The bike has been down because Ben lost 2nd gear again. This is the second time this has happened. The first time, in 2007, the bike was still under the extended warranty, so Ben took it to Performance Powersports in Seneca, SC, (I’m not even going to honor them with a link back) for the fix. He dropped the bike off at the beginning of June 2007. The bike finally left the shop for good in July 2007.
It took a month for the bike to be fixed because of many problems with the shop, not necessarily the actual task at hand. I documented most of it on my blog, all the troubles we had, the run arounds, lies about waiting on parts that were supposedly never shipped from Yamaha, calls to Yamaha corporate & tracking numbers directly received from Yamaha Corporate proving the parts had been delivered 11 days before, broken plastics, multiple missing bolts, wiring issues that weren’t happening before the bike entered the shop, and finally almost a month later getting the bike back.
5 years later it’s an out of pocket expense, and Ben is fixing it himself.. Ben has turned our bedroom into the temporary garage, and has been patiently waiting for his parts to arrive. We’ve been ordering a few at a time as we’ve had the cash to do so, and the majority of them arrived today. He’s slowly taken everything apart, and last night he was prepping & cleaning everything for the gaskets to be replaced when he found this hidden beneath the grime…
Can anyone explain to me why there is a used/salvage cylinder head on the bike we purchased brand spanking new with 3 miles on it if it has never had a reason or been authorized to be replaced?
Even after 2 wrecks and a practical rebuild of everything except the motor none of the major engine parts have ever needed to be replaced. The transmission has been a problem on this bike, and it was fixed once at Performance Powersports, and now is being fixed once again by Ben himself. No one has ever been near the engine except for the factory, the dealership (also Performance) when the bike was assembled, Performance’s mechanics, and Ben. The only two times the engine has ever left the bike’s frame…the only time the cylinder head has ever been touched for any reason, once at Performance, and now at home. No one has ever had any reason to touch the cylinder head other than to remove it to replace second gear, and we have never been informed of any replacement or any reason why it would need to be replaced.
Are we even sure it’s a salvaged part? Maybe Yamaha for some odd reason marks their parts like this. There are a couple bike manufacturers who do use paint markings on parts.
Just to be sure it is a salvaged part I have contacted 3 other dealerships, showed them photos of this cylinder head, and they have all agreed it is definitely a salvaged part. It would never come from the dealership with hand engraved part numbers on it. Factory part numbers are always cast and/or stamped into the part.
So how did a used cylinder head with salvage markings (hand engraved part numbers on the front and paint markings on the inside) find it’s way into our engine? Why is it even a big deal? Our purchased brand new bike shouldn’t have a salvaged part on it unless we authorize it. I’m all for salvaged parts, but you don’t replace something without even informing me you’re going to replace it! Did someone screw up and need to cover up their mistake? We use salvage parts on our vehicles when it’s a better option than replacing with new (usually determined by price), but that should be our decision, not something hidden that we discover years later, especially if it may have occurred during our extended warranty period that we paid for when the item may have been replaced with a brand new part.
This leads me to believe something in fact did go wrong, someone screwed up and damaged the original cylinder head in a way the warranty wouldn’t cover, and the part was quietly replaced cheaply (a new cylinder head assembly is almost $900) without informing us there was a mishap. If you break something on my bike while you’re fixing something else I would understand. Parts get dropped, knocked off tables, etc, but if it happens tell me about it! We might have been perfectly ok with a salvage replacement had we been met with honesty instead of a bunch of lies and run around, and now, years later the discovery of a cover up!
Now the concern is we have no idea how old this cylinder head is. There is scoring, but is the wear from our usage, or was it already pretty worn? We put over 20,000 miles on the bike before the first tear down (at Performance) and another 15,000 on it since. Those are facts we know, but we know nothing about the cylinder head assembly, if the salvaged valves were used or replaced with new ones, or even how long it has truly been in our bike. The odds of the bike coming out of the factory with a salvage part are slim to non-existent. That leaves the only chances of replacement in the dealership during the initial assembly after shipping (possibly damaged during shipment and sold to us that way?) or while work was being performed on the bike at the dealership because we definitely know it wasn’t damaged and replaced by us!
We can only make assumptions to what could have happened, but it is easy for us to narrow down exactly who the culprit could be. Unfortunately there’s not really much we can do about it because we don’t have solid proof. It’s our word against theirs. What I can do is warn others to be careful. No matter who you take your bike to, be it a dealership, garage, or backyard mechanic, please pay attention carefully, and if they give you the runaround and something doesn’t seem right definitely look into it!
Feel free to share your thoughts on the matter in the comments section, but I know who will NEVER receive another dime of my money.