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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2010, 10:24 AM
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Was I Ripped off by Howard's Killer Customs, Pine Hill NJ?

Back in December, the week before Christmas, I contacted Howard's Killer Customs, Pine Hill NJ, about making a gas tank for a bike I was building. I wanted a one-off tank built, and he came highly recommended from a trusted friend. When I called Howard, he was very anxious to start, even offering to pick up the frame that day. All I had at that point was the frame, so I dropped that off at his shop, along with a $500 deposit that he asked for. I explained to him that I only needed a gas tank, I was taking care of the rest. About 3 weeks later, he called asking for the engine and transmission so he could check clearances for the tunnel. I dropped them off, and he asked me for another $200 which I gave him. About 2 weeks after that, he called me up, joyfully stating that the bike was "mocked up", and that I should come down and check it out, and asked for another $200. I dropped by his shop, and he had the swingarm on, the transmission set in the frame with one bolt holding it, and the motor just setting in the mounts, no bolts. I explained to him again that I only needed him to make me a tank, and that I would take care of the rest. I also told him that I wasn't going to pay anymore money until the tank was done. Now we were into mid February, and I still had no tank. A week later my wheels came in, so I called him up and asked when he would have the tank done. He made some excuses about moving and doing a big welding job for a bridge project, so I told him I was coming to get the bike so I could align the drivetrain and get my shit done, and bring it back when he was ready. He asked me to bring it back in early March. So I went and got everything, got it put together as a rolling chassis, and started calling him in early March. Excuse after excuse, he finally took the bike back in mid March. A month later, still no progress, I told him I was again coming to pick up the bike. When I got to his shop, he had a piece of sheetmetal clamped to the bike cut into an approximate diamond shape, and what looked like some scrap bent into a tunnel shape laying on the floor. He claimed he had started the tank. I explained to him that I could no longer wait, and was taking the bike for good. I asked him to make me up an invoice for whatever work he had done, and refund me the balance, which he agreed. Several weeks went by, and finally he called me stating that of my $900, he had used $400 of it on labor. I asked that he justify this with a detailed invoice, and he stated "I don't have the time, you're lucky I'm giving you anything back". He paid me the $500 balance in 2 Western Union money orders, the second one I finally just recieved today. I think I was more than patient and understanding, and I'm really the easiest dude in the world to work with. This guy saw me pull up in my Cadillac Escalade with my clean hands, and thought I was an idiot. I'll get the $400 back, one way or another. I work on a shitload of bikes for cops and lawyers around here, and they are all chomping at the bit to pay back the favours they owe me, but I figured I'd post it up here so everyone knows. He came recommended from a friend, and I wanted to use a local guy, but I got burned.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2010, 11:51 AM
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You are lucky you got your bike back. Some of these guys will just be gone one day with your bike and all your money.


I hate people that do not keep promises.
I have had two run ins with those kind of people.


I think what they do is spend the money, then they have to go get another job to buy the materials for your job.

Last edited by donald branscom; 07-13-2010 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:54 AM
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Well the guy had a good rep in this area, and some friends of mine had work done and never had an issue. You just never know.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:07 PM
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It happenes to everyone... ONCE.... I got burned by a local guy... Still waiting for my $600 ... Karma has already hit him in the face once..... Until he makes it right Karma will keep knockin...
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:30 PM
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Man that sucks.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:37 PM
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Wow, sorry to hear all this Moe. That don't sound like Howard. He's never done any work for me but I know the guy (not well). Talked to him quite a few times at different events. Either way, thats fucked up and if it we're me I'd want all the money back.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:50 PM
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MY question is why does he need the motor and trans to make a tank??? Clearances?? uh ok.. he doesn't have a motor in his shop? and beyond that they don't really change much.. beyond that, the trans??? what kind of gas tank is he building that the trans would have clearance issues??? Hope you get to a place you feel satisfied man. In the end, you wanted your part and good service and that won't happen at this point. I have had a lil bad luck from a good guy lately too and sometimes you just have to cut ties and move on...
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:48 PM
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That really sucks man. As tod said why the trans? I understand the motor, because maybe he dosnt have one in stock. (Maybe) but clearance issues with the trans is questionable. Glad you got your bike back.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2010, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moejoe03 View Post
I work on a shitload of bikes
wow-wee

am i missing something here????
you work on a shitload of bikes... but you didn't question the need your engine AND tranny???
and he had the swing arm attached??? how did he get that, surely you weren't ignorant enough to provide him all of the bike parts

maybe it's just me but this story sounds like a ruse.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmastiff View Post
wow-wee

am i missing something here????
you work on a shitload of bikes... but you didn't question the need your engine AND tranny???
and he had the swing arm attached??? how did he get that, surely you weren't ignorant enough to provide him all of the bike parts

maybe it's just me but this story sounds like a ruse.
I second that motion and am a bit curious to see how this episode of days of our lives turns out.

If the beginning of the post starts with a straight line and ends straight that is great but when a few bends begin to occur well any change is deviant to the straight line get my drift.
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:30 AM
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if you work on so many bikes then you should know you dont need a swing arm to build a tank. something more to this story than it sounds like. Next time drive your old chevy truck and make sure you just got done working on one of your lawyer friends bikes so your hands are greasy. Then maybe he wont ask for your swingarm and tranny to build a gas tank ??


bummer
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:50 AM
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my wife has been watching housewives of new jersey. i sat down on the couch with her last night and took in an episode. and now i've subscribed to this thread.

i've really got to turn my life around.
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:20 AM
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The swingarm had nothing to do with the tank, when I dropped off the frame I had it temporarily attached using an axle I had laying around. He took it upon himself to press the bearings/races into the swingarm and mount it. That's what I meant when I said he mounted the swingarm, and prompted me to explain to him again at our second meeting that I only needed him to make me a tank. I gave him the tranny because I knew we would have to move the oil bag because of clearance issues with the exhaust. That was to come after the tank was done, but we never even got to working that problem out. Bottom line is that I trusted this guy completely in the beginning, because he came recommended from a close friend and had a good rep in this area. Sorry for the drama I caused by leaving out those details, but lets give him the benefit of a doubt. So he banged two races into cups, Ray Charles could do it in 20 min. So please justify the other $360 of money he kept, and why the refusal to give me an invoice outlining the work that was done?
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
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my wife has been watching housewives of new jersey. i sat down on the couch with her last night and took in an episode. and now i've subscribed to this thread.

i've really got to turn my life around.
Poop, any news on a heading ostrich, ive been looking at least for a heeler but no luck. Now that , that would turn your life around. you just havent lived til youve roped off an ostrich
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:32 AM
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ostrich search is off while i'm on assignment in alaska doing a little investigative reporting on the chopper industry there. but i did pick up this jewel, perfect for getting around, sniffing out shy cave dwellers, and snuggling up at night to keep warm.

still trying to turn my life around.

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