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Discussion Starter #1
Okay... Lets just say its a hypothetical situation... for a friend... yeah, yeah, thats the ticket.... :roll:

Anyhow, dropped the bike off many moons ago to have a repair done and @ the same time rebuild the carb & add new pipes with some tuning in the process. A substantial chunk of $$ was handed over due to the price of 2 of the 3 parts (rebuild kit was more reasonable) + the cost of services (to be) rendered.... Its the services rendered part Im having some trouble choking down. Reason being the $$ was handed off long ago, but it appears to be "still in progress" as opposed to something that can be referred to in the past tense.

I, er....THIS FRIEND OF MINE, picked the bike up and rode it home noticing some unhealthy sounds in the exhaust note right off the bat. Not wanting to be difficult for nothing it was 'back burnered'. Fast forward a week or so and it got noticeably worse. During a trip south (125ish miles round trip) the sound became something that couldnt be ignored. The sounds became less random & more common popping and cracking at the slightest deceleration/throttle let off. It wasnt long at all before sound was the least of the problems and the bike puttered out and died on the side of the road right before work, surrounded by a state park. Okay... I called the shop the following morning and the guy that normally runs it was out for a day or 2. I was put on hold while he was contacted by phone after I requested "help" picking up the bike that was "fixed" a week prior. (Essentially I had it LESS than 2 weeks and Im guessing I rode it 150-200 miles). They declined that request. Okay... Thats life. I dont have to like it, but pissing & moaning about it accomplishes nothing. -I- rented a trailer and went after it & brought it back to the same shop so they could finish what they started (and I already paid for). I had some suspicions, but Im not a mechanic by trade and that shop has been around since I was old enough to remember (Im 43 now). I DID mention what was dirt obvious: (Id rather it be rich than lean) It seemed like it ran strong to me, but it was certainly running RICH. You could smell it in the exhaust just by sitting still... and it was going through a lot more fuel than before.
So.... When I picked it up I was floored to hear that they put RICHER jets in it. And nothing else. TBH, I was afraid to say anything for fear of him saying something else F'ing stupid & being overwhelmed by urges to rip an exhaust pipe off of another bike and beating the man to death with it. So I left without anything other and looking dumbfounded.... and knowing I was going to end up making a call TELLING them they would come pick it up off the side of the road. Maybe this is my error, but I felt like they were just toying with it/me at that point.
I could have almost believed a statement like, "We dont really feel like putting honest effort into a genuine diagnosis so we're just going to blindly try something...."
This is where Ill probably get verbally/text tackled by other mechanics and thats fine. Im wanting all opinions, perspectives here. What you think the real problem is, and HOW MANY TIMES should I be expected to bring this [email protected] bike back for them to tinker with it?? (and how much attorneys fees are to defend a justifiable beating with an exhaust pipe--Im really glad this is happening NOW, and not in my 20's as I doutb I would have been as understanding/patient).
Perhaps I should continue the most current status/events and why Im typing my.... FRIENDS life story out here...
Essentially, I was less than pleased when the same guy that runs the dept stated he knew nothing of my inconvenient "breaking down" (I think thats BS), but now Im getting downright aggravated with the direction this is taking. I was charged a minimal fee for my FIRST return visit. Different jets, new plugs for $30-40. "Plugs was fouled" was the official verdict. gee, I wonder how....
Fast forward a couple more weeks/ 200-300 miles. Guess what--- the [email protected] thing did the exact same thing. I was lucky I was in the area so I limped it back with a relative following me (not expecting it to make it). That happened 8-9 days ago. I hadnt heard from them. I called yesterday. Apparently they have no other leads so they are "following my suggestion" and leaning the jets so they are waiting for them to come in. I kinda got the feeling like Im a nuisance customer and this ***** is my fault--- perhaps I should have given them better direction right off the bat....? I dont recall his exact wording, but I got the impression Im just expected to keep bringing this experiment back until "they get it right". WTH? I figured the VTX1300 has been around long enough that adding pipes & rebuilding/rejetting the carb shouldnt require such a learning curve--- am I wrong?!?
Im having a hard time believing its just fouled plugs, but I suspect thats playing a role in it. I fear they are going to hit me with another bill & I doutb Ill be as pleasant as I have been in the past. I also fear that the fouled plugs/needing leaned out is not all my problem. Do I need to ride another 14 days & 200 miles so I can chance being stranded somewhere or....?

Fire away... >:)
 

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Broke the common rule......NEVER PAY UP FRONT. If it were me, I'd get it out of that shop and take it somewhere else, have them fix the problems, have them detail everything that was done wrong in writing and pictures and put it on a bill and then give a copy of the bill to the first shop and say, "My attorney will be in contact with you if this is not taken care of ASAP."
 

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Donk,,, I feel your pain. Unfortunately, for those of us who aren't so "mechanically inclined",, a dealer is about the only option. That's why it is so refreshing when you DO find a shop that has knowledgeable mechanics and works with you to understand what is wrong and being done to fix it. Sadly, those are few and far between. My only other suggestion would be to ask on here, if there might be someone in your area that could meet up with you and help you diagnose the problem, and develop a plan to fix it. There are guys out there who are willing to do this. Some of them even schedule weekends to do things like valve adjustments, and others ride in from the surrounding area to participate.
Good luck with your search. I know I didn't do anything to help resolve an issue, but believe me, we've all been there!!
Safe Riding.
 

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Yeah, gotta agree with Spike. I don't know what your shop options are there, but you have options. The first thing I'd do is have a sit down with the head honcho and let him know you've been royally jacked in this. Then I'd flatly state that if they cannot fix this problem, which they were paid to create for you, you will follow Spike's advice. OR, if you're past that, just take Spike's advice from the get go. Cut your losses and move forward. If you know a good attorney it may be worth the couple of bills to have them draft a formal letter of request for action, submitted with the bill. I'd file a complaint with the BBB and small claims is always an option.

I feel for you on this as I had a somewhat similarly unhappy experience with the local Honda dealer. It's an equally long story, but upon exit I told him (the service manager) I'd never darken their door again as they are incompetent. I've looked at bikes there but whenever a salesperson asked if they could help me, I told them I'd never buy a bike from there anyway, and told them why. Everyone in my circle of friends knows the story and none have purchased a bike from there. They would have been many dollars ahead had they simply been fair.
 

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Are you expecting too much?

No.
Absolutely not.
You are only expecting to get decent and competent service. That you already paid for.
Nothing remotely unreasonable in that.


Good luck in getting waaay more resolution than they've offered to date. :thumbup:
 

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I have been repairing motorcycles, diesel/gasoline engines, and machinery for a long time. While it may not have been the best idea to pay up front, you are in no way 'expecting to much'. I will not accept a job I can not competently complete. And, if something does goes wrong (due to any fault of mine) I will make it right on my dime and my time. I work at an independent shop almost every Saturday and I test run and ride every bike I work on. If I'm not happy with it it's not finished.
 
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No amount of money or patience or talk can make up for incompetence or ill intent, i.e. the current shop couldn't help you even if they wanted to.

I say take your bike to another shop, hopefully one that comes recommended.
 

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I'm kinda leaning toward the exhaust solution. Pain is a great motivator.

Just kidding about the pipes but not the pain. It can come in many forms. Pick a legal one and if you badmouth anyone make sure it's the truth and nothing but the truth.

I hate people that don't take care of business. Not only is it frustrating but it can be life threatening when talking about motorcycles.

That is why I do the wrenching myself as much as possible. Any issues and I can beat myself with the pipe. :grin2:
 

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Unfortunately you just missed a "nearby" weekend tech session in Canton. We had maybe 25 bikes ride in, for a M & G, and about 7-8 actually needed work, including one 1300 that lost the A/F screw, he came from NJ. He rode home happy. For future reference, there is one scheduled for the 1st weekend in Oct., just N of Zanesville, on Rt. 666 (yeah, devil's hwy, lol) Check for details over on the Cafe.
 

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Shop appears to not know what they are doing.
Wondering what the carb was "rebuilt"
What exactly did they do to it.

Likely, you didn't even need to change jets with just a pipe swap. Do you have an aftermarket airbix or filter?

Popping may be an exhaust leak if they didn't change the gaskets.

Electrical problems can also cause poor running, so possible they are looking at the wrong thing.

I always work on my own stuff, but if I were in your shoes, I would get the bike to someone competent. Maybe someone in your area can recommend.
 

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I live by the rule, never get mad, get even. Money lost, move on. Find someone else to fix the problem and then have a think tank with a few friends on how to cost this shop more than they cost you. Without doing anything silly that will get you in trouble of course. Best of luck.
 

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The best advise there is; is to never take your ride to a dealer or repair shop. Unfortunately I have heard so many horror stories that I do everything myself and if it is something I can not do then the bike or car is trash to me. I have had 2 vehicles crap out on me but well after I got plenty of use out of them; they became target practice and it was the transmissions which cost so much it just was not worth it.

The only other thing you can do is find someone who is reputable. Do some research before hand and talk with other cycle owners in your area. Most mechanics that work for instead of own the shop do really sad work and you cant blame them. They are making hourly wage which translates to tons of jobs being shoved down their throats.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Lofty, I like the way you think.

Everyone else: thank you for your input. I was hoping someone might have recognized this odd pattern of it running for 150-200 miles & dying, but either way, thank you. I wanted to put as much of the story out as I could and make sure my perspective was as it should be. I will add i didn’t pay up front, but I was asked to put a down payment on the repairs, of which I did about 75-80%. I didn’t technically pay “up front”. I had to pay the remaining bill b4 I could take the bike home, but I figure that’s probably typical and didn’t think anything of it. I still don’t.
So far they have had the bike about 20 days and I only heard from them when I called about 9 days ago. That’s when they told me they were waiting on leaner jets to arrive. They may have called from an unlisted #, but they haven’t left the first voicemail or otherwise contacted me (text, email, carrier pigeon, etc). Tbh, I’m not anxious for my next contact with them as I expect it to go south & I fear I will lose my *****.
One alternative I have had luck with in the past, is to “advertise” my misfortune with their shotty handling. An inexpensive (not so classy) method I may resort to is to make the largest poster I can affix to the tailgate of my pickup. I’m not sure of the wording, but essentially state my experiences with ABCXYZ Motorsports (strictly facts) in the boldest, brightest way I can. Drive the truck AND poster to the dealer and point out I drive 52 miles five days a week on busy interstate. If they can’t make this right THIS time the poster stays on & I find additional ways to get my story out while I search for an attorney. LOL

Whatcha guys think?
 

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Well Donk, I'll throw in my 4 cents. (Used to be 2 cents but then inflation hit).
I'd wait 'till it was all said & done, then decide how you want to proceed.
If you're happy, OK.

If not, and I don't know how things work there, I would first file a complaint with your Motor vehicle dept.
Also, you folks must have Yelp, or something similar, post your feelings and facts about what happened.
 

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As RBS said, "I'd wait 'till it was all said & done, then decide how you want to proceed.".

I'd definitely get the problem resolved first and get bike running 100% from any shop. Only then will you have all the information that may be required to seek recompense from the first shop. You go in there blindly demanding reimbursement, they'll laugh you out the door and rightly so. You come in detailing item by item what they did wrong and how, you will have far greater chance of seeing a positive outcome.

Wish you were closer to my neck of woods, id take a look for free. I'm no professional but I've helped a few local vtx'ers with mechanical recently.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Due to frustration, inadequate results on the shops part & life in general the above story improved.... not at all. it only “ended” in my advertising their failure to repair the bike with dates (which is key) & $$ spent on a poster that COMPLETELY covered my tailgate. It’s funny because I had coworkers say it wouldn’t work and I was crazy. Interestingly the shop called after 2-3 weeks of advertising up & down I-71 “requesting” (nearly begging) I remove the sign from my pickup. ( I tried to explain beforehand they wouldn’t appreciate my methodology, but the head of the service deptartment isn’t any brighter than he is mature or ethical— I’d already been through something many years ago with Tirerack.com like this & found a mutual resolution through similar means). This all happened & I returned the bike to them expressing the same thing
I had from the get go: I just want my bike fixed! I’m not expecting my $$ back or anything unreasonable, I JUST WANT IT TO RUN RIGHT. If they couldn’t pull that off and said so up front ( or even later!) that would’ve been fine, but F’ing me around over and over is inexcusable. So FFWD and I got the bike back LITERALLY untouched—- wait, that’s not entirely true. They pulled the tank off, did who-knows-what to the carb & replaced the tank, but DID NOT HOOK THE WIRING HARNESS BACK UP. Kind of a “Fuxx you!” for the road..... So I had no speedo for the trip home. BEFORE ANYONE ASKS WHY I DIDNT ADDRESS IT THEN AND THERE: I knew I’d go to jail if I walked back in. I don’t regret that decision at all.

sooooo I’m still left with a carb that needs rebuilt because you can no longer (in my searching) find new VTX1300 carburetors.

anyone know a reputable carb rebuilder??? (I’m still in Ohio).
 

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New carb, $352


Very well may NOT be the issue though, just sayin’


On the bright side......
New slang for those screwed by dealers......you've been Donked dude.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
New carb, $352


Very well may NOT be the issue though, just sayin’


On the bright side......
New slang for those screwed by dealers......you've been Donked dude.
That’s for a 2008. I would assume they are the same, but if you pull up a carb for 2003 they aren’t offered. If they were the same wouldn’t it show available?
Months ago I ordered a new VTX1300 carb from the closest online OEM Honda warehouse I know of (Bellaire Ohio, I think). It showed available so I happily ordered it & a day or 2 after the transaction went through I got an email saying that item is no longer made/available, $$ refunded.
 
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