Up the creek without a paddle?

Up the creek without a paddle?

I bought a second-hand sportbike off a mate for some summer fun. It was mint. The dealer round the corner serviced it and told me the manufacturer had put out a recall for the front brake. I gave them the go-ahead and they changed the master cylinder on the handlebars.

However, when I rode it home the front brake suddenly locked up and spat me off. I got hit by a car coming the other way and I will be off work for four months. I’m self employed and I’m in the poo to put it bluntly.

The dealer has told me to go away as it was fine when I left them and as it’s a 2009 model there is no warranty. I have since found out that if the bike had aftermarket levers on (which mine did) then they should have been put back to standard when doing the master cylinder fix. Can I claim against the manufacturer? Or the dealer? Or am I screwed as it’s an old bike?


Just because it’s a 2009 model doesn’t mean you can’t claim. The key to winning your case is proving the master cylinder fix caused you to fall off. If you can’t do that you will lose.

Whatever you do don’t let anyone take your bike away – you need an independent engineer to look at the recall notice instructions, inspect your bike and advise on the “balance of probabilities” of what caused you to fall off.

If the front brake was binding on because of the dealer’s shoddy work then you claim against them. However, if they followed the recall instructions properly and they didn’t mention changing the aftermarket levers back to standard you claim against the manufacturer.

Andrew Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly October 2014


Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.

Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Last modified: March 23, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.


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