Seized Triple

Seized Triple

I recently purchased a ‘pre-owned’ Triumph Speed Triple from a dealer about 2 weeks ago. It had 12 months MOT and had just been serviced.

Literally a week after picking the motorbike up I was riding out of the village when it went bang and the engine seized up. For the next few seconds I had the expected 50 pence piece, five pence piece moment (think about it!). Being devoid of MotoGP skills I fell off and broke my wrist.

I don’t know what to do now. The dealer has basically told me to sling my hook as it was a second hand motorbike and therefore not his problem. He said I need to sue the previous owner. I am currently off work (I’m a carpenter) and have a trashed triple. Do I have a claim against the previous owner?


I’ve had a few buttock clenching moments over the years but thankfully I have never had an engine seize. I would definitely have needed new leathers.

As for a “claim” I suspect the dealer is trying to throw up a smoke screen. It has nothing to do with the previous owner as the dealer sold you the motorbike. Legally, the contract was between you and the dealer. As you bought the motorbike after October 1, 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies.

As such, you need to take urgent action as the law allows you 30 days from the date of purchase to reject the Triumph and seek a full refund from the dealer (if it was over 30 days there are different rules). The Triumph should have been of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose it was intended i.e. riding on the road.

If the dealer won’t play ball then you may have to start court proceedings against him. For the dealer to be successful in this scenario, he will have to prove the fault wasn’t there when you bought the Triumph, it’s not up to you to prove that it was.

However, to be prudent, before you return the bike, I would make sure you have evidence i.e. photographs of the damage, a video showing the engine won’t turn over etc. as its seized etc.

Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly

July 2018

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.


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Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Last modified: August 24, 2018 at 9:23 am

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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The MCM legal column is compiled by managing partner Andrew 'Chef' Prendergast and his bike-riding barristers and solicitors at White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors.

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