About The Right To Repair Your Motorcycle Where You Want

motorcyclerepairI am certain that you agree on the fact that consumers are entitled to the right to choose where and how their motorcycle, car or other type of vehicle is maintained or upgraded. The point of “The Vehicle Owner’s Right to Repair” is to protect your freedom to choose how you take care of your vehicles, be it your private garage, your driveway or a trusted independent shop , and to ensure that everybody has access to all the information required to complete service and repairs.

Vehicles, including motorcycles, are becoming increasingly complex with the addition of more and more computer technology, and that is only going to increase in the future. Ready access to accurate service and repair information from the manufacturers is essential to the safety and well being of the entire American motoring public.

The Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, which was introduced by Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and George Miller (D-CA), would require vehicle manufacturers to make the same service information and tools capabilities available to independent repair shops that they provide to their franchised dealer networks. At the same time, the legislation provides vehicle manufacturers with strong protections for their trade secrets unless that information is provided to the franchised dealers.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) encourages its members and all motorists to visit  RIGHT TO REPAIR or to send a letter to each of their congressional representatives, urging them to support the Right to Repair Act (HR 2057) by adding their names to the list of co-sponsors.

14 Responses to “About The Right To Repair Your Motorcycle Where You Want”

  1. 1 I Work at One Jun 24th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Vehicle owners have always had the ability to repair their own vehicles– new or otherwise. The problem occurs when people whose IQ is within 3 points of barking attempt a repair, blow it, then try to claim warranty to correct their mistake.

    “Factory Trained” technicians are just that– trained by the manufacturer to do the job right. OK, let’s avoid the semantic argument about competence… we’ve all heard stories about dealership mechanics being less than stellar. But those kind of stories exist in all facets of mechanical repair.

    Bottom line, as I see it, is this: you get what you pay for. The more you reduce your service bill, the more you increase your risk. Remember that the next time your brother-in-law Bubba repairs your brakes…

  2. 2 Pitbull Jun 24th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    So “I work at one” you think that if we reduce the service bill the risk is increased? Dumb dumb want gum gum?

  3. 3 Scott Jun 24th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    The basic concepts of how things work has not changed over the years. It still takes ignition, air/fuel, and compression to get combustion in a gasoline engine. the only difference is how we deliver the spark and fuel. A chain and gears still work the same. Giving information to those who don’t have a clue won’t help them at all. I deal with that about every day. While it does make my job more dificult from time to time it sure helps in keeping a demand for my services.

  4. 4 A 1 cycles Jun 24th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    as an independent shop with a dyno and 15 years in business i have had to keep up with fuel injection and more and more electronics, correct the basics are the basics, but i have had to constantly upgrade my scanilizer with breakout boxes and hardware chips to keep up with modern changes in harley davidsons, but yet if an ecu on a bike is damaged you must go to harley to get it reflashed no if ands or buts about it. they charge 129 dollars and it is downloaded online from factory h.d. to that v.i.n. bike. so they have us over a barrell and i dont see that changing, but like any business you must evolve and move foward, just like fax machines, computers have replaced typewriters, and such, improvement takes capital investment..keep up or get out.

  5. 5 cabe Jun 26th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    “all the information required to complete service and repairs” – Does that include years worth of training and experience? I think everybody here knows that reading the manual and having a vague idea what a wrench looks like is not enough, it takes a lot more than that. Admitted, there are many non-pros out there who are very good in servicing and repairing their own ride, but there are also others… One big question that remains unanswered (if I missed anything, I apologize) is the legal side. What happens to the warranty of a new vehicle if a repair or service in that period is not performed by an authorized dealer/trained mechanic? What if the do-it-yourself job goes wrong and results in a related defect or, in the worst case scenario, an accident? Is the manufacturer who provided the information and tools liable?… Bottom line for me: Not necessarily a bad idea, but far more complex to implement than obviously even the people behind it realize.

  6. 6 TAC Jun 27th, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Long over due……Time for Harley to be forced/mandated to release their technology.
    The independent shops should be able to purchase/access the same information.
    The consumer should be able to choose who repairs the bike they own……..FTF!


  7. 7 Grayhawk Jun 27th, 2009 at 11:57 am

    TAC – business’s should be forced to release their technology? Don’t want to pop your bubble but do not hold your breath as it will not happen.

    Customers have always had the choice of where to have there bike worked on just not Harley or any other OEM or Custom Manufacturor products warranty work nor should they and expect the factory to stand behind it and assume the costs.

    Also if you, Joe Customer, choose to do so while under warranty other then routine maintenance/service intervels work, etc. you might have an issue when the customer takes their bike back to an authorized dealer of same product for a warrantable issue and finds out the work you had done voided that units warranty. No different than you TAC standing behind CAT’s work unless you have an agreement with CAT and your warranty policy/insurable provider will accept same based on warrantable specific language.

    Even dealers under contract or franchised with OEM’S have to get approval from factory to proceed with the warranty work or take the risk of not being reimbursed for parts and labor.

    Train your people, buy latest aftermarket or available tools, get authorized where you can but do not expect to ride on anothers coat tail for free and do not expect them to release anything proprietary. Businesses expend big bucks for their technological specifcs and softwares, training, etc.


  8. 8 rah Jun 28th, 2009 at 12:26 am

    some of you are missing the point!!!!!!!!!!!

    simply put manufactures are making the vehicles (cars and motorcycles) impossible for a consumer to repair without a $7,000 computer or special tools that are priced as if NASA developed them for a space walk…….

  9. 9 Grayhawk Jun 28th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Good tools cost real money your right there. Unless reverse -engineered in China, (after someone else has spent all the time and money to develop), then assembled and packed by 12 year olds shipped to a discount store near you. Harbor Freight may be a good stop for your economic shopping tool needs to work on your high dollar bike.

    One cannot expect expect the durability of a Kent-Moore, Jim’s or others, etc. speciality/quality tools or functunal Aftermarket or OEM software and associated computers/scanalyzers, etc. without cost.

    If you have to make your living using them you may not serve yourself and yes each year model changes dictate the need to develop new special tools and these shops buying tools is endless. You never can go by a shop hardly without seeing a tool truck stop by weekly. Good tech’s have more invested in their tool chest then some in their house and most can not afford the bike they work on for you. Let a tech and a shop make a fair and honest living on what they have been trained in/on.

    If you want to play or work on your stuff outside doing routine tinkering and maintenance and servicing/repairs you will be paying the piper especially if you’re messing with the electronic brain and fuels area or internals, noting not all that is OEM driven as much mandated EPA burdens, etc. Hear there is a Chinese dyno coming to market probably can get it at Harbor Freight also.

    Days of a piece of sandpaper for the points and a feeler guage, etc. are long gone except my old stuff still living. Understand your pain, but.


  10. 10 Grayhawk Jun 28th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    One more viewpoint and I will shut up as above I responded to two viewpoints posted.

    Is this bill really about Joe Owner working on his car or bike, no it is not in my opinion as most can buy the manuals and service books and do the basics they can even buy the aftermarket products to piggyback and bypass/compensate etc. to get them in a average range of operation whether you drill out your pipes, adjust in ranges or do a complete technical re-mapping. The pitch men are always presenting the viewpoint to get the attention and support of the naive public who hears what you want them to hear, behind the scenes and when one digs deeper you might see the potential benefactors of legislation, one might look at the sponsors on their website who may have hired lobbiest to allow them as competitors a quicker route to get a bigger piece of the pie, the distributors armed with the direct technology to copy products of like from an overseas source if you will.

    How many of us will read the bill, how many in the legislation will read it. before making their decision or read it at all or see if the bill sponsors have constiguents with profital gain in mind, maybe it is all not for the benefit of Joe consumer. Very seldom mandates of any kind serve best in the end. Look at it from your business asset point if you develop something and have to release any and all to everyone else so they can subvent all your r&d and copy likeness or whatever else in-house specifics. Then vote.

    See attached:



  11. 11 TAC Jun 30th, 2009 at 7:26 am


    I never said anything about warranty work; independent shops should be able to purchase the same technology from the manufacture. Harley controls digital tech and if you want to make changes it has to be done through them. They even try and control what hand tools are sold outside HD. That’s BS in my opinion and has nothing to do with warranty repair. If you fix it yourself or have a non authorized repair shop fix your bike that’s on the consumer but let me make the choice not the manufacture. What happens when warranty is up, you still want me to take my bike to HD? Or should I just junk it? Most dealers won’t touch an EVO now so in another ten years what will everyone do with the twin cam digital techbikes???? Thanks for your time………………FTF!!


  12. 12 Grayhawk Jun 30th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    See your perspective TAC and a perfectly understandable viewpoint by one who wants more service work or wants someone other than HD to do the work, warranty is warranty so if it doesn’t apply to you it doesn’t. As far as specialty tools they are available but your right not the digital tech inhouse software if your not an authorized dealer as such I do not believe it will happen, this is the second run at the same bill it was introduced back in 2007 as I believe HR 2694 , same bill same sponsors never made it past committee.

    HD only has the capacity or I should say performs only about ballpark 60 plus percentage of the HD service work so if your shop is good you will get more and more work as used bikes stay on road longer with reduced new unit sales. There is available aftermarket software to keep them running and address the electronic braining; again just not the inhouse proprietory software but some good ones in the aftermarket for cars and bikes. My bikes go back to the late teens so I don’t junk much that isn’t non restorable junk. Its not just a bike issue either as all OEM’s are lobbying to keep same inhouse type technologies in fold. Regards

  13. 13 Dingo Dave Jul 14th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    DIRECT LINK software allows aftermarket shops and you to access and manipulate ECU’s directly.
    Also H-D’s ‘Supertuner’ allows you and your computer to do the same for a lot less initial investment.
    I have used both and prefer the supertuner to ALL others esp those that break into the ECU main connector.

    The key gentlemen is to never stop learning…and that’s always a good thing!

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