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VTR250 major service cost breakdown

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by mewnz, May 6, 2009.

  1. First up, mods if this is in the wrong place feel free to move. I figured maintenance forum was more for questions about how to etc.

    Alrighty, hey everyone. Today I picked up the two fiddy from the mechs, and was wondering if the price I paid for the services was an honest one. I'm on the fence at the moment, and it's my first time dealing with a shop for an actual service.

    Bike pickup - $88. (Chain came off whilst riding)
    Major service - $380
    Front/Rear sprocket - $36.36 each
    Chain - $117.27
    Spark plug - $25.46 (This seems waaaay off to me.)
    Seatoil Spring - $3.63 (Don't honestly know what this is?)
    Oil filter - $14.25
    Labour for chain/sprocket - $88

    In total I paid $810, which I got down from $1000.

    I was told that the valves were inspected and adjusted and that this took roughly 5 hours and was the main reason for the initial price. Is this true?

    When I had called earlier, I was told the major would cost roughly 350 + any parts needed like brake pads etc. The way I'm reading it, oil filter etc was included in this initial quote. So paying 380 + filter + sparks seems like I'm paying twice?

    I also know it doesn't equal 810, but it was only around 20 dollars off when I checked so I didn't bother.

    So... is this fairly standard? I was expecting to pay around 6-700. Bit of a shock that a 250 service cost so much. Any comments are welcome, I'll be back after uni if I've left anything out. Thanks in advance for any comments!
  2. sounds to me like you might need a band aid for your ring :bannanabutt:
  3. You can spend as much time and money on your bike as you like, really.

    Yes spark plugs and oil filters from a dealer will be more expensive than just buying the parts yourself from Repco: they have to buy them, and stock them, perhaps even have cashflow wrapped up in those parts for weeks before they sell - a business has to make money.

    Whether the price is fair or not, depends on the value of the service. If they do a very serious check over of everything else to make sure your bike is 100% safe and roadworthy, then in some instances that could be worth paying more for than taking it someplace where they just change the oil & plugs and give it back.

    If you're unhappy with the price, take it somewhere else.
    If you're unhappy with paying for service on your bike, learn to do the work yourself.

    You should be able to do plugs, oil, oil filter, clean air-filter yourself for under $100 if you already have tools.

    Could be worth doing that, and leaving the major/tricky stuff to a mechanic.
  4. Hmm, depends on the type.

    Copper sparkplugs are like, one or two dollars each, but only last about 10,000km, replace at every oilchange.

    Platinums are a little more expensive than that, good for 50,000km.

    Buuut, every bikeshop I've had my VTR250 and Tiger serviced at have used iridium plugs, which are about $10-12 each retail.

    Still seems a bit on the dear side for two sparkplugs, but only just. :-k
  5. Sounds correct to me.

    Sounds like a common price for a major valve service on a V-twin.

    A lot of shops quote labour only when you ask for service costs. It's not
    the best way to do it, but I guess they're trapped in that if they quote
    properly, you'll just go to the guy down the street who had the cheaper
    price (even though his price didn't include oil etc).

    Pre-booked Metro delivery by most motorcycle pickup companies
    is normally about $100-$120. Emergency (non-booked) costs more.

    Spark plug price is pretty normal. Sure, plain plugs are about $4 each,
    but about half the Jap bikes these days specify plugs which are $15-$20 EACH.

    Seatoil spring? It's probably the spring which holds ("seats") the oil filter;
    I don't know if VTR uses that type. But who's gonna argue over $3?

    Nothing wrong with those prices. You wouldn't get any cheaper elsewhere.
    Bikes cost money to run.

    So you were only 15% out, despite knowing very little about shop costs?
    That's a pretty good guess!
  6. no need for fancy plugs with the VTR..
    paid 4.50 per plug last time i had a majour service..
    they may of used a platnum or irridum style plug.

    last majour service with fault diagnosis cost me about 500..
    recently i had the chain and sprockets changed for about 250. inc labour..
    soo yea.... did you ask for a reach around????
  7. So MR_PEA, you're saying that you paid 750 for major service and chain,
    mewnz paid 810 including an emergency bike transport? How is that
    needing a reach-around? :?
  8. (edited to contain less wild generalizations and accusations, saving them up)

    Same thing's happened to myself and others and it really makes you feel shafted when the mechanic quotes "a couple of hundred bucks plus parts"
    Then does optionals without your consent (ok perhaps the valves DID need *5 hours* of inspection & adjustment but either they should tell you this up front, or once they find this out)
    Thus jacking the price up by factors of 2 (or in your case more)
    Then saying "thanks, you owe me this much"

    What odten happens - is the customer gets the final bill and says "you said it would just be a couple hundred bucks plus parts!" and the mechanic knocks a bit off, but it's still more than you expected.

    The customer's left thinking "this guy's a bit shoddy", and in cases where the costs are justified the mechanic's left thinking "jeez unreasonable customers always want a bit off for my hard work".

    Anyway, I do blame the mechanic for at least not calling you to get your go-ahead.
  9. I didn't see anywhere that mewnz said some stuff was done without
    his/her consent. Mewnz? Did you ask for the chain or OK it? Or say
    "do what needs to be done"?

    Rdkls, have you ever done the valves on a VTR? I have. 5 hours
    for all of them, PLUS all the other stuff required in a major service,
    is not out of the ballpark. You gotta pull a lot of stuff off to get
    to the valves on a VTR. Once the valves have been inspected,
    it's not a fortune in further cost to actually adjust them to spec and if the
    mechanic didn't, it'd be a waste of doing the inspection anyway.
    And then the mechanic has to do all the other stuff required in a major
    service. And mewnz WAS quoted a fairly close labour cost.

    Frankly, it's just impossible to quote a bike service 100% accurately.
    Sometimes more valves need adjusting, sometimes less, sometimes
    none. Sometimes a previous owner has damaged a bolt head and
    the mechanic has to spend 1/2hr getting the bolt out. Sometimes
    the bike needs a chain and sprockets, sometimes brake pads,
    sometimes not. However, given that the owner hasn't had a
    proper shop service before, it's a fair bet it needed SOME attention.

    Sounds like you got a beef with another mechanic, that you're
    transferring onto this situation. Care to share it, or was that
    car story the one?

    I'm just sick and tired of seeing posts here from people who don't
    properly count the cost for service (or make sure they get an
    all-inclusive quote *after* the mechanic has seen the bike;
    saying "did I get reamed" and others saying "you sure did" when
    they have no idea how long it takes to do a job properly.

    (At the same time, a lot of mechanics need to have better customer
    service skills at picking up the phone and saying "Hi mister, this
    bike has a hidden problem that will take more time and $ to fix."
    But that is not the case here).

    I do all my own work and know how long it takes to do properly,
    even with well-practiced skills and the proper tools.
    I have some good friends who are mechanics (bike and aircraft) and
    I know how little they get paid, how good and conscientious they are
    about their work and the billing procedure, and STILL they get customers
    whinging about the bill, even when it's LESS that what was quoted.
    The mechanic cuts his pay rate, and gives a discount, to keep the
    customer happy, and then what happens? Customer jumps onto
    the internet and STILL has a question. No wonder that a shop can't
    hire mechanics, that Australia has a trades skill shortage.
    That's MY 2c.

    OTOH anyone who can afford to cut their service cost by a
    whopping 50% sounds like they have a little bit too much
    padding in the deal in the first place. Blame a car place for that one,
    I've heard that there are some real rogues in the car industry
    although most are still just honest joes.
  10. Perhaps it's poor customer service skills, perhaps it's intentionally ripping people off.
    Regardless something's wrong when you're quoted "roughly 350 + any parts needed" then are asked to pay $1000 when you pick it up.

  11. mewnz didn't say there was fault diagnosis in his major service and remember that they initially wanted to charge him $1k. There's a big difference there since fault diagnosis can burn heaps of time and at over $100/hour labour the cost quickly adds up.

    On face value it sounds like mewnz was charged a lot considering what some others have previously quoted for their VTR250 service costs on this forum. I would have expected $600 (max) for a VTR major service and new chain and sprockets at a resonable mechanic. Its not like they did anything out of the ordinary in the end to be able to justify a $1k bill.

    EDIT: I re-read the itemised list (missed the chain the first time) and it looks like around the going rate these days so $600 couldn't be done but somewhere around $800 sounds right. However, $1k doesn't. It all adds up quickly!
  12. Sounds also as though mewnz' bike was not in great nick prior to the service, if the chain fell off while riding there.
  13. Most establishments I know, usually ring the customer with a quote before carrying out any additional work. And yeah .. labour costs + PARTS suck, but at times it's difficult to quote on parts due to availability and the supplier at the time of order.

    My advice would be to try do what you can, and avoid having to pay mega-bucks to someone for things you are capable of doing yourself.
    I'd have a fit if I was paying that much, which is why I do 75% of my own maintenance.
  14. Hotcam, you've clearly done the work before and said it takes about the time the shop quoted. That's fair enough so maybe my "$600 maximum" estimate I wrote earlier is off the mark. However, I'm with Rdkls on the point about the quoted price.

    Subaru have always been within 5% (mostly on the lower side) of their quoted service price for my minor and major services. They've also told me what consumables, if any, are likely to be needing replacement at the next service. They do the work every day and have a very good idea on the time/cost for the normal minor and major services. There's no reason why a bike mechanic shouldn't be able to do the same for a NORMAL service (i.e. no rusty bolts or surprises), which it sounds like was performed for the OP.
  15. Right on. You maintain your bike so poorly that the chain comes off, then get the mechanic to come pick it up, do a normal major service plus the extra time it takes to correct poor general maintenance, sure the cost is gonna add up.

    The price of consumables as listed there is actually quite cheap IMO - excluding the plugs. But if those plugs are iridium ones, they should be good for 80,000km.

    You should learn to maintain and service your bike, that'll keep it in better condition, prevent issues like chains falling off (fer chrissake!), save you money in the long term and teach you a lot about your bike.
  16. First of all, thanks for all the replies.

    Second, I am quite capable of doing minor servicing and have done. The reason the chain fell off was not cos I'm a scrub and haven't touched/maintained it since I bought the bike, it's simply because I couldn't get the axle nut/bolt thing off in order to fix the tension.

    My reasoning for the 6-700 estimate was to accomodate a 350 service + pickup + new chain and sprockets, I didn't think it was unreasonable.

    To those who asked, the mech asked at the initial 'consult' whether I wanted the chain and sprockets replaced and I agreed. He also said he'd call if any other consumables needed replacing to get the go ahead, so I'm not complaining on that front.

    I still honestly don't know how it became a 1000 dollar job and I'm glad I questioned it in the first place, and in future I will have a crack at doing the major myself.

    Thanks again for the responses.
  17. Get a bigger spanner. A chain has to be extremely loose to jump off.
  18. This is one of the best posts ever put up on NR.
  19. Regarding Hotcams post:

    The valves were 5 hours labour simply to inspect/adjust, not for valves + rest of major (that is how I am reading your post, if this isn't right I apologise).

    Also, this is the first time the bike has needed a major while under MY ownership, the previous owner had it serviced etc.

    Just wanted to clear those two things up.

    Loz: I definately want to get my own tools, just a matter of saving my pennies.