I attended the Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show this month. I try to go every year because I’m fascinated with custom motorcycles and cars. Garage art isn’t really my thing but I’m always impressed with the design and effort these folks put into these customs. My favorites are the ones built in somebody’s garage or small shop. The high school builds are great too. Most of my time at this show is spent at the swap meet. This year I was on the hunt for a 2 into 1 exhaust for a Sportster.
I love swap meets and the one at the Donnie Smith show is a great one. The one problem I have with them is of my own making. I show up unprepared. Often times I’m looking for a specific part and I don’t have the number. This turns into asking whoever is at the table, “will this fit a [insert year, make, and model here]?” The answer is usually something like “maybe, you might have to do a little fabrication.” I made a lot of purchases for my chopper that came with encouraged fabrication and most of them didn’t work out.
I made a promise to myself with this current bike build that I would only buy parts that I was going to use. So far I’ve done a pretty good job with it. Through a ton of internet research and talking with a few bike builders I’ve been able to stay on track. The exhaust system I was in search for I ended up buying brand new. When I say I researched I should probably say I agonized. I quickly discovered that too much information is sometimes as troublesome as not enough. Just like anything, if you look long enough you can find an equal amount of bad and good regarding a particular exhaust system. Then you have to rely on respectable and accurate reviews as opposed to just rants. This made it tougher than it should have been.
I do everything I can to buy locally and I normally have pretty good luck. The Bassani exhaust I bought I couldn’t find at a reasonable price anywhere but online. I still paid way more than I wanted to for a motorcycle exhaust system, hence the agonizing. I made the purchase through Revzilla which I have had good luck with in the past for hard-to-find stuff. I tend to be pretty cynical with retailers and especially when they’re online. What happened with this purchase blew me away.
I ordered the part and they shipped it for free with a 5-7 day delivery window. When I placed the order they only had 2 left which was 2 more than I could find anywhere else. Before I even received the part, the price dropped $50. They had come out with a new model and dropped the price on the one I had ordered. I called them and they immediately credited the $50. No hassle at all. I thought “wow, good customer service.”
When I received the part we opened the package and discovered that the mounting bracket was for an older model bike. After inspecting the packaging, it appeared the box had been mislabeled. I was ready to call Revzilla and light them up. Due to my cynicism, I’m convinced retailers are out to screw me. The next morning, after a few deep, calming, breaths, I called their customer service and talked to a woman who not only was extremely helpful, but really knew about motorcycles. I was impressed. I sent them pictures of the parts list and the wrong part and they agreed to take care of it. They didn’t have the part I needed but they called Bassani directly and had it overnighted to me at no cost. Now I thought, “wow, GREAT customer service.” Thank you Revzilla for making this bike build a bit easier than the last one.