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Old 10th January 2015, 00:51   #1
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Default Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

Used to be a time when the Duke 390 first came out and you could go into the service station for even a minor problem and have a smiling technician attend to you happily. Going on a long ride? Get your chain tightened and lubed at the SVC, no problemo. This was a refreshing change from the usual grouchy paan spitting mechanic and service center setup.

Not any more. Seems like with KTM becoming popular and the advent of the RC 390's all the service centers in Bangalore no longer want to deal with grouses such as brake bleeds, battery terminals (mine just broke on the way home after a service) and the random squeaks which irritate one no end and which are part and parcel of owning a duke (sort of like the Tata Safari come to think of it) . I have made 3 trips just to try and get my bike in for a service. The Kasturba road KTM both times said they only take 35 bikes and only have 2 mechanics so I need to get there by 8.30 AM to even stand a chance. Finally landed up in Kammanahalli which is newer and hence not so busy as well as opens only at 9.30 which suits yours sincerely better.

However I asked for my front brake pads to be changed and the back master cylinder replaced. They landed up changing the back brake pads (mine incidentally are EBC and so I fail to see the logic of replacing a 2000 rupee brake pad with a 200 rupee one), left the front brake pads as is and did not change the back master cylinder as asked to do so for lack of stock. Moreover the promised next day delivery turned into 2 days due to one mechanic being absent. Additionally as earlier mentioned on the ride home bike switched off and I pushed it home to realize that the battery terminal had broken. Its too much of a coincidence for that to happen out of the blue after a year and a half of the bike being on the road.

Just wanted to get a general impression on whether others are having the same sucky service experience as I am. And if so is there an email for someone at Bajaj because I think they need to rectify this situation if KTM is going to become a marque for Bajaj.
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Old 10th January 2015, 17:48   #2
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

Second your opinion bik1906. The service area infrastructure is just too less for the sheer number of bikes on the Bangy roads. Well the service centers are also very less given the volumes. Maybe they should take a leaf out of Maruti who have SVC in almost every locality thesedays. This speaks of the dedication to the customer. Given the situation at KTM, the mechanics work under a lot of pressure to "complete" the targets and that is how the quality of service in these SVC are going down. A ray of light is the quote from barcalad in the ownership experience thread where he has mentioned the name of a private service center. Indimotard is another option if you are in and around Mahadevapura/ Whitefield area. Maybe it is not far when such service centers mushroom which can cater to us. Till then it is at the mercy of these SVC.
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Old 10th January 2015, 19:29   #3
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

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Originally Posted by unk9ja View Post
A ray of light is the quote from barcalad in the ownership experience thread where he has mentioned the name of a private service center.
With regard to this service center, their head mechanic has been trained at KTM and he attends to my bike every time. He knows the details of the bike like the back of his palm, and so much so, he doesn't mind me standing beside and looking at what he's doing with the bike. Try that at KTM Service Centers and you'll be promptly asked to move away from their service area. Recommend this place to every KTM owner.
I used to think that Mekhri Circle KTM is the worst when it comes to servicing, but my current BSK KTM is giving it some serious competition. Was dissuaded from adjusting my suspension, given an appalling theory when I wanted to adjust my headlamps and forks and was robbed 1 hour of my time only to tighten the chain. Wanted the email IDs of Mr. Amit Nandi and their Area Head of Operations, was given an extempore apology, which was not quite convincing. Left the issue as I had important things to attend to.
I really hope KTM Bangalore gets their mind together, else I see it going the Skoda way. An international brand needs to instill international standards in their bikes (which they've done) as well as in their staff.

Last edited by barcalad : 10th January 2015 at 19:39.
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Old 10th January 2015, 21:04   #4
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

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Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
With regard to this service center, their head mechanic has been trained at KTM and he attends to my bike every time.
Sorry for the extreme OT, but do they attend only 250+cc bikes or do they attend 150cc bikes also?
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Old 10th January 2015, 21:29   #5
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

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Originally Posted by theredliner View Post
Sorry for the extreme OT, but do they attend only 250+cc bikes or do they attend 150cc bikes also?
I've seen a Passion Plus and a Ninja 300 parked side by side on adjacent bays.
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Old 10th January 2015, 22:39   #6
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

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Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
I've seen a Passion Plus and a Ninja 300 parked side by side on adjacent bays.
That's great to hear. Will take my RTR to them some time.
Can you please provide a small idea about the average service cost?
Not that it matters, since TVS service isn't exactly cheap esp. considering the quality of work. Also a proper job done once in 6 months with premium service costs isn't bad at all. Thanks for sharing the info BTW

Last edited by theredliner : 10th January 2015 at 22:40.
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Old 10th January 2015, 23:09   #7
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

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That's great to hear. Will take my RTR to them some time.
Can you please provide a small idea about the average service cost?
Not that it matters, since TVS service isn't exactly cheap esp. considering the quality of work. Also a proper job done once in 6 months with premium service costs isn't bad at all. Thanks for sharing the info BTW
I'm not quite sure about the average service cost. I've done secondary jobs on my bike from them, like chain lubing, fork adjusting, brake pad cleaning and all that. As I've mentioned earlier, I get my general servicing and oil changes done by KTM, and it's limited to just that.
I'm sure that it'll be pretty much reasonable, the service cost. Seen and heard from a lot of happy customers. Try giving them a call or pay them a visit to get an estimate.
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Old 11th January 2015, 00:20   #8
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

Heard Indimotard from quite a few people. I have also had a decent experience at X-torque on the outer ring road albeit for aftermarket fitting of my powertronic unit. While I was there I met a bullet owner who had brought his bike in for service and he swore x-torque was way better than the standard enfield SVC's as well. I like the system at X-torque because they work on time slots so if you call them they will book a slot in your name. This ensures that you are not waiting around and are attended to promptly and efficiently.A friend of mine also swears by Art of motorcycles behind the mico factory and he takes his duke there as it is close for him.

I think there is a great business opportunity for external service centers as long as they interface with the customers properly.
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Old 11th January 2015, 18:00   #9
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

I would never go to the X-torque. Had a terrible experience when I opted for the tire protector for my bike. Made me wait for about 2 hours with prior appointment and a call before I landed there. And I got to look at the service they offered to the customers. It was a playhouse with all sorts of ifs and buts while they were working on a 48 front end problem. And finally they came to a conclusion to get the wheel balanced.
On the contrary I have found Indi to be quite competent. Their way of working and handling customers is good.
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Old 12th January 2015, 11:15   #10
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Default re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

Not KTM, but with every ASC; have been saying this all the time, but then people said, HMSI is bad at service blah blah. Take your vehicle to another competent KTM ASC, they might restore your smile back. Likewise with HMSI or even RE for that matter.

Personally what I witnessed was...a new ASC comes to a locality, they have some old & experienced technicians from other branch (may be with some promises, who knows); when they're new, less work load, more people to attend issues, more time spent on fixing issues.

Once the ASC becomes popular in no time, people start flocking, thus starts chaos!! No one knows what needs to be done, whether to fix or deliver or both. Manager starts getting calls on defects, puts technicians under pressure for delivery & the real experts have less quality time to fix the real issues & cuts down the paper work to save time, the managers complains them for process violations, then technicians starts questioning managers for unethical practices, then starts favoritism and keeps going until the creamy layer/people who actually work find job elsewhere.

And this keeps going until one day someone wakes up & says, "Hey, looks like we're doing bad job & let's improve" & then start training/recruiting good guys. But then does the chaos stop? Nope!! It doesn't
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Old 12th January 2015, 14:00   #11
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Default Re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

Quote:
Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
With regard to this service center,
From what I understand, this is not an authorized service outlet but they can help KTM owners for service, spares and repair. Can you please share the Name and Location of this place?

It has been fourteen months with the 390 and I have no major concerns to report with the bike. Service is far from top notch but I won't say its bad either. The saving grace for me has been the bike itself which has been reliable. It does scare me when I read about many folks who have struggled with the bike from day one and when it comes to solving serious technical issues. I started off with the Domlur joint and then moved to Kasturba road and the experience is definitely better. Yes; you do need to go early or you can forget about it. I can't speak on the knowledge of the work force at the KTM Service. One thing that is clear is these guys are over worked and that is enough for quality of service to take a big hit. I got the rear brake pads replaced on my first paid service and parts for the steering cone section replaced. No other part has been replaced or has failed. The bikes at 14500km. The steering part was done as a separate job as I forgot to tell them about it when I handed over the bike for first paid service. Khivraj Kasturba did a good job. What does not work is small jobs. They are not interested in small fixes or adjustments. They don't have the time and its very evident. Head to the Kasturba road joint around mid day or early evening and its madness.

All is not well though and I don't know if its the quality of the bike itself combined with shoddy service that is causing problems. When I waiting at Khivraj Kasturba to hand over the bike for the steering cone job, another gentleman with his 390 had come and the engine was loud. It had seized and this took place just a day after handing over the bike for service. Does point to bad service cause the bike had run well for 10000km.

I don't know how many feel that the cost of maintaining a KTM is on the higher side. I am not sure how to look at it. One pays 200k for a 390 so should it be cheap to fix, maybe not. First paid service cost me Rs. 4000. I forgot to carry the extra oil I had and rear brake pads replaced. Each of the so called free services with an oil change is around Rs. 1800-2000. I have spent about Rs. 8500 in fourteen months for the upkeep plus I now have to blow another 9k as the steel belts are visible on the rear tire.

That is my story. Consider yourself lucky if you have a KTM that is reliable.
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Old 12th January 2015, 15:07   #12
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Default Re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

My KTM which is 2k km and 3 months old now has been reliable but myself at a dead end as far as SVC support is concerned (I am from Bareilly btw , not B'lore so just sharing my experience ) .

Visited them twice to solve an annoyance that is driving me crazy now while they are simply dismissing them issue . The annoyance being both brakes squeal cheaply when applied especially coming to a stop and the rear after riding for 15/20km consistently squeals and more so during turns(leaned in) . It is loud and obvious through my helmet even at 60kmph speed , been notified of the same over a dozen time by fellow riders at stops etc and SVC's reply to this is and I qoute " sir dirt gets stuck to pads so it squeals". I ask them to tighten and lube chain(lube I did myself later) and they say don't have time for this (zero bike in KTM bay btw ) and then further insinuate I worry too much saying how half the pulsars they sell don't come for routine service !!! There are some other annoyances like unpredictable throttle response but the brake squeal driving me nuts . Asides from the squealing , there is also a noticeable inconsistency in how the brakes apply .

So far I have never considered places outside SVC but reading the posts above , I am considering some 3rd party outlet . I doubt I will find any organized workshop comparable to B'lore options but is it too risky letting a 3rd party touch and work on my disc brakes ? I don't know how "easy" it is to screw disc brakes up so asking this(ABS equipped too and doubt the probable options here even know what ABS is ) , can the regular mechanic attending to pulsars etc do this or the job calls for a very competent person ?

ps: Is it possible that bearings/axle produce a squealing sound ? keep in mind bike has run only 2000km .

Last edited by basuroy : 12th January 2015 at 15:15.
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Old 12th January 2015, 16:03   #13
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Default Re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
I doubt I will find any organized workshop comparable to B'lore options but is it too risky letting a 3rd party touch and work on my disc brakes ? I don't know how "easy" it is to screw disc brakes up so asking this(ABS equipped too and doubt the probable options here even know what ABS is ) , can the regular mechanic attending to pulsars etc do this or the job calls for a very competent person ?
If you have 3M brake cleaner you can use that first before removing the brake pads. Just spray 2 or 3 shots and see it removes all the dust .

Its very simple to remove the front brake pads, after that use a light sand paper to rub it lightly and put it back, will take less than 20 minutes .

Note: When you remove the pads never press the front brake. The pistons would jam it and it would be difficult to push it back .

These small things you can do it at home without going for service station .

Last edited by black12rr : 12th January 2015 at 16:05.
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Old 12th January 2015, 16:35   #14
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Default Re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

Being a duke owner myself, I think it would be better to provide feedback to amitnandi @ bajajauto dot co dot in and copy in stefan.pierer @ ktm dot com
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Old 13th January 2015, 11:30   #15
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Default Re: Bangalore: KTM's service quality on a steady decline

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
From what I understand, this is not an authorized service outlet but they can help KTM owners for service, spares and repair. Can you please share the Name and Location of this place?
Yes. As I mentioned earlier, the place is a private service center. Goes by the name of Bosch Unique Bike Service Center. Located in BSK Stage 2. A kilometer from BSK BDA Complex. Check it out on Google maps.
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