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My 2020 tour just hit 16k miles so I stopped in the shop I've used for years to get a quote on scheduled maintenance and removing old and mounting two new tires. $1400. What? 3 years ago and previous years I was paying about $50 per tire. Today it's over $500 for two including shop supplies and tax. The tires alone went up well over $100 compared to a year ago as well. Since I need tires every year I need a better solution.

My question is: Other folks in NC - do you have a place you go to for less money? I live in Raleigh and don't mind riding to save money. Not at all in fact...



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One option is to do like a lot of us
Do as much as you can yourself

oil changes are easy
Air filter just takes time with a good set of directions with pictures
Wheels aren’t bad to get off then just take them in that way and should be under $30 at a pricy place for just a tire swap out
 
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My 2020 tour just hit 16k miles so I stopped in the shop I've used for years to get a quote on scheduled maintenance and removing old and mounting two new tires. $1400. What? 3 years ago and previous years I was paying about $50 per tire. Today it's over $500 for two including shop supplies and tax. The tires alone went up well over $100 compared to a year ago as well. Since I need tires every year I need a better solution.

My question is: Other folks in NC - do you have a place you go to for less money? I live in Raleigh and don't mind riding to save money. Not at all in fact...



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149.99/hour. That is what dealers are able to get away with. An option that will come up is the darksidedness that changes the way the bike handles, but lets you run longer on a tire change. The cartar’ costs less and lasts longer, if you are willing to accept the changes. Other than that, like others say, do your own service to keep some more moola in your pocket.
 

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Tire mounting/balance around me is $50-55 per tire (off the bike). Spark plugs are well under $3.00 each at Autozone. I pad $50-something for my air filter. Removing the front and rear wheels so you can take those in, is really easy. I just did that this past week.

But if you have the resources, by all means let the shop do all the work.
 

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I brought my rear tire (off the bike) and new one to a little trike place in Keene, NH, $85 to mount tire and balance. The next day I brought my front to a little one man garage, he charged $35. I guess I know where I will be going for tire changes from now on.
 

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the little shops in my area charge $20 or less for a simple tire swap no balance, some just $10 with $20 including the balance...... but no one here can balance a mc wheel

my go to place, I have heard is up for sale, sad, they keep beads to toss in wheels that are impossible or at least real hard to put lead weights on the outside
they did my last front tire swap including replacing the tmps with a brass 90 stem and fixed a flat on the ct rear, I took everything in the back of my truck

small independent shops are the way to go, they don't have to answer to corporate.
 
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Problem with Dealers is they use the Flat Rate Book to charge for Labor. They can change front and rear tires plus balance them in less than an hour using a drive on table lift. But they will charge as if each tire is a separate job. The mechanics will make 3.5 hours of labor for something they performed in half the time. I know this because I use to work for a Dealer in San Antonio after my AF Retirement. A good mechanic can make 10 or 12 hours worth in an 8 hour day. Back when I worked there, we charged $67/hour and I made $17/hour. The Dealer got the rest to keep the rent, utilities and support like service writers, etc.
 

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Getting to the air filter is the big labor expense. Actually that dealership is optimistic about taking four hours to do all of those items. Changing the tires, spark plugs, and oil takes me at least two hours, of course I am not a "trained" mechanic. To get to the air cleaner a mechanic must remove the seat, side covers, inner cowl, rear view mirrors, middle cowls (basically the colored plastic fairing), top shelter, center panel switch, and finally the center pocket. The air box cover is simply held in place with seven screws, easy enough. Then the mechanic has to put all of the stuff above back on and there are lots of fasteners that are of certain length that must go in their unique spot. It is daunting to do. There is also the risk that an inexperienced Goldwing mechanic will break something while disassembling and reassembling. Lots of tabs and clips that insert into grommets that require force but not too much.

My recommendation about the air cleaner, don't replace it at 16,000 miles especially since you live in the pretty dust free environment of North Carolina. At 30K I would find a dealer with a flexible borescope that can snake its way down to the air filter then take a look to see how dirty it is. It is the kind of item that should be replaced based on its condition and not on mileage.
 

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Better yet, invest in yourself and learn how to do the routine maintenance and save yourself $$$ as well as know it was actually done. My tire machine paid for itself a long, long time ago. As well as my Handy lift for the bike. There is plenty of help in videos by Cruiseman or Harmon and the Honda service manual is really good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all for the replies. I’m at Team Powersports in Garner, a little South of Raleigh. $79 per tire on the bike and I can live with it. Also getting 16k service done minus the air filter and spark plugs which I’ll do sometime over the winter. Oil filter, oil change and NC inspection also being done. I don’t mind changing the oil more often. $413 for parts, labor and tax. That’s fair to me. I’ll get Fred’s videos for the air filter change and future maintenance.
 

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$79/tire on the bike sounds pretty good. If it were me, my concern would be whether they tightened the lug nuts in the proper order and torqued them to spec.

On the front, my concern would be the torque spec and whether they applied some sort of thread lock to the caliper bolts. For $79, they probably did not replace the bolts per Honda's manual.

Had you removed the wheels yourself, it would have been a really good time to check the brake pad wear.

You can do all these yourself once the bike is back home.
 

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I buy the tires online at CycleGear.com, and have them shipped free to my local CycleGear store. I take in my wheels and it’s $25/tire.
They also match Revzilla prices (sister company) with the lowest prices I’ve found.
Just make sure you tell them if you have TPMS.

 

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My 2020 tour just hit 16k miles so I stopped in the shop I've used for years to get a quote on scheduled maintenance and removing old and mounting two new tires. $1400. What? 3 years ago and previous years I was paying about $50 per tire. Today it's over $500 for two including shop supplies and tax. The tires alone went up well over $100 compared to a year ago as well. Since I need tires every year I need a better solution.

My question is: Other folks in NC - do you have a place you go to for less money? I live in Raleigh and don't mind riding to save money. Not at all in fact...



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Barry58. I also live in Raleigh. I still love to turn a wrench and so far I do all my work on my goldwing and also my 2018 Harley ultra Classic limited. I bought my wing earlier this year and have been busy getting it to my liking. I use Motomax on old wake forest rd for my tire work. Good guys and prices are fair. I took my wing wheels in this past weekend to have new tires installed and balanced with new valve stems and they charged me $30 per tire plus $5 shop fee and tax. i furnished my own tires. There labor rate is $89 per hour. Very fair. I also have done business with Team Powersports in Garner when I had my valkyries. Mainly for inspections. Good folks also. I also invested in a Honda shop manual. Hope this helps a little. Thanks 🇺🇸
 
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