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Brand new bike - catastrophic engine failure

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     First post here long time lurker. I was looking for some advice and/or opinions from the TT community on a really unusual situation. So I decided to buy my first new bike a CRF230F -  I already have a lightly modded (pipe, reeds) 2003 KDX 220R which I really like. However, I am not a very skilled or experienced rider (started in my late 30s) and the KDX can get away from me on some of the tight singletrack we have out here in Colorado. I just wanted a bike to get better on so I decided on the CRF. I really don't want to get into the whole "the CRF is a step down in performance" discussion - I know what the bike is, what it is not and what I need to progress as a rider. Not to sound rude on that but it really has nothing to do with this post or my current situation.

     So on with the story...I leave work early on Monday of this week pick up the bike fresh off of the showroom floor from a reputable local dealer.  I immediately take the bike out to some local pretty tame forestry roads pretty excited to ride my first new bike/four stroke - so far so good. About 15 minutes into the ride going up the smooth wide open switchbacks on the road I notice that the bike seems pretty weak. I know that the CRF is not an MX bike and it is not my KDX but it just feels anemic. I few more switchbacks and BAM the bike stalls pretty abruptly. So I'm standing there in the road assessing the situation and some red flags go up. The bike has some light smoke coming from the pipe/engine area and I notice a smell - not a good oily sort of mechanical smell, but a bad sort something is not right smell. I got the bike started again and I'm thinking to myself that this thing is brand new, nothing major can be wrong so I cautiously start riding again. Within the next ten minutes the bike will barely carry me up a 5-10% grade road pinned in second or third gear. At this point I am getting worried that this is the worst bike I've ever been on or something is in fact really wrong. I decided to turn around and ride the roughly 5 miles back to the car. By the time I'm about 1 mile from the parking lot the bike is making some pretty bad noises rattling and pinging from the engine and only going about 10MPH pinned in second gear on a flat trail. This is when I knew without a doubt it wasn't the jetting/altitude (7000+ feet) but something major. Limped back to the car and drove home disappointed. 

    First thing Tuesday morning I take the bike back to the dealership and find the guy who sold it to me. I tell him the story he hops on it spins it around the parking lot for like 30 seconds and said "oh yeah something is wrong for sure." His immediate opinion was that it was a jetting/carb issue even though I disagreed. So I go back to work Wednesday - don't hear anything from the dealer. Get up this morning and call first thing, what do you know - he tells me the top end wasn't getting any oil and the engine is cooked. No real surprise there. OK now I'm getting angry - the sales guy told me he was in contact with Honda already because he knew I wouldn't want the bike - bingo. He calls me back later and tells me he spoke to Honda and they want to fix it under warranty and advises me to call Honda and tell them that I do not want it repaired. So i call Honda as he advises, and they give me the whole "we will make it right speech." The point is (in my mind) a paid for a brand new bike - not a rebuilt bike - not to mention the thing could have totally locked up and seriously injured me. I guess I don't know what I should demand that Honda do in this case - my dealer is trying to get me out of the contract at this point. I await any advice and opinions.

 

Thanks,

 

CRF'd in Colorado

 

 

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You're fortunate to have a dealer that is backing you (or at least claim too).

Stand your ground and refuse to accept anything less than a new bike. You bought your first new bike and paid a good dollar for it. I don't know how to tell you to go about it, other than to be a hard ass and stick to your guns...

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First post here long time lurker. I was looking for some advice and/or opinions from the TT community on a really unusual situation. So I decided to buy my first new bike a CRF230F -  I already have a lightly modded (pipe, reeds) 2003 KDX 220R which I really like. However, I am not a very skilled or experienced rider (started in my late 30s) and the KDX can get away from me on some of the tight singletrack we have out here in Colorado. I just wanted a bike to get better on so I decided on the CRF. I really don't want to get into the whole "the CRF is a step down in performance" discussion - I know what the bike is, what it is not and what I need to progress as a rider. Not to sound rude on that but it really has nothing to do with this post or my current situation.

     So on with the story...I leave work early on Monday of this week pick up the bike fresh off of the showroom floor from a reputable local dealer.  I immediately take the bike out to some local pretty tame forestry roads pretty excited to ride my first new bike/four stroke - so far so good. About 15 minutes into the ride going up the smooth wide open switchbacks on the road I notice that the bike seems pretty weak. I know that the CRF is not an MX bike and it is not my KDX but it just feels anemic. I few more switchbacks and BAM the bike stalls pretty abruptly. So I'm standing there in the road assessing the situation and some red flags go up. The bike has some light smoke coming from the pipe/engine area and I notice a smell - not a good oily sort of mechanical smell, but a bad sort something is not right smell. I got the bike started again and I'm thinking to myself that this thing is brand new, nothing major can be wrong so I cautiously start riding again. Within the next ten minutes the bike will barely carry me up a 5-10% grade road pinned in second or third gear. At this point I am getting worried that this is the worst bike I've ever been on or something is in fact really wrong. I decided to turn around and ride the roughly 5 miles back to the car. By the time I'm about 1 mile from the parking lot the bike is making some pretty bad noises rattling and pinging from the engine and only going about 10MPH pinned in second gear on a flat trail. This is when I knew without a doubt it wasn't the jetting/altitude (7000+ feet) but something major. Limped back to the car and drove home disappointed. 

    First thing Tuesday morning I take the bike back to the dealership and find the guy who sold it to me. I tell him the story he hops on it spins it around the parking lot for like 30 seconds and said "oh yeah something is wrong for sure." His immediate opinion was that it was a jetting/carb issue even though I disagreed. So I go back to work Wednesday - don't hear anything from the dealer. Get up this morning and call first thing, what do you know - he tells me the top end wasn't getting any oil and the engine is cooked. No real surprise there. OK now I'm getting angry - the sales guy told me he was in contact with Honda already because he knew I wouldn't want the bike - bingo. He calls me back later and tells me he spoke to Honda and they want to fix it under warranty and advises me to call Honda and tell them that I do not want it repaired. So i call Honda as he advises, and they give me the whole "we will make it right speech." The point is (in my mind) a paid for a brand new bike - not a rebuilt bike - not to mention the thing could have totally locked up and seriously injured me. I guess I don't know what I should demand that Honda do in this case - my dealer is trying to get me out of the contract at this point. I await any advice and opinions.

 

Thanks,

 

CRF'd in Colorado

 

Hey I disagree a bit with Fattonz. I'd accept a rebuilt engine... your chasing a bike that works. The whole bike isnt stuffed, only the engine. Honda got the engine wrong, honda should put the engine right.

My buddy had similar happen to hinm with his new KTM 450EXC. The dealer refused to have anything to do with it. He spoke to KTM directly and they are supplying parts to fix it, and the dealer will be doing the repairs.

Good to see your dealer didnt try to get rid of you with a broken bike like ours did.

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Wow, the CRF230F is supposed to have bullet proof reliability.  I have read about some gruesome things done to them - and they keep on ticking...

 

Did you check the oil level before you rode it?  I wonder if it was never filled properly (which would explain why the top end was not getting any oil!)

 

I would push for a new bike also - if that failed I would push for a compromise of a factory new engine - and if not that, at least a complete full engine rebuild...

 

I have had major issues with brand new big dollar pickup trucks straight out of the dealership - I guess sometimes we just get unlucky.  I hope it doesn't deter you from still getting a CRF230F - I think they are great bikes and would probably fit the need you describe very well.

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The reliability is one factor that attracted me to the bike - and why this event was such a major surprise. To be fair, I did not check the oil before I rode it. I took it straight from the dealership to the trail - my bad on that. I just assumed the oil would be good to go. I spoke to the long time owner of a local Yamaha dealer and he said bikes are generally shipped with oil in them already - not sure though. I also understand that the oil filter can be put in backwards somewhere along the assembly process and cause this sort of failure. Oil was my first and immediate thought was the bike lurched and stalled while riding on the road. I won't bail on the 230 - I just want this to be resolved fairly. 

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I say Honda fixing it is fine, we all ride around in rebuilt bikes and they work fine.

Just a word of advice, when you buy a brand new bike, IMMEDIATLEY

drain their oil, put yours in correctly,

set tire pressure,

Bleed brakes

Tighten spokes

Use brake clean on rotors

Grease all bearings (more important on mx bikes)

These should all be done before the first ride, and if i bought a new bike they'd be done before i even putted around my yard

Edited by zotis777
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Stand your ground and refuse to accept anything less than a new bike. You bought your first new bike and paid a good dollar for it. I don't know how to tell you to go about it, other than to be a hard ass and stick to your guns...

I agree! If the top end wasn't getting good oil then the bottom end may not have been either. You could get it back and the main bearings or crank might lock up. Honda will probably only replace the bare minimum if they do a rebuild. Think of all the moving parts in the engine that could potentially be damaged.

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I've had the entire day to sort of think about all the possible outcomes of this situation and I really believe that Honda should completely replace the entire motor at the very least. Maybe I'm being stubborn, but i bought it brand new, the engine issue was not my fault and I think it is their responsibility to replace the motor. Again, maybe I'm being bull headed - but I feel like that's the line in the sand that needs to be drawn.

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I would want a new engine str8 from Honda installed by the dealer. You cant say what other damage may have occurred or if your dealer has the right mechanic for the rebuild. 230's are tough therefore a local mechanic probably doesn't have much if any experience rebuilding them. Just my 2 cents.

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I've had the entire day to sort of think about all the possible outcomes of this situation and I really believe that Honda should completely replace the entire motor at the very least. Maybe I'm being stubborn, but i bought it brand new, the engine issue was not my fault and I think it is their responsibility to replace the motor. Again, maybe I'm being bull headed - but I feel like that's the line in the sand that needs to be drawn.

Completely agree.

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The rest of the bike is still new so if you can get a new motor out of it you will still have a brand new bike. I would push for a new motor or a complete rebuild top and bottom by a competent mechanic. Or take a different new 230 if that is an option. But really the 230's are great bikes and fun to ride.

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     First post here long time lurker. I was looking for some advice and/or opinions from the TT community on a really unusual situation. So I decided to buy my first new bike a CRF230F -  I already have a lightly modded (pipe, reeds) 2003 KDX 220R which I really like.

 

Thanks,

 

CRF'd in Colorado

Wait a minute..... am I missing something here?  When the hell did 4 stroke bikes have 'reeds' in them?  :thinking:

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I already have a lightly modded (pipe, reeds) 2003 KDX 220R which I really like.

Wait a minute..... am I missing something here? When the hell did 4 stroke bikes have 'reeds' in them? :thinking:

He's saying his kdx has reeds

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Wait a minute..... am I missing something here?  When the hell did 4 stroke bikes have 'reeds' in them?  :thinking:

You're a fkn moron.

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tell them you want Honda to provide:

 

new cylinder head

new cylinder

new crank

new crank seals

new timing chain

new clutch

new transmission 

new piston

 

essentially everything that moves inside the motor should be replaced. you can keep your engine cases. 

 

Don't know why dealer wants you to refuse repair? In hopes of a new bike? It may have been that the dealer's pre-inspection and setup service they charged you for wasn't conducted. If you get another one definitely verify their work. 

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Hey Ron,

I feel a sick day coming up so I'd like to go. Don't know if you remember me or not. You did the Ridgecrest ride with us awhile back.

otb_a

------------------

Complete new crate engine!

Only!!!

Or they buy it back.

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Don't know why dealer wants you to refuse repair? In hopes of a new bike? It may have been that the dealer's pre-inspection and setup service they charged you for wasn't conducted. If you get another one definitely verify their work.

Honda will pay there shop rate for the warranty repair. Sounds like the dealership is trying to do what's best and get him a new bike.

Edited by xcbuckeyeguy
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