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Ladies and gents,

 

I'm bringing something to the table to chat about that I think is a giant hole in the Indian dealership network. Please do enlighten me as to how HD or other makers handle this as I have had Jap bikes in the past and didn't run into this problem.

 

I recently had my Chieftain the Indian Hollister Powersports dealership where they did a great deal of warranty work on my bike. While it was there, they questioned other warranty and maintenance work done on the bike. Here's the rub: they could not pull up the service records on my bike done at another dealership.

 

What came under question was my front forks being a bit soft and they wondered if a rebuild had been done. I told them I thought it had and to check the records. They said they couldn't unless it had been done under warranty and reported back to Polaris.

 

I know with my Fords, BMWs (cars) and Kawasakis, I was able to have any dealership pull up the maintenance records on the vehicle no matter what dealership I was in. It seems to me that every dealership should have access to the complete bike maintenance for multiple reasons. Instead of having to carry around a file folder with the records, it should be a digital file accessible by the owner and the dealership, imho.

 

Has anyone else run into this?

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Two great posts today, Maldev AND bringing a little life to the forum. :) I would think that Indian's system should record all work on the bike, warranty or not. I'll check my dealer out of curiosity. I can't remember whether Harley did or not but I seem to remember that it was dealer specific. I'm not sure. It's um, an age thing. :)

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Two great posts today, Maldev AND bringing a little life to the forum. :) I would think that Indian's system should record all work on the bike, warranty or not. I'll check my dealer out of curiosity. I can't remember whether Harley did or not but I seem to remember that it was dealer specific. I'm not sure. It's um, an age thing. :)

That'd be a good question. Warranty work goes to the digital file because that goes to Polaris but a maintenance report doesn't. Seems like an oversite to me that could be easily fixed. Besides, if you move and/or change dealerships, how are they to know if you've kept up on your maintenance if a warranty issue arises and your maintenance is questioned.

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Hey Robert.i don’t know but it’s great to see you on here. I’m at my Maine home right now, wife is in New Zealand dealing with family stuff, only Polaris I’m riding is my Ranger back and forth to the woodpile! I am glad it has a heater and cab, it was 7 yesterday. I hope you and Mouse had a great holiday season!

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Hey Robert.i don’t know but it’s great to see you on here. I’m at my Maine home right now, wife is in New Zealand dealing with family stuff, only Polaris I’m riding is my Ranger back and forth to the woodpile! I am glad it has a heater and cab, it was 7 yesterday. I hope you and Mouse had a great holiday season!

Thanks, Pete! Always happy to be here and have been lurking for a while. I simply haven't had much to post.

I miss the cold. It gets boring with all the days running at 70f every day here. ;-)

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Robert - I haven't had that experience with my Indian, but I'm not surprised that Polaris doesn't have a better data base to track normal maintenance let alone warranty issues. It's as though Homer Simpson was their IT Specialist.

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I know, when she FaceTimes me from NZ it’s the middle of summer and I wonder how anyone would want that?

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BTW I did go to the dealership in Halifax, NS the week after Christmas and I was treated well. They are not a stand alone dealership however understandably so. Snowmobiles and four wheelers are available for purchase

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BTW I did go to the dealership in Halifax, NS the week after Christmas and I was treated well. They are not a stand alone dealership however understandably so. Snowmobiles and four wheelers are available for purchase

I'm not sure I've seen a single Indian only dealership anymore. I don't think that'd be a smart business move at all. The more brands and things you have to sell and service, the broader the base. I'm sure the Halifax dealership would sit empty, except for storage, during the winter time up there if they just sold motorcycles.

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Robert - I haven't had that experience with my Indian, but I'm not surprised that Polaris doesn't have a better data base to track normal maintenance let alone warranty issues. It's as though Homer Simpson was their IT Specialist.

I expected a bit more from a company that touts its engineering prowess. Given these bikes are now hooked up to a computer with nearly every dealership visit, it seems to me it wouldn't take a lot of effort on some IT's day to write up a database to collect that info for the owner. Hell, I have access to my complete medical records on my mobile phone.

Glad you haven't had this issue with your machine. Between knocking down techs' claims of "they all sound that way" to Polaris not wanting to own the issue, it's been a long battle but the result is much better. Luckily Hollister went to bat for me and got it taken care of under the warranty and under the wire. My warranty is now up. And this from a dealership that I did not purchase my bike from. They went above and beyond.

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It baffles me that there are some dealers out there that do whatever they want to do and customers are an after thought after the sale.

And if God forbid that you didn't buy your bike from your servicing dealer.

I feel very fortunate that Rey Sotelo at Hollister Indian was willing to help me out because my bike was screwed up so bad it was unsafe

to ride when my local dealer gave it back to me after having it for a year. I really can't Thank Rey enough for what he and his crew has done for me. I really hope the Indian continues writing history but they really need a great dealer network for that to happen.

And I only know of three dealerships Hollister, Charlotte and Arkansas that I would go to.

I'm sure there's more out there but definitely not in my neck of the woods as I have been to a few others and it's disappointing to say the least.

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It baffles me that there are some dealers out there that do whatever they want to do and customers are an after thought after the sale.

And if God forbid that you didn't buy your bike from your servicing dealer.

I feel very fortunate that Rey Sotelo at Hollister Indian was willing to help me out because my bike was screwed up so bad it was unsafe

to ride when my local dealer gave it back to me after having it for a year. I really can't Thank Rey enough for what he and his crew has done for me. I really hope the Indian continues writing history but they really need a great dealer network for that to happen.

And I only know of three dealerships Hollister, Charlotte and Arkansas that I would go to.

I'm sure there's more out there but definitely not in my neck of the woods as I have been to a few others and it's disappointing to say the least.

+1 on everything BluChief said.

And thank you for letting me know about Rey. I would have been dealing with larger issues in another year without a warranty with the way my engine was going.

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I expected a bit more from a company that touts its engineering prowess. Given these bikes are now hooked up to a computer with nearly every dealership visit, it seems to me it wouldn't take a lot of effort on some IT's day to write up a database to collect that info for the owner. Hell, I have access to my complete medical records on my mobile phone.

Glad you haven't had this issue with your machine. Between knocking down techs' claims of "they all sound that way" to Polaris not wanting to own the issue, it's been a long battle but the result is much better. Luckily Hollister went to bat for me and got it taken care of under the warranty and under the wire. My warranty is now up. And this from a dealership that I did not purchase my bike from. They went above and beyond.

 

 

I lucked out with my '03 Chief Roadmaster, The Iron Beast . . . I only had to have it re-built twice. But once I got through the first five years of ownership it was a great ride, finally selling it in 2015 when I bought the Vintage. Absolutely no service issues with this ride (is that like talking about a no-hitter in the 8th inning?) and the dealership in Auburn, WA has been great.

 

We stopped at the Indian dealership in Sturgis last August on a drive to Minneapolis - now THAT was an experience. All Indian and only Indian. Got some great advice from one of their techs who specializes in body work.

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I was gonna say that the guy in Westfield, Mass has a stand alone dealership. It is called Indian of Springfield which is at least 30 miles away. I’ve been to dealers in Switzerland that were stand alone also. I wish posting photos on here wasn’t so hard. I used to could whip one up on here in a second. The dealership in Auckland, New Zealand has Brit and “metric” bikes.

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Dang. I wonder how they keep their shops open during the non-riding season.

 

I was gonna say that the guy in Westfield, Mass has a stand alone dealership. It is called Indian of Springfield which is at least 30 miles away. I’ve been to dealers in Switzerland that were stand alone also. I wish posting photos on here wasn’t so hard. I used to could whip one up on here in a second. The dealership in Auckland, New Zealand has Brit and “metric” bikes.

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Robert, I checked with my dealer and got the same info as above on service records. They record everything done to a bike in their system but only warranty work in the Indian system.

How simple would it be to link the two databases with the VIN as the key...

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How simple would it be to link the two databases with the VIN as the key...

Exactly.

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I agree. It seems like it would be an easy fix to me but then I'm not a programmer. I was told by an employee that the two systems are very different and can't communicate. That's probably the case at a lot of dealerships. I'll try to talk with the owner this next week and ask.

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I agree. It seems like it would be an easy fix to me but then I'm not a programmer. I was told by an employee that the two systems are very different and can't communicate. That's probably the case at a lot of dealerships. I'll try to talk with the owner this next week and ask.

Apple, Android, etc are all very different and can communicate using a third party program to bridge the two. I wouldn't expect the dealerships to handle this. It should come down from Polaris. I was a kid of the 80s and used to hack computers all the time. It's not difficult to combine spreadsheets from two divergent platforms. It's just a program that needs to be written.

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I thought there was something shifty about you, Maldev. No wonder you ended up in California. :)

Ha! Actually, when I did it, it wasn't against the law because the laws didn't cover what we did back then. :rotfl:

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As the owner of the Gilroy Indian motorcycle that had more warranty work done on it (confirmed by Frank O' Connell) at more Indian dealerships (speculation on my part) I can guarantee you that Gilroy knew exactly what they were and were not paying for. It would have been easy for Gilroy to make that data available to it's dealer network. I don't know if they ever did. What I do know is that all that mattered to the dealers was that Uncle George authorize the warranty work currently under question. I suspect they did not have access to that data based on the number of times I was asked by various dealers if I had if certain recall issues taken care of yet, implying that the dealer didn't know. I can only surmise that the reason that, if Gilroy chose not to make their warranty work data available to dealers, was doing so was considered a cost liability. Why make it easier for warranty to get done if you don't have to? In Gilroy's case, why make it easier for dealers to know how many PowerPlus engines were getting rebuilt under warranty? As it was, the sheer cost of doing so, in my opinion, contributed significantly to Gilroy's demise. It can be argued that keeping that information away from dealers actually prolonged the amount of time that warranty work was done before Gilroy folded, something nobody, save potential new investors, wanted.

 

Not saying Polaris is Gilroy, just saying be careful what you wish for.

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As the owner of the Gilroy Indian motorcycle that had more warranty work done on it (confirmed by Frank O' Connell) at more Indian dealerships (speculation on my part) I can guarantee you that Gilroy knew exactly what they were and were not paying for. It would have been easy for Gilroy to make that data available to it's dealer network. I don't know if they ever did. What I do know is that all that mattered to the dealers was that Uncle George authorize the warranty work currently under question. I suspect they did not have access to that data based on the number of times I was asked by various dealers if I had if certain recall issues taken care of yet, implying that the dealer didn't know. I can only surmise that the reason that, if Gilroy chose not to make their warranty work data available to dealers, was doing so was considered a cost liability. Why make it easier for warranty to get done if you don't have to? In Gilroy's case, why make it easier for dealers to know how many PowerPlus engines were getting rebuilt under warranty? As it was, the sheer cost of doing so, in my opinion, contributed significantly to Gilroy's demise. It can be argued that keeping that information away from dealers actually prolonged the amount of time that warranty work was done before Gilroy folded, something nobody, save potential new investors, wanted.

 

Not saying Polaris is Gilroy, just saying be careful what you wish for.

I understand what I am asking for as it seems to be pretty standard in the automotive world and extremely helpful for the owner of the auto/motorcycle. The Gilroys never needed to be plugged into a computer for their tune-ups and/or recalls. These new machines do as a matter of course which means collecting the info on the bike isn't left to a desk jockey or mechanic punching in numbers but a computer program that's already interfacing with the bike. The info is there, it's simply not being collected and utilized in an efficient manner. BMW also did this with their motorcycle when they took over the CHP market out here and used the collected info to improve their machines. If Polaris is going to really invest in their machine and market space, collecting all the service info, not just that on warrranty items, seems prudent. In a worst-case scenario where you find yourself under warranty, with a problem, and the dealership that serviced your bike has closed and Polaris challenges your claim based on improper or lack of routine services, you're left with little prove you've followed through maintaining the bike. I know that may seem like an unlikely situation, but um, we've seen that happen before and not just by Polaris.

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Polaris seems to have their hands full on the programing end of their bikes that they are barely able to handle. JMO

What little i know about computer programing, interface and applications it seems it could be a whole lot better.

Now to add a data base program that would be useful for all might be too much for Polaris. Just saying................

 

Besides your bike is out of warranty so it doesn't matter :grin:

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