Need post-accident advice and assistance

Discussion in 'Europe' started by abnslr, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    On 7 October I was involved in a car-vs-motorcycle collision along the D8 highway in Croatia, near the town of Zaton Doli. I don't want to get into details of the accident here, as police and insurance haven't finished doing their things, but I am in need of advice and assistance regarding the motorcycle involved.

    Here's my current situation. I'm in Naples, Italy. The motorcycle is in rural Croatia. My insurance company has decided to declare the motorcycle a total loss as uneconomical to repair. I'm no expert, but my (admittedly off-balance) observations at the time lead me to believe that the bike isn't catastrophically damaged, but that the insurance company considers it inaccessible and doesn't want to risk paying a lot to recover it, only to find it uneconomical to repair once they've made a significant investment. They're going to pay me what I believe is a fair price for the motorcycle -- and I still own it as salvage in Croatia.

    In my trip planning thread, RTLover gave me what I believe is good advice -- to "get a new scoot and start over." I intend to do just that, but a couple of factors make me believe there may be a good opportunity to do something with the old (as much as I can call a damaged 2012 bike "old") motorcycle too.

    First, I think I'm going to have to go back to Croatia anyway, to square up my towing and storage bill, recover my Italian license plate, obtain documentation from Croatian Customs that any taxes and fees have been paid, and actually accomplish a salvage sale.

    Second, my insurer set the salvage value pretty low, presumably because recovery would be an expensive task for the purchaser.

    Third, as noted above, I don't believe it's actually irreparable, though it'll certainly never be "like new."

    Because of all that, I'm asking for the collective wisdom and contacts of the ADV community to help me out here -- what should I do with my seriously injured 2012 F650GS? I'm cautious about puting a lot of money into trying to fix it, because even if I succeed it'll always be a salvaged bike now. I live in a flat in the city and don't have a garage in which to store the bike while I do a lot of work myself. Ideally I'd like to find a good independent garage in Croatia to get it rideable again at relatively low cost (in a Frankenbike way -- not necessarily pretty, but rideable) over the course of however long it takes and ride it back to Italy. Is this a practical idea? Does anyone know of a garage in Dubrovnik, Split, or elsewhere along the coast that would be interested in taking on such a job?

    Finally, the damage. After all, there's no way to assess the practicality without some idea of the damage. Here's what I think is wrong…
    Front forks are twisted. Rear subframe bent (luggage racks trashed, but they're pretty much irrelevant except that I think the Caribou cases prevented much more serious damage.) Headlight assembly destroyed. Gauge cluster/computer hanging by wires, but still shows a display when ignition turned on. Exhaust bent, but, I believe still serviceable, though not pretty. Definitely needs new tires, maybe a front wheel from where it was jammed under a guardrail.

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    I think good crash bars and Caribou cases on SW Motech racks prevented a lot more serious damage.

    Thanks in advance all -- I really need good advice on this one. I've got to do something with the F650 by 29 October, when storage courtesy of my insurance company turns into a pumpkin.
    #1
  2. sportbiker929

    sportbiker929 Been here awhile

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    cut your losses. frame is probably wrecked
    #2
  3. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    Part out what's not damaged but is that worth the salvage cost?
    #3
  4. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    Salvage cost for me to recover it to Italy as-is would be high. I don't think it's worth it to me unless I can make it rideable again. I'm not trying to profit on this.
    #4
  5. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    Hard to tell without a serious inspection - if frame or engine block are cracked maybe doesn't make sense to spend on it, if are OK, could be an idea to get a new fork - transplant from any jap 600 enduro like e.g. a Dominator should be feasible and will probabily better than original BMW fork, wheel, headlight off-the-shelf from Acerbis or UFO , an IMO100 in substition of gauges shouldn't cost no more that 250/350 euro of parts.

    Maybe some Croatian ADVrider could give hints about the possibility of doing these type of work on-site or nearby, if not, an alternative could be to go there with a van...
    #5
  6. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    "Ideally I'd like to find a good independent garage in Croatia to get it rideable again at relatively low cost (in a Frankenbike way -- not necessarily pretty, but rideable) over the course of however long it takes and ride it back to Italy. Is this a practical idea? Does anyone know of a garage in Dubrovnik, Split, or elsewhere along the coast that would be interested in taking on such a job?"

    You may get some suggestions for "a good independent garage". At the same
    time, the 650 GS looks damaged enough that any "independent garage" might
    have to source at least some, maybe a lot, of BMW parts to put it right or
    rideable. From that perspective, it might help to know the "official" BMW dealers in Croatia:

    http://www.bmw-motorrad.com.hr/hr/hr/index.html

    Tomić & Co. Zagreb - Prodajni salon i servisna radionica
    Folnegovićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb
    Tel: 01/6301-999 , Fax: 01/6301-948
    Mob: 091/1630-185
    E-mail: info@tomic.hr

    Tomić & Co. Split - Prodajni salon i servisna radionica
    Dubrovačka 1, 21000 Split
    Tel: 021/544-729 , Fax: 021/544-731
    E-mail: split@tomic.hr

    Tomić & Co. Rijeka - Prodajni salon
    Osječka 37, 51000 Rijeka
    Tel: 051/506-982 , Fax: 051/506-980
    E-mail: rijeka@tomic.hr

    Tomić & Co. Osijek - Prodajni salon i servisna radionica
    Ulica hrastova 2, 31000 Osijek
    Tel: 031/445-090 , Fax: 031/445-099
    E-mail: osijek@tomic.hr

    Tomić & Co. Pula - Prodajni salon
    Marulićeva 1, 52000 Pula
    Tel: 052/215-288 , Fax: 052/215-444
    E-mail: pula@tomic.hr

    good luck !
    #6
  7. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    I'm inclined to go along with sportbiker929 - I'm not too concerned about the rear of the bike - as you noted, the sidecases soaked up a lot of the crash energy (a good reason to have sidecases - and you can carry stuff in them when not crashing - dual duty (BTDT)).

    My concern is the front end and especially the steering head alignment - forks & triple clamps are easy, but if the head is tweaked the bike will never be the same without a lot of expensive work.

    Is this town just north of Dubrovnik? If so, there appears to be a ferry from Bari to Dubrovnik that would be easier than driving all the way around through Trieste.
    #7
  8. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    Thank you all for your advice on this. Now that a bit more time has passed, and I think I'm looking at things a bit more rationally, while what GiorgioXT suggested is exactly what I had in mind, it's just not practical for me without an extensive list of contacts and resources I don't have. I'll be working with folks in Croatia to unload the salvage and get the appropriate paperwork taken care of (the administrative side of this has turned into a minor nightmare of its own) then, once that's resolved, I'll be looking for a new motorcycle, preferably something identical or very close to that F650.
    #8
  9. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    Check the cost of sending the bike to italy by fixing on a pallet (not a crate, that will cost a lot) - ask to a transport company for a quote of "Palletized good, 2 metres x 1 metre, 250 kilos weight"
    Maybe could be even cheaper to send it back than to hassle with the paper - that in case of demolition you will have to do also in italy...
    #9
  10. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    That's a good idea -- I'll check on that. Having it back in Italy would make the admin piece a lot easier if nothing else, but the options I've checked so far have been prohibitively expensive.
    #10
  11. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    A friend has offered up his van and his help. I'm going to Croatia to get my motorcycle. The ferry leaves in eight hours.
    #11
  12. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    Motorcycle successfully recovered to Italy via minivan and ferry. Got some odd looks and lots of document-checking in Customs...

    Heading up the D8 to Zaton Doli to pick up the bike.

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    We're going to put this in a minivan? Really?

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    Well, I guess it fit...

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    Of course that doesn't take into account the subsequent fuel spill in said minivan, nor the stress going through customs in both Croatia and Italy with a wrecked bike in a minivan reeking of gasoline...

    It goes into the shop tomorrow (27 October.) Wish me luck.
    #12
  13. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    It's in (at a legitimate BMW dealership no less.) I hope they can fix it...
    #13
  14. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Now that brings back memories. My younger son wrecked my SRX-6 and it was brought home in my minivan.

    And my first motorcycle (a 1934 Harley VL (don't EVEN ask how long ago this was)) was brought home in the back of a station wagon.

    Glad that things worked out for you (and the gasoline smell will fade (eventually)).
    #14
  15. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    Thanks! Things seem to be working out so far (van doesn't even really smell like gas anymore) but I still haven't heard back from the BMW shop with an estimate on repair...
    #15
  16. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    So it turns out the BMW dealership CAN fix it -- for just more than €9,000. It's time to replace the F650GS. I'm going to try and replace it with an identical one (or a 2013 F700GS) and keep the "salvage" for spares. There are a lot of good parts there, starting with a perfectly good motor and transmission...
    #16
  17. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    As I said before ,if the frame is OK , ditch the dealer, look for a small mechanic (You are far away from me, but will look if some friends could give advice) with experience in off road bikes , look into demolitori to find a suitable fork and wheels...I bet that you could made it perfectly rideable (maybe a few "ratty") with less than 1000 euro.
    #17
  18. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    That's exactly what I'd been hoping to do (sort of looking at ChiTown's F800GS rebuild as inspiration there) but no one I know has been able to identify a place in Campania that is reliable and able/willing to do that kind of unconventional work on a BMW. There must be places around here that can do it (and well too -- the Italians seem to have some exceptionally good mechanics) but I just don't have the contacts at this point to find them. The independent shops I've tried at random so far wouldn't take a BMW at all -- and I don't think I was ever able to adequately describe what I was trying to have done anyway. Google translate is great, but somewhat limited sometimes.
    #18
  19. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    I finally found a place that says they can repair it (with all new BMW parts) for a reasonable price (less than replacement cost.) I should have it back by mid-January...

    Awaiting repair...

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    #19