Long wait for bike parts unacceptable

motorcycle motorbike parts engine accessories miserly expensive

As if motorcycle parts aren’t expensive enough, sometimes you have a long wait for them to arrive with your bike inconveniently off the road.

We’ve heard of people waiting six weeks for something as simple as a sump plug or three months for a swinger adjuster tool.

It’s not acceptable to pay so much for so much inconvenience.

There are several causes for the cost and supply problems in Australia.

Economies of scale

For a start, motorcycle parts are always more expensive than car parts simply because there are not as much demand.

It’s about economies of scale and the same applies to motorcycle tyres. They usually cost more than car tyres.Continental SportAttack 3 tyres breaks in quickly parts

Parts availability

As for availability, most importers don’t carry a comprehensive range of stock for all bikes, past and present.

If they do, they pass on the cost of having to warehouse the stock.

Other importers still charge a small fortune for all parts, yet don’t carry any stock for past models.

And there are some importers who don’t carry any stock but the bare essentials and order from the factory as required.

We won’t name names because the circumstances can be different for each model and each part.

However, it is worth asking the dealer about the importer’s policy on parts availability before buying a new bike.

It’s a scandal that is mostly to blame on importers, not the dealers.

Riders often blame the dealership because that is their point of contact, but dealers can’t be expected to carry all parts for all bikes.

They have to rely on the importers to have a ready supply of stock.

What’s worse is that some importers only fulfil parts orders in bulk once a month to reduce the costs of individual freight.

Internet orders

Is it any wonder that riders are now turning to the internet to order their own parts?

Some take less than a week to arrive which is sometimes faster than the importer or dealer can get them.

The problem here can be that the part is a fake or that it is not a recommended part and it voids your motorcycle warranty.

Read this warning about fakes.

  • Have you had a long wait for a simple part for your motorcycle? Tell us about your drama in the comments section below.

8 Comments

  1. I live in Canada and have been waiting 3 months for an ignition coil for my Honda Varadero! It is supposed to be in tomorrow (4th time I’ve been given a new arrival date). Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. I’m not feeling optimistic. I’ve missed the whole summer..unbelievable.

  2. It’s no better in the U.S. What really makes it annoying is that aftermarket companies like Dennis Kirk can get stuff to you next day. So what exactly is the manufacturer’s excuse?

  3. BMW recommends that the F800s drive belt is changed at 40,000km. BMW Australia don’t stock them. Each time you have to wait 7 – 8 weeks for it to come from Germany. I used to buy genuine from a dealer in the USA for $200 less and have it in 3 weeks. My current Honda VFR1200F needed some new panels after i dropped it. Not a common bike nor consumable parts. Not stocked in Australia, fair enough. But Honda can still get parts to me in a few weeks.

    1. And the OEM Honda parts for your VFR12F come already painted with graphics already to go. They are the original item – No grey plastic here like some other cheaper OEM Brands.
      I know as I have needed some panels too for my pranged VFR12F.

  4. Working in the industry and not wanting to pass the buck, but more often than not it’s the freight services that let us down or, as we are currently experiencing, it’s government red tape.
    Also sometimes the manufacturers don’t have the required part available as some of the parts are made by third parties.
    We do our best to get our orders received and dispatched ASAP but it can be the smallest hiccup that can create a headache for both importer, dealer, customer.

  5. Riding for near 40 years owned 35+ bikes all being road bikes bar a DR 250 and 90% of my bikes have been yamaha. Owned cruisers last 10 years as well as the XJR and have always found Yamaha at Moss St have been really good for parts mostly take 2 or 3 days for stuff like regulator, gaskets, sump plugs etc. Pricing is not too bad…. I can get most of what I want from the USA for my cruisers or the UK for my XJR but always go to my Yamaha shop first in hope. Have owned a few Boldors and a GTR 1000 found there prices a bit high and supply was always 2 or 3 weeks. I buy penrite oil for all my bikes and grab filters from K&N via the web and always have one on the shelf.

  6. I’ve been buying my OEM parts for certain German and British marques from reliable over OS sources for some years, freight is expensive but as the parts are often half the local cost and I don’t have to wait weeks or months for them to arrive it seems the only sane way to go. I do source some common parts from local suppliers, but anything serious I don’t even bother with local distributors.

  7. I think it varies a lot depending on the manufacturer and their policies. I’ve had quite a few bikes over the last 40+ years and my view is:
    BMW – pricing seems to be worldwide so we don’t pay a premium on parts but can be a 2-4 week delay for some parts. I’ve tried to look for cheaper prices overseas but it has never been worth it on genuine parts.
    Honda – Can be very slow to get parts in especially those which seem to fail regularly on some models such as electrical regulators
    Yamaha – Most of my bikes have been Yamaha (around 15 split over road and off-road) as they seem to have an amazing ability to supply even esoteric parts for my 20+ year old bike overnight. I’ve rewarded this by being a repeat customer. Pricing is ok but not as good as the world pricing for BMW. Parts can be bought cheaper overseas if you are willing to wait.
    Kymco – very few parts in stock but not surprising as the brand hasn’t really taken off in Australia. For a lighting control unit they said it would be up to 6 weeks but then it arrived in 2 weeks after all. Part pricing was surprisingly high for a brand I see as budget (albeit very underrated).

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