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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
  • The greed of corporations is reaching into every crevice known to consumers.
  • The great resource known as MANUALSLIB.COM no longer has access to service manuals for Honda, Kawasaki or Yamaha powersports. The manuals were removed due to copy rights complaints by the big 3.
  • Suzuki, however, seems content to supply those consumers and customers, who so desire, to work on their own equipment with the correct information. Apparently they get enough service work at the dealerships to not have to worry about the low cost of a manual. Manuals ,BTW, are one of the highest mark up items you can buy for your vehicle.
  • With this sad event having taken place, it will be necessary for us, the consumers, to be even more supportive of each other in the sharing of information. It seems that snail mail will be the returning wave of the future. US mail still protected by anti-surveillance and seizure laws in the US.
  • If anyone is willing and can share, please do
 

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2022 Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS, 1981 Honda GL500 Interstate, & possibly a 2009 Vulcan 500 LTD
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I don't understand the absolute refusal to buy factory service manuals from the copyright holder.....

It's $100 to help DIYers maintain their multi $1000 machines....

Have I used free online downloads? Sure

Have I gotten actual hard copies of those manuals for both my Kawi's and the Honda project bike? Yep, sure have....

It seems short-sighted and absurd to bemoan the copyright holders paying attention and demanding free online download sites cease & desist...

Not necessarily a popular opinion, but it's mine....
 

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I don't understand the absolute refusal to buy factory service manuals from the copyright holder.....

It's $100 to help DIYers maintain their multi $1000 machines....

Have I used free online downloads? Sure

Have I gotten actual hard copies of those manuals for both my Kawi's and the Honda project bike? Yep, sure have....

It seems short-sighted and absurd to bemoan the copyright holders paying attention and demanding free online download sites cease & desist...

Not necessarily a popular opinion, but it's mine....
I can understand their actions for bike models still in production. Maybe even for models that still have parts made for them. But once they completely abandon a model, I disagree. They don't sell the bike or make parts for it, but they still want to sell you a manual? Nope.
 

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When I was younger I too would look to find a online free manual. Now I get the manuals for each and every different bike that I work on. It is like a badge of honor to have them on my shelf. To look up and see the projects that I have worked on. The memories of all the different bikes I have resurrected and given life to.

That may sound corny or funny but it is part of the joy of doing this wonderful hobby of riding and working on our motorcycles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Having been a certified technician for one of the major Japanese manufacturers, I know the huge markup on parts as it is. And I have heard all the business aspects for markups: suppliers, distributors, storage, maintenance, shippers, etc., etc. And yet these companies aren't broke. They continually make profits to keep investors happy and further their businesses with R&D and equipment technology. And how is all this possible? The CUSTOMER/CONSUMER.
Why did these companies get into the motorcycle business anyway? Because one manufacturer wasn't enough to supply the demand for the experience of motorcycling. The customers made the business what it is. Not the manufacturers.
And here is the major problem for Harley Davidson. You look back in the past and see the customer that made the brand. Harley abandoned those people in the late 70's and it has become a brand of yuppies and overpaid union workers and executives. Once one of the cheapest brands on the market now the most expensive. And who is buying Harleys? Bad Boy wanna be's. Go look at the price of a Harley manual.
The simple fact of the matter is that the manufacturers see everything they sell with their name on it as an opportunity to reap profit instead of rewarding brand loyalty or even a first time purchaser. It's a joke. And eventually paying all these non-productive investors is going to bury these companies. As global prices continue to rise and global wealth becomes more centralized and controlled, people who work hard and enjoy the recreational feeling of motorcycling will be excluded from new purchases and will be buying more used equipment. Assuming new models continue to appear. This is why the recent efforts have been made by manufacturers to scrape every ten-thousandth of a penny from everything that has their name on it. Greed has finished it's job and now economic fate is knocking on their doors.
Point number two: Part markups are one thing. Profit from service appointments is another. It's hard to put a number on labor and knowledge. And that's what EXCELLENT technicians bring to service departments. Now go and look at the numbers of service techs who are abandoning those jobs because the dealerships just won't pay good wages. The reason is that service departments carry a dealership. Slow sales in units, parts and accessories can all be offset by an active service department.
So now let's look at this forum. Look at the number of people that come here looking for help because the dealership is:
  • Too expensive.
  • Too incompetent
  • Too long of a wait
If I buy a manual or have access to accurate manufacturer information, why should the company care? Greed.
Why not make it a law that the information be made available as part of the sale or to include a complete service manual as part of the original equipment? For them it's a win/win. But they want to be the only ones eating the cake.
And finally, how many people have the TOOLS to do the actual service work in manual. Not many. And then figure the fact of special tools to complete certain work. Have you priced special tools lately? Especially diagnostic tools? The cost of them alone should bring the cost of a service manual to under $15 USD
Approximately one year ago I went to a dealership in response to a job listing for experienced techs. Part of their requirements for a technician to receive top pay ($23/hr) was for the technician to purchase special tools and if needed to allow beginner mechanics to utilize (abuse) them. I ended that interview within five minutes of that ridiculous demand.
The simple fact is that service manuals and the information in them should be much cheaper and in reality should be made available for free access for those who own equipment and choose to DIY. There is more money to be made from parts, consumables, service work and the like than to use a 250 page paperback book for profit because it has your name on it.
 

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I agree that the cost is way too high.
I think that if they were a more reasonable price more people wouldn't mind paying for them.
I think $25 - 35.00 would be fair. They would sell a whole lot more if they were priced in this range, especially for bikes 7 years old or older.
 

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People want their rights and interests protected, but that too often goes out the window when someone else's rights and interests stand in their way.
I understand and appreciate copyright laws.
But businesses need to be reasonable.
Look at the pharmaceutical industry and the prices they charge for new drugs. It is beyond ridiculous. Yes I understand costs of R & D but they get tax writeoffs, grants and investor money as well. They don't have to make up these costs from the first 5000 customers.
 

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I understand and appreciate copyright laws.
But businesses need to be reasonable.
Look at the pharmaceutical industry and the prices they charge for new drugs. It is beyond ridiculous. Yes I understand costs of R & D but they get tax writeoffs, grants and investor money as well. They don't have to make up these costs from the first 5000 customers.
That always come back to who's definition of reasonable, and we know that depends a lot if you're buying or selling.

Frankly, $100, $200, whatever doesn't seem unreasonable to me considering if it saves just one shop/dealer repair it has all but certainly paid for itself, if not a lot more.
 

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.....
....Frankly, $100, $200, whatever doesn't seem unreasonable to me considering if it saves just one shop/dealer repair it has all but certainly paid for itself, if not a lot more.
My point exactly a $100 (even $200) manual to work on a $10k+ machine, some less & some certainly more then 10k, seems reasonable
 

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Yet Chilton and Haynes can do a nearly identical product for just $25.
 

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From what I've seen of those, especially Chilton, 25% relative cost is about what they're worth.

Admittedly, I've not looked at their motorcycle manuals, but for a couple vehicles I own there always seemed to be details missing, supplanted with general/generics. I bought OEM service manuals.
 

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From what I've seen of those, especially Chilton, 25% relative cost is about what they're worth.
If you specify a portion of worth, than you can specify what's the missing 75% of information from the generic manuals that is in the manufacturer's to justify a $75-$175 price difference?
 
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If you specify a portion of worth, than you can specify what's the missing 75% of information from the generic manuals that is in the manufacturer's to justify a $75-$175 price difference?
There isn't any convincing those who's mind is already made up, and for those there are those cheaper manuals. Or, no doubt, there are probably places where one can get the manual they really want, "the other way").

But, for the record, the Haynes/Clymer service manual for VN900 (I picked that because it seems pretty popular) is $35 marked down from $45. Kawasaki lists that service manual at $90.

If I needed/wanted to buy one of these manuals I would buy the Kawasaki every day over the Haynes/Clymer.
 

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I don't have a Clymer or Haynes manual for my Voyager. The Kawi manual is quite sufficient. Excellent pictures and very clear descriptions and instructions.

I had both the Honda manual and a Clymer manual for my Honda Sabre. The Clymer manual had better pictures for some things, and some of the descriptions made more sense. Most of the time, I used the Clymer, but occasionally, the Honda manual was more informative. It was worth it to me to have both for that particular bike.

I guess it depends on the particular bike or possibly bike mfg as to whether or not a Haynes/Clymer manual is of value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
  • I suppose those who would pay for the overpriced OEM manual that they wouldn't share the information with someone who needed it. Not even for a relative because that would be taking money out of the manufacturers pockets.
  • And by that logic (generous use of term), you should never lend your motorcycle to someone who is trying to learn to ride or even give someone pointers on how to ride. And never offer any helpful hints on repairs that come from information that you have exclusively as a result of proprietary information in a manual.
  • Forums hurt manufacturers as well. Shouldn't everyone here be asking the dealership to solve their problems. Think of the poor starving service manager and dealership owner. How dare you visit a dealership wrecking forum!
 

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MotoMedic1 - LOL you nailed it.

You would think that now with John Deere caving in to farmers being allowed to work on their own John Deere tractors, everyone else would not be so stingy with their info.
After all IF a electronic version of a manual was to be gotten by someone, they could spread it far and wide and defeat the inflated prices game!
Way to easy to circumvent that problem!
 

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You would think that now with John Deere caving in to farmers being allowed to work on their own John Deere tractors, everyone else would not be so stingy with their info.
FYI, "Right to Repair" means they have to make available the tools or information, but it doesn't mean they have to make it available free or at a cost you deem reasonable/worth it.

Last fall I bought a John Deere Technical Troubleshooting manual. It's not even the repair instructions, it's the schematics, fault codes, how it works, that sort of thing. When I bought last fall it was $535. That same manual today is $663. Did the 'right to repair" agreement have anything to do with the price increase? No idea. But what we know for sure is it didn't make it cost less.

In fact, I've seen some opinions the Right to Repair movement could be part of what is driving clampdowns on "free" information sources.
 
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