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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up my Chieftain on Tuesday from her 5000 mile service and was informed by Gregor at Barnett Indian that when they removed the second drain plug all of the threads came with it and the case needed to be repaired. Gregor told me that there is only about 3 1/2 threads that hold the drain plug in. This is the 9th Indian that this has happened to at Barnett, most of them on their first service mine was the 1st one they have seen happen on the second oil change. This is a $200.00 repair plus parts, Barnett drills out the case and installs a steel insert for a permanent repair, they have had a special jig made to insure that the case is drilled out straight. Indian will not accept this as a warranty claim they say it is the responsibility of the owner for any stripped out fasteners. Barnett did not charge me for the repair (Thank God) but Gregor did say that Mark Barnett is getting tired of eating these repairs and he did ask me to contact Indian customer service to see if I could get them to warranty their obvious defect in design. Hopefully I will be able to get them to do something about it, I do have a good relationship with customer service, they really helped me out when the A team in Vegas screwed up on delivery of my bike and charging me for accessories and not wanting to honor the due bill. I am very glad that I have the dealer do my services but I know a lot of guys do it themselves so I wanted to let everyone know about this issue especially since Indian does not want to do anything about it. I have posted the pictures Gregor gave me of the stripped out plug and the repair.
Oil drain repaired.JPG Oil drain 1.JPG Oil drain 2.JPG
 

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If this turns out to be a major problem and warranty not being recognized by Indian, might very well bite them in the ass .. On the other hand if this is the only dealer with the problem maybe a service tech is doing over torque with the drain plugs .. Had this happen at a certain HD Dealer that for a long time wouldn't let anyone touch my drain plug but me .. Nice of Barnett to step up though ..
 

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I had the same thing happen when I did my 500 mile initial oil change on my Chieftain #873 (which I bought from Barnett as it happens). The 1st plug came out and went back in nice and smooth. The 2nd took more effort to unscrew, and when I screwed it back in it just kept turning. I couldn't believe it, I worked as a motorcycle mechanic for years and I never stripped a drain plug. I got it back out (with some effort), laid the bike over on it's side on the crash bar and drilled and tapped the hole for an over-size plug from the auto parts store. I figured that Indian wasn't going to warranty a stripped plug, and maybe it was my mistake anyway (also I'm 5 hours from El Paso and was in the school machine shop when it happened). I've had no further problems on subsequent oil changes. Its very interesting to hear that others have had the same problem and I will let Barnett know about my experience.
--- Randall
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had the same thing happen when I did my 500 mile initial oil change on my Chieftain #873 (which I bought from Barnett as it happens). The 1st plug came out and went back in nice and smooth. The 2nd took more effort to unscrew, and when I screwed it back in it just kept turning. I couldn't believe it, I worked as a motorcycle mechanic for years and I never stripped a drain plug. I got it back out (with some effort), laid the bike over on it's side on the crash bar and drilled and tapped the hole for an over-size plug from the auto parts store. I figured that Indian wasn't going to warranty a stripped plug, and maybe it was my mistake anyway (also I'm 5 hours from El Paso and was in the school machine shop when it happened). I've had no further problems on subsequent oil changes. Its very interesting to hear that others have had the same problem and I will let Barnett know about my experience.
--- Randall
Let Indian know as well Randell, we need to start a huge ***** session about this so they will take care of it for all owners.
 

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Sounds like a combination of bad design. And someone on the assembly line over torquing the bolts. Thank you for the heads up.
If this happens on the first service, that is strong evidence that the factory has set their torque sticks too high. Dealers and customers doing their own service need to reject Indian's denial of warranty and get them to own up to a problem. I hope this isn't an issue with the new Scout I ordered, but certainly gives me pause in considering a new Vintage.
 

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I know what a inch pound and a foot pound is but what the heck is a newton meter? Why would a company use that unit of measure that needs to be converted to our standard of torque wrenches?
 

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Newton meter is metric whereas foot pounds are English. It's like comparing milliliters to fluid ounces or meters to yards.

Using this website Convert newton meters to foot pounds - Conversion of Measurement Units

20 newton meters equals 14.751242985540001 foot pounds.


BTW, here is what the owner's manual states on page 84:

6. Reinstall the drain plugs. Torque to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm).
 
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Look here, there is no question that this is an issue that any reasonable person.....maybe even a lawyer......would classify as a warranty issue. I'm am, frankly, stunned that Indian/Polaris would even posit the theory that this is not a warranty item. We absolutely, every one of us, need to address this to Indian. If they can get away with this, WTF do we have to look forward to? BTW, Check the warranty "exclusions" in your owner's manual. Does it not exclude the engine? And also bearings? WTF?! Can this be right?
 

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Cripes!

Stripped the drain plug threads on my KLR650. These threads are one more on a long list of notorious problems with those machines. But that bike is a cheapass piece of crap designed by penny pinching chiselers and made out of recycled cap guns by retarded monkeys. Design flaws and manufacturing defects on that bike are legend. Even so, it took 40,000 miles before I stripped those threads. Local bike shop drilled out the threads and installed a timecert for seventy bucks ... not two hundred.

Here I am haunting the forum, preparing to pre-order a Scout for the price of two new KLRs. The signal reason for pre-ordering in my mind is the 5 year warranty. If their warranty won't even cover as simple a thing as this, then what is it good for?

Who has had a good experience with the Indian warranty?
 

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Cripes!

Stripped the drain plug threads on my KLR650. These threads are one more on a long list of notorious problems with those machines. But that bike is a cheapass piece of crap designed by penny pinching chiselers and made out of recycled cap guns by retarded monkeys. Design flaws and manufacturing defects on that bike are legend. Even so, it took 40,000 miles before I stripped those threads. Local bike shop drilled out the threads and installed a timecert for seventy bucks ... not two hundred.

Here I am haunting the forum, preparing to pre-order a Scout for the price of two new KLRs. The signal reason for pre-ordering in my mind is the 5 year warranty. If their warranty won't even cover as simple a thing as this, then what is it good for?

Who has had a good experience with the Indian warranty?
I haven't had to use my warranty yet (and that should tell ya something).
 

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I haven't had to use my warranty yet (and that should tell ya something).
How would that tell me anything, damnyankee? Not to be combative, but... You don't buy a warranty expecting that you will have to use it. You buy a warranty just in case you ever have to use it. You hope you never. The question is, if, for example, your oil drain threads are borked from the get go, will the company stand behind it?

Beemers, for instance, are full of quirks. I bought an R1200CLC chrome head. A coil drowned out in a downpour, which event toasted my muffler. The company paid the tow to the dealer, the dealer handed me a loaner for two weeks, replaced coil and mufflers and oxygen sensor, about 1400 in parts alone, all free and clear for me. EU green laws prevent BMW from using proper chroming methods. Two years down the line, the dealer handed me a loaner, ordered every chrome piece that was blistering, and replaced them all -- including the steering head. You pay for beemers cause they stand behind them. You're not going to judge the beemer warranty by the non-experience of someone who didn't use it, but by the experience of someone who did. Ask me.

Your Honda or Kawasaki, on the other hand, hey, good freaking luck. I have heard nothing but horror stories from guys whose Wings and STs overheated, or whose 2008 KLRs were bored out of round, and who went at it hammer and tongs for years without satisfaction. I've never had an issue with any of the many Hondas I've ridden, nor with the one Kawasaki. I'm not the guy to ask. Ask my buddy the Wilmington lawyer whose ST overheated so bad the plastic fairing bits melted.

"Did you see Jaws?"
"No."
"Was it good?"


Brings us to the present situation: Here I am drawn to pre-order a new model bike by the fact they offer a five year warranty. That's the carrot. Is that carrot worth biting? Can someone here who had to use the warranty tell us how or whether it worked for him? So far, the seat dye solution is not sterling and this guy's getting the run-around on his drain plug. That's a small sample. Let's widen the sample.
 

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I never needed to use my warranty when I had my Victory but did do so with a BMW when a fork seal went bad in Korea and I had a Suzuki seal put in. Returned to Hawaii and presented the bill to the local BMW dealer and they paid right up. So yes, I can see where the comfort level would be... in knowing you are going to be taken care of down the road.
 

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I think there will be some bugs to iron out. With a brand new design. Went to a BMW dealer once there was a big circus tent full of motorcycles out back. I asked if they were used bikes for sale. "No customer bikes waiting for service" said the salesman. I am glad to hear about this. Would never had known. There is a old plumber saying "If it has threads dope it" Did my 5000 mile oil change yesterday with Indian oil. No issues but put a dab of anti-seize on drain plugs.
 

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Warranty work,here's a story for ya.The dealer I bought my bike from denied my warranty claim for worn out rear footpeg and rear audio lids that have the paint worn down to the primer.The dealer claimed these were natural wear items and they weren't covered.I did have a leaking front shock which they agreed was covered but couldn't find the problem.Lets move ahead a couple of weeks and many pissed off phone calls to Indian.Well they suggested I try out another dealer.Indian even called the dealer for me to set up a phone call and service.Long story short,everything was covered,repaired and replaced.I wouldn't even think about going back to the other dealer.My new favorite dealer is Moms/Foxboro and Rick Berry in the service dept is as good as it gets.
 

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Howdy
I had an issue with my Chieftain soon after I picked it up where the tire pressure dash display was showing "-----" front and rear; the pressure when checked with a gauge was fine. I had to go to Odessa and swung by Black Gold Indian/Family Power Sports. They re-flashed the computer, under warranty, even though I had not bought the bike there (as they should have) and I've no further problems with it.

As for the stripped drain plug, I suspected, due to the effort in removing it, that it might have been over-torqued at the factory; there was also some possibility that it was my doing. In any case I was a long way from the dealer, had the tools to effect repairs at hand, and needed the bike running if I was to get home that evening. All's well now but I have sent a letter to Polaris Customer Service describing what happened.

I also lost one of the T-nuts that hold the windshield on (the others were loosening up; LocTite and check often). Black Gold Indian was willing to replace it under warranty but had to order one and wanted me to return to have the nut-plate installed, an 8 hour round-trip for me. I asked what the cost for the nut was ($2.70), and just went ahead and paid for it, plus postage to send it to me, and replaced it myself.

I've had an issue come up in the last week where the gear indicator dash display flickers between 1st, neutral, 2nd, and 3rd when the transmission is in any of those gears. The bike is shifting fine so I suspect the problem is in the gear selector sending unit. I'm going to call Barnett Indian in El Paso Tuesday and see if they can look at it next Friday or Saturday. The Indian demo-truck will be there those days so I can check out the new models while I wait. I'll keep y'all posted.
--- Randall
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Howdy
I had an issue with my Chieftain soon after I picked it up where the tire pressure dash display was showing "-----" front and rear; the pressure when checked with a gauge was fine. I had to go to Odessa and swung by Black Gold Indian/Family Power Sports. They re-flashed the computer, under warranty, even though I had not bought the bike there (as they should have) and I've no further problems with it.

As for the stripped drain plug, I suspected, due to the effort in removing it, that it might have been over-torqued at the factory; there was also some possibility that it was my doing. In any case I was a long way from the dealer, had the tools to effect repairs at hand, and needed the bike running if I was to get home that evening. All's well now but I have sent a letter to Polaris Customer Service describing what happened.

I also lost one of the T-nuts that hold the windshield on (the others were loosening up; LocTite and check often). Black Gold Indian was willing to replace it under warranty but had to order one and wanted me to return to have the nut-plate installed, an 8 hour round-trip for me. I asked what the cost for the nut was ($2.70), and just went ahead and paid for it, plus postage to send it to me, and replaced it myself.

I've had an issue come up in the last week where the gear indicator dash display flickers between 1st, neutral, 2nd, and 3rd when the transmission is in any of those gears. The bike is shifting fine so I suspect the problem is in the gear selector sending unit. I'm going to call Barnett Indian in El Paso Tuesday and see if they can look at it next Friday or Saturday. The Indian demo-truck will be there those days so I can check out the new models while I wait. I'll keep y'all posted.
--- Randall
Randall, let me know if you are coming down.
Ray
 
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