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New to riding, should I be complaining?

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So I am a total newb to motorcycle riding and wanted to get into a bit of ADV. I got myself a second hand '08 DRZ400E practically brand new and decided to do ,what I though, was the right thing and have a mechanic look at it before I did to much riding.

Now my problem is after the service and fitting of new tyres (which they botched, that is another story) I got the bike back with a fair amount of oil left around the sump plugs the bike was left with grease smears all over the plastics and seat from the filthy mechanic, cosmetic mostly and not much of a worry outside of general attention to detail.

The part that seriously concerned me however both of my seat bolts were BEARLY finger tight, I discovered this when the front of my seat was shifting a good half inch either way on the ride home.

I feel like I now have to go back over every fastener and check to make sure nothing else is botched up.

This is something I do plan to do on a regular basis myself anyway but don't feel I should have to 10km (of bitumen) after a full service.


Is this pretty much par for the course with Motorcycle mechanics? (this buisness came with high recommendationsin my area) or do I have cause for ripping strips off the mechanic? How bad was the seat bolts being that loose realistically?

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Find a real mechanic, not 'some guy who claims he is one'. You have cause for 'ripping strips'.

 

Your bike should of been returned clean and proper. Nothing 'botched', nothing loose. Any work not done but needed, listed for the the next time. Advice given on how to do basic owner maintenance.

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So I am a total newb to motorcycle riding and wanted to get into a bit of ADV. I got myself a second hand '08 DRZ400E practically brand new and decided to do ,what I though, was the right thing and have a mechanic look at it before I did to much riding.

Now my problem is after the service and fitting of new tyres (which they botched, that is another story) I got the bike back with a fair amount of oil left around the sump plugs the bike was left with grease smears all over the plastics and seat from the filthy mechanic, cosmetic mostly and not much of a worry outside of general attention to detail.

The part that seriously concerned me however both of my seat bolts were BEARLY finger tight, I discovered this when the front of my seat was shifting a good half inch either way on the ride home.

I feel like I now have to go back over every fastener and check to make sure nothing else is botched up.

This is something I do plan to do on a regular basis myself anyway but don't feel I should have to 10km (of bitumen) after a full service.

Is this pretty much par for the course with Motorcycle mechanics? (this buisness came with high recommendationsin my area) or do I have cause for ripping strips off the mechanic? How bad was the seat bolts being that loose realistically?

do it yourself. dealerships are the worst, independent mechanics usually much better, but the best guy I know for maintenance is

me

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It's the same everywhere mostly , very few "mechanics" are actually mechanics , they're just after a paycheck . I'd make sure they knew about it and try to let others locally know about the lack of respect. You said they botched tire changing or something ,so it sounds like a place to stay away from and help others do the same. I usually fix everything myself , even if it under warrantee , I try to show them what is wrong and get the parts but do the work myself. In the past most things taken in for work under warrantee has ended with me fixing what was screwed up from the "mechanics", so why bother . This includes car/trucks also.

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I would complain too.

At the very least, anyone can do an oil change them self. It's really simple, literally takes 20 mins if your taking your time having a beer. You can buy the basic tools needed for pretty cheap if you don't have them.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/576918-basic-oil-change-walk-through/

Tires install I can understand even long time riders don't wanna deal with it. I would just find a better shop who's reputable and has good reviews or has been around for awhile to do your tires.

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Thanks all for your replies.
I fully plan on doing all work myself now, Just wanted that initial service done by a "propper mechanic" to make sure I didn't miss something critical while I am learning.
The sad thing was these guys are supposed to be said "propper mechanics."

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074KU , what town in OZ are you in ? I have found over the years that it is best to do what you can yourself . Bike shops make there money from shop work and a lot of them dont have much of a quality control going on . And if it breaks down you may even go back , so win win for them . I have taken things back in the past and usually you just get blank stares or sometimes they try to trick you into paying more money to fix there damage . When I bought my 08 SM it had bad piston slap , so I took it back to the shop and they said to bring it back after the warranty had run out and they would strip it and have a look at it , DER ! I put a big bore in not long after that , fixed it right up . Have a read up on the bike and do what you said " check every fastner on the bike " and also check your sump plug for tightness . If its loose and drops out , kaboom ! But dont over tighten it aswell . I would get a manual to help with working on your bike , and anything you dont know , just ask on here . greg

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Thanks all for your replies.

I fully plan on doing all work myself now, Just wanted that initial service done by a "propper mechanic" to make sure I didn't miss something critical while I am learning.

The sad thing was these guys are supposed to be said "propper mechanics."

FAQ's here are a great help.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/215-drz400-faq/ .

If you want an electronic workshop manual, PM me your email and I will send you one.

Good tools are a great investment, torque wrench is invaluable to a beginner mechanic learning not to over tighten bolts.

Edited by Black_V-Strom
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Even the best mechanic can make a mistake. But what you experienced is sloppy work.  You can't trust anything he touched.  No, not all mechanics are bad.  Just some.

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hey hinksy I am down in the Hobart area. Yeah after that little experience I think doing all the work myself is a must now.

Start by learning how to check the oil level properly....you would not believe how few people know how to check the dry sump accurately....and overfill badly.

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Start by learning how to check the oil level properly....you would not believe how few people know how to check the dry sump accurately....and overfill badly.

That was the one thing that I had found out specifically for the bike as from having a read on common maintenance I was hearing stories of people changing oil as low as every 1000km and filters every 2-3 thousand. Well that and keeping the lube points, spokes and chain well looked after.

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074KU , You should change the oil every 1000 mile/klm not like the manual says and do the filter aswell . The motor will last a lot longer if you do . The factory uses very little grease on the bike , so a strip and grease up of it`s bits wont hurt either  ( Steering stem bearings /linkages/swingarm ) , greg

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Sounds like I shall become fairly familiar with that oil change procedure :) I see you are riding an 08 SM, what oil do you recommend as best quality/most protective?
Also on the topic of engine life would you recommend a MCCT?

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Thanks all for your replies.

I fully plan on doing all work myself now, Just wanted that initial service done by a "propper mechanic" to make sure I didn't miss something critical while I am learning.

The sad thing was these guys are supposed to be said "propper mechanics."

 

I know man, it sucks to have a hack leave your brake caliper flopping in the wind, or forget to put oil in it, or leave the pilot loose enough it falls out on the first ride outside the shop grounds.

 

I'm not saying ALL mechanics are this way, there are some really AWESOME mechanics, but very very few compared to the number of hacks. 

 

DIY is always a good starting point. You'll take more time, and consult the intraweebs as needed, whereas someone on a time schedule may just....  fudge a few things. 

 

Congrats on the bike, it's fun

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If the mechanic is like 250 and 6'2 or so,  NO you do not complain,  if hes like 5'8 and 145 and knows karate you also do not complain. 

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If the mechanic is like 250 and 6'2 or so,  NO you do not complain,  if hes like 5'8 and 145 and knows karate you also do not complain. 

 

 

I have found that a swift kick in the nuts does wonders ron , no matter what size you are 

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Sounds like I shall become fairly familiar with that oil change procedure :) I see you are riding an 08 SM, what oil do you recommend as best quality/most protective?

Also on the topic of engine life would you recommend a MCCT?

 

It is recommended that you use gold plated and platinum dipped oil of the rarest and most expensive type ( full ester ) F that I use whatever is on the shelf at the shop and change it with the filter regularly at every 1000 klms . Mostly it is motul , just normal mineral oil . The early models had failures due to the tenshioner overtightening .The auto chain tensioner keeps a constant load on the chain , whereas the manual tensioner only puts on enough to keep the correct tension , if you do it right and tighten it till that rocks in a can sound stops , then you get a long life from your cam chain , greg

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If you're gonna complain, be sure you're faster than they can run.  Ducking a 17mm wrench is good too.

 

edit: DIY is the best way, the only thing I can't do is valve jobs and cylinder boring.  No room for more equipment, I'd like a bike dyno and a Flow Bench too.

Edited by 38super
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