I had a minor accident in a car park. I went shopping for lunch in my local Tesco and was walking back to my bike when, to my horror, I saw a 4×4 reverse into my GSX-R1000 and knocked it over.

The lady who reversed into my bike was so apologetic. Apparently her reversing sensors were turned off and she didn’t know how to turn them back on.

She gave me her insurance details and even dropped me back at work. My bike was not rideable but only because the gear lever snapped off. There was some very minor scuffing to the fairing but that was it. I tried to call my insurer but got put through to another company who collected it from the car park. I have now been told the bike is an insurance write-off!!

It is a £12k bike. There is no way a gear lever and side fairing costs more than £12k. This company is also offering to buy the bike from me for £8k. What can I do?


First of all, I am getting more reports about this. Bikes being written off with little to no damage. A single GSX-R1000 fairing costs around £480 and a gear lever £34.95. No matter how you look at this, with some labour and VAT added on, the repair bill is less than £1k.

My strong advice is to get your bike back into your possession. It is your property, and it belongs to you. Don’t leave it in the possession of some other company, no matter how professional they look. Once you have your bike back you can then decide to either: 1. Claim on your own insurance; or 2. Claim against the 4×4 driver’s insurance. It is that simple.

It appears when you called your own insurer, you were passed on to a third-party company who make a living out of collecting/repairing and buying/selling bikes. They also appear to rent bikes out and your loss is their gain. So, tread very carefully.

Do not send this company your V5 or keys etc. Ask them to send your bike back or go and collect it in a van. They might want a recovery fee of £150. If so, pay it and get your bike back.

Once you have possession of your property, look at your insurance certificate to find out who your underwriter is. It has to (by law) state the name of the insurance company who insures your bike. This is very important, as your underwriter is the company responsible for paying out. The benefit of using your own insurer is that your bike will get repaired as quickly as possible and you’ll be able to enjoy the biking season.

I also do not see why you would sell your bike for £8k, especially when it is a well sorted GSX-R1000 worth £12k. If you did that, you are selling at an undervalued price and someone, somewhere, is benefiting from your accident. That cannot be right and just stinks of a bent system at work.

Your insurer is a little bit naughty in allowing your phone call to be redirected to this third-party company. Always, always look at your certificate of insurance and find out who your underwriter is and go direct. This means a little bit more work for you, but it stops you getting involved in this dodgy system of referrals where your GSX-R1000 is passed around and people make a profit out of your misery. Protect yourself and your assets, especially when things go a little wrong.

Gavin Grewal

Fast Bikes April 2023