Originally Posted by galland1
I would like to know how these are shipped. Wheels on? Wheels off? If the dealer puts on the wheels, one might speculate the bent axle was forced and tweaked into the fork by the assembly monkey, resulting in the failure. Wheels on then maybe the crate got dropped hard. ???
It really shouldn't matter. The vehicle should stand up to anything it might plausibly experience in the process of assembly, delivery and operation, and either be safe to operate or be visibly unsafe.
A hamfisted assembler or service mechanic should not be able to damage the fork in such a way that it would fail in the manner seen here, without the damage being clearly visible beforehand.
I'll give a little example I was once involved in; we had a very popular model of car which was being stolen by breaking the steering lock. A new steering column was designed and I was asked to set up a test to destruction of the new steering column and lock in a "body in white" (a bare body), which was conducted in front of representatives of the major motor vehicle insurance companies in Australia and was filmed.
Basically we fixed a bar across the steering wheel and pulling at a radius of about 1.5 metres we tore the column out of the car without the steering lock breaking. It took about 120 degrees of rotation btw.
There were two issues we were concerned about here.
One was the obvious; that brute force would not break the lock and leave a driveable and therefore stealable, car.
The other was that there would be visible damage before there was sufficient damage to render the car unsafe to drive. (after unlocking it with the key!)
The concern was that insurance assessors might otherwise authorise repair of the visible
damage and send their policy holders away in a vehicle with dangerous hidden damage such as a deformed lock which might later jam in moving traffic.
In other words, the car had to withstand a circumstance which it could reasonably be expected that some cars would be exposed to, without becoming "invisibly" dangerous.
So all this debate about what might have been done to the bike beforehand is pretty much beside the point. If it can be shown that dropping the crated bike from a height of 2 feet causes the fork leg to break 50 miles later, yet leaves no visible marks to warn of the damage, then this is a problem.