Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Freedom Motorcycles service - bad experience

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by khughes, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Hi Guys,

    this post is a bit of a vent and also wanted to get your opinions on what i should do about it..

    a quick bit of a background..I bought a 2005 VTR250 for my wife to learn to ride (i am learning too) back in march, the one we bought had 18000km's on the clock and was in really good condition.. it had been sitting around for a while but ran well. It also came with some type of aftermarket exhaust (a pink one). Since buying the bike we have been running it on 95RON petrol.

    We have been using the bike for the last couple of months, and last weekend we found it had no power when under load. I figured that as the tyres were quite hard and old, that we would get it in for a service and get the tyres replaced at the same time.

    A guy at work had spoken about freedom motorcycles at brookvale, so we managed to limp it there and left it in for them to look at it.

    I got a call midweek, saying that the bike was running on 1 cylinder, and after riding it. They quoted around $950 including $380 for 2 new tyres. This is our first dealing with a bike service so i went along with it. They also mentioned that you shouldn't be running premium in the bike as it clogs up the carb's.

    I asked my brother-in-law to come down from wagga to help pick up the bike as i am not that expeirenced and didn't want the stress of riding in the wet with new tyres (he has been riding for 10+ years on all sorts of bikes)

    We went down to pick up the bike on saturday and immediately when we started the bike. The mechanic came out and stated that it was due to the aftermarket exhaust and that to fix it we could replace it with the standard system. He also started lecturing us on how we shouldn't be using premium (anything over 91) as it was bad for the bike, and that nobody could tell the difference between 91/95/98 anyway.. and if you did you should be on the racetrack with rossy.. he reckoned that we should get rid of the bad fuel (95ron) and replace it with 91. He kept saying check the manual.. what does it say.. 91RON.. so use that (well.. actually.. i have check it.. it only says "use unleaded petrol only.. no RON indications)

    We took the bike and travelled home the 5km's. My brother-in-law had a really tuff time with the bike on the way, The bike was surging, stalling at lights, wouldn't maintain a constant speed, would faulter badly under acceleration. once over 6000rpm the bike would start picking up a little.

    We turned around and took the bike back as there was no way my wife could handle it. The mechanic came out again and stated that he had set everything to the factory spec's and therefore there couldn't be anything wrong. He took the bike for a ride, came back and stated that it was fine. My bro jumped on the back and went with him. apparently the guy rode at full throttle and refused to try gradually applying power to replicate the problems.

    His attitude was that there was nothing wrong, and that we should take it away.. burn off the rest of the 95 petrol, fill it with 91 and blow out the cobwebs. if at that point we were not happy, we could bring it back, he would pull the carb apart and show us (not sure what that would have actually proven).

    We left and took the bike home. started looking for another mechanic to take the bike too, but after spending so much money to make the bike unrideable we figured we would atleast have a crack at it first.

    after a bit of poking around we started adjusting the carb throtte linkage, after a bit of playing around we got the bike to be around 90% right.. it still has a slight hesitation when lightly applying acceleration from stop but it is miles ahead of what it was.. we rode 200km's on it in the afternoon (filling it with 95RON!).. also noticed that they had not replaced the air filter which was visably dirty (they reckon they inspected and cleaned it on the invoice, an part of the "Periodic maintenance period")

    I know if i go back there they are just going to argue that they did everything by the book, it will be our opinion vs his etc... i guess it is a $600 lesson not to trust anybody unless there is a huge recommendation from a number of people..

    This service cost us 1/4 the price of the bike. In all honesty, if it came back 100% (like we expected), i wouldn't have minded one bit.

    as for the 95RON.. i have had perforamnce cars for years.. i wouldn't use ethenol blended petrols in anything that didn't expressly ask for it (e85 etc.).. i have a carb'd 240Z, i run that on 95RON and have never had an issue.. i am aware that petrols such as optimax have additives and cleaners etc which can block up jets etc. i would not use this on the bike or 240z.

    oh.. one more comment.. when he got on the bike he said to us.. "have you had an emergancy? why have you used the emergancy kill switch".. huh?

  2. Maintenance Schedule says:

    18k Service Replace Air Filter, Engine Oil and Brake Fluid.

    So if he has not replaced the air filter then by his own words he is not "doing it by the book." 91RON is getting difficult to come by now days so you may have no option but to run it on 95RON. I don't think it is rated for Ethenol blends.

    His comment on the exhausts may be correct if the carburetors have not been re-jetted for a different exhaust then it may not be running with the correct mixture.

    I think you have just cause to complain about their service but whether it is worth following it up with them is a moot point. I understand your doing the work yourself but by doing so you have given them an excuse to say it was working and you have caused your own issues. You may just have to chalk it up to experience.

    One possible avenue as they are a accredited Honda dealership is to write to the service manager of Honda MPE Australia telling them the story and see if they will help at all.

    Good Luck. :)
  3. Interesting to read, i've only been there once to get some chain lube and to be honest the place seemed like a bit of a dump.

    Some of my mates had a good laugh when they asked for a 'clutch lever' from there; the staff member had a thick accent or something and said "crutch rever?" or something like that.

    Unfortunately there aren't very many other places on the northern beaches.

    OP, try motorcycle weaponry in mona vale, they are a good bunch of blokes down there, always busy. My VFR is currently clogging up their shop and will be for a few weeks. Only good things to say about them.
  4. :rofl: Sorry, Im just off to the hospital to get my sides stitched back up.
  5. why didn't they clear out the tank for you and fill it back up with 91?

    and yes, that bike only needs 91, not 95 - using the wrong fuel in a bike will do exactly as you described it did - no power, spluttering etc.
  6. This is the problem. For all we know OP might not have access to 91.

    My bike only needs 91. The big chains only carry 91 Ethanol (NSW). I have only found ONE independent servo that carries 91, and found him by accident as i had run out of fuel at walking distance after visiting a lady friend.

    There is no independents on my commute to/from work. I'm stuck with the big boys, and all they've got to fill my bike on is 95 premium. No way i'm sticking ethanol into my tank.
  7. The fuel story is complete BS,except for the Ethanol and the now discontinued Optimax.Ethanol is very bad for any rubber components and the now discontinued Optimax would fowl plugs if your jetting was a touch rich.If your bike has a tendency to ping run the highest octane you can get.
    If it does not ping on 91 then use it,but not with Ethanol added,pinging is bad and to be avoided,period.
    Thats it,91 95 or 98 will not make it run bad,use whatever you like but go higher if it pings.Its also a good idea to use stations that get a lot of traffic,volatiles bleed off fuel that hangs around for long periods and the majors hopefully check there underground tanks for contaminates more frequently.
  8. :wink:

    I did say good luck :)
  9. Sounds like alot of BS on their part, I'm inclined to believe you because my experience with freedom motorcycles has been similar. The talk about 95 is rubbish, yes there would be absolutely zero discernible difference/advantage from the extra RON but to say it would actually harm performance is rubbish.

    The biggest thing that turns me off is that they are MASSIVELY overpriced for both servicing, bike prices and parts/accessories, etc. Every item there can be had for a minimum of 20% cheaper from any other bike stores in the area. The lady there is friendly and helpful, but the other main guy has a bad attitude every time I've been in.

    There is brian connors and APW and quite a few others around that area, but have been taking all my bikes to motorcycle weaponry (www.motorcycleweaponry.com.au) in monavale for the past 5 years after I sussed out other options in the area. Highly recommended.
  10. Always forget about brian connors, took my old sachs there back in the day to get a new sprocket put on when i had no tools. They didn't laugh at me and didn't charge a whole lot so they are winners in my book.

    But plus + motorcycle weaponry. Surely they will give us a netrider discount if we plug them enough.
  11. I call bullsh*t - octane ratings just don't work that way. Running a higher octane fuel is a waste of money, but it won't hurt performance or fuel economy.
    • Agree Agree x 1