Palmers Motorcycles – Record of experiences



On the same day as I test rode it, I made an offer of £500 under the advertised price. As I was driving home, the salesman, Ryan called me to accept the offer. I went back to the shop a few days later, and left a deposit. However when I later return to buy the bike with cash, Ryan did not take this agreed £500 into account, and tried to charge me the asking price. Even though we had a detailed discussion about me looking at an R1 from Woodford Motorcycles, where I bought my previous R1 from, new, Ryan claimed not to remember our previous conversation at all. Only when I refused to purchase the bike, did he then claim that he found a record of that, and fulfil the previous agreed price.

Fault #1: 18/7/13 Left switch gear renewed – Cable fouling steering.

Fault #2: Right switch gear renewed – Cable cut through by steering.

Fault #3: 25/7/13 Recall SB484 Exhaust valve cables.

Fault #4: 19/9/13 Left mirror renewed – Vibrating. This happened on the second day of a five day trip in France. The wrong mirror was initially supplied, therefore a wasted journey to the shop.

Fault # 5: 8/10/13 Bolt missing from left side of engine. Darren advised me that “…there had been torqueing issues at the factory”.

Fault #5: 03/10/13 Seat renewed – Fastener broken.

Fault # 6: 06/3/14 Left mirror renewed – Moves while riding.

Fault # 7: 27/3/14 Oil leak. Two rear bolts from the oil sump had fallen out. This had contaminated the rear pads and the rear tyre, and Darren advised me that they were replaced and each regarded as a warranty issue. I asked Darren about the previously declared “torqueing issues” as this is now the second time that bolts had fallen out. He assured me that “every accessible bolt would be checked”.  Bike taken in and replacement Street Triple issued for the duration of the work, which was about a week. Street Triple had loose mirrors and a nail in the tyre.

Replaced – Sump gasket for above,

Replaced – Rear pads for above.

Replaced – Tyre for above.

Fault # 8: 24/7/14 Headlamp renewed – Lens cracked, from inside.

Fault # 9: 24/7/14 Front side lamp renewed – Condensation inside.

Fault # 10: 24/7/14 Front indicators renewed – Lenses cracked.

Fault # 11: 24/7/14 Rear wheel renewed – Poor powder adhesion.

Fault # 12: 09/9/14 Front mudguard and brake pipe clip renewed – Brake line fouling on mudguard.

Fault # 13: 31/10/14 Bolt from right side of engine/belly pan fallen out replaced.

Fault # 14 13/5/15 Right mirror vibrating. Replaced on warranty.

Fault # 15 14/5/15. Cam chain tensioner faulty. Only by chance, when having the right mirror (above) replaced, did Darren notice that there was a fault with the cam chain tensioner. Replaced

Fault # 16 14/5/15. Oil leak found, immediately after returning home from having cam chain tensioner replaced. Engineer sent to my home to rectify this, as I was going to Begium on the bike the following morning.

Fault # 17 ABOUT 18/5/15 Oil, from above, fouled the rear brake. This meant that my four day trip to Belgium, which was mostly in rain, was done without the rear brake being operational.


20/1/14 Serviced, 5627 miles. Was advised that “…the air filter is a bit dirty, but it should be ok.” I said to replace it anyway, yet was told that they did not have one in stock. I said that I would prefer it to be replaced as I was just told it was “a bit dirty”. I was told that they would order one in for me, and I asked if they intended to charge me the labour for that, and was told they should, but they won’t. However when the air filter was later fitted, they tried to charge me for their labour.

16/7/14 Serviced, 12727 miles. Was advised that the sparks plugs “… are quite dirty, but should be ok.” I said that as you’ve pointed out they are dirty, I’d prefer them to be replaced. I was then told that they only have three plugs left in stock. I said that would be fine, please change them. They responded by saying that would leave them with none in stock. I then insisted that they be changed as I do not wish to compromise on the safety or running of my motorcycle, and would like the removed plugs to be given back to me, which they did, and I still have. They said that they had adjusted the valve clearances, but when asked, they could not tell me what they were previously. On reflection, I should have asked them to note that down for me prior to the service.

22/1/15 Serviced, 18088 miles. Was advised that the chain and sprockets are worn and need replacing. I said that was fine, thank you for telling, please change them. They then said that they do not have them in stock. This time, I had that done by another local business.

I’ve referred two people into Palmers (aka Herts Triumph) last year. Both of them bought motorcycles on the spot. Both of them have had problems with their bikes, and have subsequently sold them.

When Darren spotted the cam chain tensioner problem with my bike, I very disappointed that there was yet another problem with it. However, I will point out that I was happy that Darren did spot this, and had it fixed, the following day, for free as the warranty had expired on the bike in January. I mentioned the numerous problems that I’d experienced to one of the sales team, Daniel Leaver, and he said that they have not had problems like this on their Daytona 675s, and it “…sounded like I’d got a ‘Friday evening bike’, and it may have been rushed in assembly as it was one of the first ones that had come off the production line”.

On my subsequent visit to Palmers, when the bike was having the cam chain tensioner replaced, I spoke with three other salesmen. They all agreed that I the bike has had a lot of problems, and said that was not good at all, but was not common. I said that I’m not prepared to keep the bike anymore, and I’m looking to get back onto either a Yamaha or a Kawasaki, again. The bike is out of warranty, and although the cam chain tensioner was fixed on a good will gesture, that gesture expires in January, then I fear I’ll be left with an unreliable bike and no warranty.

One salesman, Gareth, who I’ve later found out is the Sales Manager there, said that if he had sold me the bike, he would have “…looked into getting it swapped out.”. In further conversation with them, I believe it was Keiran who asked me what the bike was like when it was running ok. I remember saying something to the equivalent of “It’s great. I love the way it handles, the power delivery is very good, and it’s a pleasure to ride. With either my IAM group, other bike groups that I belong to, my riding buddy, or even on my own, it’s terrific. That’s why I’ve done nearly 22,000 miles on it in just under 24 months. It’s a shame that nobody has previously offered to swap the bike out. Gareth then said he’s going to look into getting my bike “swapped out”, would I be interested in that. I replied “Yes I certainly would. I love the bike, but the build quality is awful.”

I think it was about a week later, that I got a call from Gareth, saying that he had a same model, same colour bike in for a swap, and would I like to take a look at it. I did, and when I went up there it indeed was the same year and colour scheme. However it hand none of the extras that my bike has, but did have a couple of engine case protectors. I pointed out the difference of the many extras my bike had, and Gareth said “At least it will get you on a reliable bike.” At this point, he did not offer to have my extras put onto the other bike. He then said that there an offset of “twelve hundred” or “one thousand two hundred”. I said “That was a most ambiguous comment, could you rephrase it?” He then said that they would require £1,200 to complete the deal. I was very upset with this, and said him “You previously told me he was looking into ‘swapping’ not part exchanging it. What is the warranty on the bike?” To which he replied “None. The bike is the age as your one, they have a two year warranty from new.” He then went on to say that the other bike is up for £8,000, and that Triumph are aware of the situation with my bike and are making a contribution to it, therefore there is only a difference of £1,200” So that would equate to my bike being taken in part exchange with a value of £6,800. I said that I would not be left in a better position, in fact I’d be left in a much worse position, by £1,200. I asked how much he buy the bike from me for, and he said he’d look into that.

The following day, 26/5/15, I sent an email to Darren, asking for it to be forwarded to Gareth. The essential point reads “Dear Keiran,

Would you please email me the full details of our conversation yesterday, regarding the exchange of my motorcycle.  From our conversation, there must be factor that either I’ve not understood, or has not been presented to me.”

He did not email me back. In further telcons, he said he would not confirm his parts exchange offer to me by email and he’d offer me only £5,000 for my bike. I said I would not accept that. I now have no confidence in the Triumph brand. To try and get me to part exchange my bike, paying a further £1,200 has no value to me. My bike has lots of extras on it too, so I’d be losing out even more. At that point, he offered to transfer all the extras from my bike to the other bike. But with no warranty on the other bike, except a potential of Triumph’s “goodwill gestures”, again leave me in no better position.

I’ve subsequently, 3/7/15, spoken to Lee Chapman at Triumph Head Office, advising him of the situation. He seemed to understand my point of view and said that he’ll call Palmers, then call me back. Lee did indeed do this, and said that Gareth told him that he had offered me £5,500, and that I had no accepted it, and said that I wanted £6,000. I point out to Lee, that Gareth had certainly not offered me £5,500, and if he had done so, I would have, grudgingly accepted it, but £6,000 would at least leave me in a happier position, and for that, I would not publicise the negative experiences I’ve had with the Triumph build quality or service.

Later that day, I spoke with Gareth on the phone. I told him that I would accept £5,500 but would want that to be completed either that day of the following and would want an email to confirm it. He again refused to send me an email, saying “Isn’t my word good enough for you?” Now foolishly, I replied that it was not. I validated that by telling him not putting his earlier offer in an email, gave me no security, and telling Lee Chapman that he’d offered £5,500, when in fact he’d only offered me £5,000, and most importantly, telling me that he was looking to “swap” my bike over when it was a part exchange that would have cost me a further £1,200, showed me that there is no security in what he’s told me so far. I say foolishly, as on reflection, if he had turned up to collect my bike with a cheque for £5,500, that would have been good enough for me.

I called the shop back three times that day, leaving messages with a clear apology to Gareth, once with Darren and twice with Keiran, but Gareth did no return my calls. I called and spoke to him today 6/7/15, and he told me that he’s now spoken with Dan Branch, the Group Operations manager of Palmers Group. I pointed out to Gareth that I had accepted his offer of £5,500 on Friday, and he seemed to think that I wanted to get Danny Palmer involved in this issue. I did not ask for that at all, yet Gareth wanted me to come up there and have a sit down meeting with him and Danny Palmer. I

Time was an issue to me, as I’ve subsequently lost the opportunity to buy a replacement motorcycle of the weekend due to this. Time is still an issue to me, as I wish to sell the Daytona quickly, in order to leave me in a position to buy another motorcycle.