Actually, I am morbidly obese, I bought it with a topbox and aluminium panniers and told the salesman I planned to use it for touring with my wife, who has never come to the shop but is not sylph-like.
I bought the bike in March and it broke down on tour in Germany in September. When I got it to the repair shop in Germany – also a franchised dealer – they told me the shock had been overloaded; the top mount had split and the bike needed a full rear stripdown and a new shock. Fair enough. It will be on the warranty…
But no. The Germans said they would not deal with a UK warranty claim and they told me I had overloaded the bike. Basically, I weigh about 125kg, my wife about 90kg, the racks and panniers I guess weigh 30kg on their own and we had camping gear on the bike.
My bike was recovered to the UK and dropped off at the dealer. They showed me pictures I had put up on Facebook of me and the wife on the loaded bike on a gravel trail in Germany and they suggested I was loaded to about 300kg; the maximum payload for the bike is just over 200kg. No one warned me that I might be overloading the bike and it actually handled okay until the top of the shock tore and the bike was unrideable.
My warranty claim is rejected, the bike is in the dealer’s workshop and we have a stand-off, I am not going to pay for the repairs because the dealership did not warn me about the maximum weight my bike could carry and they must have known just with me and my kit, I was getting close to the weight.
You have sent me all the emails between you and the dealership and I think the dealership has been pretty reasonable. They will supply you the OE shock at trade price and do the labour at half rate, but they correctly point out the owner’s manual gives a maximum safe weight and the fact is you have almost certainly gone significantly over it.
You could, I suppose, get the top of the shock looked at for some casting problem but the reality is that you have exceeded the safe weight of the bike, at a conservative guess, by 50%. I suspect there is more than 300kg on that bike. I get to 265kg before you have packed anything and I have not included your tank bag and all the kit strapped to your bike. I also note your topbox has a massive roll bag bungee’d to it. I think the fact your bike handled at all is testament to the original engineers.
In criminal law, it was dangerously overloaded. And then you did a bit of light off-roading on it, two-up. The dealer does not have to repair at its expense the damage you have done by riding a grossly overloaded bike. As a general rule. If you are going two-up touring, you need to check the maximum safe load. It is in the manual and easily found on Google, I found the safe weight for your bike in one hit. Riding overloaded is an offence in every Jurisdiction I’ve heard of.
The manufacturers have a maximum gross vehicle weight which is what the bike is engineered to safely carry. You place a non-existent duty upon the retailer to tell you what the maximum weight is. Does he also need to tell you about tyre pressures or the various construction and use offences you might commit? Or not to speed?
You have committed a criminal offence; you have not read the manual and you have loaded your bike up with everything that might fit on to it. If you had evidence that you had asked the dealer for a bike suitable to carry a 300 plus kg payload and he’d recommended this bike to you, then you’d have a case. On these facts, you don’t and I’d take the kind offer of the dealership with an apology from you for the slightly hysterical nature of your emails.
If you are going to tour two-up, you will need to shed some weight – kit, luggage or body mass – or get a bike with a massive payload.
RiDE Magazine January 2023