HARLEY Davidson customisation specialists Rocket Bobs Cycle Works has been forced to pay out more than £5,000 after being threatened with civil action by a customer.
Carl Beynon, 49, of Newport, made the claim for £5,438.06 after his Harley was returned from the Swindon garage after 22 months and he disputed the work done, claiming parts were missing.
The motorbike came back missing a horn, spark plug leads, front brake rotor, calliper, battery set up and filter peg, totalling £2,046 of the £7,468.42 paid for the total job, according to Mr Beynon’s court papers.
Rocket Bobs submitted documents to the courts claiming they were still owed £1,200 for a specific modification, and had only withheld three items after the relationship with Mr Beynon broke down.
“After numerous delays due to build issues and suppliers, and some additions to the original build requirements, my motorcycle was delivered on 6 November 2012, a time frame of one year and 10 months rather than original time frame of five to six months,” said Mr Beynon in his court statement.
“Upon delivery I noticed there was damage to paintwork and poor quality of workmanship, missing parts and non compliance with the build design.
“I pointed out that it is an MoT requirement for a motorcycle to be fitted with a horn and that the stop light must be operated by both the rear brake pedal and front brake lever. “He then claimed he had put 14 bikes through MoT that year and none had front brake switches.”
Carl texted Pete Pearson of Rocket Bobs after delivery of the cycle, saying: “Few things missing Pete–- the orange spark leads? the horn? the mirrors?”
Pete replied: “Orange leads failed. Mirrors are here not fitted coz I hate them and they don’t fit JM controls. We don’t do horns.”
Carl said he had the work completed at a cost of £3,391.86.
“I asked a third party to come and collect my motorcycle to undertake an engineer’s report on the build, complete the unfinished work and put right the faults and damage,” he said. “Despite Mr Pearson indicating to myself and a senior Trading Standards officer the issues would be addressed, five months elapsed.”
Andy Forber-Buckingham, of AFB Motorcycles in Somerset, reviewed the work. “Handlebars had been replaced offering an insecure engagement,” he said. “These errors could result in handle bars pulling free resulting in serious injury or death.
“Some elements of the work were dangerous and could result in serious injury to the rider and other road users. “It demonstrates a high degree of neglect and poor workmanship.”
Pete Pearson said he thought Mr Beynon had never intended to pay the full amount and pursued legal action in order to avoid payment. “None of his claims are valid,” he said. “Everything was done very much on a friendly basis and by word of mouth because we have worked with Carl before. Parts of the work that he asked for he later denied. “Now if someone asks for a modification we are sure to put it in writing. “This happened because Carl set out from the outset not to pay us and as soon as he had the bike back he went to Trading Standards to wriggle out of it. “Our lawyer told us it is £5,000 and going to court would cost at least £7,000, so it wasn’t worth it. He just told us to settle. The whole thing is spurious. There is not a single part on Carl’s bike we did that I would not stand by.”