Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R banner

61 - 80 of 102 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,394 Posts
Other than checking with the manufacturer, there is only one way to find out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Here's one possibility we haven't examined, the chain with stiff link was previously purchased, damaged and returned! It's possible someone tried to cut chain with pin-pusher tool and failed. That's because of expanded peened ends of pins. However, back-side of tool has fingers that wrap on either side of pin. Using this tool would compress back-side plates towards centre of chain since squeezing-force wasn't going to push expanded pin inwards.

There's A LOT of dishonest returns being done nowadays with online-shopping compared to brick & mortar stores. People processing returns probably just looks things over and if not grossly and obviously damaged, would throw it back on shelf as regular inventory ready for sale.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #63
Here's the problem I'm having with the chain in the above link (post #59). I dismiss it as an RK chain altogether. Based on the fact that there are not enough outer plates stamped with something. RK stamps many more plates with one thing or another that is not showing up in that chain. While that in it's self doesn't prove anything for my purpose here, there is one plate on the bottom left that could. It's too difficult to see, but appears that the stamp might say "RK". And if you have a non-RK chain that has an RK stamp, then that chain would be a counterfeit.

On a side note: I agree that this chain has been returned by at least 1 person at some point. Other wise the sealed plastic bag would not have been opened.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #64
The prosecution: opening statements

Looks like I have some time to move forward on this now.

I will be presenting my case in 2 or 3 parts. Part 1 will address the circumstantial evidence I have that led me to consider the possibility of fake chains to begin with. Part 2 will address any further evidence obtained. Part 2 may or may not be divided into 2 parts, part 2A being outside chain evidence, part 2B being inside chain roller evidence. Whether part 2 gets divided into 2 parts will be determined after I see what evidence I can gather.

But ladies and gentlemen of the jury, make no mistake about it. The prosecution (me) has enough evidence in part 1 to raise the level of doubt for the non existence of fake chains. :grin2:

Just to recap on what was already discussed earlier in the thread: The thread is about fake chains in general, I will have to stay focused on RK because that is the only brand I have sufficient data on. We would need another prosecutor for other brands.

Within my arguments the subject of poor and improper chain maintenance will arise. But it is best to stay focused on the subject at hand. I will be willing to stipulate that proper chain maintenance may be considered even more important than a fake chain. But it is just not the subject here, and may just add to confusion trying to discuss both at the same time. :wink2:

Now I'm going to stop at this point to give the opportunity for any defense counsel that may or may not be out there to make any opening statements that they wish. You have 36 hours to do so, or to ask for a continuance for more time. By my clock that is Friday 4:00 am EDS time. After which I present my case. :grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
hi all. just my two pennies worth. I can see the outcome of this being either short lived or drawn out for few more pages. however.

I cannot confirm or deny the possibility of fake chains being out there as I never use expensive chains. so it would be unlikely a cheap one would be worth faking. I have used the cheaper RK [standard link] in the past with no issues.
one needs an expert witness namely the alleged manufacturer of the said chain ie RK. only they can really say if the chain was made by them. or someone else. circumstance dictates this as definitive proof they were not the manufacturer and also whether the said chain is indeed theirs but a rouge that's slipped pass their QC infrastructure.

the assumption that all manufactured goods are of similar quality doesn't hold water. for instance I once had a Volvo [yeah I know but] my father had one two of my uncles had one my brother had one some of them ran for decades without issue. so I bought one. mine however was a lemon. two engines. 3 gearboxes. more prop shafts than Ford. countless electronic gizmos. and was so unreliable the recovery company stopped coming out to it. this didn't make my Volvo a fake. just a pile of Poo.

a metallurgy report on the steel made to make it would help sway the jury when it's origin was established.

ether way I wish you luck in the pursuit of the truth. meanwhile my two present cheap chains are working well up to date. with 4k now between them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,394 Posts
Wouldn't that be a hoot if Kawi sold the EX tooling to the Chinese and they made 'counterfeit' EX500s? :wink2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
^^ what's that got to do with drive chains. I was only trying to illustrate in my post that even the most reliable of goods can be lemons and that does not constitute work by some fakers.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #69
one needs an expert witness namely the alleged manufacturer of the said chain ie RK. only they can really say if the chain was made by them. or someone else.
I think an expert would be needed if the fake was a "good" fake. But an obvious fake would not require an expert.
the assumption that all manufactured goods are of similar quality doesn't hold water.
I agree with this to a certain level. It's mostly dependent on what product we're discussing. Example, lemons are going to run ramped in the automotive industry, probably in the MC's also. Having to do with a big assembly line, giving it a large margin for human error. Things constantly changing from year to year. On the other end of the spectrum, if you were to buy a Craftsman box end wrench, you would be really hard pressed to find a lemon. Drive chains would fall somewhere in the middle, but I think a lot closer to the lower end of the spectrum.

Wouldn't that be a hoot if Kawi sold the EX tooling to the Chinese and they made 'counterfeit' EX500s? :wink2:
One thing is for sure. Kawasaki is outsourcing some of the manufacturing of OEM parts to the Chinese.

Kinds like VW with Mexican Bugs!
I may not be understanding what your implying. But I will give it a shot. :grin2: The Germans are not going to outsource anything to Mexico, that's more of an American thing. But I think they (Germans) are outsourcing to Eastern European countries. Pardon me if this wasn't germane to the discussion.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #70
A little update:


I managed to get inside the roller with minimal damage. Had to grind off one side of the bushings flush with the plate and then whack it apart with a hammer and screwdriver. This link is off an unused portion from an older chain. At the time I had no way of knowing what chain it may have been off of. My main goal being just to figure out how to dissect this. I just determined that this is off my used suspect chain. Based on the fact that I knew it had to be off a chain with 126 links. Then I go through Amazon history to see how many links the used suspect chain had, and sure enough, 126. I know I have only bought 1 chain with 126 links. As a bonus finding, this one also came from an Amazon warehouse at a low price of $52. Hmmm.

Back to the picture. Looking at it I cant imagine what I could possibly find noticeably different in any of the other chain's rollers. So it looks like I wont be able to get any further evidence from that area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
I may not be understanding what your implying. But I will give it a shot. :grin2: The Germans are not going to outsource anything to Mexico, that's more of an American thing. But I think they (Germans) are outsourcing to Eastern European countries. Pardon me if this wasn't germane to the discussion.
VW is similar to U.S. G.M. with really below-average quality, doesn't even compare to BMW or Porsche. They moved original Beetle production rights and plants to Distribuidora Volkswagen Central, S.A decades ago. While Germany VW focused on New Beetle.
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/09/739865991/the-last-vw-beetle-rolls-off-the-assembly-line-in-mexico-tomorrow

Relates to this discussion as lots of retailers may buy OEM products from OEM suppliers, perhaps not original brand-name manufacturer of same name. I.E. Aisin supplies water-pumps to Toyota and removes their name from castings. But you can also buy exact same water-pump from 3rd-parties with Aisin logo. Same with Koyo wheel-bearings. I wonder if RK is using subcontractors who may be selling their chains on the side.

With global economy, markets and trade-wars, it's extremely difficult to pin down origins and manufacturers of products. When I worked at World Trade Centre in Port Hueneme, BMW pulled variation of "Made in U.S.A." logo. Rather than establishing US-plants like Toyota, Honda or VW, they took advantage of NAFTA-created "free trade zone" between L.A. and Port Hueneme. They would bring in BMW autos with incomplete assembly via boat and unload at docks. U.S. workers then installed side-view mirrors and put "Made in U.S.A." stickers on them and ship them to dealers across country with no import-duties paid. I'm wondering if RK has similar US-production methods, or even subcontracts production to U.S. factories. In which case, quality would be similar to comparing Chevy Cobalt to Lexus.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #72
^ OK, I'll touch base on a few of those points.
There may be some GM guys that will have a bone to pick with you :surprise:. But since I'm not a GM guy, I'll stay out of that one :wink2:.

I wonder if RK is using subcontractors who may be selling their chains on the side.
I would say doubtful, but can't say for sure.

I'm wondering if RK has similar US-production methods, or even subcontracts production to U.S. factories.
I doubt the US can do it as cost effective as Japan, quality or otherwise. At least without violating federal laws :surprise:. I'm not going to elaborate on this point.

But you do raise some interesting points. :wink2:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #73 (Edited)
OK, here's my case ( I know, and not a minute too soon) :surprise:
Make of it what you will, decide for yourselves. :wink2:


These are the only used chains I have to work with. Thought I had more laying around, but I guess not.
I have 2 "suspect" chains. 1 used chain, the top one in the picture. And 1 still new in the box chain.

My chain history, factoring out the suspect chains and the original non-RK chain.
I early on have decided replacing my drive chain is best done at every 10,000 miles. Reasons being:
Convenience in maintenance.
Any indications for the need to do so had never appeared until close to this point.
I consider a good chain a major safety issue.

The used suspect chain:
This chain is suspect based on the fact that it starting getting kinks in it very early on. This started happening at around 2,000 - 3,000 miles. And even more kinks that I had ever seen before, maybe 7 or 8 links.

All my "good" chains have always gone the distance. At least my distance of 10,000 miles. As far as the good one's, more than half have went with out any issues what so ever. The ones that did show issues included 1 or 2 kinked links, a few O-rings (X-rings) missing, and 1 chain that showed indications that the inside of one of the rollers was getting rust. Now while I attribute all these issues due to improper chain maintenance on my part, the suspect chain didn't get any less care than the good ones.

The unused suspect chain:
I can't get past this "wrong box".


Box it came in on the top. The box it should have come in on the bottom. Even when ordering, one like the box on the bottom was the one I was shown in their picture. One interesting note I found on the RK website, they in no uncertain terms, claim you should never clean your chain with kerosene.


On the back of the X-ring box (probably need to enlarge the picture to read) they don't mention kerosene at all. But do say to clean with a quality chain cleaner.



On the back of the O-ring box, they say kerosene is fine and dandy. So whether or not this box is fake or not (I have no other similar boxes for reference), there is clearly a contradiction by someone.

The chain it's self would at least appear to be legit. Now the master link is a different story. In the picture the suspect master link is on top, the proper master link is on the bottom.

Here's a shot of the suspect master link on top, and 2 legit links on the bottom. one still in the package and one taken out for closer inspection. It's not unusual for a manufacture to change how something is packaged, but normally it would be done as an upgrade of some sort, or for better marketing purposes. Here I don't see anything like that. Parts in the suspect link package just flying around loose, and an important note completely dry, no shipping grease. If we look at the legit links, shipping grease used. Even going to the effort to tie the X-rings together with a wire. Looking at the back side of the legit package, even vacuum sealing (or maybe heat shrinking) the package. This is also the only instance where I have not seen the master link placed and sealed within the chain packaging it's self. For the sake of argument lets say that all three components are legit. The chain, the master link, and the box it's self, although the box would still be the wrong one for the X-ring. For what ever (and highly unlikely IMO) reason that it is simply mispackaged, it would seem a lot more plausible to me that someone ordering an O-ring chain would end up receiving this "X-ring" chain in an O-ring box, than it would for someone ordering an X-ring chain and receiving it in an O-ring box.

All of the above is part 1 of my case.
I did find one small tidbit of a discrepancy for part 2.

On the plate stamps there are 4 stamps as follows:
RK
Japan
520xso1
And a random 4 digit number that is different from chain to chain, but remains consistent on any one given chain. (some sort of lot number)


This is one of the good chains. To simplify I'm counting outer plates here, and not links in the usual way. This picture shows 2 stamped plates with 6 unstamped plates between them. This pattern stays consistent on all the chains I looked at. Side note: If your checking your RK chains for this pattern, when the master link is between the stamped links, you have to disregard that segment because the chain can be cut at any random point.



This is my suspect chain. It shows only 5 unstamped plates between the stamped ones. The only chain I found to break pattern.



So there you have it.
The prosecution rests. :grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Interesting stuff, and well thought out. At the end of the day, however, RK will want to see your suspect chain and do their own analysis. What I don't know, is what will happen if they find you are the victim of an unauthorized chain? I would not be surprised tif they have received other such cases.

On a personal level, the 530XSOZ1 chain I purchased from Amazon (supplied by Amazon, and not a third-party affiliate) also came in an 'O' ring box box, exactly the same as your top picture. The box had a barcode sticker with the correct chain spec. The chain inside is 'marked' with the correct spec.

Is the box just an oversight, or normal RK business practice? Don't know.

Did I get a bogus chain? Don't know.

Am I at least a bit concerned? Yes.

Should I let Amazon know of my concern? Yes.

Should I raise a concern with RK? Probably.

Am I going to send the chain to RK? Not likely.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,903 Posts
With the obvious need for scrutiny including the missing, actual *internal composition* of suspect chains (compared to confirmed genuine samples) , packaging materials, production codes, factory markings...... I'd urge consultation of an expert witness.....

https://rkexcelamerica.com/contact/

They can interpret all evidence presented so far by @bpe

Until such a time, I'd call for dismissal based on insufficient evidence, Your Honor.
****************************************************************************************

How many production facilities do they employ? Do packaging materials differ between them? Do they utilize alternative (leftover) packaging if needed to keep the flow of product going? Are the production codes valid? Does packaging differ between facilities? Is quality control carefully monitored? But most important....expert scrutiny of internal component composition.

We can't truly answer these questions, but RK can.
If the pictured chains are "leftovers", I'd urge @bpe to cut a few links off each, contact RK (a phone # in the contact link I posted) send them samples, old shipping cartons, etc etc. Whatever THEY require, if you are truly moved to get to the bottom of this issue communicate and play ball with them if they are conducive, curious and willing to delve into the issue.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #76
Interesting stuff, and well thought out. At the end of the day, however, RK will want to see your suspect chain and do their own analysis. What I don't know, is what will happen if they find you are the victim of an unauthorized chain? I would not be surprised tif they have received other such cases.

On a personal level, the 530XSOZ1 chain I purchased from Amazon (supplied by Amazon, and not a third-party affiliate) also came in an 'O' ring box box, exactly the same as your top picture. The box had a barcode sticker with the correct chain spec. The chain inside is 'marked' with the correct spec.

Is the box just an oversight, or normal RK business practice? Don't know.

Did I get a bogus chain? Don't know.

Am I at least a bit concerned? Yes.

Should I let Amazon know of my concern? Yes.

Should I raise a concern with RK? Probably.

Am I going to send the chain to RK? Not likely.
Yeah, I can understand all of those responses.
The one about letting Amazon know of your concerns. Good luck with that. :surprise: My guess is, they won't respond back one way or the other.
I did go ahead and check my suspect box again. On the end there is also a bar code sticker with the proper specs on it. So I will give them credit for that. But still doesn't explain why it's the wrong box.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #77
With the obvious need for scrutiny including the missing, actual *internal composition* of suspect chains (compared to confirmed genuine samples) , packaging materials, production codes, factory markings...... I'd urge consultation of an expert witness.....

https://rkexcelamerica.com/contact/

They can interpret all evidence presented so far by @bpe

Until such a time, I'd call for dismissal based on insufficient evidence, Your Honor.
****************************************************************************************
.
Honestly I would just want some smoking gun evidence before involving RK.
I would already have to confess to them that I was cleaning the chains with their disapproved method of using kerosene. They will know that as soon as they open the box. :surprise:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,903 Posts
On the contrary, involving RK would enable them to provide valid, indisputable evidence, irrespective of your cleaning methods,
putting this long drama... errrr, court case....to rest, Mr DA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
On the contrary, involving RK would enable them to provide valid, indisputable evidence, irrespective of your cleaning methods,
putting this long drama... errrr, court case....to rest, Mr DA.

Man, you Honda guys...always acting like you're better than the rest!





>:)>:)>:)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,903 Posts
Man, you Honda guys...always acting like you're better than the rest!
>:)>:)>:)
so who's acting? :surprise: We have DID chain on our Honders. :wink2: :grin2:
 
61 - 80 of 102 Posts
Top