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Question about Servicing Costs

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Th0m0, May 25, 2016.

  1. Hi All

    I'm in the process of researching a new bike purchase and as this will be my main form of transport, including commuting (probably going to clock up 15 - 20 000 Km/year), I'm wondering if there are factors that make some bikes cheaper to service than others.

    I know service costs will vary with different dealers. I know sports bikes and faired bikes are generally more expensive and I know it's obviously cheaper if I do it myself but that's not going to happen.

    But are there any factors that make a significant difference to servicing and maintaining a bike?

    For example:

    Are Japanese brands cheaper than Euro brands (specifically Ducati)?
    Do servicing costs increase with the number of cylinders?
    Are larger capacity bikes more expensive than smaller ones?
    Does the amount of electronic wizardry (ABS, Traction control etc) increase service costs?


  2. #2 BitSar, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    Are Japanese brands cheaper than Euro brands (specifically Ducati)?

    Do servicing costs increase with the number of cylinders?

    Are larger capacity bikes more expensive than smaller ones?
    Not necessarialy but usually: Yes
    Some smaller capacity bikes (and two strokes) are costly.

    Does the amount of electronic wizardry (ABS, Traction control etc) increase service costs?
    Not necessarialy but usually: Yes
  3. #3 BitSar, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    Sounds like you've got a reasonable idea of how your choice of bike will affect the cost of service and ownership.

    Don't forget insurance - larger capacity bikes, especially higher powered sport bikes, attract a higher premium.
    Same goes for the Euro's.

    For what it's worth, my previous bike was a V-Twin Aprilia.
    The cheapest service, for a minor, I ever had was ~$450, most expensive ~$1.6K

    I now have an MT09, standard service ~$200, the first 'major' was ~$450.

    I should add - when I purchase the Aprilia, the service costs I was quoted were ~ 60% less than reality.

    In the same vain, a mate has a 796 Hypermotard Ducati - he was sold on ~$300 service fees with an $800 major, I reckon the cheapest he's paid for ANYTHING from Ducati City is at least $800.

    If you want a Euro with a good price model on servicing I think the BMWs are the frontrunners
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  4. More cylinders means more spark plugs to change and more labour, more valves to adjust and more labour.
    Bigger bikes mean more power transmission and more wear on chains and sprockets, heavier duty chains and sprockets, bigger tyres etc.
    Parts are generally cheapest for the most widely available bikes, there are economies of scale in everything, so parts for exotic bikes will cost more than for a truly mass produced bike.
    High performance bikes will generally have higher compression ratios and run at far higher revs so the engine will wear out faster, particularly if it's been built to be light as well.
    Electrickery tends to mean that the bike needs to be serviced more by the dealer when anything goes wrong and that will be more expensive than at an independent mechanic.

    When I bought my bike I looked at the service costs and the V4 Honda was significantly more expensive than the straight 4 Suzuki 1250 Bandit. But having said that the service intervals are significantly longer, the tyre and chain wear likely to be lower and the build quality and reliability mean the bike should retain better resale value. The VFR will be a little more expensive to run for me but on service costs alone it was only looking like about $150 per year which I suspect I will recover in tyres, chains and sprockets several times over as the bike ages.

    You really have to look at the costs per service as well as the consumables and the service intervals and how many kms you clock up each year to get an idea of how much it's going to cost you on a weekly basis for budgeting. Don't forget to add in rego and insurance costs that are greater on a bigger bike too.
  5. Thanks for the replies BitSar & FB. I'm looking for a middle weight naked that's pretty basic, light, agile easy to ride and own. There's a pretty good selection out there but for me I have to have a bit of emotion in the purchase as well. If I was basing things purely on practicality I'd just buy an MT03 and be done.So I'm trying to balance my emotions with a bit of rational thinking as well.

    Of all the bikes I've ridden so far the Ducati Scrambler is my top pick. It's a pretty basic bike, 2 cylinders, ABS and not much else. But it is a Ducati, so I'm fearful of being raped every time I take it in for a service. Number 2 on the list is the Z800. It's a really nice bike but about 50kg too heavy. It's also a four cylinder and a lot higher revving than the Scrambler, so I keep telling myself servicing costs wouldn't be that different
    If anybody out there owns either of these bikes or any other late model middle weight naked, I'd like to hear your servicing stories.
  6. The Z800 is a bit of a pig TBH.

    The motor is a sleaved down Z1000 so you're lugging weight you don't need.

    If a middle weight naked is what you're after, and you want something economical then an ER6n is worth a look (albeit ultra utilitarian)

    Something like a BMW F800R offers a little more character.

    Then of course there are the Triumph street triples, Ducati monsters and scamblers as well as Aprilia Shiver and Dorsoduro.

    Don't forget KTM duke 690.

    So many nice things out there.
  7. Kawa GSR750?
  8. Th0m0Th0m0 are you looking at LAMS bikes or are you on your full license ?
  9. Get the bike you are passionate for. If you want something cheap to run and service then get a Toyota Corolla or Mazda 3. When you bring running costs into the bike world, they will often turn you away from the bike you really want and then you will regret your decision. You can always find a way to justify your passion.
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  10. Get a 600cc jap bike and ride it sedately.
    I commute (20kms/day) and track ride (5-6 times/year), its my only bike which is a 600cc gsxr. Weekend rides around 150-200km/week

    Most of my servicing needs comes from track days and weekend rides.

    Commuting not really as you are riding pretty sedately.
    Learn to change oil/filters yourself and take to workshop for bigger jobs like valve checks etc.

    Buy tyres which have a harder compound in the centre and softer on edges as these will stand up to commuting and still can be fun in corners.

    Oil your chain every 500km and it wont stretch as quick.

    Insurance is much less for a 600cc v a 1000cc, Petrol is around 6l/100km

    Buy a can of teflon based lube to spray levers, pegs, side stand and cables every month to keep them lubed. As long as you don't ride it like you stole it in your commute it shouldn't cost too much to run. Stop start traffic will only degrade your brakes a bit quicker which are cheap enough to change ($40 for Ferodo pads)
  11. Full License. 800 seems to be about right for me being happy with the get up and go factor. I tested the MT07 HO and didn't like it. I thought the MT03 was better value.

  12. True true. I tried the Street Triple and thought it a good bike but a little too much sport bike oriented for me. I'm not a wannabe racer. I don't do track days or drag my knees through corners. My last bike was a Guzzi so I guess that says I don't really value high performance but I do like a bit of character.
  13. The reason you're paying way More for servicing euro bikes is coz you're taking them to a euro bike dealer. There's nothing radically different on a euro bike vs a Jap bike. They use oil, filters, brake fluid etc just like any other bike. You'll pay way closer to what you were quoted initially by taking it to a good quality bike workshop, not a dealer. There's a few around, Mark Tudor in castle hill, Mark Smith at MAS chipping Norton, Steve Vece at Vece motor service in Minto etc. their business is SERVICING BIKES.

    I run my Dyno out of MAS and the number of bikes that I Dyno that have "just been serviced", costing big $'s and half the stuff hasn't even been done that's scheduled, is amazing. Not to mention, walk in to a Ducati dealer and hey, "if you've got the money for the bike, you can afford the service".

    The guys I mentioned above (and I'm sure there are more) do the work that is scheduled and charge on labour time and parts vs what your bike is worth. And I know with Mark , if a wearable part is due for replacement but it's obviously still ok til next service, he'll give you that option to avoid wasting money.

    Hope this helps
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  14. Not sure I entirely agree with this.
    Some parts and diagnostic tools simply cannot be sources from unlicensed or non-endorsed workshops.

    Obviously simple consumable such as oil and filters, chains, brake pads, coolant etc are fair game.
    But try getting the correct diagnosis for a failing MAP sensor without the Navigator or Axone terminal.

    Sure, the part is a 'somewhat generic' Bosch unit, however without the terminal to read the error code you're flying blind and would need to take the head off and manually test continuity on the sensor to know it had failed (and that's even if you suspected it)

    FWIW when I had the Aprilia it was serviced by an Aprilia authorised workshop, NOT the dealer.
    Still far more costly than my run of the mill Yamaha.
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  15. Yeah I see what you're saying bitstar, I'm just going off what I see at MAS. For sure there are exceptions AND for most general servicing, if the need for fault finding etc isn't there, then it'll be cheaper. Many of these guys have connections in other workshops also and use them when needed for equipment they may not have access to for some model specifics etc. but yeah I see what u mean. I'm still not convinced that often we don't just pay more due to it being a euro bike. I mean, there's some jap bikes that are expensive to service, VFR800's for eg at major service are an all day effort. Labour alone jacks the bill up high. But generally they're less. Take an exhaust for a Ducati for eg. It's the same thing as a system for any other bike, there's nothing special about it other than being for a Ducati. And where you'll pay $2.5k for a Ti system for a 4cyl Jap bike you'll pay $5k for a two cylinder system just coz its Ducati. Lol
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  16. Remember service intervals on most Japanese/Asian bikes are every 6,000kms whereas most Euro bikes are 10,000km or better, in the 800 class the BMW F800R would be the pick, proven motor, reasonably cheap to service, when I had mine minor services were under $300.