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Thread: Lost a bike today.......

  1. #1
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lancaster County, PA

    Lost a bike today.......

    Not as in, "I can't find one of the bikes...", but as in wrecked. Luckily, I, nor my son, were on it, but a friend was. Actually my friend's son had borrowed my son's Suzuki GS 500 to take his cycle test on, as his father's Victory was too big. So on his way to the exam spot, an older woman runs a red light and turns left in front of him. He ended up bouncing off the back of her mini van and sliding on the pavement, totalling the bike and getting some road rash in the process. Thankfully he wasn't hurt worse that he was. She was ticketed for the red light, but seems she should have gotten another one for driving while blind or stupid or whatever. The bike wasn't anything great, but it was my son's first bike. Now her insurance co. will try and pay it off at the trade in allowance, not what it will cost to replace it, so I'm not looking forward to this battle. Any advice on dealing with someone else's insurance?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Dartmouth, Massachusetts
    Hire a lawyer and go after her for the bike and your son's friends pain and suffering. This is the only way these ass hats will learn!
    2007 BMW K1200R Sport (abs),2007 Suzuki dl650 V Strom (abs),2004 Honda VFR (abs),1972 Honda Trail 90,
    2001 Moto Guzzi V-11 Rosso Mandello

  3. #3
    Did friend's son get cited for riding without an endorsement, or did he have a permit?

    Glad everyone is relatively okay. RIP GS 500!

  4. #4
    Registered User MOTOGP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Central Florida


    Hey John,
    Sorry to hear of the unfortunate incident. I am just happy to hear your son wasnt injured more than he was, this could have been a life ending incident. As for the insurance, they will basically give you some book value as you mentioned. You could file a suit which will be a long drawn out process and with no guarentees. My advise would be if the bike is fixable, contact your insurance company and inquire to purchase the bike from them. This can sometimes be accomplished for literally penny's on a dollar. Other than this, the lady should have been charged with wreckless driving as well.

    Good luck to you and hope your son is ok and heals up soon.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RoyB View Post
    Hire a lawyer and go after her for the bike and your son's friends pain and suffering. This is the only way these ass hats will learn!
    And we wonder why insurance costs so much.

    I'm all for "replacement value" of a bike. But unless there's any true "pain and suffering" going after it only makes a person part of the problem.

  6. #6
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lancaster County, PA
    The pain and suffering will be up to him, it is a friend's 19 year old Penn State student. I doubt they will do anything on that end, pretty much happy he is ok. Yes, he has a permit and as an adult can ride without a licensed rider with him, but can't take passengers or ride after dark, so he was legal, as was the bike, with all paperwork and everything working (prior to the accident). The problem will be finding a replacement, as he has a sport fairing and chin spoiler added, which is rare on the naked GS500E version, and KBB only shows a added value of $25 for the windshield........what can you get on any motorcycle for $25?

    I'm half looking forwad to the phone call from her agent, could prove interesting. I'm going to demand a rental be paid for, just like a car, and at $125/day, this should be finished pretty fast. I'll let you know how it works out.

  7. #7
    Intermediate Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Landenberg, PA
    The outcome could have been much worse. Glad he is relatively ok.

    This hasn't put him off from getting his license, has it?

    Good luck with the insurance. I think it's all a scam - be it auto, bike, health, whatever.

  8. #8
    Friend of the Marque Sue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Madison, WI
    I would wait to see what the offer is - although the pain and suffering part of the pay-off will go to the young person in question and you & your son will probably only get trade-in value.

    I'm glad it wasn't worse than it was..........
    Sue Rihn #43753

    *** Sometimes it's the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride ***

  9. #9
    Republic of Texas
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    League City (Houston), Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by john1691 View Post
    The bike wasn't anything great, but it was my son's first bike. Now her insurance co. will try and pay it off at the trade in allowance, not what it will cost to replace it, so I'm not looking forward to this battle. Any advice on dealing with someone else's insurance?
    The "damages" you are entitled to is the "fair market value" of a Suzuki GS500 in a condition and age similar to yours ("wasn't anything great"). This is NOT the "trade-in allowance" value (too low value), nor is it what it would cost you to buy a Suzuki GS 500 and then add the new extra parts that were on yours, such as the windshield, sport fairing, and chin spoiler (too high value). GS500's are fairly common, so the fair "retail" value should be fairly easy to determine. As you have probably already guessed, the added parts on yours do not increase the FMV by as much as the parts cost.

    How much is the insurance company offering vs. how much do you think the FMV is? If it is reasonably close, I suggest you just take the money. In a perfect world the insurance company would put an identical GS500 in your driveway and you would incur no loss whatsoever . . . but this is not a perfect world . . . and trying to get that perfection can sometimes be expensive (lawyer time is not free).

    As for "pain and suffering", yes, your son's friend is probably entitled to some (especially since he appears to be "legal" at the time of the accident), but that is his lawsuit, and not yours. That's not to say it can't be used as leverage for your settlement, but that can get a little tricky.
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '13 K1300S "30 Years", '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR. Gone, but not forgotten, '75 R90S

  10. #10
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fly Over Land
    Have you or your son contacted the insurance carrier on the bike? They are a resource in moving forward in all of this for advice and quite possibly for assistance in representing you.

    Educate yourself on your markets “FMV” and the terms that will be used in the discussions so that you can intelligently participate in them. Pull together all of the documentation both photographic, original sales and maintenace information that you have. This will help determine where in the range of FMV this individual bike fits.

    While the normal response from many is to advise people to litigate the expense v benefit in this case would not be there.

  11. #11
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Marion VA-In the middle of some of the best riding in the country.
    I was an insurance adjuster for over 31 years (I don't know why either). 99% of adjusters don't know anything about motorcycles and base their offers on their limited and inaccurate research. They are overworked and anything you can do to make their job easier and quicker is welcome. Do your own research as to the value and present it to him or her in a good format with any documentation you can produce. The adjuster will pay you the amount they can justify to their manager.

    A totaled small motorcycle has little to no value to the insurance company unless it is a Harley. Their disposal cost will probably exceed the recovery so you should be able to keep the salvage for almost nothing. If you want the salvage and the offer is fair, offer to settle if they will throw in the salvage. The adjuster is likely to take the offer as it will mean less work for them.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  12. #12
    BMW MOV Muriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    White River Jct, VT
    Not being familiar with Suzuki bikes, I'm not sure if this helps or not, but this is what is listed in the March MCN Value Guide:

    $2,295 for a 02
    $2,030 for a 01
    $1,830 for a 00
    $1,640 for a 99
    $1,520 for a 98
    $1,495 for a 97
    $1,225 for a 96

    Glad things weren't worse!

    BMW MOA Secretary
    '07 F650 '12 F650 twin
    Running on One Cylinder - except when running on two

  13. #13
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Full timr RV'er, where we park is home. No fixed address or location.
    Keep in mind that the sentimental value we all have for the vehicles we own does not have a financial value to it. While it may be worth a bunch due to the emotional bond it's still a machine with limited value. Look up the value in NADA and other sources and be prepared to negotiate based on numbers like that. If you try to inflate it they will blow you off and take their chances in small claims court. As already stated, have something tangible you can present to use as a negotiating point. Merely saying it was your son's first bike has no added value.
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  14. #14
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lancaster County, PA
    Already checked Kelly Blue Book and NADA, not too promising. The problem is finding that bike in that year, just not many for sale right now. He paid $1600 for it and added the chin spoiler. He was actually thinking of selling it, as he is headed for college and will need $$$, so if we can get somewhere in the $1500 range, he'll be ok. He had an offer for that amount, so anything less will be disappointing.

  15. #15


    I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt worse.

    Your friend might want to register his son for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course. Most states let you take you license tests concurrent with the course and, a big plus, they provide the bike. (Usually a Honda Nighthawk 250, very managable for a begginer.) After just a few days, you emerge with life saving skills and an M on your license.

    The MSF course and certification, and the practice of covering my front brake while I throttle, has saved my butt more times than I can count.

    You might want to also ask him to lookup ATGATT on google. Ditto on the butt-saving factor.

    Ride safe.

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