A couple of thoughts - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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A couple of thoughts

As most know I don't have the best relationship with my selling dealer, it only took a month and a half to sort out the financials but it finally all got done. I was hoping that we could put it all behind us and build a relationship going forward.

As you also know I had to replace the original rear tire on my Star Venture because of a screw, that one I know was picked up on the roadway and I pretty much know when and where it happened. It was a rusty old screw and am pretty sure I know the truck that was pulling a trailer full of roofing and other debris that was dropping pieces of debris as he was also changing lanes constantly.

I check the tires regularly, clean the rims and keep up on the air pressure so the tires are inspected every two to three days.

But this new tire that only had a few days on it and 700 miles when the bike went in for service and the service department 1 and 1/2 hours into the oil change, yeah they are that slow, shows me a photo of the rear tire, just the tread of the tire was all that showed up in the photo. The photo showed a nail in the rear tire tread, but it showed a large round flat head and it was flush against the tire tread. The nail head appeared to be at least 1/4 inch in size if not 3/8 of an inch and it showed no scrapping/scratching on the nail head.

I told the service department not to do anything with it and they do not have a tire in stock anyway so it took another 15 to 20 minutes to get the bike up to me.

So I ride it home and am thinking from the look of the nail head in the photo they showed me maybe it is a short nail and it did not go all the way through the tire. I have had that happen a couple of times over the years.

So I get home and the first thing I do is put the bike up on my J&S motorcycle jack and locate the nail in the rear tire. Well surprise me, I don't find a nail with a 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch flat round head but I find a temporary double headed construction nail that is 1/8 of an inch in width and 2 1/2 inches long.

Now at first I did not think a whole lot of it but now that I have the nail out and have had a chance to think about it, this nail does not match the photo as the nail in the photo clearly had a large round flat head on it. The head of the nail I pulled out of the tire is much smaller and it is worn at a angle and is worn in a "v" shape not round like in the photo. So thinking about it and the rocky relationship I have with the dealer I am wondering if they pushed in a short nail that would not go all the way through the tire but when I declined to let them keep the bike and order in a tire I wonder if they pulled out that nail with the large flat round head and drove this double headed temporary construction nail into the tire.

All it would take is for them to jam the nail against the tire and roll the bike forward to get the double headed temporary construction nail into the tire. They would already have a small hole to line up the construction nail to.

I guess the reason I am going over this is because the photo with the large round flat nail head just does not come close to matching the actual nail I removed from the tire.

It sure as heck would not be the first time a repair shop has scammed a customer. In this case if I had agreed to let them keep the bike and order a tire and they were scamming me I would end up paying for a brand new tire to replace what is a brand new tire with only 700 miles on it, and they would essentially have a new used rear tire they could sell for a nice profit.

I guess I am just having a hard time reconciling the difference in the photo of the nail they showed me vs the actual nail I pulled out of the tire.

At any rate I am done taking the bike to this dealer, I will instead do all the maintenance myself, that way I know the work is done correctly and I know what oil is put in the bike.

Another thing that makes me wonder is they sure did not treat the bike as if it was their own while it was in the shop, when I got it back someone had drug their dirty shoe across the seat, there was lube spray on the face of the gauges including the center infotainment screen and that screen is a pain in the butt to clean without smears and making sure you don't scratch it, plus there was lube overspray across the fuel tank and on the plastic covers to the right of the handle bars and on the locking lid cover of the fairing. Both saddle bags had smudged finger prints on them with the left saddle bag lid having a finger or thumb print of oil on it. The plastic removable engine cover on the left side also had dirty oily finger prints covering it.

I keep this bike wiped down and clean all the time, after every ride it gets wiped down and any bugs removed with bug slide and the windshield gets cleaned with Plexus cleaner polish. They did not show any pride in the condition of the bike when they returned it after the service.

Things like that irk me because I don't take the bike in all dirty and grimy, they get a nice clean bike to work on.

I guess I just don't trust the dealer at all.

I attached a photo of an undamaged double headed construction nail and a photo of what the top of the nail looked like that I removed from the tire.
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Last edited by American; 06-28-2018 at 09:29 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 09:29 PM
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I can't imagine that type of treatment. I really feel for you. I've had two dealers since 1974.

Riding is not just what I do but who I am.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 09:33 PM
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Sorry man! It is frustrating to pay someone big $$$ when you wonder if they did anything at all.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yamaha Pat View Post
I can't imagine that type of treatment. I really feel for you. I've had two dealers since 1974.
I used to work for a Dodge dealer in the early 1980's as a line mechanic and there was one line mechanic that would loosen the screws on the carburetors which would make the engine run rough and he would sell the customer a carburetor overhaul. They were the simple old one barrel carburetors Chrysler used back then. They were quick and easy to rebuild taking only about 15 minutes but by him scamming the customer he made easy money on a carburetor overhaul that was really not needed.

I got out of that business in 1985 and became a police officer instead.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American View Post
As most know I don't have the best relationship with my selling dealer, it only took a month and a half to sort out the financials but it finally all got done. I was hoping that we could put it all behind us and build a relationship going forward.

As you also know I had to replace the original rear tire on my Star Venture because of a screw, that one I know was picked up on the roadway and I pretty much know when and where it happened. It was a rusty old screw and am pretty sure I know the truck that was pulling a trailer full of roofing and other debris that was dropping pieces of debris as he was also changing lanes constantly.

I check the tires regularly, clean the rims and keep up on the air pressure so the tires are inspected every two to three days.

But this new tire that only had a few days on it and 700 miles when the bike went in for service and the service department 1 and 1/2 hours into the oil change, yeah they are that slow, shows me a photo of the rear tire, just the tread of the tire was all that showed up in the photo. The photo showed a nail in the rear tire tread, but it showed a large round flat head and it was flush against the tire tread. The nail head appeared to be at least 1/4 inch in size if not 3/8 of an inch and it showed no scrapping/scratching on the nail head.

I told the service department not to do anything with it and they do not have a tire in stock anyway so it took another 15 to 20 minutes to get the bike up to me.

So I ride it home and am thinking from the look of the nail head in the photo they showed me maybe it is a short nail and it did not go all the way through the tire. I have had that happen a couple of times over the years.

So I get home and the first thing I do is put the bike up on my J&S motorcycle jack and locate the nail in the rear tire. Well surprise me, I don't find a nail with a 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch flat round head but I find a temporary double headed construction nail that is 1/8 of an inch in width and 2 1/2 inches long.

Now at first I did not think a whole lot of it but now that I have the nail out and have had a chance to think about it, this nail does not match the photo as the nail in the photo clearly had a large round flat head on it. The head of the nail I pulled out of the tire is much smaller and it is worn at a angle and is worn in a "v" shape not round like in the photo. So thinking about it and the rocky relationship I have with the dealer I am wondering if they pushed in a short nail that would not go all the way through the tire but when I declined to let them keep the bike and order in a tire I wonder if they pulled out that nail with the large flat round head and drove this double headed temporary construction nail into the tire.

All it would take is for them to jam the nail against the tire and roll the bike forward to get the double headed temporary construction nail into the tire. They would already have a small hole to line up the construction nail to.

I guess the reason I am going over this is because the photo with the large round flat nail head just does not come close to matching the actual nail I removed from the tire.

It sure as heck would not be the first time a repair shop has scammed a customer. In this case if I had agreed to let them keep the bike and order a tire and they were scamming me I would end up paying for a brand new tire to replace what is a brand new tire with only 700 miles on it, and they would essentially have a new used rear tire they could sell for a nice profit.

I guess I am just having a hard time reconciling the difference in the photo of the nail they showed me vs the actual nail I pulled out of the tire.

At any rate I am done taking the bike to this dealer, I will instead do all the maintenance myself, that way I know the work is done correctly and I know what oil is put in the bike.

Another thing that makes me wonder is they sure did not treat the bike as if it was their own while it was in the shop, when I got it back someone had drug their dirty shoe across the seat, there was lube spray on the face of the gauges including the center infotainment screen and that screen is a pain in the butt to clean without smears and making sure you don't scratch it, plus there was lube overspray across the fuel tank and on the plastic covers to the right of the handle bars and on the locking lid cover of the fairing. Both saddle bags had smudged finger prints on them with the left saddle bag lid having a finger or thumb print of oil on it. The plastic removable engine cover on the left side also had dirty oily finger prints covering it.

I keep this bike wiped down and clean all the time, after every ride it gets wiped down and any bugs removed with bug slide and the windshield gets cleaned with Plexus cleaner polish. They did not show any pride in the condition of the bike when they returned it after the service.

Things like that irk me because I don't take the bike in all dirty and grimy, they get a nice clean bike to work on.

I guess I just don't trust the dealer at all.

I attached a photo of an undamaged double headed construction nail and a photo of what the top of the nail looked like that I removed from the tire.
Wow! That’s TERRIBLE!
I know there are some underhanded dealerships out there. I have a huge dealership about 20 minutes from me but their online reviews are terrible!
As a matter of fact, I brought over a fellow minister friend of mine who was VERY interested in getting one of those Polaris Slingshots. He signed some stuff which they said was to pre qual him and run his credit. The next thing he knows he gets a Polaris Credit Card in the mail. These guys WITHOUT his permission had scammed him into opening a $5,000 credit card account with Polaris!
Needless to say, we BOTH confronted the dealership about this. They lost the Slingshot sale cuz he won’t ever go back there.
This event PROVED some of the stuff I’d read online about them.
This is why I go an HOUR to my dealership which is smaller but has an outstanding reputation.
These guys treat my bike as I would. They also only allow their top tech to touch my bike.
Sounds to me like you need to research the places BEFORE you go. I’m sure that people have gone online and reported them or told their story just as you have.
Too bad your a retired cop. It would be awesome to show up in uniform and start questioning them!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 07:38 AM
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I understand your suspicions. Over the years I have seen shops and mechanics try to pull something to make a quick couple hundred bucks, both on me, and on my father when I was a little kid (going with him to the garage to get his car inspected).

Im an engineer and we frequently take photos of things. I would not get too paranoid about the one photo they showed you. When I take photos of stuff it never looks like it does with your eyes. Unless they put a ruler next to the nail head it would be impossible to guess how big it was, or if it was flush with the surface.

Also no one ever ever deletes the photos on the camera at work. Its possible they showed you a photo of a nail in someone else's tire, just an honest mistake.

Personally I have never even had a mechanic take a photo of anything to show me - ever: tires, brake pads, rotors, frame rust, tie rod boots... they just tell me: this needs to be replaced, and I have them do it or take the car home and do it myself.

It is very unusual to get a nail in a tire twice in one month. It is very unusual for the pope to die twice in one month, but it did happen. Sometimes your mind wont accept what happens and its really trying to find another explanation.

Having said all that, you do need to have a level of confidence in your mechanic. Last time I carried a wheel in to have the tire changed, I expected it would be about $40. They told me the tube looks rough and I had not bought one with the tire (from BikeBandit .com). The change was $40, the tube was $30, the balance was $10, and they charge me $2.50 for each of the three weights they used to balance the wheel = about $100. I was not happy but the shop has to make a living, and people dragging wheels in are not their bread and butter - so Im good with it.

But there is always a risk that a mechanic will screw you over. My daughter took her car to get its 4th oil change, took it to a different shop that was closer, and it still had the original factory oil filter on it. The place she had taken it the first 3 times since it was new never changed the filter, and she has no way of knowing if they changed the oil either.

Bottom line is: NO ONE cares about your vehicle more than you do. Even if you are a mediocre mechanic and it takes you 2 hours to change your oil, you will know it was done, it was done right, the bolts were all properly torqued, the oil filter was NOT put on with an impact wrench (yes! Seriously!), and while you are doing the work you will also tend to anything and everything else on the bike that you notice that needs love and care. Even if you have to buy all the necessary tools and a torque wrench to change your oil, the first time you do it instead of taking it to a shop, you will pay for those tools with the money you saved.

Working on a brand new vehicle is pure joy if you like working on machines at all. Believe me, I owned 12 used air cooled VWs when I first started driving, and keeping a rusty old used unloved vehicle running can be a real challenge.

If you are mechanically inclined at all, I recommend you do all the work you can on your bike (and cars) yourself.

Last edited by KCW; 06-29-2018 at 07:43 AM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 10:42 AM
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Pushing a nail into a tyre is attempted murder!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Reminds me of an episode of the comedy ALF, where the Tanners car is having issues and ALF, the next door neighbor kid and the daughter set up the repair shop to prove they are ripping off customers.

Sad but many news stories have been done over the years catching repair shops scamming customers with women being the biggest victim of the scams.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 03:42 PM
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Hey American were you the one that had the dealer not paying off the trade in within a timely manner? If so did you write a negative review of them somewhere out in the inter/social webs?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Zippie View Post
Hey American were you the one that had the dealer not paying off the trade in within a timely manner? If so did you write a negative review of them somewhere out in the inter/social webs?
Yes he was, but not sure if he did an online review. I have a hunch he did, especially based on his latest experience with them regarding his rear tire!
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