Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thinking of upgrading your brand new motorcycle? Think again!

Thinking of upgrading or personalizing your brand new motorcycle?  If it is still under warranty, think again.  

More often than not, if you end up having problems with your bike that the authorized dealer cannot fix, the manufacturer will blame the problems on the non OEM add-on and possibly void your warranty.  And, you typically cannot trust the authorized dealer when they tell you that the part won't void your warranty, because the manufacturer is unlikely to stand behind its dealer when it comes down to it.  In fact, when push comes to shove, most bike manufacturers don't care if you are a loyal customer-- they will void your warranty in a heartbeat to avoid admitting that they built a defective product.

Still set on purchasing and installing that non OEM part or accessory on your brand new bike?  Here are some tips:

1. Take a look at your bike warranty.  Most bike manufacturers have warranty exclusions for racing parts, non OEM parts, or parts that cause the bike to exceed local emissions requirements, etc.  See what your warrant excludes.  Then, contact the manufacturer of the non OEM part or visit their website.  Does that part fit into any of your warranty exclusions?

2. Contact the manufacturer of your bike.  Ask them about the non OEM part and if installation will affect your warranty.  If they tell you that installation will not affect your warranty, then be sure to get it in writing.

3. Have the authorized dealer install the part.  This way if the manufacturer later argues that the part was not properly installed, it is their own dealer that is to blame and not you.

4. The best bet is always to wait until your warranty expires.

Unfortunately, most bike manufacturers these days will not stand behind their product or support a loyal customer if doing so means taking a financial loss.  So, before installing an add-on onto your brand new bike, think long and hard-- you could be left with a bike that doesn't run and a warranty that is void.

Beth Wells
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 9 Years Running