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My First Book: Bruise Faced Child

 

(Photo by Brent Braaten – Prince George Citizen)

As many of you know, my childhood and youth were fraught with abuse, violence and adversity. For the last fifteen years, I have worked my ass off and completed 2 degrees, including a Masters in Social Work; now near complete a Law Degree.

Recently I published my first book: Bruise Faced Child (Click on link to purchase a copy in USA).

Or this link to buy from Canada.

 

The Prince George Citizen has published this article about my book.

 

 

 

A Poem About Dr. Cindy Blackstock

I wrote this set of pieces in 2013. In 2014 some of the following was published in my masters in social work. This series was included in a manuscript competition I won on indigenous topics relating to culture, law and land in 2013.

Dr. Cindy Blackstock is one of the most important Canadians that walks among us. She is one of my heroes. Her work is beyond important to all Canadians.

Doctor – I

I have read articles. books. your research. offered solutions. people before profit. children before. money. first people’s children. all children. the platform.

Black-stock’d – II

you said:

state of lived experience

First Nations’ children

incredulous human rights violation

repeated, perhaps blatant

definitively despicable

our nation, our short history

Canadian perpetration

politicians cannot afford

indigenous burdens

housing, education, food, language

and equitable social service

commodify, accept, tolerate, perpetuate, perpetrate

racial discrimination

profitable margins, of mainstream dominant class

multi-cultural-mosaic-exclusion

agreements negotiated

treatied sovereignty

ignored, suppressed, push down, down, and done

at the cost

of injustices served

contextualized CFCSA

extended Canadian apartheid

Child, Family and Community Services Act

Indian Act

residential schools

60s scooped

into group homes

kicked out of hospitals

homeless wandering

without family, community, ceremony, language, land

displacement

corrections

words of Duncan Campbell Scott

legal prohibition

of language

legal prohibition,

culture and gatherings

legal prohibition,

speak mother tongues

legal prohibition

parental rights

government controlled

while stealing

babies in the night

like a mongoose snatches eggs

from robin’s nest

150 years, kidnapping

 

I cry – III

for children

my children

non-First Nations children

‘indian’ babies

all children

are someone’s babies

without parents, families, or community connections

all children!

watch, observe and learn

Canada penetrates deeper, deeper and

inward colonization

imperialists take babies

under, and for, ‘the law’

British law rules

all babies

as children watch and learn

through observation

we teach snatched babies

ripped families hearts bleed screams

helpless, hopeless, I cry

all children learn

of assimilation-accept-ability

 

Problematic – IV

white faced suits deny, discourage, dishonor

and then disrobe

their captive indian princesses

with Olympic feathers and buckskin Ramsey rooms

judges disrobe, cops turned blind eyes

as highways cry missing women

girls, children, exploitation

sexual domination cropped and farmed

agricultural-education-assimilation

sex and violence

in systems built in

built on fortification

power bases cry babies

women’s blackened eyes

men staggering alone

hitting each other

 

Poisonous Plates – V

assimilation meals

lateral violence deserts

blamed for crying alcohol

for wine-ing

and dining, whimpers

about life

dirty systems

poisonous plates

 

Governments Words – VI

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners:

pull up your fucking socks

lazy dirty ‘Indians’

given good-god-damned

money

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners:

worked jobs, twenty seven years

taxes paid

fed brown children

squaw women

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners:

killed, selling two dollar assholes

whores

abandon children

civilize savages

these are the things I grew up hearing

I borrowed these views

now returned to their rightful owners

 

Witnessed – VII

Wall-street suited economics

oppressive governing neo-cons

damn any-and-every-one, deemed differentiated

divided by privilege

antithetical under-grounded scholars

research, observe, compile, articulate, write and write

and write right words righteous

smudge, pray in honor

to your journey

sweat prayers, for your momentum

requests ability carried out

mother natures’ will, assist support

witness, this revolution

 

Cindy B -VIII

I want to thank you

on behalf of all

us un-indians

ethno-centric-mono-culture

all non-First Nations Canadian peoples

us immigrants. the ignorant. the mean. the killers. the rapers. the homophobes. the racists. the powerful. Dominant. and sickened. superiority complexified society.

I, thank you. for articulation. research harvested ceremonial. produced in language. and understood structures. by masses. Now. who can deny?

success. teaching the government. how to treat children. people and community. my nechi-nehiyewan. Cree. Salteaux. Secwepmc. Anishinaabe. my friends. lovers. Partners. Colleagues. and comrades in academia. my brethren on the streets. homeless. and those of us who moved on. Survived. your praxis. a revolution. this. my honor. honorary shout-out. for you. for the kids. and families. the world. country. and nation

hiy-hiy

Spirit of the Knife

Daniel Gallant, 2014 ©

This is an excerpt from my Masters Thesis and upcoming autobiography.

Since I have completed my Masters I am going to post the last story section of my Thesis. This piece is officially copyrighted and cannot be copied in part, nor in it’s entirety, without my specific and expressed written consent. It is publicly accessible thus I ask that you only share this with people through the actual website.

If you seek further permissions please contact me at scholarsfromtheunderground@gmail.com

Weaving Words

Spirit of the Knife Returns

Throughout my university career, which I started at age twenty-six, with a grade seven education, my interest in watching and listening to storytellers led me to the Weaving Words Aboriginal Writing Festival. I attended the event two years in a row. Maintaining an anonymous presence at the festival was the most natural engagement for me. Sitting quietly in the sidelines. Listening to others’ stories, connecting and relating to them, while on my own. Previous to attending the University of Northern British Columbia, where this writing festival takes place annually, I had attended the University of Alberta.

 

While at the U of A, an invitation from my cousin led me to a reading by First Nations writer Richard Van Camp. While listening to Richard I felt compelled to talk with him, but did not do so. Afterwards my cousin Zach and I went to the bookstore and bought a copy of The Lesser Blessed. I enjoyed the book. Years later at the Weaving Words festival at UNBC Richard Van Camp was one of the annual readers. I found him funny and entertaining. He engaged my spirit in a way I had never known before.

 

During one of my courses at UNBC, in the First Nations Studies program, we had a guest speaker in class. This was on the first day of the Weaving Words Aboriginal Story Telling Festival. Garry Gottfriedson, a renowned Secwepemc poet, came and read some of his poetry to our class. It was intimate and raw. It was about the streets of East Van. I could smell, see, taste and touch the words and phrases he read out about some corners and alleys in the lower east side. Lower is such a good way to describe that area of Vancouver. It is hard for me to know and remember that as a child I was alone on the streets on the lower east side. It was like I was back on the streets of East Van when I listened to Garry read. It took everything in me to not break down with shattered tears in class. Immediately after Garry was done reading, my feet carried me to retreat in the washroom. Tears streamed down my face. Finally someone in the university spoke my language. I was compelled to talk to Garry, but did not do so. Instead my introverted retreat sewed my lips shut. My fear crippled me. I had no idea what the fear was about. It was apparent that it was simply overwhelmingly a response of fear to Garry’s words. Perhaps the fear of returning there to the streets, or the fear that other children, will endure similar experiences.

 

The following year both Garry and Richard were reading again at the festival. I was excited. After one of the readings the crowd converged to a local campus coffee shop. As we all stood in line Richard was standing there with several of his peers. He looked at me and smiled. I gave him a responsive forced half smile. He looked down towards my crotch. My first thought was “what the fuck are you staring at?”

 

Then he looked in my eyes while pointing at my pocket, “Hey, that’s a nice knife you got going on there.”

“Thanks,” I replied.

“Can I take a look at’er?”

 

I pulled the fold up blade out of my pocket. I handed it to him. “Whoa, look guys!”

He showed the knife to his friends. “It’s a camo knife. ohhh, so cool!,” he said with utter excitement. I could not tell if he was fucking with me or if he was being genuinely nice. “Can I open it?,” he asked.

“Ya man knock yerself out.”

 

Richard slowly pulled the blade of the knife open, with a huge energetic smile. You could feel his enthusiasm illuminate the room. “Whoa! Man! That’s the coolest thing ever! Look guys! The blade is camo even. Awesome knife man! Are you a hunter? My uncle is a hunter even. Whoa! This is so awesome!”

 

My heart was pounding. I was building up to an uncontrollable desire to punch him in the face. My heart felt like it was trying to jump out of my chest with every beat in order to reach out and smack him in his lips. He folded the knife up and handed it back to me. “That’s a wicked cool knife man. I want one like that someday. It would make a great gift for my uncle.”

 

I had never felt so patronized as I did in that moment. It felt like he knew about me. That he identified my knife in public to teach me a lesson. “Why the hell was I packing a knife at school for, anyways. What the hell was I afraid of. Was it necessary? Why the fuck was this son-of-a-bitch bugging me.”

 

Him and all his friends ordered their drinks and left to the large table nearby. I was so relieved when they walked away. They were all laughing and joking at the table. I felt like they were laughing at me. Everybody knew. They all knew Daniel was crazy. He packs a knife at the university, does he think he is tough or something. I got my tea and left. I split like lightening. I got about thirty paces down the hall. I stopped dead in my tracks. A voice spoke inside my head: “You have to stop packing knives Daniel. You need to look at your fear son.”

 

I took a deep breath in, and released all my pent up energy in a single exhale. My fight was gone. It felt like I was going to cry. I knew my fear had to be relieved through letting go.

 

Letting go is not an easy task. Usually it comes with a lot of tears and intrusive self-destructive thoughts. I feared in that moment that someone would try to hurt me if I put my knife away. Besides what’s the point in owning a knife unless you carry it with you. The voice of knife spoke again. “Give it away to Richard. He is the one who just called you on your bullshit. You’re in university and your life is different now. Why the hell are you carrying the streets with you here in these hallways. Let it go. Give it away. That’s the Cree way. Face your fears son.”

 

I marched over to Richard while he sat at the table, they were all laughing and joking around. I slammed the knife down in front of him. It felt like the sound travelled through all the halls in the university. The entire school went quiet and glared at me. They all had seen me. Everyone knew. I felt busted. “This is for you,” I said.

 

I spun around immediately, and stepped away one foot in front of the other before Richard could respond.

“Hey! Hey man, thanks, but what is this for?”

I side-stepped and spun around while walking backwards. “It’s for you man. It’s my gift to you. It’s yours now” Then I saluted him and walked away.

“Whoa guys look! This knife is so awesome! Look!”

 

I could hear his bullshit as I walked away. Reluctantly that night I slipped into another one of Richard’s readings. I had to. The guy pissed me off so bad and got under my skin that there was no choice but to face the demons inside me. The festival ended that night.

A year later, I attended the festival again. Both Richard and Garry were there. The opening event was a number of First Nations poets from all over Canada. Garry was reading that day. I needed to attend this one for sure. Garry’s readings brought me to places I did not want to go. But I knew those places needed to be re-visited again. Being haunted by the streets every day of my life is a curse, intrusive memories and grotesque recalls are continuously summoned. But during Garry’s picturesque poetic description of the real world seemed like a healing time to visit those horrible spaces.

 

As I walked in and sat down, Garry glanced over at me. Immediately he jumped up from his seat in the auditorium and quickly came over to where I was sitting. He plopped down beside me. “Hey, I want to talk to you. I been trying to get to you for two years in a row now. So after the reading make sure you don’t run off like you usually do immediately after. Ok?”

I smiled, “Ya, you bet. I will stay in my seat till you’re not busy afterwards. Just don’t forget about me waiting”

 

“I won’t. k. I gotta go talk to those people over there before my reading”

I sat there in tears. Finally someone had seen me. It was a relief. It had been several years since someone seen me, and made the action to approach me. The last time that had happened was with Gary Moostoos and Jerry Goodswimmer, in Edmonton (Gallant, 2012a). I felt validated in my existence from the one simple fact, Garry saw me and had articulated that he wanted to talk to me.

We hung out and chatted for several hours. Then he asked for a ride to his hotel room. As we drove down the university boulevard, a hill that is stretched over four kilometers of a sloping downward grade, our conversation got deeper and deeper. Soon our conversation shifted to our histories of childhood abuse. We were in to some pretty dark details. Then Garry talked about the healing properties of writing. I knew what he was talking about.

 

We talked about how our writing helped us and why we initially started to write in our lives. We talked about how later in life the red road led us to further healing, and helping others. He was shocked to hear that Cree culture influenced my life. Then he asked, “Do you got any of your writing with you?”

 

“Ya, of course I do. I write everyday in class. Otherwise I could not sit in class if I did not write poetry. I couldn’t process the social work bullshit without my poetry,” Garry smiled. “OK! Grab your bag. Come up to my room and read me a few pieces. Then I will give you some feedback”

 

I had my backpack on and ready to go. We went up to his hotel room. My heart pumped fear because I had never read my work out to anyone before. We were in his room. He dimmed the lights. Set me up at the table. He laid on the bed, on his back. His hands were clasped together, his fingers on top of his chest. His eyes were closed and he said, “Read the first one.”

 

I recited my poem: A Letter to Matthew.

“Ok. Good! Read the next one.”

I read my poems about prostitutes and one of the serial killer’s in BC.

“Ok. Next!”

I read my poem about gossip.

“Ok. Good. Now read the first one again”

 

I recited it one more time. I was feeling anxious to hear his feedback. Intuitively I knew it was going to be good feedback, but my fear and self-talk screamed that he would not like my writing. I had never read my poetry out to anyone before. I had been writing since my first psych ward stay when I was fourteen. Now thirty-six-years-old and reading poems out loud for the first time.

 

“You have an important voice. Here is what we are going to do. At Christmas time you are going to come stay with me. You will spend the holidays with me for three weeks. We will edit your writing and build you a manuscript”

 

I was smiling ear to ear. I was found. I was seen. I was heard. My whole life was spent trying to be heard, and now, it was coming. I was going to have a loud voice. We agreed that we would both commit to this offer. “There is one stipulation,” he said. “You have to call me every week until Christmas time. Otherwise I know you will not come”

I smiled. I knew in that moment he saw me. All of me. He understood me.

 

The writing festival continued the next day. Garry went home. Then on the last day of the festival I attended the last event, alone. Richard Van Camp was going to be reading at the wrap-up for the festival. I was pumped. As soon as the reading was over I rushed off to the washroom. When exiting the restroom Richard said, “Hey! I wanted to talk to you. But you keep vanishing every time I turn around. You’re like a ghost ‘ir sumthin.”

 

I laughed, “My friends on the rez used to sing a Stompin’ Tom Connors’ song every time I would walk in out of the blue: I am the wind.” Richard and I cracked up. Our bellies laughed. It was like standing there with one of my Cree cousins from the rez when I was a kid. Relaxed and real. I felt at home with Richard.

 

“Hey I wanted to thank you. Hold on, I brought something for you.”

 

He ran over to his bag and a group of people surrounded him. “Hold on a few minutes. I just gotta talk to this guy before he disappears on me again.”

 

Funny enough, it was about three seconds before my feet were gonna high tail it outta there. He came and sat with me. He handed me a folded cloth. It was dark blue. Then he pulled it away from me when I went to grab it.

 

“This is spiritual tobacco. It was a gift given to me from the six nations. It was grown by my friend. She honored me. Now I am honoring you. You gave me a gift. Now I am giving you a gift. That’s our way.”

I interrupted him. “Richard. Can I tell you something first?”

 

His eyes looked into my curiously, “Yes, of course. Go ahead”

 

I continued, “You know last year when you gave you that knife. I was mad at you. Real mad.”

 

Richard’s pupils dilated huge, “Whoa. What? Why? What did I do?!!”

 

Then I explained to him what had happened for me. “I have to tell you the story. You made me look at myself by being yourself. You are genuine. So was I. It was an internal clash for me. That day I learned something from you. You helped me. By simply being your beautiful self. I did not understand till awhile later. You gave me a gift and that’s why I gifted you your knife. You helped changed my life.” I was choking back the tears. But my eyes could not hold them back. My right eye poured out tears down the outside of my cheek. I looked in Richard’s eyes, “Thank you” I said.

 

Richard’s eyes were welled up and he softly said, “Thank you. That is some real powerful stuff.” His eyes then pushed the tears to the edge of his eyelids. The only thing holding back the waterfall of cry was the upward curve of his eye lashes, “That’s beautiful. Mussi-cho”

 

He handed me the tobacco. Then his shoulders flung back, his backbone instantly straightened, his eyes wide open and then his open hands moved upward in excitement. Then he went on to say, “Now I gotta tell you what I was going to say to you when I brought you these sacred seeds. The knife you gave me. It’s in a sacred place now. I had the knife in my pocket. I carried it everywhere because I knew it was looking for it’s home. Did you know? Knife has a spirit eh? I have even heard stories that there are knife people.” His eyes were smiling.

 

“This is so cool. What you told me really fits. This is so important. Knife has a spirit. Everything does. And that’s why we are here. That is why you are important to me. Now I got to tell you. Your knife. My knife. She is with medicines now. I was with my friend and he was looking for his knife. He was so upset. No one ever goes into his medicine bag. But somehow his knife went missing. No one ever touches his things. He even lives alone. So no one touches his stuff. Ever! Weird eh?”

 

Some things just happen for reasons beyond our understanding. People are put on our paths. Richard continued, “So I pulled the knife out of my pocket. My friend said “ahhh cool. But the knife has to be sharp. My medicines are tough.” So I opened the knife. I stroked the knife on my thumb to see if it was sharp. And holy man! It was ever sharp. We nearly became blood brothers. You know! Like in the old indian movies. So my friend said: “perfect!” Richard smiled.

 

“So that’s where your knife is. With the medicines. So now I understand why that knife is where it is. But I need to know something. Where did you get the knife?,” Richard asked.

 

I told him I was teaching a young First Nations guy to hunt. “I met him in school. He was in a heavy metal band and they played a lot of concerts in Canada and all over the continent. Their band, Giybaaw, always came into contact with white supremacists because of the type of heavy metal fans that went to the shows. And some of the bands were Nazis. So they asked me for help cuz I know about that stuff, eh? Then the next thing I know we became such good friends. I took him up north to teach him how to hunt. I realized I needed a pocket-knife. So we stopped at an old gas station in the middle of nowhere and I picked that knife. It had a perfect edge and beautiful tip.”

Richard smiled and stood up. He put is hands out to the sides and waved me in for a hug.

“I thank you Daniel. You’ve honored me with your story. Mussi-cho nechi”

 

I hugged him and quietly said, “hiy-hiy. You honored me today too.”

 

I continued on with my day. I was so grateful. Life was going where it was supposed to be going. The spirit of the knife told me this. Three and a half months later I went to Garry’s. We hit the work hard. We edited over a hundred poems in nine days, while we developed the manuscript. I also wrote many new poems. It was beautiful. Ten to sixteen hour days for nine days straight. We even did eight hours of work on Christmas day. After we were done we talked about the experience together. De-briefing all of our emotions and spiritual gratitude for having our paths intersect. I told him how much the Weaving Words festival meant to me that year, and why. I told him about the story with Richard and I.

 

Garry’s eyes filled with tears. He shook his head as his neck shivered,

“You know what?!”

 

I looked at him confused.

“Your knife is with my medicines.”

 

We looked at each other in shock. We both knew in that moment, these paths of the red road were healing trails. This was the spirit of the knife at work. This is what medicine means. Knife has a healing spirit, with an edge.

 

Daniel Gallant and the Inquisition

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Here is a list of published interviews and articles written in heavy metal magazines as a result of my work over the last several years.

I am putting them in chronological order for your reference…but first, here is a summary of the background story to go along with my interview [which you can view here, but I recommend you read them all to understand context].

…I had posted blog articles about several black metal bands who have affiliation with right wing extremists and terrorist individuals and or groups. I did however remove the articles a little over a year ago. I removed them because of the amount of energy I exerted in countering the blow back and threats I was receiving during my Masters Thesis writing on the topic of counter terrorism.

Since that time I have started to do research for a book I am currently writing. I have been doing interviews with band members and others who have experience with right wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism within the metal scene. I will be revealing facts about the emergence of the heavy metal scene and white supremacist movement that has become fairly prevalent in Western Canada. The networks seem to be centralized in Alberta, more specifically in Edmonton.

I have been researching public activity of several bands and their members for several years. In several instances, I have had past affiliations with many of these individuals while I was a white supremacist. I was acquaintances and or friends with many of these people. Me and another individual had initiated a network that bridged both the white supremacist movement and black metal community in Edmonton. Shortly after this time I had left the white power movement.

As my life continued to transform people began to ask me to do public speaking events. I continued with my educational path and became increasingly more articulate. I started to hone my critical thinking skills through a combination of lived experience and education. Through my professional career as a social service manager, counsellor and researcher my voice has been amplified through media sources and other forms of public engagement, via my writing. Throughout all of the work I have done on the existing links between right wing extremists, along with their sympathizers, and black metal’rs within the metal scene. The mainstream media has refused to address this issue, until recently.

In the last week the heavy metal community in North America has been conversing about this topic. I am sure these discussions are not yet over. The black metal band Inquisition was on the Metal Alliance tour bill. To play on this bill with more mainstream bands was a major break for Inquisition. However, with a mainstream presence the lingering connections Inquisition boasted of has come to bite them in the ass. Jason (aka Dagon) claims his music is artistic and metaphoric, but with other considerations such as symbolism, music lyrics, personal connections, statements and online activity it is very clear there is more than just artistic representation of Nazism. I will throw Dagon a bone though, perhaps his who life is centred around being an artistic and therefore he feels he can say and do what he pleases, no matter the cost of how it impacts and harms others. Surely the dissemination of hatred does in fact hurt others, surely Jason ‘Dagon’ must understand this.

A fellow blogger read my comments on a mutual friend’s facebook status. This mutual friend understands the depths of racism within the metal scene from lived experience. It seems most people do not support her perspective, I would suggest that is because the metal scene is predominantly white males; angry white males. My dear friend is a courageous woman who promotes diversity within the metal scene. She has even wrote a book about this topic. My fellow blogger then wrote this article on his blog. There are people whom I love and care for within the metal scene who continue to face racism, discrimination and right wing extremists. These right wingers do not care about the feelings of those they are harming. As I was a vehement white supremacist I understand these dynamics and will step forward to speak directly to those that are disseminating hatred and deliberately hurting people, or at minimum seemingly apathetic to causing discomfort to others.

The above blog article then resulted in this heavy metal article that conferred that Inquisition were probably Nazi.

I then received a tweet from Decibel Magazine. Decibel challenged me to ‘go on record.’

Decibel.Twitter.Request

Before Decibel would confirm a time to interview me they interviewed Jason, front man of Inquisition. Jason claims he is not a Nazi. Perhaps his right wing leanings and promotion of violence is not Nazism by definition, but then again maybe that is just semantics to deter from the point. In all fairness to the band and me, both, I never did call them Nazis.

Even Jason Dagon’s fans begin to berate him as a result of his double talk, lack of integrity, and his obvious self-contradictions. There are hundreds of comments within the online pool I have waded through. Here are a few samples.

Dagon.Fool.1

Dagon.Fool.2

Dagon needs backup

Dagon.Dumber

Disappointed.Dagon

One of Inquisition’s fans posted this claiming it was Jason aka Dagon (who goes by 88MM as his black metal forum handle on FMP666) who posted this comment:

Dagon.Obama.Racialslur

Then this online magazine picked up the story.

Then, this one.

Then, the blogger who first broke this story last week posted this follow up article.

Then, online magazine MetalSucks offered this analysis.

Then the first magazine that broke the story into the mainstream wrote this follow up.

Last but not least Decibel Magazine interviewed me and was published Monday May 5, 2014. I find it quite interesting that I was interviewed by a reputable heavy metal magazine, and I do not play any instruments. That is the comedic part, but none of this stuff is actually humorous. It is sad and disturbing.

Then there was another follow-up article here.

Lastly, the first metal magazine to publish an article on this matter posted this story.

16×9 Brotherhood of Hate

Here is the videos for 16×9 TV show I was interviewed for.

First is a preview interview

Second is the full episode

Last is the behind the scenes interview with producer Krysia Collyer

 

 

Inquisition and black metal’s fascism problem

Here is a blog article I was interviewed for, which is about a nazi black metal band:

Here is an interview with Gyibaaw on CBC on this very topic. I had written articles about this band a couple of years ago, I took them down as I am now writing a book on this subject.

I am so pleased to finally see that this information is being used by someone else.

shamelessnavelgazing

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It was only at the end of last year that I became aware of US black metal band Inquisition, thanks to the appearance of their latest album Obscure Verses for the Multiverse on numerous critics’ end-of-year lists. Upon first listening, the main things that struck me included the oddly croaky, reptilian voice of singer/guitarist Jason Weirbach (aka Dagon), as well as the fact that all the songs sounded quite samey, given the ubiquity of their monolithic assemblage of thick riffs and relentless blastbeats. Quickly though, I grew to appreciate the band’s unique sound, and delved further into their back catalogue. This did lead me to develop some concerns about their material, the song “Crush the Jewish Prophet” from Magnificent Glorification of Lucifer being the most obvious example. If the song was an anti-Christian critique in the black metal tradition, as it appeared to be based on its lyrics, why was it necessary to…

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Advocacy, Consultancy, Public Speaking and Research Website: Daniel c. Gallant

Here is the link to my new website for public speaking, advocacy, consulting, research and educational resource development.

http://www.danielcgallant.com

Beyond Guilt and Shame

I sit here, tonight, feeling and thinking and reflecting. I am celebrating that my blog has surpassed another goal; to surpass my readership record. I am glad that the most popular article on my blog is not a negative controversy; rather it is an inspirational transformation.

I am, however, left with remnants of facts from the past. Hard realities. Here is a sample of what that can look like.

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Allegiances

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Cleveland, Nothing but Problems: Customer critique of warranty, manufacture quality and service of Cleveland CycleWerks (CCW), Tha Heist

Nothing but Problems: Cleveland Cycle Werks (CCW): Tha Heist (Limited Edition Model #12)

BUYER(S) BEWARE

PART I

Seeing how spring and motorcycle season is around the corner, I know people will be pumped up for motorcycle buying season. I promised myself last year to publish this article in 2014 spring season.

This post is a summary of my experiences and opinions of the quality (or lack thereof) of CCW manufacturing, distributing of their product Tha Heist, AKA Mr. Gutsy. This awesome looking bike is not so awesome. I was so disappointed with the warranty, service, and quality of the product. Here is a summarized story of my experience and bold opinion.

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After owning a CCW Heist for only a month with about 1200 kms on the odometer my bike is nothing but a piece of junk that looks beautiful. It rides great when things are not falling off the bike or when it is in the shop.

After joining several CCW forums on social media sites I have found a trend of experiences from a collective of customers who are not happy with CCW products or the treatment they are receiving from both the dealers and distributors of CCW products in Canada and in the USA.

Purchase Date: May 09, 2013

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I first seen Tha Heist advertised on the internet as being advertised by the local dealer in Prince George, BC, at Summit Power Tools. I rushed down to their shop to see this Bobber. I have always wanted a Bobber. My favorite bike is a Triumph 1960/70s Bobber.

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(This is a picture of fritz’s bike from PGVMCC)

I once set out to make a Bobber but with limited mechanical skills, time and resources I decided against it. Then all of a sudden Tha Heist came available and it is an aesthetically pleasing machine. It is the nicest factory bike I have ever laid my eyes on.

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I began to do some research and found a couple of seemingly minor issues with the bike. Specifically it was about the fork seals. After talking to the sales rep at Summit Power Tools in Prince George, BC, he assured me that this new model was up to par and that the failing fork seals would not be an issue.

The dealer told me he wanted to buy one for himself but he did not order enough. He said that they are selling so fast it is crazy. He also indicated that the any other issues that arise would be covered by warranty within the first year. I decided to pay for the bike and take it home.

I was ecstatic.

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…but then the troubles started.

May 19, 2013, email to Summit Powertools from Daniel Gallant:

(*edits have been made to my emails because I had several spelling mistakes due to writing emails on cell phone)

Hey Steven

This is Daniel I bought the heist from you.

I have gone over more of the bike last night. There are things I noted and want to inquire about warranty please keep in mind the bike has only been in my possession for a week.

1) front fender is rubbing on front tire. The fender is warped I believe and there is no fixing it. I tried several things (to resolve this issue) and this is warranty issue.

2) the accelerator cable is already frayed and worn out (was actually wrecked by a pair of pliers which was very obvious) and is going to break soon. (Bike) has under 500 km on it

3) speedometer does not gauge speed and odometer turns over even when idling sometimes

4) control panel on throttle side slides around and is not locked I have tightened it. Finally after being frustrated, I found (a hole) inside the (handle) bar for a plastic (or metal) stud to go into, but there is no stud (and) cannot see a break. So housing needs to be replaced

5) brake line bracket off front fender has an extra part. I am unsure, but it looks to me like that was intended for speedo cable and if so is missing the bracket for the speedo cable side.

There are few other minor things I am not happy with and worried about the mechanisms. I am asking you to reply to this email to confirm receipt. The distributor should be informed immediately, is what my CCW contact told me.

I do want these issues resolved. I love the ride and style (of this bike) but some of these parts after 1 week are breaking down. That is unacceptable. I know for you this is a new bike to sell. So lets work together here.

Now we have documentation started. I have spoke to several people in Canada who have purchased Tha Heist, and are experiencing same problems with speedo, fender and control panel. The dealers they dealt with have ignored them and pushed them aside. I am confident you will not do that.

I love the bike but with these issues, I would entertain returning the bike. The quality (or lack thereof) here is unacceptable. You had mechanics put bike together and I trust they did things correct. Thus, deductive reasoning informs us that this bike has a few crappy mechanisms that would cost me more money to replace with better quality parts. After doing the math I would be further ahead to buy another bike.

I request you respond to this email with a solution within next seven days. Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

May 19, 2013, Follow-up email:

Steven

Just noting an amendment to my last message, after reviewing brake line and speedo cable the part I thought was extra is not, and does belong where it is. But it seems maybe one of the bracket pieces for speedo side of cable may be missing. The parts assembly I am looking at, has the parts on the bike but not exactly as shown as the assembly map. Nonetheless it is still an issue but not exactly as I noted.

The only way to correct the fender issue is by cutting the front fender as it sure looks warped, the fender not the bracket. There is going to be at least a couple hundred bucks for parts I need already. Please let me know what you think we should do here. The bike has a 1-year warranty and the fact it needs parts already is not ok in any way shape or form. It is just a matter of fact. No hard feelings. But I know through dealing with corporations this stuff needs to be documented, plus I am leaving town with my bike for a couple of weeks. So emails will be easiest communication. I can send you a link to the parts I need and the prices if you wish; then perhaps the distributor can provide those to you.

If I have to bring my bike in and leave it at the shop for any period of time; I will request a refund so I can purchase a new bike that does not need parts so soon. It is these darn cheap plastic and basic maintenance parts that are creating a trouble. Unfortunately you and I are left to manage this mess.

For your information I have been compiling a list of issues new Heist customers/owners are having both with parts and dealers…its crazy!

Same issues I am having, of course minus the dealer issues (in my case). They are all on the limited version, but definitely as I collect more info it will be the other bikes as well. I am scared of these carbs now because of the plastic mechanisms.

Please let me know of anything you need (from me) to resolve this issue.

Anyways I won’t bother you, but please confirm receipt of emails and reply within a week. I will note and send any other ongoing issues that arise this way it can better inform me as a customer and keep you posted as a dealer so you know what to expect to hear from other customers.

Daniel Gallant

May 20, 2013, Reply from CCW Dealer Summit Powertools:

Hi Daniel, thank you for letting me know your concerns and issues with the Heist, as a new dealer to this product we need to know the issues that we are going to come across as we move forward. As a CCW dealer I will defiantly be taking care of the warranty issues with your bike, I do however have to have the bike here to do warranty work and order the appropriate parts for the bike. Because we, Summit Power Tools, have the authorized techs to do the warranty work, we have to have our tech diagnose the problem in our shop to be able to get the warranty parts and labour from CCW. If you cannot leave the bike here for more than a day, we will find what all we need to order and you can then take the bike until we have the parts here, then you can bring the bike back to have the parts changed. However we have been reassured from our distributor that parts should be no longer than one week away from ordering.

Thank you

Steve

May 20, 2013 Reply From Daniel Gallant:

Steve

Then I should bring the bike to you asap because I must leave the province very soon.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

May 20, 2013 reply from Summit Powertools:

Absolutly, sooner the better, thank you. We are open 8am to 5pm tues to sat.

PART II

After I took the bike in for repairs, which took two days in the shop, I came and picked the bike up. The dealer informed me that the odometer was jumping only because the bike had so much vibration. This comment of course pissed me off, the bike is a 230cc; there is nearly no vibration! The fact that they said this little 250cc had enough vibration because it was a rigid frame is a joke. Moreover, I have friends with rigid frames and the parts don’t fall off because of road vibrations neither.

I was also told that the clutch squealing (which was not in the above emails) was horrendous at times. He told me that it was a new bike and they will do that. I did not respond because I did not want to tell him he was full of shit. I could already see a mountain of trouble with this CCW product coming.

After riding, I of course had to email him with an update on the issues.

May 23, 2013, Email from Daniel Gallant:

Steven,

Hope your week is well. Thanks for getting on those issues for me. Just letting you know The speedo is even worse now.

Daniel

May 24, 2013, Response from dealership: Summit Powertools:

I’ll get a new one on order. Thanks

Part III

Now the problem with this last email is that the dealer never ordered the part until a week later; which is confirmed by the dealer representative at Summit Power Tools. I then leave town to Edmonton, Alberta, in order to do a course to prepare for the LSAT because I plan to go to Law School.

May 30, 2013, from Daniel Gallant:

Steven

I am currently in Edmonton.

I am wondering if speedo has arrived yet or not.

Also there is an issue with bike. It won’t start. Battery reads as charged. I can boost bike no problem. Is it possible that is the charging system or definitely a battery issue?

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

May 30, 2013, reply from dealership: Summit Powertools:

Is it turning over? And no I have not received the speedo yet I just ordered it last night.

Steven

PART IV

This is where I started to get real frustrated. This CCW product has just over 500 kms on the odometer and is already starting to leave me stranded on the side of the road.

By this time as well I had been posting my experiences on a social media group called Tha Riders. I was booted out of the group and blocked because the people were angry that I was being so explicit and repeatedly venting my frustration with this product and customer service.

June 4, 2013, email from Daniel Gallant:

Hey Steven,

I had to buy a new battery and it is running currently but does seem like it may be charging issue as the new battery seems to be losing juice but of course I won’t know for a bit longer.

I arranged for another dealer here in Edmonton to look at charge system, but I am advocating this be done at no cost. This dealer had a concern about how my forks were filled with too much oil. He said definitely the stiffness in comparison to their bike is that they (the forks) are either over full or they are filled with to heavy of oil. I have appointment to get that serviced as well. I am advocating to have that covered by warranty. Please let me know a.s.a.p. what oil was used for forks or if they were filled up to specs. I have found a group of Tha Heist owners who are compiling  their experiences which include failing forks and drive bearings  and bolts sheering off that cause near miss accidents.

From the information I have collected it has been reported (to me) that CCW blames the PDI and the PDI (dealer) blames the company. This pattern across Canada and USA, which has me overly concerned with just cause and valid evidence including videos photos and documented stories.

As well my ongoing mechanical issues leads to the point that I am confused as to how a battery can die out in three works. Perhaps another sign of failing parts.

My speedo has increasingly got worse. Now the needle is busted in pieces.

There has been a light that has fallen off as well. I know your dad said that the odometer turning while not in motion is due to vibration. But I really don’t think that this small 250 would do that. There are many hard tails out there that DO NOT have all of these issues.

After the amount of failings with this bike I am thoroughly disappointed (after all of these issues).

I love the bike and aesthetic. But with these problems and the info I have acquired since my purchase I am actually scared of riding this bike. So this is my second request that you as a dealer to consider a refund. I don’t want to be injured by failing parts. I should not be concerned while operating a machine like this.

I know you are not happy with how this has turned out as the tension seemed very thick last time I was in the store, which was very different than when I bought my bike.

I know you’re a business man in a small city and you have a great reputation. I am also a strong local advocate and have a local presence with legal matters in Prince George on other issues relating to social justice. I believe together we can do what we can to resolve this issue.

I am thoroughly concerned about this product and with some basic research time one can find all of these issues online. Since this is CCW’s biggest year more issues are reported near daily. There are a group of CCW customers who are concerned for their safety. I am one of them. Selling the bike is not an option for two reasons 1) I would not sell a product I dont trust 2) I would lose a lot of money

Please contact me as soon as possible about options here as resolve. Also please let me know answers to the above questions about ongoing mechanical issues with my bike, which is causing us both headaches. A headache that has cost me 4500.00$

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

June 10, 2013, reply from dealership: Summit Powertools:

Hello Daniel, your bike is still on warranty so if your have issues bring it in. If you want a refund we can work something out for sure. Thanks talk to you soon.

June 10, 2013, response from Daniel Gallant:

Steven,

I will hopefully be back in Prince George within the next week. I am ready to do full refund surely. Let me know then we do not have to worry about anything else and I will bring the bike back to you and you can prepare things on your end to have cash on hand. I will ensure I have transfer papers signed. This bike rides great and is fun to ride but has way to many avoidable issues through manufacturing and so forth. I am disappointed but also ready to move on from this bike. Please confirm that you are prepared to give a full refund and I will come back to PG as soon as possible.

Daniel Gallant

June 10, 2013, response from Dealership: Summit Powertools:

Hi Daniel

I cannot give you a full refund, you have kept the bike for to long and put on more than just test ride worth of KMs. I will need to go over the bike and inspect to come up with a refundable amount.

Thanks, talk to you soon

June 10, 2013, reply from Daniel Gallant:

Steve,

First off any thing less than full refund is unacceptable; especially since I made the suggestion after I first bought the bike when it was within the stipulations you just suggested.

Secondly, you indicated you personally wanted to buy one of these bikes to ride around town for the shop advertisements; there is no way you are using me to get the bike cheaper after making money off me as a customer.

Third this bike was purchased in the standard context of good faith under civil and commercial law. The bike’s manufactured parts have been problematic and so has pdi, which is a paid service.

I understand this is as much of an unwanted headache for you as it is for me. However, you made money off the headache I purchased.

Since you brought refund as a viable option I will opt to suggest that we seek legal mediation on this matter before looking at any further options.

Of course I am riding the bike I paid for it. If you want me to cease riding the bike now for a full refund. By the way the odometer says its been riding 20 kms. Thus you could technically give me a full refund. This just got a lot more complicated for us both.

I prefer to keep this dialogue in writing as the purchase of this bike seems to be filled with glitches. documentation is necessary.

I ask that you take time to reconsider a full refund and reply to me within the next 5 business days.

I will bring the bike to you if there are any further issues. Currently i am waiting to ride the bike after having it in a different dealer and to the distributor for repairs.

If you are not willing to do the refund, we will look at other options. I have already consulted resources and this does fall under an ability for full refund. However I am open to suggestions. Till then i hope your well.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

PART IV

Canadian CCW Distributor

In addition to the top conversation I also had this following conversation through email with the Canadian distributor Visionary Motorsports, who are labeled as CCW Canada.

May 20, 2013, to CCW Distributor in Canada: Visionary Motorsports Webmaster from Daniel Gallant:

Message:

Hello,

I am writing you today with problems with my Heist. I have discovered that I am not alone with issues with my Heist.

I have gone over more of the bike last few days. There are things I noted and want to inquire about warranty please keep in mind the bike has been in my possession for only a week.

1) front fender is rubbing on front tire. The fender is warped i believe an there is no fixing it. I trued several things and this is warranty issue

2) the accelerator cable is already frayed and worn out and is going to break soon. Has under 500 km on it

3) speedometer does not gauge speed and odometer turns over even when idling sometimes

4) control panel on throttle side slides around and is not locked i have tightened it finally after being frustrated i found inside there is whole in the bar for a plastic stud to go in but there is no stud cant see a break. So housing and panel needs to be replaced

5) brake line bracket off front fender was bent.

I do want these issues resolved. I love the ride and style but some of these parts after 1 week are breaking down and I am actually fearing to ride my bike now after reading several stories online of daily parts. I also have contacted Heist owners in Canada who have had issues with dealers that go unresolved. This is unacceptable.

I love the bike but with these issues I would entertain returning the bike. The quality here is unacceptable.

I request you respond to this email with a solution within next seven days. Thanks for your help.

Daniel Gallant

May 21, 2013, reply from CCW Canada Distributor: Visionary Motorsports:

Good morning Daniel,

Thank you for your e-mail, you’ve provided us with some key information and we greatly appreciate your enthusiasm for the bike.

We will have someone in our technical support department call you shortly.

Please provide us with your full serial number along with the dealer whom you purchased this from.

Thank you,

CCW Canada

May 21, 2013, reply to Canadian CCW distributor by Daniel Gallant:

Hello,

Thank you for your quick response. I had sent the dealer an email as well as your distributing company. the dealer did respond last night. I brought the bike into the dealer this morning. They indicated they spoke with CCW, whether that is your distributor or CCW directly and will address all warranty issues. I appreciate your immediate support.

The name of the dealer is Summit Power Tools in Prince George BC.  Steven is the contact there and has indicated he will resolve the issues.

Does your distributing company also carry parts for Tha Heist?

If so there are a few after market parts I would like to order and would also like to order extra cables because the stock cables have already had issues, perhaps is merely a flaw in a single item or potentially just a result of the manufacturing. Lastly, the carb mechanism are plastic and I am wondering if metal components are available?

If you need any more information please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Daniel Gallant

May 22, 2013, reply to CCW Canada Distributor: Visionary Motorsports, from Daniel Gallant:

The dealer took care of my concerns up to this point. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

PART V

At the beginning of June I had finally called the distributor. This was there response:

June 3, 2013, email from CCW Canadian Distributor: Visionary Motorsports:

Good afternoon Daniel,

As per our conversation, I have attached your proof of warranty registration which shows that your bike is brand new and still under warranty. I have also included a copy of a blank warranty registration – the below part states all that is and isn’t covered under warranty for your bike.

As for your Owner’s Manual please see the attached.

For parts listing we have the below website set up for dealers so kindly be aware pricing is off as this doesn’t include, GST/HST shipping or handling. This will give your breakdowns for parts that you are looking for

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.662109/sc.13/category.195437/.f

Our tech Mark may be contacted to discuss and approve any warranty issues you are having, Mark’s e-mail is: support@visionarymotorsports.com

I hope this helps & please feel free to contact us should you need anything else!

Jennifer Hartley

Office Manager

VISIONARY MOTORSPORTS LTD.
100, 17612 – 103 Ave, Edmonton, AB Canada T5S 1J9

Toll free: 1-866-601-7433 /  jenniferh@visionarymotorsports.com

June 4, 2013, email to CCW Canada Distributor: Visionary Motorsports:

Mark and Jennifer,

I am writing you with an update of issues with bike. I know that you received my first detailed email about troubles I had with CCW Tha Heist in the first week after I purchased the bike, as I confirmed that with Jennifer.

I am currently in Edmonton with my bike. I purchased in Prince George. The dealer in PG did address the first issues mostly with two exceptions. 1) the speedo was not replaced but was reconnected. It was worse than previous. Now the needle has broke into bits as well. 2) the frayed accelerator cable was not replaced by dealer, rather I was informed they ‘snipped off’ the frayed ends.

Since these first set of concerns my bike broke down. From some simple checks it seems the brand new stock battery died in under 3 weeks and 900 km. Thus, the Edmonton dealer (because that is where I am) could not get a new stock battery. I had to pound pavement for a whole day to find a battery that fit. I paid for a new battery. It does seem like an electrical issue because sometimes the starting is very weak. So far it does not seem to be a charging system issue.

Also this week I had a reflector fall off the bike and my light assembly fall apart. When I bough the bike from PG dealer I was told to give the bike a ‘once over’. It is now turning into checking every nut n bolt before I ride anywhere. I do not know if this is a PDI, Assembly, or manufacture issue.

As well the Edmonton dealer informed me that my forks are to stiff as I compared this to their bikes in shop. The Edmonton dealer informed me that most likely this was due to too much oil in forks or to heavy an oil. I do not know the reason but compared to any bike I ever rode (and that is many) and compared to other identical CCW products mine seems very different. The Edmonton dealer stated they will be billing me for any and all work to this bike because they are a busy shop and if another dealer messed up the PDI it is not their problem and the warranty was voided. After I spoke to Jennifer yesterday I informed the Edmonton dealer of my discussion with her and the costs of warranty labour should be covered they informed me they do not agree and will look into this with the distributor and they then hurriedly said they will get back to me as if I was annoying them with piddly problems. It seems that when broaching both of these dealers thus far with mechanical issues and concerns the standard of practice is unwelcoming me as a customer. This is unacceptable and is a breech of warranty contract.

I have discovered several issues other CCW customers are having in western and eastern Canada with the product both because of PDI and mechanical quality. I am a graduate studies student and bought this bike in good faith.  In the USA there are several mechanical failings that are of grave concern.

I brought these issues forward to the dealer I purchased from and now has resulted in unwelcome treatment and safety concerns with my product purchase, Tha Heist. I have asked the dealer to refund me for this bike because there are so many issues in such a short period of time. I know this is very unlikely, but to be fair to me as a customer with all of these issues I think that is a fair resolve. I was misled by the quality of this bike to some degree. Also I was misled by the dealers representation of the mechanical integrity of their work. As minor or minimal as that may be this is unacceptable. I have been documenting all of these issues. I am confident after talking to Jennifer yesterday these issues will be resolved. I can appreciate CCW is a new product and has some bumps on the road, but this is not my issue to resolve and having to push so hard to get the attention this bike needs is unacceptable and is a breech of sales contract.

I love this bike’s aesthetic. So do many passer-bys. But because of the failing parts I do not have a confidence in the quality of the product. Due to other likewise customer purchases this year in both Canada and USA that have reportedly resulted in many near misses I do not have confidence in the bikes safety. Others are having similar problems with customer relations both in Ontario and Manitoba with dealers who refuse to help them. Meanwhile the failing parts are not only going to continue but will progressively get worse. Jennifer at Visionary has been more than helpful. I hope that you all can do something to resolve my issues but also do something about the quality of customer service several of us customers are having to deal with. As well the quality of some of these parts. For instance I have read about nearly a dozen people with recent purchases whose speedos do not work at all.

I had high hopes for upgrades and modifications but it seems I cant even get this bike to maintain a steady state as a platform, which is not acceptable.

Daniel Gallant

June 4, 2013, email response from CCW Canada Distributor: Visionary Motorsports:

Hello Daniel, I am not sure why you seem to be getting the run around with these issues. First off we are not in the habit of denying warranty to anyone, your issues sound legitimate and are warrantable. Next we are right here in Edmonton as well and we do have the stock batteries in stock, so there is no problem getting one of them. As far as all this negative press you seem to be finding, I would be interested to see this because as I stated earlier, we are not in the habit of denying warranty. The truth is those bikes run strong and are awesome machines, I’m sure if you look you will find many more positive review than negative. Remember also the complaining society we live in, people want to purchase the cheapest thing and expect it to outperform and outlast the most expensive thing.

As for your bike we cannot refund your money as we did not sell you the bike. What we can do is repair the bike for you. If you round up that bike and get it to us, we will return it to you as it was intended to be and how you should have gotten it in the first place. That is an awesome bike and you will be proud to own it when you get it back from us.

Mark Fedorvich

Technical Support

Visionary Motorsports

Phone: +1-780-487-7223 (Ext: 113)

www.visionarymotorsports.com

June 4, 2013, email response from Daniel Gallant to CCW Canada Distributor: Visionary Motorsports:

Mark,

I am unsure why I am getting the run around as well. I am sure your distribution company has a good reputation. I am not claiming you are denying warranty issues. I am surprised to hear you have stock batteries because the individual at Ames that booked me said you did not have any, he said there were none. I talked to him once in the morning the other day and again in the late afternoon; that was yesterday. Also he indicated that the batteries had no warranty, and fair enough, but after 3 weeks if the battery fails in my experience that is probably charging system or other electrical issue causing a short which could be a number of wiring issues. This would not surprise me at this point given the fact that pieces keep falling off the bike and coming loose consistantly, and already a major issue with electrical system; perhaps its a fluke and is a cell problem.

There are several locations of the social networking about Tha Heist and Misfit which include most major social network platforms. At this point I am not comfortable offering exact locations of those sites and networks because of the fact that we are compiling a comprehensive list to offer the Canadian distributor and CCW as a whole currently. We figure several of us having the same consistent issues will be better delivered. This will also allow customers to have a better voice than individually. As a published author and host of a high traffic blog in Canada, USA, and Europe I am holding off on publishing any issues as I am having in order for you as the distributor to resolve these issues. Again I do love this bike and do not want to get rid of it. I am just so frustrated with the amount and type of problems I am having after spending 4500.00 not even a month ago.

You are correct these motors have a good reputation and the frame is absolutely good. There is a pattern of electrical issues, fork troubles, sheered bolts, and troubles with PDI; by trouble with PDI I mean parts falling off the bike shortly after leaving the dealer.

As for the reviews, before I purchased the bike I found very little for critiques about these bikes. All of the main reviews were decent. That is what led me to purchase the bike. Test drives with bikes that are of a marketable standard is different than the experience I have had and the experiences of several others I have talked to at this point. I have been going out and finding more people lately. I will continue to do this. In our ‘complaining society’ as you stated it we know the only way to be heard loudly is through collectivity. I am well versed with this fact as I am a prominent national leader in several fronts pertaining to social justice issues. Perhaps I will at this point disagree with your position on what qualifies as a ‘complaining society’ and flip that around to point out that all to often corporations and policies step on people in subtle forms of abuse.

As for your comments on “people wanting to purchase the cheapest thing and expect it to outperform the most expensive thing” I must conclude that you are referring to the CCW product in question. I did not purchase this bike because it is cheap. I purchased it because I planned to build a bobber at the end of my Masters degree. Now that I have been contracted by the federal government after completing masters degree, which happened to be timely with the availability of CCW in Canada I purchased a bobber…not a cheap bike. I feel somewhat insulted by this line of comments from you as a representative of the distributor.

In regards to refunds, I never requested you as a distributor to refund my bike. I merely mentioned that is how much faith I have lost in this product and am bothered by the treatment I received from your dealers, as there are three others in Canada facing similar situations. One of which is already in motion of legal consult. I have encouraged this person to go through similar process I am going through to ensure all of us find appropriate resolve that you are legally bound too.

I am sure if this bike is delivered to me in the manner it was intended to be I will be a happy camper. I am in Edmonton until the 10th of June then I return to Prince George, and then I am off to the island. I plan to take my Heist with me and hope that I can encourage people to buy the product as opposed to some of the honest dialogue I have had with dozens of people thus far relating to my experience thus far.

I look forward to being a proud owner of Tha Heist.

Daniel Gallant

June 5, 2013, email response from CCW Canada Distributor: Visionary Motorsports:

Daniel,

I am happy to hear you love your bike. Before I get too far in about the

bike please let me apologize for anything I said that may have offended you.

I meant no malice to you what so ever or to anyone else with problems. I was

simply stating that a lot of people complain unfairly and have unreal

expectations of things. I make this comment solely based on internet forums

that I read and not specific to tha heist. An example of this is, the scion

IQ forums. I bought a new 2012 Scion IQ and I love it. This car is the

sweetest little ride money can buy in its class however people complain to

no end about all of its trimmings like the interior and the material pattern

on the seats. It sickens me the way they beat the car up about this stuff

when it is clear that the company was trying to put out an affordable

automobile. Many of the complaints make comparisons between this car and

much more expensive cars, it is simply not fair comparison. Another example

is and you have likely seen this one yourself, the youtube shootout between

tha heist and Japanese bikes. They beat up the bike over it ride comfort

when it is a rigid frame chopper and the others are cruisers with full

suspension. Is that fair comparison?

I would also like to clear up my comment about cheap a little. First off I

did not mean tha heist because I would not consider tha heist inexpensive,

as you well know $4500 is a good pile of cash. We sell the Linhai product

line as well and one of the units is the 260SE which is actually marketed as

Canada’s most affordable atv. You would not believe how many people buy this

to go riding with their friends who ride 800 and 1000cc can-am atvs. After

that they are angry that the unit could not keep up or climb as big hills.

The 260 has 21 horse power and travels at a top speed of 60kph, the can-am

has 80 plus horse power and can go over 120kph. This type of customer is

expecting the best when they paid for the least. This one particular product

is a bare bones model that lives up to and exceeds all of its advertising

boasts, now I can sympathize with a customer who has been lied to and told

it can do everything perfectly with power to spare that is different. So

this is all I was trying to say pertaining to negativity on forums. Again I

apologize if I offended you, that was not my intent.

I want to make sure your unit is correctly fixed and after that time I would

like to reset your warranty so that you get to receive and experience the

purchase of your motorcycle the way it should have been. It troubles me

deeply when customers are not treated properly and trust me, the dealers

that you have dealt with will be approached about this. I respect that you

do not want to share your sources of complaint about the product but please

when speaking to these ones affected with issues, let them know to contact

us the same way you did so we can fix their issues. I can tell you for a

fact that I have never ever denied one claim for these bikes and I have not

received a lot of claims.

If our product has a weakness we do want to fix it. We are not only selling

units and then running, we build product lines. We are always making factory

improvements and we support our product. Please be sure to spread the word

on that. Please have the three other individuals with issues contact me, I

will sort out their issues. We can only help when we know about an issue.

As for your battery, even though they are not technically warranty, they

still must work so a unit as new as yours would of course be covered. If I

bought a new motorcycle and the battery failed shortly after purchase you

can be sure I would want warranty. Both dealer you have dealt with have

asked for and received batteries on warranty many times.

Please contact me to arrange the work on your bike. My number here is

1-866-601-7433 ext 113

Mark Fedorvich

Technical Support

Visionary Motorsports

Phone: +1-780-487-7223 (Ext: 113)

www.visionarymotorsports.com

PART VI

I called Mark back and arranged to have Visionary Motorsports (CCW Canada) come to my brother’s house and pick up the motorcycle. They brought it back to me by the end of the day. I was impressed with that service.

I was told that most of the bolts had been re-tightened with lock-tight and that they replaced the control panel, accelerator cable and found a crack in the throttle grip tube so they replaced that as well. I was happy. Mark said if there were any further issues to let him know a.s.a.p.

I did not ride the bike for a couple days as it rained in Edmonton. After a few showers I noticed the bike was already starting to rust. I usually keep the bike indoors but the shop was full with a car and boat that were being worked on. I have never seen a bike rust in the matter of three days; especially a brand new bike.

June 11, 2013, email to Visionary Motorsports (CCW Canada) from Daniel Gallant:

Mark,

I just took the bike out for first time. After 10km there is a major power failure with bike. Now I am left on side of road trouble shooting a brand new bike after getting it repaired yet again. Never have I had such a headache with a piece of machinery, especially a brand new bike.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

June 11, 2013, email to Visionary Motorsports (CCW Canada) from Daniel Gallant:

Mark and the visionary team,

So far i have found an additional broken part for safety switch on kickstand. The plastic part has busted, in addition the whole switch is loose and nearly falling off. I will keep you posted as I am stranded with bike yet again. This is three times in a month this bike has failed, along with additional issues. This us unacceptable for a month old bike and so few kms. Please get back to me asap.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

June 11, 2013, email to Visionary Motorsports (CCW Canada) from Daniel Gallant:

Hey all,

I found yet another issue, the bike ground is loose, it was not loose before Mark picked up the bike.

Also the key ignition switch seems to be loose yet again. The dealer in PG already repaired it once.

I will send further documentation as I am trouble shooting this bike on side of the road.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

June 11, 2013, email to Visionary Motorsports (CCW Canada) from Daniel Gallant:

Hey all,

I got some good news and more frustrating news. Good thing is I got bike going again. Bad news I have found several parts loose since getting back from Mark.

The battery box lid was not tightened and one bolt fell off while driving. Battery posts were not tightened. Main ground on bike was loose. Forward controls on bike came back loose.

I am seriously concerned about who was working on this bike. Prior to going to visionary these parts were solidly attached. Why is it this bike is like this when returned?

I am confused about how this happens. I hope someone from visionary calls me asap.

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

June 11, 2013, email to Visionary Motorsports (CCW Canada) from Daniel Gallant:

Mark,

The forward control bolt pin tightening nut was loose. I went to tighten the bolt pin for the forward controls and the bolt broke. I barely attempted to turn the bolt and it sheered off.

I was seriously trusting that this bike was going to be returned to me in the condition it was supposed to be in as promised by Mark.

What am I to do here?

Please help resolve this headache that cost me 4500$

Sincerely,

Daniel Gallant

PART VII

The end result was that I got a full refund due to quality issues with warranty, service, and parts. Overall I was gravely disappointed and would discourage anyone else from buying these products based upon my personal experience. I have since met many others through social media that have had similar experiences; thus, it appears that there is a pattern of similar situations such as mine.

IMG_0876 (1)

No more Mr. Gutsy

PART VIII

Article updates:

March 3, 2014 12:00 pm

I received a message today from CCW Australia-New Zealand.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.21.48 PM

They have threatened me with a defamation lawsuit. First here is the response from CWW Representative in Australia and New Zealand.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.28.59 PM

Here was the first message I received from CCW representative.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.17.15 PM

Note that the company representative makes two distinct claims:

1) that Harley Davidson is comparable in poor service

2) that CCW Canada has major issues

I wonder what both CCW headquarters and CCW Canada would say about this. Moreover, I wonder how the Harley Davidson Reps will respond after I contact them and tell them that my blog receives up to 2200 reads per day. Of course being the diplomatic person I am, I responded to this message:

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.17.01 PM

The representative then went on to threaten me with a defamation suit. Well that gives me all the more reason to contact my friends at Harley Davidson.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.16.51 PM

I welcome all comments and threats so I can show how this new emerging company, which I have had nothing but problems with, will attempt to bully me for speaking about my actual experience.

Added Update March 13, 2014

The unprofessionalism of CCW does not seem to cease. Due to the blog comments below this article, the owner of CCW expresses his passive aggressive anger against a former customer who has yet to have his situation rectified. As the owner of CCW has reiterated he feels that since I was given a full refund I should not critique his company. Interestingly enough he attempts to shut me up, while attacking other customers who expressed their experience. A sad display of online bullying and unprofessionalism.

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 6.24.27 PM

This merely exemplifies the unprofessionalism of Scott, the owner of CCW. Here is his email: Scott@ClevelandCycleWerks.com