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Not that I am promoting this idea, but sounds like a Pirate Bay of manuals needs to be formed out there someplace. I have been told a peer to peer sharing has been done in the past....just saying.
 

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Well as posted above its all about the money!!!!!
I didnt say cost of manuals was tied to right to repair, but if you take away what was free there are ways around it - as posted above - just saying.
 

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Well as posted above its all about the money!!!!!
I didnt say cost of manuals was tied to right to repair, but if you take away what was free there are ways around it - as posted above - just saying.
No, you didn't say it was tied to cost but you did say not being so "stingy" with the info. Availability of Kawasaki service manuals isn't the underlying factor here, but I can't say the same for stingy considering all the fuss over "free".

Also, "free" is a pretty sugar-coated way to describe the reality of it.

Yup, there are ways around but, if the companies decide it's worth pursuing, all you have to do is look at RIAA and music file sharing for how they could approach it. That some have recently issued cease and desist under DMCA is clear evidence somebody is watching.
 

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This is an interesting discussion. Glad everyone is keeping it civil.
Since it was mentioned about music downloads, it is basically the same principle. Copyright
In the past I have always paid to download music. Never pirated it.
However I did not use services where you have to $1 - 2.00 per song.
I found sites that would sell them for $0.10 to $0.20 per song or download a complete album for $1.50
Bear in mind all my tunes were from the 50's - 80's.. Oldies but goodies.
I felt those were fair and reasonable prices.
Should an artist continue to be paid a premium royalty for a song they created 50 years ago?
IMHO I don't think so.
 

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That's the thing. I don't know the specifics of the music downloads you have, but any time I see widely disparate prices for the same thing it makes me wonder the legitimacy. Not that it's not the real music or the real service manual, but the legitimacy of the source being an "authorized" source. Just because one pays for something doesn't inherently mean that money went to the legitimate/legal copyright holder or agent thereof.

Far as the aspect of song by song rather than complete album, yeah, I've done that too and would have no problem with a similar approach for service manuals. If the copyright holder allowed page by page purchase hey, cool, so be it. For my VN2K manual that would be roughly $0.14 per page based on cost and number of pages. Of course, in that scheme it'd probably be higher page per page than complete manual, but if someone only needed a couple pages it would be cheaper at that moment in time. On the other hand, I've had my VN2K for 13 years. A $90 service manual amortized over 13 years has been 1.9 cents per day.
 

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Way, way, way back I could go to the local library and look at the car service manuals there for info I needed.
I didnt, but guess I could have, made a copies of a page or two.
BUT I didnt have to pay anyone the privilege to look at that service manual.
I dont have a problem of paying for one, $35 would be fine - $100 or more - overpriced.
So then when something is over priced you get the ones that will get around the pricing problem.
Especially now that there are so many out there.
All you have to do is get on some forum, like this, and ask if anyone has a manual you can get/buy from them. OR where can I get one to download for _( - fill in the blank - free?).
I'm just saying when you do something like that, then you are asking for the work around.
 

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Way, way, way back I could go to the local library and look at the car service manuals there for info I needed.
I didnt, but guess I could have, made a copies of a page or two.
BUT I didnt have to pay anyone the privilege to look at that service manual.
You may not have had to pay (at least not directly, so to speak) for that but someone did, and they did it under an acceptable use term with the copyright holder/agent that allows them to loan that particular authorized copy. Look up "first sale doctrine" for anyone that might be curious.

The point is it's not apples to apples with downloading unauthorized copies of manuals from ManualsLib or whatever similar deal. Obviously not that many seem to care, but still the fact remains.

By the way, borrowing Chilton manuals from the library is how I decided I'd rather have the real thing.
 

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whoareu99, I understand the authorized source issue and the paying of royalties.
Personally, I don't mind paying a reasonable fee. If I bought a 2023 Voyager and wanted an up to date manual I would expect to pay more for it.
But as doc said if you are pricing things by planning to retire off the first few thousands of sales, IMHO like he said, you are asking to be pirated.
I don't think patented or copywrite items should entitle the owner to a lifetime income.

I look at it like work. If you perform a job at work on Monday, you will be paid for it at the end of the week or month. But does it mean you will get paid for Monday''s work four more times on Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri without putting out any more work ?
 

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And then buy your logic, if I sell a bike I should not include the manual I bought for it in the sale.
I cant use it any longer since I just sold the bike, and most likely wont buy that bike again, so it can just lay around for awhile until I garbage it.
See I already paid for it, so passing it along is not depriving anyone of their profits.
 

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And then buy your logic, if I sell a bike I should not include the manual I bought for it in the sale.
I cant use it any longer since I just sold the bike, and most likely wont buy that bike again, so it can just lay around for awhile until I garbage it.
...
Without a quote I can't say for sure, but this seems directed at me. Apology if not.

Either you didn't fully read or didn't understand what I wrote because that is pretty much opposite what I said.

Again, refer to "first sale doctrine". Don't assume you know what it means based on how it sounds, which is what your reply suggests you may have done. Look it up.
 

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whoareu99, I understand the authorized source issue and the paying of royalties.
Personally, I don't mind paying a reasonable fee. If I bought a 2023 Voyager and wanted an up to date manual I would expect to pay more for it.
But as doc said if you are pricing things by planning to retire off the first few thousands of sales, IMHO like he said, you are asking to be pirated.
I don't think patented or copywrite items should entitle the owner to a lifetime income.

I look at it like work. If you perform a job at work on Monday, you will be paid for it at the end of the week or month. But does it mean you will get paid for Monday''s work four more times on Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri without putting out any more work ?
I had written a reply with challenges to your work analogy, but I erased it all. To shoot the holes is really just a Fool's Errand in the end because it wouldn't change your mind anyway.
 

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whoareu99, I understand the authorized source issue and the paying of royalties.
Personally, I don't mind paying a reasonable fee. If I bought a 2023 Voyager and wanted an up to date manual I would expect to pay more for it.
But as doc said if you are pricing things by planning to retire off the first few thousands of sales, IMHO like he said, you are asking to be pirated.
I don't think patented or copywrite items should entitle the owner to a lifetime income.

I look at it like work. If you perform a job at work on Monday, you will be paid for it at the end of the week or month. But does it mean you will get paid for Monday''s work four more times on Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri without putting out any more work ?
If you own the copyright to a work, you are entitled to income from that work until the copyright expires. That's copyright law.

The question here is the business sense of charging such a high price for service manuals. They have that right. Period. Is it a good business decision? That's one question here. Do you feel the need to circumvent copyright? That's a decision you have to make.

Unfortunately, most big businesses have tunnel vision when it comes to profits. They can calculate hard dollars for items/services sold, but the profits from customer goodwill are much harder to calculate, and often disregarded when making business decisions. It's not just limited to motorcycle service manuals and it's probably not going to change as long as companies make profits with over priced products and services.

They also can't seem to get that extreme prices are going to make more and more people find other, cheaper (or free) sources. Free downloads, 3rd party parts, etc. I buy oil crush washers on Ebay. I can get 100 perfectly good ones for the price of 4 - 10 OEM ones, sometimes with free shipping to boot. Same with oil and filters, coolant, brake pads, etc. Sometimes the 3rd party products are both cheaper and superior to OEM.
 
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Here is another avenue that I use.
Haynes/Clymer manuals have an online site. Search to find the one you need.
You can choose to buy a hard copy or pay a year or lifetime subscription to view the manuals online.
The some of their online manuals are more detailed than hard copy and even have videos.
Prices seem reasonable to me.
Unfortunately they don't cover every bike
 

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I wonder where Clymer/Haynes/Chilton gets all their tech info?

I'm sure they take some of their own pictures and make some of their own illustrations, write up their own text, etc.

But, for hard technical data, I rather doubt they are determining the bearing tolerances, wear limits, adjustment parameters, resistances of components, etc., etc., etc. All that is very likely borrowed (or perhaps bought/licensed from OEM) but not developed in-house. Having a lot of info already available to you greatly reduces development cost.
 

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I wonder where Clymer/Haynes/Chilton gets all their tech info?

I'm sure they take some of their own pictures and make some of their own illustrations, write up their own text, etc.

But, for hard technical data, I rather doubt they are determining the bearing tolerances, wear limits, adjustment parameters, resistances of components, etc., etc., etc. All that is very likely borrowed (or perhaps bought/licensed from OEM) but not developed in-house. Having a lot of info already available to you greatly reduces development cost.
Your guess is as good as mine.
My last bike was a Yamaha 950T. They had a very good manual for that bike.
As you said there were close up pics in PDF that you could enlarge to get better detail.
Of course not all of their manuals are as good as or as detailed as OEM
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
Nice strawmen.
  • Well paid strawmen who work for the dealerships who will gladly sell you an overpriced service manual.
  • I just don't understand the sympathy that some of you have for these greedy companies. For some I guess its just a socioeconomic issue: For those who can afford be wasteful they will be, for those who can't they won't.
  • For me having been in the dealership loop I just can't see why the information has to be so expensive. I mean you can find brand new music for free on music services. Why not a powersports library? How about a membership library?
  • What is so proprietary about a service manual that makes it so expensive?
  • Your owners manual will tell you that if you encounter certain problems on your unit that you should take it to a "qualified service center' or an "experienced mechanic". Now where would one find an experienced mechanic at other than at a dealership who has all the information needed to do the job right?
  • The price of the manual is set to push people to the dealership. They do the same with their branded oils, fluids and chemicals.
  • The "right to repair" was established to protect people who choose to do their own basic maintenance from having warranty claims dismissed because they:
    1. Didn't own a standard set of tools
    2. Didn't use branded parts, fluids, oils or chems.
    3. Weren't factory certified to work on branded units.
    4. Installed none OEM approved accessories.
  • Should I go on about how Harley Davidson prayed for the right to repair to pass legislation . It seems counter intuitive but it helped them to price gouge everything they sell. It had a detrimental effect on dealerships, however. And where did that cost to the dealerships end up? On product prices (increases) and employee wages (stagnate). The employees who got hit the hardest...any guesses? SERVICE TECHS. Because service labor carries the dealership. So where does that leave the 12+ year service tech who is making as much as a 5 to 7 year tech? And in an environment where aftermarket parts availability meets or exceeds OEM quality and is cheaper to purchase.
  • The only way the dealership survives is to have MORE customers come to the dealership service department. I feel like I'm repeating myself to a deaf audience.
  • You know what, if you wanna keep buying $300 service manuals, knock yourself out. In my region $300 dollars will get you 2.5 hours of labor at the big four and 2 hours at HD. Service techs see about 20% of that "labor" cost.
  • Of course those would be straw-service techs.
I hadn't seen the other posts before much of this was typed, so apologies for redundancies in points of view.
This topic is getting a little heated and I admit that I started the fire. No apologies for that.
Part of my disgust for this topic is a bit personal as you may have ascertained from reading.
I will stand by my accusation of the price of manuals being overpriced by rational standards. Opinionated as some may find it.
As an independent service tech, I don't have access to the thousands of manuals that a franchised dealership has. Most of my customers can't get there units into dealerships because the dealerships don't want to work on anything 8 years old and older. So there is a need for OEM information for work that dealerships won't do and that has a lot to do with the manufacturers and new unit sales. So it isn't about the actual value of the manual
 

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You (I presume inadvertently) make a number of good points why it's wise to buy a service manual, albeit you're overstating the cost by 3x or more at least with regard to the forum mainstay brand.

But, as I said in earlier, to spend much (any really) time dissecting and shooting holes in those type of posts is a fool's errand. Your mind is made up.

IMO, the irony here is those most loudly beating the "greedy company" drum are those most publiczing their own form of greed.
 

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Here is another avenue that I use.
Haynes/Clymer manuals have an online site. Search to find the one you need.
You can choose to buy a hard copy or pay a year or lifetime subscription to view the manuals online.
The some of their online manuals are more detailed than hard copy and even have videos.
Prices seem reasonable to me.
Unfortunately they don't cover every bike
I purchased a subscription to Alldata(?) for service info on one of my cars that I don't have the OEM service manual. Don't recall the exact cost or duration but I think it was like $50 for 1 year. Saved me at least one trip to a shop so no doubt in my mind it was worth the subscription price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I never said owning or using a service manual wasn't wise. In fact, anyone who reads my posts will notice that I am a great proponent of torque specs and adjustment procedures.
I too had a subscription to AllData for powersports. The problem I ran into with it was that the torque specs were euro metric and many of the specs were for external regular maintenance items. At the time they had no data for some HD maintenance items like trans and primary maintenance specs and no electrical schematics at all.
The theme of my post was that the information that many of us found useful and conveniently at no cost was removed because the manufacturers are greedy. The underlying theme is that most of the bikes people are fixing or repairing on their own tend to be older than maximum age of units that dealerships are willing to work on. That being the case, why are the manufacturers so bent on getting full economy inflated prices for this information. If a franchised dealership won't work on your aged unit because it is economically inconvenient ,and they would rather sell you a new unit, then what use is the information to the manufacturer or it's franchised dealerships? This goes back to who made who? The consumer grew and drove the industry or vice versa? And as noted, Suzuki manuals are still available on manualslib. I am glad I own a Suzuki. My parts are cheaper, more available and components, rather than assemblies, are item replaceable and sold to help lower costs.
 

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I feel like the core of the complaint here seems to be about the high price manufacturers put on the parts/accessories they sell. Anyone who has ever bought an OEM part knows they are pricey. I needed four bolts to attach saddlebags to my bike. The bolts from Kawi where $4+ each. Not a special proprietary bolt or some special setup. Just a normal allen head 8x30 bolt and they wanted $4 for one. I went to a local hardware store and bought all four for about $3.

Another example. The TPMS sensors on my truck retail from Toyota for $95 each. They are made by Denso. You can get the exact same Denso sensor for $35 each elsewhere. Why is the exact same part bought from Toyota so much higher? There's no reason for this other than greed. They feel they can get the asking price. Motomedic can probably answer this one better, but is it to add to the profits of service jobs? When a customer brings in a bike/car and it needs parts, are inflated part prices just to ballon the bill that much higher?
 
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