Like a lot of your readers, I was intrigued by that new Aprilia Tuareg 660. Also like a lot of them, I’m a little bit scared of my nearest Aprilia dealer being several hundred miles away. I mean, I wasn’t really scared until I read all the comments. Should I be worried about the dealer network so much in the modern era? Up to now I’ve only bought pre-owned Suzukis and Yamahas, and none of them has ever given me cause to go inside a real dealership.
Concerned but not worried,
Good question. I was just reading another post from a guy who says he’s been riding Harleys mostly for the last 30 years, largely for the peace of mind the huge dealer network gives him when he’s on the road. He went on to say that, during that time, he’d only needed the network twice – once for a flat tire, and once to bleed his brakes.
Well, ahhhh… aren’t those things any motorcycle shop should be able to handle? Not to mention pretty much any old guy in a barn? In the BA era (before Amazon), you maybe needed a dealer to source the occasional part. But now that the www is here, just about any component you could conceivably need is easier to have shipped directly to your door than ever – or maybe to your independent mechanic’s door if you’re lucky enough to have a good one. Not to mention that esoteric parts once nearly impossible to find are all right there on ebay awaiting your click. Aprilia’s US network is pretty sparse, about 60 dealers in the lower 48, but it’s also on a push to do more business online via the e-commerce site it launched last March. (That’s AF1 Racing in the lead photo, in Austin, Texas – one of Aprilia’s biggest dealers.)
It’s not the ’60s anymore
Then there’s the fact that, since about the 1969 Honda CB750, every manufacturer still in business has stepped up its quality to the point where motorcycle hard parts just don’t fail anymore. You’ll always need the occasional brake lever or gas tank or drive chain, but you’re probably not going to be needing your crankshaft ground or connecting rod bearings replaced within your own lifetime. Just as I was typing that, I remembered Aprilia did recall a few hundred RS and Tuono 660s last July due to improperly heat-treated rods that might fail…
10 Things You Didn’t Know About …….