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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my horror story, bear with me:

Last May I pulled a full-retard. I forgot to check my oil on my DRZ400SM for too long, ran low, and burned up my cylinder head cam seat. I took this as a learning opportunity and built my first bike stand and dismantled the entire bike on my own to pull out the entire engine (since at that point I thought the bottom end might also be fucked, but it turns out it's all good). So I bring my detached engine in to Moto Concept. Renee is my tech and he's a good man. It was May so, understandably, they were pretty busy in there. He took a couple weeks to get to my engine and finally told me that he had to send it off to Mongoose to check out the condition of the cylinder head and whether it could be machined. From a remote position, this made total sense, but later once I saw the head myself it became pretty clear that it was really fucking obvious the cam chair was ruined and the head needed to be replaced. Either way, Mongoose was also crazy busy so it took them 3 weeks to tell me that I needed a new head.

So I go to eBay, order a new (used) head from a DRZ400E for a decent price and bring it into Moto Concept for install. They make me wait a couple weeks (even though technically I should still be at the front of the line since it's an ongoing project) and by now it is AUGUST by the time I get my bike back. I missed all of June, July (the driest month in BC on record!! ARGH!!), and half of august before I'm able to sit on my bike and turn it over. Even after all that waiting, I didn't care. I was just ecstatic to get back on my bike and get back to riding. However, I only got about 1200km's before the bike started losing compression and was very difficult to start from cold. It would seem the valve seals were giving way and my valves needed adjustment. So I take it back to Renee, he charges me $300+ to adjust my valves (and take care of a couple other odds and ends).

Once again, I'm back on my bike.. .Oh, too bad the season is fucking OVER by now... Oh, and what's this? I get another 1000kms before the same issues come back. I call Renee... He says, yup sorry looks like you need to machine your head and get new valves. I lock the bike up until Spring.. I simply don't have any money left...


So that brings us to this year starting on March 21 when I bring my bike back into Moto Concept. I was reluctant, but I did it because I knew the Renee knew about the issue from the start so he would have the best idea about what is actually going on. So he tells me since it's still early in the season that 2 weeks tops should be fine to get the bike in and out of Mongoose. Mongoose quoted me direcly in the $300 range to machine my head and about a 5 day turnover. Sounds simple, right? WRONG. 2 weeks after dropping my bike off I start making calls....

I call Moto Concept several times for an update from Mongoose on my ETA, to which I always get "They are slammed, still no word". After three weeks, I call Mongoose myself and ask about my engine sent from Moto Concept. They say "Oh, we only got that engine yesterday!"... So I call back Renee at Moto Concept and tell him something isn't adding up here - turns out he made an error and sent in the wrong engine, so mine was sitting in their shop for 3 weeks gathering dust even though I specifically called and asked for an update from Mongoose directly. The 'they are slammed' lines are obviously just stock lines to get anxious customers off the phone, I get that.. But I did ask specifically to check in with Mongoose and they said they did, but obviously they didn't or they would have realized the engine never got to their shop.



So last Friday (April 11) I fiiinally got a quote from Mongoose for $660 for 2 intake valves, 2 exhaust valves, and machining new seats.. Way more than the $300 I was quoted from the start, but whatever.. I'll pay it.. Just get me the damn bike back (or at least this is what went through my head).

Now today, after yet another follow-up call, turns out it will be another 2 weeks because they are so fucking busy... EVEN THOUGH the whole reason I brought them my bike in March was to avoid this crazy rush! So because they sat on my engine for 3 weeks, now my engine is behind a million other engines that came in during the meantime... FOR FUCKS SAKES!! Can you sense my frustrations?!?!?!?! GRAHHHH

What do you guys think I should do? I have LITERALLY spent almost $2000 on them repairing something that should have been $600 or less and has been almost a FUCKING YEAR OF ISSUES.
 

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Not a good situation and not your fault as you described it. That being said why didn't you take it in in December - Feb to get a head start? I know you couldn't have known it would be such a FU. Good luck and some for warming for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ideally I would have done it over winter, but I didn't have the money (stupid Christmas) and I also didn't have the means to transport my bike easily. Also, the out of sight out of mind scenario plays in once winter mindset comes on and the bike has been put away in storage.

The only fault that can be placed on me is that I should have either a) dropped the cash for a brand new head or b) gotten the used head properly machined with new valves... But I didn't have enough foresight or mechanical knowledge to make those decisions properly at the time. Instead I got to learn the very long and very expensive way.

I don't want to fully discredit Moto Concept here, either. To be fair, Renee is a great guy and does great work - as for the communication of the shop and the business surrounding him, well I don't know... Every shop in the city will have a couple unhappy customers from time to time
 

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Tai-Pan
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I would have to look for the bill but I believe my drz head was just over $500 maybe $575 as I said have to look for 2 exhaust valves all valve seals,valve guides and seats cut.
But I think that included a head gasket.
Mongoose is pretty straight up about what things will cost and the quotes are usually what you will pay.
Never heard of Moto concept though and will probably avoid them if they are that out to lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To be fair I think when they quoted me they hadn't included for replacing the valves, only the machining.
 

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Twin A
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So.. check your oil kids
 

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I have no comment on Moto Concepts, never heard of them. I've seen enough of Mongoose's work to make sure I would never take anything of mine there. Maybe they just had bad luck on the 3 jobs I've seen of theirs, but the word "hack job" did quickly come to my mind.

Regarding the use of a used head, I would never just bolt it on. A complete rebuild would be in order, something, by coincidence I've just undertaken with a bike myself.

Of course, this is the busiest time of the year for any machine shop and motorcycle shop service dept. A long wait goes hand in hand this time of year.
 

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aye, i'm trying to figure out, though i dont have to rely on shops, i've never head of them either; Mongoose yeah but :devillook
My experience with MotoConcept was calling in for a quote on chain and sprockets. Was told I'd be called back in 5 minutes, never heard anything back.
 

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Happiness is the corner
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No offence, and I can respect your choice to take the opportunity to tear your motor down and rebuild it, but given the woes you've got you should just go find a used motor from Supersport or eBay and toss it in there this season.
 

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What do you guys think I should do? .
THIS is what the OP is asking, not "what shoudl I have done?"......

There is nothing you can do except suck it up, pay the fine, and consider it a lesson learned. That shop is small, I doubt they ever write shit down........which means any verbal quote you get isn't worth much, and doubt the comany woudl stand behind a verbal quote error.
 

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hanging out at timmies
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you, the op, seem to have some mechanical aptitude. i think you should do this job yourself.
consider it another learning experience. the engine is already out of the bike, get all your parts from
mongoose and moto concept, buy a factory suzuki shop manual for it ( modern motorcycles has them).
and your on your way. not having to deal with other peoples expectations, schedules and excuses is a
huge stress releif.
 

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you, the op, seem to have some mechanical aptitude. i think you should do this job yourself.
consider it another learning experience. the engine is already out of the bike, get all your parts from
mongoose and moto concept, buy a factory suzuki shop manual for it ( modern motorcycles has them).
and your on your way. not having to deal with other peoples expectations, schedules and excuses is a
huge stress releif.
This. And the money you saved on their labour can go to a good machine shop to do the things you can't and to buy good quality parts and do a full rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
you, the op, seem to have some mechanical aptitude. i think you should do this job yourself.
consider it another learning experience. the engine is already out of the bike, get all your parts from
mongoose and moto concept, buy a factory suzuki shop manual for it ( modern motorcycles has them).
and your on your way. not having to deal with other peoples expectations, schedules and excuses is a
huge stress releif.
Yeah, I mean you are totally right. I put the engine back in myself and rebuilt the rest of the bike all on my own with no issues, got it all right first try. This time around, I seriously considered just doing it all myself - pulling out the head, bringing it to Mongoose myself, and getting it all back together on my own. Truth be told, I took the lazy route because I don't have a garage to use long term. The last time I had to use my parents garage which is way out in Tsawwassen, so commuting all the way out there while living in Vancouver to do work on my bike isn't ideal. At least, that's what was going through my head when I decided to just pay the labour to not have to worry about doing it myself.

What's the saying... The lazy man works twice as hard? Yeah well the lazy man also pays twice as much and waits twice as long, apparently :p
 

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Holy what a gong show eh. That sucks. All from a simple missed oil check and bad timing.

I see a few working engines on ebay with low miles for $1,199. Shipping would be a bit though and the government with their hand out as usual. It adds up fast.

I think if it was me i would fix it and sell it, just so you don't go another 1k km and have the same thing happen.
 

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just having fun
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our of curiosity, what's the mileage on the bike? and ya most of the DRZs drink oil so you have to keep an eye on it constantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can't remember exactly but I'm somewhere around 17,000 miles. The bike is in good condition. I'm paying the skookum price to get it done properly, once I get over having to be more patient than I originally wanted then I'll be left with a bike that, in theory, should have everything taken care of for the next few years except for brakes and rubber. Here's hoping.

The trouble with getting a used engine is that it's likely to have its own whole set of issues, equivalent or even worse. It's always a crapshoot. I know my engine runs great, I just need to sort out the compression.
 
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