23 July 2010

KingCast sees Kawasaki Motor Corp. try to weasel out of Federal emissions mandate on the 650R - ER6.

Federal Law requires that emission control systems on a Class III motorcycle maintain through five (5) years or 30,000KM/18,641 miles. So I leave on a 500+ mile excursion from Boston through North Country last week, where I shot a short film. On the way up the baffles of the stock exhaust system give way and the bike looses some of its substantial midrange sparkle, vim and vigor. This started happening just before the Federally-mandated limit -- you can see by the time I got back to Boston I was at 19,092 miles (invoice scan). The kicker is that everybody knows the speedometer of any bike, and especially the 650R, is a tad optimistic, more than 2% that's for certain and closer to 10%. If the speedo is off, then the odo is off, duh. Even if I had not started my trip "early," Two per cent at 19K miles = 380 miles right there, my friends. So I'm clearly in range for a warranty application.

See also In Re: Nissan North America Odometer Litigation No. 3:08-md-1921. United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division (February 2, 2009), distinguishing Baxter v. Kawasaki Motors Corp., No. 07 C 6745, slip op. (N.D. Ill. July 17, 2008).

Having been an Internet manager for a bike dealer I know damn well Kawasaki could have replaced the muffler but to date has declined to do so. I don't skimp on the mechanicals for the rig, you followers know that. Tyres, chain/sprockets, clutch, fresh synthetic oil, constant cleaning, etc.

The local dealer (Boston Motorsports) is great, they performed the valve adjustment I requested on the spot and then telephoned Kawasaki, whereupon some corporate bean counter said
"Ha!..... we've got him, he's just out of warranty, he can go pound sand, we don't care how much he celebrates on YouTube the magnificent nature of the Kawasaki 650R/ER6...."

If that's the way they want to run their game, so be it. I'll just note as much right here and go get a damn aftermarket system, post this to New England Street Riders, contact the FTC and be done with it.

Now some folks at Kawasaki have been very cool, trying to help out in ways that they can, but I made the point clear to the lower echelon staff that they should not have to do this. I also left a message with supervisor Rick, and told them that I prefer the stock can, even though it is heavy and I lose a few ponies, because it is quiet, stealth, and has a 3-way catalyser for the environment.

Whatever guys, I hope you're happy you saved a few corporate dollars. To hell with good will and customer satisfaction. Back in the Day, it was okay not to know or care about emissions......


Christopher King said...

The H1 video :15-:21 = sheer acoustic merriment.

2:18 - 2:25 of this video is okay too, as other journalists have noted

"....The engine really sounds great while you are riding, as well. Like many v-twins, the induction noise as air is fed to this parallel twin a short distance below your ears is real music. Particularly, as you hit the meat of the mid-range above 6,000 rpm, the 650R simply sounds fantastic to the rider. This was a big part of the enjoyment offered by the bike during our test, and should not be discounted as an important aspect of the ownership experience."

.....the 650R makes a sound unlike any other bike. It's techno-agrarian, sounds like to big objects blasting away in a barrel, which is basically WTF is going on there in this inline-twin. Technically some say it's not a parallel twin, but whatever.

-The KingCaster.

Anonymous said...

thankyou mr king this is good you are truely a man of your word you ITALIAN cousin

Christopher King said...

Wait 'till you see my next post.


Anonymous said...

it's out of warranty, you asked, they said no, their right (which does kind of suck)...no story

Christopher King said...


Well that's debatable as to whether it was out of warranty. If someone goes on a trip, and it is VERIFIABLE that they were on a trip, that's grey area.

I have professionally sold cars and motorcycles, trust me on this.

Kawasaki was being a corporate dickhead.

Whatever, Bubba went to Yamaha anyway.

-The KingCaster.

KingCast said...

Note: The head mechanic at the Kawasaki dealer and I may do the work on the Sprint if Triumph and I can't get things sorted.

I hope we do. In one of my videos a Triumph salesman (Gerome) is leaning over a red 675 as I tell a potential customer "buy a bike from this man!"



Christopher King said...

So you ask why sue Triumph but not Kawasaki?

Simple: The Kawi's exhaust wore out too soon, yes but I have no indicia of any latent defect. Triumph apparently told a service manager who wrote me, that they knew there were faulty heat treatments.