Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day 72: Whoo-hoo!

James called and left me a voicemail while I was in a meeting, around 1:00 p.m. It was good news: He said the Agility 125 was "... runnin' smooth as silk." Awesome!

Of course, I rode the Vino to the bus stop this morning, and locked the helmet under the seat, so I was helmetless. Before the tow goob took the Kymco yesterday, I unlatched the Shad (!) w/Icon Mainframe inside, and carried it into the condo. I figured if the tow goob dropped the scoot, that'd be the first thang to break, so I just removed it, thinking I'd carry the case to work with me in a few days. After James' call last night, it didn't sound like it'd be today that the scooter was up and runnin', again... I could tell he was pretty frustrated with not being able to get the thang to fly right. Who can blame him? It is frustrating to have a brand new bike not working like a brand new bike -- for the owner, and the very conscientious dealer!

At any rate, I didn't bring any helmet to work with me. Bummah.

As it so happens, my landlord friend was replacing a faucet in my bathroom, today, and I happened to call him while he was still at the condo. He agreed to drop the Shad (!) and helmet off to me, and to actually take me on over to ESS to pick up the scoot; it was on his way home, just not on the interstates, as he would normally have gone.

I got there, and sure enough, the scooter was idling just as it had been the first day I started it up. No roughness, no sputtering, no problem. James explained that the KymcoUSA DSM, Mike Hancock, had dropped by, and volunteered his help in diagnosing the problem. Mike insisted on checking all the vacuum lines that James had already checked, just to make sure everything was tight and sealed up, sucking in the good sense. :) After about an hour of checking all these things out, poking, prodding, testing... Mike called James over to feel a little puff of air where there shouldn't have been one.

As James explained it, there's a little trick with a clamp on the intake manifold, and he and Mike concluded that there may be a design issue on this model that might prompt a dealer service bulletin, or some such. Apparently, the clamp is designed in such a way that it can be tightened with its screw, and feel really tight, but it's actually not tightening the intake hose against the intake -- it's tightening up against itself, leaving the hose loose enough to cause the rough idle/high idle/no starting issues. Once they got the clamp adjusted correctly, and tightened correctly, the scooter fired right up, and ran like melted buttah.

In any case (as you've no doubt heard all over Ted Stevens' Innertubes), the Agility 125 is getting somewhat of a bum rap for carburetor issues, brand-spankin' new. James and Mike think this clamp may actually account for many, if not most of those issues... and it's apparently not an easy one to figure out. So, maybe they'll send out a service bulletin, and/or redesign the clamp, and make a bunch of new Agility owners very happy customers.

Bottom line: My hat's off to James and Mike -- to James, for being ultra-responsive to making a customer's concerns his first priority, and for being tenacious (polite, but firm) with KymcoUSA to get the problem resolved. I hope it hasn't cost him any money -- I know it's cost him time and worry. And to Mike, for taking a new dealer's concerns seriously, and coming into the shop to roll up his sleeves and see if he could help figure out what was going on.

You gonna get that level of service from an eBay dealer, selling Chinese close bikes? Not in your wildest, lottery-winnin' dreams, man.

So, I rode the Kymco across the metropolis, all surface streets. Stopped to get a Redbox DVD at the McDonald's on Charlotte, and a six pack of Sweetwater 420 at H.G. Hill's... and still made it to the condo in under an hour from the time I left ESS.

Now the bad news: I gotta walk back to the bus stop to retrieve the Vino. :) Heh! I'll take it.

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