Category Archives: Life

Issues with Hannum’s HD – by Chainsaw

An acquaintance of mine that has been riding the touring family bikes for quite a few years, told me that he had taken his Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic into Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford,PA. for service, and his wife’s Heritage Softail for a tire, and that a bike wash was tossed in for free that resembled more of a detailing job than a generic bike wash, and he suggested that if I needed any service work done, that I should give Hannum’s a shot, instead of hitting one of the other four Stealerships in the area.

Sometime during the week of May 23rd – 27th, I called  Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford and made an appointment to have the Cam Chain Tensioners  evaluated, as our 2005 Ultra Classic   had recently flipped the 30,000 mile mark .

I didn’t realize that I would have to keep a diary of this experience, until I went to pick up the bike.

It went something like this:

An appointment was confirmed over the telephone for May 31st for a Cam Chain Tensioner evaluation and replacement.   On May 31st, I showed up at Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department’s  back door at10:00 am.  As the Service writer gathered my personal information, out of curiosity, I requested and received a quote for the Gear to Gear option  that came to $1,091.50 including parts and labor.

On June 1st, I was contacted by the Service department about installing the Gear to Gear option. I declined, and told them that I merely requested a quote for the installation of the Gear to Gear option, and told them again to  replace the Cam Chain Tensioners with OEM parts if it was needed.

I was told that they’d contact me with the evaluation.

No return call was received that day.

June 2nd, three days after my original confirmed  appointment, I called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department  and inquired as to the progress being made. The Service Department confirmed that the Cam Chain Tensioner Shoes replacement  was required.

I told them to get with it.

I assumed after the call that they had began work on the Cam Chain Tensioner replacement, but they said that they’d call when the job was complete.

No return call was received that day.

The morning of June 3rd, I called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department to inquire as to the progress being made.

I was told that I had, “lost fluids” during the Cam Chain Tensioner replacement and should the Service Department go ahead and change oil and  filter. I said no, that a complete 10,000 mile service had beendone at 29,715 miles – approximately 300 miles previously. I also inquired as to the progress being made, and was  told that I’d be called back.

No return call was received.

I called the Service Department at approximately 12:00 pm, and was told that  motorcycle was out being test ridden then, afterwards would be brought back in to be washed and they’d call back.

I inquired as to what the bill would be and was told it was $752.42

No return call was received.

I got fed up with the, “no communication” crap,  and called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department at approximately 5:45 pm, and they said it had been ready since 3:00 pm!

When the Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department’s representative, Steve P. rolled the bike out through the service bay door, I took advantage of the daylight to inspect the Cam Gearcover, and not only discovered the part that they worked on was still greasy and smudged, and had to wipe it off myself, but there were 4 deep gouges in the top left flange of the Cam Gear cover chrome,  that resembled tool markings, or someone had dropped the cover.

I brought this to the Service rep’s attention.

He and I both took digital pictures of the gouges, and he ordered a new Cam Gear cover and gave me a receipt, balance due: $0.00, to be installed upon its arrival.

We paid the bill of $752.42 and cranked up the bike, and I noticed it seemed a little louder than normal on the ride home.

On June 4th, I fired up the bike to go on a Saturday ride, and I heard what sounded like an exhaust leak from the rear pipe.  As the day progressed, so did the sound.

That afternoon I called Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department and told them that I could live with the gouged Cam Gear cover until the replacement arrived, but the exhaust leak we were left with could not be tolerated.

I was told that the pipe had not been taken off.

I knew better.

Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department Representative Steve P. told me to bring it in the next day, Sunday, June 5th and he’d listen to it.

Sunday, June 5th, I rode the bike up to Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department so that Steve P. could listen to the exhaust leak, and he confirmed that it was the rear pipe gasket that was misaligned and leaking, and that if I brought the bike in Tuesday, June 7th at 10:00 am that it would be repaired while I wait.

Tuesday, June 7th I showed up at Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford Service Department’s door and let the bike’s pipes cool off and  walked inside to get with Steve P. about it, but he already knew what I was there for, so he got a technician to come outside and have a look and listen to listen to the exhaust leak.

As soon as the technician looked up at the end of the rear pipe where it goes into the exhaust port, he knew what the problem was.

The technician said that he had forgotten to put anti-seize on the exhaust stud bolt, and without a doubt he also forgot to check the torque specs on the nut, because it was obvious that the nut was missing.

So, when I picked up the bike June 3rd, not only had the pipe been loosened and moved to get the Cam Gear cover off, the stud bolts weren’t tightened and torqued to factory specs, and had no anti-seize on the  exhaust stud bolt, which easily vibrated off on the ride back home.

Sitting outside while the technician did his thing, I got the lowdown on where the gouges in the Cam Gear cover originated.  It seems that once the technician had all of the bolts out of the Cam Gear cover removed, the cover, torqued by factory specs, didn’t want to come off.  The technician went on to tell me that he enlisted two other “techs” with dead blow mallets, and steel ball peen hammers, in  an attempt to remove the Cam Gear cover.

The technician claimed that it was the Factory’s fault  that it was so tight, but I wasn’t buying into that.

We’ve taken the tour through the York Final Assembly  Plant, and their air ratchets are preset to a factory torque spec setting so that a monkey  could work on the assembly line.

I could’ve fixed the exhaust leak myself, had I the desire  to look up into the area where the exhaust port was, but that wasn’t the point.

I took an expensive machine to a dealership that is  supposed to employ certified Harley-Davidson Technicians, to have what surely  had to have been a routine, mechanical maintenance issue and repair, only to  have some Trunk Monkeys whammin’ and bammin’ on a part that is made of cast  aluminum, covered in chrome, with hammers.

I can’t wait to see what they screw up next when the new  Cam Gear cover comes in.

And by the way, about the wash job resembling a detail job, I can clean a touring bike and the trailer we pull behind it, better than Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Chadds Ford can, with one hand in my back pocket.



Filed under Customer Service, Life



I have been rereading some old classics, and recently finished George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. These are the books you read in high school and kinda sorta remember them, but then again you’ve forgot everything about them.

Both works have settings that involve a certain sort of controlled society. The societies are very different: Orwell’s is grey, monotonous, and sexless. Huxley’s is bright, inviting, and sensuous.  In both cases, however, there is some omnipotent force or bureau or commission or government setting the stage.

There is another thing they have in common. In both Orwell’s and Huxley’s worlds there is is an underlying current, mentioned not as a primary point of the plot but rather as an aside that the reader is assumed to just take for granted and not question. In both worlds there was some sort of opiate always in the background, mentioned casually in passing. An opiate, if one thinks on it, that was designed to placate the masses.

For Orwell in 1984, it was Victory Gin:

Unbidden, a waiter came and filled his glass up with Victory Gin, shaking into it a few drops from another bottle with a quill through the cork. It was saccharine flavoured with cloves, a specialty of the cafe.

For Huxley in Brave New World, it was soma:

…that second dose of soma had raised a quite impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds.

Victory Gin dulled one’s senses. The grey world was still grey, but it didn’t much matter. One became resigned.  Soma sent one into blissfullness or dreamless sleep. It induced a feeling of well-being and peace and happiness. One couldn’t care much about anything else in that state, could they?

Karl Marx had another word for Victory Gin and soma. He called it religion, the opiate of the masses:

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.

In both 1984 and Brave New World, people had indeed given up on their illusions. They had, they were told, Marx’s “real happiness”. It was defined, not to be questioned.

It seems to me that though we would scoff at the notion that today we are being surreptiously treated with Victory Gin or induced into oblivious submissiveness with soma, that there is indeed an opiate permeating our society today.  It is less obvious but insidiously more seductive.

It is the common good.

While I am quite certainly common, possessed of no great talent nor wealth, I sense a kind of euphoric and nearly orgasmic tendency of the so-called progressive left today to leave no stone unturned to ensure my safety, stability, and happiness. I think it is quite proper as a function of government to provide, a safety net for those less fortunate or who are through an act of nature unable to take care of themselves.

But I asked for none of this for myself.  I resent these menial intrusions telling me what to eat, how to drive, what is safe or unsafe for me to do.  I can decide that for myself.

No, the opiate today is not Victory Gin or soma. It is the self-satisfied smugs of politicians who telling us they are doing us a favor.

And we buy into it. They are taking care of us, so all is good and all is well. And they are so very happy to be of service to us.

But who is serving whom ?

Confident of their benevolence, we vote them into office again and again. Their smiles are are so damn infectious as they look upon their placated masses.

Do you see the connection ? No, we are not fed Victory Gin nor are we supplied with soma.

We are being given so so so much more. Do you think they will suffer our clingy neediness for too long ? They, with their mysterious powers of laws and regulations are making sure we are not only safe, but well-behaved.  Then they have to get us to stop whining.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face–forever.

2+2=4 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Filed under Culture, Laws Have Consequences, Life

Trust the soup

Feeling a bit down in the dumps and in desperate need of a kick in the ass, I took the suggestion of Instapundit and downloaded the free Kindle version of author Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work.

I’m not usually a fan of “self-help” books, as they usually tout the feel-good mantras currently in vogue.  And after all, it seems to me that “self-help” should be exactly that.  By one’s self.  In the bootstrap kind of way.  Pressfield’s book is a little different.  It is more like a slap in the face instead of a smiling, toothful coddling.  The author outlines the barriers to getting started on a project and what we can do to fight, nay destroy them.  It is kind of like being at war with oneself, but with a positive outcome.  He does not dismiss failure, but rather embraces it.  I highly recommend if for those whose lives may seem to be stalled for whatever reason.

Early in the book, he mentions the phrase trust the soup.  Trust the soup ?  Ne’er heard of such.  He doesn’t explain it much, except to refer to it as kind of listening to and hearing one’s Muse:

When an artist says “Trust the soup,” she means lettiing go of the need to control (which we can’t do anyway) and put your faith instead in the Source, the Mystery, the Quantum Soup.

I have an idea of what he means. It is the mysterious guiding essence that hovers around each of us. To some of us, it is God. To others, a spirit.
Being somewhat a literal-minded person with perhaps less imagination than others, I took the phrase to refer to soup itself. An actual pot of soup, simmering on the stove.

If you’ve ever lovingly prepared a batch of soup in the dead of winter, you will know what I mean. Little by little you add your ingredients of choice and slowly allow each addition to mingle in the pot. The vegetables and herbs explore each other. They may alternately fight and embrace. The whole drama is played out in the smells permeating the kitchen. You have to coach the soup with a stir now and then. You may add a new herb or spice, then taste and reflect.

No two soups are the same. Each one, even using an identical recipes, is always somewhat different from the time you made it before.

A pot of soup is an experiment.

So, too, are each of our lives an experiment. We have lots of different ingredients simmering in our brains. They combat each other at times, each one competing for prominence in our psyches. Sometimes we will make a mistake. At other times, listening to the soup we find that we have found the perfect combination. Sometimes we are wrong, but when we are right it is heavenly.

But we have to trust the soup. We have to hungerly grasp at it, explore it, defend it, chastise it. Everyone’s soup is unique. Life is the constant refining our own ingredients, relentless in that search for the perfect pot.

Trust the soup.


Filed under Life