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Discussion Starter #1
A couple of weeks ago I went to the local Victory dealer (NOT Polaris of Gainesville) to get the first set of new tires put on the XC before taking a trip up to the mountains of TN. I wanted to get Metzlers but nobody had them in stock. The local guys had the OEM Elite IIIs in stock and at the best price in town. The job was done in short order and everything looked good.

On the way home the belt started making all kinds of noise. When I checked it out I found that the tire guy totally screwed up the alignment. ¼” of clean fresh threads were showing on the pulley side adjuster. I fixed it that night and got the noise level back to about where it was before they messed it up (maybe a little better?).

Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought you could change the rear tire on the X-bikes without fooling with the tension/alignment?

Anyway…

A couple of days later I was on I-295 heading out of town on vacation and had to dodge some debris kicked up by the car in front of me. I was doing right at 85MPH when I made the quick adjustment. When I did, the bike went into oscillation. Scared the crap out of me. I immediately slowed way down and brought everything under control. Not that it was hard to control, just that I have never had a bike do that before.

I checked my load… pack was secure, bags were closed, everything felt smooth. I weaved around a bit feeling for anything weird, wiggled the bars a few times… nothing. I slowly increasing speed weaving a bit in my lane and wiggling the bars every so often feeling for anything until around 70MPH the bike did it again. I found that at 70MPH I could easily get the bike to oscillate, but not nearly as bad as it did at 85MPH. I kept it slow until the next exit and got off the interstate. I stopped in the first parking lot and checked the bike out. The only thing I found was that the tire pressure was 48 front and 50 rear. OK… I adjusted it to the recommended pressure and got back on the road. The oscillation was still there, not nearly as bad at 70MPH as before, but still unsettling at 85MPH. I stopped again but couldn’t find anything wrong with the bike. I finished the trip without incident (checked it a few times along the way), and enjoyed every mile of the 1,300 miles to Deals Gap and back.

Last night I had a few extra minutes and decided I would check the bike out again. No bolts were loose, put the bike on the jack and didn’t find any extra play in the front, but did find a little gap between the right fork and the wheel spacer (pinch side). When I tried to loosen the pinch bolts I had to put the bike back on the ground to keep from leveraging it off the jack. Both pinch bolts were WAY over torqued. Then I had to use a breaker bar and my foot to break the axle loose (ting). And then after the axle was loose it did not want to turn smoothly. I found aluminum shavings in the threaded fork leg, and then found the first two or three threads of the axle bolt were damaged, like it had been dropped. The threads in the fork are still there, but definitely damaged. The axle bolt does not turn smoothly even without the wheel in place. There is no way to get an accurate torque on the axle with the damaged threads.

So, damn. My first tire change on the Victory and the dealer screwed it up big time. They did fine on the other bike just a few weeks ago. What the heck happened?

Needless to say I will be paying them a visit this afternoon (if it’s not raining). They probably won’t own up to it, but there is always the chance they will make it right. I have to give them the opportunity.
 

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I have been in the machine repair biz (not motorcycles) for decades and have learned that there are a lot of guys out there who are dangerous with tools in their hands. Worse, they get paid to destroy people's valuable equipment. I suggest you begin by saying to the shop owner, I would really like to recommend your shop to my friends, but this is what happened after leaving your place. Then show him the above posting that you have printed out. You then have his undivided attention as he reads it. Trying to verbally discuss it gives him opportunities to deny your claims. Good luck.
 

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I have been in the machine repair biz (not motorcycles) for decades and have learned that there are a lot of guys out there who are dangerous with tools in their hands. Worse, they get paid to destroy people's valuable equipment. I suggest you begin by saying to the shop owner, I would really like to recommend your shop to my friends, but this is what happened after leaving your place. Then show him the above posting that you have printed out. You then have his undivided attention as he reads it. Trying to verbally discuss it gives him opportunities to deny your claims. Good luck.
That sounds like the perfect way to handle that situation. RICZ, you are a wise man my friend...

thumb upcheersthumb up
 

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That sounds like the perfect way to handle that situation. RICZ, you are a wise man my friend...

thumb upcheersthumb up
Lucky for him I had a lucid moment. :ltr:
 

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Ricz nailed it. Leveled headed will usually get you a lot further. Unfortunately, there are bone heads in every profession. This one just happened to be the one who worked on your bike.
 

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I almost hate to be so blunt especially since you already had the stuffing scared out of you but I have to say you have seriously piss poor luck!

You definately need to go back to the dealer and tactfully inform the manager and/owner that they have a mechanic that seriously needs some remedial training. That individual should also pay for a new axle bolt and possible a new belt and fork leg with all installation included if they were even slightly damaged.

I hope like heck you had the foresight to record the problems on a camera but even if you didn't you should be able to show what the parts look like after your repairs.

Best of luck!
 

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Damn, I don't know what they teach these guys that work in some of the Victory dealers. I had a similar situation with a dealer in Tifton Ga. I had them put an exhaust on my Vegas and when they installed the O2 sensor the cross threaded the crap out of it! The worst part is they didn't even say a word about it being cross threaded. I found out because sadly, I put a scratch on the exhaust and had to remove it to get it fixed. Victory should really think about having a Quality control system or something to prevent these mechanically declined people from causing a serious accident!

I know it was not as bad as the tire incident, but just wanted to highlight that we really have to double check the work of these dealerships, when we have them work on our bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Went to the dealer with a slightly modified version of what I posted above in hand. They handled it very well, very professionally. Much better than the last time I had a problem with their work (years ago). They have the bike and will check it out tomorrow. So all good so far. (Fingers crossed.)

The Victory truck was there so I got to test ride a XCT. Route included some interstate, some traffic, and some side streets. Wind management was excellent. No buffeting and my feet were not roasting at 78 degrees ambient. No oscillation what so ever at 72MPH. All of the noises and little idiosyncrasies of the machine were the same as mine, which makes me feel better. And last… man I’m glad I got the Stage 1. The power just wasn't there and the exhaust was almost non-existent.

I really like this bike. Just wish I didn’t have soooo many problems with it. Hopefully they can all be taken care of and I can just ride. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I almost hate to be so blunt especially since you already had the stuffing scared out of you but I have to say you have seriously piss poor luck!
I know... that's just the way things go for me. I buy the most reliable, highest inital quality motor in the world and this is what I get (along with several other problems).

I just try to make the best of it.
 

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Damn, I don't know what they teach these guys that work in some of the Victory dealers.

:soapbox:

What really sucks is the fact that these two incidences aren't even Victory specific. These are common wrench turning skills. You know, simple things, like like not dropping clients' hardware, NOT CROSSING THREADS!! I feel for you guys, I really do. MMI is just churning out mech heads every season and dealerships are snatching up at the lowest price possible so they don't have to pay a real tech with real experience a real wage. So if we aren't inclined to do our own work, we have to succumb to some kid that just graduated and doesn't seem to have one iota of work ethic. Like letting someone know when screwed up someone's bike. My wife and I were just talking about this the other night. The service industry and work ethic have completely gone down the tubes in every industry. All because everyone is watching the all might bottom line and hiring the lowest bidder. In my experience, the lowest bidder is the lowest quality of work and MUST be babysat. If nobody is willing to pay a good mech what they're worth, this will keep happening.

*end rant*

I'm really interested to see how this turns out Beo. All the best man.
 

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The good thing that happens when you have incompetent dealers to deal with is that you end up doing more and more of your own maintenance. The fear of having someone butcher your bike ends up being a good motivator to work on your own bike. Though things like tire change can't be done in most of our garages, so we're forced to trust others with certain tasks.
 

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FWIW for anyone reading this. Another rider of a group I belong to ends up just buying his tires online, removing the wheel himself and taking the tire/wheel combo to a wrench he trusts. Costs about 25 bucks to mount with dyna beads that the owner supplies. Takes it home and re-installs himself. Puts him into the project for about 200 all together vs. the 4 or 500 dealers are quoting around here for tire changes.
 

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You are right on target Kingsly! Not only to they seek out the lowest bidding wrench monkey they also charge 6 to 8 times what they're paying him per hour for service! You get to pay $80 per hour to hope like hell they don't F' anythin up on your bike.

Victory service depts want you to feel the passion too!

I told you I would keep the passion alive...
 

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85 mph?

A couple of days later I was on I-295 heading out of town on vacation and had to dodge some debris kicked up by the car in front of me. I was doing right at 85MPH when I made the quick adjustment. When I did, the bike went into oscillation.

I too have a 2011 XC. This bike has never felt comfortable at speeds over 70. It feels as if the front end gets light & loose the faster you go. I have run both 13" & 17" CeeBaileys & have had factory fork lowers on & off. I rode an XCT up to 85 & it seemed rock solid in comparison. I figure the forged bars have a "wing" effect but the XCT is just too darn hot in the AZ summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
CrossRoads… I do all the work I can on all my machines (cars, trucks, bikes, computers, etc…). The exceptions are tires, alignments, body/paint work, or when it’s covered under warranty. I have the manual for this bike and a decent set of tools, and when I need something special I have friends. I need to get a lift though.

Kingslyzissou…. The dealer that I went with had the lowest cash and carry price on the tires themselves… by maybe $50. On top of that the installation was free. Well… turns out it wasn’t so free. I might have to resort to pulling the wheels and taking them to an independent in the future.

Jokerman…. The problem I’m having is not a light, unsteady feeling. This is a high speed oscillation (wobble) that if left unchecked would result in “tank slapping”. Sport bikes have a steering damper installed specifically to eliminate this problem. I have 11,000+ miles on this bike. A few thousand of those have been on the interstate at 80+MPH, and several hundred have been 90+MPH (JAX to ATL in 4.5 hours). I had never experienced oscillation before on this bike or any other… just heard about it and seen video of it on the internet. For reference I had the Vic soft lowers on and a small pack on the luggage rack.
 

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Kingslyzissou…. The dealer that I went with had the lowest cash and carry price on the tires themselves… by maybe $50. On top of that the installation was free. Well… turns out it wasn’t so free. I might have to resort to pulling the wheels and taking them to an independent in the future.
That is a tempting offer Beo. Just sucks that "you get what you pay for" is now ringing in your ears. I would have taken the deal too though, how could you not?? Such a bummer that a simple procedure is turning out to be such a PITA. I hate learning experiences like this, just as much as I hate incompetent techs with no sense of accountability.

Ammo: You and your passion. I don't even know what to say. That's gonna turn viral if you don't take care of such things. I've seen it before, it ain't pretty.
 

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FWIW for anyone reading this. Another rider of a group I belong to ends up just buying his tires online, removing the wheel himself and taking the tire/wheel combo to a wrench he trusts. Costs about 25 bucks to mount with dyna beads that the owner supplies. Takes it home and re-installs himself. Puts him into the project for about 200 all together vs. the 4 or 500 dealers are quoting around here for tire changes.
I think I know why. After reading this, I went out to the garage and chopped up a board to use with my jack. I hiked it up, threw some jack stands under it for support and removed the bags.

Then it hit me, to remove the rear axle to change the tire, the exhaust pipes must be removed. The front tire change appears to be a piece of cake, but the rear looks like a royal PIA.
 

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The good thing that happens when you have incompetent dealers to deal with is that you end up doing more and more of your own maintenance. The fear of having someone butcher your bike ends up being a good motivator to work on your own bike. Though things like tire change can't be done in most of our garages, so we're forced to trust others with certain tasks.
Yeah, but like King says, most dealerships only charge $25 or so if you bring them a new tire and the rim with the old one on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think I know why. After reading this, I went out to the garage and chopped up a board to use with my jack. I hiked it up, threw some jack stands under it for support and removed the bags.

Then it hit me, to remove the rear axle to change the tire, the exhaust pipes must be removed. The front tire change appears to be a piece of cake, but the rear looks like a royal PIA.
From what I understand you disconnect the swing arm from the shock... two bolts. Then the swing arm and tire will drop down allowing you to get the axle out and wheel off easily.
 

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From what I understand you disconnect the swing arm from the shock... two bolts. Then the swing arm and tire will drop down allowing you to get the axle out and wheel off easily.
I like that option much better, but I'd really have to jack the bike up high to pull that off. Not sure I'm that confident in my setup.
 
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