What I do is "WAIT" for something I think needs adjusted, then I take it in. It depends on "HOW YOU RIDE"! Yeh, everybody rides different. If your not having any "MAJOR ISSUES" w/anything, change your fluids yourself. Motor,Trans,and Primary. Then ride and see if you can tell a difference in,Sound and Performance. They do grease alot of things, steering head, floorboards, clutch cable, but if your not out popn the clutch at every stop light, and are using common sence, your gonna get the most out of what they do, IF THEY DO IT RITE!Had dealer do the 1,000 mile service. They say that the 5,000 mile service they touch every bolt on the bike..Is this true ? Do you change all three oils every 5,000 miles. If its just a engine oil and plugs, i can do that. What do you guys do?
It's nothing but an oil change with a lookie see.
Change your own oil's and check your own stuff and save the money.
I've gotta comment on your last 2 sentences,... Long story short! Met this Guy in 1987. Didnt no it but used to be a 1%. Iron Horseman. Rode from Ohio to California and back w/him. Got to be pretty good buddies! Lost his job (QIUT)! in 92 or 93. Rejoined the Horseman and became El-President-A. Became a H.D. Tech. I was a Milkman (WIC) for a local Dairy. Up at 3:30 am and usually, on the average done around 1 pm. Would go to the Harley Shop after work, get him and off to the Bar we went. 3 or 4 Beers apc., 1/2 dozen Shots a pc. and back to work he went and Home for me! Get to know youe SERVICE TECH! You would be AMAZED! LOL! LOL! The Manager saw me pull up and "HATED IT"! LOL! But, I new the Manager longer than the my bud in the Back! LOL! He (manager) new we gonna go get "TORN OUT THE FRAME" LOL! LOL!I bought the Service Manual for my Wide Glide, no problems. Just got the Service Manual for my RG. Again, no problems. I must agree with what was stated earlier; if it looks wrong, sounds bad, smells bad, it might be bad/wrong. Although the manual is descriptive it can throw one off at times. I myself choose to run AmsOil in all three. Tranny gets the Severe Gear 75/90. Quiet and smooth........
The other thing is this, get to know a tech or two at the dealer. Take them lunch and listen to them talk......
The Harley motors are a basic design. Not much to them. Just change your oils, and lube the cable's and things will be what they are. I put over 20,000 on my Softail FXSTC and over 37,000 miles on my Electra Glide and alls I did was change the oils, lube the cables, adjusted the primary chain once and added tires. That's it !
Sorry for quoting myself but xusnatc has just illustrated my earlier remark. The dealerships are a business. Their mechanics are expected to get through a job as fast as possible. If you bring your bike in for service, for example, and the mechanic doesn't think your clutch needs adjustment, he'll skip it. I see bikes for sale on ebay that say "Dealer Serviced and Maintained". Those are the bikes I avoid. I'd rather have a bike that was worked on by the owner then a half assed job by a mechanic at a dealership. Why would you pay someone else to fuck up your bike when you can do it yourself? I have basically no mechanical skills but I've always done my own work. Changing your oil, a tire or breaks is easy and only takes about 1/2 hour. Buy the service manual and take your time.+1
My best friend used to be a mechanic at a Harley Dealership. He told me that most mechanics do a half ass job on everything. The faster they can finish a job, the more jobs they can do in a day. They charge us 4 hours labor for a job they can finish in 45 minutes. They gloss over many things since they are routine and usually don't require much attention until there's a problem.