ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Battle scooters
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-10-2012, 07:19 AM   #76
Cortez
BAZINGA!
 
Cortez's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Croatia
Oddometer: 6,751
Considering forks for a bicycle can go over $1k, I wouldn't call any
motorcycle suspension component expensive.

Bicycle rant brought to you by:


__________________
'08 Yamaha FZ6n S2 ABS

SOLD: '03 Peugeot Speedfight2, '07 Kawasaki ER6F ABS, '06 Kymco Agility 125, '12 Kymco Downtown 300i ABS
My Flickr gallery --- My 500px gallery
Cortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 07:25 AM   #77
Domromer
Desert Rat
 
Domromer's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Oddometer: 1,084
1k for a new shock is pricy no matter what its attached to. That would pay for a lot of nice weekend rides. The point is I think Honda really cheaped out on the suspension. And it sucks to pay money to just get the ride to where it should already be in the first place.
__________________
If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=851060 ... A desert rat explores the south.
Domromer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 07:30 AM   #78
Cortez
BAZINGA!
 
Cortez's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Croatia
Oddometer: 6,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domromer View Post
1k for a new shock is pricy no matter what its attached to. That would pay for a lot of nice weekend rides. The point is I think Honda really cheaped out on the suspension. And it sucks to pay money to just get the ride to where it should already be in the first place.
Yeah, for that kind of money, it should probably be better, and supposedly,
the NC700 Integra IS better, but it's probably more to do with 17" wheels
then quality suspension parts.

It's hard to make a 13-14" wheeled scooter super comfy and not make
it spongy and undersprung.

I guess.

16" is great, but really you can get away with 14-15" and not be aware
of the difference.

The BV250 for example went from 16" at both ends to 16"/14" (front/back)
and it made no difference in comfort from my ass meter.
__________________
'08 Yamaha FZ6n S2 ABS

SOLD: '03 Peugeot Speedfight2, '07 Kawasaki ER6F ABS, '06 Kymco Agility 125, '12 Kymco Downtown 300i ABS
My Flickr gallery --- My 500px gallery
Cortez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 08:06 AM   #79
cdwise
Studly Adventurer
 
cdwise's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Oddometer: 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandyDoug View Post
The experience of friends who ride Italian machines is not so good from their comments. The dealer network is small and parts are mostly found via the internet from what I gather. Plus the dealers don't seem to last very long in any location. I put that down to low volume sales, high floor plan costs, and lack of distribution support.
Since i can only afford/justify one machine at a time now I want to buy as wisely as possible and the Italian brands , while very sexy/cool looking give me pause. I try and do as much of the service work as possible on my motorcycles , but I know zero about working on scooters , so a good dealer fairly close by is very important to me.
Gee, the Vespa dealeship in Houston has been there for a least a dozen years - inside ther Ferrari dealership. That's as long as I've noitced them not necesarily how long they've been there. There were a lot of boutique dealerships that open in the cas crunch 4-5 years ago that didn't really have the training or knowledge to run a dealership and subsequently folded. If you look over on Modern Vespa you'll see reference to dealerships that were in bicycle shops and even one that was in a shop where the primary line of business was weight machines. Neither dealer even serviced scoots that weren't bought from them or one added another 2 hours of labor to the first service they did because they "didn't know the scooter history". That's BS and most of those type dealerships have closed.

Since Piaggio is requiring a dealership send at least one mechanic to be trained on the new engine/transmission we've heard bitching by dealers who have no factory trained mechanic that they aren't able to get the new BV 350 ifor their shops. Personally, I'm rather pleased that Piaggio is requiring trained mechanics and hope that continues before they give anyone a dealership in the future.

When I had a Burgman I ordered parts for it off the internet as much as I do my Italian scoots. As I commented before both my local Vespa and local Aprilia dealerships carry maintenance parts in stock and get most other parts the next day.That experience is comparable to the Suzuki dealership that serviced the Burgman.

Reality is there isn't much difference between service a scoot and servicing a motorcycle. Up in Breckenridge for non-warranty stuff we take our scoots to a very good motorcyle mechanic and he has zero issues with it. Sure there are some differences but any competent motorcycle mechanic should be able to handle them without problems. why not download the manuals and see for yourself if you are used to doing your own service.

Vespa GTS Manual
BV manuals
Modern Vespa Wiki with maintenance & troubleshooting articles

There are a lot of how tos both in text and video format over on youtube as well.
cdwise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 10:06 AM   #80
gumshoe4 OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Oddometer: 855
I really understand the concern about servicing and parts availability for the Piaggio and for Italian machines in general. As I progress here, I think we'll get some perspective on whether those items are a significant issue or perhaps not so much.

Here's another perspective...there is only one Honda dealership in my vicinity. This means if there are service items on the SWing which I can't do (valve clearance and adjustment, for instance), it goes to the dealer and they can charge top rates since there is almost no competition. I think that this is true for most makes and the thing that keeps the service costs more reasonable is when you have two or more dealers competing with each other in the same geographic area.

For reference, I think I read that one of the nice attributes of the BV350 is that the valve clearance check interval is 26K miles, or something like that...

I have the BV500 going in for its first service on August 21. I believe they will be doing an oil and filter change and some specifications checks and other odds and ends. In addition, I'm having them also do the following, which I have previously discussed:

1. Replace right rear turn signal stalk.
2. Check cooling system and verify op temps in hot weather-seems to run a bit hot, although it has been 100 degrees F + for awhile around here lately (Sacramento, CA).
3. Check speedometer calibration...seems off, slow vice 10% fast.

Everything else seems OK and the bike continues to run well. I'm tied up today and most of the weekend, so won't be riding it, but next week will be cooling off a bit, so I'd like to put at least another 100 miles or so on the bike before its first service...maybe Tuesday up Highway 88 into the mountains, or some such...

Bottom line is this, Doug...there's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a Japanese machine, if that's your preference. You know how I feel about the SWing...there are many out there who have had great experiences with the Burgmans, the TMaxes, the Majesties and others, so you find the one that fits you and go from there with reasonable assurance that you'll be getting a good machine. I've spoken about my concerns regarding the B650, but I believe that the number of people who experience that problem is pretty small. I have heard, but not confirmed, that service costs for the TMax are pretty high and, of course, the US is no longer receiving new TMaxes from Yamaha. I have a friend who owned a Majesty for many years and she had a great experience with it...but it did not fit me at all. Keep doing your research and you'll find the right machine...but don't be surprised if you find that you ride more after you get a scooter. They're very user-friendly and very capable. Others have expressed their preference for their large scooter for touring purposes over their motorcycles and I definitely agree...much more capable in many ways than a motorcycle for that purpose, until you start talking Goldwing or Harley FLH...and then you have a 900 pound hunk of pig iron you have to schlep around...I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for that...

Stay tuned...more info will be rolling in as I collect it...
gumshoe4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 10:58 AM   #81
DandyDoug
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Lewisville, NC
Oddometer: 380
While i like the ease and convenience of the Japanese brand, I cant say mush else about them. We had a Honda ST1300 for a while, my wife said it had all the personality of a blender.

I wanted a Goldwing for years, finally bought one and did not like it much except for hauling down the slab. Never did figure out all those silly buttons. Tipped it over in the driveway and had to get help to pick it up. Sold it !

I've been riding since i was 12 and will be 68 this month, so comfort and convenience are at the top of the list . I am also dealing with a tennis elbow and a touch of arthritis that prevents me from using a clutch on a standard motorcycle lately.
As the say, getting old ain't for sissies

I will probably end up with either a Swing or a Burgman but not untill i can take a decent test ride on both.
For what it's worth, I really appreciate all the comments and advice from the folks on this forum
DandyDoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 12:00 PM   #82
Octarine
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago
Oddometer: 62
FYI Gumshoe, I just did the valve adjustment check on my Silverwing and it was pretty simple. The hardest part was taking off all the plastics.

Couple hours max. is my estimate if you have basic tools. Make sure you have the right thickness feeler gauges.
__________________
I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
Octarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #83
cdwise
Studly Adventurer
 
cdwise's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
Oddometer: 835
Every scooter has its pros and cons, test ride (if you can) the ones that interest you.

The foot forward position of the big maxis (Burgs, SW, tmas, Aprillia Atlantic - yes there are Italian foot forward maxis though they are a bit hard to find in the US, the new Aprilia 859 and BMW scooters) just don't fit me well. In my limited asian scoot (Burgman 400) service was neither better nor worse than on my Italian scoots. Parts have had to be ordered on both of them (light bulb and exhaust gasket which I consider maintenance items on the Burgman for example) but I"ve had better luck finding maintenance items in stock for the Italian scoots but that's dealership dependent.

The scoot you sit on and/or ride that makes you smile - get it.
cdwise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 02:09 PM   #84
gumshoe4 OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Oddometer: 855
OK, so shakedown III for the BV was yesterday. Folsom to Prairie City to Hwy 16 to Ione and into Jackson. Lunch at Starbuck’s in Martell, then picked up Hwy 88 in Jackson and headed up the hill. Hit major construction at Caples Lake and Carson Pass (8000’), requiring long waits and crawling speed past the construction zones. Refueled near Woodfords, then 89 over Luther Pass into South Lake Tahoe and Hwy 50 back to Folsom.

I really love the way this bike handles. As noted earlier, the power is not equivalent to the SWing, and I knew that going in, but the BV will run all day at 75-80 indicated without any sign of strain on the engine (bear in mind, however, that I'm pretty sure that the speedometer is at least 10% optomistic). It's now showing 579 miles on the odometer.

Some observations:

Prior to Shakedown I, I checked the coolant level in the expansion tank in accordance with the owner’s manual. It’s a bit hard to see into the tank, but I thought the coolant level was correct. After Shakedown II, when the bike seemed to be running on the warm side, I decided to look again prior to this run. This time, I grabbed a flashlight and looked more closely. It turned out that the coolant level was below the MIN line, so I put in a pretty good slug of coolant and topped it off to the MAX line. There has been no evidence of coolant leakage or coolant going where it’s not supposed to go, so I concluded that the dealer had not checked the coolant level when they delivered the bike to me AND I had failed to ascertain that that was the case. The good news is that on this run, the bike ran more coolly and when the coolant temp rose (low speed, idling in the heat, etc), it never got above ¾ and then fan went on and cooled it back down…so everything appears to be OK.

On my way into Folsom at the start of this run, I noticed that the starboard mirror was loose and could not be tightened. The mirror mount is used as a support point for the top bracket for the new windshield, so there was clearly a problem. I went back home and completely disassembled the windshield, concluding that I had installed the left support bracket on the right side and vice versa…exactly as shown in the Givi instruction sheet. I reversed the brackets, reinstalled the mirrors and windshield, tightened everything up and no more problem…everything stayed aligned and nice and tight for the rest of the day.

I topped off the fuel in Folsom using my new McCuff (works great-thank you, CDWise!), then headed out from there. I was thinking I’d refuel at Ham Station or Cook Station on 88, but by the time I got to those places, I was only showing 80 miles or so on the odometer, so I decided instead to refuel at Kirkwood. I got stopped for construction at Caples Lake and was then forced to idle through and around the construction zone, not exactly conducive to good fuel mileage. By this time, I was starting to worry a bit. The fuel gauge was showing between 1/8-1/4 and I’d already determined that it was not very accurate. When I made it to Kirkwood, I discovered that the gas station there was closed and there was no other station around. I decided to continue to 89, up over Luther Pass and into South Lake Tahoe to get fuel. I hit another construction zone at Carson Pass and really started to sweat. I responded by riding a bit slower and praying a lot. When I got to the junction of 88 and 89, I saw that I was 19 miles from South Lake Tahoe, but if I stayed on 89, I was only 6 miles from Woodfords and there was a state highway sign saying that there was gas at Woodfords, so I stayed straight. When I got to Woodfords, no gas. I then decided to continue on 89 south to Markleeville, where I knew there would be a gas station, but about a mile down the road, I found a general store with a gas pump attached to a Convault. I topped off the bike, putting in 2.1 gallons, with 129.3 miles showing on the odometer, giving 60.3 mpg for my fuel mileage. This means I had at least .5 gallons left, or about 30 miles or so. I’m very pleased with the fuel mileage this machine is providing, particularly considering that I was running at widely varying speeds, from a near-crawl through construction zones to 75-80 mph in clear areas.

I had a bit of scare at Bear Creek overlook (see photos below). After I got ready to get going again, I switched on, pulled back the rear brake lever and hit the starter button, but got one turn of the starter and then NOTHING. Tried a second time-same result. I turned the key off, waited about 30 seconds and tried a third time-fired right up no problem. I decided that perhaps I stacked too much stuff under the seat, causing the underseat light to stay on and drain the battery, but once I had the motor running, I did not want to switch off…then I hit the construction zone. Didn’t want to let it sit and idle for 20 minutes waiting for the pilot car, so I reluctantly shut it off, opened the seat and rearranged some stuff to clear the light switch in case that was the problem. When it came time to go, the bike fired right up and I had no further problems anywhere, even at 8000’ at Carson Pass. I don’t really have an explanation, but I believe that maybe the computer had a brain fart or something…not anything I’m going to worry about.


Here are some pictures:



Bear Creek Reservoir, from the overlook on Highway 88


BV500 at Bear Creek overlook


Looking west from the Bear Creek overlook


At the Strawberry General Store, Highway 50

Today, I went over to the dealer to see if they had received the turnsignal. Nope. As I didn't particularly want to bring the bike in twice, I rescheduled the first service for September 22 after being assured by the service people that this was not a problem and that I could continue to ride the bike and put miles on it without issue.


So there's the latest...
gumshoe4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 02:30 PM   #85
DandyDoug
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Lewisville, NC
Oddometer: 380
Nice report, great pictures .
Too bad you had to stop at Starbust for lunch, nastiest coffee in the western world IMHO .

My search for the right Maxi continues.

Read a great un-biased report on the MOA forum today re: the 650 GT.
Typical BMW rider with a bit of BMW experience, hit them where it hurts , but gave it a thumbs up overall .
DandyDoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #86
gumshoe4 OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Oddometer: 855
So we've been talking a lot about the Piaggio machines and their dealers, but poor service and attitude exist at dealers for all brands.

I'm preparing to leave tomorrow to go on a tour into the Pacific Northwest and I'm taking the SWing. Ordinarily, I would do some of the basic maintenance and prep work myself, but this time, I wanted the dealer to go through the bike and do it all, so I took it to a local Honda motorcycle dealer. I dropped the bike off on Saturday, 08-11-2012, providing the service writer with a gallon of Rotella T and asking him to use it in the bike and also telling him I was getting ready to leave with the bike on a tour, so wanted valve clearance check, fluid changes, etc. They started working on it on the following Tuesday. On Wednesday, I got a call from the service manager saying that they needed to change out the belt and rollers...I knew that was coming, so I was OK with it. He said he'd order the parts.

I heard nothing else, so yesterday (Tuesday, 08-21-2012...they've had the bike over a week by now...), I dropped in to find out how they were doing. I spoke with the service writer...they evidently did not know whether the required parts had been delivered. I reminded him that I was leaving Thursday on a tour and that I needed the bike by Wednesday (today) to pack it and fix some little things that needed doing. He said he'd check on the parts and would call me by 3PM.

I did not receive a call by 3PM or after.

Finally, about 1030 this morning, I got a call from the service manager, who told me they were finished and that I could pick the bike up. I got to the service counter at lunchtime...of course, no one was there, so I rang the bell and waited for someone to come. While I was waiting, a guy in the service manager's office was having a telephone conversation with someone in a very loud voice which came right through the closed door...I can't help hearing it while I'm waiting for a service guy to show up. The guy says, in a very loud voice, "Yeah, I sent a f*****g retard to another dealer because I told him his service would take two days and he called back later and said he wanted his bike back the same day." I was quite offended by that...I mean, there I was, spending a bunch of money at the dealership getting work done and finding out that at least one employee thinks of the dealership's customers as "f*****g retards" and having no concern about shooting his mouth off in ear range of anyone in the vicinity. I understand that customers can be difficult, but that behavior was unacceptable and caused me to wonder whether I should continue to patronize that place.

The service writer finally showed up and showed me the work order. I immediately noticed that they had charged me for oil, after I had asked them to use the Rotella T I had provided. The service writer checked with the tech, who confirmed that he had missed the instruction to use my oil on the work order, so the service writer cancelled out the oil charge and gave me back my oil. He was pretty cool.

Spoke to the manager later in the day and related the story to him...told him I did not see who made the comments, but that they came from the service manager's office. I also pointed out that I had spent a nice piece of change there and was wondering if his employees generally thought of their customers in that manner and that I would probably take the bike elsewhere next time major service was due. I also told him I wasn't trying to get anyone fired and that I didn't have a dog in the hunt, as I'd already paid the bill and left, so I was telling him about this so that he could take some action to stop that behavior. He apologized and said he would find out who made the comment and would resolve it. He also asked if there was anything he could do to recover my patronage. I made no commitment.

I got home and discovered that they had removed the seat to do the valve clearance check and had failed to tighten the seat bolts back up, so I got in there and did it myself.

In summary, sloppy finish work, poor attitude and poor attention to detail. Guess I'll go back to doing my own service from now on...

and this was a HONDA dealer...you know, you meet the nicest people on a Honda.
gumshoe4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2012, 04:18 AM   #87
DandyDoug
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Lewisville, NC
Oddometer: 380
Sad commentary on customer service, unfortunately it's endemic .

Hope you have a great trip and nothing the dealer did , or did not do, rears it's ugly head.
DandyDoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2012, 07:36 AM   #88
hexnut
just cruising
 
hexnut's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: middle Tennessee
Oddometer: 1,341
One of the reasons I have been doing my own work for years.
__________________
2014 Harley Sportster 883 Superlow

hexnuts...a curse put on your balls by a mean gypsy
3/5 Cav, C Troop, BlackKnights, Vietnam 1969
hexnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2012, 08:00 AM   #89
Domromer
Desert Rat
 
Domromer's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Oddometer: 1,084
This is why my bikes haven't seen the inside of a dealship since they were new. I figure between forums, service Manuals, and you tube videos I can figure out how to do most of the maintenace on my bike. I'm not nocking paying to have the work done. If I had the spare cash and a good dealership I would have a professional do the work. I much prefer riding to wrenching.
__________________
If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=851060 ... A desert rat explores the south.
Domromer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2012, 09:34 AM   #90
DandyDoug
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Lewisville, NC
Oddometer: 380
Any time i have work done by a shop either on my motorcycle or one of the cars, I check stuff out before i start up and go away.

I have found a less than full oil change, a missing dip stick, tech's tools left in the engine bay, spark plug wires left loose and a bunch of other stupid crap.

Some times i think that no one takes any pride in doing a job well & complete anymore.
DandyDoug is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 01:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014