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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to warn anyone who might have read earlier posts where I praised Eddie's Vintage Cycles. Eddie was a top notch repair shop and a new and used bike shop.

For years I had heard what an incredible shop he ran and how knowledgeable he is. I have had two first hand experiences... the first I chalked up to bad timing, the second has me furious!

I called for a price on tires, mounted and balanced. The price on the phone was about $25 - $75 cheaper on the phone than when I got there. He didnt recall our earlier discussion. Ok... maybe I wrote something down wrong.

I went to pick up my newly mounted tires (I had to pull the rims and bring them up to him)... the price was almost $50 MORE than the inflated second price. WTH???

He then admitted "I must have charged you for weights and stuff, and I didn't use any. sorry."

Strike 2. By the time I picked up the tires, I needed 3 caliper rebuild kits for my Yamaha. He ordered them while I was there. He said if he could not have them shipped direct to me, he would box them up and put them in the mail. Tomorrow makes two weeks ago he ordered and shipped them to me. I still have not received them. I will never buy parts from him again.

I have been waiting over a week since he received the parts... every time I call, they were put in the mail yesterday. Yesterday was 4/12, then 4/14, then he told a family member 4/16 when they stopped in his shop on tuesday of this week. I know it should not take ten business days to ship from Swanzey NH to Amherst MA. Over seven days so far (if I were inclined to believe him) to send a small box 45 miles. I am thoroughly disgusted.

I have heard that all his employees quit within seven days of each other and all left for other jobs not in bike repair. Something is not adding up. Save yourself the pain and anger and avoid Eddie's Vintage Cycles in Swanzey NH... you will only be doing yourself a favor. He has proven to me his word isn't worth the breath to speak it. Do the world a favor and tell a friend...

The Rev
 

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I've had similar experiences with him but he's still pretty much the only guy around with parts for the older bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've had similar experiences with him but he's still pretty much the only guy around with parts for the older bikes.
It is so unfortunate that someone as knowledgeable and resourceful as him cannot keep his business dealings straight. He is a great guy and helpful as all ****, he just cannot follow through. It is as if the moment he finishes talking to you he has forgotten everything he said, promised or quoted. I agree, he is one of the only sources for vintage parts, but I cannot keep putting myself through the agony of dealing with him.

An update on my situation, I finally received the parts on 4/22. They were ordered by him (and charged to me on 4/6). The ACTUAL ship date (postmark) was 4/18, not 4/12, 4/14 OR 4/16. The parts kits were not what he promised (he told me they were complete rebuild kits, and they were all missing o-rings that he insisted were there).

Lastly, and the worst part of all of this, I could have diagnosed the last problem with this bike prior to reassembly if the parts were here on time, long before riding weather hit. I took my bike out last night, rebuilt calipers in place, and found that there is a transmission issue that is not letting me shift into 4th gear.

I have read in the yamaha forums that there is a known issue with a washer on 2nd gear, but I am able to shift from neutral, to first, then up to 2nd and 3rd, but not out of 3rd. I have tried double clutching, revving the throttle, shifting at higher (and lower) rpms, and nothing. It is as if 4th gear is not there. I am baffled and hoping that it is a linkeage adjustment but I fear its something internal that will require a total teardown of the engine.

That brings the frustration of my dealings to a close, for now. I need to diagnose this new issue and move forward, hopefully finding someone new to depend on for vintage service advice.

Thanks again for your corroboration of my assessment, I never take it lightly when I am wronged by someone I have spent a mortgage payment's worth of $$ with. The worst part about it, my riding season has been delayed!

Keep the shiny side up

The Rev
 

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If the shifting problem is on the Yamaha Venture in your signature then it may be a really easy fix. My old man had the same issue with his when he bought it. There is a pin that isn't held in place very well and pops out. Let me know if it is the venture, and I'll ask him the details.
If I remember correct he just pulled the clutch cover, found the pin, and put it back in.
 

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I just realized your post in months old, so I assume you already fixed the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If the shifting problem is on the Yamaha Venture in your signature then it may be a really easy fix. My old man had the same issue with his when he bought it. There is a pin that isn't held in place very well and pops out. Let me know if it is the venture, and I'll ask him the details.
If I remember correct he just pulled the clutch cover, found the pin, and put it back in.
Thanks for the heads-up Buicknick... you are 100% right. Thats pin is exactly what it was. I found a local guy who did the repair for me back in the spring. Parts and labor was $100, so it was well worth it to me to have him fix it for me!

The venture is crazy fast and a really fun ride. It is side-lined again, though. 44,000 miles ( I put over 4000 miles on it in 30 days) and the mechanical seal on the water pump failed (it was making a whiney noise) and the one-way clutch on the starter also failed. I have to pull some parts for the starter cluch off my donor bike and drop it at the repair shop. Hopefully I get everything done before winter hits, that is the bike I want for my first ride in the spring.

Anyhow... what kind of Buick do you have? Im curious, my first car was a 72 skylark sun coupe, 350 ci, 4 speed auto w/shift kit, glass packs and shorty exhaust. It looked like grandma's car until I stepped on the gas! Anyhow... just curious what your buick of choice is...

Peace,

The Rev
 

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Ya, my Dad's venture is a great bike to ride. He's looking out for a cheap parts bike, he's gonna strip the plastics and cases and stuff, and I'm gonna make a chopper out of what's underneath. I think it's an great base for a fast comfortable unique chopper.

The buick I had was a 1972 four door Skylark. It had the 350. I rebuilt the engine with all hi-perf stuff, cam, large valves, ported heads, intake, etc. Rebuilt the auto trans with a B&M master overhaul/shift kit. Also upgraded the suspension, 1' drop springs all around, edlebrock IAS shocks, oversized sway bars front and back, polyurethane bushings all around, boxed the control arms. The thing moved fast and handled better than the 94 mustang I currently have.
Unfortunately it got hit while parked in front the the house hard enough to tweak the frame. I was able to part it out for more than I could have sold it for, being a four door. That was a few years ago, I just kept the screen name.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very cool. I finally stripped the motor out of my parts bike this past weekend. I am bringing it when I finish this post to the shop to have my guy start pulling the one-way clutch for the starter out of it. I lost my skylark too. Woman ran a stop sign doing around 70... ripped the front end right off the car... the hood was bent up over the roof of the car. A truly sad day, I was just coming home from having a quote done to do a custom paint job. Saved me another 1800 bucks at the time.

I have given up on my 4 wheel projects for now. I have my venture which is project enough. Once I got all the plastics off the parts bike, what was underneath actually screamed bobber. The venture looks really cool naked... I actually think I have a pic of mine stripped. Tons of possibilities, if I ever decided to go that way. The rake and the dramatic bars on it (without the plastics) gives it a real mean look... and without the plastic... the engine looks HUGE.

Anyhow... gotta run to make the shop before 6. Keep the shiny side up.

Rev

 

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Drove by Eddie's last week he's no longer in business.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Drove by Eddie's last week he's no longer in business.
For what I know, he folded back between September and October of last year. His business property is up for sale. It is always unfortunate to see a small business go under, but he brought on the whole situation himself. If he did not screw over his customers in order to fix his inability to manage his finances, he would not have been forced to close his doors. The sad part is, as it was in the past, he will bounce back, under a different name and do this all over again.

I just hope he doesn't shaft someone less understanding and end up learning his lesson the hard way.

I do have a new recommendation for one of the best bike mechanics I have ever done business with... Jeff Castine @ All Sport Cycle Service in Orange MA. It is about 30 miles from Eddies on Rt 202 in Orange MA.

He is a former racer turned mechanic and specializes in vintage japanese cycles. He has done work on both my honda and yamaha and I totally trust him and his expertise. He has fixed problems other mechanics have been afraid of, but do not be surprised if you go to him with a major project.

He turned me away the first time I spoke to him about the shifting problems with my yamaha, only to challenge him when I visited a second time and he said he would "have a look". Since then he keeps recommending ways to improve performance and little mechanical tweeks that other shops would probably over-look.

Overall, I will continue to give All Sport my business until I have an incident like I had at Eddie's, which should be never.

Good luck to all and keep the shiny side up!

The Rev
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just heard through the local grapevine, Eddie found a way to open his business under yet another name. He is in the greater Keene NH area. I will eventually get the name of the place and post it here.

It's sad that he will drift to a new location, wait for things to die down and open his place under a different name. I hear this is at least the third time he has done this sort of thing. Just goes to show you that even if someone has a showroom and inventory that they are not always on the up and up.

Good luck and keep the shiny side up,

The Rev
 

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A little delayed but it's good to know about the shops. We have a great place down here, Private shop that does exelant work, I think it's Bubas motor sports, Well not on my shadow but had a bike in to him to see the damage on a locked up engine and it was toast and way more than the bike was worth to get the engine parts so I found another bike that night with a good engine, I picked it up the next morning and dropped the parts bike off around 1:30 on Friday, I get a call and my caller ID says it's the shop at 7:05 Friday night and I start to sweat thinking he found issues with the new engine, So I answer and first thing I say is What did you find wrong with it, He pauses and tells me that engine runs WAY better than He thought it would and I got a real good engine, Then he tells me to say it's done :?::?::?:And I said "Seriously???" Then he says listen, I hear a bike turn over and start on the second crank LOL Sounds great so I go and pick up the bike and Parts bike the next day,So basically was finished in 5 hours and he did a great job and the bike was clean and ran great. Wasn't too expensive either. The guy is a workaholic and rebuilds race bikes during the season.

Dauntae
 

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There is a shop here in central Ohio that was great... All the old timers praised it...

The guy passed the shop to his son.... Then the service went down the tubes and they started ripping people off.

Shame.


It's tough to find a good shop these days. Probably why i do 99% of everything myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have heard through the small shops around here that Eddie is back in business somewhere in or around Keene NH again. He has opened his third business under yet another name.

As soon as I get more information, I will share it here to warn the next potential victim of this guy before it's too late.

To speak to Dropkick's comment, I try to do everything myself. I am a control freak. I need to have my hands on things even if I have no idea what I'm doing. It gets me in trouble more often than not. Let me say this, digital cameras are a wonderful thing.

I used Eddie's because he was THE vintage guy everyone for hundreds of miles talked about as a "place to go if you need a hard-to-find part, get some vintage wisdom or go hang out and look at some really cool old bikes".

I got sucked in by his back-woods charm and his knowledge of my bike. Then the systematic rape of my wallet started. The first time the price changed I genuinely thought I wrote the price down wrong. Then I looked at the itemized bill. For my tire mount and balance, there was a charge for $25 for lead wheel weights. There weren't any on the damn wheel!! I realized what I was dealing with right then and there and that ended my relationship, after I beat him back to the price I had written down while on the phone.

I have since found an amazing mechanic and anything that is beyond my skills goes to him. The arrangement has been working out to my benefit for the last two years.

It just goes to show, there are a few decent guys left... it just takes time to week through the bad ones to find that one good guy.

Happy New Year! Time to start the count down to getting the bike back on the road. Another 80 days or so and counting...
 
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