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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

Yesterday I had my first wreck after only having my bike a month. I always follow the speed limit and obey traffic rules so please don't call me out saying it was my fault or anything.

I have a 2007 Suzuki GSXR-750. If you don't know there is a recall on my year on the master brake cylinder. I never thought to much of it because my brakes never really let me or the previous owner down. Anyways two weeks ago I took my bike to Redline Powersports here at Myrtle Beach because I had a flat tire and they are the closest people to buy tires from. (Look them up on google and read the reviews and ratings)

So after they replaced my tire I mentioned the recall and they said that they would order the repair kit for me and to just come in whenever I had time. So I went Friday afternoon and got them to replace it. My buddy texted me wanting to ride so he came and met me at the shop. When they pulled my bike around I noticed that there was brake fluid all over the front of my bike (under the windscreen and down the handlebars and forks). At the same time I sat on my bike and turned my wheel straight and the brake fluid reservoir would hit my front fairing when I turned. I went inside and after a few minutes and a wrench, we moved the reservoir over about an inch so that I could turn properly. Problem solved I thought.

My buddy and I left for a ride and after about 5 minutes I smelled something burning. At the next red light about 2 minutes later I told my buddy that I smelled something burning, he said he smelled it earlier and said it was probably just the fluid burning from the mess they made so we decided not to pull over. We went straight through the next light right in front of the mall and my buddy passed me because my bike slowed down. I looked down and I was going 32 mph and I was at about 4-5k and my bike wasnt accelerating in 3rd gear. I signaled to my friend that something was wrong and to pull over but he didnt see me so I reached for my horn and before I could hit it the bike's brakes completely locked up and I got thrown off.

Luckily the lady behind me saw me signal and backed off. I slid about 30 feet and rolled about 3 times as I watched my bike slide on it's side into the other lane. My buddy saw me on the ground and turned around. We were able to lift my bike up with the help of some bystanders because it couldn't roll because the brakes were locked. My buddy left to get his truck so we could load the bike up.

I called the shop as soon as I caught my breath and said that they caused me to wreck. After about 10 minutes on hold they said to bring the bike to their shop. No way that was going to happen because they could do whatever they wanted to it while it was there. I had a cop come out and write a report and also talked with my insurance company for a while. The cop put down that it was my fault but said to email him when I have proof so that he could change the report.

Any tips on what else I should do? Im 21 and its my first accident ever but I wanted to get a police report and talk to insurance because I've heard of people getting screwed by little stuff in the past. Should I get a lawyer? Who could I get to inspect my bike to prove that my brakes failed. I only wish I had a gopro rolling.

Im sorry for the long post, I'm just still shaken up and mad because I can't ride when we finally have good weather. Let me know what you guys think about it and anything I should do.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Gone
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It might be a good idea to take it to a dealership other than the one who worked on it to determine what was done wrong with the brakes. It may be smart to consult an attorney before doing anything just to be sure.

The one thing I should mention is that it is a bad idea to ride a motorcycle with leaking brake fluid unless you are positive that it is fixed first. Something is definitely wrong and probably unsafe when the fluid is getting outside of the brake system. Better safe than sorry.
 

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This underlined part of the paragraph makes it sound like you moved the master cyl and cleaned up the bike. Is that the case?

"When they pulled my bike around I noticed that there was brake fluid all over the front of my bike (under the windscreen and down the handlebars and forks). At the same time I sat on my bike and turned my wheel straight and the brake fluid reservoir would hit my front fairing when I turned. I went inside and after a few minutes and a wrench, we moved the reservoir over about an inch so that I could turn properly. Problem solved I thought.
 

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American Legion Rider
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This underlined part of the paragraph makes it sound like you moved the master cyl and cleaned up the bike. Is that the case?

"When they pulled my bike around I noticed that there was brake fluid all over the front of my bike (under the windscreen and down the handlebars and forks). At the same time I sat on my bike and turned my wheel straight and the brake fluid reservoir would hit my front fairing when I turned. I went inside and after a few minutes and a wrench, we moved the reservoir over about an inch so that I could turn properly. Problem solved I thought.
Saw that too and just thought it was yet another one that doesn't want to take responsibility for their own actions. Just let it slide without comment thinking I read it wrong.
 

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Gone
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Moving the reservoir on the handlebar shouldn't cause brake failure, but anything is possible. Theoretically, it could be something unrelated to either that or the warranty work.

Getting a neutral 3rd party to investigate is probably the best thing to do.
 

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I agree with the idea of having an independent QUALIFIED mechanic at another shop investigate the alleged brake problem. Was the bike bought from a dealer or a private seller with maintenance/repair records? Definitely get an attorney because an initial police report or opinion doesn't mean their opinion is necessarily the ultimate cause of the accident. If someone else saw the brake fluid all over the bike may help your case, but on the other hand you did ride off after finding that brake fluid on the bike where it shouldn't have been.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This underlined part of the paragraph makes it sound like you moved the master cyl and cleaned up the bike. Is that the case?

"When they pulled my bike around I noticed that there was brake fluid all over the front of my bike (under the windscreen and down the handlebars and forks). At the same time I sat on my bike and turned my wheel straight and the brake fluid reservoir would hit my front fairing when I turned. I went inside and after a few minutes and a wrench, we moved the reservoir over about an inch so that I could turn properly. Problem solved I thought.
When I noticed that the brake reservoir was hitting the fairing I went in and told the guy at the desk about it and he got a wrench. He rotated it out of the way so I wouldn't hit, not me. I pointed out the brake fluid to him and he got a rag and cleaned up a bit then handed me the towel to wipe off the rest.

Saw that too and just thought it was yet another one that doesn't want to take responsibility for their own actions. Just let it slide without comment thinking I read it wrong.
He moved the brake cylinder.

Moving the reservoir on the handlebar shouldn't cause brake failure, but anything is possible. Theoretically, it could be something unrelated to either that or the warranty work.

Getting a neutral 3rd party to investigate is probably the best thing to do.
For the third party who should I get? I know someone said to go a Suzuki dealership. The closest actual dealership is 73 miles from me.
 

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Definitely consult with an attorney before you do anything, especially before you let anyone touch your bike. Also, if you have any injuries at all, see a doctor, an attorney will tell you this.
 

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Ace Tuner
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I own a small independent shop.
You need to find an independent shop with a certified service tech (with a good track record) so his diagnoses will be hard to dispute.
Why an independent shop?
Because no Suzuki dealership will do anything that could hurt Suzuki USA.
If a Suzy dealer agrees that the Suzuki dealership was in the wrong, that hurts all of Suzuki. And they ain't likely to do that!

Many times I've forced dealerships to honor a warranty or repair when I put what I found wrong with the bike on the repair order.
You'll have independent proof with that repair order. (Also called a work order).
And yes, you should probably get a lawyer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I own a small independent shop.
You need to find an independent shop with a certified service tech (with a good track record) so his diagnoses will be hard to dispute.
Why an independent shop?
Because no Suzuki dealership will do anything that could hurt Suzuki USA.
If a Suzy dealer agrees that the Suzuki dealership was in the wrong, that hurts all of Suzuki. And they ain't likely to do that!

Many times I've forced dealerships to honor a warranty or repair when I put what I found wrong with the bike on the repair order.
You'll have independent proof with that repair order. (Also called a work order).
And yes, you should probably get a lawyer.
Thanks for the info! It makes a lot of sense, I have two local shops I am going to in the morning to explain my situation.

Also I will look for a lawyer. I can finally get to talking with people now that the weekend is over.

Thanks again!
 

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Hero of Legend
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and said it was probably just the fluid burning from the mess they made so we decided not to pull over.
This was a mistake. Any time something doesn't seem right, you should pull over and investigate the issue. For exactly this sort of reason.

As for the cop, I can't really offer you any help, there. But you absolutely CAN go to a lawyer, and sue the shop for damages related to the bike's unacceptable condition as a result of their work, damages to the bike as a result of the crash ( caused by the shop's faulty workmanship ), any injury you might have sustained, emotional distress, and probably your driving record. All pending investigations, of course. You'll need someone to look over the bike and determine if the shop was indeed responsible for the brake failure. Which isn't always easy, mind you.

But of course, this is all also pending a qualified attorney's advice. And many will offer free consultations. Certainly couldn't hurt to take advantage of that. If nothing else, they can give you better advice than anyone on this forum.
 

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Ace Tuner
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This was a mistake. Any time something doesn't seem right, you should pull over and investigate the issue.
I disagree. No mistake on the riders part.
When they pulled my bike around I noticed that there was brake fluid all over the front of my bike (under the windscreen and down the handlebars and forks).
Best I can tell there was no reason to believe anything was wrong except some sloppy service tech didn't care if he ruined the paint with brake fluid.
I would have made the same call, it's just brake fluid all over this bike and it's burning off the pipes and anything else that's hot.
 

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I hate lawyers, sharks and snakes. But this is a perfect case for those accident guys that advertise on TV all afternoon. Call a local one, they may even advise what shop to take the bike for investigation.

An honest mistake is one thing, but if your bike had brake fluid all over it start with there was a issue. At the vary least brake fluid ruins paint.

Now the harder stuff. You learned a valuable lesson very cheaply, in that you are not in the hospital or the funeral home.
You are always most responsible for what happens with your motorcycle, because your the most at risk. I did not say you where to blame, I just said its your life, if you are not comfortable about something, change things till you are.

Glad your are able to tell us about it. Keep us posted.
 

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Damn, it's **** like this that scares me into always doing my own work, better to take the time to understand how to do something and do it right than trust anyone else. If anyone dopes touch my stuff ( car, bike, house, anything) I am a fanatic about making sure everything was done right.

Thank goodness your OK, and make sure you make them fix or replace your poor bike, and then some! I like the idea of an independent shop, but I think the lawyer should be your first stop, see what he or she suggests and go from there. Good luck!
 

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Send lawyers, guns and money. I hope you get it sorted quick. Glad you're not hurt.

I don't have the time, space or know-how (yet) to do my own work but I have a shop I trust. That said, whenever I pick up my bike I play "dumb puppy" for anything at all that looks out of place or I'm not sure about.

"What's this liquid here? Is this cable supposed to be loose like that?" etc. Then I'll do a loop around the block (their lot is way too small) to test every single thing on the bike before I take it on the road home.
 

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Hero of Legend
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I disagree. No mistake on the riders part.
I don't know....if something doesn't seem right, it's never a good idea to ignore it. Because of exactly this sort of situation. There's no shame in being careful.
 

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Driftless Rider
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IMO, there were a lot of red flags before you threw a leg over and rode off; and not stopping immediately when you sensed a problem advances your mistakes.
The dealership may be to blame for shoddy work, but you must also take responsibility; and learn form it.
The shop may have caused the issue, but your complacency caused the accident.

That's not easy to hear, but if we don't make it a learning experience for you then all of us are sleeping on the job...and sleep be the brother of death.
 

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Ace Tuner
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Red flags?
Oh yeah there were red flags alright. Like look at the way they treated my bike. Brake fluid all over trying to ruin the paint, seals, tire and more.
The red flag is they didn't even care to clean it off. But that only tells you to never go back, doesn't tell you they might get you killed!

JTsunami said:
so please don't call me out saying it was my fault or anything. .......... Well, that didn't take.

He also said:
I signaled to my friend that something was wrong and to pull over but he didnt see me so I reached for my horn and before I could hit it the bike's brakes completely locked up and I got thrown off.


If there was not enough time to push a button how can we blame him for not knowing what was about to happen? (Before pushing the horn button)!
Sure, some of us highly experienced rider/mechanics MAY have been savvy enough to predict the future lock up, maybe.
But we can not expect the average non-mechanic guy to be lucky enough to predict something like that.
Personally I would have been trying to get the bike home to clean up the mess they made of my bike!

Having seen and fixed all types of screw ups that came from dealerships and other shops, I gotta say it again.
The rider is not at fault in any way on this one. .... (He has a month of experience, can we expect him to 'sense' brakes locking up)? Think about it.

Now you guys can pick it apart all you want. Doesn't change the fact that they could have killed the guy at NO fault of his own.
The teachable moment here is, find a mechanic that won't kill you!

It pisses me off. :mad: Shops like that make guys like me look bad. Same with lying, cheating, ripoff shops.
 
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