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post #1 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Closed on my KLR. Nightmare experience inside...

Excuse me if I’m ranting, but I need to vent.

Yesterday, I picked up my dealer hold over 2015 KLR.

I don’t think that I’ve ever had a more frustrating buying experience. It would be comical if I weren’t at the center of it.

Anyway, I worked with a local Kawi dealer ( a satellite office of a larger chain) and we agreed on a price. I was reasonably confident that this would be the bike that I would purchase that I even ordered accessories. The dealer was to install them for all for the price of just one hour’s labor.

My wife and I agreed that she would be the one to get the loan because her credit score is at near maximum and would get the better interest rate.

Anyway, on the day we were to do the paperwork, I brought in all of the parts (SW Moto crash guards and skid plate, Barkbusters, etc.) and set them on the floor in front of the part’s desk. The parts guy/junior salesman saw me bring them in. This will be relevant in a minute.

Here’s where everything took an interesting turn.

1. While I’m on the phone with my insurance company to add the bike to our policy, he’s running through paperwork with my wife. We had earlier discussed a short loan with him. While waiting for the paperwork to be filed electronically, my wife takes a break and walks around the showroom floor. He comes out and explains the terms for a 5 year note. I had to put the insurance agent on hold and intervene. My wife, not wanting to cause a scene, just waived me off and signed. No big deal. We’ll just pay more and treat it like a shorter term. However, it was a jerk sales move to pad his wallet with a larger kickback for selling the higher interest loan. Further, he played my wife against me while I was preoccupied.

2. While I was on the phone, I looked at the parts/junior sales guy’s desk and noticed one of my invoices for the accessories that I brought in. When I asked if there was any reason why he had opened my pacakages and removed it, he said “I just wanted to see what you paid.” I could have excused him if he had thought perhaps the delivery person had left parts that needed to be checked into inventory, but he didn’t even go that route.

3. Later, the sales manager called me into his office and asked me to sign my wife’s name to the temporary registration. According to him, the person on the loan must be on the title. I don’t think that is true, but the bigger issue is that he put a pen and legal document in front of me and wanted me to sign her name. WTF? I took both from him and walked into the showroom where she was waiting and had her sign for herself.

The bike wasn’t going to be ready until the end of the week, so at this point I just wanted to finish the deal and go home. I hadn’t really connected any dots up to this point. It was only after my wife and I were talking later and compared notes that we realized how messed up the dealership is.

Anyway, I’m not done.

Yesterday, I went to pick the bike up. It was near closing time and it wasn’t ready. There were 2-3 mechancis feverishly working on it and obviously in a hurry to get home.

1. The heated grips I’d paid for were not installed. Despite being from their inventory and being parts they should have been familiar with, they sold me 7/8” ATV/snow mobile grips that were obviously too small for the throttle side. This also means no Barkbusters were installed, either.

2. They can’t get it started. Since it had not have been started up, I asked if they’d set the choke. Lightbulbs went off in their heads and they adjusted the choke. They cranked, and cranked, and cranked to no avail.

3. I then asked them if they’d added gas and, if so, how much. One mechanic said “about a gallon.” So I asked them if they’d set the fuel switch to “reserve” since the fuel tank pick up probably was too high to get fuel in the normal setting. More lightbulbs went off and, sure enough, it roared to life after a few cranks. Seriously, folks, it should be taken as a professional insult when your customer knows more about your product than you do – especially something so trivial. It was obivous they’d never worked on a KLR.
The only real good news to this point is that I witnessed the initial start up and insured that the revs didn’t exceed 4000 RPM. But I’m not done yet.

1. Since everyone is in a hurry, the manager hands me two keys and starts closing up. I put one of the keys in the igntion and it won’t fit. I finally got his attention, and he realized that one of the keys belongs to another KLR they have in stock. He had mixed the keys up. Thinking that he went back inside to get the correct key, I waited in the parking lot like a money with a thumb up his bum for the manager to return. He didn’t. He’d hightailed it home already.

2. With nothing left to do but ride the bike home, I insert my sole good key and ride away. Thankfully, I only live 2 miles away and the speed limits are 25 or 35. Because...

3. When I get home, the first thing I did was dismount and take the obligatory social media pic to share with friends and family. It was then I that I noticed that the front tire was flat. At first, it didn’t register any pressure at all. But a second, more accurate gauge showed 5 psi. On a hunch, I checked the back tire and it registered 15 or so. For reference, the recommned tire pressure is 21 psi front and rear. I then checked the delivery sheet and, sure enough, someone had signed that they had checked the tires but, obviously, that wasn’t the case. Anyway, I shouldn’t have to explain why 5 psi on a front tire at highway speeds could be a very, very bad thing. I’m very fortunate that I didn’t take it for a longer ride on the highway.

Today, I called over to inquire about 1.) the missing key and 2.) to mention my tire pressure ( I took pics, btw). I was told that a.) I already have two keys and b.) they didn’t know why the tire pressure was low. The didn’t want to elaborate on latter but said they’d look for the missing key. But since they aren’t open Mondays, I won’t get it until mid week at the earliest.

I’m supposed to take this bike back so they can add the remainging accessories (proper sized heated grips, Barkbusters, and connect a lower KLRDash that I have coming). Obviously, I’m not inclined to ever see them again.

As a matter of fact, I've begun composing formal letters to their main dealership, to Kawasaki, and given thought to filing an ethics complaint with the state DOT. After all, I’ve experienced potential mail tampering (my invoices), suggested forgery (him wanting me to sign my wife’s signature), total incompetence on the part of the mechanics (catrastrophically low front pressure), and general top to bottom unprofessionalism which, I think is putting it mildly.
I’m not angling for a gift certificate or any other compensation, mind you. I just want someone to know what this dealership is doing (or not).

Should I just shrug it off and never see their likes again? Do I have a legitimate beef? I’m willing to accept that I’m so close to it that I could be blinded in my frustration.

Edit: I think the reason they had such a difficult time starting was most likely because they initially failed to reconnect the vacuum tube to the fuel petcock. Granted, there was such little fuel in the tank the selector switch had to be set to "Reserve" so that part is probably still accurate.
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Last edited by subvetssn; 08-02-2016 at 09:29 PM.
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post #2 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 03:48 PM
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I think I would talk to the main dealership and try to resolve in-house before moving further.

"Things are made out of Stuff"
Bill Nye~

"Singularity is a scientific term for - We Just Don't Know"
Neil DeGrasse Tyson~

(2011 KLR)
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post #3 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 03:49 PM
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Wow 15psi. You should be so lucky. LOL. Mine only had 12 when I got home. Seriously though, that's why many people including myself, try to never take the bike back to the dealer. I've had horrible experiences with maintenance at different dealers over the years. But, ya got the bike. Put it behind you and go for a nice ride. In the meantime, dust off your wrenches, I got a feeling their going to be getting used. And by the way, this is one of the easiest motorcycles to work on yourself.
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post #4 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 04:18 PM
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Personally you had the worst experiance i have ever seen, I would file complaints, You never know a new owner may come in and not know how to ride and due to flat tires they could kill them. beside Kawi has a right to know who is selling and working on their product, IMO.
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post #5 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 06:12 PM
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Yup. I'd be pissed enough to go to the mat FWIW. That's jacked. And also why I never take my bike to a dealership.

Glad you're OK. And this is a good heads up for everyone (not blaming you or pointing fingers, I swear - I would have been so pissed I just wanted to get home) - since we know a lot of Kawi techs are hacks, no WAY should anyone leave the dealership until the bike has been gone over, pressures checked, etc.

Again, not blaming you - you could have gotten hurt. Really glad you didn't. As far as the dealership. I think the question you're going to end up asking yourself is 'is it affecting my life to be this pissed, would I be better off letting it go, lesson learned?'

I don't know what the answer would be for me. Sorry you had such a bad experience. Try to focus on the fun part. NEW BIKE!!

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post #6 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 09:09 PM
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I'll suggest that you "click" on post #1, print out 3 or 4 copies.
Copy (3or4) the "Delivery and Preparation" sheet with all of its inappropriately check items. (Did they 'Check the final drive oil', on a chain Driven Bike?) (Is you Head Light 'hunting raccoons' on top of the fence line?) (I'll bet dollars to donuts that the drive chain is 'Bow-String' tight when you set on it. That is the factory installation, by the way! Please loosen it. They should have!)

And send copies to Kawasaki Customer Service. Maybe, hand-deliver copies to the parent Dealership? Maybe copies to the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

It is Not just Kawasaki 'Dealerships' that allow this shoddy workmanship.
Because most of the dealerships are 'Multi-line' stores.

But now I will add, the Cheapest Deal is usually not the Best Deal.
I personally would Not even ask or expect any shop to add all that 'stuff' for a mere Hour of labor charges!
But the salesperson shouldn't have suggested or agreed to a mere hour either. The 4 or 5 extra hours of employee labor time should come out of the salesman's pocket!
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Last edited by pdwestman; 07-30-2016 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Drive chain info.
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post #7 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 09:53 PM
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What is your motivation; what do you hope to ACHIEVE by complaining?

What do you EXPECT to achieve from complaining?

I'd counsel, keep your eye on the prize (demand only what you were promised), and plan for another motorcycle maintenance source.

I doubt even the most eloquent complaint could rehabilitate this dealership; pursuing a complaint may only waste energy, then foster frustration.

My advice: Cut your losses. Materially, they are minimum at this point; don't sign on for an extended string of emotional stress, with little chance of satisfaction.
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post #8 of 36 Old 07-30-2016, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the many responses. Although the advice differs by poster, I at least get a sense that I'm not over reacting and that my frustration is justified.

They have my Barkbusters, still, and I've already paid for the new heated grips which they have on order. All that's left for them to do is track down the missing key.

As suggested above, it's not worth the negative energy. I'll grab my stuff and never see them again.

The only difficult thing to install is the grips and removing the old ones seems to be the most frustrating part of that upgrade. But I'm sure that I'll figure it out.

That being said, I might be able to spare some grief for the next person. So I'll finish my letter to Kawasaki corporate, drop it in the mail and not look back. If nothing comes of it, then I tried. If something does, great.
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post #9 of 36 Old 07-31-2016, 07:52 AM
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Wow! That was quite a horror story.

Send your complaint in to Kawasaki Customer Service. They have employees that live to rip new asses at their dealers.

I was in powersports sales for a stint and learned that my employer got their seadoo watercraft dealership because another dealer in town that had it accumulated too many customer service complaints. I would think that the owners of a powersport business would take that threat pretty seriously. I know mine did, even over the most insignificant negative comment...yeow!
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post #10 of 36 Old 07-31-2016, 08:25 AM
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Don't trust anyone you don't know to ride or work on your bike.

That's just the way it is.
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