Wednesday 26 June 2013

Tuesday 18 June 2013


Well, 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
Initially, 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). 

molten plastic
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
The 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.

Next 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.

The 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 plan. 

So, if you're interested you can just look at my earlier posts on the process in the reverse order.

Sunday 16 June 2013

V for Victory

Classic throat lozenges

Modern motorcycle spotted at Ayr Classic Show

Silver Lining

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, obviously.

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.

I spotted 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 necessary paperwork.  

The deal was done and I rode (wobbled?) away on my new toy.

First 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.

Stolen (Part Zwei)

Yesterday 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.

Other than 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.