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Discussion Starter #1
I have typed or told this story a million times and am running ou of energy so I hope to type it all out and find help.
My name is Sonny Im 39 years old and currently own 6 motorcycles and 1 scooter , my wonderfull but flawed Burgman 650.
Buying it in late summer 03 it came from the factory ( or perhaps dealer they wont say ) without the axel attch, it was just sitting there and could have came off at any moment, I never noticed anyhing other than when I backed up it seamed funny , but I just attributed it to perhaps the nature of the tranny. When I did notice the dealer made it right and certainly was very appologetic. 2800 miles later ( and serviced already by dealer ) the tranny started acting up, I was in a hilly area and the tranny would just slip as I would go up a hill, luckily I was with a large group and we were able to push it.. Limping home indeed.... Well we figured that is was perhaps low on oil acting the way an auto car would behave if low on tranny fluid... So as we all know there is no dipstick and no site level... So the decision was made to call , and go to a local dealer, well the vehicle being so new they suggested just changing the oil, leaving a paper trail about all this thats what we decided to do... We carefull measured the exact amount out and changed it ( one of us is a certified mechanic ) .. Took the scoots for a short spin with a chase vehicle just in case... for a short while it seemed better but quickly started slipping again.. I stopped the vehicle checking for leaks, or smoke... none was found so we tried it one last time, carefully taking it up to 40 without any slippage... next lil upgrade it really started slippimg as I rolled off BAM tranny locks up and I was able to still control her..
Now this is where it gets horrible, Since I was on vacation I dropped it at a dealer, with just a brief description, of what had happened... 3 weeks later come pick up yer scooter we cant fix it.. 64 dollars also was charged i didnt think this was fair but such is life )... take it to my local dealer, 3 days later I get a call from them saying they wont be helping me either, that the SUZUKi warranty people say that when originally looked at the drained only 3 ounces of oil out of tranny ( should have been like 12.7 or so I dont recall the number now but rest assured at the time we added the proper Ml's ) I of course call the warranty line and they say " all decisions are final and I wouldnt be allowed to talk to the person who made the decision " Even though I was WELL under the warranty period, I was out of luck, no matter how many witnsses we had, nomatter the paper trail and proof we asked for advice, and bought the proper oil. My local dealer at there expense tried to fix the scooter, when I got it back I regected the " fix " it wasnt even close tot he same scooter, it did indeed move, and stop but " saying it was fixed " would not even be 10 percent of the truth.. the Tranny whines so loud, that you can hear it from a runnnig truck with a diesel engine with its windows rolled up ( Explained as normal by warranty line without of course even hearing it ) the tranny also grinds and I fear a lock up at any moment. the compression braking is way of and hurky jerky. It is also my belief that it is running hot 3 bars now inster of 2 ( what does your run )... Anyways all alnog SUZUKi has said to bad , going as far as suggesting I throw it in a landfill and just cut my losses. The arrogane displayed by SUZUKI in this case has just been amazing to me.. Flat out not caring about all of our witnsses or any regard for any of the story or facts.. ALL they care about is 3 ounces of oil... Now keep in mind they would not allow them to take tranny apart to see if oil had pooled behind a plate, or drain plug may have been blocked or most likely Burned up , gummed up. Clutch plates all coated with yukke oil etc.. or pehaps a seal or whatever right ??

I am about to go thru legal avenues, and am totally disgusted as a consumer, and current owner of 2 SUZUKI's 2000 TL , 2003 Burgman , as well as many other bikes I buy a bike normally every other year or third year, and unless something changes very soon..Id have to say my suzuki buying days are over... PS I have fully custom MP3, sound system with trunk mounted amp , speakers etc.. It is GREAT, and before all this I loved and cared for my Scoots very much..

ANY ADVICE ?
 

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Suzuki generally seems to make pretty good scoots, though you obviously got a lemon. What seems to _invariably_ be a lemon, however, is Suzuki's warranty service. They tried to rip me off too (on a far smaller issue) and only a helpful dealer prevented it.

I hope to put a lot of miles on my Burgman before it's all said and done, but when it comes time to replace my scoot I'll likely try another brand simply over the warranty issues that seem to keep coming up here. I also chose not to buy an extended warranty, for this reason and others.

Doesn't Suzuki know better than to bite the hand that feeds it? All the engineering excellence in the world won't make up for this kind of crap.

Good luck, bro. But I'm not holding out a lot of hope if your dealer isn't working with you. That seems to be the key.
 

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I find some of your "after fix" complaints questionable. My 650 has always run at 3 bars on the temp gauge. Always - no deviation (after a couple miles of riding to warm it up of course). The 650 tranny does have a whine to it. That it pretty normal. Sometimes I notice it, sometimes I don't. With my new XXL Clearview windshield I do notice it more because there isn't so much wind noise to block it out. But I also tend to mentally filter the normal sounds that a bike makes. Almost every motorcycle I've owned made some unique noises that were "normal" for the model. The 650 has engine braking for sure. Raising the idle speed to 1200 rpm diminishes it a bit, if your idle is at 1000 or 1100 rpm it will be more pronounced. It does require a smooth throttle technique to ride smoothly. Without riding yours, I obviously can't say if your engine braking is excessive - but check your idle setting.

It sounds like the root cause of the original problem was lack of proper oil level in the tranny. Who touched it last before the problem? The factory? The dealer? You? I think responsibility for the problem could hinge on the answer to that question. I've never known a 650 tranny to leak or use up oil, so I would suspect it was improperly filled.
 

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I would give your local dealer credit for trying to fix it at their expense.

The first advice is actually to anyone who wants to "try" to fix something that is still under warranty. Learning about your ride by doing maintenance is one thing - but don't "try" to fix anything that is covered by warranty. You should only work on problems that you are sure you can fix - because you can void your warranty.

There are a several things that could attribute to only having 3oz of tranny fluid in it - and without seeing it they would all only be guesses.

a) That's all that was put in. Not likely - but possible...
b) Moisture got in with the fluid, and caused it to foam, and bubble out.
c) The fluid was bad in the container and either foamed out or coagulated onto surfaces.
d) The drain bolt wasn't properly seated, or the seal was corrupted - and the fluid leaked out.
e) The tranny was having problems, and burned up the new fluid with it.
f)...

It seems that all of the options except e) are consumer caused. It also seems that e) is the most likely scenario, and that it should be covered by warranty. The problem is that e) isn't neccessarily covered either. If the shop had done it - then they would be responsible. When changing it - someone should have been looking at the condition of what was coming out. Does it look milky foamy, does it have streaks in it, does it have metal or other junk in it. Like the shop did - you should have measured how much fluid came out. The 650's transmission isn't like an old automobile transmission, and changing the fluid shouldn't be expected to fix slippage. Even just changing the fluid for regular maintenance you should be paying attention to what it looks like, and how much came out. Simply overfilling it because you didn't get all of the old stuff out can cause the oil to froth and boil out causing something likethis.

It sounds to me like the transmission was already chewing itself due to one problem or another - and the drained fluid should have been an indicator. Changing the fluid and continuing to ride only allowed a problem to become a bigger (catastrophic) problem. It probably also stirred up metal bits of stuff that had settled to the bottom - and the transmission chewing on that (I'm guessing) turned the transmission fluid into something looking more like dirty grease and melted butter.

I worked as a motorcycle mechanic for 6 years, working 2 years for Suzuki of Panama City, Panama. The dealerships get paid to do any warranty work - so they are going to try and say it's Suzuki's responsibility. This was a problem that you knew about, but you decided to try and fix it yourself. Saying "Well we figured it was perhaps low on oil" doesn't sound like you knew what was going on in the transmission. Changing the fluid properly isn't the question - you did "something" to it to fix a problem, it didn't fix the problem, and the problem got worse. Suzuki should have had a chance to fix it before it got worse. I would have had a hard time getting Suzuki (or Yamaha, or Kawasaki) to cover this under warranty. I never worked for Honda - but I'm sure they operate the same way...


My suggestion would be to pay your local dealer to replace the transmission.
 

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I think you'll find a copy of Robert's post in the dictionary under "Tough Love".

I doubt that this was what the original poster wanted to hear, but I think it's right on. Too bad, a very expensive lesson.
 

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Sonny - well I am more sympathetic.

1. It sounds as though your dealer was negligent in performing the original PDI.(you have evidence of that wrt the axle - but what else did they neglect?)
2. When the transmission started to 'fail' all you did was an oil change so you did not excarbate anything.
3. I then lose the plot - but you pay 2 professional shops to sort it out and they fail.

You need consumer legal advice to pursue this, in my non expert opinion.

Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so far..

We did go to a local shop and they had zero exerience working on them.

When we drained the oil it was very grayish, and much less than waht we winded up adding.. With the mechanic noting " is this still the break in oil" I said no, they did the first full service.

When we called back toour local dealer we were adviced that changing the oil would be a wise move considering there is NO WAY to really know the amount of oil in the scoots.

This has been my biggest complaint since day one in order to believe I did someting wrong you would have to believe:
1 My dealer did the full first service
2 it wasnt due for the next change yet
3 I decided for some unknown reason to just change the oil for no reason ( keeping in mind it was acting up BEFORE the change )
4 and I just decided on my own to only add 3 ounces rather than carefully measure the proper amount.. If you could have been there you would have giggled, we measured the oil in a cup , put the cup on a level to JUST make sure we did it right.. We all laughed at the lenghts we were going to to make sure the exact right amount went in.

With the first shop being denied the ability to take th escooter apart, they were denied the abilit to see if it was gummed up or a seal deceft or whatever, and ever since the stone wall of " final decision "

Running hot = thank you I wasnt sure ifit was 2 bars or three and my dealer has refused to do a test to compare standard o temp to actual

Whining noise... Im totally serious when I say this thing whines so loud you can hear it in a diesel truck with the windows up , and the stereo on.. it is so loud I cannot hear my stereo over it .. 10 times as loud as you would think

Compression braking is way off. when I roll off the throttle it almost locks up the rear, in wet weather it probly would... The dealer clearly has the cluch plates wrong or something.

I did exactly what they would want a customer to do, go to a dealer, unable to get proper advice there called back to my local and they suggested changing the oil, buying the proper oil right there. changing it with a "ase" cert. mech.
What more could Ihave done other than cart it back to ohio on my vacation I guess... My one and only error was just not parking it, I never thought this would happen and I certainly never ever would have thought SUZUKI would have stone walled me like this..

About dealers getting paid for warranty work I agree but at a much discounted rate. I would be paying amuch mucg higher shop rate to get it fixed and at a higher profit for the dealer than if warranty work .. So there is a slight incentive for the dealer to try to get me to pay .

Thank you keep the advice coming.
 

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It it were me (keep in mind I have no warranty on my 400) I would (having some mechanical aptitude) 'bench' it and find out for myself what is going on. is it the belt? Something else? I am certainly guessing here and I may be far off but my GUESS is that the loose axle you had may have put additional strain on the tranny and belt, perhaps causing the belt to mis-align or something of that nature. Granted, a 650 and a 400 tranny are too different animules and the 650 is reportedly (by FAR) more complex. This is certainly an isolated issue that has escalated into a major mechanical problem. I certainly would recommend not running it anymore or risk further damage (which means more money down the tubes).
No way would I hand it over to a "mechanic" at full shop hourly prices for him to 'play' with a Burgman for the first time. I wish I could add more but I think I've ventured enough 'guessing' on it.
Other than ripping into the project yourself... it sounds to me like someone worded something to Suzuki in a manner which has compromised your claim and I (personally) would hold that individual responsible (be it me or some parts jockey or dealer) and I would document EVERYTHING before the memories get more foggy than they already are. Again, I would just fix it rather than turn it into something that makes me hate even looking at my bike and I can certainly relate to the sour taste you have regarding the lack of warranty coverage. Personally, it sounds like the person responsible is the entity responsible for the original fault (the axle) and the problem could very well have stemmed from that faulty work and lack of checking it PROPERLY when the fault was discovered and "fixed".
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was the front Axel.. It was just sitting there waiting at any moment to slip that lil quarter of an inch.. It could have killed me or anyone invloved but not related to the tranny problem.

Keep em coming.
 

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Suzuki is not known for their after sale service. :? They build some good bikes, but they are reluctant to support them under warranty. Keep after the dealer and Suzuki to get it repaired.
 

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While I love my Suzuki, this kind of experience would make me IMMEDIATELY switch to Honda.
 

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PS Honda is not lilly white when it comes to warranty claims, (many similar horror stories) and neither is BMW. And I suspect neither is Kawasaki or Yamaha...
 

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PS Honda is not lilly white when it comes to warranty claims, (many similar horror stories) and neither is BMW. And I suspect neither is Kawasaki or Yamaha...
Agreed - but Honda has a great reputation of having some of the most reliable vehicles in the world, and with all due respect, I cannot say the same about Suzuki. While I would choose the Burgman again in a heartbeat and love the bike, Honda's reputation has always been better.

If Honda did the above to me, I'd keep switching until I was out of brands - then start at the end of the line again! Sounds dumb, but I'm of the opinion that a good dealer/company will make the most money by selling you a bike every 3 or 4 years instead of one and then end it.

Besides, a Silver Wing might be in my future if fuel goes back to normal prices. I'd have to ride both the Burg 650 and the SW first.
 

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Compression braking is way off. when I roll off the throttle it almost locks up the rear, in wet weather it probly would... The dealer clearly has the cluch plates wrong or something
Compression braking is the nature of the (belt drive) beast. Suzuki recommends idle rpm of 1200. Once increased from the delivery 900-1000 rpm, it makes it more tolerable. If you're a light rider <150 lbs that doesn't help matters either.

I drive past 2 other dealers to get to where I bought mine... service is key.[/quote]
 

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keithturtle said:
I drive past 2 other dealers to get to where I bought mine... service is key.
I agree with Keithturtle's statement 100%. Service on a motorcycle, especially a rather unusual one like our Burgmans, is very important. A dealer's ability to provide good service after the sale is more important to me than his "bottom line". In Sonny's case, he had the misfortune of being caught on the road where he couldn't take it to his local dealer where it sounds like they would have made a proper effort to correct his problem.
From some of the posts I've seen over the last year or so it appears that a number of our members shop for the lowest possible price without much thought of quality service after their purchase. After my many purchases of bikes over the last 30 years, I would highly recommend that the "good service" factor be considered along with the price in any purchase of a motorcycle. Nothing can ruin the enjoyment of a good motorcycle like poor service.

Don
 

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DonRich90 said:
keithturtle said:
I drive past 2 other dealers to get to where I bought mine... service is key.
I agree with Keithturtle's statement 100%. Service on a motorcycle, especially a rather unusual one like our Burgmans, is very important. A dealer's ability to provide good service after the sale is more important to me than his "bottom line". In Sonny's case, he had the misfortune of being caught on the road where he couldn't take it to his local dealer where it sounds like they would have made a proper effort to correct his problem.
From some of the posts I've seen over the last year or so it appears that a number of our members shop for the lowest possible price without much thought of quality service after their purchase. After my many purchases of bikes over the last 30 years, I would highly recommend that the "good service" factor be considered along with the price in any purchase of a motorcycle. Nothing can ruin the enjoyment of a good motorcycle like poor service.

Don
I have seen a number of posts which link service to the dealer who sold the scooter. I would think that warrenty service or any other service would be available at any authorized Suzuki dealer, not just the one where you bought the scooter. What am I missing here?

Has anyone had a Suzuki dealer refuse to service a scooter because the customer bought it somewhere else? What if I buy one in one state and move to another, is the local dealer going to suggest I take it back to the one where I bought it for scheduled or warrenty service?
 

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Terry Eade said:
I have seen a number of posts which link service to the dealer who sold the scooter. I would think that warrenty service or any other service would be available at any authorized Suzuki dealer, not just the one where you bought the scooter. What am I missing here?

Has anyone had a Suzuki dealer refuse to service a scooter because the customer bought it somewhere else? What if I buy one in one state and move to another, is the local dealer going to suggest I take it back to the one where I bought it for scheduled or warrenty service?
You're right Terry, any authorized Suzuki dealer, regardless of where you bought it, should be able to provide warrenty work and general service for your Burgman. The key word is SHOULD.
There have been any number of stories on our board where there are Suzuki dealers who have never sold a Burgman or seen one much less serviced one. You can find other stories where Suzuki dealers have sold Burgmans but have little knowledege about service or repairs. These are the types of dealers (I don't know whether they are few or many) that I wouldn't want to buy my bike from.
I've learned over the years to buy my bikes (assuming they offer fair deals - not necessarily the cheapest price) where I plan to have my service done. It just makes life more enjoyable when you know you can trust your bike to a shop that knows you and know what they are doing. You'll establish a good relationship with the sales and service people that will pay off in the long run. I even buy most of my parts and accessories from my dealer.

Don
 

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I do the same thing Don. I usually do not get the best possible price on the new bike, although it is always lower than MSRP. But when I want accessories or gear, they will usually meet or beat the best Internet price I find. Even on the small stuff, I usually get a 10% discount. On larger items it is often 15%. Over the long run, it evens out. And I am helping to keep the place in business. There is the occasional exception where I do better online, but I do pretty well with most stuff at the local dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Odd twist / update..
Well I asked the majical question to my local dealer...
So they CLAIM it is fixed right ?? the claim this due to looming lemon law hearings.. SO I said if it is fixed Id like to trade it in.. hey said yes, and I cant believe it , the liability of them being aware of the compression braking alone would seem to discourage this , let alone I know the tranny is about to blow up again , I can feel it and the piercing belt whine, and other assorted clunks..
So now I have a HUGE choice to make.

1 Continue with the lemon law I firmly believe Im going to win, I did nothing wrong. The bike is also still with HUGE problems which they have had multi multi chances to make right.

2 Trade it in , Probly still for a burgman but I may give up my scooter dreams and get a VFR honda. No word on the amount I would lose on the trade, but lets say its 2800 or so, the repairs needed would probly exceed that and heck man the tech line, local dealer is just guessing it seems, and it could be thousands more between guessing , and lack of expertise.

Your thoughts ?
 

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I'd trade it in. Especially with all the hassles. To me no money is worth hassle. I'd lose money in a heartbeat if it meant not dealing with a lemon, Suzuki Customer Service reps, or dealers.

The main reason to buy a bike is to ride. If you're not riding your bike then there's a problem. If your not 110% happy riding what you have then you either shouldn't be riding or try something different.
 
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