I've contacted Rick Beggs (owner of RNR) multiple times for a refund and he's now resorted to lying and refuses to give me a refund so I'm writing off the $1,300+ I wasted there and sharing my story in hopes that others don't get screwed by taking their bike to RNR.
I took bike to RNR after finding coolant in oil. RNR misdiagnosed the problem, even though they had a 50/50 shot of getting it right and I gave them both options. After getting the bike fixed by another shop, Rick changed his story and started lying about what I asked them to do so he wouldn't have to refund my money. Ultimately they took me for $1,300 and some change. Avoid at all costs.
On May 21, I discovered my bike was leaking coolant into the oil. I took out the oil filters and drained the oil as well as the coolant to confirm. There was indeed coolant in the oil so after some head banging, I did a little search on the interwebz and found that my problem was likely due to one of two issues: either the head gasket or the water pump shaft seal. To diagnose which one it is, you need to do a leak down test. You can see here and here that this was my hypothesis. Now I did actually replace the water pump shaft seal on my 950, but I don't have the equipment to do a leak down test, I was about to go on vacation at the time so I just wanted it fixed and a reputable shop seemed like the way to go. Enter RNR.
Now I think it's important to note why I took it to RnR and what my expectations were at this point. I took it to RnR because I expected that it would be done right and I wouldn't have to deal with ***. For the labor rate they charge, I certainly could have taken it to a KTM dealer; however, I will gladly pay to have it done correctly the first time and RNR had a reputation for doing good work and standing behind it. Unfortunately, that reputation doesn't seem to be worth much.
So when I brought it in, I specifically mentioned both the head gasket and water pump shaft seal to Rick. Rick immediately dismissed the water pump shaft seal and told me that wasn't possible, but that they would look into it. I figured, what do I know, I guess he knows what he's talking about and so at this point, I assumed it could only be the head gasket. I asked if we could go ahead and order the parts right then, since obviously it could only be the head gasket given what Rick had told me. Rick replied that they should take a look at it first and make sure it was indeed the head gasket. Fair enough so I sent a message to the tech to help with his diagnosis and waited.
On the 25th, I heard it had been diagnosed, it was indeed the head gasket, and it was also recommended that I replace the piston, jug, add an MCCT, and an oil cooler. I called Ali, authorized all the optional work and requested that the parts get shipped overnight so that the bike could get done by the end of the week.
On the 28th, I discovered that the parts hadn't even been ordered yet and there was other work in front of my bike and it would not be done before my annual Deal's Gap Trip that weekend. At that point, I asked that the rush shipping and optional work not be done, as the bike wasn't going to be done in time for my trip and I now needed to buy another motorcycle. I bought an S1000RR and went on my vacation swearing off KTM.
I finally picked my bike up on 6/13, 22 days after it I gave it to RNR. The total bill was $1,308.18. I was charged for both Water Wetter, which I provided, and Engine Ice. I'm hoping they didn't use both.
I rode the bike to work a few times and while in hindsight, it did run a little hot, it was the middle of summer in DC and I didn't think much of it, as surely I imagined that RNR had tested it thoroughly before giving it back to me. I didn't ride it all that much, as we were preparing for a cross country move, but I did notice that it was difficult to shift and upon checking the coolant resevoir, I discovered it was empty. Again, giving RNR the benefit of the doubt and assuming it just wasn't bled, I filled up the reservoir, loaded it on the truck and drove across the country to CO. As I had some time to think about it, I decided that I should test it more thoroughly upon arriving and, after we returned our truck, I made it a priority to test it out. A 45 minute ride was all that it took to empty the coolant reservoir and increase the oil level. The bike was still leaking coolant into the oil and I was now 1,700 miles away.
I called Rick, explained the situation and he asked me to take the motor out and ship it to him. I declined, given that I had already paid him $1,300 to fix it and told him I would take it to a reputable KTM shop. He agreed that a refund may be in order.
I took the bike to Elite KTM in Loveland, CO. When I talked to the tech there and explained the history of the issue, it did concern me that he mentioned he had never seen a head gasket go on one of these bikes and he suspected the water pump shaft seal immediately as he shared my previous experience having replaced them on 950's. After getting the bike back, another $350 later, there are two important takeaways from the ticket: 1. RnR did not fix the problem. As the Elite tech documented on the receipt, "large amounts of coolant in oil, oil filter deformed from coolant, coolant level down half way in radiator." 2. The problem was the water pump shaft seal, confirmed by the 1000+mi I've put on the bike in the past couple of days.
While it does annoy me that the actual cause of the problem was dismissed after I explicitly suggested it when I brought the bike in to RnR, I understand that people make mistakes just like I do and everyone else out there; however, the fact remains that at the end of the day, when I got my bike back from RnR, I was no better off than when I took it in. Actually, I was worse off, as it ultimately ruined another $50 worth of coolant, oil, and filters, not to mention the lost time. In other words, there was no value added.
Fine, kind of annoying, but I'm sure I can get a refund since it's completely obvious RNR screwed up and ultimately the problem was a lot less serious so that's good, right? Wrong. I e-mailed Rick, more or less the body of this post detailing what had happened, and it was at this point that Rick started lying. I'm not sure if it's because he's crashed too much and doesn't remember or if he's just a completely unethical lier who realized that my move meant there were no more dollars coming from me, but either way, he now claims that I brought him a disassembled motorcycle and simply asked him to replace the headgasket.
I tried another e-mail and follow up call, but he's content to lying about it and taking my money, despite the forum posts, despite the messages to the tech, despite the fact that he personally told me it wasn't possible, despite the fact that we didn't order parts at the onset because they wanted time to diagnose, despite the TRUTH.
To anyone thinking about taking your bike there, don't. It's one thing if you make a mistake and fix it. ***, that usually breeds customer loyalty and everyone is going to make a mistake once in a while. It's entirely different to be dishonest and unethical when you discover a mistake and try to weasel your way out of it. That's my experience with RNR and I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone spending their hard earned dollars. Ultimately I paid $1,660 for a $350 problem because Rick Beggs is an unethical and dishonest person. Don't make the same mistake I did by taking your bike to RNR Cycles in Sterling.
Review about: Refund Refuse.