I am having a problem with Kawasaki Canada. Having exhausted all other avenues of approach, I have decided to share the details of my experience in hope that someone could offer advice on how to proceed.
In late July I had noticed a repetitive click or shudder from the front end when I was braking hard. As I was planning to attend a riding school/track day at Stratotech in Edmonton the following week, I took my bike into the local dealer to have him check it out.
I explained the problem to the service manager, that I suspected the brakes and that I was concerned as I was traveling a considerable distance and spending a significant amount of money to attend this class. He took the bike for a thorough test ride. When he returned he agreed that something was amiss but he did not feel it was a brake issue, but rather something in the steering head/forks. He felt it wasnít serious and that I was good to go for the weekend.
On the way to Edmonton I was horrified to look in the review to see my bike leaned over on itís kickstand with one of the tied owns flapping in the wind. After pulling over very slowly, I checked the bike expecting that the tie down had become unhooked but I found the handle bar down beside the turn signal. When the bike leaned over the throttle cables had broken the mid panel and taken a gouge out of the upper fairing. The master cylinder had separated from the brake and there was brake fluid everywhere. The clip on portion of the handlebar had snapped in two vertically!
We phoned 15 dealers in BC and Alberta but could not find a replacement. I was extremely fortunate that one of the individuals participating at Stratotech offered to let me use his bike for the weekend. (Thanks again, Robert!)
After an amazing weekend I brought my bike straight back to the dealership with out even taking it off the trailer. I explained the incident to the service manager, who agreed that we had discovered the source of the noise. Upon close examination of the broken pieces, it is evident that the clip on had been cracked for some time. The bottom half of the break is polished and somewhat smooth from the two sides of the cracked clip on rubbing together. The service manager kept one half of the clip on said he would file the claim and get back to me. This was Aug. 6th.
On Aug.11, I called the dealer to follow up on my claim. He said Kawasaki wanted detailed micro-pics of both pieces. He took the pics and sent them off to Kawi. I followed up again 15th and was told I had to bring my bike in as Kawasaki wanted the broken parts shipped to them for evaluation. So I brought the bike down and they took it apart and sent the pieces in.
On Aug. 20th I called for a progress report, Service manager says he hasnít heard anything but that he will call in to see what was happening. I call again on Aug. 22 and was told that as this was a safety related claim it could take some time to settle. I told the dealer that it had been over two weeks and that I was not happy with the situation. I was told that the dealer had expressed my dis-satisfaction to Kawasaki and he was told that I am free to fix the bike at my own expense if I wanted the use of it that badly!
At this point I decided to talk to Kawasaki myself. I called Kawasaki Customer Service and told the representative my situation. She told me that she would take my name, locate my file and phone me back to discuss my concerns. She didnít. I waited until the 26th and called again. I was told that, unfortunately, safety related issues take a long time to resolve and that I would have to be patient. I said I had been as patient as I was prepared to be and wanted to know what, exactly was being done. The service rep told me that Kawasaki was simply looking out for my best interests. I reminded her that I had paid for a product, that the product had failed under warranty and I expected Kawasaki to do everything in itís power to get me back on the road as soon as possible. I was upset that I was missing valuable riding time during an already too short season. I was then asked if I owned a car, when I said yes, she said that I was not being inconvenienced, as the bike was not my sole means of transportation! WTF? I was also told; again, that there was nothing stopping me from fixing my bike at my own expense, if I needed it repaired that badly.
At this point I lost it, I admit my temper got the better of me and I vented on the service rep. Once I had calmed down, she said she sympathized with me and would find out what, exactly was being done and that if I wished she would call me every day with an update. I said that was not acceptable and that I wanted to speak to her supervisor. I was told that her supervisor was aware of the situation and that I did not need to speak to him. She would not give me his name or phone number. She stated again, that she would call me in 10 mins. With and update and would call with a report every day if that would help.
Well, she didnít call back; I received no contact until this morning, when I phoned her again. She said she was sorry, but as she had no news so did not think there was anything to report. She then said that this was going to be along process and that she was sure I would understand. I was told one more time that this was going to take a while and that was that.
I feel that this is an unacceptable situation. The dealer sympathizes but canít help any further. It has been exactly one month and they still will not tell me wheather they intend to honor the warrany or not. I am being stonewalled at customer service and am unable to locate the next idiot up the ladder.
I am pissed off. I am paying for a bike and insurance that I can not use. The dealers estimate for repair is between 2 and 2.5k. If I fix it myself will I get reimbursed? (customer service wasn't sure) What's should I do next? Ideas?
BTW, before I get replies insinuating that this was caused by the tie downs, I want to point out that the part cracked from the bottom up, the handle bar is not bent and I had at least 1 ĹĒ of travel after I had snugged it up.