My experience at the dealer
My experience with service at Precision Cycle Works.
Iíll try to leave any subjective comments out of this and leave it strictly to the facts.
In mid-February of 2008 I installed a new 300W Electrosport stator in my 2005 Kawasaki KLR650. When I finished buttoning up the case, I arranged with a friend and fellow rider to truck my bike to Precision Cycle Works to have them look at the doohickey, as my bike was still under warranty (I had purchased the extended warranty for my bike). I had already talked to the dealer and explained what I wanted them to look at. I had left my bike stripped down, no oil or shift lever installed in order to minimize what they would have to remove in order to check the dooí. A week after I had dropped my bike off, I stopped in to see how things were going. They explained to me that when they had opened it up and found that the lever was broken in two and there was still a piece of it floating around in the engine somewhere; they asked me what the best way to try to find it was, so I told them that using a flexible magnet they could fish around the bottom of the engine through the opening in the side case (the cover was off after all).
After another week, I stopped in again and found that they had managed to replace the doo, as well as the balancer chain which Kawasaki wasnít initially going to warranty, but did anyway. After they had that work done, they put oil in the bike and tried to start it to make sure that everything worked right.
It wouldnít start. They pulled the plug and checked to see if there was spark (using a booster battery as they had killed mine)
There was no spark, so they checked the pulsar coil. They explained that the exciter coil portion of the pulsar coil read as being dead (no resistance reading) so they replaced it. This part was not under warranty as I had replaced it once already due to broken wires from a chain letting go. I was good with this.
They still got no spark, so they asked me what they should do. I suggested that they check the cdi and ignition coils.
Another week went by, and they did nothing. Riding season was starting to get into swing, and they were getting busy with other peopleís spring maintenance work. (weíre now getting towards the end of March). I went in again after another week with a list of checks that they could do to see if the cdi was bad, and again requested that they check the ignition coil. The service manager (also the shop owner) said that it wasnít likely to be the ignition coil, as they donít fail. He also told me that the mechanic that he had working on it didnít want to touch my bike as I had additional electrical wiring on my bike (comm. system, GPS, electric vest hookups). The mechanic blamed the lack of spark on my wiring, and refused to do any other checks on the bike.
Getting into April, I started visiting the shop on a daily basis to find out what was happening, as I needed the bike back before my trip to Hyder Alaska in May. I was also trying to sell it in order to buy a new bike for the trip and had to put off three interested buyers.
I kept getting the run around that they didnít have time to look at it as their guys were busy getting all the new bikes and quads that they were selling set up and out the door.
At the beginning of May, I found out that the exciter coil had never actually been checked, as it was part of the stator and they didnít know how to check it (it was an aftermarket stator after all, even though it had the same number of wires as the stock stator and the same colors). I phoned Electrosport and found out how to run a resistance test on the exciter coil and what the value should be. I took this information in to the dealer and had them run the test.
By the end of the week they had finally gotten around to running the test (itís now May 9th, Iím supposed to be leaving on the 24th) and found that the exciter coil was indeed toast (this was surprising as this was a brand new stator that had never been used).
May 10th I went in to make a deal on a new bike, as it was unlikely that I was going to be able to get a replacement stator in time to make the trip (hotel accommodations had already been made, non-refundable registration fees for the rally had also be paid). After three tries, I was finally able to get financing, with the catch that I put at least $1000 down, which I couldnít do without depleting my travel fund, thus defeating the purpose of buying a new bike.
May 14th I was finally able to not only get my bike home (after ponying up $200 for a new pulsar coil, engine gasket and labor) but I also found a new (used) stator at a wrecker in Edmonton (an additional $300 expense, plus $20 for shipping).
Thursday, May 15th, I took my old pulsar coil, which they had cut all the wires removing it from the bike, as well as my multimeter in to work with me with the intent of running my own check on the coil, as well as testing the new stator when it arrived. After talking with the service manager at CARS Kawasakin in Leduc, I got the factory numbers for doing the resistance tests.
Pulsar coil -> 100 Ė 150 ohms
Exciter coil -> 100 Ė 200 ohms
Stripping the insulation from the cut ends of the pulsar coil, I set my multimeter to ohms resistance and checked the coil
The part that the dealer said that they had tested and found to be dead was actually right in the middle of factory specs. Thinking that the problem might have been at the plug, I spliced the wires back together and checked again, reading from the plug.
Not only did the dealership fail to follow the factory service manual on how to troubleshoot a starting problem, they also mis-diagnosed a fully functional part as being non-funtional, damaged it taking it out of the bike, and charged me for it.
Iím currently trying to get my money back on this fiasco.
I used to like this dealership, but because of this incident they have lost a $9000 bike sale as well as all of my future business and that of my girlfriend.
Not once did they phone me to let me know how things were going with my bike, nor would they return my calls (if they answered the phone in the first place). My bike spent most of the two and a half months that it was there sitting outside in there fenced compound, getting snowed and rained on.
The dealership in question is Precision Cycle Works in Red Deer, Alberta.
Other riders that I know have had similar experiences with them in the past and also refuse to do business there.