- Oct 4, 2013
Clive, the issue here is that some people view problems as a negative, something to be avoided, “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions“ etc.The 961 has this reputation as a stunning looking bike that rides like nothing else but you must expect to have to put up with faults ranging from minor electrical to major mechanical. Some of my biker friends think I'm a total idiot for spending so much on a bike with so many faults. That someone is putting effort in to improve the flaws/ build issues can only improve the reputation of the bike and if Norton had any sense they would be paying very close attention to the work being done by people like Ollie who, at the end of the day, is a fan of the 961 and just wants to turn it into how it should have been when it left the factory.
Many manufacturers have worked out that owners want to customise their bikes and actively encourage it rather than engaging in legal copyright disputes. To us a customised 961 is one that doesn't break down every few months, idles and doesn't spew oil.
Conversely, some see problems as an indicator that something in their product or process can be improved. And then act upon it. I’ve seen this first hand, I worked at Toyota who are master at this. Their approach to problems was so different, it was amazing. I’ve seen senior Japanese managers thank operators who crashed expensive machine tools “thank you for highlighting a problem in our programming” whereas they’d have been fired in many companies! They also train ALL employees in logical problem solving and shun fashionable but useless 6 Sigma type gimmickry.
I once had a long chat with a big TVR dealer, he was like Ollie or Richard in the TVR world, fixing big shit that simply should not have needed fixing. Instead of listening to them, or even stealing their ideas, TVR just denied any such issues, stripped them of their franchise, tried to silence them in court, etc,etc. Of course, TVR went bust shortly after largely due to the massive cost of warranty claims!
Garner and Skinner are out of that same mould. Instead of looking inwards at their products and processes, they spent their energy on arguing against / silencing / undermining such people.
The oil cooler smacking the front fender sticks in my mind as a clear example of Garner / Skinners approach... It’s a clearly visible issue that any customer can actually see, its well documented and discussed on the Internet. Fixing it would be zero cost and take very little time or effort... yet NOTHING was done. If they can’t be arsed to fix this, why should we think they’d fix invisible internal mechanical issues...?!
Quite honestly, there’s no wonder TVS didn’t want to be involved in legacy warranties!
I hope Skinner still reads this, and that perhaps he might reflect a little.