that's me got my Skorpion back quicker than I was anticipating. It had been
located almost immediately as the thieves has tried to set it on fire,
presumably as they couldn't get it started despite chiselling the ignition off
to get at the wires. I took delivery of the remains yesterday afternoon.
handlebar clamp snapped
I had been told that it had been burnt out and obviously assumed the worst.
However, when I went to have a look I found that only the tank had been damaged
(see picture below).
How you can set a plastic fuel tank full of petrol on fire and
fail to completely destroy a bike I find hard to understand. I'm not
complaining, you understand, just curious. Anyway, having worked out that most
of the additional damaged or missing bits could be replaced from the depths of
my spares bins I set about arranging to have it returned to me.
broken screen and indicator
insurance company were talking about writing it off as uneconomical to repair
and wouldn't guarantee that I would be able to buy it back as salvage. So,
first thing I had to do was drop my insurance claim. That way the bike was
still legally mine.
up was the legal con that the authorities play on you. The Police no longer
recover stolen or abandoned vehicles, that has been farmed out to private
companies, and these companies want paying. So, in order to get my own
property back I had to pay the recovery company concerned 200 quid for
recovery and 'storage', ie. sitting in their yard. None of this money can be
reclaimed, so you might say that I'm not best pleased. However, all things
considered, it could have been a lot worse.
plan now is to put the bike back to Traveller spec. using all the bits I took
off a couple of years ago (see picture below), that way I don't have to spend any more money than absolutely necessary.
I will need
some new clocks, a new ignition barrel and to have some welding done on the
rack which has a broken seam, but once I get these things sorted I reckon that I
can have the bike back on the road over a long weekend should everything go to
So, if you're interested you can just look at my
earlier posts on the process in the reverse order.
With only a
couple of weeks to a riding holiday in France the theft of my bikes couldn’t
have come at a worst time – except, if it had happened the night before,
As I won’t
get a decision/payout from the insurance company for at least another month I
needed wheels, and quickly. Norman had offered a loan of his spare Skorpion, I
have another one myself, and another friend offered his Kawasaki. All good
options, but all three bikes are off the road at the moment, would need to be
got ready, taxed and tested, and if there had been any sort of problem I might
have had to cancel the trip.
So, I started
looking for another bike. Before all of this happened I had been considering
getting myself a new Triumph Tiger 800. I really like the look of them, and one
of the guys coming on the French trip can’t say enough good things about his, but
sadly a brand new bike is a little out of my reach at the moment. I contented
myself looking at older second-hand ones instead.
a promising 2005 model in a small town in the Scottish Borders about an hour
away from me, so got a lift down to have a look. This was a well set-up bike,
complete with touring luggage and a range of sensible accessories like heated
grips, a Scottoiler, Bagster leather tank cover with matching tank bag, Touratec
engine bars, and radiator and oil cooler guards. Best of all, it had all the
was done and I rode (wobbled?) away on my new toy.
impressions were favourable, but then again its basically the same machine I am
used to, being a 955i engine in a different package, although I do need to sort out
the seat height as it’s a bit too tall for comfort (I have short legs!) and
getting on and off once fully loaded could prove *interesting* to say the
least. Luckily there are a number of options for this and the seller showed me
how to lower the actual seat and drop the suspension a bit as well. If that’s
not enough I can also drop the forks in the yokes. It shouldn’t be too big a problem
and will be sorted before I leave.
morning I went to the recovery yard to see what was left of my bikes as both have now been located. Not as
bad as I was expecting.
The story of
the Skorpion having been burnt out was a bit misleading. They’d tried to set
the bike on fire, but had succeeded in only burning a big hole in the petrol tank,
which is melted and beyond useless, but the rest of the bike seems to have been
untouched by fire.
that, the damage was quite limited as it hadn’t been dropped like the Triumph. The
screen is broken, and so are the handlebars, but I have enough bits to put it
back together quite easily. Shouldn't take me more than a long weekend to get it sorted, by the looks of it.
On the other
hand, the Triumph had been crashed at speed, with all that this implies –
broken fairing, mirrors, indicators, missing footpegs, levers, scraped engine
cases etc. It doesn't look too bad in the pictures, but start looking closely enough and it all starts to become horribly apparent. The ignition has also been chopped about with to get it going and I'd be a bit worried about bent forks and frame at this stage. Definitely capable of being fixed, but don’t know if it’s
economically worth doing at Triumph prices.
I had been
feeling a bit sick at the thought of what had been done to the Skorpion (I
haven’t invested as much, emotionally or financially, in the Triumph, so was
just a bit pissed that it was gone), but seeing just how little damage was done to it gave me a bit of hope. Now
all I have to do is convince the insurance company to give it back to me.