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Is $125/hour not enough?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by SAMB, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. I'm curious what some of you will have to say regarding my recent predicament.

    I'm coming up on my 48K major service on 2001 Honda CBR929RR. It being a major, it's stupidly expensive. I got quoted 3 different prices on this service. One from a large shop we all know and 2 from very reputable smaller shops whom I had dealt with before and was not only very impressed by their service but also found them to both to be quite likable and trustworthy. The "big" company (wouldn't take my bike there regardless of the cost) had the highest quote and the much smaller shops came in a fair bit cheaper. One was $150 cheaper and the other just over $300 cheaper.

    I was told by Shop B that one of the reasons the major on this particular bike is so expensive is due to the iridium spark plugs that need to be used in them. For curiosity I called Shop A (big shop) to find out what they cost. I was quoted nearly $130 for 4 of them. I then checked good old Ebay and found 4 NGK iridium plugs from an American supplier for just over $50 shipped.

    So it got me thinking. I can do some of the service - oil and filter, clean the K&N air filter, adjust the chain, etc. I figured if I sourced some of the tangible products on my own I could bring them in and get the mechanic at Shop B to simply charge me the labour. Surely $125/hour is plenty is it not?

    Well apparently not. I was told politely that that 200%+ mark-up on the plugs (for example) is how he makes a lot of his money and that he wouldn't "taylor make" the service for me as it's a set cost, blah, blah, blah....

    **** me... To me that just sounds like he's taking the piss. I have to go with his guy or he won't put them in. This really pissed me off and made me think what a greedy ****er. I mean really....the small shops can't be doing that bad if they're knocking me back for servicing my bike at $125/hour....can they???
  2. Have you tried Streetmaster? He may do it for labour only. Can only ask him if you're in Melbourne.
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  3. This is why i've always serviced my car and bike. But if you not able to it sounds like you need to find a better place, there are good blokes that go out of there way to help you out, but there hard to find and usually very busy.
  4. Go through the book and find out exactly what the service does.
    buy the parts and write down everything youre comfortable with doing.
    Take a list of whats left into the shop and say how much to do this. If it works out OK,
    then do your stuff, and take the bike to a mechanic for everything else, including the 1 or 2 items you thought you could do but cant.
  5. Iridiums are meant to last 100000km.
  6. I'm starting up my own business at the moment and I certainly now consider $120ph much more reasonable than I used to think.

    Yes, do a lot of it yourself, and find somebody who will charge for the work done, not for the concept of a major service. Thing is, there are enough people who are prepared to take their bike to a shop and say, "Do what you think needs doing and give me a bill, which I'll pay without question". They are the customers for that way of working. The rest of us do what we can ourselves and then find a person who'll charge for the real labour, or for example a competent amateur mechanic who can do it for us. I assume the main issue is the shims? Do everything else and book it in somewhere "for the shims" (don't use the word 'service' and especially not 'major').
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  7. I’m sure the smarter of you have realised by now that shop B in this story is E2W. I’m am genuinely sorry you feel pissed off about what happened Scott but here's my side of the story. Customers can’t ring for a quote and then take that price and pull it apart then ring back and say I now want it done for this price because you need to knock off the prices quoted in the original quote. I quoted you $850 for the major service for your bike because its labour intensive due to the valves have to be adjusted and to get to the valves the throttle bodies have to come out to get the rocker cover off to get the cams out and the radiator gets removed too then the throttle bodies balanced when re-installed. Plus all the other chassis work done to the bike apart from engine work makes the labour element 4 hours at $125 per hour which makes $515 worth of labour for a full day’s work on a bike that’s 12 years old and will require lots of attention to get it feeling nice again. Now the plugs cost $130, oil is $70, oil filter $20, air filter $80, brake fluid $15, coolant $20 and they are retail prices and come to $335 total. I do make money from the labour but I also make money on the parts and sundries I sell too. As you’ve seen Scott I’m not exactly rolling in money and if it wasn’t for the fact I live out of the back of my shop the place wouldn’t make enough money to exist. I have to extract every cent I can out of this place or I’ll go broke and if people start turning up here with their own parts that they’ve bought from overseas or on the web I’m setting myself up for disaster and the business failing. If it was a brand of part I don’t sell or supply like the Michelin tyre I fitted for you the other week that you bought from overseas or some special one off item then fair enough bring your own parts and I’ll work out a price to fit them but run of the mill standard parts that I have sitting on the shelf in stock at the shop, I just can’t afford not to be selling these items. It’s how I make a living. Am I taking the pi**, am I a greedy fu**er, perhaps I am. Who knows really I think it’s down to a personal point of view?
    • Like Like x 29
  8. Shops costs money, utilities costs money, insurance costs, it ads up.

    $125 isn't that bad. For what I work on I charge $190 an hour. Major service (depending on which one, some majors are bigger than others) start at $1000 and go up to $4000.
  9. I completely understand where you're coming from. Especially if you're a student - when I was at uni I was paid $6 an hour to work in a pizza shop - $125 sounds like an absolute fortune. And you might be able to find a mechanic who's happy to just do the labour and charge a fee, and that might work out best for you.

    But the guys who are running workshops have a lot more to think about. The bank or the landlord expect the same rent each month regardless of who provides the parts for a service. The apprentices and mechanics still expect to get paid regardless of whether the workshop is busy or quiet. It costs the same to light, heat and insure the workshop, and so on. You've got fixed costs coming out of your arse basically, and if you are employing people, that's a farking big commitment to make to them because they expect and deserve to be paid, which means it's up to you to do your best to make sure the money comes in to pay them week in week out.

    You might find you're better off establishing a relationship with one workshop and going to them with everything; in my experience they will do their best to look after you, and if they can afford to give you a discount, they will.
  10. screw you mr lucifer who makes the same points I do but types faster! :p
  11. :p right back at you.

    I just don't write that much in mine.
  12. The mechanics around my area are either very generous or missed a few pay rises, last time i took a car to a mechanic due to an emergency (3 years ago), i was charged $70 an hour labor which at the time i thought was a bit steep. But now hearing you guys charging up to $190 an hour??? Bargain :p

    I understand both sides of the story, but you really only have 2 choices. Invest in the tools and time to research and service the bike yourself like i have. Or develop a relationship with a mechanic you can trust and pay the money.
  13. Well I obviously haven't been in Australia long enough to subscribe to the "$125/hour ain't that bad."

    Look, I understand that there's fixed costs in running a business. I get that. But don't go spouting off about how hard the little man has if you knock back a potential customer because he doesn't want to be absolutely fleeced on parts at 200% mark-up. You're also earning $125 a bloody hour. You may not be making as much as you would if Joe Shmoe customer (as mentioned above by mattb) comes in and says I need a full service, charge me what you will. But you are still making damn good money off of it.

    And why can't I call around and get an idea of how much things cost? Why can't I try and knock the price down a bit? More people should do it I reckon.

    And no, I'm not a student. I'm a 31 year old man who has a young family and earns a decent living. I just don't like taking it in the ass. Perhaps it's me being Canadian and still angry and resentful at having to pay $3.50 for a small shitty coffee every day.....or $10 a pint....or $600 in rego. ****, I could go on.
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  14. I dont know man, ive never had this kind of issue on any of my bikes and both were signifcantly more rare and more finicky and bullshit than yours, and i was charged slightly less than that and i have been allowed to bring my own parts in the past.
  15. I guess that's it. I just need to find someone who'll do it because as I'm sure a lot of you know, with a little one at home it's very hard to find the time.
  16. $125? WTF... I've gotten used to about $85 - $100 max.
  17. Blame the carbon tax
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  18. $125/hr is a lot more than you'd pay around here, but different parts of the country have different costs, and I'm a lucky one.
  19. I guess it would also depend on location. Canberra is expensive for everything.
  20. Some people have no idea how much it costs to run a business. $125 ph is what you pay not what the owner gets paid where is the rent, holiday pay, sick leave, rates, power, enviro fees, super, money spent on parts that are not yet sold. If you don't like the VALUE go elsewhere its your money. As for how dear it is here...well make your own coffee or find another country.
    I am sure I will cop heat as i have said too much but come on people harden up
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