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Cycle Shanty

Alerts and Warnings



               The purpose of this page is to alert service oriented shops and manufacturers of serious problems or weaknesses facing our world of motorcycle parts. Independent service oriented shops need to take serious note of this in that it is their businesses that are most drastically affected by manufacturing or distribution problems. In addition to this, anything which threatens the biker lifestyle.

Get the right Insurance!!!

Insurance on all your vehicles is not just important it may be mandatory. The insurance product you buy will either cover you or just provide the bare minimum. Bare minimum is really not good. For a few bucks more go with Full Tort or at least with under-insured/uninsured coverage. One serious accident and you or your family will be broke.

You need to discuss this with your lawyer. Your insurance agent wants to sell you a policy and if you don’t know what isn’t covered you will be in a grave situation in your time of need.

You’re gonna lose your bike!!!!!

                          Watch out! The lenders are gonna get you! While this is primarily for auto and truck financing it does affect us guys who ride. We also buy trucks in addition to bikes. As reported by their customers in reviews, Westlake Financial, usually connected with used car lots, both brick and mortar and online car sellers (not franchised dealers like Ford, Chevy, etc.), have serious ethical problems. These are sub-prime lenders extracting unreasonable interest rates as high as 25% APR from their customers and they offset this usury by extending the length of the loan to the max (72 months).

                          As per the customer reviews, those with minor defaults, are subject to immediate repo action. Indeed, the borrower is at fault for the default, however, there is no way to find fairness. Yes, they repo, then demand hundreds of dollars to release the vehicle, you will get it back only after you’ve spent a fortune and lost a few days work. They will call every person you know and relative of yours they can find, including your employer, and badger them on the phone as many as 10 times per day. They refuse to report your account to the credit bureaus, even though guaranteed in the contract, except when a default or repo action is taken. They are insulting, belittling, aggressive and ignorant. As represented to me, one of their customer service reps actually called one man’s wife a whore. They threaten to report the car as stolen and prosecute you (won’t happen). They refuse to send you the title to the vehicle once it’s paid off in total. They want a fee for doing so. This is just the beginning.

                           Hey, protect yourself, if you get a loan from your bank make sure you put a significant down payment on the purchase. Why? If the value of the vehicle becomes less than the amount financed the bank might sell, transfer or assign your contract to a sub-prime lender like Westlake. Be sure and pay extra money in addition to the payment amount each month. Doing so will assure the bank the vehicle is worth more than the loan and there would be no risk of loss if they do have to repo. If your down payment is really high you insist upon a no sell, transfer or assign clause in you loan contract. Get it!

            Here is a link to the reviews for Westlake: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/westlake-financial.html just click or if it won’t click copy it and enter it in your browser. Beware! Westlake isn’t the only sub-prime lender with ethical problems.

You’re being ripped off!

                                Have a cell phone? Did you buy an Asurion TEP plan? You’re being ripped off! Asurion charges you a monthly premium for their service and then a significant deductible fee to replace you phone if stolen, lost or damaged. You are understanding this to mean replacement with a quality phone of equal ability or better. You think you’re getting a refurbished phone that works, right! WRONG! You’re getting a used and or defective and or antiquated phone and you have no recourse. This by the way may have to do with your service provider’s policy. Some people found when close to upgrade status were hustled to buy a new phone.

                          How bad are you being ripped off? Do the math yourself. Multiply the monthly premium times the number of months you paid and add $100 (average deductible) and that is what you are paying for a used/defective/antiquated phone. Approximately $200 if you file a claim at the 1 year mark. Most phones can be purchased for approx $500. Are you better off buying a new phone or paying $200 for a phone you can’t use?

                             Do the math. At what point is it better to self insure your phone? From day one, since if you lose your phone after one week all they’ll send you is used, defective, antiquated equipment you won’t be able to use for the rest of your service contract. Think about it!

                           There’s more. Let me put it this way, don’t be surprised if your bank starts warning you about those apps stealing your bank account info. Don’t be surprised if you credit card lender starts sending you verification letters about someone asking for a temporary access code to your account. Starting to understand?

                            DON”T buy Asurion TEP!!!

WARNING!!!!               You’re money is at risk.

                 What’s good about this is that I do not have to say negative, although, truthful things about specific companies. Again, the CSO’s have found a way to cheat us out of our money. Well, until enlightened thinkers in congress discover this and regulate it such things will continue. It’s your bank account and your credit that’s hurt so pay attention.

                   Most online scammers are demanding that you allow them to set up the ability to pick money out of your bank account at will. Don’t do that. What they say and ask is to allow them to take your billed amount from your credit/debit account without telling (also known as auto pay) you. Guess what? You’ll never be able to stop the automatic payments even if you do close your account. They will continue to take your money until you stop them.

                Your first line of defense is not to allow them to do it in the first place and, if you do and you close your account, be sure to ask your bank for a new card account number. They cannot get into your new account. Next, is it the company’s intention to simply be paid for their product or service? If so, they should offer options such as a bank draft, or a check or MO by mail and if they are on the up and up, willing to bill you two weeks (minimum) in advance so you can use your online bill pay. Online bill pay is the fastest most secure method of payment around today and should be your first choice. Stop by your bank and ask them.

                 I’ve learned if the company you’re doing business with has an account, or is part of ACH, with your bank the payment is made in 24 hrs or less and if not then a check is mailed and payment made in five days. If you have a mobile phone service such as Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, etc., you will be able to enjoy 24 hour electronic payment. All bills regardless of the company can be paid this way and your bank account remains secure.

                 There are also prepaid debit cards you can load as needed. Most banks offer these cards and are just as good as online bill pay. It’s simple, open the card account. Chase, offers a Chase Liquid card, costs $4.95 a month and there are no other fees. You load the amount you want to pay on the card online and then the merchant swipes the card. Presto, bill paid, and the balance in the account is zero until you load it again.

              Now then, you think the “big” companies with the “brand names” are so honest and reputable? Think again, before you find out the hard way, they can afford to fight with you and are the most blatant “error makers”. One woman, who works for a bank, trusted one CSO to have business ethics and lost three payments of over $100. Many others bought web hosting from one company in particular and in addition to taking payments (money) out of the customer’s account they even tried to steal more in court. They failed, and still, all the unknowing and not too swift continue to do business with them. Their days are numbered.

            The problem is we do not have a legal mechanism to hold the individual perpetrator responsible. Yes, the Fed and other agencies do have a few laws they can enforce, however, if they could hold individuals responsible, this type of abuse would stop. We need to contact our Senators, Representatives and complain until they do something about it, like banning the practice.

ALERT & WARNING:             

              I have received numerous complaints since the late 1990’s from bikers, primarily loners, about problems incurred when stopping off in Somerset, PA. The complaints range from tainted food to bike vandalism to threatening intimidation.

          More than one biker has been given tainted food in a doughnut shop, basically this involved, saturating donuts with cooking oil so that they are virtually inedible. More than one biker has reported vandalism to his bike and others have reported threatening intimidation.

         Given the fact that local mannerisms, customs and colloquialisms vary from region to region I decided to visit Somerset myself in 2004, lead a few people in the community to believe I was in the market for real estate and to develop the Main Street district as opposed to checking out the bikers complaints. I personally found the complaints of the bikers to be true. I found the doughnut shop and yes, I too was given oil laden donuts, I went to the Harley dealer and found a less than comfortable feeling and yes, someone did try, but did not succeed, to seize my engine via sucking out the oil and coolant. Yes I did experience an attempt to intimidate by those on the local bike scene. Apparently, this is the only way they can strum up repair business or sell new motorcycles.

         Still this was not enough for me to post a warning anywhere. Just before the 2008 election the late U.S. congressman from that district made it clear publicly, in no uncertain terms, what the problem was and I felt this may correct the attitude and behavior of those in the town. I was wrong. I received two more complaints in the past year and, at this point in time, I feel a post on the issue is justified and competent.

         If you must stop in Somerset, PA., do so only for the purpose of buying gas or prepackaged food not requiring refrigeration such as pastries from Little Debbie, Drakes, Tasty Cakes, etc., or fountain soda when you choose the cup, fill it yourself and do keep an eye on your bike!

        Avoidance is the best remedy, I do not knowingly condone, encourage or engage in unlawful activity of any type nor would I knowingly associate with anyone who would.


Fork Seal Warning !!!

Fork seals

             Watch out! I have just road tested Leakproof brand fork seals (Pro-Moly) and they failed. The seals lasted less than 5K miles and are leaking as though a factory grade seal would leak after 60-75K miles. Obviously the quality doesn’t match the claims made by the manufacturer. If you’re a bike shop or a parts dealer get rid of them. Go with OEM seals. Don’t install them or you’ll be doing it over for free.

Brake Rotors

            A while ago, I ordered a brake rotor of a reputable manufacturer and noticed that there were no markings on the rotor. I called the manufacturer and was pacified. Since this occurred I have heard numerous rumors about the distribution of rotors bearing no DOT required minimum thickness mark, in addition to, no country of manufacture mark, no part number and no manufacturer ID number.

           This could be dangerous. IF one or more unscrupulous distributors decided to flood the market with rotors that may be less than safe, meaning counterfeit or the wrong part in a counterfeit package not only would they put the operator and passenger at risk, they would also put the mechanic and shop owner at risk in that either should know better than to put an unmarked rotor on any motor vehicle.

            Therefore, I highly recommend that you do not buy or install any rotor or for that matter any other brake part of any type that does not have at the very least a wear limit or manufacturer’s ID on it. With brake drums or rotors, all of them, they must have a wear limit and manufacturer’s ID number or your playing with fire. This is more than an alert; it’s a very serious warning.

            Seriously, for the rider’s safety and to minimize your risk, if you have any questions or concerns about this contact the U.S. DOT and go with their response. Hey, a dead biker can not ride.

7 Comments     0 Pings

By rbike Tue Dec 22nd 2015 at 9:42 pm  


By Bum Tue Dec 22nd 2015 at 9:57 pm  

When you have an alert or issue just use the contact form and I’ll get to it.

By Sweeper Sat Dec 19th 2015 at 12:37 am  

Great page and I like the info. Good to see someone has our back as lately it seems less and less a brotherhood, and more a I don’t have time to stop and see if you need help society.

By Bum Sat Dec 19th 2015 at 2:29 am  

You’re learning, Sweep, now you know why the Shanty is here. No one comes to the Shanty unless they’re honest and upfront and if they’re not they can see the tip of the iceberg and get nothing else.

By Wrench Sat Dec 19th 2015 at 2:31 am  

Very true and that’s why I come here.

By Wrench Sat Dec 5th 2015 at 9:12 pm  

Great advice.

By shanty Sat Dec 19th 2015 at 2:32 am  

Thnx, Bro.

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