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Title: I don't trust my bike anymore

Date: 28 November 2012

Question

On the 16th October I was driving on the M4 Chiswick flyover when my 4 month (4000 miles) old bike decided to brake whilst filtering traffic.

I did not have my foot on the brake as that was the first thing that I checked at the time. I must have been going around 50mph when this happened. My first check was am I braking by mistake, check clutch then nothing and my head just said get out the way. I dropped a few gears, gave her some 'welly' but was still just coming to a stop with enough movement to bring me to the side of the road. I even double checked the brake after stopping but the bike would not move.

There was an ABS light on the dashboard which apparently indicated a blockage blockage.

I was waiting on the side of the road from 0710 to 0900 and I got fed up and pushed her down the motorway. The brakes had released at this point. By the time the AA picked me up the battery was flat and off we went to the dealer. They have since done 70 miles, gave the bike a once over and stated that they could not find an apparent fault.

The dealer have now asked that I bring the loan bike back and pick up my bike as no apparent fault could be found. I have lost confidence in the bike and would feel unsafe riding it. If the brake come on when I'm on the motorbike at higher speeds this fault could be catastrophic.

I feel that just because the technician at the dealership could not find the apparent fault this does not mean that there is no underlined fault or safety issue. The dealer would never admit there is an ABS fault as this would open a can of worms for them.

Please could you advise what my options are and the best way to approach it.

Riaan Cahill

Answer

This does sound worrying for you. If you have no faith in the manufacturer or the dealership (who may have found and fixed the issue but did not want to tell you) then you could always commission an independent engineer to examine the bike and prepare a report. This can be done for approximately £120.

You could then determine if the bike is safe to ride and hopefully what went wrong. At least you will be confident in riding in the knowledge that the issue has been resolved. You could perhaps send a copy of the report to the manufacturer if it highlights an outstanding issue and request that they undertake the work, refund the cost of the expert's report and provide you with a courtesy bike whilst yours undergoes repair. If it is a common fault then an internet search might point you in the right direction. You are likely to be outside of the time period for rejecting the goods and requesting a refund.

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