Bike buyer guru Craig Langton Fire It Up

Bike Buyer Guru: Is your motorcycle correctly insured?


Craig-Langton-Bike-Buyer-GuruCraig Langton has quite the CV. Here at The Bike Show we refer to him as King Midas because, as you might’ve guessed, everything he touches turns to gold. Apart from previous businesses that were massively successful under his watch, he is the owner of Fire It Up in Fourways and within a year of opening its doors it has become the biggest selling motorcycle dealer in the country by a long way. Much of this is down to good honest hard work by him and his team, but much of it also has to do with decades of dealing in motorcycles, spotting trends and noticing nuances. Craig will be passing on much of this knowledge to our esteemed readers in his regular Bike Buyer Guru column. Herewith this week’s column:


After the Tuesday Tip on Mechanical Warranties there was much discussion amongst customers in our store sharing experiences both good and bad on mechanical warranties. The customers who had suffered a bad experience or an experience had all purchased the incorrect product or had expectations of what the product can do. Warranties are an insurance product so today I thought I would chat about motorcycle insurance as I have witnessed and heard so many horror stories.

Firstly, and as a golden rule, ensure that the broker/insurer that has insured your motorcycle is a ‘Motorcycle Specific/Knowledgeable’ Insurance Broker. Don’t be tempted to accept the cheapest cover when it stands to reason that you get what you pay for. I always know when a customer has chosen a broker, through no fault of their own, that actually specialises in another insurance field when the assessor/agent calls me and says “A Honda CBR1000, what vehicle is that? I can’t find it in the book…….” That’s normally when the drama begins. The assessor in this situation does not understand motorcycles and through no fault of his own has great difficulty assessing the damage.

Take time to read the policy wording including the terms and conditions and especially the excesses applicable for your insured motorcycle, this is very important and a tactic some insurers use to offer low quotes. I am never put off by acceptable excesses as I understand that the insurer needs to protect their book/business and I make sure that any excesses applied are in line with my living conditions and riding style, and if the value of my motorcycle is correctly insured. A few tips or ‘Did You Knows’ are as follows:

  • Some repairers may insist on painting or refurbishing damaged parts, make sure you are comfortable with this or discuss with your broker/insurer.
  • Always ensure that the description of your motorcycle is 100% accurate. As an example, a 2018 BMW R1200GS Adventure must be described as that exactly and not simply 2018 BMW R1200GS. This will make a big difference when you claim
  • Ensure that the year of manufacture/specification and year of registration is noted.
  • Ensure that all your extras including your riding kit is noted as this is normally covered.
  • If there is a total loss situation, is there enough cover in place after excesses to replace the motorcycle?
  • Consider that if there was a total loss situation and the motorcycle is financed you may require additional insurance to cover your settlement.
  • Very importantly, your motorcycle must be insured for the correct value. As an example, you purchase/finance a motorcycle for R100 000.00, the trade value is R70 000.00 and retail is R80 000.00. In a total loss situation, the insurer will pay approximately R75 000.00. If you are paying over ‘book value’ for your motorcycle it is important that your insurer is made aware and agrees to cover you on the purchase price and not ‘book value’ or you will be left out of pocket.

As mentioned previously, ‘book values’ are not as accurate as they should be (in my opinion) so make sure you are covered!

As always, it is important to get proper financial and insurance advice from an authorised representative. This article is for educational purposes only.

Tel: (011) 465 4591


Bike Buyer Guru Fire It Up Craig Langton

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