Pandering to ILLEGAL sellers

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MotorbikeMike, Oct 5, 2007.

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  1. Hi all, is anyone else concerned about the fact that MBc panders to the smugglers, Import smugglers, and Assembly Smugglers (yes your buddy Dax, who has ALREADY been turned in to the EPA by Don Grube Himself)? Do any of you worry that the government, so slow to act, may grab his records and come to your house demanding fines and "Blood Money"?

    I Do Not Approve of the Chicken Shirt Magic Carpet Ride that D A M N able Japs pulled on our whole country, HOWEVER I WILL NOT abide the practice of purchasing, yes and even Promoting a bunch of smugglers!!!

    Shall we next then figure out who amoung the Colombian Cartels that we prefer, and we can tell the newbies which brand of cocaine to buy? And, if you want more power (who doesn't) which Heroin might be the purest?

    Am I overreacting? Well I run, and have run, since nearly the begginning a clean honest business, and the freakin government has removed my right to operate legally, and yet I see all this carp go on?

    What do you think? How would you feel if you were me? Would you enbrace the Smugglers and thieves? Thieves you sat??? Yes, good grief what the H E L L do you think happens to any legitimate business when the D A M N able smugglers take over with thier pirating ways?

    I will be at the Whiz-in for a couple days, so make comments, I encourage them, but I will respond probably sunday late.


  2. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i don't pander...i would have been just as adamant about someone attacking you without facts.

    please, get over the economics here, we know where you stand...this about riders and riding...these happy-times aren't long for the market, we all know it...i'm content to wait it out and make the best of what i have to work with right now.
  3. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    look, it's ok to bring it on, but don't make me the enemy here...

    this private area was created for the "what's next" and not so much for the "what sucks right now"...i understand your feelings, but chill a bit when talking about the populace, because MBc-itself is trying very hard to be progressive.
  4. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    Mike, why are you hammering these guys so bad? Whay are you hammering MBc so bad?


    If I asked for another 48cc round head or any other Chinese engine, would you still sell to me or should I go elsewhere? Just asking. Haven't you capitalized by "smuggling"? I recall sending you $300.00 for a non-American engine and you never said you wouldn't take my money because it was illegal.

    Sincerely another all-American,

  5. My stand on engines

    Hi I am who I am, and Augi certainly knows that, but Dan, you are kinda new to me, NO i did not sell you a smuggled kit, I bought as much as I could afford and had them shipped, late 05, I have nothing illegal, and would not transfer the burden of illegal products to unknowing customers, when my kits are gone, and no legal kits exsist for me to accquire, I will not have them to sell!

    This is a very big part of why I beacme a Whizzer Dealer, and embrace the DOT legal Whizzer product.

    I want you-all to know where I stand, and I can explain more when I get back, but I do not, and will not knowingly, sell illegal merchandise.

    I'm about to pull out in my 1980 Econoline, with my 1974 Ajax utility trailer in tow, loaded with wifey's whizzer, my 09, the first 10, and 2 Whizzer motorbikes that I hope do sell.

    Dan, I'm glad to do business with you on a purely legal basis, I wish all was cheaper, but I hope to be able to show you where I stand. I bought from Don Grube, and american in China, and paid mote, for a product that was better (he gets a big cut), and I felt it was worth it. I hope to continually to get better.

    More later,

  6. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    First let me say I like you and enjoyed our lengthy conversation we had when I was deciding which kit to purchase from you.

    Secondly, if the kits are illegal now doesn't that make what you sell illegal even if purchased in '05? How many kits do you have left? Which kits do you have left and are you going to discount them so you can wash your hands of the filthy little things?

    Thirdly, Don might be American but you capitalized from a Chinese product purchased from China. You say you're all-American now, were you not back in '05 when you purchased all these Chinese kits?

    Lastly, have you ever shopped at Wal-Mart? 99% of what they sell there is foriegn.

    Don't get me wrong here Mike, I do like you and I am not ****ed at you or trying to stir up **** but I just want some clarification why you're now bashing something that you capitalized from. Seems a little hypocritical.

  7. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member


    I hope you have a great time at the Whiz-in and make sure to post all the pics and video! Let us know how you do on sales of the Whizzers too.

  8. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    not to get between you 2, please do continue:
    to help clarify while mike's out having fun (and hopefully making some money)...the importing itself became an issue...any existing items are grandfathered in. dax won't ever say so even to me, but i know he's an "engine parts" only concern at MBc is how he conducts himself here, and he does finer than fine in that area. his customers are happy because he usually just tosses a warranty replacement at them and that's why folks support him i believe.

    more edit: mike, you don't believe don cares about the environment or usapolicy, do you? i believe it's only about manipulating the market to his own advantage. he can still kiss my poor-A S S!!!
  9. iRide Customs

    iRide Customs Member

    Augie, feel free to join...I thought this was an open forum. Mike has directed some comments toward MBc ya know.

  10. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    i addressed 'em, too, see my first reply...i don't intend to steer too hard about the ban and smugglers, it will work itself out by coming to a head soon i think...MBc is completely capable of going with the flow, MBc members may have a bit of a hard time making the switch. i can tell the difference...if ol mikey continues to equate everything WITH MBc-proper, then i guess i still have a stake in the topic.

    what i meant was it seems like y'all need a bit of room for this one
  11. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    this is the way a thread goes when the OP posts and splits for a few days...the thoughts and replies add's another one from me:

    before you generalize about MBc in the future, take special note of who was invited into the private area, and who wasn't. give me some credit for thinking ahead, eh?
  12. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I sort of agree with everyone, or perhaps with some of everyone's views.
    It is great that Dax is a good vendor of the product he sells. It's a bummer that it is a poor quality (serious generalization) product that comes from a bad place (another generalization), and happens to be illegal.
    It is a cheap way for newbies to get into motor assisted bikes, and as Augie points out, illegal 2-strokes will probably go away soon. Perhaps that point could be made somehow. Most people will be lost when they can't easily buy replacement parts. They should upgrade to a reliable product.
    Where is the legal motorcycle style alternative? The legality per se doesn't put me off. Are you totally legal when you ride? How about your friends? Do you avoid riding with unlicensed Whizzer riders? I have no problem with dealing with smugglers. I have, in the past, been one (not motors, but...).
    I have learned an awful lot from participating in MBc. Most of the info relating to 2-cycles probably will be of small benefit to me (when my 2-stroke Mitsu dies, I will probably scrap it). But I've learned a lot about drivetrains etc, and the info gleaned among MBc threads will inform future decisions. By the way, when the Mitsu dies I may well be interested in a Whizzer based on info gained from MBc.
  13. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    hi van...the point about the illegals going away has been made time and again...all one has to do is read read read the forum and put 2 & 2 together.

    eventually, some official is going to wander into MBc (as if they haven't already) and find a great shopping-list of who to go, i don't believe they'll waste time on individual owners, but will instead cap-off the well of replacement parts.
  14. Attempt to answer all!

    Hi well here goes the impossible! I will make an attempt to answer each in order, PLEASE if I miss anything, ask again, as I intend to be as clear as possible.

    First to Dan, I too enjoyed talking with you, and would be very surprised if we do not have MUCH in common. Secondly, yes, Augi is right, the engines are legal to own, sell, resell, ride, break, even modify, since they are non-smog. What is illegal, and Don was warned by the EPA and sent me copies of what they told him, was that under no circumstances are these engines to continue to enter the country, and that they were absolutely NOT to be assembled from parts brought in, and that the Standard fine from EPA is 35,000 American Dollars for every illegal "Motorcycle" built. At this moment, they were lumping our then decreed "illegal engines" into thier "motorcycle crusade". I therefore have not ordered engines, NOR parts, even tho I have had solid offers of kits for LESS money than I paid Don.

    BTW, sidenote, when I got involved in these engines, SpitFire was the only game in town, and a kit retailed at $419.00 plus shipping! As a new dealer, my first 4 kits were 379.00 each, I sold my first All New Motorbike for 1,100, to pay back a Lady-Friend who had lent me the money to get started! I bought 14 engines from SpitFire, before I beacme Don's first Distrubitor (after Steve Miller back-doored him, mainly possible because the chinese factory dishonored Don's contract with them!).

    I had lower prices, and tried to get these little things out, where anyone who wanted one could have one, they were Legal, and so was my little fledgling business. Then came eBaY, and all the Box-sellers, with Don's contracts with his factories entirely worthless.

    I'm happy to continue to sell, and service both my customers, and the remaining units, and BTW I recieved NO warranty support from Don since early 05 no matter how much I had bought, or how many crapped out and I replaced free.

    In terms of my early business, while buying semi-direct from China, I would ALWAYS have preferred to buy American, however no such product exsists, so, second best was to buy from an american (his business was centered in Oklahoma City at the time), and conduct myself in a manner acceptable to Americans, which I strive to do daily.

    My firearms, guitars, automobiles, furniture and as much as I can do are built in USA. If not built, I try to do "assembled in usa", even this computer which I built , sadly from imported parts.My first 2 prototypes, and the 10 production bikes, Sacramento, and the forthcoming bikes, Phoenix AZ.

    To Augi, thanks for inviting me here, and I hope that I will be the asset you were hoping for.

    To Van, I actually thought that US Customs would be tight, and that the Canadians, and others would not be circumventing US law with the smuggling. I had figured, along with others in the business, that the eBay box-sellers would run out of inventory in early to mid 06, and that Ray's 50 StarFires, and the 120+ kits that I had, would be amoung the largest stocks of remaining engines, prices being arounf 300.00-350.00, and when they were gone, repair as possible while still searching for a better alternative engine.

    Since they are as cheap, or cheaper than ever (tho in many cases, quality is down even further than the low standard they are), My friends and I have not felt compelled to work very hard to introduce a new kit, we were hoping to not use all-chinese, but if we did, were not planning to include Don, and give him a cut of what we were trying to create. One thing that complicates a new kit, is that you cannot trust the Chinese businesses to remain loyal, and you are better off "outsourcing" and then putting everything in the right box yourself.

    Legal small displacement alternatives. There are Mopeds made in India, and in Former Communist block countries. Many of these countries are free-enterprise, and not being forced to channel profits into enemy government structures, like is true in China. Italy makes Mopeds, and tiny motorcycles also. Virtually nothing widely available here that I know of, except the Tomos Moped, which is a very nice line. When you get into Motor Scooters, or tiny motorcycles, you incur all the resulting expense of insurance, and usually a more difficult repair project when something does go wrong.

    Do I ride legal? Most of the time yes. I wear DOT helmet, I have Motorcycle permit, My red Whizzer has moped plate, as does wifey's, and the little Tomos. I have not yet licensed my Prototypes, I am retiring #1 the model 08/10, so it should never need licensing I did ride it about 400 miles, over about a year, I need a Pirate Flag for that one! CA state law allows up to 5 days riding before licensing a moped, so Model 09 is still legal, but not for long! My Model 10 production bike is not yet running, so needs no tag.

    Unlicensed Riders, at the Whiz-In, all were Required to have helmets, (related to the "blanket policy of insurane" held by the California Cushman clubm our sponsor), many had motorcycle endorsements, a few had plates, these are adults, and I am certainly not going to try to levy any requirements on them, tho IF the cops decide to confiscate (unlikely with middle-aged guy, and vintage bike) they will certainly be bummed out!
    I do prefer that those I ride with are at least close to legal, so we do not have any trouble, there were 75 or so of us riding, and we were not challenged in any way.

    I'm glad you are having a good time here, and if you do choose Whizzer we are ready to help in any way needed.

    I hope I covered the points you-all made while I was out mixing Business with pleasure. more about Kingsburg later, ask away if I missed anything.

  15. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    your candor assures me you will be, as soon as we rock out all the needed to vent, i needed to respond...i think we're on the same page now.

    a very interesting post, thanks.
  16. My Back Pages

    Hi Augi, I have been, for a long time, wishing to be able to get across how, in a small way, I feel about the EPA killing my business from a legal standpoint, and then the smugglers going on "business as usual". I mean no offense to anyone who isa not doing it themselves, but I do have a little issue with those who knowingly participate in the business from that end.
    I have been offered kits for same price or less than I got mine directly imported from China, thru Don, with the smuggler taking a profit, and without the skf bearings inside.

    Imagine how easy it would have been, since I had bought legal stock in the past, to go down to L A and buy a bunch Cash, no paper trail, and offer them cheap, because I know I can get more, as long as I want to do the 8 hour drive (each way), and that the smuggler does not get caught himself? He also offers leagal products, so I could justify phone calls to him, if I were questioned. You can see that I can participate in this, if I do not take a moral stand (and yes, lose money, and chances to make more money).

    I think that you and I understand each other in this, and yes, I can admit to being a bit angry, and bitter, about the way this problem has turned out.

    Interesting point that may have been overlooked by our group, in what I've said in this thread is that my friends and I have had no drive to create a new kit (as the old ones are abundant, and cheap, and I STILL get calls and emails saying that they want warrentee from me, because Don's instructions are duplicated without permission, and thrown in the smuggled kits!).

    That being said, if my friends are not doing a new kit, how many other guys are not looking into making improved kits? Does this lead us to believe that the smug-kits are actually slowing down potential, and future progress, just by continuing to hang around?

    I believe so! I need to resize for the second time, the 20 pics of bikes I shot at the Whiz-in so I can post them here, along with a ride report.

    Ride Straight

  17. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    indeed, since none of us (the happy-time noobs) had the slightest inkling until we started to gather info, i agree that there will be a "delay factor" or "happy-time withdrawal"...hehe.

    but, i'd like very much to be able to help answer the pending "what's next?" cries we are sure to be hearing real soon...
  18. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin Guest

    off-the-record: a seller who i am in constant touch with has just now told me of his plans to offer his own-design(?) 4-stroke rack-mount which he will develop into a frame-mount option down the road. you may make a good guess as to who i'm talking about, but i'm sworn to secrecy until i have a sample for review.

    mike...there's the news i know you were hoping to hear ;)
  19. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Mike, I can empathize with you about the anger it must cause - you having taken the high road, and watching less principled people capitalize by smuggling. My experince leads me to believe that smuggling is not a good long term business stratagey.
    You may be right that the availability of the Happy Time may delay developement of an alternative, but perhaps keeping the intrest in motored bikes going will mean there is a good customer base available when an alternative is developed?
    Just hoping for a positive outcome.
  20. Did I answer the questions?

    Hi I'm just checking in, and am wondering if Dan is mad at me, I did try to answer all questions, and yet have not heard word one from him, here on this subject? Hmmmmm?