I was quoted Rs. 3500 for a left hand side switch gear unit which I was able to source for just Rs. 500 from CST road.
BHPian L0NE12 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Firstly I apologize if a similar thread already exists, if not then please feel free to guide me in the right direction regarding the servicing and maintenance of my CBR 250R. This is going to be a long *coughs* a bit too long post
Just a brief intro:
I am from Mumbai and the CBR is my very first bike which I bought with my hard earned money in mid of August after a long search in the Second Hand market. I had to get this bike all the way from Kolhapur as I was just not satisfied with the bikes available in Mumbai’s second hand scene. The bike was next to good condition and on priority just required shims adjustment and clutch plates replacement and apart from that just the regular oil changes.
So tragically I met with an near death accident (A truck driver decided to quickly change direction without even looking and resulting me getting dragged under the truck for 10 metres) from my scooter (Honda Dio) just two days after I had brought my dream bike home all the way from Kolhapur. The result of all this was 4 months of total bed rest, which meant that my CBR was just standing there looking at me as I would keep looking at her helplessly from the window of my room!
Fast forward 4 months later, I was finally looking forward to getting back on my bike after completing the last physiotherapy session. Even when I was in “bed rest”, I would sneakingly go out with my plastered right hand, neck and shoulder and just keep the bike in neutral and let the engine run for 10 to 15 mins. But that day when I finally very carefully took it for a very short spin, I realised that it really needs a proper servicing. And unfortunately, the service centre in Bhandup (Pilot Honda – Kantilal Maganlal Estate) got closed for good. I went to NXTGen Jhaveri Honda – Kurla but made a U-turn after seeing the way in which they were handling the bike. Rest all Honda Service Centers near me would only accept their beloved Activa and other scooters and their cash making commuter bikes. So I decided to try the FNG route and took my chances with Garage Uncle – Kandivali. I came to this conclusion of going at Garage Uncle after reading their online reviews.
I was given an estimation of almost 30K (yes I know I am a fool! :’) ) after the shop owner Mr. Donald assessed the bike. Now I was in a bit of a shock after I heard the estimate but frankly it covered overhauling and replacement of almost all the major parts of the engine excluding the piston and cylinder. The estimate was majorly focused on Clutch Assembly and Brakes. Since the last few days, the front brakes were not working properly. All of a sudden the lever would go all the way to the throttle and still the brake wouldn’t get applied while sometimes it did. The brake pads were new, so the issue was with the master cylinder or its kit (atleast that’s what I thought and even Donald had same conclusion) so, I left my bike after making some advance payment at Garage Uncle as it was too far from my place and I had no other choice except for trusting them with my bike. Yes, the work was not going to be get done in a single day as they too had to source some parts but still then, the garage being too far, I would not get to see my bike everyday as the work progressed. Fast forward after a week of wait, I finally got a message stating that the required work was done. I excitedly went there on Saturday and took a test ride. I was surprised as the bike felt like new and very much different than before. With this thought I just let the cost take a back seat in my head and just went ahead and made the payment and happily came back home.
l then just like my usual routine; took the bike for a short spin after dinner and a couple of minutes into my joyride guess who was back! Yes…”Mr Dead Brake Lever!”. At that very moment a very famous dialogue by James Doakes’s character from the Crime / Thriller TV series “Dexter” flashed in bold at the back of my head which goes something like “Surprise Mothermother”. I got back into my senses and returned from my routine meditative chill ride in just under 5 minutes as compared to the usual 1-1:30 hrs.
As it was Sunday the next day, I quickly phoned Mr Donald in the morning and sent him a video of Mr Dead. He said that he would not charge a single penny and assured that the issue would be fixed this time around. I wondered what he was doing with the bike when it was there for the whole week? He could have at least taken a proper test ride after fixing the issue at least once in between the week after the bike was stand still to check whether the brakes are functioning as they are expected to. I still don’t blame him as I assume that he would have never thought that the front brake would go kaput especially after changing the whole master cylinder and kit.
So, I reached his garage by late afternoon and he said that this time he would take a proper test ride every alternate day to check the brake’s issue. This meant that I had to again be “detached” with my bike for the whole week. As days passed he I used to take follow ups and the only reply I would get is that they are assessing the problem and didn’t provide me with proper solution. This made me a bit anxious and I just trusted him and waited for Saturday. I didn’t say that I was coming to check the bike and just went to his garage unannounced. Upon my arrival the mechanic looked at me surprisingly and said that boss didn’t tell them that I was coming. I replied that I myself didn’t inform him and I rather just wanted to see what the actual issue with my bike is. I saw my red bug parked outside all dusty and spilled oil stains on both the rims and the fairing. Mr Donald said that they have fixed the issue by changing the whole brake caliper and assured me that everything is fine.
I somehow was convinced but told him that I would take two test rides hours apart and then only be satisfied with work if everything works well. I took the first test ride with the new (it was slightly used and procured from one of his contacts in Kurla – CST Road market) caliper. The brake worked but somehow just didn’t give the kind of confidence like before. I still said to myself that at least something is better than nothing. I returned from the first test ride (20-30 kms long) and just sat there without saying anything and kept looking at the clock. After exactly 2 hours, I got back to the bike and just pressed the brake lever before putting on the helmet and yes, Mr Doakes’s dialogue came back haunting again. I bent down and inspected the caliper to see if any oil was leaking or if the brake lines felt funny and that’s when I saw a big crack (almost on the verge of breaking) on the front mudguard running all the way from mid front to the end of the back. I asked the mechanic about this and he said it was there from the beginning when I had brought down the bike the very first time. I was shocked by this reply and quickly understood that something is really fishy here as the crack never existed earlier as I myself used to wash the bike thoroughly and I had done the same before bringing it down to the garage.
I didn’t say anything as I thought it would be a total waste of my energy and time trying to justify that it was not me who has done it, but I rather thought that the main issue to be handled on priority is of Mr. Dead!. I went upstairs to Donald and said that the brake is dead again, then he said that he knew the issue would arise again and that the main culprit is the “ABS Motor”. Upon hearing this I thought to myself that if he knew that this was the issue; then why didn’t he address it to me earlier and assure me everything was fine? What if I had not waited for the second test ride and took off back to my home and the brake would get dead in the middle of the highway while traveling at a reasonable speed? I was very angry with his reply but still, me being me, I maintained my cool and didn’t say anything and rather just told him to put back my original caliper (the “new” one for some reason looked duplicate, let alone the fact that it was slightly used) and just take off the ABS fuse as I really couldn’t afford to swap in a new ABS motor as it would almost cost near about the same as the price at which I bought the bike and secondly; I had lost all my trust from this person and just wanted to get over with this issue once and for all and reach safely back home.
So, I took a long test ride with the ABS fuse removed and came back happier as the bite was far more superior than before and also provoked much more confidence even without the ABS. The reason for this was the three piston Nissin caliper which was now operating without ABS intervention. Though the confidence improved a lot; I still had to be gentle with the brake as now I didn’t have the safety net of ABS. I was confident that the brake issue was resolved at last but with the sacrifice of ABS. I still for the sake of courtesy asked Donald if I had to pay anything, he said that no, as I was back to my stock setup and just took out the fuse, nothing is to be paid. I quickly got back home and the front brake is still performing phenomenal even today after having ridden almost 5000 kms post this major service. Now, in the evening I took my red bug to get her washed. That’s when the guy cleaning the front rim told me that the rim was bent! I was again taken aback with this and that’s when I figured out how the mudguard was broken! Still, me being me, I didn’t call Donald to inform about this issue as I was damn sure it would backfire at me and I would the declared the one at fault. With a heavy heart, I put it all behind and quickly went to the CST Road market – Kurla and got the rim repaired in just 250 bucks including the repaint on the scuffed up patch which had occurred due to heating. After the rim was fixed, I went to my known mechanic in the same market and got the mudguard soldered to keep it intact for a temporary basis. Of Course by now I had exhausted almost all my savings and had no other option but to wait for the salary to order the mudguard.
Finally, after putting in the new mudguard I thought the bike is complete at last! And yes, it indeed was complete but again destiny had crossed my path again with beloved Mr. Donald. Once, I was just checking if there are any pending challans against the vehicles we own (2015 – Honda Dio, 2017 – Hyundai Xcent, My 2011 Red Bug – Honda CBR 250R). I do this once every month to make sure everything is paid and done. Frankly Dio and Xcent both had a couple of challans in 2016 and 2019 respectively and those were cleared back then (of course had got a proper scolding from the owner himself – my father ), but after that the records are clean and I always assured that they have been that way! So, as expected, nothing was due against Dio and Xcent but as soon as I entered the last four digits of chassis number of my red bug, a challan popped up against it with attached images. My heart started beating faster as I clicked on the image to download it. The first image was of the bike itself while the second one was of a guy standing with my bug. The challan was of 500/- which was implied for “Driving without valid license”. This guy was none other than the mechanic from Donald’s garage who had taken my bike for “test ride” to Vasai in order to check the issue with Mr. Dead when I had left the bike at their garage the second time.
This whole “test ride” to Vasai thing was never informed to me and rather told by Donald only when I asked him about this challan issue for which the explanation given to me was that “they make sure everything is in proper condition before delivering the bike back to the customer”. Seriously! Proper condition huh! Again. I didn’t want to argue about this and asked him straight up for the 500/- bucks in order to pay the challan. As expected, at first he denied but after properly “arguing” with him which he deserved (at least in my opinion), he finally agreed to it. The fact that I had to call and pester him all week long for mere 500/- makes the situation more embarrassing and I literally at one point thought that I was begging him for the money. After a long wait he picked up my phone on the seventh day and told me that all these days he was waiting for me to pay the challan first and then he would pay me the amount after I sent him the screenshot. Seriously Donald! it feels like it was Donald’s bike and I was the one without valid license on “test ride” *coughs* “joyride” ! I paid up the challan and sent him the screenshot. (yes, I am a fool!) Then again I had to pester him for three days to “extract” the amount from him! Huff! Finally as soon as I received the amount I decided to never step foot at that place again!
Moral of the Story:
I have lost my trust from Garage Uncle which never really was developed but had to gamble and take my chances as I didn’t really see any other option and not having much knowledge about the bike and to top it of this being my very first bike; I think I was caught off-guard and have learnt the lesson too! As of now, for minor works, I just blindly go to my trusted mechanic at CST Road – Kurla and get it done at a very reasonable price. One such example is of the left switch gear whose indicator switch had gone kaput, so to get the new on or to fix it I approached another FNG Desimechi – Andheri and the guy quoted a whooping 3500/- for new left switch gear!
I didn’t say anything and went straight to the place where I always end up where till now I have always found the solution to my problems – CST Road! I asked for it in the very first shop which I saw with my mechanic of course and he quickly went upstairs and brought down a box. In it was a brand new Honda CBR 250R left switch gear made by Uno Minda. Now those who are aware, Uno Minda is one of the top automotive components manufacturers in India. The price printed on that sealed box was 600/- and after a bit of bargain as I was also going to buy a LED headlight bulb with it, I got it for just 500/- I felt like taking the switchgear and showing it to Desimechi guy and telling him I got the original at 500/- but that would look nice only if this whole incident was in a movie! So, now that you all know about my story and my situation, I want you all to suggest a good Service Centre in Mumbai (Authorised/FNG) which would not rip me off and most importantly be genuine with their work and most importantly would be upfront and not hide things from me!
Sorry if the post has become too long. I will try to keep it short henceforth!
Here’s what BHPian aargee had to say on the matter:
I’m sure you’ve, but still, if you haven’t, please check this post
Next point, you’re welcome to visit any ASC & expect it to be no different except for a slight better outcome than any FNG because any Honda ASC has accountability with HMSI & not so with any FNG.
Sorry to say, unless you bought a model from one of the last batches (2018/2019/2020) (which I don’t think so), it’s not advisable to spend more money on it, especially on the engine repairs no matter how much you love it. Fact is, spares are getting extremely rare. My CBR is sitting with Didar since 4-Mar because I forced them to find the required spares. Thankfully my day doesn’t stop due to this, so I’m able to afford the time.
Here’s what BHPian aravind.anand had to say on the matter:
Yes, CBR250R never sold in good numbers. And to add to our woes, not all dealerships had the authority to service the CBR bikes – I still do not get the logic. If their idea was to impart a premium feel, it has backfired big time, as CBR owners are being shooed away from most dealerships.
And even the service centers that accept CBRs take an awfully long time to source spares and complete the task. My CBR spent 16 days at the service center, waiting for front brake caliper spare parts from Honda. Though I love my CBR a lot, these experiences make me want to switch to a more modern motorcycle with actual service support!! I am seriously exploring the idea to go with the R15M now..
Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.