First of all – let me apologize for the title of this posting. Honestly – it was not my idea, but really – it is what this post is all about:
Personally I would probably have gone a bit American on that one and called it a “Fuel Valve” – but never mind – a cock it is.
First a tiny little bit of background. I was having a problem with a bike leaking fuel when parked on the side stand. I took the fuel cock apart and cleaned it up but there is a tiny o-ring in there that had gone a bit brittle, so I went out hunting for a new one.
I had a hard time finding that o-ring in Malaysia, however I did find it on an American web-site specializing in Kawasaki parts (the motorcycle is a Modenas Jaguh 175 – which essentially is a license built Kawasake BN125 Eliminator honed up a bit) and they did indeed have the o-ring and the complete fuel cock – albeit they called it a tap. In this example I have added both to illustrate the pricing:
$65 for the tap was a bit expensive and the thing is damn heavy, however $3 for the o-ring wasn’t too bad, so I tried to order it. The problem was they wanted $120 – I am not joking – $120 to ship the darn thing to Malaysia. An o-ring!
Never mind – back to searching and eventually I actually did find a shop with an OEM version in stock. Here comes the killer – RM 20! I am NOT joking – 20 Malaysian Ringgit, which right at this moment is US$ 6.51 – complete with o-rings and all.
Trust me – I can live with it being a cock rather than a tap or a valve. Here’s some close-ups:
If that was all I probably wouldn’t have bothered writing this post, but seriously – look at the thing! Here is an exploded view from the Kawasaki BN125 service manual:
Think about this for a while. The darn thing consist of 3 rubber seals, 1 rubber diaphragm, a handful of screws, 4 pieces of metal that is both molded and machined, 2 fairly complex injection molded plastic pieces and a few washers.
So – someone in Malaysia or China (more likely) actually went through the trouble of taking an original apart, carefully draw up each piece, create injection molds, produce the thing, put it together, ship it to Malaysia, store it in a shop for a while and then sell it to me. And I am pretty sure they did that for a profit – not to save me a 100 bucks in shipping.
$6.50!!!!! – how on earth is that possible? It is mind boggling if you think about it and it is a thing of beauty!