Tiger Explorer Issues and Dealing with Triumph

Discussion in 'British Beasts: Triumph Tigers' started by WilCon76, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. WilCon76

    WilCon76 Adventurer

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    So just to share with the ADV community my ongoing issue with my Tiger Explorer and my dealings with Triumph. On October 1st I took my TEX to the dealer due to excessive top end noise. This has been a complaint about the new motor and Triumph has not issued a recall or service bulletin, they have sent out a technical bulletin that tells dealers if a customer has this complaint to replace the cylinder head under warranty and they send a kit.

    The kit includes the new cylinder head new shims etc. You reuse the original valves and most of the valve train. They made sure that the replacement cylinder head shipped immediately and the dealer had it within a couple days. Awesome. So fast forward a few days and the dealer is busy and had not started yet. The dealer gets into the bike after a week and discovers that the exhaust valves were under sized and burned. The intake valves had severe oiling on them and the valve guides are completely honed out. Now we have another warranty claim with Triumph to replace the valves, there were new valve guides in the replacement cylinder head. They ordered my valves but unfortunately they are on back order. They come in several at a time, 3 here, 4 there until finally all 12 arrive last Monday. So from October 1st until November 4th I have been waiting on the dealer or the parts from Triumph. Backorder from England is not cool. So the dealer gets the valves finally and starts reassembly. They get most of the cylinder head complete and the shims that are with the kit won't stack to the clearance needed. So once again waiting on parts from Triumph to finish the job.

    I have had contact with Triumph several times and they are very cooperative. I posted a video on the Triumph USA website and they contacted me the next day via message, which I thought was impressive. We have spoken weekly on the phone and they have expedited my parts orders when they could. Triumph has offered at this point to compensate me for my gas that I have used driving my truck to commute, they have offered some accessories for compensation, and lastly they are now offering to compensate me the two payments I have made while the bike has being repaired. So on one hand Triumph is currently saying they will take care of me, they have done none of these yet, but on the other hand my bike is not running and I really miss it! I have pictures of the valves but I am not allowed to attach them.
    #1
  2. Brian06

    Brian06 Been here awhile

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    I literally just went through the same process, head replaced, valves scorched, valve guides worn, 2nd claim to get the valves. In total I was without my bike for 1 month (in fairness it was ready last week but the weather was poor). All that having been said, the bike rides like new again. The chirping noise is gone, I can actually hear the exhaust and the engine just feels smoother. I guess my point was juts hang in there, it's worth it.
    One comment for Triumph would be to provide dealers with "loaner bikes" so us riders could make use of the short riding season considering how much we pay to ride.
    #2
  3. WilCon76

    WilCon76 Adventurer

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    Definitely loaner bikes. Did Triumph compensate you in any way?
    #3
  4. Big Jon

    Big Jon Been here awhile

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    The owner of our Triumph store let me take his personal Tiger as a loaner when they replaced the head on mine. I'd be hard pressed to find anything negative to say about Baxter Cycle in Marne, Iowa... :D
    #4
  5. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    I know it sucks, but it sounds like Triumph is stepping up to the plate trying to make it right. Major props to them for that. Many other companies wouldn't even talk to you and just let the dealer and/or area rep take the heat.
    #5
  6. shaner1100gs

    shaner1100gs Been here awhile

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    Which dealer are you using Pete's or Chesapeake. I have yet to start the process. My bike has 18,000 and has the chirping noise.


    #6
  7. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Be happy you aren't dealing with BMW.
    #7
  8. WilCon76

    WilCon76 Adventurer

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    I am dealing with Chesapeake. Pete's wasn't even aware of the issue or repair when I contacted them. Chesapeake is decent to deal with but they are small and backed up with work. Pete's is much larger and can probably get it done faster but never dealt with them.

    BMW can be a pain but the local BMW dealer is pretty good.
    #8
  9. Yukon PER

    Yukon PER Blacksheep

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    I stopped at Pete's about 3 weeks ago and they had no clue about the head problems. The dealer that I bought my bike from lost his Triumph franchise about 2 months after I purchased my Explorer. (He refused to do the dealership upgrades that Triumph is demanding). This was a true loss for Triumph, he had the dealership for 15 years and he and his mechanic's knowledge of the product were second to none.

    I'll be following this thread closely because I will be looking for a dealership in the PA, MD, VA to perform the repair.
    #9
  10. Against the Wind

    Against the Wind I'm older now but still runnin'

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    It would be appreciated if you could post pics of the burnt valves. You can't attach pics, you have to load them on a pic hosting site and link them here.
    #10
  11. WilCon76

    WilCon76 Adventurer

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    Picture of the valves.


    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #11
  12. Against the Wind

    Against the Wind I'm older now but still runnin'

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    What is the cause of this problem? Design flaw or substandard parts?

    Thanks for the pics.
    #12
  13. WilCon76

    WilCon76 Adventurer

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    Not sure. There seems to have been a bad run of parts that the tolerances were on the borderline but considered good, but when coupled with some valve guides that appear to have been on the high side of acceptable resulted in an assembly that was loose. On most it was just noisy but in some cases it caused some damage. My valves were undersized below specification. Triumph did a lot of test miles and this isn't their first version of this triple, it's a new motor but not so unlike the other ones they make. So far everyone who has dealt with this is super happy with the result, but not many have had the valves replaced. With the new cylinder head and all new parts I expect smooth sailing.
    #13
  14. CPORet

    CPORet I Am Kirok!

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    Location:
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    You're a lot closer to Pittsburgh, but if you're looking at MD & VA you have Fredericktown Yamaha/Triumph in
    Frederick MD, and a relatively new Triumph only shop in Manassas VA (Manassas Triumph). I've been to both,
    had my 20k svc done at Fredericktown, and tires swapped at Manassas. Both are pretty good dealerships.
    Small, out of the way shops where you know you're not paying for the building. Manassas Triumph is rather tiny,
    and they share space with an auto shop. I'd call and schedule with them before riding down there.
    #14
  15. WilCon76

    WilCon76 Adventurer

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    Johnstown PA, you are aways up there from me. I rode through there to visit family in September. There is a place in State College, never been there but might be decent. Certainly closer than here to you.
    #15
  16. Yukon PER

    Yukon PER Blacksheep

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    There is only one shop now in the suburban Pittsburgh area, and they have only sold the Triumph line for less than one year. They were not aware of the problem. The shop that was located on the north side of Pittsburgh lost their franchise for the same reason my dealer lost his. I appreciate your advice and I am willing to travel to have the work done by a dealership that if familiar with the issue and has successfully completed the repairs.
    #16
  17. Misadventure-Brad

    Misadventure-Brad Adventurer

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    Thanks for sharing, Wilcon.

    I too bought my Explorer at Chesapeake and have it scheduled to go in for the head swap on Dec 2nd. So far, their service has been great. They've been extremely understanding and helpful.

    My biggest gripe though is no loaner bike as I do commute on my explorer.. one reason I put it off to colder weather. Keep us up to date on how the build goes. I'd like to know your thoughts of the engine post fix.

    Did the mechanic mention to you any ECU updates? Over at the explorer forum, a lot of the guys have been talking about having a new update after the build.

    Good luck! :freaky
    #17
  18. ZZ4Blazer

    ZZ4Blazer Been here awhile

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    My intake valves looked much worse than that, and I was told nothing would be done and I was running "bad gas" in it.
    #18
  19. WilCon76

    WilCon76 Adventurer

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    I agree with the no loaner bike. I commute on mine as well. It has really dented my pocket book, more than $300 difference in fuel used. I actually mentioned the ECU update to them as well as the TPS failing. The update should be automatic when they plug it in to reprogram after the rebuild.

    ZZ4, wow. I would not be happy with that answer at all. Not sure what bad gas has to do with oil on the valves.
    #19
  20. ZZ4Blazer

    ZZ4Blazer Been here awhile

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    I was told these are "fuel deposits" on a bike with 8k miles on it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Looked more like oil coked to me. I argued and argued. The shop told me Triumph would not replace them. And if I wanted them done it would be something like $700 for new valves
    #20