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Old 18th June 2009, 12:16   #1
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Default Unicorn Valve Problem

I have purchased Silver Unicorn in April 2008 from Kothari Wheels in
Wakdewadi, Pune. Some of you might remember my detailed posts about how I selected Honda Unicorn over RTR and Avenger.

I have been enjoying my Unicorn so far, but suddenly yesterday evening the vehicle stopped working while I was driving it on road. I pulled it on the side and tried starting it with button start but it didn't start. So I tried to start it with kick, but to my surprise the kick is moving freely without any pressure. The spark plug or ignition doesn't seem to have any problem. Given the kick lever's free moving without any resistance, I am afraid that the problem is with valves of the engine. Fortunately, it took place quite close to my house and I can push the bike manually till my house.

This bike is just 14 months old, and given Honda's reputation; I certainly
didn't expect this type of problem from my Unicorn. I have been driving bikes for more than 16 years now and used RX100 and Shaolin for more than a decade without any major problems. I was contemplating RTR and Pulsar, but decided to go ahead with Honda due to its perceived quality and reputation. I am afraid, the bike has let me down completely. I am an active member of xbhp.com and team-bhp.com; the largest automobile forums in India and I have always advised people to purchase Honda for its sheer quality, despite missing contemporary features like digital speedometer etc. I am sad to say that Honda quality has let me down.

I am extremely busy right now for next couple of months with various things happening on personal as well as professional front. I absolutely have no time to follow up on this issue. Moreover, my house is 14 kms away from Kothari Wheels from where I purchased my bike and get it serviced. I am wondering how do I take my bike there now since it is not starting. I cannot take it pushing to the service station since the bike is not starting.

Needless to add, I am hoping that Honda will get it fixed under warranty; but this incident has shaken my faith in Honda's reliability.

I have already sent a mail about it to Honda, but now wondering how do I deal with this issue now. I use bike more than I use my car because it's very convenient, and I am feeling crippled due to this bike failure! Any inputs as to how do I get Honda to fix it asap? Do they send someone to pick it up from my place since bike is not starting? If Honda refuses warranty claim (I will fight hard, if needed will go to consumer court as well), then how much will it cost me? I am really frustrated with this break down and wondering if it's deteriorating quality of Honda bikes or if it's one-of case with my Unicorn.

Any inputs/pointers will be highly appreciated.
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Old 18th June 2009, 12:34   #2
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I have heard a lot of failures with Unicorn, mostly structural,suspension and brake failures earlier also now its the engines turn. Might be honda makes good engines for 100cc but yes I regularly come to read problems with Unicorn at very early stages. I never recommend this bike to anyone. No offence meant. I hope you get the warranty claim, really fight hard for such problems they have to replace it.
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Old 18th June 2009, 14:35   #3
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Well, it's true that I am having problem but most Unicorns I have seen are trouble-free for years. I had purchased it after lot of research.

Anyway. I contacted the dealer today and he mentioned that someone would be sent to my place to inspect the bike.
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Old 18th June 2009, 15:33   #4
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Are you sure that problem is with valves ?
The kick mechanism is a bit complex, but anyways.

About warranty, there is one statement " Normal Wear and Tear ". This one single statement takes a lot of power away from customer. The dealer will claim that this damage is due to regular wear and tear, however as you are esteemed customer, you will not have to pay for parts, but only labour charge, and such arguments will be put forward. But this also varies upon dealer to dealer.
As far as repairing is concerned, I suggest you dont knock at court's door step mainly for the following reasons:

a) The fine print of warranty conditions.
b) Dealer might not be supportive and will support the company more than you.
c) Cost. Yes, money never comes free, but then neither does time. If the repairing cost is not very high in the range of Rs. 5k or above, I suggest dont go to court. Court will just eat more time along with money.

Off late I too am coming to know about a lot of Uni problems. Met one old friend who bought a red Uni and he blasted at me for such a thing. The problem in his case was the engine compression was less and bike's pulling power was almost non existent.
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