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Thousands of motorcycles likely sustained water damage during Hurricane Harvey's slow slog up the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma's blast across Florida. Whether you can salvage a flood-damaged bike depends largely on how long and how much of the bike was in the water, whether the bike suffered additional damage from wind-blown or floating debris and, most of all, how quickly you can get it to a pro for evaluation and repair, if that's possible.

Based on my experience and the experts I've talked with, here are five steps to take if your motorcycle was in a flood:

  1. Before you do anything, take pictures of your motorcycle just as you found it. Insurance adjusters may be weeks getting to you and you'll want to have evidence of the immediate post-flood condition of the bike.
  2. Wash off your bike using a pressure hose and mild detergent. Flood water is often a corrosive stew of mud, salt water, sewer seepage, and toxic waste. The sooner you get it off your bike, the better. After it's clean, copy down the bike's VIN number from the nameplate and save it with your photos.
  3. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO START YOUR BIKE if you suspect water covered the entire engine and muffler. You don't want to mix water with your fluids. Quickly get your bike to a mechanic and have all the fluids drained and replaced. You might want to change your oil out several times to make sure it's free of all contaminants. Remember, corrosion begins immediately. The sooner you get into someone who can evaluate the damage and begin flushing out and drying up process, the better the odds of salvaging your bike.
  4. Check your motorcycle insurance. If you purchased comprehensive motorcycle insurance either as a requirement of your financing or separately, you are protected in the event of flooding. Your insurer will pay to repair your bike or replace it at fair market value. If you didn't purchase comprehensive insurance, but only purchased the required liability policy, you are out of luck. Homeowner insurance policies, by the way, do not cover damage to vehicles, including motorcycles. If your insurance information was lost in the flood, call your insurance company. They should be able to locate a copy for you.
  5. If you can't replace, consider repair. There's lots of advice online on how to repair a motorcycle damaged by flooding and lots of debate as to whether to attempt it at all. Only experienced do-it-yourselfers will know if it's something they want to tackle. However, keep in mind today's modern motorcycles are just as packed with sophisticated electronics as newer cars and, no matter what you do, water-logged electronics cannot be salvaged. Eventually, corrosion will do its dirty work; you don't want to be riding down the highway when that happens. By the time you replace all your electronics, you may as well have bought a new motorcycle.

If you decide to buy a used motorcycle, beware of unknowingly buying one that has been water damaged. Unscrupulous dealers have been known to load up trucks full of damaged vehicles, cars and motorcycles, and ship them to other parts of the country to sell. Before buying a used motorcycle you should:

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Taking the “Mystery” Out of Mysterious Motorcycle Crashes

Our team of experienced attorneys knows that when a motorcycle crashes for no apparent reason, it's important to take a closer look. If a serious motorcycle crash is caused by a defect in a tire, rim, the brakes or any other critical motorcycle or tire part, manufacturers can and should be held accountable. These deadly defects are more common than you might think. And the public needs to know that defective motorcycles are leading to serious injuries and deaths.

Motorcyclists, even when wearing helmets and other protective gear, are at a high risk of injury. Unfortunately, there can also be a bias against motorcycle riders, which puts them at a disadvantage in the legal process, as well. Many people believe that motorcyclists break rules, drive recklessly on purpose and are above the law. At Edwards Law Firm, our staff consists of many motorcycle riders so we know first hand the problems that come with riding a motorcycle. Those injured in motorcycle accidents, including those caused by defects and design problems, deserve to recover compensation for their injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses.

Allow Fellow Motorcyclists to Represent You

We have successfully represented motorcycle riders and their families for many years. Don't let just any attorney handle your case; allow the fellow riders of the Edwards Law Firm to review your case and get the best possible outcome.

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Posted on in Motorcycle News
NHTSA Campaign IDComponentManufacturerRecall DateUnits Potentially Affected
09V235000Power Train: Clutch AssemblyClassic Motorworks Limited, USA06/12/2009196

Defect Summary

Classic Motorworks is recalling 196 the model year 2009 Bullet Electra E-5, Bullet G5 Classic, Bullet G5 Military, and Bullet G5 Deluxe motorcycles equipped with the unit construction, EFI engine. These motorcycles can experience third gear galling on the clutch shaft due to lack of lubrication. This condition can allow the gear to seize to the shaft, causing rear wheel lockup.

Consequence Summary

This could result in a crash that could cause injury or death to the rider.

Corrective Summary

Dealers will inspect and replace the third gear and clutch shaft with increased clearance free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on or before June 29, 2009. Owners may contact Classic Motorworks at 1-800-201-7472.

There's something sad about storing a motorcycle for a long time. After all, it's meant to roam wild and free, with you on it. But maybe your weekend National Guard Camp turns into a two-year deployment, or you've decided to take your lottery winnings and travel with the band. Whatever takes you away from riding for an extended period (some define this as one month, some three or more), you'll want to prepare your motorcycle to make sure that when you get back on it, it turns over and purrs like a kitten.

To prepare your motorcycle for storage:1) Change the oilAs it circulates, your oil picks up dirt. If the bike sits for a long time, this dirt settles and it's harder to flush out during the next oil change. Also, as oil breaks down, the acid level in it increases and can corrode soft metal internal parts.

2) Prepare the gas tankJust before storage, fill the gas tank completely, and add some good fuel stabilizer to it, letting the two mix as you complete your short run home. A half-full tank will allow moisture to accumulate, which could lead to rust. Old gas gets gummy, too, like your granddad when he lost his teeth.

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What a weekend in Bandera for the Lace, Grace & Gears Motorcycle Rally!

Even though the weather didn't cooperate on Friday, we still had a great time meeting everyone who came by to see us.

The main beneficiary of this year's Lace, Grace & Gears rally was the Krause Children's Center, whose purpose is to give young ladies a place to stay and heal away from rough family situations. The center relies on donations and volunteers to continue operations, so if you feel like helping, click the Krause Center link for more information.

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