10-June-2010: Linbar

There are two types of customer service.  The type I was subjected to by the distributor of Nolan helmets and the type I enjoyed from Lindby Custom.  The former has an additional story behind it which I will share in a later post; the latter is the standard by which other companies should esteem to.

I first discovered Lindby Custom from one of the several motorcycle enthusiasts I worked for as a Defense Contractor.  I spent several hours on their website perusing the many beautiful styles they had and found the one.  I fell for the powder coated black Linbar.

I had to wait to get the money to purchase it, of course, and once I had it I gave them a call.  I was worried that being so close to my launch date I wouldn’t be able to get it in time. But I was anxious because I knew having additional positions to rest my legs would make the trip more comfortable, and it would also be nice to have the added protection.  I have only ever dumped my bike twice, once out of an attempt to save my life and the other out of idiocy.  But ultimately, I liked how it looked.

I called Lindby and spoke with Evi in April of 2010 and told her what I would like to buy.  From initial contact she was very pleasant and sounded genuinely happy to be there.  She looked up the part and had some bad news.  They didn’t have any in stock and it would take about 4 weeks to get it shipped to me.  I was leaving in three and was a bit disappointed, but thanked her for her time.  However, before I could hang up she asked me if she could check on something and call me back. I said sure, gave her my phone number and hung up.

Before I could make it up my three flights of stairs back to work, she called me back.  She had contacted one of the shop guys and discovered that they had an extra bar that hadn’t been sold yet that had just been returned from the powder coater.  She could have done like so many other companies and left me hanging, but she went above and beyond.  She was even polite when she said no the first time.

I received my Linbar two days later.  It was even nicer looking than in the pictures.  I promptly installed it and sat back looking at it in appreciation. Two weeks later I was on the road.  It served me well and was of great use on my 17,000 miles, but I was especially appreciative in California.

I was riding through Lassen Volcanic National Park on California Route 44 when I came along a straightaway that provided a most magnificent view of the volcano.  It had already been a wondrous ride from Virginia City, NV to Redding, CA, but this was a sight that could take your breath away.  I slowed down to look for a turn off so I could capture a couple of pictures and found one that provided a good, unobstructed view.  I slowly pulled off and found myself in a bad place.  The soft shoulder looked firm enough, but was actually about four inches of powder.  My bike sunk quickly and tilted to the left side.  I was coming to a stop, so I didn’t drag, but the balance was lost and the bike tipped.  It was deep enough that when it tipped, it trapped my leg against the asphalt. Had I not had the Linbar, I would have been in a far worse position.  The bar provided just enough of an angle and gap between the road and my motorcycle that I was able to lift the bike off my leg. With a lot of effort that ultimately resulted in a few pulled muscles, I was able to lift the bike and get out off the quicksand shoulder I landed in, and I took off.  I no longer had the interest and spiritual high to want to take pictures of beauty, so I took off, cursing the pain in my back, leg and luck, but eternally grateful that my Linbar was there. I can’t imagine what would have happened or how long I would have had to wait for help if I hadn’t had the Linbar.

I put 22,000 miles on my bike last year. I am rather proud of it–and lots of things can happen in 22,000 miles.  On my move from Virginia to Texas I had one incident that frustrated me, until I called Lindby Customs.  About 70 miles west of Tallahassee, FL, putting my feet up on the bar and hunkering in for the next 80 miles, I suddenly felt a pop and a loss of pressure on my feet: the Linbar stripped free of the bolt in the center of the frame.

Fortunately I didn’t have a lot of weight on it so my legs didn’t flap around like chicken wings on a startled bird, but it was disconcerting.  I gathered my wits, pulled over and looked at what happened. I then used my iPhone to look up the website and called them.

I spoke to Per (pronounced Peer), who is one of the owners and designers, and told him what happened.  He said that as soon as I get to Texas I should send the bar back and they would take a look at it.  I told him that I hadn’t had it a year yet, but I did put all that mileage on it.

I got to Texas, shipped it and got a call from Evi that they had received it.  One week later I got a call asking me where exactly to ship a new one.  I was surprised and very grateful.  Again, two days later, I received a new, beautiful, powder coated black Linbar.  And then Evi called to confirm I had received it.

Linbar not only saved me from a long, lonely wait on the side of a back road in a national forest, but they also proved that in the motorcycle world, there are still those with impeccable customer service, attention to detail and a willingness to go the extra mile.  I guarantee that any future bikes in my life with have a Linbar engine guard on them.