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Old Yesterday, 07:21 PM   #1
Cdn Panzer OP
Cdn Panzer's Avatar
Joined: May 2008
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 45
Triumph Explorer Warranty? Don't hold your breath!

Hello all,

I've owned a few bikes - CBX550, FZ600, VF500 Interceptor, ZX-7, VFR800, R1100R, R1200GS-A, and done test rides and swaps on Wee-Strom, big V-Strom and Varadaro amongst others. So this is not my first rodeo. I also had a warranty issue with my 2006 BMW R1200GS-A (rear main seal leak) that cropped up 2500km from home which was solved quickly, effectively, and equitably by BMW in terms of reimbursement for expenses occurred due and repairs done as quickly as possible to repair a vehicle fault under warranty.

This year I decided to leave the Boxer crowd and take a chance on a new, nifty-looking, well-reviewed 2014 Triumph Explorer XC with the very nice 1200cc triple engine. I puchased it from a certain dealer in Ottawa Ontario Canada that deals Triumph, BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki. I've been dealing with this place for over 20 years, have purchased several helmets from them, had much maintenance done there, and steered many friends and motorcycle safety course students their way over the years, in addition to buying my Explorer there. In short, a trusted reliable dealer and worth the 2+ hour drive from my place to the shop. Formerly.

In June 2014, after taking delivery of my Explorer, I noticed at around the 1000km mark that it had developed a speed wobble between 40 and 60 km/h. An internet search reveals this to be a well-documented problem, which has been discussed on ADV and on other sites such as Triumphrat and the Triumph Tiger Explorer boards. In short, not an "unknown" issue. The wobble also occurred riding solo, two-up, with my SW Motech hard cases mounted or dismounted, empty or loaded - so basically it wobbled all the time. The bike also developed a squeal somewhere in the engine's lower left side, worse when cold, could be heard over engine and road noise, that was reminiscent of the sounds my ZX-7 made before it consumed its alternator belt. On a bike with less than 1000km, that I paid $18+k for. Both were annoying given the bike's age and price. For the record, the bike's 1000km service was done at another Triumph dealer located East of Toronto, Ontario

In July 2014, going down the 401 Highway at highway speeds with the flow of traffic, it suddenly developed a very large-amplitude (lane edge to lane edge) speed wobble that threw me all over the road. I gentled off the throttle, tried to relax on the bars, spoke to the Big Guy Upstairs and managed to not crash, the weaving slowed and the bike resumed straight line movement. I had to pull over to hyperventilate for a while and stop shaking. The 40-60km/h speed wobble continued. At my destination, I brought it into a Triumph dealer in Quebec City. For the $20 they charged me for a look at a warranty issue (interesting, my first time for that sort of thing), they found no fault with the front wheel, said the rear wheel had too much play but would be OK to drive back to Ontario, and then "solved" the problem by inflating the tires over spec. BtW, that didn't solve the problem.

Back to Ottawa, the dealership took it in on July 18th. They found that rear wheel play was "OK", that the engine squeal was "no big deal, just keep an eye on it" and that the front wheel was out of spec and needed to be replaced with a new assembly. Timeline as follows:

18 July - bike goes in
25 July - dealer warranty people tell me they are waiting for the wheel assembly
30 July - dealer says the assembly should be available in 8-10 business days
12 August - dealer says the assembly had been "released from backorder" and should take another 7-10 business days to arrive.
14 August - dealer says to call Triumph Customer Service to see if I could speed the process
15 August - Call Triumph Customer Service. The agent took my name and I have had no further contact with Triumph since then.
22 August - more than one month after the bike goes in - dealer tells me that the new wheel assembly had come in but was damaged and unuseable. Dealer said they would order a new one but "it is on back order so we don't have an ETA". Dealer advised that the technicians would true the front wheel so that I could pick the bike up until the new wheel came in.
I dont' think so.
22 August - I advise dealer that this is unacceptable and ask for a refund on my purchase price, given the bike is now unrideable, items like the engine squeal (which will NOT get better with age) are not being addressed, and the product is not being supported by warranty, so of absolutely no use to me.
25 August - staff say they will "forward my message to the powers that be". Nothing further heard since then.

So the official word from Triumph is that it "should be OK" to ride a brand new, nearly $20k motorcycle, with an out-of-specification wheel that had nearly caused me to crash once already while waiting for a replacement part to arrive at some unknown time. And that despite having less than than 5000km on it, an engine squeal (that popped up in the first 1000km of riding) is not a big deal that warrants fixing.

So this $18+k brand new motorcycle has been off road for more than a month, during which time I've paid insurance on an empty space in my driveway, and been without my summer primary mode of transport. With no resolution in sight.

Triumph is attempting to take on BMW and definitely has a similar product to the GS (when running, the TEx is quite capable and fun) with a "premium price point" hitting the pocketbook. Unfortunately, the dealer support is not there. While I do not blame the dealer for this as their hands are a bit tied by Triumph Canada and Triumph North America, I'm the one paying for poor service here, which doesn't seem right to me.

I have asked the dealer to take the bike back and refund my purchase price. I will still lose money on the situation, but view it as an expensive lesson. Updates to follow as this develops.

I regret buying this bike and am extremely disappointed in Triumph. Worse than the bike's issues (these things happen) is the company's apparently complete disinterest in making things right or even trying to meet a consumer halfway to resolve a bike that's been in the shop for nearly half of the Canadian prime riding season.

My advice now to anyone who asks is to buy a BMW GS or KTM Adventure if they want the king of the heap, buy a V-Strom or Super Tenere or Varadero for "pretty darn good", but to avoid Triumph. They have slick marketing, a high price point, but very disappointing warranty support.

I just want my money back and to be rid of this burden.

My Triumph experience? More trouble than it's worth.

Cdn Panzer screwed with this post Yesterday at 07:36 PM
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Old Yesterday, 08:45 PM   #2
I don't give a shit
Venteuri's Avatar
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Queretaro , Mexico
Oddometer: 14,691
Sorry to hear that.

And .... I'm buying a new bike and have chosen the TEX XC as the finalist. It seems it's a reliable bike.

The GSA is what I want, but got scared of reading so many problems with latest BMWs!

Edit: does your bike has the Tire pressure sensor?
Triumph Boneville T100 2014
Member #68,893
Above all stop pandering to posts from morons like Venteuri who can't even spell Venturi properly.

Venteuri screwed with this post Yesterday at 09:21 PM
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