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500 problem, opinions needed. Kinda long.

3625 Views 27 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  PickYourPockets
Back on September 4th i purchased my wife a 2005 Vulcan 500 and myself a 2005 800A. We have had a blast riding and racked up about 1600 in the first 6 weeks we had them. We had previous experience with both dirt bikes and street bikes but had not rode in about 6 years. Needless to say we are having a blast.
The last weekend in October we were out riding on the Natchez Trace and my wifes bike started back firing and cutting out. This was only occuring at speeds of 50 to 60 miles an hour and was intermittent. I checked the bike out and could find no obvious problem. It was only doing it at cruising speeds and not at slow speeds so we headed back for home, we were about 50 miles away at the time. After a half hour nature called so we stopped at a rest area and took a break. My wife told me the problem was about the same and did not seem any worse. I had been riding behind her and could tell when it happened as the bike would slow or backfire. I offered for the 2nd time to switch bikes but she would have no part of it.
So i am following Deb as we pull back on the Trace and see her shift into 2nd gear at about 15 MPH. About that time the bike backfires and dies on her, the back wheel locked up instantly. As she was in the middle of a turn she had very little time to react and down she went. She took a pretty hard hit but luckily she was OK. Nothing was broke on the bike but the tank did have a good size dent in it.
Since we were about 20 miles from home at this point i decided to go and get my truck and trailer it home from there.
When i got the bike home it started very hard and ran about the same, which i expected. Called the dealer and they said to bring it in and they would take care of it.
Yesterday they called and said they had rode it and experienced the same problem. Checked it out and found that the negative battery cable had been over torqued and had busted the terminal and was causing the problem. Said it was definitely a warranty issue and they would take care of it.
So i asked the service manager if there is anything they can do about the tank. He said no that she should have put her feet down or pulled in the clutch. I tried to explain to him again exactly what happened and that this problem caused her to fall. He agreed with me but said i needed to call Kawasak as that was their call and not the dealers. So i called and got the same response from them. In addition i was treated rather rudely by the first person i talked too.
So before i pursue this any further i wanted to get the some opinions from folks here. They admitted that the problem caused her to fall but that they are only responsible for the battery and terminals they replaced.
Your opinions on this would be appreciated.
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My opinion

What the dealer and Kawasaki are telling you is a total bunch of buffalo chips. I'm speaking as a former service director for a Ford/Chrysler dealer. You purchased 2 Kawasaki bikes and neither the dealer or the factory wants to help? I don't understand that logic. Help from the dealer can be had if the service manager has a set of gonads. There are so many ways that the dealer can use to get you a new tank and have the factory pay for it that if they dont know of at least one, they should not be in that business. If after speaking with the service mgr and you don't get help, go to the general mgr, if you dont get help from him, go to the owner, his reputation should mean something to him. If you still can't get assistance from the dealer, ask to be notified when the factory service rep comes in and discuss it with him. Remind them that severe injuries could have resulted from her fall. Above all, be courteous and polite, but insist on a new tank and don't give up. If you push hard enough they'll give you one. Politely remind them that people like you are their bread and butter. although they should not have to be reminded of that fact, they should know it by heart. If I'd be the service manager you'd be riding with a new tank already. At last resort, spend about $35.00 and take them to small claims court, you don't need a lawer for that, just make sure that you have all the facts. I'm sure that a judge would be sympathetic since all admitted that it was a factory defect, make sure that you take your wife along. In this case, THE FACTORY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES.

Sgt Mike
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The tank is not his problem. The factory has already admitted guilt so it's their problem. I would have tried to get the bike home to, that's what they're for, to be ridden, not pushed or trucked. As xepathfinder stated, customer GOODWILL leads to customer satisfaction, and the owner knows that. Remember insist on talking to the owner, and keep pushing (gently), you'll get your new tank.
I dont claim to be an expert Harry, but being a former service director in auto business I can say that once a repair is made under warranty they have admitted that there was a problem with material and or worksmanship and that makes them liable for damages. The Kid must stand up for his rights, if he doesn't nobody will.
Way to go Mr. Kid Bissell. I'm glad that you didn't give up. A BIG atta boy to you.
Thanks Harry :wink: . And please get off the kickstand or you'll never get anywhere (LOL) :D
Thanks a million for your last post. You see, my wife is somewhat apprehensive about my getting a bike, she says that I'm to old and that I haven't ridden in such a long time that I'm asking for trouble. I'm going to make her read this post to prove to her that as long as one is mentally and physically fit, one is not to old to ride. How could I be to old at 62 years young? I work out 3 days a week and I feel super. My first priority is to take a Motorcycle Safety Course ASAP. Have a great day.

And no, you were not out of place. I hope than I'm not.
Tell your dad to go for it. I had a quadruple bypass this past Arpil 14th, I'm gonna ride as long as my health holds up. I want and need that old feeling of riding again.

Not to worry Harry, if I crash and burn you will not get the blame. I will blame myself, for I'll be doing what I love.
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