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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I usually do my own basic maintenance but almost always go to the dealer for the first service, trusting they'll check everything and make sure nothing is wrong.

Well... after having to loosen my chain just a bit, because the dealer tightened the crap out of it, the "wax" pasty like lube they put on is beginning to wear off... revealing the chain is rusty. Now, the chain actually was beginning to rust when I dropped if off to the dealer and I specifically asked if they would clean and lube the chain, even though I brought it to them in poor condition. They of course said the would. Well it appears to me they only took a cloth and wiped it down and then gooped on whatever the crap it is they use for lube. I washed rooster this morning, cleaned & lubed the chain. I only wish I took a before picture.

Has anyone else had this kind of crappy service from their selling dealer?


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I would have no problem calling the service manager and letting him know you dont like to complain for the sake of complaining but you also don't like to be taken for a moron. Also if he isn't made aware he may not realize for a long tine that he has is employing a crappy mechanic. You might be saving someone else problems with a bike they trust to the dealer
 

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The "wax pastey" stuff they put on is perfectly acceptable - "surface rust" is a fact of life, unless you regularly lube the chain. Unfortunately, the white pastey stuff doesn't immediately dissipate the rust, meaning the rust is still visible, rather than still being there and invading the links.

Asking a dealer to "clean" the chain is quite frankly "insane" - as is the very notion itself. Your version of "clean" is never going going to match the dealers. I would recommend a "X" ring or "O" ring chain, and that you make no attempt to clean it other than to clear it of sand etc. Anything else it just going to chase the crap into the links.

I apologise if this answer is not the one you were expecting, but sometimes, it just has to be said

I applaud your intent, but sometimes the solution makes it worse ......
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The "wax pastey" stuff they put on is perfectly acceptable - "surface rust" is a fact of life, unless you regularly lube the chain. Unfortunately, the white pastey stuff doesn't immediately dissipate the rust, meaning the rust is still visible, rather than still being there and invading the links.

Asking a dealer to "clean" the chain is quite frankly "insane" - as is the very notion itself. Your version of "clean" is never going going to match the dealers. I would recommend a "X" ring or "O" ring chain, and that you make no attempt to clean it other than to clear it of sand etc. Anything else it just going to chase the crap into the links.

I apologise if this answer is not the one you were expecting, but sometimes, it just has to be said

I applaud your intent, but sometimes the solution makes it worse ......
I get what you're saying and appreciate your candor. The fact that my chain was so tight (less than 1/4" slack) and then seeing what I saw under the wax lube just made me mad.

I guess I expected they would clean the chain as in spray it with appropriate cleaner, scrub it down with a brush, wipe it down and then lube. The truth is this is the first chain I've owned in a long time and I guess I expected too much from the dealer.

I will call them to let them know, however, that when some asks them about cleaning the chain, they really should explain what they'll do and what they won't do. Like you said, my definition of cleaning is apparently much different than theirs.

I would respectfully disagree, though, that asking the dealer to clean the chain and expecting them to do a thorough job (when they tell me "yes we'll clean and lube your chain) is not insane. I've been in the same business for the past 25 years and when I tell a customer I'm going to clean their generator, as a part of the maintenance they're paying me to do, I don't have my technicians just rinse it off. We do a thorough job because word of mouth is the best advertisement.

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Discussion Starter #5
I would have no problem calling the service manager and letting him know you dont like to complain for the sake of complaining but you also don't like to be taken for a moron. Also if he isn't made aware he may not realize for a long tine that he has is employing a crappy mechanic. You might be saving someone else problems with a bike they trust to the dealer
I will be calling them, for sure. I'd like to think that it's not a common occurrence but I'm sure it is. I do expect a lot when I'm paying a professional to do a job.

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I won’t take any of my vehicles to a dealer unless I know the mechanic. I couldn’t imagine how much I would have spent having a dealer service my TWs I’ve learned to service my TWs from all the great members on this forum and it’s done right. Replace that damn OEM chain with an X or O ring chain now and save your OEM for an emergency replacement.
 

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I have to say you often get what you pay for with dealer services. How expensive was this service you had done at your selling dealer? Around here the dealers get between $75-$100 per hour for shop time spent on your bike. I suspect the chain service you requested and expected if done to your specific specs would have required removal of the chain and a good soaking in rust removal solvent plus a good brushing with a wire brush and then re installing it, for adjustment and lubing. Easily a good hour of shop time if done right so between $75-$100 for that part of this service alone.

Face a couple facts here. The standard factory installed chain on a TW is just a basic inexpensive roller chain, nothing special at all and certainly not worth spending $75 on to get it cleaned and lubed. For $75 you can get a high quality X ring chain and just forget about it for a very long time.

Shoddy workmanship from dealer service mechanics is a rather common occurrence in the MC world. More often than not the actual certified mechanics are working on real technical issues while a couple of lesser qualified Set Up guys are doing the menial work such as chain cleaning and adjusting. Call these guys, mechanics in training under some minor supervision of the real "certified mechanic". Your stock chain is subject to rust no matter how well it is maintained. It is subject to needing constant adjusting as it wears. Owning a motorcycle is a very expensive proposition if you plan to have it fully maintained by the dealer for any and all service and adjustments. DIY is the name of the game when you buy a MC and the only time it should require dealer service is when something truly does brake or go out of serious adjustment. If a little rust on any part of your new bike appears that you don't like then the guy to take care of this issue is you unless you have very deep pockets. Complaining to the dealer over such minor issues will likely not serve you well in future servicing issues as the dealer will consider you a unsatisfied complainer over minor issues. I will go out on a limb here and say that very few of the TWs owned by members here on this forum ever go to the dealer unless something serious does go wrong and then usually only if they are under the original warranty. If you don't own a wrench and know how to use it or have no mechanical understanding of MCs in general then a TW is not the bike for you. They do in fact require a pre flight check almost every time you toss a leg over the seat.

GaryL
 

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I think your chain looks great. Your standards must be extremely high and there's nothing wrong with that just different from my point of view. I think potential crappy service from a dealer is something to watch for but not over a chain...which hopefully gets well used.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think your chain looks great. Your standards must be extremely high and there's nothing wrong with that just different from my point of view. I think potential crappy service from a dealer is something to watch for but not over a chain...which hopefully gets well used.:p
Thank you. It didn't take long to clean and lube properly. Like it's been said, you want it done right, then do it yourself! Lol.

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I have to say you often get what you pay for with dealer services. How expensive was this service you had done at your selling dealer? Around here the dealers get between $75-$100 per hour for shop time spent on your bike. I suspect the chain service you requested and expected if done to your specific specs would have required removal of the chain and a good soaking in rust removal solvent plus a good brushing with a wire brush and then re installing it, for adjustment and lubing. Easily a good hour of shop time if done right so between $75-$100 for that part of this service alone.

Face a couple facts here. The standard factory installed chain on a TW is just a basic inexpensive roller chain, nothing special at all and certainly not worth spending $75 on to get it cleaned and lubed. For $75 you can get a high quality X ring chain and just forget about it for a very long time.

Shoddy workmanship from dealer service mechanics is a rather common occurrence in the MC world. More often than not the actual certified mechanics are working on real technical issues while a couple of lesser qualified Set Up guys are doing the menial work such as chain cleaning and adjusting. Call these guys, mechanics in training under some minor supervision of the real "certified mechanic". Your stock chain is subject to rust no matter how well it is maintained. It is subject to needing constant adjusting as it wears. Owning a motorcycle is a very expensive proposition if you plan to have it fully maintained by the dealer for any and all service and adjustments. DIY is the name of the game when you buy a MC and the only time it should require dealer service is when something truly does brake or go out of serious adjustment. If a little rust on any part of your new bike appears that you don't like then the guy to take care of this issue is you unless you have very deep pockets. Complaining to the dealer over such minor issues will likely not serve you well in future servicing issues as the dealer will consider you a unsatisfied complainer over minor issues. I will go out on a limb here and say that very few of the TWs owned by members here on this forum ever go to the dealer unless something serious does go wrong and then usually only if they are under the original warranty. If you don't own a wrench and know how to use it or have no mechanical understanding of MCs in general then a TW is not the bike for you. They do in fact require a pre flight check almost every time you toss a leg over the seat.

GaryL
Thanks for your candor Gary. I simply expect a professional to do what they say. If they told me they'd wipe the chain down and lube it, but they weren't going to scrub the rust off, I would have been okay with that. The only problem I have is they didn't do what they led me to believe they were going to do. Not to mention when they adjusted the chain it had less than 1/4" slack. Way too tight!

At any rate, I only go in for the first maintenance so the dealer can check to make sure everything is okay. I will be doing my own maintenance moving forward. The 600 mile service was $200.00.

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"...Not to mention when they adjusted the chain it had less than 1/4" slack. Way too tight!..."

TRVTH!

They may have adjusted it at the loosest point instead of the (correct) tightest point...
But it sounds like that "tech" may not even know about that...or maybe knows but doesn't care, and that's even worse!
Spread the word locally and tell the Service Mgr. about it.
If he doesn't care, tell the Owner!

EDIT:
I pretty much agree with what's been said about cleaning & de-rusting. But...
Sending a bike out with a very tight chain can/will damage expensive parts and creates a potentially major safety issue.
Ever break a chain in traffic or far from civilization or home?
Me neither, not in 60 years of aggressive street & woods riding & racing.

DIY.
And: A loose chain is a happy chain!
 

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by looking at your pictures, i would say you have a very clean bike and maybe a chain you consider to be dirty, the dealer thought was clean. but if he can't adjust a chain, then i would look for another dealer
 

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...Not to mention when they adjusted the chain it had less than 1/4" slack. Way too tight!...
Might be a common occurrence: An inexperienced local rider sold his 1st bike, a CRF250L, to a mutual friend because the suspension was totally "inept." Turned out the dealer had adjusted the chain "banjo-string" tight, and every throttle input would "jack" the suspension, - cured by properly adjusting the chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Might be a common occurrence: An inexperienced local rider sold his 1st bike, a CRF250L, to a mutual friend because the suspension was totally "inept." Turned out the dealer had adjusted the chain "banjo-string" tight, and every throttle input would "jack" the suspension, - cured by properly adjusting the chain.
Wow! That's pretty much how my chain was and truth be told, the only reason I got as "bent" as I did over the clean and lube job they did. Lesson learned....

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If you want to see how tight 1/4" or 1/2" or even 1" *really* is, have someone sit on the bike and check the slack again! :eek:
 

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My last experience with the local dealer was when I brought my Polaris 850 quad in to have a broken front spring replaced on the right front shock. I had purchased an 5 year extended warranty and had just a few months left on it. I had purchased it at this dealership. The shock wasn’t covered but replacing the spring was.
First, the service manager had a flunky call me and tell me that the insurance company would allow 30 minutes for diagnosis, but they needed an additional 30 minutes. I told them they should be able to diagnose a broken shock spring in the allowed 30 minutes.
Second, they called a second time and told me that when I purchased the extended warranty their shop hourly rate was $80.00 per hour. It was now $100.00 per hour and they wanted me to pay the difference. I told them that was between them and the insurance company and I would not be paying anything extra unless they can provide me with a written reason from the original contract.
Third, they called me and advised me the insurance company allowed for the parts but only one hour for the repair. They wanted me to pay for an additional one hour at their $100.00 shop rate. Three times you’re out.
I told them on the phone that they need to stop all work on my machine and that I would be there in 15 minutes to pick it up. When I arrived I went straight to the general managers office and explained in detail that his service manager was trying to screw me for an additional $200 to $300 dollars in addition to what the insurance company was paying, for a totally simple procedure. He wasn’t interested. I picked up the machine and haven’t returned for three years.
I had originally started shopping at this dealership in the 70’s and have purchased numerous vehicles, parts, and service from them over the decades.
This is the same dealership that refused to refund a $1,100 balance on a service contract that stated specifically it was fully refundable. They eventually offered my friend $500 in store credit instead. Rather then take them to court like I wanted him to do he accepted the store credit. I was more pissed off then he was and still tease him about it.
Recently I purchased a 2018 Polaris Ranger 1000XP. They go for almost $20k out the door. I didn’t even consider getting a price from this rip off joint, but instead drove 40 miles north to Mt Vernon and purchased it. Their attempt and success at taking advantage of me and my friends has lost them much more in the long run. The word is out, but I’m amazed they are still in business. I wouldn’t trust them to check the air in my tires.
It pays to be reasonable, but diligent and observant as well.
 

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Those flaky businesses deserve complaints to the Better Busines Bureau as well as a critical review posted on YELP or equivalent web sites.
 

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Those flaky businesses deserve complaints to the Better Busines Bureau as well as a critical review posted on YELP or equivalent web sites.
Skip the BBB. They'll gladly take negative reviews and complaints. If the offending business is a member (due-paying) of BBB, these are largely ignored. If the business is not, BBB will highlight these negatives, then essentially extort the business to join so these negative reviews can be "moderated" or a lowered letter grade can be reversed. Not to say these grades are totally useless, but they're not as "organic" as you might think and BBB likes to advertise.

Post a review on google maps. It's the first thing 98% of people see. If you review things regularly and your reviews are of sufficient quality (i.e, more than a few words and actually address highs or lows, not just "this sucks" or something), you'll get designated a "Local Guide". What that means is your reviews get pinned to the top, and appear right under their address and phone # when people search. Business owners can "reply" to these reviews, but they cannot pay to have them taken down. They can request them to be "reviewed", but unless they are vulgar/hateful (violating Google's TOS), they'll stand. Keep the review factual, calm and to the point.

Dealers over-tightening chains seems extremely common. They don't seem to realize the chain tightens up when you cinch the axle down, and then moreso when the suspension compresses.

I've called dealers out on their techs screwing up. I had a fuel pump replaced in my Scout under warranty for the fuel light not working. On the way home, I ran out of gas at only 60 miles with of course no warning light. The range should have been at least double that and there was clearly still a lot of fuel in the tank. Come to find the dealer installed the fuel pickup tube upside down, so it was pointing "up" in the tank rather than "down" into the ridge straddling the frame. I took it apart and fixed it myself (took some pictures first), but called the dealer to inform them of this gross mistake. I mean, you would have really tried to install it that way. The pickup naturally wants to slide down, and is clearly obvious that's how it goes. The service guy more or less kind of went "well, since you already fixed it what do you want me to do". I wasn't fishing for a prize or anything, but it would have been nice if they at least seemed mildly concerned that my bike shut off on an 80mph freeway without warning due to their mistake, at least say they'd have a chat with the tech responsible. Nope.

Seriously, if you want it done right, do it yourself. If it screws up later, you only have one person to blame. This is also why I don't put a lot of weight in warranties or trying to preserve them. Major repairs are quite rare on modern bikes (as long as it's not a Suzuki cruiser or GSXR), and small incidental problems I'd rather just eat the cost of the part, change it myself rather than go through the hassle of dropping the bike off, waiting weeks, picking it up and more than likely finding it wasn't done correctly anyway in order to get it for "free".
 
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