The cost is somewhat determined by a sales projection based on past history. That number is not the number of dealers.
?? Are you saying that the company is not obligated to produce a service manual for dealers who are expected to fix the things? I think they are.
Thus the number of dealers or potential customers is irrelevant, except for estimating the size of the print run so as to minimize overrun. Once the very first copy is compiled and edited the cost for further production is nothing more than for printing and binding. Of course that cost varies somewhat by the size of the print run, but a cheaply-bound paperback volume -- even a thick one like the manual -- is not expensive. You likened it to a phonebook in size...how much did you pay for your last Yellow Pages?
The company could also burn it to disc to further reduce production cost. How many promotional discs of various kinds arriving in the mail have you thrown away? And/or they could put it as a PDF file on their corporate website for next to nothing. Some companies already do.
I'm completely missing your point here, unless you are suggesting that the company is justified in charging as much as they can for a valued commodity just because they perceive a demand for it, gouging as deeply as they can. That's a fine business practice, but I don't see why I or anyone else needs to take Suzuki's economic interests to heart any more than they do mine. While I don't support piracy as a general rule (especially when the pirated item is the company's principal product) in this particular case I think it is completely justified as a response to blatant exploitation of customers who have already contributed thousands to company coffers.
What's "wrong" is motorcycle manufacturers CHARGING for information about a motorcycle you already paid good money for! Information should be FREE. They should charge for a printed version, yes. But digital copies should be supplied for FREE online by the mfg. Besides other motor vehicles, name another household item you have to PAY for to get the manual.
A little out of touch with the real world there. Nobody, anywhere, supplies a service manual for free.
I swear, sometimes I think that the people who own VStroms are, shall we say, a little overly tight fisted?
Hey, I heard they found a group of Vstrom riders wandering in the desert for 3years. Turned out one of them dropped a quarter.
In the UK, we have a company called Haynes that make manuals for motor vehicles. They strip and rebuild cars/bikes/boats and document the process as they go, building up service manuals as they go. They haven't done the DL650 yet, but depending on what you need to now, you might get away the SV650 manual considering the similarities in the engine. I guess you may well have an equivalent in the US that might cover the wee. Anyway, link to their website here: