How lousy is BMW Motorcycles of North Dallas?

I think John Bloor should revoke their Triumph dealer status.

These guys had my bike for nine weeks. They initially ordered the old style flimsy crash bars and I caught that on the estimate (thank heavens I bothered to go up there and get a copy)…being a Triumph dealership, you’d think they would be aware that Triumph had a higher priced set to replace the first version, which owners had panned unanimously as cheap junk across the globe. Of course, the flimsy version was significantly cheaper in cost to the ones I had on my bike, not that I’m saying THAT had anything to do with it.

I called numerous times to check on the status of my bike. Every time the answer from Merrin (their service manager) was, “It should be ready by the end of the week. I’ll call you.” That was each of the last five weeks. During the entire time they had my bike I logged ONE call from them to me. Every other discussion we had was initiated by me when I felt like it had been too long since I’d had an update. And i called them on average only once per week to try to get status.

Repaired Triumph Rocket III tank

Last Friday my insurance rep left me a message asking if I’d picked up my bike yet. He said he’d been to the shop and it looked great. I called the shop on Saturday. Merrin said there was still a couple of little things to do to it and he’d check with the technicians and call me back in a few minutes. That was around noon Saturday. He didn’t call back.

I called back on Wednesday. Merrin said he had to total up the paperwork and he’d call me back in a few minutes. Yeah…I wasn’t falling for that again. I waited an hour then I called and told the guy who answered the phone to tell Merrin I was on my way to pick up my bike and to have it ready.

Merrin called back five minutes later to tell me it was ready, he was having a guy test ride it and it would be ready as soon as I arrived and “settled up”.

“What do you mean, ‘settle up’?” I asked.

“You have a $250.00 deductable.”

“Nope, the insurance company waived that.” I replied.

Off center wind screen
“Nope, I don’t have any paperwork indicating that.” said Merrin.

I told him I’d have my insurance guy call him and that I was still on my way. Then I called the claims rep and expressed my frustration at the constant delays and confusion about parts and finances. He apologized for recommending them and stated that he’d always found them to do quality work and easy to work with in the past, but maybe that was changing.

I arrived at BMW Motorcycles of North Dallas and parked the truck and trailer behind the shop. I walked in and Merrin told me my bike had been test ridden and was parked out front, ready for me to take home. He said he had not, however, received clarification on the deductible.

“Okay, I’m gonna go look at the bike while you call my insurance guy back and get that straightened out, then I’ll endorse the insurance checks for you.” I responded. I made my way out front to my motorcycle.

I was initially very pleased. The paint job looked even better than factory, since the pin striping had been done with masking and spray rather than hand painted. No raised edges, the whole tank was flawless, including the color matching.

I noticed that the new windscreen was a bit off-center, but if that was the only thing wrong I wouldn’t mind much adjusting it myself, but you’d think after having the bike for nine weeks someone would have taken ten minutes to center it up.

Merrin finally came out to tell me the insurance money was all straightened out and I didn’t owe anything.

I went back in and endorsed the checks. Then Merrin informed me that the ignition switch was upside down, because they used a newer version ignition switch and that was the only way to make the fork lock work.


Upside down ignition switch

Well, they’d had my bike for nine weeks. If everything worked I didn’t care much that the switch was upside down. So I checked it out when he rode it around back to my trailer. Sure enough, the switch worked fine, just looked a little goofy with all the lettering upside down. I plan to relocate the ignition switch down to the side some day anyway, so I blew it off. The forks locked okay, initially.

So we loaded the beast onto the trailer and I drove home in the pouring rain. Once there, my brother in law came over and helped me roll her down the ramp and into the garage. There she sat overnight after I dried the water off those giant square Triumph saddlebags they’d replaced my curvy Castle bags with.

Factory saddlebag

This morning I went out to the garage and cranked the old girl up. I took her around the block and right back in, maybe a two minute test ride after she’d warmed up a little. Steam was shooting out of the upper portion of the radiator. No leakage on the ground, but plenty of steam shooting up to form a little cloud in the garage.

I’m hoping there’s a loose hose clamp or something in there and that the radiator isn’t busted.

Did they really test ride this thing before they gave it back to me?

No way will I ever do business with BMW Motorcycles of North Dallas again. I went there for two reasons:

1. I knew Eurosport’s long time mechanic, Les, was a week away from retirement when I had my wreck.
2. My insurance rep recommended BMW Motorcycles of North Dallas

My future Triumph business will go back to Tony Lewis and Eurosport. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t let a repair job roll out of his shop in this condition.

Oh, and to fair to BMW Motorcycles of North Texas, Merrin did point out that they “went the extra mile” and re-keyed the seat lock on my bike to match the new ignition key so I wouldn’t have to carry two keys around,

Gee, thanks.

In the past I would have made these complaints to the shop and given them a chance to make good, but these guys had nine flippin’ weeks to do that. Sorry, no second chances here.

avatar Hank S.

Hi, tim;
Last Fall (about 1 1/2 months after I’d purchased my ’05 R3 Std (the ‘Silver Bullet’);
I ran her into the back of a Ford pickup (I wasn’t really familiar with her yet). Bent fender, forks, and a bunch of other ‘pretty stuff’ was broken. I was not hurt, except for a split lip, as it was a low speed-less than 20MPH-crash, and I was wearing my gear. A full face helmet would have prevented the split lip (I had a 1/2 helmet on). The bike sustained $5500.00 worth of damage, and it took my dealer over 3 months to get it done. I also wound up paying a 500.00 deductable (need to talk to my insurance about that). Normally, my dealer is great, but I’m wondering if they couldn’t have gotten it done faster. What’s your opinion? Also, can I copy your ‘Perfect High-Side’ article, and use it as a safety article in my Club’s next newsletter? I know a lot of people that could appreciate learning from your experience! Keep the rubber down!!
Hank S.

avatar Tim Frazier

You bet you can copy it; just do me the favor of pointing them to where you got it from, and thanks for being kind enough to ask! I’m flattered!

Regarding the amount of time it took to make repairs, I wasn’t so much put out by that as the constant run-around I got from the service manager and the careless way they put it together. Anybody can just bolt on replacement parts. It takes a little care and work ethic to make sure they line up, look right, and are torqued to spec.

Motorcycle shops are notorious for taking their sweet time to do repair jobs…after all, they don’t have an army of service techs like the automobile dealerships. Add to that the fact we ride British iron and sometimes parts have to comes across the pond and you really have to cut them a little slack on time. I just want them to give me an honest estimate about how long it will take and to communicate with me every week or so.

That shouldn’t be hard to do.

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