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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just went through a horrible experience with a well-known, respected Ducati dealer. I really want to vent, but I hate to keep dragging this thing out. Or do I just write them all off as dirty rat bastards and move on?
JP
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

we want pictures, address and name of wife and children [laugh]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Should I flame my dealer?

Soon after my 6K tuneup, I started getting a vibration through my pegs, tank, and seat. The tech recommended I bring the bike in. After going over the bike, he said he replaced the clutch, "improperly installed at the factory". Said it now rode great but wanted to put it on the dyno. Later in the week he called saying the rear tire needed to be balanced. I said "fine, balance it." He asked if I wanted a new tire. I refused. He said "Its a waste of my time to balance your old tire". I still refused, thinking he was trying to milk me. Same tire that was on their dyno a couple hundred miles before now "jumped around on their dyno".
Thats just the beginning. More later.
JP
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

I've never understood why some (most) dealers act like changing a tire is the hardest thing in the world. Like it takes all day or something to remove the wheel.

... and others just don't work that way. I've seen prices for a tire change range from $20, to $100. What the hell?
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

sozo said:
Soon after my 6K tuneup, I started getting a vibration through my pegs, tank, and seat. The tech recommended I bring the bike in. After going over the bike, he said he replaced the clutch, "improperly installed at the factory". Said it now rode great but wanted to put it on the dyno. Later in the week he called saying the rear tire needed to be balanced. I said "fine, balance it." He asked if I wanted a new tire. I refused. He said "Its a waste of my time to balance your old tire". I still refused, thinking he was trying to milk me. Same tire that was on their dyno a couple hundred miles before now "jumped around on their dyno".
Thats just the beginning. More later.
JP
Sounds like they mis-daignosed the vibration on the first try, eh?

-Danimal
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Should I flame my dealer?

So anyway, after going round and round over the tire, they tell me its ready. I drive to Dallas (5 hrs. one way) I take it for a ride and its not any better. Whats worse, the goon who everyone raves about has left a big blob of gray gasket sealer on my clutch cover. The owner's not there, so I wait about 3 hours for him to show up. One guy is really nice and takes the bike out to try and get an idea what is going on. I try to explain that the vibration is enough of a nuisance that my feet and butt are itchy and tingly when I get off the bike after even a short ride.
The owner finally shows up and tells me that they spent a lot of time trying to troubleshoot the problem. I ask about the clutch and he says they pulled both side covers and checked out everything. I say the tech never mentioned any of this and the owner says the tech didn't want to bore me with details, or something to that effect. I tell him the vibration is still there, any speed, any RPM. He points to my 'shagged' rear tire and says thats the problem. I say "change it if you want, but thats not the problem."
He says the factory rep is in town and he will show it to him to see what he thinks. He loads my bike up in the van and I go home w/o my bike. The dealer calls me later to say that the factory rep OKed tearing my engine down to the crank.
More later.
JP
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

Based on what you've said so far, don't flame.

It's gotta suck not having your bike, but I'm not getting what the dealer is doing wrong. (not trying to pick a fight). They're troubleshooting your problem and when one thing isn't working, they're stepping it up a notch to figure out the issue. They're communicating with you and they've lobbied the factory rep for a full teardown. So I'm confused. They haven't fixed the problem, but it sounds like they're working diligently on it as a good dealer would. Maybe not perfectly, but diligently and with communication. Did I miss something (really not lookin' for a fight).

It's the fact that you drove 5 hours and it's still messed up, right? If ya didn't do it, next time ya tell 'em you're coming a long distance and to make sure it is A-OK before you get there. I've had our local place--who are total Ducati badasses--miss things they said they'd fix, but they're only 3 minutes away from my house.
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

I have to agree with Spidey. I watched a true expert who I will not name try and locate a vibration. After inspecting the clutch and flywheel for balance the problem was found. The home made license plate/lighting bracket for the tail chop was the culprit. By the way, if the vibration is road speed related it could be the shagged tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: Should I flame my dealer?

I really tried to keep a good attitude about this. I've even kept smiling when all the goobers I work with keep ragging me because 'I shoulda bought a Honda'.
Like I said, the vibration is there ALL the time. It wasn't there before my 6K service and it ran beautifully for a few days after the service. Besides, how can they tell me its normal and then point out my back tire as the culprit? It can't be both.
The dealer, tech, and salespeople have been mildly condescending, but I try to look over that. I just wished I hadn't gotten the runaround. They weren't straight with me.
When I asked what the rep said about my bike, dealer says that he had no comments, only to tear it down. Why would he authorize that much labor on a whim?
When they finally got around to working on my bike I called the dealer to ask about it and he said they shimmed the crank. "Did you find excessive endplay?" I ask. "No, at edge of spec, perfect now" Says they will test next week. He tells me not to talk to tech. I call customer service to try and get the factory rep's # so I can get more info. They get involved at this point.
I call week before Thanksgiving. Dealer's not back from Italy yet, but left a message to say he wanted to talk to me. When he calls he says he rode it himself and its as good as any he's been on. Says he put a new tire on. Fine. at this point I'm just ready to get my bike back.
Customer service calls to say they talked to both rep and dealer and that something was loose in my exhaust and was replaced, shagged tire made it worse, nothing wrong with motor.
So I picked it up today, Dec. 2 They had it since around Oct. 17.
I'm still not through, next post should wrap it up.
JP
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

So, if the vibration came from the exhaust/ "bad tire" combo.....then who paid for the clutch to be replaced? And why would a tech start there? A bad tire(if original 6K miles?) is not that hard to spot.

Anyway, I would agree with the others that posted, at least the dealer is still working on the bike. Now, the rest of the story might just go to ****, so we'll have to wait and see.

What year and model/size is your bike?

Oh, and F the "shoulda bought a Honda" guys! [thumbsup]
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

yeah, i hope your not paying for all this hit and miss 'techy diag'. I hate techs like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Should I flame my dealer?

OK, so I'll wrap this up. I walk into the dealership to pick up my bike. I know that I'm paying for a rear tire. I was told it would be $200 when they tried to sell me one before. I look at my ticket and they have added $300 for labor for checking it out (from the first go-round, I guess). I ask why I'm paying for warranty work. They say they need something because this was some vague problem no one else could feel (musta been all in my head). I appreciate that they did try to help me, but I could tell they just wanted desperately for me to go away. So they agreed to just the tire. Stuck me for $187.50 for my rear Pilot Power + $50 to put it on. My local shop? About $170 out the door.
So they roll my bike out to the street while I go get my truck. My wife asks where their ramps are. They say they don't have any. So what happens if someone comes from out of town to buy a bike? Sorry sir, you'll have to come back with your own ramps.
I look over my bike as I'm warming it up to leave. There are greasy paw prints all over the engine. World class service, you bet. So we stop at Rockwall Honda to buy a ramp. They help me load my bike and strap it down. Really nice people. If you're in the DFW area shopping for a dirt bike or a wheeler, look them up.
When we stop for gas, I examine my bike more closely and there is grease EVERYWHERE. Big smears of grease. And my cans (stock) have deep scratches all over them. Apparently they just haphazardly threw them on the bench or ground or whatever. I'm sure that will help the re-sale value.
I noticed scratches on my seat cowl after I got I home from my 6K service so I took it off before it went this time.
Maybe the tech was just pissed that he had to work on my bike. Maybe he does better work when they are getting their $100/hr shop rate. All I know is that I would be ashamed to let work like that go out of my shop.
So I'll be calling Ducati customer service Monday and talking to the owner Tuesday. I still love my bike; it deserves better, even if they hate me.
JP
I don't know what recourse I have
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

While it sounds like you had a problem, and some legitimate complaints, it also appears that the dealer was pretty diligent in working out your problem. As far as the tire goes, at 6k it must have been pretty tired. You could/should have suspected that as the cause of the vibration and changed it out before you took it to a dealer 5 hrs away.
I'd sure like to hear the other side of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Should I flame my dealer?

No, the vibration is still there. If this was common to Monsters and it had the vibration when it was new, it might still bother me, but I would accept it as normal. Does everyone have that tingle in their feet and butt when they get off their bike? I'm guessing no.
In all honesty, the tire was down to the wear indicators but I wasn't ready to replace it. I had 4,500 miles on my original tire before I replaced it. The new tire they put on didn't help and they charged me nearly $70 more than I normally pay. I understand that this is a Ducati-only boutique shop so I should expect to get raped on service and parts.
The S4R was my dream bike, my first Ducati. I picked a dealer with a great reputation. I had this dream that I would keep it forever and maybe add a 916 later. Heck, this thing is still under warranty and I've begun to think about having BCM balance and blueprint the motor. I just didn't expect it to be at 7,500 miles. I still love my bike enough to want it fixed, but a smart guy would probably get rid of it.
JP
 

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Re: Should I flame my dealer?

Good idea to take it to BCM. Let them do the diagnosis though. Your job is to describe the symptom as accurately as possible as well as when the problem takes place. You want to be able to tell them at what road speed, temperature, RPM, gear, on/off throttle, accelerating, cruising, coasting, etc. Also bring all the repair records so they know what was done. Their job is to diagnose and repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Should I flame my dealer?

Taking it to BCM would be great but would mean crating my bike and shipping it to NH. Having them rebuild a tired motor with all the trick work could be justified, but sending it to them for something my Dallas dealer should fix under warranty is not fair to them or to me.
I don't think problems like mine are covered under lemon laws, but it would be nice if Ducati USA could either get my bike fixed or replace it. Definitely not holding my breath on that one.
JP
 
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