Warts and All

Warts and All

Scepticism is something that you are not born with but like cynicism takes years to acquire and this becomes easy in the motorcycle industry as it nourishes such people after awhile. Which is constantly being nurtured as each year manufacturers come out with new models and totally ignore last seasons models and their owners, like politicians who never take the blame for the last ruling government even when it's there party.

The Japanese manufacturers used to release both cars and motorcycles in Aussie earlier than the rest of the world, were they being kind, well no it was the "guinea pig experiment " first pick a country close by with a small population that has a good variety of different temperature changes and the inhabitants ride/drive serious distances. This worked very well before the Internet and social media was around as any "lemons" were shelved, re-engineered or quietly forgotten about unless you were a "sucker" that bought one Mazda and Yamaha were two such prominent manufacturers, Mazda brought out Capella series an before that R100 versions that had lead seals on the motor for service mechanics to check at mileage intervals, these were to see what was wearing out unbeknown to the customer and such details recorded for the factory to act upon before being released to a major market ie USA. 

Americans car manufacturers have done the same with Holden Commodores Series 1 Gen V8 engines were abysmal with oil consumption and When Holden contacted the parent company GM they were surprised people would drive a vehicle over 60,000 mile as in America they would have been scrapped by then!

Mitsubishi vehicles had a penchant for exploding flywheels as they cracked on manuals and if you bought a auto then you were and still are on a first name basis with your Auto-transmission specialist, my mate used to send Mitsubishi a Xmas card every Christmas in gratitude for them turning out so many automatics models, it not only saved his faltering business but made him wealthy as well to boot. 

Only Ford with Borg-Warner auto transmissions have had a worse history taking over 30 years to cure to stop them "jumping into reverse" Ford has had major problems since Henry didn't want front brakes fitted and later abhorred the use of hydraulic brakes, enough to force him to cut up his son Edsel prototype with a axe and sledge hammer! Models such as Pinto, got taken off the market as buyers were dying nearly as fast as they were purchasing them.


The motorcycle manufactures were the same with our nation receiving hosts of models before Europe and local distributors had the marketing guys telling us how lucky we were!

Sometimes this worked very well and as in the Europeans case Ducati sold tons of Bevel models even more than the USA or their homeland, although they had problems as well reliability and quality control being a concern, but we bought them by the container full as the went well handled and sounded horny. 

Honda possibly one of the greatest motorcycle manufacturers suffered in Australia with the early VF750 models living in the workshop rather than the road, lots of major repairs and modifications before the rest of the world got them as was the CX500 transverse V-twin alternator and water pump problems were rectified and the model was so successful couriers still talk lovingly about them in UK and other parts of the world.


So what about today with Harley-Davidson recalling 230,000 bikes from 2010 on for brake problems, the US police forces had severe speed wobbles on some models and they were bad enough to kill you as they found out, VW is having problems with diesel emission scams, and stalling on freeways, and just about everyone from washing machine manufactures claiming certain models catch on fire, to toy manufacturer's worrying about small parts causing choking and finally anything with button batteries the cover must be secured by a screw! Well it's never going to get better in the near future, so much so that H-D recently announced it liked recalls especially if they were small as they made money getting people back into the showrooms, the logic here is after walking around the dealership for half to a hour bored and waiting for the rectification you eventually bought a accessory i.e.Hog piggy bank or some leather knickers for your wife even another bike! Looking at it from their point of view if you lived out of town and never went back to a authorised dealer there would be little chance to get you back, with a recall it was sometimes found the dealer made a profit and could encourage you in for regular future servicing or again showing the new model. 

Now you can see now how I am,so sceptical of all claims made by manufacturers dear reader but the only way I have ended up that way is by not believing all that seems true.

Phil Pilgrim 2016