Factory Warranties, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly What You Need To Know!

Factory Warranties, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

Motorcycle Warranties

Owning a Harley-Davidson is about individuality; being different from the pack and expressing yourself through your bike. Why is it that Harley-Davidson attempts to scare owners into thinking that having any kind of service work, or performance modifications done to their bike by anyone other than a dealer using Harley-Davidson parts will automatically void their warranty.

While Harley-Davidson would like you to believe that using aftermarket parts and independent shops will void your warranty it's not true and doubtful that it's legally enforceable because of the Magnuson Moss Act

Unlike most automotive OEMs that make the vast amount of their money from vehicle sales, not parts and accessories Harley-Davidson's business model is based on vehicle sales plus parts and accessories. Unfortunately embracing a business model like that often makes the product with the best profit margin markups the one that a manufacturer will promote and not neccessarily the best product.

It's simple economics.

 Any money you spend on parts and accessories at an independent shop is money that Harley Davidson feels is theirs, and will say and do just about anything to make the consumer think they must use the dealer for everything or their warranty will be voided.

To be clear, we love Harley-Davidson motorcycles but if we believe everything that the dealers and manufacturer say about their products being the only ones acceptable to use then what does that say about the quality of products offered by companies like Amsoil, Red Line or Bel-Ray that have been consistently rated as the top fluids in the marketplace by independent studies.

When it comes to exhaust customization, one of the first things many Harley owners do, consumers have become scared to put anything other than what the dealer or factory tells them to do. The quality and credibility of products offered by companies like Vance & Hines, Rhinehart Racing, Freedom Performance and RC Components is often downplayed or negated by telling the consumer that using one of these will void their warranty despite the vast sums of money these companies spend on R&D and the countless hours spent on the Dyno tuning them for ideal performance gains to create a quality product.

Rather than fight a losing battle with reputable independent shops and quality aftermarket products servicing the Harley-Davidson marketplace a better solution would be to embrace these players in a similar fashion many successful automotive manufacturers do. They have recognized the importance the aftermarket manufacturers and independent shops have as influencers that help increase the demand for the brand overall.

The Harley-Davidson aftermarket and independent shop owner is not something that Harley-Davidson should be scared of. Independent shop owners and aftermarket manufacturer's are here to make Harley-Davidson motorcycles look and run better, not violate a warranty.


* For more on this read Dave Withrow's publisher column in this months issue of American Bagger Magazine.- Feb-2018