Let this be a warning to anyone thinking of buying a new bike from Honda. - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Let this be a warning to anyone thinking of buying a new bike from Honda.

So about a week and a half ago I bought a brand new old stock 2018 Africa twin adventure sports. I had owned the bike for 2 days and was absolutely loving the bike, when I started to notice some pretty serious defects with the quality of the paint finish, and more importantly the welds on the frame (particularly concentrated around the head stock area!). As soon as I noticed these issues I called my dealer and was told to bring the bike in "so they could take some pictures to send to Honda UK", so I skipped my lunch break at work so I could leave early to make it to the dealers in time that evening. I managed to get there 15 minutes before they closed and by the time I arrived there all the staff were kind of milling around and packing things away. They were immediately much less friendly than they were before I bought the bike (big surprise I know) and I could tell from the expressions on their faces I was not really welcome. A couple of the Technicians (I think) came straight over and asked where are the issues? I assume that one of them had carried out the PDI (Pre delivery inspection) and was anxious to see what he had missed. I went inside and asked for the service manager who came out and took a few photos on his phone. He said he needed to send the photos to Honda UK and asked me to forward any of my own photos. I emailed my photos over first thing the following morning and by lunch time that day the service manager called me to tell me that "Honda UK said the bike is within spec" (so basically saying we don't care).

I must admit I was a little taken aback at this point. Maybe I was expecting too much to have my "entire" frame painted and have "all" the welds without cracks/cold lap? The service manager suggested I should contact Honda UK customer services and take the issue up with them. "Surely" I thought, the mighty, infamous for their build quality Honda would not allow this shoddy second rate crap to bare their fabled name. Well It turns out I was wrong. Apparently Honda UK don't give a **** about the quality of the bikes that they sell (as this last week has proven).

After having my bike picked up and taken to a different dealer to be inspected yesterday, Honda UK came back to me today (after many phone calls) and still insisted the bike was "within spec". I asked Honda to tell me what the "spec" is for their frames but they are yet to provide me with a copy of the "spec". I imagine is says something along the lines of " Don't worry about setting up the welding machine properly, most people probably wont even look, get as much welding spatter everywhere as possible, and dont worry if it has cracks around the edges of the welds, this spec says that's fine" and the painting section probably has something along the lines of; "just paint the outside parts you can see easily, don't worry about painting all of the bare metal, that way we can save money". It must say these things somewhere as Honda assure me my bike meets said "spec";





















These are just the things I have found without any strip down. I may decide to do a full strip down and document ALL of the defects for everyone to see so they know what they are getting with their new "within spec" Honda (one of the reasons I created this thread). I may even decide to have the welds properly examined using non destructive test methods including, xray etc. I am still weighing up my options and have not fully decided what to do next. If anyone else has had/is having similar issue then please post as much info/pictures in this thread as possible. We need to get the word out and try and make Honda do something about these issues, not to mention all the other common issues these bikes are prone to which Honda just seem to ignore/not give a **** about.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 06:37 PM
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Honda legendary quality is long time gone now. Welds are not the only cost cutting signs in AT. There are quite few well known. All is race to the bottom and not just Honda.

I do understand your frustration and some of these look quite bad. However what exactly you have expected Honda to do? Strip the bike, redo all the welds, paint the frame again and bolt on everything back? Even if they agree, if I were you I'd prefer not to. At least because I would not have trust to any Honda garage do that job properly on my 2 days old bike.

Just ride the thing and do not look that close at it. It actually rides well and I doubt you can see any of these badly done welds while you are behind the bars.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rainmaker View Post
Honda legendary quality is long time gone now. Welds are not the only cost cutting signs in AT. There are quite few well known. All is race to the bottom and not just Honda.

I do understand your frustration and some of these look quite bad. However what exactly you have expected Honda to do? Strip the bike, redo all the welds, paint the frame again and bolt on everything back? Even if they agree, if I were you I'd prefer not to. At least because I would not have trust to any Honda garage do that job properly on my 2 days old bike.

Just ride the thing and do not look that close at it. It actually rides well and I doubt you can see any of these badly done welds while you are behind the bars.
If they had painted the frame properly then i wouldn't have even noticed all the cracks. Now I have to take measures to stop all the bare metal corroding the first time the bike gets wet. I bought this bike with the intention of keeping it for a long time, not to trade it in in 2 or 3 years.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 09:38 PM
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# 1 looks ugly, but like hatneil said a better paint job and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I hear the metal work concerns are a much bigger deal in europe.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 10:20 PM
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Honda UK are known for their lack of understanding or care with difficult issues, they seem to adopt a head in the sand attitude. You seem angry, upset and your disappointment will only fester like an open wound and maybe you should reject the bike under consumer legislation rather than try to reason with Honda UK as you’ll never be truly happy. The sooner you do this and the less miles you put on the bike, the stronger your case.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:05 PM
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Best of luck to you....really. I'd dump it back at the place you bought it, hand them the key and leave. Wait for the new Yamaha Tenere 700 to come out. I did that with a truck once and walked home from the dealership. (They were calling within two blocks away saying the FIX will be under warranty). I let it sit there 24 hrs before I called back. I was ready to get bad credit cuz I was gonna stop payments. They never had anyone do that before, guess I surprised them. Good luck man ....I feel for ya.

Maybe sand down the welds, apply that primer that reverses rust, the spray that Truck Bed Coating or apply thick rubber coating with a brush. I don't know....something I would do if forced to keep it.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 11:44 PM
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Look at any modern motorcycle. They are welded by robots. The welds in the areas that are plainly visible they slow the robots down to make relatively nice looking welds. In the more hidden areas they let 'em rip. Weld fast and sloppy. It's very unlikely there would ever be a structural problem but it's disconcerting to see the mess.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 07:22 PM
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I had a look at the headstock welds on my 2017 and the ones that I can see are flawless. I checked them against the welds on some older Hondas that I have specifically a 79 CBX, 77 GL1000, 76 CB750 and a 76 GL1000 and in all cases the AT welds were superior. That said my bike's build date is 1/17 and the serial number ends in 000073 so its part of an early production run. Something has happened to Honda's quality control. The welds on your bike are shocking and if I were you I would pursue this.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 10:21 PM
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My 2018 ATAS welds are fine - and the beads are actually very impressively smooth and uniform. Short of publishing your serial number I don't know how to let other people know if theirs came off the line around the same time as yours.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 07:36 AM
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Hard for me to believe you are actually thinking about stripping the bike to prove a point. Ride the danged thing. I restore old bikes, and if you think what you have is bad, you should perhaps take a look at antique bikes...and even with shitty looking welds, they are still ridden today...over 50-60 years old...quit whining and start riding.
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