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Old 07-25-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
logman OP
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Pissed Dealership Nightmare

Thought I would share my recent experience with Village Motorsports in Grand Rapids, MI. Authorized KTM dealers and Mechanics?

My bike: 2007 KTM 950 Super Enduro with Safari tank.

Asked them to perform the following list below. At the top of the document they received from me I had the following -

**SHUT OFF BOTH FUEL PETCOCKS – WILL HYDROLOCK OVERNIGHT**
PLEASE DO NOT USE AN IMPACT WHEN RE-INSTALLING ANY BOLTS/NUTS – ONLY USE WHEN REMOVING
PLEASE TORQUE ALL BOLTS TO SPEC AFTER INSTALLING BY HAND


OK before you read the below list, I will tell you what they did in 3 weeks time.

-Replaced rear tire
-Chainged oil (they said they changed it because it was saturated with fuel.. HMM do you think they hydrolocked it in the shop because they didn't read the red tex above??).
-Threw away scotts stainless oil filter (they cannot find it)
-Checked compression
-Checked valves
-Reinstalled stock gas tank
-Reinstalled stock fuel pump (I gave it to them to TEST because I had hunch it was bad. Instead of testing it OFF the bike, they installed everything and then realized it was blowing fuses). I had a safari tank on it, too big right now with dieing aftermarket fuel pump.
-Ordered and replaced fuel pump

Note that somehow they managed to kill my bike at idle. Now if you snap the throttle at idle, it stalls, and runs rough. They can't figure out what is wrong, and they told me they had to call KTM to help diagnose (still no results).

They did not complete ANYTHING else, I told them I am picking it up tomorrow and they are going to pay for my scotts filter, and the 100 dollars in oil they drained into a bucket. I will never bring a bike to this dealer or any other for that matter. Mind you over the course of the 3 weeks I called them about 7 times, and each time they told me they would return my calls with updates. They never did, not a single call.

__________________________________________________ _________________________________________________
My list.... given to them in paper form, they signed off on it.

Please service the following:
-Replace rear tire (TKC-80 or Equivalent also please clean the rear rim if possible)
-Check chain tension (Chain was replaced 1 month ago)
-Clean and then lubricate chain
-Check compression on both front and rear cylinders
-Check and adjust / re-shim valves on both front and rear cylinders where necessary
-Clean / adjust both front and rear carbs
-Sync front / rear carbs
-Adjust suspension for 190 pounds (rider is 170 + 20 pounds extra)
-Install stock fuel tank (see page 2 fuel tank)
-Replace all fuel lines

Recent service performed FYI:
-Clutch slave cylinder and fluid replaced
-Oil changed 50 miles ago (do not change oil!)
-Cooling system flushed
-Coolant changed
-Waterpump rebuilt / impeller replaced
-Chain replaced
-Front and rear sprocket replaced
-Front and rear tires replaced (needs new rear tire)


This is just pure incompetence... sorry for the novel, had to share... so frustrated right now.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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Sounds like the incompetence of my local dealer as well.... They are a huge shop and I am disappointed every time I am there. (I have a 3 year maintenance contract on my Ducati there, I never took my Honda there (thank God) and my KTM definitely will not be visiting).
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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This story makes me "feel good" as I'm about to take my 990 Adv to the local dealer for a service. I have no experience with them and don't know if they're any good or not. The old dealer that I bought the bike from might have been a bit expensive, but at least you could trust them to do proper work.

I had similar issues with a Ducati dealer years ago. After the second time that they lied to me I resolved that I wasn't ever going back there, even to look at new bikes. I then went to an independent shop that was so much better that I was kicking myself for not going there sooner. I don't know of any independent shops specializing in KTMs, though.

Anybody with KTM dealer recommendations in the Sacramento area?
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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Hard to comment on individual dealers, but I think the old adage that 'if you want something done properly do it yourself' applies. I have what I think is quite a reasonable (semi-local) dealer - a small, shop run by KTM enthusiasts - but they have made some f@ck ups as well. On a similar vein I went up to my local KTM dealership and spoke with their mechanic about some very minor issues I was having with my 2011 990 and frankly he knew less about 990's than I did (though in fairness not a licensed V2 dealer).
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
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What is a dealership?




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Old 07-25-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
Andrejs2112
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Nobody cares as much as you do. End of story. This is why I try to do as much as possible myself. The manual and the internet can get you through almost anything these days.

Thanks for the heads up on that dealer as it's the one I would have to use being in Michigan.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
GoNOW
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Let me make some comments from someone who holds a wrench.

-Replace rear tire (TKC-80 or Equivalent also please clean the rear rim if possible)
<- Clean the rim of what?
-Check chain tension (Chain was replaced 1 month ago) <- part of a tire change, on bike. Also, the chain adjusters should be removed and coated with anti-seize. The axle shaft seals should also be greased. Bearings should be checked too. All that should happen with every tire change.

-Clean and then lubricate chain
-Check compression on both front and rear cylinders
-Check and adjust / re-shim valves on both front and rear cylinders where necessary

A full service should include the above, plus spark plugs, oil and filter. Standard stuff.


-Clean / adjust both front and rear carbs
-Sync front / rear carbs

If you bike runs fine, then no need to clean them. And you have to define adjust. Is this a rejet? Everyone likes their bike running a different way. What I you call running great, may not be what I call running great. But for a full carb clean, both carbs need to be fully dissembled anyway and when you assemble them again, you will have to reset the air/fuel screw. More then once a Harley comes in the shop running like crap, we fix it up so it purrs and they complain that the idle is too smooth and it no longer backfires.
Unless the carbs are separated (or are in for a full rebuild), they tend to not get out of sync, on most bikes. I don't sync often or even check unless it's a problem. The 9x0 seems to be more sensitive to carb sync so I can see doing that, but other techs may not know this.

-Adjust suspension for 190 pounds (rider is 170 + 20 pounds extra)
Suspension should be set for your weight according to race sag and other numbers. I do not do this without the rider present.

-Install stock fuel tank (see page 2 fuel tank)
-Replace all fuel lines

No problems here. I would also suggest a extra fuel filter since it's no extra labor at this point and adds extra protection.


-Test the stock fuel pump.
This is a hard one. How much current does the stock fuel pump draw? How much CFM? Does the current flow increase with some more head pressure? Does it overheat and quit working? How high PSI should it make? Stuff like this is not listed in most books. If a customer comes in and wishes for a fuel pump to be tested, I would connect it to a battery and stick a hose in a bucket of water and see if it pumps. If it pumps then it MIGHT be good, if not, then it's dead. If you don't want to be stuck someplace, then I highly suggest replacing the pump. I can't really fault them for testing it on the bike as that is a good way to see if it would flood the carbs from too much pressure.


As for impacts. I have both air and electric impact tools. My little Makita impact gets heavy use daily. If I had to remove or tighten every bolt by hand, I would take all day to get anything done and worsen the carpal tunnel. That said, I know what bolts can be tightened with the impact and how tight to make them, and what bolts I need to break out the torque wrench for. And I hope every other tech does too.


Just from reading your note, you are what we call a "demanding customer". There is nothing wrong with that at all, as I am one too. But it does tend to tick some people off when a customer comes in with a list like that.
Also, nobody wants to work on the bikes of the "demanding customer", because if anything is even slightly off, he/she thinks the chain is to tight, or their is a problem unrelated to anything the the shop did, the "demanding customer" wants it fixed now, and for free. So those bike tend to sit around a bit longer as nobody wants to work on it.

Why it's not running right, I can not say so I can't comment about it. I just fixed some stripped exhaust bolts on a scooter of a "demanding customer" and now it's back because it's hard to start when warm and as far as he is concerned, it's something I caused. Now what do I do?

Not turning off the fuel was a mistake. They should replace that oil for free.

KTM parts can take a lot longer to get then the Japanese brands. It's real common to wait 2 weeks if something is back ordered or on the other coast. So if they have been waiting on the fuel pump to get in, I can see it taking 3 weeks.

I am not totally ready to put that shop in the incompetence camp, mostly because I have not heard their side of the story. But they HAVE screwed up and it sounds like they don't want to make it right.


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Old 07-26-2012, 12:25 AM   #8
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I have to ask you Logman, have you ever had your bike in a shop that did what you consider a good job? A job you were completely satisfied with? I'm asking because I know a couple of people that would snivel if you gave them a wheelbarrow full of money...."it's dirty" or something like that. It doesn't matter what kind of work was done, they aren't happy with it.

After reading the mechanics take above, I would think that you are the quintessential "demanding customer".

I know 2 mechanics that I consider extremely competent, and I wouldn't hesitate to let either of them work on my stuff. I seriously doubt that if you brought that list of stuff to do, and your notes and whatnot, that either of them would work on your bike.

That being said, there is no excuse for not calling you back, especially when they said they would. My local dealers all make an effort to make me happy, and I tend to send them whatever business I can.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:08 AM   #9
Andrejs2112
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Wow! Asking a dealership or mechanic to do something to your bike gets you put in the "Demanding Customer" category? Sad state of affairs there.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:12 AM   #10
Andrejs2112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoNOW View Post
Let me make some comments from someone who holds a wrench.

-Replace rear tire (TKC-80 or Equivalent also please clean the rear rim if possible)
<- Clean the rim of what?
-Check chain tension (Chain was replaced 1 month ago) <- part of a tire change, on bike. Also, the chain adjusters should be removed and coated with anti-seize. The axle shaft seals should also be greased. Bearings should be checked too. All that should happen with every tire change.

-Clean and then lubricate chain
-Check compression on both front and rear cylinders
-Check and adjust / re-shim valves on both front and rear cylinders where necessary

A full service should include the above, plus spark plugs, oil and filter. Standard stuff.


-Clean / adjust both front and rear carbs
-Sync front / rear carbs

If you bike runs fine, then no need to clean them. And you have to define adjust. Is this a rejet? Everyone likes their bike running a different way. What I you call running great, may not be what I call running great. But for a full carb clean, both carbs need to be fully dissembled anyway and when you assemble them again, you will have to reset the air/fuel screw. More then once a Harley comes in the shop running like crap, we fix it up so it purrs and they complain that the idle is too smooth and it no longer backfires.
Unless the carbs are separated (or are in for a full rebuild), they tend to not get out of sync, on most bikes. I don't sync often or even check unless it's a problem. The 9x0 seems to be more sensitive to carb sync so I can see doing that, but other techs may not know this.

-Adjust suspension for 190 pounds (rider is 170 + 20 pounds extra)
Suspension should be set for your weight according to race sag and other numbers. I do not do this without the rider present.

-Install stock fuel tank (see page 2 fuel tank)
-Replace all fuel lines

No problems here. I would also suggest a extra fuel filter since it's no extra labor at this point and adds extra protection.


-Test the stock fuel pump.
This is a hard one. How much current does the stock fuel pump draw? How much CFM? Does the current flow increase with some more head pressure? Does it overheat and quit working? How high PSI should it make? Stuff like this is not listed in most books. If a customer comes in and wishes for a fuel pump to be tested, I would connect it to a battery and stick a hose in a bucket of water and see if it pumps. If it pumps then it MIGHT be good, if not, then it's dead. If you don't want to be stuck someplace, then I highly suggest replacing the pump. I can't really fault them for testing it on the bike as that is a good way to see if it would flood the carbs from too much pressure.


As for impacts. I have both air and electric impact tools. My little Makita impact gets heavy use daily. If I had to remove or tighten every bolt by hand, I would take all day to get anything done and worsen the carpal tunnel. That said, I know what bolts can be tightened with the impact and how tight to make them, and what bolts I need to break out the torque wrench for. And I hope every other tech does too.


Just from reading your note, you are what we call a "demanding customer". There is nothing wrong with that at all, as I am one too. But it does tend to tick some people off when a customer comes in with a list like that.
Also, nobody wants to work on the bikes of the "demanding customer", because if anything is even slightly off, he/she thinks the chain is to tight, or their is a problem unrelated to anything the the shop did, the "demanding customer" wants it fixed now, and for free. So those bike tend to sit around a bit longer as nobody wants to work on it.

Why it's not running right, I can not say so I can't comment about it. I just fixed some stripped exhaust bolts on a scooter of a "demanding customer" and now it's back because it's hard to start when warm and as far as he is concerned, it's something I caused. Now what do I do?

Not turning off the fuel was a mistake. They should replace that oil for free.

KTM parts can take a lot longer to get then the Japanese brands. It's real common to wait 2 weeks if something is back ordered or on the other coast. So if they have been waiting on the fuel pump to get in, I can see it taking 3 weeks.

I am not totally ready to put that shop in the incompetence camp, mostly because I have not heard their side of the story. But they HAVE screwed up and it sounds like they don't want to make it right.



I would bet that if the said dealership called and explained everything that this guy did, there wouldn't have been a problem. It's not real hard to pick up the phone and ask a customer questions.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:08 AM   #11
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...

Quote:
Originally Posted by logman View Post
This is just pure incompetence... sorry for the novel, had to share... so frustrated right now.
I can understand you completely. I believe it's a general problem of the KTM dealers, at least I have more bad than good experience with most. There a FEW which are REALLY GOOD THOUGH!!! (just to point that out)

Anyway, during the repair of my engine, I waited for bigger parts at least 2 weeks (more often at least 3 weeks). Smaller parts were mostly not available at the local dealership, however they came in a couple of days.

And you should know - I live in Vienna, Austria. Just few hundred kms from Mattighofen...

Cheers,
Nik.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:49 AM   #12
Slvrtundevl
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I work on my own bike, mainly because of the cost. But you will find some dealers cater to their customers more-so than others... I.E... Harley...BMW....Ducati....Etc.....

Most guys who ride KTM's wrench themselves....or at least the one's I know...
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:13 AM   #13
logman OP
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I come from a line of thinking that involves lists, lists of goals, lists of issues, good lists and bad lists. Some of them may even be redundant. It is up to the person on the receiving end (of list) to read and address potential issues. It's simple really, if my list is dumb explain to me why it is dumb. Preferably as I hand it to you, or hmm, maybe via phone?

Dealerships and shops have you sign off on the work, I signed a contract before I left. They took my list - I signed a contract. They accepted my contract - no matter how dumb it was.

And for the record? If you are a mechanic it is your job to interpret my list, which you did, and then explain what you just did to me via the phone or upon receiving said list.

I'm sorry, full service? On this bike - you ask before replacing plugs because they cost over 20 bucks for both. Im pretty sure in Michigan, any "wrench holding" mechanic is required to call and approve any service over 20 dollars.

Lets not forget the scott's oil filter they tossed. Can't tell the difference between a paper filter and a stainless steel mesh filter? Need glasses? Need teeth?

I'm sick of mechanics that think they "know it all". Most of them in this area would fail cert tests, most of them would even fail reading tests.

The things on the list may be common sense to some mechanics, and i'm sure they make some chuckle - but in Grand Rapids Michigan, where billboards that read, "can't read? it's not too late!" are plenty, and seeing a customer in a general store ask how to spell "eight" as he writes a check (that will most likely bounce) are even more common. One must take measures to ensure they do not get screwed the second they turn around and head home from any service related business.

Yes I am demanding, yes I expect you to follow my list, and if you can't? tell me why and I'm sure we can both come to an understanding.

It's not my problem you have carpel tunnel GoNOW. I work on computers all day and its just a way of life. I just wanted them to know it was important for them to NOT over torque things. AKA read the service manual. But apparently they can't read?
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post
I have to ask you Logman, have you ever had your bike in a shop that did what you consider a good job? A job you were completely satisfied with? I'm asking because I know a couple of people that would snivel if you gave them a wheelbarrow full of money...."it's dirty" or something like that. It doesn't matter what kind of work was done, they aren't happy with it.

After reading the mechanics take above, I would think that you are the quintessential "demanding customer".

I know 2 mechanics that I consider extremely competent, and I wouldn't hesitate to let either of them work on my stuff. I seriously doubt that if you brought that list of stuff to do, and your notes and whatnot, that either of them would work on your bike.

That being said, there is no excuse for not calling you back, especially when they said they would. My local dealers all make an effort to make me happy, and I tend to send them whatever business I can.

Good Luck.
What you mean is they don't want to work on a bike that belongs to someone who knows what they want, that suggests to me that they don't do a good job and will only work on peoples bikes who don't know any better.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:36 AM   #15
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Thumb

Ok - lets play a game. Imagine for a second that I am RED and the Mechanic is GREEN

-Replace rear tire (TKC-80 or Equivalent also please clean the rear rim if possible)

Clean the rim of what?
Just wanted to make sure sand and dirt was cleared from any important surfaces before rim re-installation. This is a no brainier... forget I asked.

-Check chain tension (Chain was replaced 1 month ago)

Part of a tire change, on bike. Also, the chain adjusters should be removed and coated with anti-seize. The axle shaft seals should also be greased. Bearings should be checked too. All that should happen with every tire change.
Cool good to know you know what you are doing - thanks for telling me.

-Clean and then lubricate chain
-Check compression on both front and rear cylinders
-Check and adjust / re-shim valves on both front and rear cylinders where necessary


A full service should include the above, plus spark plugs, oil and filter. Standard stuff.
A full service? Is that a package deal? I just replaced the plugs, can we refrain from doing that, along with the oil? Thanks for understanding!


-Clean / adjust both front and rear carbs
-Sync front / rear carbs


If you bike runs fine, then no need to clean them. And you have to define adjust. Is this a rejet? Everyone likes their bike running a different way. What I you call running great, may not be what I call running great. But for a full carb clean, both carbs need to be fully dissembled anyway and when you assemble them again, you will have to reset the air/fuel screw. More then once a Harley comes in the shop running like crap, we fix it up so it purrs and they complain that the idle is too smooth and it no longer backfires.
Unless the carbs are separated (or are in for a full rebuild), they tend to not get out of sync, on most bikes. I don't sync often or even check unless it's a problem. The 9x0 seems to be more sensitive to carb sync so I can see doing that, but other techs may not know this.

Good to know, thanks this potentially saves me a lot of money. I appreciate this.

-Adjust suspension for 190 pounds (rider is 170 + 20 pounds extra)

Suspension should be set for your weight according to race sag and other numbers. I do not do this without the rider present.
Great, would you be willing to assist me with this? Obviously labor would be involved and I would be happy to pay for this.

-Install stock fuel tank (see page 2 fuel tank)
-Replace all fuel lines


No problems here. I would also suggest a extra fuel filter since it's no extra labor at this point and adds extra protection.
Great! go ahead with the filter


-Test the stock fuel pump.

This is a hard one. How much current does the stock fuel pump draw? How much CFM? Does the current flow increase with some more head pressure? Does it overheat and quit working? How high PSI should it make? Stuff like this is not listed in most books. If a customer comes in and wishes for a fuel pump to be tested, I would connect it to a battery and stick a hose in a bucket of water and see if it pumps. If it pumps then it MIGHT be good, if not, then it's dead. If you don't want to be stuck someplace, then I highly suggest replacing the pump. I can't really fault them for testing it on the bike as that is a good way to see if it would flood the carbs from too much pressure.
I would like you to test it off the bike and see if it actually even runs - its demand based right?, at which point please call me so we can take the next step. Maybe I could keep it as a spare and order a new one just to be on the safe side. Thanks!


As for impacts. I have both air and electric impact tools. My little Makita impact gets heavy use daily. If I had to remove or tighten every bolt by hand, I would take all day to get anything done and worsen the carpal tunnel. That said, I know what bolts can be tightened with the impact and how tight to make them, and what bolts I need to break out the torque wrench for. And I hope every other tech does too.
Good to know, I was not trying to be insulting or assuming you would not use them. Thanks for reassuring me you know what you are doing as I have had bad experiences with stripped bolts from dealers in the past.


You know what you are doing, you ask questions, you give your input, and thats what I think every good mechanic should do at a minimum.
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