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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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I can't imagine that type of treatment. I really feel for you. I've had two dealers since 1974.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
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?
I am done with the dealer, I will now perform all maintenance on the bike, I have never liked shops that have the work area completely out of sight of the customers, always made me think they have something to hide.

I have all the tools, the service manual and will be purchasing a powered tire changing machine for changing the rear tires, these bikes are not that hard to work on. The next service calls for spark plug replacement and from looking at the bike they don't look like it will be that bad of a job.

Oil changes are easy on this bike the oil filter is right out in the front of the engine in the open and does not make a big mess.

The dealer has bad reviews for their repair shop already. My biggest pet peeve is never return a customers vehicle in worse condition then you received it in. This dealer fails that test in spades. Both times they have serviced the bike it has been returned covered in greasy finger prints.

Reminds me of a Honda Dealer in Cutler Ridge in South Miami, that dealer closed finally. Back in 1991 when I still have my 1989 Honda GoldWing GL1500 the tip over sensor would go bad on them the bike would just quit while riding down the road. My wife and I were living in Key Largo at the time as I was stationed in Key Largo as a Homicide Investigator, and we were going for a ride up into Miami on the GoldWing when halfway across the stretch as it is called locally, (that is the two lane US 1 from Florida City to Key Largo) the engine just quit, I coasted over to the right shoulder as it happened in one of the two passing zones where they become four lane for a short distance. The bike still had power, the lights worked, the radio played and the engine would crank but not run.

We had the bike towed to the Honda Dealer in Cutler Ridge and got a ride home to pick up our car and went to the dealer. When we got to the dealer the bike was running, the dealer claimed the battery cable fell off causing the bike to lose all power. I said but the bike never lost all power, it just would not run. The held to that and charged me 80 dollars to supposedly bolt the battery cable back onto the battery.

I did not know about that tip over sensor at the time and that they would fail resulting in the engine cutting off and not running.

That dealer pulled a scam, I paid them what was likely the equivalent to the labor of changing the tip over sensor and I know they turned around and charged Honda for a warranty repair for changing the tip over sensor as the bike still had warranty on it.

The Honda dealer in Cutler Ridge did not have the best reputation for their service department, I also learned about the faulty tip over sensors well after the fact, I believe Honda ended up replacing them free of charge to the owners for several years. What would happen was the tip over sensor had a pendulum in a box and it was filled with oil but the box would leak out the oil and the sensor would activate while riding down the road.

Sad but there are repair shops across America who are more than willing to rip off customers and it makes the good shops look bad and makes it hard for them to earn your trust.
 

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just to throw this out there: you dont have to take your vehicle to the dealership you purchased it from to get warranty work done.

In fact you dont even have to take your vehicle to a dealership that sells your vehicle - you can take a Ford to a Honda dealer to get work done on it, including warranty work.

Dealers are independent they are not owned by the car company. Ford will pay anyone to fix your car under warranty, they get a fixed amount of money and the parts for free, so they dont care who does it.

Obviously a mechanic that works on your brand of vehicle will have more experience with it, and know the quirks of repairing it - but for example, if your alternator blows out anyone can replace it - even a neighborhood auto shop that does not sell cars.
 

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just to throw this out there: you dont have to take your vehicle to the dealership you purchased it from to get warranty work done.

In fact you dont even have to take your vehicle to a dealership that sells your vehicle - you can take a Ford to a Honda dealer to get work done on it, including warranty work.

Dealers are independent they are not owned by the car company. Ford will pay anyone to fix your car under warranty, they get a fixed amount of money and the parts for free, so they dont care who does it.

Obviously a mechanic that works on your brand of vehicle will have more experience with it, and know the quirks of repairing it - but for example, if your alternator blows out anyone can replace it - even a neighborhood auto shop that does not sell cars.
So, if I took my SVTC to my nearer Kawasaki dealership and supplied the Shop Manual to them, for the 'whatever' that they could claim warranty work with Yamaha?!? I have never heard of this...I always assumed that Yamaha vetted each dealership department and only allowed in-warranty claims through only them. I will have to check this out!

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So, if I took my SVTC to my nearer Kawasaki dealership and supplied the Shop Manual to them, for the 'whatever' that they could claim warranty work with Yamaha?!? I have never heard of this...I always assumed that Yamaha vetted each dealership department and only allowed in-warranty claims through only them. I will have to check this out!

Joe
You can get a repair done at a non manufacture brand shop and then get reimbursed from Yamaha but to just go to any shop for everything I am sure you would get some push back from the manufacture.

It would likely end up being more hassle than it would be worth but yes it can be done.

Now you living in Canada might be a little different as I don't know what the consumer laws are in Canada.
 

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Years ago I was taking the family on a vacation road trip with a full size dodge van, towing a Coleman pop up camper. We were in the middle of nowhere on route 6 in north central Pennsylvania, headed to Steamtown in Scranton, on a beautiful saturday afternoon.

Driving along the cruise control disengaged. It would normally only do that if you are climbing a hill so steep it cannot maintain speed. I looked at the dash meters and lights - nothing wrong. Put it back on... it was ok for another 10 minutes then it kicked off again, and would not re-engage. Thats weird - cruise control crapped out!

About 10 miles down the road the engine shut off, like I had turned off the key. The starter would not crank, the battery was dead. We just happened to stop infront of a camper store (trailers and RVs and stuff). Quickly realized the alternator had failed, the battery voltage dropping caused the cruise to quit first, then the ignition couldnt keep firing the spark plugs.

The owner of the store ran an extension cord all the way out to the end of the driveway where the van had stopped, charged up my battery enough to start the van. About 8 miles back there was a ford dealership that was open on Saturdays.

I drove to the Ford dealership, the shop was easily able to replace the alternator on my Dodge Van, and while I was waiting and talking to the service guy, he explained it to me - they are all independent dealers, and even your neighborhood corner garage can fix your car for you - it will not void your warranty, and the car company will pay anyone to fix the car if its under warranty.

Good to know when you are on a road trip in the middle of no where, or the middle of Pennsylvania.

BTW, I have had several weird and mostly bad things happen on Route 6 in Pennsylvania. I think its haunted by the spirits of ancient natives.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Years ago I was taking the family on a vacation road trip with a full size dodge van, towing a Coleman pop up camper. We were in the middle of nowhere on route 6 in north central Pennsylvania, headed to Steamtown in Scranton, on a beautiful saturday afternoon.

Driving along the cruise control disengaged. It would normally only do that if you are climbing a hill so steep it cannot maintain speed. I looked at the dash meters and lights - nothing wrong. Put it back on... it was ok for another 10 minutes then it kicked off again, and would not re-engage. Thats weird - cruise control crapped out!

About 10 miles down the road the engine shut off, like I had turned off the key. The starter would not crank, the battery was dead. We just happened to stop infront of a camper store (trailers and RVs and stuff). Quickly realized the alternator had failed, the battery voltage dropping caused the cruise to quit first, then the ignition couldnt keep firing the spark plugs.

The owner of the store ran an extension cord all the way out to the end of the driveway where the van had stopped, charged up my battery enough to start the van. About 8 miles back there was a ford dealership that was open on Saturdays.

I drove to the Ford dealership, the shop was easily able to replace the alternator on my Dodge Van, and while I was waiting and talking to the service guy, he explained it to me - they are all independent dealers, and even your neighborhood corner garage can fix your car for you - it will not void your warranty, and the car company will pay anyone to fix the car if its under warranty.

Good to know when you are on a road trip in the middle of no where, or the middle of Pennsylvania.

BTW, I have had several weird and mostly bad things happen on Route 6 in Pennsylvania. I think its haunted by the spirits of ancient natives.
He ws right any shop can fix the vehicle and it can be covered under warranty, normally you will have to pay the shop that fixed the vehicle and then you get reimbursed from the manufacture.

One problem with trying to use non manufacture dealers is they likely won't have parts in stock for a different brand vehicle. There is a good side to using the dealer for the vehicle and that is you are getting OEM parts vs aftermarket parts from a private shop. Not all aftermarket parts are created equal, some are as good as OEM or in some cases maybe even better, but there are also aftermarket parts that fall far short of OEM quality.

If my Ram 2500 needs service the Ram dealer is far more likely to have the correct parts in stock than an independent shop or a Ford or Chevy dealer. The independent and other brand dealer shop will have to have any parts delivered to them where as the Ram dealer the tech can just walk over to the parts window and get the part he needs in most cases.
 

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You can get a repair done at a non manufacture brand shop and then get reimbursed from Yamaha but to just go to any shop for everything I am sure you would get some push back from the manufacture.

It would likely end up being more hassle than it would be worth but yes it can be done.

Now you living in Canada might be a little different as I don't know what the consumer laws are in Canada.
I never even THOUGHT, this could be done, on my car, let alone my bike(s)! I will ask about this..and discuss this with my Kawasaki dealer. I bought my 2004 Kawasaki ZR-7S from them, and have a great relationship with them. As you say, you build up trust in certain techs...and being that this is my first Yamaha, since 1973 (the first back then), I have no 'history' yet with my Yamaha dealer(s), other than the 600 mile service. I certainly will check out the 'hassle' quantum doing this in Ontario. I would imagine though, that the manufacturer would put up a 'stink factor' wall, to discourage this, and support their dealer network. You'd think, without even researching it further....
 
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