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Thread: A horrible experience; turned great experience

  1. #1
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    Post A horrible experience; turned great experience

    Hey guys, this is basically a "rant", and a "props" about a few different bike shops in Calgary. As you can tell its pretty long, but worth the read if your ever looking at getting your bike serviced.

    Anyway, for my girlfriend, we were looking at a good starter bike for her, so after searching on www.usedcalgary.com we found this deal, (1990 RZ350)







    http://www.usedcalgary.com/classifie...es-under-500cc
    and picked it up for $2100. The problem? it was a B.C. bike, meaning it needed an OOP inspection before its fit for Alberta registration.
    There weren't too many places interested in doing an OOP given the age of the bike, however after I called Blackfoot, they suggested I take it to Performance cycle and auto.
    http://www.pca-canada.com/

    Back when I had my old school Ninja 750, I dealt with them lots as they seemed back then to be fairly reputable.... but it drove me nuts that I'd take my bike there for something simple: basically a $200 fix and walk out with an invoice of $800 or more most times.
    I didn't want to take it there again, since I had a feeling this would happen; yet again, whereas they'd fail the bike for a dozen idiotic reasons.... but I was at the end of my rope since I wanted to get the bike ready for (this) upcoming weekend, as it's supposed to be fantastic outside on Sunday, and I wanted us to go for a drive out to Banff or Montana. I called everybody, and either they dont do it, or there would be a two week waiting list. "PCA" quoted the next day... I was thrilled.

    I asked them to charge the new battery in it, since the bike was sitting for a while as it hasn't been driven in a few months. Not surprisingly they failed the bike.... as they forgot to charge the battery, so (thanks to the dumbasses) the horn didn't work.
    As well as they said the
    -rear axle is loose
    -as well as the front fork bearings were loose.
    - the throttle "stuck"
    My jaw dropped when I heard all that over the phone, as I knew for example the horn DID work (when I tried it on the battery charger)

    They quoted me a mind numbing $900 to fix those things. I knew I could fix those myself in less then a few hours. As I said I'd fix the stuff myself and bring the bike back for a re-inspection. but that was after 5 hours of waiting while they slowly finished the paper work to "release the bike" (and yes that 5 hours included a nice long lunch break for them)..... in the meantime I went down to the registries and got an "in-transit permit" and drove the bike home. (this was on a Friday)
    {just as a side-note: you can get an In-transit permit on an "out of province" vehicle, providing you have (proof of) insurance... its $25 for a one-way permit.... usually to move a vehicle that hasn't yet been safetied or registered}

    - Anyway, the rear axle was fine, the only "PLAY" they were talking about, was the rims internal rubber "sprocket" thats there to absorb shocks going from the wheel to the transmission. Again the axle was fiddle tight, and the bearings spun like new.... I repacked them just the same.... so WTF was THAT all about?

    -The Throttle was only a little slow because the cable hasn't been greased in eons: basically a 10 minute fix. (but quoted $200 for that alone)

    -The "triple tree" bearings were also fine, no slack WHATSOEVER.
    They also said my battery was toast, so they took the liberty to install a new one, particularily one that didn't fit the bike (too small).
    That little escapade cost $180 in total.... thanks guys! They said the re-inspection would be done and I should call them as soon as I'm finished, as it would only take a few minutes. I called them back, (this last Monday) and they couldn't fit it in for another week or so.. and there was no way they could "squeeze me in"


    Well so much for PCA, I swore never again would I deal with those cock-sucking knobs.... they didn't do anything "unethical per-se" so rather then waste a bunch of time going to the 'BBB' about them, I decided to make this thread instead.


    I started calling up EVERYBODY! for an OOP; Finally ending on Calgary Harley Davidson of all people (These guys)
    www.calgaryharley.com
    Even though they were booked until late April, they understood just what a gong show of a situation I was having, and they were able to fit me in the Thursday for the OOP inspection, provided I drop my bike off first thing in the morning. As this Friday is/was Ash Friday (as EVERYBODY is closed), It was either Thursday or I was shit out of luck...
    (Thank you Sweet Jesus!)
    Doing so, the inspection took literally 10 minutes (but just as thorough) and I was off in a hour (paper work took another 45mins).

    The folks at Calgary Harley are incredible people, extremely understanding, and easy to deal with, despite being a Harley dealership they still dealt a lot with Jap bikes, actually the guy who did my OOP was a Yamaha enthusiast himself.
    So HUGE props to John, Geoff + Gerry at Calgary Harley, since they really got me out of a bind.
    I now have a plate on the bike, and were really looking forward to this weekend.

    Another awesome place to go (I called him first. but he was booked for a month solid, he also doesn't do OOP's anyway)
    http://www.rockcentralcycle.com/Home.page
    ^ I've been dealing with Andy for almost 10 years now, and haven't yet been anything other then totally happy with his service.
    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A horrible experience; turned great experience

    coles notes;

    small shops try to milk you in repairs.

    big shops are more interested in getting you out the door on the road and hope you will come visit them again.

    glad it turned out in the end

  3. #3
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    Those little RZ's are cool, quick little bikes that handle amazingly well. Really well balanced package. Also kind of a collecters item as it was the last 2 stroke street bike in NA!! They have quite a cult following and lotsa aftermarket goodies.

    The only problem is that if she's faster than you --- you'll be behind her breathing in all that 2 stroke smoke

  4. #4
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    ^ I have an NS400R, so its also amoung the two stroke variety. Its worlds faster then the RZ, the engineering for the NS400R is incredible. They can hold the candle to a recent 600 quite easily. But againest the new ZX600R or the new R6, it doesn't stand a chance. But for a 1986 bike, my hats off to Honda for sure. (first designed in 1984 to come out as a 1985 model year)
    Actually the RG500's or RZ500's are out of this world. However the chassis engineering for the RZ500 is crap in comparison to the 350 even, its like they stuffed a 500 engine in a 350 frame. The suspension geometery is completely off, as the bike hunkers down in a way, when in the corners... that make the bike extremely difficult to negociate... and quite tiresome. Its like the additional rotating mass from that extra two cylinders wasn't at all accounted for... which can really make the bike handle very odd.
    Those bikes seem to be known for their suspension woes.. There is one for sale however on that second link from that "VFR for sale" thread that I made in this section, if you look around hard enough you'll see the RZV500. Too bad they want $14k for it though, especially considering you can import one for $5k.
    The RG500's are literally race bikes with lights and other street legal apparal. Thats why the still continue to sell for $15k when ever one comes up on ebay, which is about as rare as finding a mint condition AE86 Sprinter for dirt cheap.
    But I took the RZ down to Okotoks yesterday afternoon in the cold, just to make sure its good to go, and man is that little thing ever fast, all the cars in the side mirrors disappear in a cloud of blue smoke, its just awesome. HIGHLY recommended.

    EDIT: here is that RZV500R. Its 90BHP stock, but thats with the big guaddy airbox and the very restrictive stock pipes, it costs merely a few grand to get it well past 110hp. Its a hardcore racebike with lights, Yamaha didn't scimp out on it at all, NONE made to Canada, what very very few that were imported were done so by individuals.
    http://www.import-motorsports.org/si...ct/422-9618474
    Last edited by Graham_A_M; 04-08-2007 at 10:02 AM.
    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side"

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Graham_A_M
    [B]^v But I took the RZ down to Okotoks yesterday afternoon in the cold, just to make sure its good to go, and man is that little thing ever fast, all the cars in the side mirrors disappear in a cloud of blue smoke, its just awesome. HIGHLY recommended.

    Very cool


  6. #6
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    Glad things turn out great for you bud.

    For me a big chain store screwed my over and the little guy fixed it next day.

  7. #7
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    Well I'm trying to stay impartial because of my relationship with them, maybe you should talk to the shop owner Mike Briggs about what happened. I know him and his family personally, as well as professionally and this isn't his style. If his guys were messing you around, he should know about it. Mike isn't in the shop much at this point, so I highly doubt you dealt with him directly. Maybe you should. I'm not trying to convince you to go back there, I'm just saying that you should deal with it professionally before slamming them online.

    And the comment about "small shops milking people". Fuck that, find a decent shop and you shouldn't have to worry. I know lots of big shops that are even worse. I get told ALL the time that I'm nitpicking on bikes and costing more, but I refuse to turn a blind eye to issues related to safety. Big shops want your money, not return business. I can name 90% of the people who walk through the door of my shop, because they are return customers.

    Rock Central and Calgary HD are both awesome shops, highly recommended. For what it's worth, I'd recommend PCA as well.


    *edit*Thought I should add--This isn't an attack, I agree the quote was way higher than it should have been. I just think Mike should know the situation. Cheers!
    Last edited by endo; 04-09-2007 at 07:44 AM.

  8. #8
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    ^ He was present the majority of the time, and none of this was over his head, he knows about it all. What I mean by majority, was about 90% of the stuff was either with him physically being there, or the guy that (the service "advisor" went to, to get Mike's approval. I dont doubt for a second that none of them are bad guys with malicious intent, but incompetance and a total lack of care goes a long ways towards pissing somebody off. If it happened ONCE, I can see that, but I went to them a good 5 times over the years, and almost everytime it was a shit show like the last time I was there. The ONLY reason I'd go back there is pick up a part they'd have in stock since its difficult for anybody to screw up on that.
    Dont get me wrong, I dont hate those guys, I just dont have an interest giving them my business (and money) to be treated like a second (or even 3rd) rate customer and given bullshit promises, like I was given. There are more then a few places like Calgary Harley and Rock Central that are eager to do business with a person, and not fuck up as many times as they did. To this day all the problems they listed with that bike still have yet to present themselves, so I would have been giving Good Ole' Mike Briggs a check for $900 for nothing.
    I know Mike a little too, he reconized me for that old '87 Ninja ZX750 I bought to him over the course of a few years, He is a great guy, but I'm not going to act as if this whole situation wasn't a slap in the face.


    EDIT: Anyway, Banff was amazing, we left Calgary as it was getting warm being noonish (my GF and my best bud with his R6) all had dinner out there at an outdoor patio (it was 21 degrees and very sunny out there, just amazing) We had an incredible time, definately one of the best days I've had in some time. Then we head NW a little then on to Highway 2A, which is a sportbike riders wetdream, the twists and turns are incredible to say the least, it would have been a lot better if the speed limit wasn't a piddly 60kph (I dont think any of us dropped below double that; unless we were waiting to pass a car) Too bad the pea gravel made some turns pretty hairy. Highway 2A leads up to and ends at Lake Louis. very highly recommended. its 48km's of asphalt Heaven
    Last edited by Graham_A_M; 04-09-2007 at 09:42 PM.
    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side"

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