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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took a brand new demonstrator for a ride today. They just got it a couple of days ago. The crankcases were almost as badly made as those on my 2017 bike which I had presumed was part of a bad batch. Seems not - these are pics of the brand new 2019 bike. (Most others in the shop - new and used - seemed much better)
Mike

 

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That is pretty sad, actually. Honda must know that when we are spending this much dough and buying this sort of bike, we are probably going to be looking at *everything.*

I have to say, it would break my heart a bit to see that on my bike. I'm so anal, I might ask for it to be fixed if I somehow missed it or ordered the bike. It's not like it's unnoticeable. It's like the heart of the machine, sitting right there in the middle of everything.

It should be gleaming and beautiful. Smooth and near perfect. Sure, a dimple or dirty cast mark here or there is one thing. But man...

I'm beginning to think I got lucky. Good for me, but not for Honda.

Gary

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I have a 2018 and the parts I can see from normal distances on the bike look awesome. This really seems like splitting hairs. Although, I understand that this is a relatively expensive bike and therefore such things make sense.

As long as it doesn't crack...

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I stopped by my dealer's today--keep waiting for the 2019 ATAS to show up--and I remembered this post and checked about half a dozen bikes there. One wasn't great, similar but not as bad as the OP's photos, but the rest looked nice. Even on CRF250 and 450 bikes, from what I could see, looking very closely. Most were dạmned nice.

I don't know man.

Maybe some of these nasty ones are coming out at the end of day or just before they clean the molds. I don't know.

Peace, Gary

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Expect them to get worse as more bikes are built. What you see is mostly wear and tear on the casting dies. After many heat cycles the dies will accumulate pits and cracks. The imperfections in the dies are transferred to the cast parts. So, not a 'bad batch' but a downside of the manufacturing process. At least until Honda invests in new dies. They might periodically polish the dies and improve the finish for a while but they can't do too much of that without affecting the dimensions in some important way.
 

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I have 2 Africa twins and they are somewhat grubby most of the time because I use them quite a bit. So long as the crankcases are functional I don't mind what the underneath looks like. Adventure bikes are for adventure - even if the most gravel they see is on the odd driveway and the only sand is not the Sahara but the local beach or river. I love these bikes, they're fun to ride even to commute back and forth to work - they're a bit like an old wife's looks - you don't expect them to look perfect after a few years - so long as they're functional I don't care ...and you hope she feels the same way about you ....
 

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Each part of the world has different views on aesthetics and what is acceptable or not. I remember receiving machined parts from China in wooden shipping crates. The crates were patched together of used lumber, different widths, thicknesses, etc. The Chinese could not fathom why we build shipping crates of new lumber and "wasting" it, in their minds. I think the mindset here is if it does not affect fit, form or function, it is left alone.........especially since it is affecting an area of the bike that the average person/consumer does not even look at. And, as stated above, the cure is to dress up the dies or revamp the casting process. Either way, it is not worth the investment according to the manufacturer's cost's spreadsheet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmmmm. The engine on a motorcycle is very visible when compared with a car. Most riders would expect this to be well finished. And since these rogue crank cases seem to have been appearing since day 1 it seems unlikely that it’s an ‘old mould’ issue
Not that it bothers me much. Mine are terrible but I am not getting them swapped as some owners in the uk are. Doing ( under warranty)
Mike
 

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Picked my ATAS up last week brand new 14th Feb. Noticed my cases when I was fitting a fenda extender. I raised it with my dealer purely to log the issue so I can have some come back if it gets worse. But they took it on as a warranty claim immediately. It appeared as though they were experienced in this claim, knew exactly where to look to take the photos and seemed pretty confident Honda would send new cases out. I’ve not heard back yet but big concern for me. Is it really worth having the cases replaced and could this cause some serious issues later on? I also looked at the other Africa twins and they all had rough casings.

I’m aware there is a right to reject within consumer law within 30 days, has anyone done this with regards to casings?

I’m open to honest opinions no matter how blunt

These are mine



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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd prefer to live with some unsightly engine cases rather than rely on my dealer to tear-down/rebuild my engine without issues.
Yeah I guess that's my thinking. Stripping down the bike then engine to that level would need the shops most experiemced techniciain, and Honda will not have given the shop enough time to do it, so it could lead to other problems on reassembly (IMHO)
Mike
 

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Yes don’t think I will be going with that option. I know from a previous thread Honda UK said to the OP if he had raised it within the 30 day period he could have rejected the bike. I’m aware this is under consumer law. The OP was going down the changing cases route but unfortunately never got a final update as he seems to have retired from forum. It probably does seem excessive but I don’t think it should just be accepted that a poor quality finish is the norm.


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Maybe I'm the odd man out, but if I had a nasty looking head case, and I couldn’t swap the bike out, I’d have it replaced with a nicer top-end.

Any good mechanic can do that sort of top work, easy.

My bike’s covers aren’t prefect—a zit here and there, but they are very close to it. And they are very visible and exposed.

On an air-cooled engine, with all those fins, maybe it wouldn’t matter as much, but here we have cases/covers; and the cases should look nice.

There’s also something about how the aluminum matte/eggshell finish of the cylinder head case/ cover matches well with the glossier copper/ bronze color of the lower end. It can look so dạmned pretty. The heart of the machine.

And as I mentioned, when I checked half a dozen bikes at my dealers a few days ago, only one had some nasty roughness, all the others looked very nice. Very nice—and these were cheaper, smaller bikes for the most part.

Why Honda allows some of these cases to go out is beyond me, esp. on the Africa Twin. I couldn’t put up with it; but then, I’m pretty anal.

Yes, in all likelihood, it has zero impact on performance. But for a guy who loves spending time cleaning and detailing his bike, this would drive me crazy.

I say if Honda’s willing to do the work for you at no cost, go for it. You probably won’t regret it. Worst case, some hack mucks it up and it’s still under warranty—they have to make it right. But I guess I understand leaving well enough alone too. But too tough a pill for me to swallow.

Peace, Gary

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Just notice the poor finish on my new ATAS engine? I wouldn’t have looked quite so hard if it hadn’t been for the forums comments. What is going on? Is this just a bad batch from a supplier. When buying a new bike, I have always had a quick look over however if all looks shiny and in its place I think it’s ok. I then note any issues during the run in period. I have also noted rust on the hand rail/luggage rack! The bike has only done 200 miles! I have now after wash noticed paint run on the o/s fairing and no paint on part of the n/s fairing. They are only really noticeable when cleaning properly but I never had this on my VFR1200 or Blackbird. I know some would say it’s not a premium bike or is a budget bike however that’s not the point. Quality is part of the reason I choose Honda but am currently disappointed. What makes it worse is I love the bike but this aggravated me. I will let you know what the dealer say when I contact them on Monday.
 

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I think if it bothers you and is an issue I'd take it up with the dealer and find out what remedy they can provide. Maybe they can provide incentives in other ways to make up for this.
For me personally, I've never spent much time up close and personal with anyone else's bikes but my own, so I probably wouldn't notice it on someone else's bike. If it runs fine and is only cosmetic, I'd just live with it. If I caught it on first inspection of buying the bike, I'd refuse it and take another. But if I didn't catch it initially, so be it and just go riding. :)
 

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Mine are exactly the same as those pictures, brand new 68 plate bike. I took some pictures and sent them to the dealer, all they said was they are all like this. I traveled to 2 other dealers to take a look and more and they are all the same. It is very poor but the dealer was not interested so nothing i could do.
 
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