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Thread: Mobile Mechanic anyone?

  1. #1
    Really Bored tenbears's Avatar
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    Default Mobile Mechanic anyone?

    Just don't use this guy...

    After my encounter with another myopic dimbo, shoved against the curbing, bike written off here I was happy to get a payout greater than the amount I'd insured it for, within three weeks, so as I busied myself sourcing parts I decided to use a mobile mechanic to check the valve clearances and fix a slight hunt at low idle which had developed since the bike had been on its side. At the same time I thought I'd get the same guy to have a look at the zx12r which had been suffering a strange electrical problem for some months [at temperature, the thermo switch would click in, blowing the main headlight fuse]. OK, I know I could've done the shims & valves, and with hindsight should've, but sitting back on a relatively free wad I thought I'd get a pro in to dirty his mits.

    Well, this guy from south LondOn, Croydon, appears in his fully liveried-up yellow van and full set of Kawasaki garage overals and sets to work. It didn't take him long, and almost before the kettle had boiled I heard him pinging it off the limiter, at idle... flames spitting from the twin pipes. Wasn't too happy about that, and neither were my neighbours... I've never pinged it off the limiter, ever. Anyway, in his rush, he'd forgotten something & had to go back in to fit the airbox properly. Resolved, he continued to 'warm' the bike up. It appeared to idle OK so he moved onto the 12r, but couldn't do anything as he'd come to an electrical job without any insulation tape.

    So, a couple of hundred lighter of pocket, he leaves, and promises to return.

    The following day I'm in the garage and notice a small leak of what looked like clear fluid under the centre stand. Dabbing my fingers in it I couldn't smell the tell-tail whiff of gas so ignored it, thinking it might be a small rad or coolant leak resulting from the earlier accident which I hadn't noticed. So I'm standing there, with a small glass of beer in my hand, while I've got the 11 warming up on a light idle, when I notice a flickering reflecting off the garage wall like a candle in the breeze. Looking down the LHS, and to my horror, I notice there's a bonafide fire on board licking up the inside of the fairing panel. In an immediate panic I tried smothering it with a hand towel but couldn't get access through the fairing. The flames were growing. It was getting a bit intense. Then I realised we had an extinguisher in the kitchen and grabbing that just about managed to kill the fire.

    By this time the left hand panel was destroyed, and the fire had burnt through all the electrical connections on that side, through an oil feeder pipe, dumping 4 litres of Motul on the garage floor. Man was I pissed. HTF could this happen? It took two days to clean up the mess. Putting things back together I couldn't source this mysterious leak so at the time did not have firm grounds to accuse the culprit, yet as this mobile mechanic was the last to tinker with it I felt pretty damn sure he was culpable. I explained the situation and he agreed to make the journey back down to 'fix' things... only he couldn't because the oil feeder pipe under the pan isn't available as a separate part, it isn't even listed. We had to source a replacement from a US breakers, but in the meantime, to move things on, I removed another from my old zzr11 currently [still] going through its 120K refit. This meant I lost another 4 litres of new Motul from that bike. Oil feeder fitted, and new electrical connections sourced from the great & good Cradley Heath BigK, mobileman reconnected all the wires. I still couldn't source the earlier leak, and now there was no evidence of it, so mobileman shrugged off responsibility.

    He moved onto the 12r, and blamed the thermo switch as the source of the problem. He then left with more cash. I'd replaced that switch so knew it it couldn't be that, but he was going to return a third time, with a replacement oil feeder pipe, and would surely fix it then.

    Well, he didn't [fix it], and having paid for a 3rd visit he left thinking he'd solved everything.

    I still hadn't identified the source of this earlier spill, but as the 11 was now still hunting at low idle, I decided to treat it myself, and, removing the airbox I discovered he hadn't reattached one of the connecting carburetor fuel pipes... oh dear... there was the cause... and he'd tried to tell me it was all down to an oil line rupture, causing the engine oil to ignite off the downpipes!

    With this new evidence I confronted him, and having threaten legal action got my money back... but I hadn't billed him for all the replacement parts, which weren't cheap. By this time I was happy to get a refund & leave it at that... but I wouldn't invite this guy onto your property, or let him loose on your bike.











    All fixed now, and in better shape than when it was hit & taken out, but really folks, if you can do it yourself, do it... no one else will look after your own machine like you will. I'd name & shame this guy, but for possible legal reasons will refrain, although I'm happy to pm anyone his details.



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  3. #2
    Really Bored GreenMachine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile Mechanic anyone?

    wowcher! Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance if ever there was (better to screw it up yourself and learn something rather than pay someone else to screw it up and [you] learn nothing). Sorry it's been such a pain but it's looking great now!

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    Really Bored tenbears's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile Mechanic anyone?

    Cheers Green... yes, what an ordeal... and I had a few in 2016, including the accountant who went AWOL with my money without doing anything landing me in the proverbial with HMRC & Companies House. I have learnt a lot about the small claims procedure thou!

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    Should Get Out More DefTrap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile Mechanic anyone?

    Other than tyre fitting I haven't paid a bike mech in 20 years.

    I just think good ones are few and far between and those ones tend to be booked solid.

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    Really Bored vimtozz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile Mechanic anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by DefTrap View Post
    Other than tyre fitting I haven't paid a bike mech in 20 years.

    I just think good ones are few and far between and those ones tend to be booked solid.
    Saves alot of money servicing yourself, especially if you do alot of miles.

    But i know how to change tyres aswell

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    Really Bored tenbears's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile Mechanic anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by DefTrap View Post
    Other than tyre fitting I haven't paid a bike mech in 20 years.
    yeah, me neither, until I did, and then regretted it. Just didn't have the time or inclination.

    I just think good ones are few and far between and those ones tend to be booked solid.
    true enough, that Ferret bloke [featured in several bike mags] who does a lot of custom electrical work is always fully booked

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