I had got back from France after a two week tour and needed new tyres. I ran the bike into a local dealer who changed them. I thought no more about it and covered another 500 miles the weekend after to Wales and back.

Anyway, all was well until I trundled to work the day after in the rain. I was heading down a main A-road around a gentle right-hander when the front end just lost grip, causing me to fall off, smash my ‘swede’ on the road and knock two teeth out (I currently look very attractive… not).

Upon the police checking the bike, they found that both tyres had been put on the wrong way round. I reckon this caused me to fall off. Do I have a claim?


Not one tyre but two! These people shouldn’t be allowed out on their own; let alone be allowed to meddle with motorbikes. Rant aside, every case turns on its own facts and evidence will be paramount to winning. On the face of it, if the tyres were on the wrong way round then you can follow why the front end lost traction in the rain. However, it is not just enough to assert something; you still have to ‘prove’ your claim.

With this in mind, take good photos of the tyres still on the wheels on the bike showing they are on the wrong way round. There should be an arrow on the side wall showing the intended direction of travel. If liability isn’t admitted by the dealer you need an expert to provide an opinion as to whether ‘on the balance of probabilities’ the dealer’s cock-up caused you to lose control in the rain. If you can do this you will win and the dealer will have to pay.

Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly April 2017