Suzuki Warranty Woes

2001 Suzuki GSX600F Katana - No Compression
11/21/01 to Present
11/17/01 My new katana won't start! (actually, I've had it for about 7 months)
No compression (damn).
11/21/01 Towed bike 70 miles to my original dealer, San Mateo Honda Suzuki ($24.00 trailer rental)
11/21/01 -
Called dealer once a week to check on bike.
11/23?/01 Dealer told me that they had synced the carbs but hadn't fixed compression problem
(As I understand it you can NOT sync the carbs w/o compression).
11/26?/01 Dealer said it was going to need new valves (warranty work).
12/18/01 Dealer instructed me to stop calling.
Said that they'll call me whenever it's ready (They were very rude).
12/18/01 Called Suzuki-America (714.572.1490) and told my story to Brad Wright
He said he'd call the dealer and see what was going on.
12/22/01 Dealer left me a message saying that my bike was ready (Yahoo!).
...But I was out of town.
12/26/01 Called dealer. Answering machine said they were closed until 01/03/02 (Shit).
01/03/02 Brad Wright from Suzuki-America left me a message asking if I had gotten my bike yet.
01/04/02 Picked up my bike!
Paid $352.32 for parts and labor (Invoice #13875).
Noticed that they hadn't changed motor oil (Oil was dark brown in sight glass).
Oil drain plug fell out on way home (had a few very exciting minutes!).
Waited 2 hours in the rain for a rescue (Brrr)
Spent $11.62 in 2 credit card phone calls for help (no change, forgot cell phone).
Spent $34.61 for motor oil and a temporary oil drain plug* to get my bike home.
01/05/02 Noticed dealer charged me for an oil filter (SGP#16510-34E00, $14.15) and oil ($20).
Noticed dealer had NOT changed oil filter (Obviously old and still had my safety wiring on it).
Dropped bike back off at dealer (I'm pissed).
01/08/02 Picked bike up from dealer (again).
Dealer refunded me $100.00
Oil drain plug, oil and filter present (I'm afraid to ride the bike until I check it).
01/12/02 Had a chance to make sure critical bolts are tight and do routine maintenace (chain slack ,etc.).
Starting riding (It rained most of the week).
01/19/02 Finally scrubbed all the oil and grime off my bike
(Between the valve job and the plug falling out it was everywhere!).
01/20/02 Went for a long ride.
Noticed valve cover was leaking oil (Did the dealer do anything right?).
Added 1/2 quart of oil ($4.52 at some gas station outside of San Luis Obispo).
01/22/02 Decided to take the bike apart and see what else was wrong:
  • Missing fuel drain hose clamp at fuel shut off valve.
  • Frame bracket bolts only finger tight (32Nm is spec).
  • #2 Spark plug is oily (...Hmmm).
  • #3 Spark plug improperly gapped (>.74mm).
  • Exhaust valve height on #3 and #4 slightly out of spec (<.17mm)
  • Valve cover and bolts not properly sealed and over torqued.
Fixed the above and scrubbed the bike clean (again)
01/23/02 Went for a ride - It's still spraying oil! (...but not as bad)
Oil appears to be originating from the head gasket (Grrrr).
Called Suzuki-America but they had closed for the day.
01/24/02 Scrubbed bike clean (again) & went for a ride - It didn't seem to be leaking
(Perhaps it was just leftover goo inside the fairing blowing out).
01/28/02 Started using the bike for commuting again. (It snowed on Hwy 35! PIC1 PIC2)
02/03/02 Oil levels low - Added another 1/2 quart of oil (...That ain't right!)
02/04/02 Called Suzuki-America and spoke to Marvin Rolof
I faxed this page to him (714.577.9525) to forward to Brad Wright.
02/09/02 Oil levels low - Added another 1/2 quart of oil (Can we say, "botched job"?)
02/11/02 Called Suzuki-America (again) and spoke to Brad Wright. He indicated that:
  • Suzuki considers it acceptable for a bike to burn 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles (Wow!)
  • I should take the bike to my favorite dealer and get their professional opinion on the repair work.
  • I'd probably have to take the bike back to the original dealer for any re-repairs (fuck!)
  • He had spoken to the original dealer today about my ongoing problems.
  • My Reference Number is 44823
02/16/02 Bought the wrong size compression tester from Kragen. Doh.
02/23/02 Changed the oil and the #2 and #3 spark plugs.
03/02302 Finally got the correct sized compresssion gauge from Kragen but didn't have time to try it.

* Temporary oil drain plug: An employee at All American Honda-Suzuki spent twenty minutes trying to find something that would work as a oil drain plug for my Katana! He ended up selling my girlfriend an NGK spark plug (98076-54917 BPR4HS-10). It fit perfectly and I'll be going there again!