Did I get a Lemon?

My Beta experience after only six (6) weeks of ownership.

 

I really like the Beta brand of motorcycles and have been following it for a while. Beta owners are very enthusiastic about the brand and I haven't run across anyone who was unhappy with their bike. On the contrary, people seem to be very satisfied with the bikes' performance, reliability and support.

 

I purchased a new 2016 Beta 300RR Race Edition on March 10th from a dealer, not BYOB. I had been thinking about this purchase for a while (over a year) and wanted to be sure of my choice before dropping 10k on a new bike.

 

On my first ride on March 12th, the bike started three times and wouldn't crank again. I checked the simple things on the trail like the fuse and battery connections. It was my first ride and I just wanted to the ride it so I kick started it the rest of the day. This was a real bummer since one of the main reasons I got a new bike was to have an electric start. After chasing this down at home, it was due to a connector that was zip-tied too tight to the frame forcing the connector to loose contact. Problem solved. See here: http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/1143108-brand-new-15-300rr-first-ride-problems/?p=12991049

 

After my second ride on March 26th, with only 4hrs on the bike, I got home to discover a leaking left fork seal. I tried the 35mm film trick before the next ride to see if I could clean any debris stuck in the seal. Also after the second ride, while washing the bike I noticed the headlight looked a bit cloudy. I got close and realized the bulb had shattered into a thousand pieces and all the glass pieces had been rocking around the headlight assembly. Both the lens and the reflective material inside the headlight got pitted/scratched with the sharp glass.

 

On my third ride on April 3rd I realized I could not turn the High speed compression adjuster on the rear shock. It was fully stuck and would only turn a few degrees each direction, but not enough for a "click". I had set it to standard setting when I got the bike.

 

During all these things I had been in touch with the dealer, but I considered things before the shock to be minor and I would deal with them myself. A bad shock would need to be covered under warranty though. I emailed Tim at Beta USA and he suggested I take the bike to the dealer (over 2hrs round trip) to have them look at it.

 

I dropped the bike off at the dealer on Thursday April 7th and they confirmed shock adjuster was stuck. Beta USA approved the headlight under warranty as well as the shock. They also approved the dealer to change the seal on the leaking fork leg. I didn't want the dealer tearing into the fork leg and even less so after their mechanic came out and asked if the bike had a KTM motor. I'm confident he hasn’t torn into the Closed Cartridge Sachs fork and I didn’t want to be their guinea pig. I decided to repair this myself.

 

Dealer agreed to replace headlight and shock and I would deal with the fork leak.

 

On Monday April 11th they said shock replacement was approved and they would remove the shock the following day to send to Beta. By now I missed a weekend of riding so I asked the dealer if the bike would be ready by the following Thursday April 14th. They say it depended on whether they get the shock on time. I called the dealer and asked them to not remove the shock until they receive the replacement so that if it didn't arrive on time I could pick the bike up and go to a ride I had that coming weekend. They said they would save time if they could remove the shock beforehand. I insisted I wanted them to wait until the replacement arrived because I didn't want to miss another weekend of riding. Bike could still be ridden with stuck adjuster. I don't know how much time they would save. I can replace a shock in about 45 minutes and I'm not a pro mechanic (I did not say this to them). We got into a bit of an argument over the phone. Dealer was "losing his patience" with me because I was demanding things be done differently so I don’t keep losing riding time and I was losing my patience because my brand new bike had all these issues.

 

By the way, I don't think any of the issues I've had are the dealer's fault. I do think though, that customer service is measured and tested when things go wrong, not when they go smoothly. In this respect, I did not have a satisfactory experience.

 

Today I decided to check wiring again because the kill button works intermittently. It turns out that where the horn/kill switch/light switch connect behind the headlight, the male end (side that's fixed to the bracket), doesn't have the little tabs that are supposed to click with the female connector. So what happens is that with vibration the connector moves and I lose the ability to kill the engine. I can unplug and plug the connector freely without pressing any tabs, it just comes out. To get this fixed they'll have to replace the complete harness(?) and I don’t want to take my bike to the dealer again.

 

I know this is not the norm, but I'm putting this here so that Beta hopefully takes notice and improves their quality control. They're not to blame with the suspension components, but they need to get improve their wiring, specifically the connectors.

 

I wasn't expecting perfection when I purchased the bike since I did a lot research and knew I had to adjust bowl height, zip tie exhaust coupling, reroute breather hoses, loctite side stand bolt, etc - The basic stuff. I'm not even including that sort of thing in this list.

 

So to sum this up, I think I've had extreme bad luck with the bike given the things that have happened. Whenever I get on the bike I'm paranoid that something will fail or not work properly. I really looked forward to owning one of these awesome machines, but it leaves me with mixed feelings and doubting my purchase.

 

I still like the bike and I'm trying to not think about what's happened, but if issues continue to creep up, I'm not sure what to do. It rides great, but when I add all these things up, it takes away from even that.

Really these aren't big things..  AND you have a warranty that is covering.. really it's so small it's irritating to me... really the connector doesn't have a clip and that bugs you? :facepalm:  granted with a brand new bike I wouldn't be thrilled with anything going wrong. I'd want it perfect.. but I also know that this isn't a big thing and I've had a wide variety of different bikes throughout the years that have had little things go wrong from new.. .. So a wire grounded , a bulb broke, an adjuster broke, and a fork seal is leaking.. and that's what you call a lemon? If that's a "lemon" sell your bike. ..and go buy another bike... because that seems so minor it's irritating.. really what's up today? You didn't get "extreme" bad luck. That's just what happens sometimes with all bikes.. It would be nice for everything to be perfect sometimes but your issues are not big. ..you can look at all bikes new and see what their problems are if you want to get an idea of problems.. from all bikes.. and all bikes have little issues. I'll give you one.. sometimes when I fall over on my horn side of my 300.. even my 525 sometimes.. the horn shorts out and I blow a fuse. I can move the horn to another spot so it doesn't do that.. but I wont say I have a lemon because my horn doesn't work.... just telling you a tip so if your starter doesn't work..just change the fuse under the seat..

Here'' more things to think about.

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

That is a bummer. The dealer you bought it from is how new to Beta? I would be on the phone to Tim EVERY DAY if my RS had that kind of problems. But it's 3 years old now and still a great bike.

So everything is  minor on a 10k bike? Leaking fork, busted shock, electrical connector problems? 1 or 2 ok, but all of these? You say these things should be acceptable?

 

I've never had any vehicle of any type with these many problems, warranty or not.

It sucks that you are having that bad experience. A lot of little things adding up to a hassle for you. I hope it is all behind you now.

 

My KTM had a shock body that had a casting flaw and leaked oil, I was fortunate to have a great local dealer TJ cycles who loaned me a shock while mine was being replaced so I could race. There is only so much a dealer can do and I suspect in your case the shock had already been removed and he didn't want to pay the mechanic to remove it, put it back, and remove it and put it back again. 

 

Once the shock was approved for warranty I would have tried forcing the adjuster just to see what would happen, but as a dealer he may not be allowed to do anything other than ship it back for an autopsy. There should be lots of take off Sachs shocks at Beta USA so supply shouldn't be a problem.

 

I don't know how the wiring got boogered up, but I would have zip tied it and not taken it to a dealer 2 hours away. I'm sure your headlight popping was related to the wiring.

 

Good luck with the bike from here on, I hope you get lot's of trouble free enjoyment. This forum is always glad to help give our 2 cents, and we aren't such a long drive :thumbsup:

I know I'll probably have to deal with the electrical myself so I'm open to suggestions on how to have this not come undone. Clips or whatever you call them are not there. Just silicone? It can't be zip tied where it is.

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Edited by afm774

k.... just telling you a tip so if your starter doesn't work..just change the fuse under the seat..

 

 

Did you follow the link I posted in my opening post? I resolved this myself and it wasn't a fuse.

 

 

I don't know how the wiring got boogered up, but I would have zip tied it and not taken it to a dealer 2 hours away. I'm sure your headlight popping was related to the wiring.

 

 

The one and only trip to the dealer was for the shock, not wiring. I was ok dealing with everything up until the shock since that's a big ticket item that I can't fix myself.

So everything is  minor on a 10k bike? Leaking fork, busted shock, electrical connector problems? 1 or 2 ok, but all of these? You say these things should be acceptable?

 

I've never had any vehicle of any type with these many problems, warranty or not.

Yea. .. It's all covered too.... that's minor.. to me at least. ..but if it isn't to you get rid of the bike . The connector..... really? put a tiny dab of aquarium seal silicone on the connector and it wont come off. Wiring? shouldn't have happened but it's a tiny problem to me..A couple of people have had this issue but it isn't common... the shock, bulb and fork are covered under warranty.. You could have any other bike and it wont be covered. To me these things are unfortunate but it's foofoo and not part of the overall "lemon" of it all.. If it were me I'd be a little irritated and just fix and ride ... just like all the bikes I ride. 

Did you follow the link I posted in my opening post? I resolved this myself and it wasn't a fuse.

I read your post.. I was telling you another possible scenario that could happen.

I didn't care about the bulb. I cared about the headlight itself. See pictures.

 

HL1 (Large) (Small).jpg

HL2 (Large) (Small).jpg

"Clips or whatever you call them are not there. Just silicone? It can't be zip tied where it is."

Duct tape?

You have every reason to be bummed.

I'd be pissed if this was my experience after dropping $10,000 on a new bike.

But I've had my Beta for 2 years now and it's been pretty much flawless.

I hope you get your issues ironed out.

Hang in there it's worth it.

I'm sorry you've had those issues, I love my 15 500 rs, I bought it from a semi big dealer that I knew would not be a help on any aspect of bike including accessories. I do all my own work with help of get dirty dirt bikes, and continue to buy parts from him. like you though I would have had the dealer fix shock and seal. The 300 looks like it would be a blast to ride.
     Hawaiidirtrider thanks for posting that video, I got a lot of general preventative tips.

I feel for you bro...and you have a right to be pissed and voice your displeasure.

You also have a right to get the issues taken care of under warranty.. so bitch away.

But let me add this,

I worked at a muli brand dealership for many years.

Honda ktm yamaha Kawasaki seven all together.

Believe me when I say this they all have similar issues and some way worse.

Honda crf 250 many lost intake valves with less than 20 hours.

Ktm 300 and free ride starter issues, had one new 4 stroke that leaked oil right at the base gasket area....changed it out twice only to find out it wasn't the gasket. The case half had a tiny porosity cavity... .pin hole that leaked when the bike got hot.

So, Beta is no better or worse than the rest.

The shock and fork seal issue is a little unusual for a new bike....a decent mechanic should be able to fix both in 3 hours unless the shock adj needs parts.

Once removed could probably free it up with pb and a heat gun .

Mighy be a good idea to take a day and go through all the connectors, grease the fronts and silicone the back side closed....tighten up the female ends with a needle nose pliers.

Grease the linkage swing arm head bearings, axles, hit evey nut bolt, screw with a wrench.

That should keep you rocken trouble free for a while.

Oh, and carry extra bulbs and fuses.

Thanks for sharing some of your past/history. I often wonder while reading your posts how you got to be so knowledgable. Whats up with the base gasket on your RR? Pm me if its more appropriate.

 

I feel for you bro...and you have a right to be pissed and voice your displeasure.
You also have a right to get the issues taken care of under warranty.. so bitch away.
But let me add this,
I worked at a muli brand dealership for many years.
Honda ktm yamaha Kawasaki seven all together.
Believe me when I say this they all have similar issues and some way worse.
Honda crf 250 many lost intake valves with less than 20 hours.
Ktm 300 and free ride starter issues, had one new 4 stroke that leaked oil right at the base gasket area....changed it out twice only to find out it wasn't the gasket. The case half had a tiny porosity cavity... .pin hole that leaked when the bike got hot.
So, Beta is no better or worse than the rest.
The shock and fork seal issue is a little unusual for a new bike....a decent mechanic should be able to fix both in 3 hours unless the shock adj needs parts.
Once removed could probably free it up with pb and a heat gun .
Mighy be a good idea to take a day and go through all the connectors, grease the fronts and silicone the back side closed....tighten up the female ends with a needle nose pliers.
Grease the linkage swing arm head bearings, axles, hit evey nut bolt, screw with a wrench.
That should keep you rocken trouble free for a while.
Oh, and carry extra bulbs and fuses.

The 300 rr base gasket wasn't a big deal....here's the story

While in the trail the bike started pinging a little. It gradually got worse, then the idle started hanging.

I could smell coolant but it wasn't spewing, so I though a little was escaping from the overflow. We were riding some clutch frying sections.

The pinging got worse so I stopped and checked the coolant level.....bone dry....says alot for redline premix oil.

Got the bike home, topped off the coolant, fired up the bike.

Just below the exhaust port coolant was leaking out.

Pulled the jug and found that 90% of the gasket was folded down into the case and barely a sliver of gasket material was between the matting surfaces.

I found the same thing on the left side at the transfer port.

I assembled the new gasket (case side) with ht bond-4

Also did some light pv cleaning....love the redline burns pretty clean.

One other thing I did was switch to Evans waterless coolant, I already the stuff sitting on the shelf, I had planned to use it in the xtrainer but ended up selling it.

Edited by moto9

Yes, it sure sounds like you got a 'lemon', or at least a few 'lemon' parts.

Every part you mentioned that has an issue is not an actualy BETA manufactuered part, but are provided by sub-vendors, by companies not owned by BETA.

 

I have been where you are right now at least a half dozen times (Penton, KTM, Kawasaki, Sachs, DKW, Bultaco, KTM, KTM, KTM, etc), and it is frustrating.

 

If I were you I would more clearly document your issues on a timeline, including the dealers participation, and  contact Frank Plig at BETA USA, and ask for a good-faith solution to your problems.

 

Most are dealer serviceable issues.

So everything is  minor on a 10k bike? Leaking fork, busted shock, electrical connector problems? 1 or 2 ok, but all of these? You say these things should be acceptable?

 

I've never had any vehicle of any type with these many problems, warranty or not.

I was one of the original outspoken owners that complained about Beta's quality back in 2013. Just about every connector on my bike wasn't connected or had broken locks along with many other items. The best thing to do is add dielectric grease to every connector and either zip ty or tape connector together. I'm still amazed by how many here feel this is acceptable while pointing out KTM's issues. I have bought several new bikes over the last 15 years and only one was ever a problem that I had to disassembly to verify everything. Sadly some of us feel we should accept!

 

That is a bummer. The dealer you bought it from is how new to Beta? I would be on the phone to Tim EVERY DAY if my RS had that kind of problems. But it's 3 years old now and still a great bike.

That doesn't work, he just directs you to the dealer. The most frustration part is overall Beta doesn't have issues so when one like mine or this one comes up you would think AB would jump to fix or replace it in hours not days/weeks.

Yes, it sure sounds like you got a 'lemon', or at least a few 'lemon' parts.

Every part you mentioned that has an issue is not an actualy BETA manufactuered part, but are provided by sub-vendors, by companies not owned by BETA.

 

I have been where you are right now at least a half dozen times (Penton, KTM, Kawasaki, Sachs, DKW, Bultaco, KTM, KTM, KTM, etc), and it is frustrating.

 

If I were you I would more clearly document your issues on a timeline, including the dealers participation, and  contact Frank Plig at BETA USA, and ask for a good-faith solution to your problems.

 

Most are dealer serviceable issues.

Quality of your product is only as good as the weakest part. Beta spec'ed these parts, QC when they came and installed them so it IS Beta. Leave the "not Beta manufactured" to the lawyers! Funny KTM didn't manufactured many of the issues you had but it was POS KTM.

Quality of your product is only as good as the weakest part. Beta spec'ed these parts, QC when they came and installed them so it IS Beta. Leave the "not Beta manufactured" to the lawyers! Funny KTM didn't manufactured many of the issues you had but it was POS KTM.

 

My problems with KTM were early Keihin TB's...the rest were WP products (owned by KTM ) all Neken frame and bar products (owned by KTM), all Pankl engine and trans products (owned by KTM)...which they design and manufactuer. They weren't 'defective', they were poorly engineered. 

 

Why my past problems with KTM products are relevant to this guys experience is only clear to you, apparently.

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