This is a letter I wrote to HD a couple of weeks ago because I got tired of trying to buy parts for bikes that I own and fix (also for friends) and always getting the answer "we need to order this part".... I have owned 8 Harley-Davidson motorcycles living in several countries and currently own another 3. Most of the time buying them used and fixing them myself. When I finally got back to the USA my first thought was to go to a dealership and get a bike, but, thanks to poor customer service and an attitude problem at every dealer I've visited I’m becoming to understand that the good old Harley days where the mechanics, the shop owner and the bikers were friends are gone. It’s not the fact that the bikes are bad, I actually think they are pretty good, although they haven’t always been very good, it’s the utterly awful sales experience I have encountered every time from people that think they are doing you a favor selling you a motorcycle and not realizing you are the customer. Before some of you start to get your knives out and say I am nothing but a whiner let me make a few things clear. Every time I purchased a Harley-Davidson it’s been with cash. No special media rate. Just regular dollars from a member of the riding public paying full price as the dealers always refused to negotiate. (they say they will try to help you but never do) This attitude it seems even extends to the parts department. I finally decided to stop buying anything ever again from a Harley-Davidson dealer when visited dealerships for parts and was swiftly told it was not something they had in stock and to be honest they only thing they carry are either accessories (to me bling) or clothes. I can mention brake lines, filters, spark plugs as a long list of components that they always tell you they need to order. What happened with carrying inventory of parts for the bikes? Dealerships have turned into a Macys or Sacks fifth avenue where you buy overpriced clothes not motorcycles and their parts. So now you have to do your own searches over the internet to get your parts and in most cases over pay for shipping to get the parts that should be available in a dealership. I am a guy that rides a motorcycle to work every day no matter the weather conditions and not having parts is not acceptable (to me there is no such thing as bad weather, there is bad drivers).To make it worse HD Store (online) does not sell parts either only clothes, accessories and gadgets too. What can I say about the service departments….. the same thing even though they make us believe that mechanics are certified, the times I have taken my bikes there I have seen them cut corners and I have ended rechecking the work to a point where I am fixing my motorcycles now, the good thing is I’m an engineer. I understand most people these days don’t want to get dirty and want someone to do the work for them but believe me having a certificate on the wall of the dealership saying their mechanics are certified doesn’t mean anything, because some dealerships haven’t even removed the ones of the employees not working there. Why… because no one asks. Now I admit this may not be representative of the Harley-Davidson dealer network but I can say this is all over Texas. The question I would raise to the HD corporate office is who checks these dealerships? If you are making them a franchise shouldn’t they follow a standard? It just seems to me that HD is no longer interested in selling motorcycles and has moved on to maintain a brand and an image through selling clothes and gadgets. I make no apologies for liking Harley-Davidson as, despite everything it has encountered over 110 years, while others have fallen by the way, it is still here and still manufacturing and selling motorcycles. Whether they are the right bikes in terms of technology and design as the world has moved on, I couldn’t possibly comment. And I am not going to question the ‘Made in the USA’ claims as the debate has range for years over where exactly H-D sources parts because HD needs to make money. I applaud the fact the bikes are built here in America by an American work force creating jobs and contributing to the U.S. economy. So if anyone at the powers at be in HD corporate would take the time to read this, I wish we could go back to the motorcycle shops or dealerships that specialize in bikes and to making them sell the parts we need without saying I need to order it for you. If the model you want to follow is a boutique fine but at least give us a stock of parts.