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  #1  
Old 17 Dec 2008
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BEWARE: Biker's Garage/Moto Kuri in Cancún

[Update: The owner of Moto Kuri emailed me to say that Biker's Garage (where the work was done) is owned by someone else and that he had nothing to do with my bike. The Biker's Garage people had told me that Moto Kuri is just their parts department, but this might very well have been (yet another) a lie.]

I was cheated by a dishonest motorcycle shop in Cancún, and thanks to the internet, you get to read all about it. The owner lied to me outright. I have since learned that I am not the only person to have trouble with this shop. This post is a warning to others.

Biker's Garage and Moto Kuri have adjacent storefronts and share the same owner; one is the mechanic and one is a retail store [see note above, this may have been a lie by BG]. They are located in Cancún on Avenida Xel Ha.

I brought my KTM 640A to the shop in October for a few items, the most notable of which were to replace the chain and front and rear sprockets. I dropped off my bike and went out to Isla Mujeres for a week. I've replaced some of these parts in Mexico before, I know what they cost, and I was not paranoid enough to demand prices before the parts were changed. This was a mistake.

You can read the email exchange at the end of this message. The quick summary:

  • The first bill they sent me listed $250 usd for front and rear sprockets, $180 usd for the chain, and $190 usd for the labor to change them. This is almost exactly double what these items actually cost in Mexico, and $190 usd for labor is absurd.
  • I wrote back saying the prices are double what they should be and to give me the bill in pesos.
  • They wrote back a new set of prices: 2500 pesos for the sprockets, 1800 pesos for the chain, 1900 pesos for labor.
  • I wrote to them saying that I had these parts changed at Motoaltavista in DF and they cost half that. I demanded to know how many hours of labor were involved and what was the cost per hour.
  • They wrote back a nasty email and ignored my questions.
  • When I picked up the bike he told me that Motoaltavista sold me non-KTM parts and that his prices were fair. I knew this was a lie.
  • I paid the bill in disgust, got my bike, doublechecked the information, and now I am publishing his lies.

I checked the prices of the *actual KTM parts* in Mexico with my friends at Motoaltavista in Mexico City. In fact, all KTM shops in Mexico - including this one - get their KTM parts from Motoaltavista.

The actual prices? You can call up Motoaltavista and check them yourself:

  • Front sprocket, KTM factory part: ~$35 usd
  • Rear sprocket, KTM factory part: ~$90 usd
  • Chain: ~$100 usd for non-KTM chain. Biker's Garage lied about installing a KTM chain. Motoaltavista doesn't even sell them.

I also found out an interesting story. Biker's Garage apparently tried to ludicrously overcharge one of the owners of Motoaltavista for a service, and (as with me) was unapologetic about it. Motoaltavista cut them off from parts. Now, when Biker's Garage needs new KTM parts they send someone to drive to Mexico City to buy them anonymously over the counter.

Assholes.

You can read the email exchange below:

Quote:
ricardo pimentel cordero <bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com> Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 9:08 PM
To: me

ok. your bike is ready!!

you can come and get her when we receive the indicator light


Bikers' Garage Av. Xel Ha #21 Local BSM 27 Mza. 14 Lote 9Tel. 887 69 74Visita: Bikers Garage Cancun
Quote:

> From: me
> To: bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com
> Subject: Re: ktm
> Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2008 11:50:02 -0500
>
> Great! Email me when it arrives and I will be there the next day (or
> possibly even the same day!)
>
> What will the final bill be?
>
> Thanks,
> Jeff
Quote:

From: ricardo pimentel cordero <bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com> Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 6:27 PM
To: Jeff Schnitzer <jeff@infohazard.org>
We received the light before than we tought, so it´s done.

Here´s the description of the bill:

sprockets...250 usd
Chain...180 usd
indicator light...90 usd
change sprocket, indicator light and chain...190 usd
Repair screw of the case´s rack...30 usd
Total...740 usd

You can pick your bike tomorrow from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm

Thanks

Ricardo Pimentel
Bikers' Garage
Av. Xel Ha #21 Local B
SM 27 Mza. 14 Lote 9
Tel. 887 69 74
Visita: Bikers Garage Cancun
Quote:

From: me Sun, Oct 26, 2008 at 2:29 PM
To: ricardo pimentel cordero <bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com>

Dame los precios verdaderos, no los precios para gringos tontos. Yo sé cuanto cuestan estas refracciónes y cuantas horas de trabajo para cambiarlas. Estas cobrando el doble. No es gracioso.

Quiero (en pesos) los precios de cada parte, cuantas horas, y el precio por hora de trabajo.

Jeff
Quote:

From: ricardo pimentel cordero <bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com> Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 8:24 AM
To: me

Hola Jeff, para mi no es gracioso tampoco, este es el precio de las partes y lo que cuesta mi trabajo. Nadie te ha ofendido ni piensa que eres un gringo tonto, los precios de las refacciones son mas caros en México, pues hay que pagar impuestos arancelarios y transporte para que llegue a Cancún, el precio de mi mano de obra es bastante razonable y tomando en consideracion que lo hicimos lo mas pronto que pudimos puesto que estas viajando. Te doy el precio en pesos:

Piñones...2500 mn
Cadena...1800 mn
direccional tasera...900 mn
Mano de obra...1900 mn
reparar tornillo de maleta trasera...300 mn
lavado y engrasado...00 mn
Total...7400 mn

Cada dia que transcurre despues de terminado el trabajo, se cobra un dia de salario minimo por estadia, lo puedes leer en tu orden de servicio. Avisanos porfavor cuando vendras por tu moto, pues no queremos tener problemas de ningun tipo.

Saludos y me da gusto que si sepas hablar en español, pues para mi es mas facil.

Bikers' Garage
Av. Xel Ha #21 Local B
SM 27 Mza. 14 Lote 9
Tel. 887 69 74
Visita: Bikers Garage Cancun
Quote:

From: me Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 1:21 PM
To: ricardo pimentel cordero <bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com>

Ya he cambiado mis piñones & cadena en Mexico DF hace un año, y cuestan la mitad de lo que dicen sus precios. No creo que cuesten mas de 2000 pesos para transportarlos a Cancún.

Cuantas horas trabajaste para cambiar los piñones y la cadena?

Jeff
Quote:

From: ricardo pimentel cordero <bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com> Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 2:21 PM
To: me

MIRA, NUNCA HE TENIDO PROBLEMAS CON NINGUN CLIENTE, NO TENGO POR QUE DAR EXPLICACIONES, ESOS SON MIS PRECIOS, ESTO CUESTAN LAS PIEZAS Y ESTO CUESTA MI MANO DE OBRA. NO HAY DESCUENTOS. SOLO NECESITO QU ME DIGAS CUANDO VAN A VENIR POR LA MOTO, SI NO PARA MANDARLA A LA BODEGA POR QUE AQUI YA NO TENGO ESPACIO.

SALUDOS

Bikers' Garage
Av. Xel Ha #21 Local B
SM 27 Mza. 14 Lote 9
Tel. 887 69 74
Visita: Bikers Garage Cancun
Quote:

From: ricardo pimentel cordero <bikersgaragecancun@hotmail.com> Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 2:25 PM
To: me

SI NO TIENES DINERO TE PUDE HABER RECOMENDADO ALGUN OTRO TALLER, DONDE NO TE DAN GARANTIA NI TE PONEN PARTES ORIGINALES. ESTE ES UN TALLER SEHEMOS TOMADO CURSOS EN DIFERENTES MARCAS Y SOLO PONEMOS REFACCIONES ORIGINALES; ADEMAS NUESTRO TRABAJO ESTA GARANTIZADO. ESTE ES EL PRECIO QUE LE DOY A NACIONALES Y EXTRANJEROS Y HASTA AHORA DESPUES DE TRABAJAR 5 AÑOS EN CANCUN, ERES EL PRIMERO QUE ME HACE UNA RECLAMACION POR EL PRECIO.

Bikers' Garage
Av. Xel Ha #21 Local B
SM 27 Mza. 14 Lote 9
Tel. 887 69 74
Visita: Bikers Garage Cancun

Last edited by stickfigure; 10 Feb 2009 at 22:31.
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  #2  
Old 17 Dec 2008
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Seems to me you should have had sense enough to get a written estimate before you ever left your bike there. You left your self wide open for abuse.
We all know to ask for the price of a room, right? Or a meal? or a Beer?
Huge and wide variances with all these .... bike repair is no exception ....
apparently.

Lots of unscrupulous shops do the same thing .... even right here in San Francisco! Sad part is a shop has the right to charge whatever they want ...
no rules there. It's our JOB as consumers to A S K first.

Given Cancun is a wealthy tourist destination, it's doubtful your internet reports on this guy will affect him much. I'm sure savvy locals already know the guy and avoid him .... and most HUbbers are far too cheap to go anywhere near Cancun these days.

It always pays to get prices beforehand and shop around. I was quoted $30 to install a front tire (easy job on a DR650) in Ensenada at a Moto shop. I went down the street to a Car tire dealer ..... $3 . (I tipped them $2)

The Moto shop guys were used to rich Baja 1000 racer types and were well aware of US prices. Apparently your guy in Cancun saw you coming.

You could do more but probably not worth your time and negative energy.

You could bribe the Police to extort the money back from the guy, but in the end it would cost you about the same .... unless you know someone with a bent nose.

Good travels!

Patrick
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  #3  
Old 18 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Seems to me you should have had sense enough to get a written estimate before you ever left your bike there. You left your self wide open for abuse.
Yep, this is certainly true. Most shops in Mexico and Central America have been thoroughly honest and a joy to work with, so I was lulled into a false sense of security

I've long written-off the experience. My hope in posting here is that other members of this community can more easily avoid this particular landmine.

Jeff
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  #4  
Old 18 Dec 2008
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No worries Jeff,
Always helpful to have info about local shops.

Cheers,

Patrick
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  #5  
Old 6 Mar 2009
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thanks

Information such as this is GREAT and potentially very useful (if one had read it before the trip and not afterwards....)
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  #6  
Old 16 Mar 2009
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Linking another thread in... another rider's experience:

BEWARE: Biker's Garage in Cancún (AGAIN!) - ADVrider
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  #7  
Old 29 Oct 2010
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Hey folks, it is great to know of a bad shop in any place to avoid, but does anyone know of a good one to go to?? I need a few things for my V-Strom, and searching the internet is a joke. As I firmly believe in avoiding rip-off merchants the one name I came across (Moto Curi), I will now avoid.... Any other spots let me know please...
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  #8  
Old 30 Oct 2010
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I live in Mexico and if you want to pursue this and bring legal action against the shop, you can easily do so through the local PROFECO office.
PROFECO are the Mexican federal government consumer protection agency and they are a little slow (Mexican bureaucracy) but they do have some pretty good people and they have "teeth". You will have to submit information and have an appointment with them and you likely will get some satisfaction.
Go to this page and you can begin:

[url=http://www.profeco.gob.mx/delegaciones/DelegaEdos.asp?edo=QROO]Profeco (Procuradur

I strongly urge you to pursue this through PROFECO so you can get something back and also as a warning to the shop to quit jacking around.
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  #9  
Old 31 Oct 2010
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I understand your anger. Coming from areas with strict commercial rules (including the obligation to display fares) doesnt prepare you well for latin american reality.

I found contacting local motorcycle clubs before any important repairs to be a safe solution to avoid to hit bad apples. Most clubs will not only give you tips, but also welcome you for a friendly chat or a meal.

I also wouldnt buy a new 'brandy' machine to travel south of the border. 1990s overlanders are reknown for their easy and cost effective maintainance. The less you are visible/watched/envied, the more you can enjoy to observe your surroundings and melt in the atmosphere.

When i got my cylender reshaped in Formosa, i gave the motorcycle to one of the local motorcycle clubs mechanic. And even tho he was a member, he insisted in me watching his repairs, since trust is not part of the culture down there.

The only problem i can see with such posts is that even tho most bikers are good willed, some might use forums to discriminate competitors. We ve seen on those forums some epic fights between people living off the motorcycling travelling industry. That s why repetitive positive reports over time are more constructive and reassuring.
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