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Loooooong story short, I bought a 2018 Chieftain Dark Horse factory demo unit with 5k miles on it, and was happier than could be. I was told by the dealer I bought it from (2 states away) that the 5,000 miles service was completed and everything was perfect on it. I got it home and rode the bike for about 800 miles and noticed some belt noise so I took it into my local dealer. They had a tech look at it and it took him a long time to get the belt adjusted. I was told that the belt was too tight and they were having trouble adjusting it because the tensioner on one side was seized, but they eventually got it adjusted correctly. After a couple hours, I hopped on and went for a ride for about 30 miles... then my rear wheel started WOBBLING back and forth. LUCKILY, I was slowing down coming into a town and not at high speed. The guys behind me said they could SEE the wheel wobbling back and forth. I pulled the bike over and had it trailered back to the local dealer that had just serviced the belt. I spoke with the service manager and he informed me that rear wheel bearing had gone out. When I pushed the issue asking HOW a wheel bearing went out at 5,000 miles on a basically new bike, he just shrugged and said it was "uncommon". I told him that something else must have caused this, he insisted that nothing they did to the bike could have caused this failure. I have bikes at home with 60k+ miles on them, and I have never had this happen. Is there something they did that could have caused this? Has anyone seen this before? I feel like i'm not getting the whole story, any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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There are only a few reasons to sell or trade a newish bike in. Death, really wants a different bike, or something is wrong with it. Most people that buy a new Indian are thrilled and don't want to get a different bike for at least a year. So I tend to think that used bikes at a dealer with very low mileage is a problem waiting for a new owner. Of course it is not true all of the time but I would get a written warranty from the selling dealer if buying a used bike. If they don't want to I would be even more suspicious.

Sorry for your problem. Maybe the selling dealer will help out. Whatever happens, glad you are safe and I hope you get back on the road again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There are only a few reasons to sell or trade a newish bike in. Death, really wants a different bike, or something is wrong with it. Most people that buy a new Indian are thrilled and don't want to get a different bike for at least a year. So I tend to think that used bikes at a dealer with very low mileage is a problem waiting for a new owner. Of course it is not true all of the time but I would get a written warranty from the selling dealer if buying a used bike. If they don't want to I would be even more suspicious.

Sorry for your problem. Maybe the selling dealer will help out. Whatever happens, glad you are safe and I hope you get back on the road again.
Thanks, it is a factory demo model, so it has a factory 2 year warranty and titled as new. I'm just concerned I got a lemon...
 

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Not to pour any salt, but it was a factory demo. If it was like any that I or others here may have demoed it wasn't babied and most likely at least one or more hammered it. Hard maybe. Then to add more issue the belt was adjusted too tight. Recipe for wheel bearing failure, output shaft damage or belt breakage. Figures that the weakest link of the 3 is the bearing. Sorry dude, glad you were able to keep it upright when it let loose. They'll fix it. You'll be good as new soon, cheers.
 

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I thought the factory demo bikes that go around the country on the semi trucks were destroyed after use. I thought only dealer demo bikes are for sale. Perhaps I am wrong in my thinking...
 

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Thanks, it is a factory demo model, so it has a factory 2 year warranty and titled as new. I'm just concerned I got a lemon...
I doubt you did. I would be concerned as well. Count your blessings you were not injured or killed.
I would never buy a demo. Most people are very hard on them and ride it like they stole it.
5k is alot for a so called Demo. I took an 15 RM out for my test ride before purchasing. Probably gone 45-60 min and maybe put 25 miles on it. Lots of side streets and about 5 miles of interstate. My wife was on the back which was her 1st motorcycle ride ever, so I naturally took it real easy.
This bike most likely was riden hard and put to bed wet.
 

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I have never understood, why, people think that just because something is new, it should be perfect and have no problems. Where on earth does this exist? People, plants etc....are born with defects, why would a machine be any different..........
 

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New parts are sometimes bad, that's just a fact of life. One of the common terms is "infant mortality". What that means is that defective parts from the factory usually show up very early in their expected life span. It's the reason for warranties to exist, to catch the bad parts that make it through manufacturing processes when they fail early.
 

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Hard riding should not make any difference in the life of a wheel bearing. These sealed units can go about as long as the bike can. This is simply having the belt adjusted too tight. I have stated it before, I would rather have a belt that is a bit loose than one that is adjusted too tight just for this reason. Dean
 

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Sounds like BS excuss from dealer.
That bearing would have to explode to get wheel wobble, it would have to seize then break explode free leaving nothing left of the ball bearings and having the races shattered in pieces. That you would of felt and heard. They would of have to replace bearings, spacers and the axle to have it repaired correctly.
Sounds to me like forgot to tighten the axle letting the adjusters to move in and out.
That rear wheel is running on 3 bearings and 3 spacers


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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like BS excuss from dealer.
That bearing would have to explode to get wheel wobble, it would have to seize then break explode free leaving nothing left of the ball bearings and having the races shattered in pieces. That you would of felt and heard. They would of have to replace bearings, spacers and the axle to have it repaired correctly.
Sounds to me like forgot to tighten the axle letting the adjusters to move in and out.
That rear wheel is running on 3 bearings and 3 spacers


Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Got an update from the dealer, theyre going to have to replace everything back there except for the swingarm and the caliper.
 

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I thought the factory demo bikes that go around the country on the semi trucks were destroyed after use. I thought only dealer demo bikes are for sale. Perhaps I am wrong in my thinking...
Often times dealers will have shop demo's and call them "Factory Demos" Either way the shop demo bikes are sold as is with a new title.
 
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