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Frank Lee 04-12-2009 02:11 AM

Why does Honda hate their customers so much?
Wanted to expand my territorial radius from bicycling so picked up an old Gold Wing. It sat unused for many years but I got her going... but not stopping. At first the brakes did not work. Added fluid, flushed, bled... voila! Stoppage! I thought I was golden. But later on... the brakes did not RELEASE. :mad:

Yeah I'll just skip over the intermediate part here... So the calipers need rebuilding- the bike has three. I go to Honda and price parts:

Seals (2/caliper): $11.58 x 3 = 34.74

Dust seals (2/caliper): $12.58 x 3 = 37.74

Pistons (2/caliper): $74.58 x 3 = 223.74

$296.22 for a handful of glorified O-rings and some walnut-sized cast pistons. Oh~ forgot the Cali sales tax of nearly 10%!!!

It gets better: what if, since I have almost no tools at my disposal, I buy caliper assemblies?

Caliper: $342.00 x 3 = $1,026 :eek:

Oh yeah- sales tax too! :mad:

For that I get a palm-sized aluminum casting with minimal machining done to it, with the pistons and seals. No labor. No new brake shoes. No fluid. No rotors. No brakes lines. No master cylinder service. No rocket science or gold plating either. Cripes, I could probably get a machine shop to build them from scratch from billet for less.

One can only conclude that Honda hates their customers. You wouldn't do that to anyone you respect, would you?

Nigel 04-12-2009 03:29 AM

Brakes not releasing sounds like a Master Cylinder problem.
Could be some crud has jammed up one of the fluid return paths. Had this happen on a Honda M/C I used on one of my bikes a while back.
Brakes dragging would be calipers. Or has this got some weird integrated brake system?

Frank Lee 04-12-2009 06:50 AM

Front M/C was the very first thing I tore into. There's a widdle teeny hole in there that has to be open. It's so teeny a wire plucked from a wire brush was too fat! :eek: Luckily it cleared with the extended nozzle for the brake cleaner jammed up onto it.

It's the calipers. Corrosion built up behind the seals and dust seals, pressing them VERY tightly to the pistons. One piston I haven't gotten out yet is resisting over 100 psi!

Oh, I'll get through this... NO THANKS TO HONDA. :mad:

Ryland 04-12-2009 11:04 AM

I've always found Honda motorcycle parts to be very reasonable priced, you don't say what year your bike is, but it sounds like your prices are a bit high, I've had good luck with, it's also a good site to have to see how things go togther.

spoil9 04-12-2009 12:06 PM


Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 97220)
Oh~ forgot the Cali sales tax of nearly 10%!!!

Not that this helps your problem, but Chicago does have a 10% sales tax.

Silveredwings 04-12-2009 12:31 PM


One can only conclude that Honda hates their customers. You wouldn't do that to anyone you respect, would you?
This isn't the only factor, but when sales of new products are down, prices of replacement parts spike. They all do it. C'est la Merde.

rkcarguy 04-12-2009 05:59 PM

I'd hunt down some used calipers next time, there are many motorcycle recyclers found online. Typically the calipers seize because the exterior rubber seals fail and allow the piston to rust and then it doesn't slide back into the caliper when the brakes are released. Honda oem parts are always expensive, head gaskets, water pumps, and timing belts are worth buying, the rest I either hunt down used or get it from another parts supplier. My friends body shop does alot of honda's and they always complain that the little plastic clips that hold the trim on break and cost $2.90 each and each car takes about 30 of them!

Frank Lee 04-12-2009 07:18 PM

Some MrCycles parts are about 1/2 of local before taxes and shipping are figured in. I just don't think even a MrCycles part is reasonably priced. Their seals, which are basically little square-section O-rings, are $6 each! You know there is nothing special about O-rings in materials, design, or manufacture. They are fractions of a penny each to produce. The whole seal kit could be sold at a profit for a fraction of what the price is now. And the calipers would come to about $600- again, no rocket science involved with calipers, they are just little aluminum castings with little machining ops done to them. In comparison to the $1100 retail Honda cost for three calipers, I can get a rebuilt Chevrolet V8 for less than $1000! Yes, that is 600 lbs of equipment with all machining done (what- 50x the amount of machine work compared to those calipers?) plus all new pistons rings bearings oil pump gaskets you name it. There is no comparison.

Honda hates it's customers.

That said, thanks for the link Ryland. In this case I am hopefully going to prevail over that SOB by servicing what I have. When I do come to a spot that I can't Mcgyver out of, they would be a good place to check.

Not sure there has been a replacement parts price spike. In the 35 years I've dealt with motorsports, they have always been high.

bhazard 04-12-2009 08:32 PM carries motorcycle parts. Worth a try.

Frank Lee 04-12-2009 08:39 PM

Thanks for the tip~ but could only find some engine and electrical on there.

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