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Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Have just spoken to Jake Robbins who has been hard to reach lately. Jake is okay and is still in business. In fact, he's continuing to develop the company with a new website and now has his son onboard.

The fire in the building next door to his workshop did knock him back a lot. Stock was damaged and sooted, etc, but the equipment is okay. His neighbour wasn't insured, so Jake's been carrying the financial burden for the damage and has been desperately trying to re-capitalise the business.

He's working on a number of projects, including the long-awaited remanufactured Speed Twin forks (complete with original-type tapered tubing). He's just received the new castings, which he says look good. Cast in the UK, too. It sounds like he could make a few bob building quality heavyweight BSA forks. Maybe he'll get around to that sometime.

Anyway, he's okay and chatty - and apologises for poor communications. But he's got a dodgy mobile phone signal at the workshop, and has no internet access. But he knows that he needs to improve communications.

Here's his new web address: www.jake-robbins-vintage-engineering.co.uk

email (option): dannydefazio@sumpmagazine.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Thanks for the update. He has had his share of misfortunes.

email (option): unpob@yahoo.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

He has apparently
He has had my girders since sept 2012 but I have just been informed that they are almost ready but the original quotation of £400 for a restoration back to fully assembled and ready to go. Has been revised to £670.

Nothing I can do but accept it as he has my forks, but not happy.
They had better be bloody perfect when they come back, I will keep you all posted, but be warned, I think it's a pretty poor advertisement for business if you can quote and then just seem to make it up as you go along!

I will post pictures when I get them
D

Ps. Before anyone defends him, I think we should know if you have a vested interest or friendship with jake, lets be open and honest, eh

email (option): dwrudd@lineone.net

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

I have no connection with him, other than that I used him once for my forks and he also checked my frame over. He told me clearly that cost would be dependent on the amount of work that needed doing.

He straightened the forks and made two spindles. In my opinion the price was very fair.

I don't believe that he has a 'flat rate' for overhauls

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

He's done four sets for me previously (M20 x2, 5SW Triumph, BSA WB30) and I was happy with the result on each occasion...Hopefully he has maintained that standard through his 'problem period'..
Regarding price was that a 'quote' or an 'estimate'?...A 'quote' should be adhered to...Saying that though, an 'estimate' that is 70% out isn't too good either.
Also could you outline exactly what he has done for that price?...
I currently have to get a set done for my own M20 but an over extended time frame is not an option as the bike has to be rebuilt, ready and run in before May next year...Frankly, I'm worried about the current situation bearing that in mind, but from previous experience I feel he is the 'best of the bunch' (and it's a small bunch! )...
Let us know whether he makes the dispatch deadline this time..I have six weeks max. to make a decision....Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Hi Ian.
After sending him my forks, the u shaped links and main spring, my enquiry was for a re tubing, as the tubes were shot, and rebuild ready to slot onto the bike.

The "quote" was for this work and so he got the go ahead knowing that he needed to source a few extra parts to complete.

So, whilst I am looking forward to getting them back as it is holding me up now, it is disappointing when this happens and one feels that perhaps I have been misled.

But I don't know what else to do. But if there are any extras on top of this, then I will be riding down to see him face to face as in twenty five years in business I have never inflated a quotation and will not be taken for a fool. Lets hope that will not be needed though.

D

email (option): dwrudd@lineone.net

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Hi Darren, it's worth remembering that this kind of work is subject to variables. The changing cost of materials. Supply issues. Undiscovered problems. Machining difficulties. It's not an exact science, and I'm sure the original estimate Jake gave you was given in good faith.

Also, in percentage terms, the difference between £400 and £670 is considerable. But in hard cash terms, for this kind of work, it's not huge. It doesn't take many extra man hours to rack a lot of extra cost.

If, for instance, he spent another day on the forks at a fairly modest £12 per hour, there's almost a hundred quid spent right there.

That said, this is a simple consumer rights issue that can (theoretically) be solved very simply. If you've got a contract with him, verbal or otherwise, then demand to pay the price quoted. He might accept that. He might not.

In legal terms though, most courts would accept a certain business quote variance - and that can be considerable depending on the circumstances. A garage might quote on what appears to be a minor engine job only to later find that a full strip is required.

But yes, you should have been advised beforehand. So just take it up with Jake and haggle it out.

Trouble is, as Ian said, there aren't many people in the UK you can take forks to for repair. And as the pool of expertise shrinks, you often end up with the guys who are good engineers, but need to polish up their business skills, etc.

I'm not a particular friend of Jake's, by the way. I know him a little, mostly on the phone, and we've got a feature on him on Sump. So I'm not defending him outright (he can defend himself). But as I said, we do need to give the few remaining classic experts a little latitude.

However, if you feels it's gone beyond a certain point, you have to vote with your wallet.

email (option): dannydefazio@sumpmagazine.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Thanks Danny
I do understand the variables, as I said I have been in business quite a while. That business is maintenance supplies ( bearings etc ) and we do quite a bit of engineering too. So, whilst I could have attempted this, in house. I wanted an expert in the field, so went to jake.

My text reply to him when he informed me of the extras was, fine, but no more add ons! So, I have not quibbled it with him as I do understand the possible problems, it just stings a bit.

We will see what happens when I see the work and take it from there. But as I said, it was a quotation, not an estimate.

Regards
Darren

email (option): dwrudd@lineone.net

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

This really illustrates one of the reasons why I have ceased doing 'standard' engine and gearbox overhauls...
It is far more easy to calculate costs when manufacturing new components from scratch...Refurbishing old components is a nightmare...
One unforseen problem can cost you hours of work which it is difficult to charge for at a realistic hourly rate. And there are always lots of problems when you try to turn something that is worn, damaged and well past its 'sell by date' back into something 'new'...(which is what the customer expects)...
Generally, though not always, you are also working for someone who doesn't understand fully what is involved in the job either...that's why he is paying you to do it. That usually means he will think it is easier (and quicker) than it actually is, and consequently, doesn't expect it to cost as much in labour as it's going to....
In reality its not possible to put an accurate figure on the time a job will take when there are so many 'unknowns'..particularly if you haven't even seen it....
On the other hand people haven't got bottomless pockets and generally like to know what they are getting into costwise...it's a real dilemma and one I never found a satisfactory answer to.....Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

..Refurbishing old components is a nightmare...
One unforseen problem can cost you hours of work which it is difficult to charge for at a realistic hourly rate. And there are always lots of problems when you try to turn something that is worn, damaged and well past its 'sell by date' back into something 'new'...(which is what the customer expects)...
In reality its not possible to put an accurate figure on the time a job will take when there are so many 'unknowns'..particularly if you haven't even seen it....

[/quote]

you should try doing whole bike restoration work.

drove me to the edge, not the work the customers, almost cured me of bikes completely.

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

I've done that as well Ken...though I wouldn't even consider it now. The other problem that is becoming more the case is that what you have to work with is getting worse and worse condition wise, as the supply of good parts and bikes dries up...Most of 'easy' rebuilds were done years back as people started with the best, not the worst!...Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

You are right Ian, although I do fully understand what is involved with a fork rebuild.

I have been very patient with jake and only ' chased ' him up twice since September last year, so I am not one of the nightmare customers.

I will however be doing the rest of my work myself if at all possible.
Darren

email (option): dwrudd@lineone.net

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

I left a complete set of 1936 Empire star forks with Jake for new bolts and bushes.He answered the phone after a year,he hadn't started on them.Couldn't get hold of him again.He didn't answer the messages I left on his answering machine.I wrote him 3 letters asking about my forks.I live in Sweden so only in England once a year.He was never at his workshop.He finally answers on facebook saying that he sold them at auction to pay for storage,and he knew his rights!Did he have the right to avoid me for 7 years and sell my forks?He seemd to think so.Does anyone know if M20 forks will fit a 1936 Empire Star?Someone please help..I'm desperate..Best regards..alangrey007@hotmail.com

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

I haven't seen him for at least 14 years, but pretty damned certain he was running a stall at Beaulieu International Autojumble a couple of weeks ago this year.......

I went on the Sunday and the stall in question had a fair few girder parts plus an extensive selection of the reprint manuals that Julie from ELK sells..........I'm sure it was Jake on that stall.........!

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Alan Grey
I left a complete set of 1936 Empire star forks with Jake for new bolts and bushes.He answered the phone after a year,he hadn't started on them.Couldn't get hold of him again.He didn't answer the messages I left on his answering machine.I wrote him 3 letters asking about my forks.I live in Sweden so only in England once a year.He was never at his workshop.He finally answers on facebook saying that he sold them at auction to pay for storage,and he knew his rights!Did he have the right to avoid me for 7 years and sell my forks?He seemd to think so.Does anyone know if M20 forks will fit a 1936 Empire Star?Someone please help..I'm desperate..Best regards..alangrey007@hotmail.com
In so far as going into the steering stem and actually working ,, yes they will fit
A very large number of pre WWII BSA's down here run on Wm20 front girders.
There was a conversion girder to teles available down here so some clever charlies stockpiled vast numbers of girders.

However do not even think of getting a set out of India from any of the on line vendors, not unless your insurance is paid up & you have a desire to leave a wealthy widow.
I only know of 5 people who have fitted them and all 5 have failed, including one that was on a display bike which was never actually ridden apart from the trailer to the stand & back again.

email (option): bsansw1@tpg.com.au

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

[...However do not even think of getting a set out of India from any of the on line vendors, not unless your insurance is paid up & you have a desire to leave a wealthy widow.
I only know of 5 people who have fitted them and all 5 have failed, including one that was on a display bike which was never actually ridden apart from the trailer to the stand & back again....]

I'd agree with those sentiments...I've taken a very close look at a set of Indian manufactured M20 forks and I consider them only fit for display purposes (though Trevors comments indicate they may not even be up to that:laughing: )....

There will always be those who have used them and say they are OK but if the measure of how good a pattern part is comes down to whether it catastrophically fails or not then we are in serious trouble.. Determining that fact could be a threat to life and limb in many cases...

When normal 'western' engineering practice is used as the datum point I see no evidence that the Indian aftermarket forks have been constructed using even basic minimum manufacturing specifications, tolerances and quality standards...

Personally I'd be inclined to avoid any Indian manufactured stressed component and the fact they are now making engine components as well as wheel hubs, frame sections, forks etc. is a worrying development as there is effectively no redress in the event of problems, however serious...Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Do you know where those forks did fail, Trevor? Think the bottom links are the most stressed parts and the original ones are very though, don't think the Indian ones can equal that....

email (option): m.wijbenga@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Three of them failed at the joint of the steering stem & the tube.
On the originals it is a forging
On the copies it was a not very good weld joint with a lot of filler to look like a forged/cast part.
Two other failed where the tubes join into the axel forks.
Again on originals it was a forging on the copies they were a piece of thick plate ground to size with a couple of finger to slip inside the tubes.
Not a close enough fit for bronze welding so they literally fell out

Bought a stand from a local dealer decades ago and fitted it fresh for the International at Halls Gap last year.
It lasted exactly 6 hours
Did the Friday short run, did the long ride and fell apart at Dunkelg on the third ride.

Took it off and the only part that were salvagible were the caps on the end of the legs

email (option): bsansw1@tpg.com.au

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

The guy is a disgrace. Do not use him for any refurbish unless you want to get ripped off as he did to me.
I am praying for the day when I come face to face with the crook and get my £600 back for the absolute crap job he did on my M20 girders.
The quote was to get them back to perfect standard condition and the shite that he submitted was utter fraud.

If you read this Jake, know that sooner or later I will stand face to face and we will sort things out.

To anyone who considers using this rip off merchant, go throw your money out the window, its better value for money than this.

Yes I am bitter, but rather listen to my rant than get stung.
The guy is a crook. Tells you bullsh#t to get your money then creates any kind of crap excuse to keep it.
Don't do it, go find a proper engineer to do it properly.
Darren

PS. Anyone who defends this cheating fraud is just as bad as he is. Perhaps hoping for a kick back on a cheap job, don't believe it.

email (option): d.wrudd at Sky.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Thank you Trevor, I will keep far away from them anyway.

Luckily the inferior quality can be spotted from a distance. But for the newcomers, who have not seen a original set to compare, it is a real danger.

BR Michiel

email (option): m.wijbenga@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

I left my forks with him in 2011 and he says now that he sold them to pay for storage.Go and get them back asap,if he hasn't already sold them

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

very active on facebook. almost daily.

https://www.facebook.com/jakevintage/

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Hello Darren.Please write a review on his webb site so other people don't get ripped off,thanks..Alan

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

I can concur with Darren regarding his job...In the past Jake has done a few sets for me and made a good job of them but it seems things have changed...
I was shocked at the poor workmanship that had been carried out and the obvious deviations from the correct specifications on a set of forks that were supposed to be standard..Happily, at the time, I was able to supply Darren with all the correct parts that ultimately enabled him to rectify things...
Unfortunately the fact remains he was basically ripped off in my opinion...Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Having met Jake a couple of times and been supplied some parts by him and also seen some incredible looking 'Castle' forks that he made from scratch for a Brough. I was very disappointed when my WM20 forks came back about 3 weeks after I sent them to him as the rod brake lug was bent completely out of shape. I was able to re-shape it to my reasonable satisfaction..........But the huge disappointment was that he'd made my fork bushes from 'sintered/oilite' bronze, and they turned to lace tissue paper in under 1000 miles.

My local engineer re-bushed them with the correct bronze and I've done thousands of miles since. He has the ability! I really can't understand what he's playing at??

Ron :confused:

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

And I still can't thank you enough Ian.
There are some good guys around and even when all seems to conspire against you, up step lads like Ian Wright and Ron Pier to show you that everyone is not just on the take and that there really are some genuine good eggs about 👍
Darren

email (option): d.wrudd at Sky.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Shame about your forks Darren.Original girder forks are worth a lot of money.That's probably why he sold mine.Do you know if you got the originals back?He might be selling customers originals for a thousand pounds or more,and returning indian copies.Find out before your forks fail.

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Alan Grey
Shame about your forks Darren.Original girder forks are worth a lot of money.That's probably why he sold mine.Do you know if you got the originals back?He might be selling customers originals for a thousand pounds or more,and returning indian copies.Find out before your forks fail.
Does anybody here have a set of forks that will fit my 1936 Empire Star?It's a 500cc,completely original.Joke Robbings doesn't have passion for motorbikes,only himself.Have you seen his video clips?He thinks he's Evel Knievel!Ridiculous!He's a bloody thief and a narcissist

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Hi Alan,
I do believe they were the original forks although the extra set of fork links were never returned.
I'm have them on the wall in the den, as a lesson to never go back.
I was lucky enough to find another set which I have refurbished myself and rebushed.
With Ian's help with parts, they are pretty good.
Darren

email (option): d.wrudd at Sky.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Alan,

Send me a PM. I have the 1936 Empire Star forks blades. I have 3 1936 ES bikes so I collected some spares along the way.

Regards,
Leon

email (option): leonhop3_at_planet_dot.nl

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

As I said, there are some good fellas around. Well done Leon 👏👏

email (option): d.wrudd at Sky.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Hi Alan.

As we both know we have already discussed this issue several times now.
I will clarify it for for you one last time: the reason they where sold was because we carried out the work and then you vanished for 7 years without paying your outstanding bill.
You made no effort to contact me and also never tried to visit as if you had you would have got your forks back.
I Work at the workshop Monday to Friday 9-5.
It was with great regret after seeking legal advice i had to sell your forks to cover the unpaid invoice you had left me with.
I run a small business reliant on turnover,you are the first customer who has ever done this.

email (option): jakevinteng@aol.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Hi Darren.

I don't remember you making contact over any problems,although this was a long time ago.
With regards to the price, prices can vary and extra jobs are found throughout the recondition.
hence the original quote rising.

There are overtones of aggression, if there is a genuine problem please take it up via a court of law.
Your threatening language will not be tolerated.

email (option): jakevinteng@aol.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Jake

Several years back you contacted me to pay a final 1250$ telling me the forks were completed.

I never heard from you again although I attempted to contact you.

Ron Pier had good had good things to say about you and I decided to put some faith into it.

Folks like you are valued craftsman and I thought working with you would help us both.

I paid the price for being wrong. But worse is that others who believed in your attempts to provide a service like Ian, were slighted as well.

Hope your business is doing well.

Henri

email (option): unpob@yahoo.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Very convenient, You don't remember !!
I suggest you think hard.

I am a small businessman with 35 years in the bearings and engineering industry.
Never have I come across a worse experience of lies and deceit in a business deal.
A quotation is just that, a quotation. After seeing a set of forks which are not the most complicated of items, what 'extras' can turn up.

You come back out of the woodwork in fake disbelief to try and blag someone else into believing your promises.
You sir are a disgrace and still owe me £850refund for the terrible work that you performed after promising a refurb back to best standards which would 'go straight back on the bike'

It should be obvious by now that many people are more than upset with your quality of work, so draw a line under this and don't sully this wonderful forum any further.
If you need to contact me, you should still have my details.

email (option): d.wrudd at Sky.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Darren
As I said, there are some good fellas around. Well done Leon 👏👏

I hope joke dies asap to spare us his rip offs.He's worse than bad.What comes around goes around.He'll soon rip off the wrong person

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Lots of victims here,and you defend your self.Ever heard of customer satisfaction.Seen your stupid you tube videos about yourself.You're a narcissist.That's why you rip people off and defend yourself.You sold my forks to pay for storage costs.They take up loads of room.Darren and Henri.Henri sent you loads of money and got nothing,he gave up.You last wanted 1200 dollars,a thousand pounds,which he sent,and he hasn't heard from you since.Do you think I would drive from Sweden to Hastings,about 60 hours in a car there and back,leave about a thousand pounds worth of forks and never conact you again?Are you on drugs?Jut bloody stop ripping people off!But you can't understand that.You are a narcissist

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Yup. Owes me 4500.00 (USD). Never built the one set of Triumph Speed Twin forks I ordered, and then stole the one set I sent for refurbishment. To his credit, Danny DeFazio tried to intercede on my behalf. Nothing. Glad this is finally getting some real "press".

email (option): btcoop77069@aol.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Thanks Leon,but I've already bought M20 forks to fit on the bike..kind regards,Alan

email (option): alangrey007@hotmail.com

Re: Jake Robbins is alive and well

Alan,

You do realise that you need different yokes as well because the different width?

Regards,
Leon

email (option): leonhop3_at_planet_dot_nl

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