I owned two of the Harris sh*tes (refuse to call them bikes) in 1987. The first one I purchased brand new from White City Motorcycles Manchester and I returned it after just one day and got a refund of my money. Blaming the dealer for the faults (I got it wrong and soon found it was Harris\´s fault) and for a bad pre delivery inspection I the went to Wileman\´s of Derby and bought another brand new one. That turned out to be the worst bike I have ever owned. The list of failures/breakages and trips to the dealers for warranty work is so long you just wouldn\´t believe me if I told you. This included new pistons and barrels despite it still being under 600 miles old and being treated with care .
I took the bike on a tour of France and covered over 2,000 miles and below is a list of faults that developed.
When I returned from holiday and because I was sick of going to the dealer I trailored the bike the 255miles from my house to the Harris factory in Devon. The bike was just 4 months old and had less than 3,500 miles on the clock at this time.
Here\´s just some of what I can remember of what was on the list of faults I gave them with instructions to put right : crankcase joint leaking oil; alternator rotor nut came loose and the rotor destroyed the stator and wreck the end of the crankshaft; and also burst through the primary case; neutral light faulty (sometimes came on even when in gears); broken spokes in the back wheel; front wheel out of balance; one of the rear dampers collapsed; oil leak rocker box; oil leak tacho gearbox; oil leak kickstart shaft; chainguard rubbed through side wall of rear tyre; ignition switch failed, internals fell to bits; silencer was damaged by rear wheel spindle; horn fell off; offside mirror fell off whilst doing 60mph and hit my mate who was riding behind me; the seat took in water if the bike got rained on; the fuel tank leaked; the brakes were crap despite there being two discs up front; the chrome on the silencers was crap and rust was showing through; the wheel rims also showed rust; the bike consumed more than 10 pints of oil in 2,000 miles;
Brian Jones who was the former Chief Design Engineer at the Triumph Meriden factory was working in management at the Harris factory in Devon, and he said he would get everything put back to new condition. Eventually after 12 weeks and numerous telephone calls the bike was delivered back to me. It was during one of these calls that Les Harris himself made the statement that he didn\´t give a f*ck about me or my bike. The bike came back with almost all the original parts replaced including a new cranckshaft,new crankcases and new barrels and pistons (second set of replacements). New wheels,rear tyre, shock absorbers, ignition switch, seat, petrol tank, new exhausts & silencers;chinguard,brake pads, mirror,etc. etc. etc.
I rode the bike only once after I got it back and it broke down at 4am when I was 200 miles from home and on the way to the ferry for another holiday in France. It turned out that a coil had failed. I took the train home and the bike was sold. Good ridance!!!!!
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