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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, some of you are aware of my TW250 project, back at the beginning of February I dropped the bike off to have the TTR250 engine mounted with a machanic I trust.

I was checking in about once a month, just for a status, not to be some nuisance. Then got told if I didn't want to wait I could come get the bike, or he would get to it when he gets to it. After he'd already cut the stem the upper engine mount connects to.

Im just wondering (since this is the first custom motorcycle work I've had done) is this normal?

I know he's making way more money on the maintenance and repair side of things, so I just want to make sure I'm not being a nuisance about the situation.

I just need to know with every shop being booked out months for stuff, if I just need to continue being patient, or if I should let him focus on other business and try to find another shop to do the work?
 

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Sorry to hear this, Blake.

After 6 months, I would say that you have the right to be annoyed. I would not consider your checking in once a month to be a nuisance, but would consider his response to be pretty strong indication that he has lost interest in your project and would be happy to get it off his plate. Were you given any ballpark estimate on the timeframe for him to complete this work?
 

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Maybe it's time to start calling around meanwhile leaving it with him for the time being.
 

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You do have the right to expect professional work in a timely manner ..
But if there was no general time frame for the work to be done in established...
He's not running behind., Surely you aren't paying by the hour ?
Things to consider .
It's never a great idea to rush or piss of your mechanic .
Do you have any other fabricators or mechanics willing to
Take over this project midstream ?
Are you satisfied with the work he's done so far ?
And yes sad to say sometimes this is normal with custom work ...
Like you said , the bike is with a mechanic you TRUST
 

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It's a valid concern. But not really knowing all the details, I can't say how serious. Just for clarification...
-Was a time-line discussed?
-Is it a one man show or larger shop?
-Does your guy control the schedule and workflow?
-Is this "just how he is" (diva)?
-Will you likely be satisfied with the end product regardless of the long wait?


Full disclosure: I'm a has-been tech and have made my living out of my home-based shop. I had loyal regular customers and was able to keep a good handle on my own work flow. I never liked having many customer vehicles around as I was limited on indoor parking and had a couple Karen neighbors. My turnaround was ASAP, as a general rule. I've also worked at several shops and can tell you that customer satisfaction can suffer if anyone in the chain gets caught on a bad day.
 
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IF you are in California, you can contact the BAR, Bureau Of Automotive Repair. They will light a fire under his ass. I had a problem like that with a Suzuki DR650. Mechanic tore it down, then dogged it with repairs, so I told him to return it. BAR requires the machine to be returned in the same condition he got it. Not gonna happen because the bike ran going in to him and parts discovered destroyed when removed meant it could not be made to start and run again with the original parts. We came to an agreement; he'd order the parts and finish the work within 3 days of receiving the parts and I'd pay his cost for the materials. No charge for labor.
I do not know if BAR is in any other state than California, but you may want to check your state's regulatory body recarding automobile repair.
Good Luck!
 

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IF you are in California, you can contact the BAR, Bureau Of Automotive Repair. They will light a fire under his ass. I had a problem like that with a Suzuki DR650. Mechanic tore it down, then dogged it with repairs, so I told him to return it. BAR requires the machine to be returned in the same condition he got it. Not gonna happen because the bike ran going in to him and parts discovered destroyed when removed meant it could not be made to start and run again with the original parts. We came to an agreement; he'd order the parts and finish the work within 3 days of receiving the parts and I'd pay his cost for the materials. No charge for labor.
I do not know if BAR is in any other state than California, but you may want to check your state's regulatory body recarding automobile repair.
Good Luck!
This is why I quit working on other people's bikes.
Someone brings you an old motorcycle and asks you to fix it up.
You spend a day tearing it down checking it out.
You make a time and materials list to bring this old bike
They just bought back to life reliability..
They see the price or find out how long it might take to find the parts. .
They go into Shock.. but but but I only paid $500 for the bike..
So you spend another day or two putting it all back together
Haven't made a dime and somehow your still the bad guy
Wasted a week like this a few years ago on an old BSA ..
mike from NC
 

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This is why I quit working on other people's bikes.
Someone brings you an old motorcycle and asks you to fix it up.
You spend a day tearing it down checking it out.
You make a time and materials list to bring this old bike
They just bought back to life reliability..
They see the price or find out how long it might take to find the parts. .
They go into Shock.. but but but I only paid $500 for the bike..
So you spend another day or two putting it all back together
Haven't made a dime and somehow your still the bad guy
Wasted a week like this a few years ago on an old BSA ..
mike from NC
And this is why mechanics charge for an estimate and why estimates are usually very near or more than the cost to do the job. It's surety to the mechanic to cover any time and materials no matter what he finds in there.
It's hardly the owner's fault the shop didn't charge enough.

In my case, the Suzuki shop charged me $400 for the estimate. I guess they and I learned a lesson.
 

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It's a toss up. Was the "if you don't wanna wait come get it" said in a polite or snotty way? If it was said politely, roll with it for awhile longer. If it was snotty and rude, he's made his judgment and you won't get the same effort put into it he is putting into his other stuff. No ideas whatsoever how your provincial govt handles business related stuff like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry to hear this, Blake.

After 6 months, I would say that you have the right be annoyed. I would not consider your checking in once a month to be a nuisance, but would consider his response to be pretty strong indication that he has lost interest in your project and would be happy to get it off his plate. Were you given any ballpark estimate on the timeframe for him to complete this work?
He said worst case scenario would be June when I dropped it off. So maybe give him a month or so of grace time before looking for other options?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You do have the right to expect professional work in a timely manner ..
But if there was no general time frame for the work to be done in established...
He's not running behind., Surely you aren't paying by the hour ?
Things to consider .
It's never a great idea to rush or piss of your mechanic .
Do you have any other fabricators or mechanics willing to
Take over this project midstream ?
Are you satisfied with the work he's done so far ?
And yes sad to say sometimes this is normal with custom work ...
Like you said , the bike is with a mechanic you TRUST
Not paying by the hour, and as long as he sticks to the ballpark figure it's a really descent deal.

No other fabricators that I've worked with that could do a custom job like this lined up or know of. My good friend that could do this moved so I'd be trying someone out for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's a valid concern. But not really knowing all the details, I can't say how serious. Just for clarification...
-Was a time-line discussed?
-Is it a one man show or larger shop?
-Does your guy control the schedule and workflow?
-Is this "just how he is" (diva)?
-Will you likely be satisfied with the end product regardless of the long wait?


Full disclosure: I'm a has-been tech and have made my living out of my home-based shop. I had loyal regular customers and was able to keep a good handle on my own work flow. I never liked having many customer vehicles around as I was limited on indoor parking and had a couple Karen neighbors. My turnaround was ASAP, as a general rule. I've also worked at several shops and can tell you that customer satisfaction can suffer if anyone in the chain gets caught on a bad day.
This is all very relevant:


-Was a time-line discussed?
A general timeline was discussed stating having it done in June was the worst case scenario, I didn't push for a stricter timeline as I want him to take the time to do it right.

-Is it a one man show or larger shop?
It's become a larger operation, met him when he ran it out of a house garage, now in a full size shop, had 3-4 guys under him last I saw.


-Does your guy control the schedule and workflow?
He does, definitely a lot more emphasis on the maintenance and repair work, with the custom projects all sitting towards the back of the shop

-Is this "just how he is" (diva)?
He can be sensitive about stuff sometimes but he's definitely not some self-worshipping gift to the masses.

-Will you likely be satisfied with the end product regardless of the long wait?
thats probably where my question lies, is his lack of emphasis on my project equating to a lack of emphasis on doing the job right... and after reading that to myself it now feels like more of a "me" problem than a "him" problem...

I dunno, maybe I should just kick back and relax after responding to some replies, he's probably just busy keeping his business afloat with work, and as long as we aren't halfway through 2022, just chill.

Thanks for bringing these points up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's a toss up. Was the "if you don't wanna wait come get it" said in a polite or snotty way? If it was said politely, roll with it for awhile longer. If it was snotty and rude, he's made his judgment and you won't get the same effort put into it he is putting into his other stuff. No ideas whatsoever how your provincial govt handles business related stuff like that.
It was relayed from the gal on the phone and she did not say it in a way that felt snotty. Even if it was I just tried not to read into it that way, I've supported this guys business from the start, hoping a little more waiting doesn't turn out to be a waste of time.
 

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Sounds like he's feeling some growing pains right now. That's not really your problem but might explain it. If you've got the time, maybe let it ride for a little longer. Remember, if you pull out of his line, you have to get at the back of someone else's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sounds like he's feeling some growing pains right now. That's not really your problem but might explain it. If you've got the time, maybe let it ride for a little longer. Remember, if you pull out of his line, you have to get at the back of someone else's.
All good advice, thanks Mr V.

I have all the time in the world at the moment, glad I asked, ill wait...

Worst case scenario if it doesn't work out, im no further behind on my project than when I dropped it off lol.
 

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All good advice, thanks Mr V.

I have all the time in the world at the moment, glad I asked, ill wait...

Worst case scenario if it doesn't work out, im no further behind on my project than when I dropped it off lol.
Yeah, but you worked so hard on a very cool project and now the frustration must be driving you crazy. You've done some sweet work on that bike so far, we all want to see it finished!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, but you worked so hard on a very cool project and now the frustration must be driving you crazy. You've done some sweet work on that bike so far, we all want to see it finished!!
Same, and the deal the mechanic made me is unbeatable, gonna try and keep the work around 2k then another 500 to powder coat frame and swing arm.

Thats cleaning, cutting, welding, painting and test firing the engine. It'll be so ready to just be prepped and then put together. I'm pretty excited for when it's done!
 

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It's a lot of work and it isn't cheap. Good Job so far bro!!
 
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Mechanics are a weird breed and you might have just called at a bad time. A single stuck or broken bolt, bearing, seal or widget can trigger a meltdown.
I ran a crew of 9 mechanics and it really was like herding cats, fixing equipment was easy compared to dealing with the personality issues.
If you like his skills, try to ride out the mechanic manic depressive disorder.
 
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