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View Full Version : My Bullshit basket case Ironhead story that's been lagging for years now...



smitty476
06-25-2014, 11:05 PM
This might eventually get pushed into the "shit list", but for now I'm not throwing any names out there.

So here's the story.....

Sept 2011. Always having a love for all things two wheeled I decide its time to get my first hd. I had been riding sport bikes for years. I did minor repairs and maintenance on all my bikes and since I didn't really have a lot of cash to throw around I opted for a basket case. I didn't have much for tools, but figured I'll get a book and whammo. How hard could it be, right? Well it turned out it was pretty fucking hard, I had no idea what I was doing. I suppose if it was already built I could fix something, but starting from scratch?? No way. The bike came as a frame and the motor separated into 3 milk crates. So anyways a couple months pass. I've got the bike in a buddy's empty garage just kind of mindlessly sanding off the baby blue paint that someone shat all over the frame and cleaning up/ trying to make heads or tails of what the fuck I was going to do with these motor parts. Finally I decide its time to get some professional help.

I find out in jan 2012 that me and my ol lady are expecting. I've got to get one last idgaf trip. You know, the kind you wish you had taken before your life no longer belongs to you, but your kids. I always passed a shop on the way to work (we'll call this "shop alpha") that looks like they're into what I'm into. So load frame and motor into the back of jetta and take it over. The dude there was cool, took a look at everything. Pointed out the shitty hard-tail work that he says "looks like a tweaker did that back in the 70's" (the bike is a 73xlch). Unfortunately he doesn't do any bottom end work, but he does know a shop where he used to work at before he branched out on his own that'll put the motor together so he can do the rest of build at his shop. I head over to said shop (shop beta) tell the guy over there whats going on my bike. He says "yeah I know xyz, I'll do the motor for ya". I ask the how much will it be, he says its hard to say, a lot of the parts are pretty old and crusty, he'll have to really dig through it and see whats what before he can give me an educated quote. Looking back I realize now I should have caught that red flag.

So I leave the bike there with a couple hundred bucks to get the ball rolling. Now from here my memory of specific details gets a little fuzzy. I was working two jobs, had a kid on the way, dealing with a crazy ol. I would stop in about every week or so, throw down another $100 or $200 when I could afford it. I mean I figured give the dude just enough for what he needs so I dont get scalped in the end. Every week it doesn't seem like very much at all is getting done, if anything. But like I said, I've got bigger fish to fry and my focus really wasnt there. Well, one day on the way to work I notice they guy with the shop near work (alpha) is packing up all his shit. I pull over and shoot the shit with him for a minute. Turns out he moving to Montana or Wyoming or something in a month. Fuck, what am I going to do now?? I head over to the other shop (beta) to have a talk with the dude and see what the fuck is taking so long and let him know hes gotta get the motor done so the other dude can finish it before he moves. "No worries, we can finish it over here....we have a new guy working here at the shop and all he does is old sportys".

Fast forward a little bit. Its early summer 2012. Pretty much nothing has been done to the bike so far. They say they need to fix the frame, the geometry just isnt straight and the welds look super shady especially for a big dude like me. They need some time to really assess them and maybe find another frame and transplant my neck to that frame. Well another month swings by finally they say no, we cant do the frame straightening here, but we know of a great shop all the way down in oc that can do it for ya. I'm a little annoyed it took so long for them to come to that conclusion. But I take the bike down to the shop (gamma). Dude has the bike for 2 weeks, just like he said. I pick up from him around 8-13-12. Take the bike back determined to get this thing rolling before my kid gets here.

Time goes by. The bike never hit the window of being ready. Nov rolls around and I'm a new Dad. I keep up with stopping by to check in on the progress of the bike. Sometimes once a week, sometimes once a month. My ol and I argue all the time about it, we got one car between us and she hasn't worked for years. Every time I go to the shop the dude has some new excuse. He was even in the hospital for a while. I hear about the el diablo run coming up in may 2013. This is my chance to get that trip I had been dreaming about forever. I tell the dude, the bike has to be done for the trip, he says it will be. Well it gets to about a month and a half before and I realize that this dude wont have shit ready in time. So I drag my honda out of the garage. I hadn't ridden in it years. I had some sort of electrical problems and I never bothered to register it when I bought it. I was a student working my way through college and just couldn't afford it. So instead of dropping more cash on the hd I blow it all on the honda and trip. Registration alone cost me $700. The bright side is I had a bike to ride again and my wife can quit chapping my ass over taking the car to work all the time. EDR comes and goes, more time passes and I'm really getting frustrated. They guy tells me everything for the frame is good to go, all the useless tabs are gone, fender mounts, etc are good and the bike is ready for paint, after that "it'll go really quick". So I get the cash together for paint since its being done at the shop next door.

Its nov 2013 now. I got all the cash together and paid to have the bike sprayed, nothing fancy, just black. At this point the bike is said to be done by the end of the year. The holidays pass, nothing, always some fucking excuse. Finally in feb 2014 the frame gets paint. The bike eventually gets moved back to the shop (beta). I'm told everything from this point on is final assembly. Me and my ol finally separate. Now I got no car, I'm fucked. I stop by the shop hoping that my sob story gets this asshole moving. I drop some major coin now. 2k. A while back when I asked the dude how much he finally said 2k plus parts. Keep in mind all the major components I purchased on my own, springer, carb, wheels, seat, bars, brake, etc. Lucky for me a buddy of mine had a car he said needed work and sold it to me for 3hundo. Got that bitch running and got a temp permit to last me a month and a half. Again, a promise to have it done, not delivered.

Now Born Free is coming up. This guys swears up and down the bike is going to born free come hell or high water. DMV tells me to make an appointment with johnny law to have the vin verified since the last time it was registered was in georgia in 1989. Stopped in a 2 weeks ago to check on it. I figure this dude has got to be tired of seeing my face every tuesday. Plus to have to roll that bike around all the time or have it in the way. It looks like nothing has been done, everything he said he was going to do that week.... master cylinder, oil lines, shave the excess off the starter block off, get the left cover on..... nothing. Now I'm pissed. I ask, "still gonna be ready for the show?". "Ah, weellllll...... "its going to be tough, still waiting on the jugs" (the ones he said were on the way a month ago). "if we dont make it by then we'll be awfully damn close". I had been planning a vacation on the 15th of july. Its real tough for me to get time off from work. I figured the bike is supposed to be done by the show, and then I'll have 2 weeks to shake it down before I put some heavy miles on it. I just left with out saying much else. I decided this was one deadline too many. I had bought fast passes for saturday. Gave one to my wife, I never took her to places as much as I should have. Kind of like turning the page, finally take her out to something with the one thing we fought so much over. I was livid. I called the owner and very politely explained the whole situation. He said he had no idea (he runs the paint shop next door). He was going to talk to the mechanic by the end of the day. I call the dude back a day later, to see where things were at. "By the 7th?" I asked, still hoping I could at least take that trip up hwy 1 to seattle to visit family, you know, the one I've been trying to take for the past couple of years. He said that would be tight. I asked if he had a definite date for me. "No, I dont. But if it makes you feel better, I'm on the project now to make sure its moving along". Let me tell you, it doesnt.

Tuesday rolls around again this week. I'm a little hesitant to head in to the shop knowing full well the guy is going to be pissed I went and complained to his boss about his failure to put this project to bed. Of course I go in. The guy is on the phone. I start looking the bike over, so far nothing looks changed, no oil lines, no levers, no block off plate, no master cylinder. The only difference is the box of jugs, tappets and push rods that looks like it just arrived. I ask him how things are moving along. He give me the brush off "its moving". I ask if he figured out the gap he needed to cover caused by the clutch finger and the case. "No, but I'm an engineer, I'll figure it out". "Well do you have a time frame for how long from this point?", he gives me that one eye half closed bullshit "I don't know, but I'll keep moving on it". I've got all my receipts, and time stamped photos, monday I'm going down there to talk to the owner in person determined to get and absolute date of completion in writing. I'm not sure what to do if I dont....

Anybody have any advice? I'm in los angeles btw, san fernando valley.

rjwatters38
06-25-2014, 11:16 PM
I'm not sure what you can do, I was in a similar (albeit much less lengthy) process with a volkswagen a few years back.

I blew an engine, took it into his shop to have the whole shebang redid (like 9 grand worth of work total, 4500 just in the engine) and what was supposed to take 3-5 weeks ended up taking almost 9 months. no discounts, no sympathy, and apparently nothing I could do about it aside from pulling the car from the shop with work done, and paying for uncompleted work. at this point, if i'm gonna be doing a frame off resto like that on anything, I'm gonna figure it out and do it myself, that way all the bullshit excuses are coming from my own mouth and I can deal with that a lot easier hah.

Shacknasty
06-25-2014, 11:20 PM
Damn...you're gettin' taken for a looooong ride! I'm so SFV - I woulda helped ya build the damned thang yerself. No money involved. You need to cut yer losses and get that bike back in your hands.

hell, drop me a PM and we'll see if we can't get ya on track...

BurgBob
06-25-2014, 11:23 PM
You needed to grab your balls at least a year ago! 2 years for a shop to finish a build that you are paying for?!?! What the fuck over? I understand two years on a private build, but fuck man you are paying for that shit! Honestly, if it were my bike and it weren't done by riding season last year I would have been down there yanking it the fuck out of his fucking shop.

smitty476
06-25-2014, 11:26 PM
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Coffins
06-26-2014, 1:17 AM
From all the horror stories I've heard and read, "Never take it to the shop" seems to be the moral of every story.

WingNut
06-26-2014, 5:19 AM
After all of that, you need to drop the "shop alpha" pleasantries and list shop and mechanic names so others know not to take thier business there. At least that how I view it. I would NOT want any of my bikes there dealing with these clowns.

ScarTissue
06-26-2014, 5:19 AM
From all the horror stories I've heard and read, "Never take it to the shop" seems to be the moral of every story.

This is the way I feel, unless you have unlimited time and an unlimited budget.

fishparts2003
06-26-2014, 7:15 AM
Bad news man, sounds like a guy that was around here for a while. Long waiting time , little progress. At the end of the day he was takin the new customers $ to pay for the job he said would be done a year ago, cause he spent there money and on and on. No chance yer dealing with guy named Andy?

farmall
06-26-2014, 7:46 AM
Now you know. It was an expensive set of lessons.

Next time do all your own research and as much work as you can yourself.

Building a bike is to learn and thereby change yourself with the pleasant side effect of a motorcycle as a result.

Basket cases are expensive and only for people willing to learn on their own over an extended timeframe. Ironhead basket cases combine the expense (or more) of building a big twin with a far less valuable result.

If you want to actually ride a motorcycle buy a good runner and do projects on the side. You don't buy a basket case truck or car to get you to work, do you?

Go get your motorcycle back, then shove the fucker into your garage and finish it at leisure. This forum is a great resource.

If ya wanna ride, go get an Evo Sporty for cheap and ride the fuck out of it.

The education you get from finishing your Ironhead will be worth it. Paying someone else to do it only gets you an Ironhead, which keeping it real isn't worth it without the experience to fix everything on that Ironhead yourself.

Phail
06-26-2014, 9:45 AM
Every single time I take anything to a shop it takes forever and a day plus bags of money. Especially one man shops. They get so busy and have so many people waiting for stuff that they can never get anything done. It's a time management problem. They only have 1 hour a week to work on your bike and 45 minutes of that 1 hour is trying to remember what they did last week.

I can learn how to do it and do it in less time it takes for a shop to do it. And I work full time 9-10 hours a day and run my own business.

The biggest pain in my ass is waiting for other people. So I'm buying all the tools and stuff I need to do it myself. Even getting a frame jig so I can fix my own damn frames.

Handle bars: 2 weeks at a shop vs 1 day at home.
Timing chain + tensioner: 1 month at shop vs 1 day at home.
Hard tail fab: 4 months at shop vs 1 day at home.
Gas tank modifications: 3 weeks at shop vs 1 days at home.

I just signed up for this Maker Space last month. They have a plasma table, tig welder, lathe, and a bunch of other stuff. Things are going to get a lot easier.

Oh yeah, and I absolutely hate building stuff. I just want to ride it.

Arsenal
06-26-2014, 10:22 AM
Anybody have any advice?

Yeah, go ahead and chalk this up as a life lesson. What are the names of the shops? They've been holding your bike for years yet you want to protect their name? That seems pretty silly. If you have two good hands and can read, you can probably do whatever needs to be done on a motorcycle. If you don't have time to build a bike, buy one that's already done.

DaNgER556
06-26-2014, 11:10 AM
Dammit. And they even put the rear tires on backwards. That D404 AND the Metzeler.

I would be pulling up with a trailer and yankin my shit out like ASAP. Its been two fucking YEARS and you honestly think its only what.....gonna take another month to complete???

Cause most bike builds take 2 years and 4 months to complete.

Fuck this guy and fuck that shop.

BuddhahoodVato
06-26-2014, 11:19 AM
Cut and Run

Davestune
06-26-2014, 2:05 PM
Christ......................

seaking
06-26-2014, 2:20 PM
I'd set the building on fire......

Shayski
06-26-2014, 3:36 PM
If you take the bike out of his shop, how much money will you be out of? I would demand my money back and remove the bike, threaten him with small claims court as well as posting his nameand all the B.S. He's put you thru all over the forums and anywhere else you can think of, if he won't give you back your money. Now this probably won't get you anywhere but I don't think you have any other move. But shit it's already been two years you want to listen to his bullshit for another two, cause that's whats gonna happen. Time to cut your losses, take that bike home and finish it yourself, it's really not that tuff and you can get plenty of help right here. You can get that thing on the road in a month or so, and trust me it will mean a lot more to you then, and also you'll know how to fix it if it brakes down. You can always go the small claims route if you feel like taking the time to do it. I did it over a truck I owned about ten years ago and I ended up getting three grand back. -good luck

houstonch73
06-26-2014, 3:39 PM
TLTR but I kind of scanned it over. Maybe building a bike isn't for you. And to have someone build one for you will cost you triple (at least).

Capino
06-26-2014, 3:53 PM
Ive seen this exact scenario played out over and over….it never ends well

smitty476
06-26-2014, 8:40 PM
Thanks dudes. Ya I definitely waited to long to sack up on this. Maybe I was a little afraid to loose money I had put into it, maybe too stubborn to admit I was being taken for a ride. Trust me though, I'm not holding on to the name to protect the shop, I just want to make sure I've got my bike in hand before I blast them on whatever message boards I can. No, the dudes name isnt Andy.

Shacknasty
06-26-2014, 10:50 PM
So...what are ya gonna do?

Tacitus
06-27-2014, 12:23 AM
Lessons learned: Basket cases are almost never a cheap or quick build but then you know that now. Shop are most often an exercise in frustration and disappointment. The time and money you wasted waiting on disorganized asshats could have been spent learning to do this stuff for your self and know it got done right........We all learn these lessons one way or another so don't feel foolish. You do seem to have an inexhaustible supply of patience so I imagine you could get pretty good at building. So, get your bike back and do it yourself. You will have more pride in it that way. Nothing like knowing ever nut, bolt and weld of your ride. Good luck with your build.

ChristopherJamesTCB
06-27-2014, 1:37 AM
I have a buddy in South Bay that has done a ton of work on my '65 XLCH. He's a stand up dude. Get's work done quick. Works out of a legit shop and does side stuff at home to put food on his family's table. If you want his info let me know and I'll ask if he's up to take on the bike. I was basically in your same situation but my bike was a pretty decent runner before I bought it so most of my stuff was cosmetic. Anyhow, PM and get that bike back from that fucker!

Clockwork444
06-27-2014, 8:57 AM
looks to me like they took your crusty box of parts, and didnt do shit with them. do you really want your engine to look like that? it needed to be taken apart and glass blasted and have tolerances checked. they painted the frame in a rush job just to make it look like a lot was done. looks like it sat in the shop while they spent your money. that shit pisses me off. hope you get it worked out man

semaj
06-29-2014, 8:21 PM
Obviously you've found out that building a bike is different than working on a runner.
I wouldn't totally rule out building a relationship with with a good local Indy shop,if your not a big pain in the ass,you'll wind up learning a thing or two.

smitty476
06-29-2014, 11:17 PM
So the plan is tomorrow I'm heading down there after work to speak in person with the owner. Like I said he spends his time running the paint shop next door and lets the dude I've been dealing with run the bike shop. Bike shop is closed mondays, but the paint isn't. Obviously I'm getting nowhere with the mechanic, hopefully talking to the owner in person wont be the case. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I've got all the pics I posted up with time stamps, receipts, etc. All that info is way to compelling for him to deny that I've been severely wronged. He'll either give me a reasonable completion date, reasonable as in 2 weeks max. Otherwise I'll rent a truck from uhaul or something, pick up the bike and finish it. Shacknasty, or anybody else, if you're willing to help, it'd be greatly appreciated, I can totally pay you in beers and hamburgers!! As for the shop I'll file a complaint with the bureau of automotive repair and start a small claims case. With some info I got from a buddy of mine who's a certified mechanic (auto) there's definitely a case there. I'm a little embarrassed it took me so long to get to this point, but sometimes life moves so fast, you hardly notice.

Jetblack
06-30-2014, 6:52 AM
I'm a: The more 5 gallon buckets the better type... so here's my 2 bits.

Cut your loses and finish it yourself... or part it out and sell it (the ol Ironhead aka: The its more valuable in parts bike) and get one you like already finished.

A 5 gallon bucket bike is best for 2 things.

1. Someone that knows what they are doing.

2. Someone trying to learn what to do, that already has a daily runner.

For those 2 things it's best to have a daily runner... period end of story to avoid mucho frustrationo. If "bucket" is your only bike; and you know what you are doing? You will get burnt out or in a rush to finish and cut corners just to ride. If it's someone trying to learn what to do and it's their only bike? Might as well purchase stock in your favorite pain in the ass killer... either the bike will get resold, from being in over ones head to cut losses and buy another bike that actually runs or keep sinking money into a sinking shop... like the OP is doing. This eventually costs way more than, if just buying a finished runner you like in the first place.

To avoid the trouble of doing it wrong, take the trouble to do it right.

I do have to say this is Chop Cult not Shop Cult, everything the OP needs to know how to fix it himself is here or with a well placed question will be... many know this already. Hence my advice still stands, either finish it yourself with the help of the 33 and it's cast of characters and gain some pride in the process, or keep shelling out hand over fist from people happy, to take cash with word of mouth agreements from people.

My suggestion to those that luv some chopped goodness... but can't learn, won't learn, nor have the time to build or want to learn their 5 gallon bucket bike... is to just buy one from one of our members that's already finished in the classifieds. Hell if you're packing some cash and time... find a project or builder you dig here and fucking sponsor their build... that way it's what you want it to be and when finished? You fork the negotiated final price(in writing... always shit in writing, with a damn witness) if smart you'll negotiate that before it's any where near done.

This is a community of very talented individuals... think of it as a giant shop with everyone already here in house. No need to outsource random shit to random people. Brolodex for getting local, Chop Market for our builders that have a brand or just a brand, classifieds for everything in between those two. Everyone I have met in person off this site has been a stand up individual*, so why not embrace this community to the fullest potential?

*I'm not that great a friend though... I'm burnt out, random, and fucking cranky, with all the time in the world and none at all to spare.

farmall
06-30-2014, 6:58 AM
It's worth remembering that for whatever reason many motorcycle shops slow-leak work that an auto shop would smash out quickly to get to the next job.

It's a mystery why working on a bike (which are Simple As Fuck compared to cars) is often milked or backburnered, but the practice isn't new. Maybe it evolved from when motorcycle shops had the customer firmly by the short hairs.

Work on your own shit, and remember that whatever you break learning is experience and not a tragedy. It's cheaper than paying someone else to break your shit and will eventually give you the skillz for emergency repair.

If you own anything pre-Evo you had best become your own mechanic or get rid of it unless you like walking, and there are damn good arguments for learning to wrench the later stuff too such as "saving thousands of dollars" and "easily keeping the same scoot for decades".

MadRiverMoCo
07-03-2014, 7:52 AM
Outcome?

nuklhd
07-04-2014, 2:37 AM
fuck asking for a completion date. do you really trust that mechanis to finish it right. the next time i visited the shop would be with a truck to pick up all your stuff. i don't know what pisses me off more, the cocksuckers arrogance in stringing you along or you going for it.

smitty476
09-04-2014, 7:44 PM
So the story goes on...................

After going back and forth with the owner about what the fuck was going on with my bike, I'm assured it'll be done. Time ticks by, I've got a lot of other shit going including my 22 month old falling and fracturing his collar bone, general work bullshit, what may or may not be the end of my marriage, you know, general life bullshit. Needless to say the bike again falls to the bottom of my priorities. Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago. The bike is pretty much done, less some wiring and a battery tray. Brakes are good, tranny rebuilt, new clutch shit, new jugs & rods, valves, etc. Its pretty much a brand new 73. The dude says make the appointment for chp, that'll be the completion date. So I make the appointment, I manage to get a chp and dmv appt on the same day. Yesterday I get a call, "hey dude, so the axles adjusters and generator wont be here in time for friday, you should get a truck to take the bike to the chp and bring it back so I can put the rest of the stuff on when it gets here on monday". Which I should considering how much I had to go through to get the time off to take it in for an appointment. I call him back today hoping the parts came in, "nope, but since I have you on the phone here's the balance owed on the bike, $2,658". WTF?! balance??? For what, for taking your sweet ass time putting this thing together. $3,999 for parts, $356 tax, $1200 for paint, $2500 for labor. Dude has the nerve to say labor is only $2500 "because I'm (referring to himself) a nice guy". I'd already dumped $5600 bucks on this dude, for a fucking sportster. All the big parts I bought myself, springer, bars, lights, seat, fender, tank, plus a shit load of other things. Where was this number the countless times I asked what the balance was, where were we on parts, etc. I always got a "I'm working on that, I'll get that to ya, I'll call you later today with it". Now he tries adding an extra $500 bucks to his original "$2000 + parts". Maybe I'm wrong but after Ive been dicked around for so long I feel like I should just be able to walk out of there with the bike nsa.

So I call the owner, who of course gives me the run around, asks how much I got set aside. I got nothing. You know the old saying, "its cheaper to keep her", well its fucking true. Now of course since I made a stink about the whole thing theres no way theyre going to let me walk out of the shop with it to go to chp, who in their right mind would think I would bring it back to the shop and let it sit there until I can find a way to pay for it. Which by the way, will take me months considering taking care of my kid, student loans, child care, all the other bullshit we gotta pay for. So here I am almost exactly 3 years ago since I bought the fucking thing, and still no bike. If anybody has any insight, or can recommend a lawyer in the los angeles area, or anything like that, it'd be great. I didn't sign a fucking thing, there was no real quote for me to sign off on. I don't really know if I have a case or if I'm just a victim of my own stupidity.

farmall
09-04-2014, 9:09 PM
He should be able to itemize where the money went/is due and provide you copies of receipts or copy of the work order. Non-shit shops use workorder forms and have multiple copies.

I'd speak to a lawyer, but I suspect you are fucked.

If he has fifty flat rate hours at fifty bucks an hour in the thing that accounts for the labor. (example numbers only) I expect that he can easily account for the hours.

That leaves the parts bill in total. If you know the sources you can find out approximate or accurate wholesale prices then calculate the markup.

Determine what the numbers say, and list for the CC hive mind if you wish.

Part Name, Part Number, Quantity and Price format is better than "pile of stuff, Ouch!".

bigsteveo
09-04-2014, 9:30 PM
This doesn't help at all, but....fuuuuuuuuuck, that sucks.

Cisco726
09-04-2014, 10:39 PM
Man, you should've took the opportunity and taken it to the chp and disappeared with it!! That's bullshit! Then they would've been the ones lookin for lawyers and also have to get all their paperwork straight! Hell, maybe you can still do that if you play your cards right!

Cisco726
09-04-2014, 10:45 PM
Man, I know life moves fast, but fuck dude, that's a big thing to just let slip! I'm trippin over a pair of boots that have taken about 2 months and I don't have to pay for! That bike should've never been in that shithole that long! I would try to bullshit the dude and call back and be like "Ok, I got the money and as soon as it's done I'll fork it over" or some shit like that, but better thought out!! Once you get your bike you need to put these guys on blast!! Fuck the benefit of doubt, fuck them period!!

Cisco726
09-04-2014, 10:47 PM
"*I'm not that great a friend though... I'm burnt out, random, and fucking cranky, with all the time in the world and none at all to spare."

You do have that awesome Fonzie avatar though and that should count for something!!

loddytoddy
09-05-2014, 7:25 AM
man this sucks to hear.. I am of no help in the situation...

OleDirtyDoc
09-05-2014, 7:37 PM
It really sucks when you realize its not vaseline in the ar but its really Dave's insanity sauce.

Clockwork444
09-05-2014, 10:02 PM
well your situation is fucked for the most part. For future benefit, i will leave you with this advice. Find a guy that can work on shit, can build shit, people know and respect, and offer him money to help you work on your bike AT YOUR OWN PLACE.

I was big into these cars back in the day. people needed shit fixed, and i did it. I was big into doing very fast transmission swaps and upgrades, clutch swaps etc. I charged 200$ and a case of beer to install a clutch. 500 to do a transmission swap, 500 for a motor swap, a case of beer to diagnose a problem, and various amounts for small shit. i made VERY clear that i was not doing shit for free, and i was taking payment BEFORE i touched anything. they could drink some of the beer and watch me work if they liked or wanted to learn. One time i got fucked by a guy that had me do a motor swap and only paid me half down, and fucked me on the second half. That didnt happen twice.

People still call me to do transmission work on these cars, but im kinda outta the game and it really is a hassle working on shit in people sad ass garages or driveways, so i dont do it anymore. but it helped dudes out and i made a little easy cash. Im sure there are bikers that know shit and are willing to do the same. It wouldnt take 3 years, and it would be done right, and you'd make friends along the way.

farmall
09-06-2014, 12:10 PM
Another way is "no labor in advance". You can bring your own parts or order them to your mechanics specs or order them from him, but KNOW what parts you need AND do the research to know what they should cost.

Retail will be a bit more expensive than the internet since whoever orders the parts if it's not you has to make a reasonable profit for their time.

Hands-off doesn't cut it, and IMO it's part of the real biker (any kind) scene to work on your own shit, only outsource what truly you cannot do and even then know enough about what you are outsourcing to be an informed consumer.

Builder
09-19-2014, 10:56 PM
So the story goes on...................

After going back and forth with the owner about what the fuck was going on with my bike, I'm assured it'll be done. Time ticks by, I've got a lot of other shit going including my 22 month old falling and fracturing his collar bone, general work bullshit, what may or may not be the end of my marriage, you know, general life bullshit. Needless to say the bike again falls to the bottom of my priorities. Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago. The bike is pretty much done, less some wiring and a battery tray. Brakes are good, tranny rebuilt, new clutch shit, new jugs & rods, valves, etc. Its pretty much a brand new 73. The dude says make the appointment for chp, that'll be the completion date. So I make the appointment, I manage to get a chp and dmv appt on the same day. Yesterday I get a call, "hey dude, so the axles adjusters and generator wont be here in time for friday, you should get a truck to take the bike to the chp and bring it back so I can put the rest of the stuff on when it gets here on monday". Which I should considering how much I had to go through to get the time off to take it in for an appointment. I call him back today hoping the parts came in, "nope, but since I have you on the phone here's the balance owed on the bike, $2,658". WTF?! balance??? For what, for taking your sweet ass time putting this thing together. $3,999 for parts, $356 tax, $1200 for paint, $2500 for labor. Dude has the nerve to say labor is only $2500 "because I'm (referring to himself) a nice guy". I'd already dumped $5600 bucks on this dude, for a fucking sportster. All the big parts I bought myself, springer, bars, lights, seat, fender, tank, plus a shit load of other things. Where was this number the countless times I asked what the balance was, where were we on parts, etc. I always got a "I'm working on that, I'll get that to ya, I'll call you later today with it". Now he tries adding an extra $500 bucks to his original "$2000 + parts". Maybe I'm wrong but after Ive been dicked around for so long I feel like I should just be able to walk out of there with the bike nsa.

So I call the owner, who of course gives me the run around, asks how much I got set aside. I got nothing. You know the old saying, "its cheaper to keep her", well its fucking true. Now of course since I made a stink about the whole thing theres no way theyre going to let me walk out of the shop with it to go to chp, who in their right mind would think I would bring it back to the shop and let it sit there until I can find a way to pay for it. Which by the way, will take me months considering taking care of my kid, student loans, child care, all the other bullshit we gotta pay for. So here I am almost exactly 3 years ago since I bought the fucking thing, and still no bike. If anybody has any insight, or can recommend a lawyer in the los angeles area, or anything like that, it'd be great. I didn't sign a fucking thing, there was no real quote for me to sign off on. I don't really know if I have a case or if I'm just a victim of my own stupidity.


I gotta say, there are alot of shops like that, the problem as a shop owner is there is alot of time tied up in a basket case. and most times they make more money with the quick in and out jobs than the puzzles in boxes. If it were me I would do it myself cheaper and prolly take as long as you already waited. No need to kick yourself in the ass just take it and figure it out yourself you got the manual if you get stuck as anyone on the board I am sure you can get an answer you can work with.

Cisco726
09-20-2014, 1:11 AM
The owner was trying to milk him for more cash than agreed upon. Rather than play it cool and take it and run he blew a gasket so it's being held hostage. Any update on this? Did you lawyer up, get your bike, end up paying?

smitty476
09-21-2014, 12:29 PM
Finished the bike last week. Owner took $800 off. I rode it around for a bit and lost a fucking cam tooth (original cams). Jammed up a couple of the other cams and oil drive gear. On the hunt for those. The saga continues. It was nice to get to finally ride it after 3 fucking years. I absolutely learned my lesson. Going into it, I tried to do it on my own, but gave into wanting to get it done now. It ended up kicking me in the ass. I've got a lot of respect for the dudes that build their own shit, and next time I wont bite off more than I can chew.

<a href="http://s12.photobucket.com/user/kensmith476/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpse50d6370.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a225/kensmith476/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpse50d6370.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo image_zpse50d6370.jpg"/></a>

<a href="http://s12.photobucket.com/user/kensmith476/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpsb464e4c2.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a225/kensmith476/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpsb464e4c2.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo image_zpsb464e4c2.jpg"/></a>

farmall
09-21-2014, 1:17 PM
Losing a cam tooth is quite odd unless there was a chunk of something floating around to get wedged between two teeth so as to force them apart.

I've not seen nor heard of it on a Sporty before but anything mechanical can fail.

Post everything you want to do to sort it out BEFORE you do it so as to benefit from hive mind experience.

At least you have a reason to install a drop-in cam for better performance.

TwoLaneFever
09-23-2014, 7:35 PM
Now you know. It was an expensive set of lessons.

Next time do all your own research and as much work as you can yourself.

Building a bike is to learn and thereby change yourself with the pleasant side effect of a motorcycle as a result.

Basket cases are expensive and only for people willing to learn on their own over an extended timeframe. Ironhead basket cases combine the expense (or more) of building a big twin with a far less valuable result.

If you want to actually ride a motorcycle buy a good runner and do projects on the side. You don't buy a basket case truck or car to get you to work, do you?

Go get your motorcycle back, then shove the fucker into your garage and finish it at leisure. This forum is a great resource.

If ya wanna ride, go get an Evo Sporty for cheap and ride the fuck out of it.

The education you get from finishing your Ironhead will be worth it. Paying someone else to do it only gets you an Ironhead, which keeping it real isn't worth it without the experience to fix everything on that Ironhead yourself.me and farmall don't always agree,he,s right , the only way my bike got built ,was my sweat ,late nights and now I can identifiy every nut bolt washer,part on the bike, yes mine was a basket and a lot of guys here helped me sort it out, but think of this ,who is going to fix it if you break down in bumfuck ?not the towl head dude at the gas station for sure, build it yourself you will know the entire bike and what breaks when it does ,the lesson you learned is pricless don't trust joe blow when he gives you a stupid line like I don't know how long it may take to build, shit in 2 years mine has been apart 2 times down to the flywheels AT HOME GARAGE nuthin fancy but my stubborn ass got er done and she is still hauling my ass around after 900 plus miles ,,,,shove that fucker in your cage drag it home and tell joe blow to fuck off, the gravy train with biscuit wheels just pulled outta town,,as much $ you got into it, you are better off rideing it till your old and grey and walk with a cane, that's my plan, shit what I spent on parts alone,, would've bought a cookie cutter evo,, I haven't dared to add the receipts up ,might shit a brick .the hours spent, well, just figure every night after work till 9or ten,weekends from 9 in morn till 600 at night,both days ,then figure full 24 months of this routine .the girl friend has named the bike the other woman so she jokes it off, but she dosn,t like me being gone that much,but she knows if I don't go to garage ,she better be cool about it ,I get mean and bitchy, and all that makes me get up in the morning, is what am I going to do to the bike today,,,like what does any bike freak care about? besides tooling a slab on the scoot ...pussy, beer, sex, yeah close up there,, but the scoot is numero uno in my life, I found it dead and it was me who gave it,s life back,,,resurrection it should be called, but it is black betty (song by ram jam), sounds like we all got the affliction,,,rock on man,,,IHF-FIH

Shayski
09-24-2014, 2:44 AM
What a f'n nightmare, I'm exhausted just from reading about this mess, well did you learn anything? Yea you got to be careful when it comes to dealing with small fly by night shops, you should've gotten everything in writing. No what you should've done was get the bike out of there the second they started giving you the run around! Well the way I see it, you got about three times more money into that bike then it's worth, and it still isn't running. Next time by yourself a bike that's already completely together and running, you could have a hell of a nice bike with the money you got in that ironhead, could've got a shovel or maybe a newer dyna or soft tail. If I was you I would sell that thing or trade it in on something else, cause I think your just gonna continue to dump money into it. It's an ironhead they are famous for needing mechanical attention plus I don't think that mechanic that built it for you probably did a good job. He probably threw it together half assed to get you out of his hair. So I would get rid of it cause I think your nightmare is just beginning!

farmall
09-24-2014, 10:19 AM
Since it's already together OP can undo the nightmare (they are simple machines) over time. He could go SLOW and use the CC hive mind for info, posting pics every time he has a wear or damage question.

The only dumb question is one you don't ask.

Ya can't sell non-runners for squat so he'll need to do cams either way. It's not his main transportation.

However the smart move is probably to buy something else to ride unti it's sorted out. Something cheap, reliable, STOCK and Japanese.

seaking
09-24-2014, 12:57 PM
Since it's already together OP can undo the nightmare (they are simple machines) over time. He could go SLOW and use the CC hive mind for info, posting pics every time he has a wear or damage question.

The only dumb question is one you don't ask.

Ya can't sell non-runners for squat so he'll need to do cams either way. It's not his main transportation.

However the smart move is probably to buy something else to ride unti it's sorted out. Something cheap, reliable, STOCK and Japanese.



allow me to slink out from behind the toolbox.....wanna buy a goldwing? :p

nk14zp
10-07-2014, 7:05 AM
If it helps I think your bike looks GREAT.