Piston Shop Chiang Mai - I'm not a happy camper!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by cdrw, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    The FINAL, yet boring, UPDATE...

    Bottom line is that the Piston Shop is a reliable shop and Nat goes out of his way
    to help his customers. I'm now a HAPPY CAMPER...

    Bringing a story to closure...
    When I was last at the Piston Shop, in early April, Nat installed the headset bearing [N/C] as requested.

    I discovered I was also in dire need of new sprockets and chain. BMW was out of stock and
    none were available in Thailand, so Nat ordered them for me on March 11th. I had hope to have them installed during my stay in C-Mai, but the gods were unkind. Thai Customs didn't release the shipment for over two weeks, so I asked Nat to ship them to me, in Pattaya, whenever they arrived.
    Time passed...and Nat -emailed me that they had finally arrived and he promptly shipped them
    on April 5th. Normally, I receive packages mailed from C-Mai in 3-5 days. More time passed...!

    Nat sent me the postal tracing number he obtained when the package was mailed, but an online
    check with the Thai post office revealed no such number, yet it was the one issued with the shipment.

    This morning (April 20th) I phone Nat, asking him to run a trace the shipment, evidently is was now missing!. Ironically, a few hours after phoning Nat, the postman delivered the long awaited notice that the shipment had arrived. Ah, finally, only to discover I was not sent to my regular area post office and further they had received it 17-days ago!!

    Tomorrow, I'll again have a use able BMW...it only took nearly 7-weeks of waiting, though no fault of the Piston Shop.
    On January 3rd, I e-mailed Nat about the problem I had with my bike. I received a prompt reply the next day. Seldom does anyone find a Thai business that will rectify a problem after a sale or repair has been made. Obviously Nat and the Piston Shop are different; he is concerned about his customers and their satisfaction. The problem which occurred could not have been detected by Nat, in a post repair inspection of his mechanic's work. I'd gone to the shop as it was recommended to me and won't hesitate to use them in the future.
    His reply is below (an surprisingly his English is pretty good):
    "Khun Jay,
    First of all , i have to apologize for your inconvenient and about your request we can do it for you and will no charge for the labor. but about lower headset bearing that we can't install for you last time. i think we have to order from BMW dealer cause bearing dealer in chiang mai they don't have this size in their stock if you can get one we can install it for you.

    i have to sorry again for your inconvenient .

    Nat @ Piston shop

    I'm not a happy camper!
    Last week, after having a fine time at Thoed Thai with GT riders, I rode to Chiang Mai as I needed some work done on my F650GS. I was due for new tires, before riding back to Pattaya, and decided to also get new headset and wheel bearing. Not a problem, Nat at the Piston shop said. He ordered tires and I brought the bike to his shop on Monday morning [12/13] and it was ready that afternoon.

    However, Nat informed me that they only changed the top headset bearing and not the lower one, as he said one was not available. I was disappointed that he didn't call me as I would have waited and have _both_ installed in Pattaya, rather than incur a second labor charge just to have the lower bearing replaced.

    The ride back to Pattaya was tiring but trouble free. I stopped only for gas and proceeded onward, never looking at the rear of the bike. The next morning I went to a local bike shop I've used in the past to inquire if they could replace the lower headset bearing. It was there that a potentially SERIOUS problem was discovered!

    Both of the chain adjustment & wheel alignment adjusters had loosened up and were hanging. It didn't affect the chain adjustment or wheel alignment, as the wheel axle nut is firmly tightened in place, once the adjustments are correct. The long screw holding the left one had backed off and the facing was hanging 2" back. The right one was seriously loose. The screw had back out a full 4" and was bent 45-degrees, allowing the facing to scrape against the rear sprocket and sprocket bolts. Had the right side screw further loosened, there was a potential danger that maybe the screw and/or facing might have become entangled with the sprocket and chain, which maybe could have caused a wheel lockup and my doing a superman flight over the handlebars.

    Evidently the Piston Shop mechanic who worked on the bike didn't know that once the chain and wheel centering adjustments are correct and the wheel axle is then firmly tightened, he needed to further lock in the adjustment screws with another 1/2 turn so they don't loosen.

    While I didn't have my camera with me when the problem was discovered, the pictures below show where the problem was and how the right adjuster had ground away on the sprocket and sprocket bolts.

    Oops..pictures are in the reverse order:
    The adjusters are located at the back of the chainguard
    The very loose right hand adjuster caused the problems indicated in the pictures with red and yellow arrows

    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  3. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    Good luck Ron. First of all you have to find out when they are open. The shutters were down today.
  4. ronwebb

    ronwebb Ol'Timer

    They were closed all day yesterday. I passed the shop three times throughout the day running around. Openings seem to depend on when they are up for it as far as I can tell.
  5. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Jay - Sorry to see you have issues at Piston Shop. I've always enjoyed dealing with Nat there and still get things from him. As far as mechanical excellence however i have come up short there before (took a bike in for some jetting changes on the carb and got the bike back not running) with their service and now (scarily) do most of my own service work.

    Great meeting you up in CNX when you were here CDRW.
  6. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    bumped post
    to bring the UPDATE to readers atrtention
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Bumped again lest the conspiracy theorists conclude that dark powers are censoring the GTR... [​IMG]
  8. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Ah, the old tinfoil on the head trick! Good, but not nearly as effective as dancing the electric chicken whilst wearing a pink tutu!
  10. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Only if I can wear one of your Burka's ;-)


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