Performance Technic Tip: Look after your motorcycle, your insurance & warranty requires it


Performance Technic is the new technical facility in Kyalami, run by the same team behind the phenomenally successful Fire It Up and Bike Buyers. Every Tuesday, they will be providing some technical know-how that could make your biking life a better and easier one. Today, we talk about how not looking after your motorcycle could mean losing your insurance or warranty.

look after your motorcycle insurance warranty denied

There’s an old story about a guy who bought one of the first BMW S1000RR superbikes after they were first launched in South Africa. At the time, the S1000RR was a revelation in the world of motorcycling – it was the first superbike with factory-fitted traction control, ABS, a quickshifter and it pushed nearly 200hp. Functions and figures like this were seen only on the top World Superbike race machines, and it being available to us mere mortals was truly the stuff of dreams.

This gentleman took delivery of his bike, an auspicious occasion for the dealer who was handing over its first S1000RR, and brought it back a couple of weeks later for its first 1000km service. Upon checking the bike into the workshop, the customer was notified that his warranty for the machine had become void. Of course, shocked as can be, he inquired why this was, only to have the service advisor turn her computer screen to him revealing his Facebook page where he had boastfully posted a photo of a GPS showing the top speed of his new motorcycle.

“The warranty agreement pinpoints a strict run-in procedure for the motor up until the first service,” explained the advisor, “one you did not follow; thus, your warranty has been cancelled.”

There’s a similar story about a guy who took his bike to a rally, topped up is alcohol stream and then thought it necessary to hold his bike on the rev-limiter in neutral for extended periods. In the age of cellphone cameras and universal internet connectivity, footage of this quickly made its way onto social media, that was not missed by the dealer from which he bought that bike.

“I’m sorry sir, your warranty is void…”

Then there is the case of a motorcycle that was rear-ended by a car while innocently sitting at a traffic light. The rider was blameless in every way, and the fault was entirely down to the car driver, and yet the insurance company refused the claim of the motorcyclist because the rear tyre on the bike was bald.

Of course, the rider was furious, and you’d forgiven for sharing some sympathy in this instance because the bald rear tyre was in no way a mitigating factor in the accident and even a brand new rear would have had no influence on the outcome. However, when you sign an agreement with an insurance company, you are contractually obliged to make sure that your motorcycle is completely legal when on the road. The moment it isn’t, as far as the insurance company is concerned, it should not be out on public roads and, therefore, should not have been in an accident.

Here is where people misunderstand warranty, guarantee and insurance agreements – they will look after you in the case of a mishap, but in return, you are expected to look after your motorcycle. Obvious signs of abuse, both physically on the bike and logged in the data recorder (did you know that your bike has one?), can lead to either insurance companies or warranty providers not paying out, including the likes of worn tyres, chains, sprockets, brake pads, bearings and fluids. 

Taking your motorcycle for its prescribed services at the correct intervals and periods should avoid any problems, and it’s an idea to listen to your service advisor when they advise you to replace a worn item. If that worn item could have prevented an accident, or often even if it couldn’t, your insurance most certainly won’t pay out. 

Also, you will need to be extra nice to the person handling your warranty.

Performance Technic Contacts:
Tel: 010 880 2849

Performance Technic

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