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Several of the line-items in my motorcycle's maintenance schedule are marked "K", for "Should be serviced by an authorized Kawasaki Dealer".

Example items are "Brake fluid--change" and "Steering stem bearing--lubricate".

Is this just CYA on their part, or is it really a good idea to find a Kawasaki dealer for these? I bought the bike used, and have only ever taken it to an independent service shop before, or done (very minor) work myself.

Is it reasonable to believe that an independent service shop who can work on Kawasaki bikes will be just as qualified to do "K" items?

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3 Answers 3

I'm not sure which Kwaka you have but I get my Triumph serviced by a Triumph dealer mainly because I know they have the engine diagnostics hardware. Since it has a primitive open-loop fuel injector it requires the diagnostic hardware to plug into the bike's computer to tune the injectors. Similarly, there is a socket for diagnostic hardware to plug into to get system status. It may well be that an independent guy has this hardware as well, but I'm guessing it is expensive.

Mind you, my Triumph dealer is also the most convenient mechanic around me, so it's an easy call.

When I used to have a Kwaka ZR750 (air-cooled, carbi driven UJM) I took it to an independent shop (since closed) because the tech was simple and the guys were great at customer service.

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An independent shop that is good will be more than capable of taking care of your basic services. The only time they might not be able to help, and send you to the dealer is in a more involved problem that might require Kawasaki specific tools. Even then, they might have the tools required as Kawasaki bikes are very popular.

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If the independent service shop is doing good work, the items you've mentioned certainly don't need the attention of a Kawasaki dealer. It's pretty much all standard stuff and you don't need normally need any special Kawasaki tools for either.

I'm tempted to say that an independent shop tends to live by its reputation more than a main dealer, so you'll get as good a service there, if not better. For some really specialised jobs you might have to go to the dealer, but not in this case.

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The other things all look like lubrication/fluids, brake system seals, and (eventually) replacing hoses -- nothing too exotic, AFAICT. –  Ken Aug 8 '11 at 2:40

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