Near Lethal Product Failure on Grubee GT1

Discussion in 'Dealer Reviews' started by Irish John, Sep 20, 2009.

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  1. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    Today on the busy Pacific Highway in far northern NSW a 3 week old Grubee GT1 cruiser suffered catastrophic failure in the steering head nearly causing the death of my customer who got the GT1 & G4 Grubee kit that I reported on elsewhere.
    The alloy that is inside the steering head tube completely fractured and the only way the rider maintained some steering ability was by pressing the failed tube downwards to get some purchase between the broken parts. The only thing stopping the handlebars from falling right off was the head bolt that was allowed the rider to get a little steerage to avoid veering head on into oncoming traffic. The attached photos show what snapped. I reckon this is so serious that the authorities will probably demand a total product recall.
    This is on top of the 11T freewheel failure after 120 kms and the new 11T will fail at the same mileage because it cannot withstand the forces that the gearbox applies to it. I think this justifies my frequent complaints about dangerous quality fade and attrocious quality control. The rider is ropeable with anger and wanted to fly down to Sydney and see the wholesaler but the wholesaler has just left for Thailand.
    Suffice to say I was totally justified in bagging this whole product package. I hope you are reading this Biketec because the crystalline alloy in the sheered tube clearly tells us that the problem is unsafe weak alloy mixes being used on applications that absolutely demand quality control. The whole head design is a fatality waiting to happen and blame will need to be laid squarely at the feet of the manufacturer. I stated in another thread appraising the GT1 that I didn't like it because it was pokey and had no fenders but that it is probably OK for someone who can't afford a decent cruiser bicycle. I will stick with the one piece Schwinn quill stem & head because they are made to the required strength and that's important when your life depends on it. I am very angry at what nearly happened to my friend and customer and I think it is justified. It really emphasises the folly of using cheap shonky bikes and this GT1 has a very very serious problem to be resolved. Personally I don't see any option other than a total product recall.

    Attached Files:

  2. Pablo

    Pablo Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Pure garbage!

    Please explain that joint. Is the connection only made by what looks like slag/non-homogeneous filler??:shout: And the stem and the clamp head only butted??? :sweatdrop::ack2::dunce:
  3. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I think you probably busted it yourself.
    Seems you have some personal vendetta against Grubee because all you seem to do is trash their products. Your posts reek of sabotage. You are a very small man Irish John.
  4. Pablo

    Pablo Motored Bikes Sponsor

    It seems like it would be pretty easy to verify......
  5. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I'm pretty much not going to say anymore in this thread but all one has to do is to look at Irish John's posting history, and what they'll see is someone that bashes Grubee products, and everything manufactured in China. That is his "contribution" to these forums. While he claims a 98% failure rate on Happy Time type engines, literally thousands of people are installing these engines on some pretty cool custom frames and enjoying what he calls garbage. Sure there are a few that have problems, but the vast majority don't.
  6. nsideus

    nsideus Guest

    I understand Irish John's frustration with Grubee products. From personal experience quality has faded way beyond acceptable. Arceeguy, what is your experience with the products Irish speaks of?
  7. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Have you looked at Irish John's posting history?

    Do you actually think that he would ever give a fair and truthful review of a Grubee product or anything made in China - EVER?

    Do you trust the rantings of an old Irish guy who wears a sarong riding a motorized bicycle? (Maybe that's what Aussies wear?????)

    As far as my experience goes with Grubee and other products made in China - they seem to go exactly opposite of what IJ claims. He caught my eye several months back when he was continually trashing the Happy Time style 2 stroke bike engines. I have sold dozens of them, from various manufacturers, and can safely tell you that they are not as troublesome or dangerous as IJ claims they are. To me, everything this guy posts regarding products made in China are suspect. And everyone reading his opinions should keep his posting history in mind and form their own opinion.
  8. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    It isn't my bike to break for a start - it belongs to someone else and the fact it carries my logo on the tank does me a lot of damge and you Arceeguy must be blind as a bat! I can tell from your ugly missive that the truth really hurts you.
  9. Pablo

    Pablo Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Oh my...I just spewed expensive coffee on my monitor.:grin5::grin5::grin5::ack2:
  10. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    But note this Arceeguy - you sells kits in a carboard box and I sell a finished product with a 12 month unlimited warranty. I stand by what I sell and I don't lie about my goods. I tell it as it is and after riding 34,000 kms on motored bicycles if I say a product is shonky is more than likely is. The warranties offered on the best HTs are 30 days and on the others you would have to seek recompense in a court because you won't get it from most kit suppliers. A warranty of 30 days is not much better than useless. I include one free fix on the freewheel shaft key on the standard Grubee gearbox because I allow customers the chance to learn that it's fragile by making the mistake of snapping it. That is the only problem my bikes have.
    I wonder how happy your customers are with all the junk you include in that box. I buy plenty of Grubee stuff and quite a lot of it works OK and quite a lot of it goes in the bin. At least my product will go for a few years without failing. As for Grubee equipment I've been buying it since 2005 and I took over the stock from the first supplier in Australia. Maybe that's how I know a bit about them.
    The fact that you maker light of such a serious malfunction as this shows that you can't bear to face the truth about what those pictures show and you are probably very capable of looking your customer in the eye and saying "just an exception, don't worry I'll replace it with another one",
    I'm not the sort of person that can do that. That head\stem failure is probably not an exception and peoples lives are at stake. It sickens me to read all you suppliers patting each other on the back and trying to mask the seriousness of the problem. Catch yourselves on.
  11. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Irish John - do not try and make me out to be an internet seller. While I do sell the kits in a box, I also sell completed cruiser and mountain bikes. ALL of my customers are local. You can keep trying to make this about me, but I'm not the one busting parts to try and force a product recall.

    You recently posted a thread in the two stroke section asking for advice on how to remove the clutch from a two stroke Grubee. Now either you don't have the experience you claim (you should be GIVING advice like this, not ASKING for it) or these engines are so reliable that you never had to remove a clutch after all this time. Hmmmmmm................. Or maybe you knew how to remove a clutch but wanted to post a thread that would (of course) rant about the so-called shoddy quality fade blah blah blah. I wonder.................

    Like I said - to anyone reading any of IJ's posts - look at his posting history, then decide whether you want to trust this man's every word regarding anything made in China or Grubee. That's all.
  12. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    I stopped supplying 2-strokes early on because their attrocious problem record meant I couldn't warranty them. It is a long time since I worked on one but I've never had to replace a clutch because they don't fail or at least they last a lot longer than the other vital parts that do fail. This 2-stroke was an early Grubee from the batch I took over in 2005 but it had been built by the previous owner. The engine is one of those really good early Grubees - from the second batch - I won't mention the first batch because there were problems that got sorted - but this engine is the old rounded type 49cc and a very good little engine before quality fade was introduced (read about 'Chinese Quality Fade' Arceeguy you might learn something) by the factory. Quality fade is often deliberate and is done by the factory not by the manufacturer and it is a really serious and difficult problem in China. The manufacturer (eg Grubee or others) is responsible for their product. The govt factories are the worst places for QF and only certain parts are made in govt factories.
    The 2-stroke comes to me when his bike needs fixing and I try to help him. It is not one of my bikes and it will never carry my logo even though he might like it to. The day of the sarong accident it was 48 degrees celsius and it was a mountain bike I was testing. Yes it did happen and I admiot to it. I admit to most things if they are true and if my customer, who also happens to be a friend, calls me up screaming blue murder that his steering stem has snapped while riding down the highway I feel partly responsible because I built the bike even though I advised him against buying an untested product. He couldn't wait for the older gearbox that was proven and he wanted the GT1 because it was cheaper than a good Schwinn. My customers think highly of my bikes because I don't lie and I don't supply shonky goods in cardboard boxes that I can hide behind I tell the truth Arceeguy and the truth is probably that I've been riding bikes since before you were a bridesmaid at your parents wedding!
    How many Chinese factories have you been into Arceeguy? Have you even been to China?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2009
  13. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Whatever dude, you go on hating. My job is done here. The more people that search your posting history, the more people will understand your agenda for posting here and at the other forums.

    I don't have to visit a factory to see that the product works. I also warranty my products. From engines to complete bikes. I supply my customers with a custom checklist which includes checking head stud intallation and general assembly before starting the engine, and several tips for mounting the engine without stripping hardware. I have found that most stripped out or broken hardware is caused by overtorquing. It doesn't take much torque on a stud to create a whole lot of clamping force. So when a stud breaks or pulls from the engine case, it is easy to scream about cheap chinese wonky quality faded junk, but the clamp marks on the steel tube usually answer my questions. Anyway, I understand that I'm not selling Rolls Royce engines. But with careful assembly and initial tuning, they'll go a long way.
  14. Waterfowl

    Waterfowl MBc-Sponsor

    Those pics say a thousands words. Buyer Beware!!!
  15. abikerider

    abikerider Member

    I agree with Waterfowl. The pictures speak for themselves. I've never even seen a stem constructed like that in two pieces without welds. There's a reason all the stems I've ever seen were one solid piece or welded together pieces, strength. There are some parts like the handlebar, stem, and fork where strength should never be compromised because of the probability of severe injury or death that would result. People's lives are at stake here!

    Arceeguy, why are you attacking the messenger? Look at the evidence of the pictures instead.
  16. augidog

    augidog New Member

    that is about the most BLATANT design/material-defect i have ever seen on a bicycle, 'specially one marketed for motorizing...a pretty bad mistake for such an experienced engineer & manufacturer to make...i won't say "fade" but i'll shout "NEGLECT" for sure...and it doesn't help anyone's case that the region of origin is always "in the news" for just such occurrances. even if the "problem" is as simple as local-apathy, that's still a pretty big locale we're talking about, and it adds up to a lot of similar instances. it's a real situation and it's had real consequences, and don't noone be putting words in my mouth i din't say. it's getting old that some things can't be addressed honestly around here without someone accusing someone of agenda.

    btw-i'm glad the rider's ok, because it's easy to see how bad this could have turned out for him.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
  17. skyl4rk

    skyl4rk Guest

    Dealer vs. Dealer
    Only one is right.

    If Irish John broke the steering himself to trash Grubee, then thats a major fraud.

    If Irish John didn't break the steering himself, then arceeguy is making false accusations.

    One of these two dealers is a fraudster. Which one?
  18. jimraysr

    jimraysr Member

    People Who Refuse To See The Truth When Faced With It.

    I reciently posted my own experience with GruBee's poor quality and you had nothing to say.

    You have a right to sell what you want, but I expect better.

    If you have truly built any bikes with these kits, then I can only judge you are not famaliar with quality products.

    This is not personal, it is awareness of serious hazards to our fellow riders. Please wake up and see this for what it is. Take one of your kits to a machine shop and have someone who knows what a finished product should look like give you an assessment.

    Through the creative talents of the members here, the 2 strokes have continued to run in spite of all the obvious flaws. Bad plug wires, moisture leaking into the mag, rubbing of clutch on cover, misalignment of the carb, intake and head, lack of clearance of the piston skirt for the intake port, sleeve bearing on the con-rod,stripped and broken mounts and on and on. The 2 stroke I have on my bench has all of the faults.

    None so blind as those who do not want to see.

    May you live long and prosper.


  19. Irish John

    Irish John Guest

    It's not my bike and I am not a dealer in kits I only sell a few models of fully built bikes which are expensive because they use a lot of special parts. and are tailor made to order as a hobby forced on me by people who want a bike like what I ride. I only sell to people after they have been interviewed so I can tailor the bike to their individual needs or refuse to build them one if I suspect they would misbehave on it. I turn down plenty of people because I reckon they would bring MBs into disrepute with the authorities. I bought the GT1 cruiser and G4 kit for the retail price because I was helping the guy out. I get a bit of discount cos I buy more kits than the average bloke and I made not one cent from the deal but I lost a bit I suppose when I delivered him the bike by truck gratis. He's a friend without wheels. He would have liked one of my own bikes but he was in a hurry and strapped for cash. I warned him that the kit was unproven and likely to have some flaws but I had no idea it would have so many serious flaws and I had no idea the stem would be made of two pieces which, I agree with the above, is unheard of in the bicycle industry. I even believed the blurb on the website that said the bike kit could do 0 - 30mph in, I think, 6 seconds (it can't do 30 mph period for reasons I've mentioned elsewhere).
    I bought the bike with my friend's money and tried to assemble it for free because he's a friend and I was keen to see this new kit anyway. From the appraisal of I made of the bike in another thread I think it is obvious that I was actually pretty honest about this bike. I said that although it isn't suitable for my needs because it was pokey and not very nice to ride, but I said it was great value for the price but we now know that the price could be your life so that changes everything. I had no idea then that the stem was hardwired to fail by its design. I never got to show it to my good friends who own the local bike shops because the guy needed it to ride the next day. The bike shop boys would have been keen to see it and I'm sure they would have spotted the unorthodox stem and warned me. I wrote the appraisal of the bike as a contribution to MBc cos nobody had written about this product. I wrote another thread about the G4 gearbox because it had only been mentioned by the guys who import the kit. I think the people here who know me will have been glad to have read my thread because I wrote about real issues that hadn't been mentioned in Biketec's thread about his prototype. Regardless of the catastrophic stem failure the bike is unuseable until it gets a speecially designed freewheel because it is chewing up every 11T freewheel it gets after 120 kms. That is just a fact that the rider has called me about. He reads this Forum occasionally and I'll ask him to tell his own story. He's more mechanically savvy than me and it's his bike. At the moment he is understanably very very angry that something as dangerous as this could reach the marketplace in a country like Australia where we have consumer protection laws. Believe whoever you like but those who know me I think will know that I have always tried to contribute constructively to this Forum from the point of view of a rider of motored bikes only. The fact that I sell built bikes is pretty irrelevant because to sell one of those you have to chuck out a lot of kit stuff. Sure I'm rude about Chinese junk. Why wouldn't I be? Our hardware stores are packed full of useless stuff from China and even the shop owners are really rude about the junk they have to stock because that is where everything comes from. I have to drive 50 miles to get Australian bolts because the hardware shops don't have them.
    If I wrote praiseworthy stuff about the Chinese junk who would believe me then? If something is good I will praise it and I praise the Schwinn Deluxe 7 which is made in China but if it is shonky I'll tell it as it is. Whatever I say here is usually for the benefit of other suckers like me who have to make do with whatever is out there. Finding better components is what this Forum is best for - people are always sharing how they overcame the defective stuff that comes in the kits. I seldom visit the 2-stroke threads since I went 4-stroke but I'm yet to see a 4-stroke kit that offers a rear sprocket that is the right size for the purpose. People who have been around here a while know why that is - because nobody ever tests them properly - and that pretty much tells me everything I need to know about the attitude of the manufacturer. To think otherswise would be naive. Arceeguy clearly has a problem because what I've been writing about probably impacts upon his business and he thinks he will silence me by discrediting me as a person who wears a sarong on a bike and who bad-mouths Chinese products and who deliberately breaks the steering stem to create this thread (that one is really funny!) but I'm just a person who really hates shonky products and being lied to by suppliers and who has a garden full of HTs that lasted only for a few weeks. The Grubee 2-strokes were unavailable when I was using HTs and I've always said they were better than the other HTs but how much better I never really bothered to find out. I ride 4-strokes now and that is what I write about although many components overlap. It was Arceeguy who started the insults on this thread to discredit me but I reckon most people know that I come from the side of the tracks where all the suckers who have to buy these kits live and that is why my perspective on things is different to his. The day my postings sound like Arceeguys is the day you can be sure I've finally cracked and become an importer/supplier myself but pigs might fly.
  20. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    Hahahaha - don't give yourself that much credit IJ. I figured that I would be criticised by voicing my opinion in this thread, and I know that I will never be able to change the opinions of the people who have already posted in this thread. My thoughts aren't for you guys, but for the unregistered lurkers that read these threads that don't know you folks despise everything manufactured in China. That's why I said simply to look at Irish John's posting history, and then ask yourself if this bitter old man is capable of writing an honest, impartial review of a product made in China, and do you think that after reading his opinions, that he may be capable of breaking that part to justify his sour opinion of products made in China. I also welcome the lurkers to look at MY posts, with my honest, balanced opinions and geniune help with the Chinese 2 stroke engines.