What if a car company - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-27-2008, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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What if a car company

Inspired by another post...

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Originally Posted by Docteric View Post
Also a quick rant: Could you imagine what would happen to a car manufacturer who put out a product where you had to take off the body and the gas tank to get at the air filter? Add to that a speedometer that runs 8% slow and has buzzing dash panels? Chrysler tried that a few decades ago and would have gone out of business if Uncle Sam hadn't bailed them out. <end rant mode>
Nobody in the world is perfect, but motorcycle manufacturers should hold themselves to the same high standards as cars. There's probably a reason Honda is the benchmark for bikes and quality, as they have an enormous amount of experience with the finicky car market. After all, most motorcycles are more expensive than cars by almost any reasonable scale - by pound, by # of unique parts , etc... The only way they might be more reasonable is the % of purchase price spent on R&D, because that's going to be a pretty low number for everything but a 600/1000 supersport.

That being said, what have you noticed about the various bikes you've owned? I don't want to open the can of worms that would adequately describe my TS400, so I'll start at the versys.

1) Injection mark (the 'bump') on top of front fender - really, they couldn't find any other way to mold it or at least clean up the part? I would challenge you to find a similar bump on any plastic surface in the passenger-carrying interior of a car ... there'd be few if any in a really cheap car. Anything above $20000 probably wouldn't have such things, period.

The next two aren't V specific, but...

2) Speedo error (as mentioned above) - Yes, I know every bike in existence has this. But why don't cars? They have the same basic components to read speed off of = wheels & transmission shafts. I would think that this has to be a deliberate error.

3) Fuel Injection - Why are there still street bikes with carbs? This is 2008, the last car with carbs in the US was in 1990. I realize the EPA push just isn't there to move things along, but it is a better technology that improves just about everything other than working on it.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-27-2008, 11:41 PM
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I'm not sure the automobile manufacturers are any better. To change the fuel filter on my Dodge van requires the gas tank to be drained and dropped.

If I was going to rant about the devil on Earth, I choose the insurance companies. They're like buying protection from the mob. You pay and you pay, and when you make a claim, they raise your rates. If you get seriously ill God forbid you get laid off or would like to change your health insurance carrier, because no other insurance company is going to insure you and when your Cobra coverage expires you'll be faced with paying higher premiums for fewer services. If these companies' profit margins drop below what they made last year they appeal to the public regulatory agency and get an increase in their overall rates approved. I won't even go into accounting practices to cook the profit picture in the first place. Aetna, Nationwide, and the rest of the big boys are the companies who finance the major banks and Wall Street firms with their largesse. The only more fail safe way to make money than insuring us is to own a liquor distributorship. IMHO. I know some of you out there work in the insurance industry so don't take this personally. It's out of your control, and there's so much money to be lost by these cats it may be out of the control of whoever gets elected in the next presidential election. There's my rant! Cheers!

Michael
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- Terry Pratchett

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-27-2008, 11:46 PM
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And can someone tell me why the word "insurance" in my post above, (and probably this one too!), has a link that was apparently automatically generated to a 'friendly' insurance company wanting your money? I rest my case: Insurance companies=devil.

Michael
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 07:29 AM
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You should move north where we have socialized medicine and don't have to worry about such things.

On the original intent of this post. I agree - things could be better, much better on motorcycles. If it's not one thing - it something else. On my old bike an F650Cs, the battery was a nightmare to get to and work with. And that is something that bike required access to a lot because it only came with an old fashioned maintenance required battery. And finding a maintenance free battery was almost impossible. The left fairings and several parts of the frame had to come out to work with it.

The air filter on the Versys is something that I don't work with that much and so, yes it's a pain in the azz to get to but the battery on this bike is maintenance free and it's under the seat. Much better. The air filter on the F650Cs was also hard to get to.

I'm also much happier with the oil check routine on the Versys. A site glass on the side of the engine. Ingenious, it's been around forever. On my F650Cs, it was dipstick in the frame near the fork clamps. For some reason BMW put a site glass near the same spot on the Gs series but on the Cs they decided not to. Many Cs owners have overfilled their bikes with too much oil because of this. It was almost impossible to figure out how much oil that bike needed.

As far as the speedo being off - every bike has that problem. I think it's intentional why else would it be? There are various products you can use to fix it but I just use my GPS or simply ride 10+ over the speed limit.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 03:06 PM
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The reason bike makers get away with such things, as in any other industry, is because we are still buying their products. Where you spend your money is one of the most important things you can do to change the market. If you don't like how Kawaskai puts their bikes together, then don't buy one of their bikes. Enough people do this, and soon enough they will catch on.
Not to say that I follow all my own rules, I mean I agree there are things that Kawasaki should have done, but they didn't and I still bought their product.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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The reason bike makers get away with such things, as in any other industry, is because we are still buying their products. Where you spend your money is one of the most important things you can do to change the market. If you don't like how Kawaskai puts their bikes together, then don't buy one of their bikes. Enough people do this, and soon enough they will catch on.
Not to say that I follow all my own rules, I mean I agree there are things that Kawasaki should have done, but they didn't and I still bought their product.
I'm a firm believer in choosing the best product. One of the main reasons I purchased the V because it has some of the best components and best designs for any new bike that you could get out the door for <$10k.

But I work in the automotive industry (tier 1) and see a lot of "behind the scenes" things that are definitely not going on in the motorcycle industry.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 05:31 PM
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I'm a firm believer in choosing the best product. One of the main reasons I purchased the V because it has some of the best components and best designs for any new bike that you could get out the door for <$10k.

But I work in the automotive industry (tier 1) and see a lot of "behind the scenes" things that are definitely not going on in the motorcycle industry.

What kind of things, long breaks & lunches? Sick leave abuse? Using the "Fake it 'till you make it" training program??





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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffler Bearing View Post
Inspired by another post...



1) Injection mark (the 'bump') on top of front fender - really, they couldn't find any other way to mold it or at least clean up the part? I would challenge you to find a similar bump on any plastic surface in the passenger-carrying interior of a car ... there'd be few if any in a really cheap car. Anything above $20000 probably wouldn't have such things, period.

Come on dude, I didn't even notice my dimple. After somebody (you?) pointed it out, I looked at my bike, found the dimple. OK. I'm happy as can be with the looks, fit and quality of the Versys. The Versys is simply one of the least expensive bikes (not chi-com crap) you can get with 650cc, great handling, quality components, nice features etc. I'm happy letting Kawasaki spend some money on advanced suspension components on an affordable bike while leaving a hardly noticeable dimple on the front fender. Me thnks if the dimple really upsets you so, maybe you should be riding a BMW that costs half again as much.

Carbs? They work GREAT on most bikes, I agree it can be a real pain when you need to rejet. Now that the technology (downsizing and cost) is advancing, we too can benefit from reliable light weight simple fuel injection systems on our bikes. Just a few years ago, most folks who bought a bike with FI were disappointed.


I dunno about the speedo inaccuracy, it does seem like it would be an easy fix. Must be a conspiracy.

Last edited by Lukejt; 07-28-2008 at 09:43 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 06:47 PM
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No thanks on the BMW - been there done that. They're just selling over priced branded motorcycles. I'll take my genuine Kawasaki any day over that.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 02:15 PM
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1 Take a closer look at plastic in cars....
2 Just as common on cars
3 A bike meets emissions demands much easier than a car... so the manufacturer can keep the price down by using carbs
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 08:21 PM
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1 Take a closer look at plastic in cars....
2 Just as common on cars
3 A bike meets emissions demands much easier than a car... so the manufacturer can keep the price down by using carbs
Dude, thank you. I was wondering if some of the guys above had ever actually bought a car! BTW, I read some years ago somewhere that the reason Japanese and German vehicles (bikes AND cars) have such optimistic speedos is because of stricter sanctions in those countries for producing vehicles where the car may be going faster than what the instruments are telling you. If you imagine strictly enforced speed limits, then a speedometer reading slower than the vehicle is going cannot be an excuse. By erring on the high side they remain safe.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 09:24 PM
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Heck guys if any of em were perfect this forums would not be worth coming to.....and damn what would we spend our money on upgrading????????
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 09:55 PM
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Heck guys if any of em were perfect this forums would not be worth coming to.....and damn what would we spend our money on upgrading????????

true, true...



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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2008, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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A bike meets emissions demands much easier than a car... so the manufacturer can keep the price down by using carbs
More likely it is "keeping the manufacturer and dealer profit margins up". I doubt Joe Consumer sees much of a discount after paying to get those carbs synchroed at the local dealership.

Quote:
BTW, I read some years ago somewhere that the reason Japanese and German vehicles (bikes AND cars) have such optimistic speedos is because of stricter sanctions in those countries for producing vehicles where the car may be going faster than what the instruments are telling you.
This makes sense.

Quote:
What kind of things, long breaks & lunches? Sick leave abuse? Using the "Fake it 'till you make it" training program??
Let me explain why the front fender bothers me and answer your question at the same time.

In the auto industry, one of the toughest sub-markets to be in is interior trim, which is dominated by plastics. Since consumers have to look at the interior of their car for sometimes hours at a time, the parts have to be technically perfect and have miniscule if any defects. In fact I'd say it has higher standards than even the paint, because the paint is usually done last by the actual manufacturer and rejecting car for a speck of dirt is silly.

But tons and tons of plastic is rejected and scrapped on a yearly basis just because of tiny dirt defects that it would take someone not in the industry tens of hours of staring at the dash to see.

At my old job, I saw thousands of parts thrown away because a gate on back of the plastic (the "dimple") caused an unmeasurably shallow undulation on the face of the part that shifted the appearance slightly and caused the part to be rejected.

Seeing it right on the focal point of a very high gloss surface, i.e. the fender, is a shock to me.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-2008, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
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More likely it is "keeping the manufacturer and dealer profit margins up". I doubt Joe Consumer sees much of a discount after paying to get those carbs synchroed at the local dealership.



This makes sense.



Let me explain why the front fender bothers me and answer your question at the same time.

In the auto industry, one of the toughest sub-markets to be in is interior trim, which is dominated by plastics. Since consumers have to look at the interior of their car for sometimes hours at a time, the parts have to be technically perfect and have miniscule if any defects. In fact I'd say it has higher standards than even the paint, because the paint is usually done last by the actual manufacturer and rejecting car for a speck of dirt is silly.

But tons and tons of plastic is rejected and scrapped on a yearly basis just because of tiny dirt defects that it would take someone not in the industry tens of hours of staring at the dash to see.

At my old job, I saw thousands of parts thrown away because a gate on back of the plastic (the "dimple") caused an unmeasurably shallow undulation on the face of the part that shifted the appearance slightly and caused the part to be rejected.


Seeing it right on the focal point of a very high gloss surface, i.e. the fender, is a shock to me.

Sounds expensive. So you want to pay a thousand bucks more for your Versys? Now that I know where the dimple is, I STILL never see, nor do I care.

I'm not trying to keep being the ball buster here, I'm typing this with a smile.... lol


Take care (I see a BMW in your future.....) ,

Luke
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