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Thread: Sticker shock........

  1. #1
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Sticker shock........

    Perhaps I'm a bit out of date, but today I took the opportunity to support a new dealer and have them mount and balance a rear tire for my R11RS.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    However, am I just out of date relative to BMW shop charges or were these charges on the high side?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?
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  2. #2
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    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.
    Ted
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  3. #3
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    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.
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  5. #5
    Registered User
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    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.
    MOA #46783
    2014 R1200RT

  6. #6
    Registered User gertiektn's Avatar
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    it is about overhead

    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.
    I like good stuff. No Chains here!
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  7. #7
    Caribbean Druid
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    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.

  8. #8
    Caribbean Druid
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    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.

  9. #9
    JAMESDUNN
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    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

  10. #10
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdunn View Post
    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?
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  11. #11
    Life Member SCJACK's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #12
    JAMESDUNN
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    That is for the case where the wheel is off the bike?
    The charge is the same, regardless.

  13. #13
    It's Happy Hour somewhere spartanbeemer's Avatar
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    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.
    To ride or not to ride; No question about it!
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  14. #14
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gertiektn View Post
    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.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  15. #15
    Motorcycleton
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    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.

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