Author Topic: Considering a Smuggler...Anybody have a good review of Corbin customer service?  (Read 10723 times)

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Offline CW

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I am mulling over perhaps ordering a Smuggler for my C14. But after reading all of the absolutely SCATHING reviews of Corbin customer service, I am having second thoughts. After Googling "Corbin customer service reviews", I cannot imagine ever buying anything from them. These bad reviews go back years and years, and come from every direction, covering all sorts of bike owners: Harley's, Suzukis, Hondas...virtually everything!

How do these guys stay in business? Surely there are some good reviews out there somewhere? Is their "Lifetime Warranty" really a warranty?

Anyone want to share?
2010 Neptune blue C-14
2009 KLR
2103 DR-Z400S

Offline ZG

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I've got the Corbin smuggler and heated front and back seats, I've had no problems with the product nor Corbin.  :great:

BAD A$$ isn't cheap, and cheap isn't BAD A$$...

Offline Daytona_Mike

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I am a Corbin fan. I have 3 bikes all with Corbins. One day during Bike Week on Main St there was a sign 'Corbin' so we  pulled into their warehouse. They moved their main building but kept the warehouse.
While my friend looked at new seats I pulled my seat off and showed them a couple of rivets that had failed. They fixed it right then and there no charge.
I like their products. I have tried other seats but always seem to come back to Corbin.
Normally aspirated engines have perpetual turbo lag
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Offline alaskarider

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I have bought 6 or 7 Corbin seats over the years just bought another for my Concours 14. The customer service is weak but their seats are great. I had one on my zx14 and it was still comfortable after 35k miles. I have easily put over 100k on their seats and they wear very well and never seem to wear out.
They are great at making seats and bad at customer service. Much better than bad seats and great customer service. :great:
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Offline Brass

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I have had three horrible an transaction with Corbin and since then I could never tell someone to get a Corbin product.  First time I figured it was a fluke, second time I figured it was just my luck, but three time in three years is unacceptable. I think they make a quality seat and would not hesitate to buy one on the used market.  I can not say the same about their fiberglass products though. The quality is just not there from my experience.  Worst so far was a set of molded VTX saddle bags which split at the seam both bags within a month of each other 8 months after purchase and was basically told it was my fault because they felt I may have over loaded the bags.  Before that one of the locks was defective from week one and they tried to blame me for it, took my 3 months to get a new part which I ended up having to pay for

If you've had good luck though Corbin good for you but with all the horror stories of customer service It's bound to happen over and over again
Shaun - Collegeville PA
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Offline Moto2wheelin

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I am on my 2nd smuggler now and have had a set of their beetle bags as well.  I think their craftsmanship is top notch, but agree that service is not their thing!  The only issue I have had with any of their bags or smugglers is latches needing adjustment, as any will or would over time.

Offline Not So Wild Turkey

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I have had 1 purchase from Corbin with multiple bad CS experiences since.  Bad glass,  bad paint,  incorrect attachment locations in the glass and the worst CS I have ever seen in motorcycle world.  If I can stop just one sale for Corbin by relating my experience to a potential customer my life will have stood for something.  If unclear at all feel free to PM for contact information and will be happy to explain.
 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
2012 Concours Arabian Red & 80 Suzuki GS1100E
2003 VTX1800R Black / 1979 Suzuki GS1000E / 1969 Norton Commando
Yamaha DT3 250 / Kawasaki 100 G4TR

Offline CW

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It would cost me $1,100 gross to get a smuggler, because I would have to buy the front modular seat as well. I could recover some of that by selling my stock seat, and my Sargent seat. Even still, I'm probably looking at a net cost of somewhere north of $650 or so, all in. With all the dismal reports of spotty quality in their products, and almost uniformly poor customer service, I think I'll pass. If I need a handy place to carry small stuff, I'll just use my tank bag. I do not see how a company can stay in business in today's economy with a reputation like Corbin.

Not so Wild Turkey, you clinched it for me!

Thanks, all.
2010 Neptune blue C-14
2009 KLR
2103 DR-Z400S

Offline Saint_Arc

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Keep on eye on the forum though.  Sometimes your see a smuggler get posted up for sale.  Good luck!! ;) 
Michael Roelofs

2012 Kawasaki Concours 1400 Arabian Red
2009 Kawasaki Concours 14 Candy Red (RIP)
2003 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad

Offline Zarticus

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Their customer service sucks but I would not give up my smuggler for anything!!!!!!!!!!. The paint match is perfect & so is the finish. They said it would be six weeks from order date & it showed up at my door in 4 weeks!!. I have never heard of anyone having any problems with the smuggler other than possibly having to adjust the cover latch which all you have to do is loosen 2 screws, adjust & then tighten. I did have to put 2 washers under the loop that locks into the bikes seat latch on the smuggler so I did not have to push down so hard for it to lock down. I would NOT hesitate at all to order another one. It is so good looking but even better is  how much you can carry in it. I carry a tool kit, small air compressor, Small 1st aid kit, Electrical tape, Small roll of duct tape, Roll of friction seal tape that works on coolant hoses, Suntan lotion, Can of Plexus spray windshield cleaner & 2 micro fiber rags, Small thing of gorilla super glue, Complete set of Frog Togg rain gear & I still have room for a couple bottles of water & room to lock my GPS in it!!. I never have to use a crappy tank bag again  :beerchug:     
2012 Kawasaki Concours, Arabian Red
1986 Honda V65 Magna, Black
1984 Honda V65 Magna, Black
1983 Honda V45 Sabre, Red

Offline Gypsy JR

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What customer service? You mean, "No you can't return that, we don't care if you think it was defective" customer service?
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Offline Not So Wild Turkey

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Well I wish I had the experience that you did Zarticus.  We all have our own point of view.  Without that what good is a forum.  If you have a crappy tank bag then maybe you purchased a crappy tank bag.  For me I purchased a crappy "Corbin" trunk.  Have spent in excess of 40 shop hours trying to make it work even remotely well.  Corbin knows they have you by the fuzzy round things when they charge your card as soon as you hang up the phone.  I stand by my previous post and will say that it was not nearly comprehensive.  There are a lot of issues that I did not bother to mention.  If you are happy with them I am proud for you.  I wish I had wasted my 1000.00 somewhere else.  Now for those that can turn off the computer and go enjoy riding on this beautiful Sunday. :motonoises:
2012 Concours Arabian Red & 80 Suzuki GS1100E
2003 VTX1800R Black / 1979 Suzuki GS1000E / 1969 Norton Commando
Yamaha DT3 250 / Kawasaki 100 G4TR

Offline Zarticus

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Well I wish I had the experience that you did Zarticus.  We all have our own point of view.  Without that what good is a forum.  If you have a crappy tank bag then maybe you purchased a crappy tank bag.  For me I purchased a crappy "Corbin" trunk.  Have spent in excess of 40 shop hours trying to make it work even remotely well.  Corbin knows they have you by the fuzzy round things when they charge your card as soon as you hang up the phone.  I stand by my previous post and will say that it was not nearly comprehensive.  There are a lot of issues that I did not bother to mention.  If you are happy with them I am proud for you.  I wish I had wasted my 1000.00 somewhere else.  Now for those that can turn off the computer and go enjoy riding on this beautiful Sunday. :motonoises:
As I said I agree their customer service sucks. When I say crappy tank bag I did not mean quality, I have a great tank bag but it is crappy compared to using a smuggler & its great not having something in front of you on your tank. I have only heard of the latch problems. What problems did you have with yours?. I am NOT defending corbine in any way!!. Just saying in the long run I would not give it up & would get another if I needed it. That's my opinion & I hate to see people not get such a great addition to such a great bike. 
2012 Kawasaki Concours, Arabian Red
1986 Honda V65 Magna, Black
1984 Honda V65 Magna, Black
1983 Honda V45 Sabre, Red

Offline Not So Wild Turkey

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I made a decision to purchase their large trunk based on a 4 week to ship commitment from them as I needed it for a specific trip planned.  It showed up in 10 weeks.  The attachments in the glass were not aligned correctly requiring a major torque to the spars that hold the factory rack.  The paint / gelcoat had multiple places where dirt was trapped in the color.  The color breaks off wherever it touches the attachments.  They claim you can put 2 full coverage helmets in it but I can only get 1 in.  The Kawasaki rack support is structured for 22#s.  The trunk weighs 33#s empty.  The extra weight causes it to bounce around terribly because the support spares cant support the weight.  I have spent 40 plus hours coming up with different approaches to support in a more effective way.  I was about 80% successful.  The latches wont adjust tight enough to keep the lid from rattling up and down.  There are no stops on opening the trunk to keep the lid from contacting the body of the trunk (paint to paint contact) damaging the paint.  Corbin said they would fix defects but you cant fix a product that is not engineered correctly.  I asked if I paid the return shipping if I could get a refund and they just short of laughed at me.  They conveniently leave the weight out of their marketing lit.  I whole heartedly support and recommend companies that do a good job for me.  I also make sure that the ones that don't get every bit of the bad press that I can provide.  I am considering standing next to their booth at the Lone Star Rally to make sure that no ones purchases their product without being aware of my experience.  I am old and willing to look a little stupid to make a point.  Ride fast and safe.  "That's all I am going to say about that".
2012 Concours Arabian Red & 80 Suzuki GS1100E
2003 VTX1800R Black / 1979 Suzuki GS1000E / 1969 Norton Commando
Yamaha DT3 250 / Kawasaki 100 G4TR

Offline Zarticus

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I don't blame you hating corbin after what you have been threw!!. I did not know you had the trunk & not the smuggler. They should not make a trunk that empty weighs more than the rack is designed for!. The smuggler is a much better product but after your experience I understand where your coming from  :beerchug: 
2012 Kawasaki Concours, Arabian Red
1986 Honda V65 Magna, Black
1984 Honda V65 Magna, Black
1983 Honda V45 Sabre, Red

Offline chamberlincalls

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Corbin Customer Service = oxymoron

Offline LakeTrax

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Corbin Customer Service = oxymoron
I know... so why does the smuggler(the sweetest farkle ever known to C14 owners) have to be made by them & only them? >:(

Offline Cap'n Bob

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Corbin Customer Service = oxymoron


    I hear these horror stories about Corbin. I guess I must be lucky. I have had multiple Corbin seat and never needed any kind of service or repair on any of them that required customer service. But the one time I did use Corbin's customer service, to have a special order raincover made to protect my C14's leather seat. They were very accommodating. It was made perfectly clear and I  understood that it would be made in between the much larger volume products. As such it was suppose to take as much as a month or two (in the winter). To my surprise, it was at my house in about two weeks. And I live on the opposite side of the country from where it was made. The quality of the cover was also good and I never had a problem with it's form and function. So in my experience, the products have all been of good quality that never needed customer service (unlike a lot of other manufacturers products that I have purchased. (and others have raved about) And when I did use Corbin's customer service, it was fine and delivered better than I rightly could have expected.
   Now I never purchased one of those large fiberglass trunks. Personally I feel that they are way too much and don't go with the bike IMO. I also would personally never use a very heavy and large fiberglass product that is bolted rigidly to the bike high and rear. I just would want something much lighter, that can flex better. (just my preference). But like any product, there are always some who have had less than stellar experiences with companies and/or their products. And some are very passionate when it comes to Corbin. Although I'm not saying that they do not have the right to be unhappy or express it. I just want to balance it out and say that I have owned multiple Corbin Products and found them to be of good quality and have never had trouble with the product or the company. And in my experience, that includes the customer service the one time I did use it.  But I could say some less than flattering comments about some other companies and/or their products.  :-X

Offline Not So Wild Turkey

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Your one customer service experience was a sale opportunity not a warranty issue.   That may be why it was good for you.   You are right about the weight of the trunk being ridiculous.   I guess that's why they leave the weight out of the specs and marketing lit.  I wish I was seeing it from your point of view.   It would feel great to be happy about my purchase.  Anyway we all get a different experience.   That's the nature of the process and life for that matter.   Ride safe and often.
2012 Concours Arabian Red & 80 Suzuki GS1100E
2003 VTX1800R Black / 1979 Suzuki GS1000E / 1969 Norton Commando
Yamaha DT3 250 / Kawasaki 100 G4TR

Offline CW

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If I could get just a small smattering of stories about how responsive and accomodating Corbin was whenever a customer had an issue.....but NO! Only horror stories. Time, after time, after time. Harley owners, Suzuki owners, Honda owners...you name it. Just run a Google search on "Corbin customer service reviews", and see for yourself.

Sure, if the product ordered arrives in good condition, and the fit and finish is as advertised, there would be no customer issue. But on the (rare?) occaision in which there IS an issue involving condition, fit, or finish, where is Corbin then????

Seems to me that with Corbin, "you pay your money, and you take your chances". And I am just not happy doing that, no matter how nice the Smuggler is.

Perhaps I am wrong. But I stopped making money a long time ago. The money I've got now has to last me and the wife to the end of our days.
2010 Neptune blue C-14
2009 KLR
2103 DR-Z400S

Offline ZG

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I hear these horror stories about Corbin. I guess I must be lucky. I have had multiple Corbin seat and never needed any kind of service or repair on any of them that required customer service.


+1... same here.  :iagree:

BAD A$$ isn't cheap, and cheap isn't BAD A$$...

Offline LakeTrax

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Damn straight Corbin better be good to ya Jay... you've done about $35,000 worth of free advertising for them in the last few years! :))

Offline ZG

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Damn straight Corbin better be good to ya Jay... you've done about $35,000 worth of free advertising for them in the last few years! :))

 :)) :)) :))

BAD A$$ isn't cheap, and cheap isn't BAD A$$...

Offline nando

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I had a nightmare with Corbin related to the purchase of a seat...never again. They lied and ran me around from their CA and FL customer service locales...it was beyond ridiculous. I assessed there was zero communication between the sellers on customer service and the manufacturing guys on the shop.
The worse part was that they repeatedly lied to cover their chaos.
I am voting for anyone who wasn't there during the government shut-down.

Offline BertL

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"It all depends on what the meaning of 'is' is". -Bill Clinton

Impeach him if you like, that's your business.  But Reta and I are happy with our new saddle...Reta is Happy, Happy, Happy.

We first met Mike in the early '90's at Laguna Seca Raceway's F-1 bike races.  We had one of his saddles on the '86 C-10. Reta told Mike she enjoyed the saddle more than the stock seat, however, it still pinched off on the inside of her thighs as she has a short inseam.  Mike asked us to bring the bike in on Monday and he would fix it.  We took it to his shop, then in Watsonville.  One of the "Wizards" spent 3 hours shaving and reforming the pillion.  We took the bike out numerous times to check the fit until it was to Reta's liking. Thereafter they sewed a new saddle covering...no charge.  Reta never complained about the saddle again.  I was Happy, Happy, Happy!

Due to some family health issues we could not attend the Nationals at Idaho Falls, but we could do a 5 day run as long as we could get back home within 12 hrs. if need be.  So we opted to run to Paso Robles then head up Hwy 1 through Big Sur to Mike's place for a custom saddle fitting by appointment.  A 5 hour process.  Julio, the saddle wizard, got my butt fitted to the saddle on the first try.  After riding the bike I told Julio, " don't touch it, don't even breath on it.  Just skin it and I'm good to go".  Not so for my pillion princess, after 4 fittings and 3 rides they began sewing the saddle cover.  The total process took 7 hours.  We spent most of our time in Corbin's in-house cafe with Victor, who runs the cafe, and a couple from Toronto, Canada with "his and her's" BMW's also in there for new saddles and butt fitting.

On the 700 mile ride home all Reta said was, "We'll go back next year for some minor tweaking".  This from a woman who spends days agonizing over where to put the couch in the great room.

'If mama's not happy, nobody's happy".  I like to be Happy, Happy, Happy when we are riding two up.

Bert

« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 03:10:49 am by BertL »