESDUNN
04-11-2010, 11:52 AM
That is for the case where the wheel is off the bike?

The charge is the same, regardless.

spartanbeemer
04-11-2010, 12:55 PM
I suppose I am lucky. We have a local Cycle Gear store. I call ahead to make sure they have my rubber in stock. Then I park the bike in front of the store, take off the wheel, take it inside the store and a very nice looking young lady mounts and balances my new tire in about 15 minutes or less for $20. They will even rebalance if it ever needs it for the life of the tire. Their tire prices are usually discounted and very close to the mail order prices.
I had a blowout on the interstate one hot afternoon. I put in a plug and pumped up the tire. Since I refuse to ride more than I have to on a patched bike tire I headed straight to the Cycle Gear store. I made it there just minutes before closing time. That nice young lady said that she would stay over to make sure that I got my tire replaced. She did and I gave her a $10 tip. Now I take all my tire business to them. End of story.:usa

36654
04-11-2010, 01:15 PM
Guys! It is the cost of doing business.

Facilities, employees, benifits, equipement, supplies, inventory, insurance and the bank note... it all adds up.

You want the service, then you pay... we don't work for free...do you?

Volume usually gets a bit of reduction. It is the cost of parts that drives me nuts.

OK, that's a pretty broad response and no I don't work for free. However, I do have several contracts with major corporations to build precision prototypes (hardware) using a unionized workforce. For reference the previously discussed $80 and $89 rates are similar to what I would charge for a most-senior Master machinist (tool and die maker) operating a 5-axis NC milling machine. And, Oh by the way, the market gives me a daily reminder that my shop rates are definitely not cheap.

Now, in the shop, in order to stay cost competitive, lower skill tasks are assigned to lower pay grade employees. I'm sure you would find the same approach in any BMW fabrication facility. My local Honda shop does that. The mechanics assistant (i.e., motorcycle obsessed "gear-head" teenager/twenty-something) handles tire changing and wheel balancing in a very adequate manner when he isn't washing bikes or sweeping the floor.

A number of the responders have raised the issue of the tire. If the dealership would have been a BMW dealer when I ordered the tire, I would have checked prices with them. And yes, many dealers will install for minimal cost, if they sell the tire. And, for the most part, dealers usually don't charge an unreasonable price for tires. But, considering the competitiveness of the tire business (for either bikes or cars), trying to make profit from selling tires with zero or minimal install cost is a pretty much a zero sum game. For that reason, many car dealership shops don't deal in tires, but point the customer to Tire Rack or some other supplier.

robsryder
04-11-2010, 01:26 PM
I recently had a tire mounted on a bike that I'd purchased in California. I purchased the tire from the dealer and had them mount and balance the tire and dispose of the old tire. The cost was $215. It was about $140 for the new tire and $60 to take the tire off the bike and do the mounting. Taxes and disposal costs were the rest. This cost is about what I expected. I wanted the tires to be good before I fly out to Calif. and start riding back (the other tire was already new).

The last time I purchased a tire from a dealer and had them mount and balance that tire was in 1995. It cost around $200 as I recall.

After that sticker shock, I bought a Harbor Freight tire changer and a few other related tools; I made a few mods and started changing my own tires. I buy the tires a few at a time over the internet (usually from SW Moto).

The tire changer has paid for itself many times over. I also help a few buddies when it is time for their tires to be changed.

As has been pointed out earler - many shop labor rates are in the $85 to $100 per hour range. Tire changing is usually a one hour job (with the tire on the bike) and at least a half-hour with the tire off the bike.

henzilla
04-11-2010, 11:43 PM
I am the alternative to the dealers for lot's of friends and friends of friends. Not too busy to get you in/out, and no day long wait unless UPS is running late and you came the day your tires were scheduled to be delivered. I started just for friends and the fact we both rode all our bikes all year long and go thru tires quickly. Only have bought two rear tires from a dealer on our way back from Canada two years ago...and that BMW shop in Sturgis was as competitive as I am...a nice surprise! I know what most others in our state charge for tires and mounting...it's their business and that's that. Some people pay for convenience, some pay for peace of mind, some just have no choice. No wrong or right, just what works for you.

I recently had to figure in the disposal fee for friends and others tires. That and the cost of lube,weights and stems add up for the $20 off and $25 on fee I was charging. Most landfills do not take tires anymore and a tire dealer charges $2-$3 a tire to take mine. My last trip had 80 tires in it for a few months worth of changes,you do the math on that. My rate when I retired for my time was $90ish an hour, I don't use that skill set unless I am letting you try to do the work as I watch:whistle, so it's less for most. I laugh WITH my lawyer and doctor friends about hourly rates...they understand and do not mind paying me for my time. I wouldn't expect them to do any different for their time.

I used to do it for a six pack when I rarely did them...but I had a shop fridge full of beer I didn't ever drink:scratch Now I do some weekly and have to account for my time & materials...it is what it is. Most bikes can be done in less than an hour, some LT's with hitches, Goldwings, and caliper mounted lights add some time.

As far as tires, most of my folks have them drop shipped to my place or I order them from one of 2 or 3 places depending on the price of the week. I don't mark them up as some say I should...I try to keep it simple for all of us. I keep a few standard sizes for those that need them the same day.

CycleGear is fine, I buy other stuff from them at times and swing by to look for deals on tires, very rarely do they even come close to online sales in my experience in three major TX cities I frequent on the tires of choice for my friends. They make their money on the tire & lubes mark up, I have had to buy from them in a pinch, they are not the cheapest game in town.

marchyman
04-12-2010, 05:25 AM
I recently had to figure in the disposal fee for friends and others tires.

So how much does it cost to dispose of friends? :ear :stick

As for tires... Find someone with friends who are enamored with doing burnouts. I did. My friend took my tires so his friends could have some cheap fun. Worked for me.

AndresS
04-12-2010, 08:19 AM
A few weeks back I had a flat in France. Took the tire to the dealer who did not have a new tire in stock. The long and short of it, they patched the tire with some super good stuff. Cost, 57 EUROS, times call it 1.4 = 78.80 American slotys, for dismounting from the wheel, patching, remounting, balancing and handing me the tire. It is a good dealership, has three mecanichs, no "assistant" (the wondersof the French system, that sort of job just does not exist). To add insult to injury, they left the old valve stem in and it went bad for me 300 miles down the road in Germany.
Next time I will tell you how much it cost me to put on a new set of Pirelli V rated rubber, also in Germany....
Cheers
Andres
:burnout

greenwald
04-12-2010, 11:35 PM
I like my dealer (Nicks BMW - De Pere, WI)

I roll in on the R1200RT with a tire strapped atop my trunk rack - $30 to mount and balance.

$20 if I bought the tire from him.

Either way, good service! :thumb

roborider
04-13-2010, 12:38 AM
I was seeing $50 per wheel if you took the wheel in (off the bike). My No Mar tire changer has paid for itself now. I also use it for may cars since I can get tires for them much cheaper on line as well. I've done buddies tires for a fee of a good lunch. I'm way ahead and I've only had it 3 years. I like the No Mar balancer but the Marc Parnes looks sweet, too.

So, yeah, that price is 'fair'. But, if you own multiple bikes like I do, it pays to do your own.

There are two other advantages, too. One is that you can really clean the wheel much more thoroughly than anyone else will. Also, you can run your tire to the bone and not worry about making an appointment to change it. And I'm open Sunday nights till 1 AM!

henzilla
04-13-2010, 01:23 AM
So how much does it cost to dispose of friends? :ear :stick

As for tires... Find someone with friends who are enamored with doing burnouts. I did. My friend took my tires so his friends could have some cheap fun. Worked for me.

:laugh:laugh:laugh My English teacher cringes somewhere...

sadly the tires will not fit my burnout lovin' friends bikes. :dunno

I was gonna build one of those earth shelters out of tires like the ones outside of Taos...no time since I am retired:scratch

ANDYVH
04-13-2010, 05:31 AM
Since I have personally changed some tires on the tire machine at Nick's BMW, I can say that $25 to $30 to demount/mount a tire, make sure the tire valve is good, balance the tire properly, and dispose of the old tire, that $25 to $30 is pretty damn cheap. Even with the fancy powered tire changer there is still some work to it, and to avoid marking up a rim.

Now, if you bring in a bike and want the wheel removed and mounted, and all that done within an hours time, you are getting the full shop rate worth of work.

RSPENNACHIO
04-13-2010, 12:47 PM
I was seeing $50 per wheel if you took the wheel in (off the bike). My No Mar tire changer has paid for itself now. I also use it for may cars since I can get tires for them much cheaper on line as well. I've done buddies tires for a fee of a good lunch. I'm way ahead and I've only had it 3 years. I like the No Mar balancer but the Marc Parnes looks sweet, too.

So, yeah, that price is 'fair'. But, if you own multiple bikes like I do, it pays to do your own.

There are two other advantages, too. One is that you can really clean the wheel much more thoroughly than anyone else will. Also, you can run your tire to the bone and not worry about making an appointment to change it. And I'm open Sunday nights till 1 AM!

BMW quoted $40 per uninstalled wheel and the other all-brands dealer charged $30 per wheel.

I'm thinking like RoboRider here too. I have considered buying a no-mar also. Between my two cars I need 6 tires changed. That will cost me about $180-$200 because I like to shop for tires online also.

Hmmmm thinking here....:scratch

osbornk
04-13-2010, 08:12 PM
I guess I'm showing my poor mountain upbringing and general cheapness. When I was growing up in the late 50s and early 60s, we didn't have tire changers back in the mountains. On cars and trucks, we ran over the tire with a vehicle to break the bead loose and dismounted the tire with tire irons. I have continued that method with variations with motorcycle tires. I break the bead with a large C clamp and two little blocks of wood and remove the tire with the tire tools that were in the tool kit of my first K bike. Before I had BMWs, I used different tools that I felt were appropriate for the job. I then mount the tire with the same tools and put the dot at the valve stem. I have installed tires on BMW K100RT, K75RT, R80RT as well as Honda Magna, Kawasaki GPZ550 and several others since the mid 70s.

Ken

roborider
04-13-2010, 08:45 PM
Well, you certainly can change tires that way, but for me, it's like loosening and tightening bolts with pliers. I like having the right tool. The No Mar makes tire work a pleasure. But you do PAY for the pleasure!

And with my luck, I'd likely RUN OVER my RT wheel and that costs more to replace than a No Mar to buy!

ted
04-13-2010, 09:46 PM
Honestly the best solution if you don't want to pay the dealer is to find a friend near by with all the right tools, then drop by with the new tires and a six-pack :dance

alanrd
04-15-2010, 02:04 AM
We HAD a great small independent shop that changed tires for $20. He went out of business.
My son and I bought a no-mar, it was worth the money

valvman1
04-15-2010, 02:43 AM
+1 on the No-Mar changer....I've been quite happy w/ it and have surely paid for it in the 1-1/2 yr I've owned it. I'm on my 8 th set of tires on my R1200rt. I not only save on Mnt/Bal charges but save quite a bit on tire purchases. I've been getting a set of PR2's for $246 w/ free shipping from Southwest Moto ( I usually order two sets at a time ). I'm not particularly happy w/ the No-Mar balancer mostly because of the cone devise they sell for the rear wheel ( I machined my own precision wheel mount for that ).

Dave
'08 R1200rt