Avoid a Yamaha Vino repair ripoff?

Okay peeps, I’m looking for some advice. All you armchair lawyers, or people that play lawyers on tv, please chime in. Two months ago to the day I took my 2005 Yamaha Vino 125 to Vancouver Yamaha for repair. At the time I was not able to start the bike. I had been having difficulty starting it when it was cold, and finally it just would not start at all. 2 days prior to taking it to the shop I did have it running (although it was hard to start) and it ran fine at that time. In fact, once started it was not possible to tell that there was something wrong. So on that faithfull Saturday I pushed the scooter approximately 20 blocks to Vancouver Yamaha.

After few weeks I hadn’t heard anything back so I called. I spoke with the mechanic and he said the first thing they did was empty the tank and clean the carb because I had bad gas. He said that he knows bad gas when he smells it, and that I had diesel in the tank. After this, the bike still wouldn’t start so he replaced the ignition coil. That still didn’t fix the problem so they ordered another part and were waiting for it to come. I phoned again about 3 weeks later and they were still waiting for the part. Finally today they called and said that the part was in. It turns out they had to replace the cdi, and this got the bike running. However, the mechanic said that when he test rode the scooter, the bike was starting in too high of a gear and that there was no low end power. He asked if the scooter was like this before and I told him no, that it ran just fine the last time I drove it. He asked if they should repair it and I said that they should. Afterall, I didn’t take my scooter to a shop just for kicks and laughs. Prior to working on the gearing, the current bill is up to $850.

It should be pretty obvious that there are several problems with the above situation. First of all, there is the ridiculously assertion that I had diesel in the tank. That is completely illogical and absurd. I have a receipt from the gas station where I filled up 2 or 3 days prior to taking the scooter to the shop. That gas station does not even sell diesel. There is no way that there was diesel in the tank. That alone tells me that the mechanic is maybe a bit mixed up and apparently too proud to admit that he screwed up. Next is the coil replacement. I have to think that replacing the coil should fix the problem if the coil was actually broken. The chances of having a broken coil AND another issue that prevents the bike from starting would be extremely small. Next is the issue of the cdi. From what I can gather, it was the cdi that was causing the problem all along. I would also guess that the cdi is the most expensive part of the repair so far. Finally is the issue of the gearing. The scooter worked when I brought it in and I fully expect the bike to be returned in the manner in which it was dropped off. I wonder if me pushing the scooter did anything to it?

Some of my general questions include:
1. Will I be able to convince them to drop any charges related to the diesel? I will likely ask for a sample of the “bad gas”, and will refuse to pay or threaten small claims court if they cannot produce the sample.
2. Will be able to convince them to drop charges related to the coil? I will likely ask for the old “defective” coil, and will refuse to pay or threaten small claims court if they cannot produce the old part.
3. What can I do about the cdi? It is inconceivable to me that I can incur such a high cost repair on a scooter that has 5000km. I may try to talk to Yamaha Canada about this. It looks to me that my 20 month old scooter which originally cost $3400 is going to cost me $1000 in repairs for things that simply broke down. I haven’t had any accidents or abused the scooter in any way, and I have records of completing all of my scheduled maintenance.
4. I’m not sure what to make of the gearing. It worked when I last drove it. Who is responsible for this repair?

Perhaps Vancouver Yamaha will be top notch in dealing with me. I haven’t tried any negotiating with them yet, as I just heard from them today. Maybe they’ll be really good about it. I’d sure like to know what my options would be if I run into problems though.

Rocky Mountain RC50 Review

I’ve had this bike for about 8 or 9 months now. So far I’ve primarily used it for commuting, which was my intended use. It replaced another RM bike that I had, a Summit RL. 1399The summit was also my commuter bike, although I also used it for some cycle touring in the Columbia River/Wenatchee area of Washington State and Continental Divide Route through Colorado.

So here’s my brief, non-technical description of the bike. It is an aluminum mid-weight frame with a lower to mid spec groupo and lowish end mechanical disc brakes. I have 700cc wheels with fairly narrow road tread tires and I added some clipless/hybrid pedals to it. On top of this, Read the rest of this entry »

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