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Tire prices are out of control....

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So I had to renew my registration on my Vintage and the dealer performed the inspection. Now I know my dealer and get along quite well with them (Hell, they should as I have spent over $100,000 in bikes and upgrades over the past 6 years). So they pass my bike but tell me that I will be looking at a new rear tire in the near future and give me an written estimate of $462.70 out the door, $404.61 for tire, (since I'm a valued customer they said they would do somewhat better). NOW THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE INSTALLATION (If you purchased the bike from them, installation is free). Now that tire is $226.99 from JP cycle and $291.51 from Chaparral (Plus tax and shipping). I contacted another dealer just to see if my dealership is on the level, they quoted $578.29 which includes installation, (same exact price for tire alone at both dealers). I asked why such a difference between online (J&P) and dealer cost. They said they are only allowed to purchase from their supplier. However they said if I purchase the tire from an outside source they would install and only charge installation fees. I am going to talk with my dealer and see if they would allow me to bring my own tire. Keep in mind my dealer provides free installation. This should be interesting. Anyone with any suggestions would be much welcomed.
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So I had to renew my registration on my Vintage and the dealer performed the inspection. Now I know my dealer and get along quite well with them (Hell, they should as I have spent over $100,000 in bikes and upgrades over the past 6 years). So they pass my bike but tell me that I will be looking at a new rear tire in the near future and give me an written estimate of $462.70 out the door, $404.61 for tire, (since I'm a valued customer they said they would do somewhat better). NOW THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE INSTALLATION (If you purchased the bike from them, installation is free). Now that tire is $226.99 from JP cycle and $291.51 from Chaparral (Plus tax and shipping). I contacted another dealer just to see if my dealership is on the level, they quoted $578.29 which includes installation, (same exact price for tire alone at both dealers). I asked why such a difference between online (J&P) and dealer cost. They said they are only allowed to purchase from their supplier. However they said if I purchase the tire from an outside source they would install and only charge installation fees. I am going to talk with my dealer and see if they would allow me to bring my own tire. Keep in mind my dealer provides free installation. This should be interesting. Anyone with any suggestions would be much welcomed.


When a dealer installs a tire on the bike, they assume all legal liability for what goes wrong since they are installing it. So many charge more for this reason alone. Another reason is online retailers by tires in bulk and get a better price pint. Dealers don't buy enough tires to get bulk prices.

And the entire world has seen prices skyrocket to make up for the covid fiasco the last 3 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
However, the dealership that I called said they would install a tire if purchased from another source (same exact model)... How does liability come into play and knowing the liability, why offer to install a tire purchased from a 3rd party?
 

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However, the dealership that I called said they would install a tire if purchased from another source (same exact model)... How does liability come into play and knowing the liability, why offer to install a tire purchased from a 3rd party?

Most dealers won't install pre purchased tires, because one they touch your bike, they are liable for anything they do incorrectly. So, the logic is, if they are going to touch your bike, they want more money from you to justify the risk.


So, your dealership is one of the few Unicorns, but it would be interesting what they would charge you for the install.
 

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you said 462.70 out the door and 404.61 for the tire... how is that free instillation?.. now if it was 404.61 out the door with taxes and J&P is 226.99 (don't know if that's with tax and shipping) it would amount to $177.62 for the install.. but having and owning a motorcycle isn't cheap.. the older you get the more wise your right wrist becomes...
 

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However they said if I purchase the tire from an outside source they would install and only charge installation fees.
Many months ago, during the height of shortages, the local independent shop I use quoted me prices on tires - I needed two sets. They could not find matching (front and rear) for any brand/model he normally recommended. Like you, I found some on-line. He made me the same offer. If I bring in a tire, he would mount it for a fee. I don't remember the fee but it was reasonable.
The end result was I bought tires through him. For the total expense, I may have paid a little more, but not much.
There was not a big price difference between the tires, just availability.
 

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If you wrench on your own bike and (take the rim with tire and new rubber) have a cycle gear near you, they will mount and balance a tire. My local one will allow you to bring in your own tire. I have an independent tire shop near me that does the same. Charges me $30 a tire to mount and balance, but I have to bring the old rim with tire and new rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
you said 462.70 out the door and 404.61 for the tire... how is that free instillation?.. now if it was 404.61 out the door with taxes and J&P is 226.99 (don't know if that's with tax and shipping) it would amount to $177.62 for the install.. but having and owning a motorcycle isn't cheap.. the older you get the more wise your right wrist becomes...
$404.61 tire
$14.99 Balance
$2.50 Tire Tax
$2.50 Haz Fee Batt/Oil/Tire (what ever the F**k that is
$5.00 Shop supplies
$30.11 Tax
$462.27

Basically the labor at $145 is no charge
 

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Most places I worked with would install tires that you brought in. The mounting fee was higher for a tire that you brought in than one that you purchased from the dealer. It is all profitability and convenience, period! Many don't want to deal with ordering a tire and then trying to bring it in with the bike or taking the wheels off of their bike and bringing that in. The convenience bringing your bike in and having the shop put on tires from the dealer is worth the price for some. As for me. I do that all myself. Got a bead breaker and static balancer then I know it is all done correctly and I have the time to clean up and detail the rim before putting it all back on the bike. Dean
 

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For those of us who dont have the space to work on a bike are SOL. Cant put a price on your safety. Just put $50 a pay period away and call it the tire fund. Just Pay it you cannot put a price on your safety/doing it right,

That's all i can add to this.
 

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$404.61 tire
$14.99 Balance
$2.50 Tire Tax
$2.50 Haz Fee Batt/Oil/Tire (what ever the F**k that is
$5.00 Shop supplies
$30.11 Tax
$462.27

Basically the labor at $145 is no charge
The Haz Fee is their cost of disposing the used tire.

FWIW, the dealer I have been going to also charges close to retail for the tire and does on-bike install for free. If you were to bring a set of tires in and have them do it with the wheels on the bike, they would charge a couple of hours for labor. That has to be figured in the cost. While I certainly can and have removed the wheels from my bike, I'm getting old and don't find as much joy doing that kind of stuff anymore, so I prefer to have the dealer do it.

Also, my dealer buys tires from wherever they can get them, plus they will put whatever you want on the bike. I have Avons on all three bikes and while they carry some of them, they don't always have them in stock. As long as i get the rubber from them, install is free. Interestingly, last fall when I put new rubber on the Challenger, they could get the rear Avon, but not the front. I bought a front tire from Dennis Kirk and since it was in for oil service as well, they didn't charge for front wheel install. It helps to be good to the dealer and they will usually reciprocate.
 

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Must have been five years ago now, but Sturgis Indian quoted me about $1050 to put two new Dunlop whitewalls on my 111, included two new tubes and rubber spoke strips.

The BMW/Suzuki/Yamaha dealer less than a half-mile down the street offered to install the same Dunlops, tubes, etc, for $550. That was just dropping the bike off too, not just bringing the wheels in.

Of course, at that dealership, those days are over, why? because Sturgis Indian bought out that BMW dealership late last year, and now you can get thoroughly hosed at both of them.

Rapid City's Black Hills Powersports, a Suzuki/Kawasaki/Royal Enfield dealership, will still install a tire, purchased from anywhere, on a wheel you bring in to the shop for $40, tube an extra $25 if not a tubeless type.

I really liked the two Indian machines I used to own, but I soon grew weary of being screwed blue for service, parts, and accessories at every turn by my dealership.

$85 Taiwan inner tubes? Kiss my ass.
 

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Must have been five years ago now, but Sturgis Indian quoted me about $1050 to put two new Dunlop whitewalls on my 111, included two new tubes and rubber spoke strips.

The BMW/Suzuki/Yamaha dealer less than a half-mile down the street offered to install the same Dunlops, tubes, etc, for $550. That was just dropping the bike off too, not just bringing the wheels in.

Of course, at that dealership, those days are over, why? because Sturgis Indian bought out that BMW dealership late last year, and now you can get thoroughly hosed at both of them.

Rapid City's Black Hills Powersports, a Suzuki/Kawasaki/Royal Enfield dealership, will still install a tire, purchased from anywhere, on a wheel you bring in to the shop for $40, tube an extra $25 if not a tubeless type.

I really liked the two Indian machines I used to own, but I soon grew weary of being screwed blue for service, parts, and accessories at every turn by my dealership.

$85 Taiwan inner tubes? Kiss my ass.
Judging by this...it made you leave the brand? what do you ride now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So this is the thorn in my side,
1) the mark up is 100%
2) I have two bikes so that's 4 tires
3) it was never this expensive so it's kinda like sticker shock
4) At out xmas party I won a $200.00 dealership gift card and I wanted to buy something that I absolutely don't need just for the fun of it. Maybe an Indian expresso maker (is that a thing). It just takes the fun out of winning...that's all.
In the end I'll just have my dealer do the install and hope he gives me a good price.
 

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So this is the thorn in my side,
1) the mark up is 100%
2) I have two bikes so that's 4 tires
3) it was never this expensive so it's kinda like sticker shock
4) At out xmas party I won a $200.00 dealership gift card and I wanted to buy something that I absolutely don't need just for the fun of it. Maybe an Indian expresso maker (is that a thing). It just takes the fun out of winning...that's all.
In the end I'll just have my dealer do the install and hope he gives me a good price.
Welcome to today's economy Lots of people at fault nobody wants to hold anyone accountable,,,
 

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Basically, the "free installation" isn't free. They're adding the install fee to the price of the tire. It's just marketing.
Exactly. Just like companies that offer “free” shipping. No, UPS isn’t shipping that item for free, the shipping cost is included in the advertised cost. But, it’s a great marketing angle.
 

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Must have been five years ago now, but Sturgis Indian quoted me about $1050 to put two new Dunlop whitewalls on my 111, included two new tubes and rubber spoke strips.

The BMW/Suzuki/Yamaha dealer less than a half-mile down the street offered to install the same Dunlops, tubes, etc, for $550. That was just dropping the bike off too, not just bringing the wheels in.

Of course, at that dealership, those days are over, why? because Sturgis Indian bought out that BMW dealership late last year, and now you can get thoroughly hosed at both of them.

Rapid City's Black Hills Powersports, a Suzuki/Kawasaki/Royal Enfield dealership, will still install a tire, purchased from anywhere, on a wheel you bring in to the shop for $40, tube an extra $25 if not a tubeless type.

I really liked the two Indian machines I used to own, but I soon grew weary of being screwed blue for service, parts, and accessories at every turn by my dealership.

$85 Taiwan inner tubes? Kiss my ass.
I went to JP Cycles the week before Sturgis this year. Tires, rim straps and tubes were the same price as online. They had a vendor out back across the alley $150 to mount and balance on the bike. I gave the mechanic a $20 bill . I walked down town had some food and beer it was done in in an hour. He even put black weights on my black rims.
So next time if you can wait there an option for you. Ross's in Rapid said he was too busy. I never did check Black Hawk is he still there? this was there price sheet this year.
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Judging by this...it made you leave the brand? what do you ride now?
The, to my mind, 'gouging' by my Indian dealership was only one of several factors. Probably the main one is that I simply buy, sell, and trade motorcycles very often. It's a sickness.

Quite a few bikes of different brands have come and gone since my Indian days, but at the moment, I have two Royal Enfield 650's (one to be sold or traded in this spring), a '22 Triumph Rocket 3, and a '20 Vespa GTS300. I also have my wife's 1200 Triumph Speedmaster at my disposal if I get a bug to ride that one.
 

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Probably the main one is that I simply buy, sell, and trade motorcycles very often. It's a sickness.
I used to do this with drums and cymbals. I've done a lot less selling and trading the last few years but the downturn in those activities hasn't been matched with the buying. I'm getting to the point where I look around and think, "Shit. I have too much drum gear." This became exceedingly clear this past week when I had to take gear from the basement to the storage unit because I need basement space to work in for the house projects we're trying to finish up.

How is this relevant to discussion at hand? Because in Oct '21 (15 months ago) I bought a pair of tires from J&P for $425.
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The same tires are now $291.51 for the rear, $220.13 for the front, subtotal of of $511.64. That's an increase of $114.69 or 28.89%.

At the time, I had thought about ordering 2 sets of tires and keeping one in the storage unit (that's full of drum gear now) until I needed to use them. I have 10,000 miles on the tires I ordered back then and am thinking I'll probably need to replace them mid-summer. I regret my decision of not buying 2 sets, I had gambled that by the time I needed to replace them, supply-chain issues would have eased enough to drop the prices.
 
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