If you're like me, you've spent a lot of money on your Street in changing out parts - seats, mirrors, mufflers, etc. If you haven't, well... sooner or later you'll probably get the bug.
Buying parts at the local Harley dealer will usually mean paying MSRP, plus tax, but you can walk out of the store with the products that same day. There are some Harley dealers out there that have established well-known sales arms to conduct internet sales. I've bought from a few, like Intermountain Harley
, and Boardtracker
. I haven't yet bought from Newcastle HD
, but they've got great prices too. The ones I've bought from have all been honest, straight-forward, and I recommend them all.
One thing that I've found is that while these places generally offer at least 10% off and usually up to 20% off, it can take a while to get your order. It's not like aftermarket dealers; I got my Mustang Touring seat from Revzilla, and I think it was delivered within 48 hours of placing the order. But with the discount Harley dealers, that's not the case. My most recent order is from Boardtracker, and they say right on their site "Allow 3 business days for order processing." Then, after the order has been "processed", they'll ship it. What does this mean in reality? I placed an order on March 4, they didn't even ship it 'til March 9, and I won't get it until March 15. That's 11 days.
Why so slow?
Near as I can tell from googling, it appears that it may be due to a Harley policy where they don't want dealers selling stuff out of their stock, online, at a discount; they'd rather have customers buy from their local dealer. So the "3 business days for processing" is really a delay caused by them not having the product in stock, so once you place your order, they then have to first order it from Harley, and wait for it to arrive, and then when it arrives at their place of business, then they can ship it out to you.
Then there's the cost of shipping. It's pretty tough to get "free shipping" from most of these places. Surdyke will pretty much do it for ordering over $200 of stuff, but if your order is under $199 you're going to be paying for shipping. Boardtracker offered a $5 shipping flat-rate deal good through the end of the month. But if you're buying something big or heavy and can't get a "free shipping" or cheap shipping deal, it may just end up that paying for shipping negates much of the discount you'd gotten, so you may as well buy it from your local dealer and support them in the process. It also means that you can't just assume one dealer will be the same as another; on this particular order I placed (about $450 of stuff) Boardtracker was about $30 less expensive than Surdyke, even though Surdyke had free shipping. You have to go through the process, add the stuff to your cart, and then start the checkout process before you really know what it's all really going to cost. It seems like many things are 20% off, but not everything; some things may be 10% off or whatever, and it may make a difference in the total cost.
So is buying genuine HD parts online worth it? Well, the wait is killing me, but on the other hand, the stuff was about 19% off and shipping was only $5. If you want the discount, you're likely going to have to wait. If you're buying something expensive, and you can wait for it, you can save some dough. Or, if you need it quick, your local Harley dealer may have it in stock, and hey, you can always ask about discounts; some will give 10% or even 15% off, which might in the end make more sense to just get it local and support your local HD dealer, rather than waiting over 11 days for it to show up via UPS.
Disclaimer: I have no relationship with any of these businesses other than as a customer.