I'd been on the bike for only a matter of minutes when I spotted the all too familiar sight of a biker broken down on the side of the road. With enough time and space to stop, I duly did, and had a chat with the rider. He thought his regulator rectifier had gone and was on the phone to his insurance company, which I found strange. According to him, they would only collect the bike without cost if it was 20 miles from home. Further away and the costs start to rise. He didn't have AA, RAC or any kind of third party recovery.
I offered to stay with him, but he declined my offer and after he got the bike to a safer place, he wandered off to the local supermarket to wait out the hour it was going to take for help to arrive and I continued on my journey. I've been there several times. Broken bike and a long way from home. It sucks.
On the remainder of the ride home, thoughts crossed my mind about the kind of things, we as bikers, can do to minimise the disruptive effect these kind of events can have. This isn't just about breakdowns either, this is about accidents and thefts.
When it comes to accidents and what to do at the scene, we have Bikerdown courses, like those I work on in Dorset. For breakdowns, there are recovery services who, with a suitable plan, don't charge you through the nose to come and get you. Lastly, there's theft. I've been the unfortunate victim of bike theft and I still remember how helpless I felt being up in the Midlands, not knowing where my bike was. (S279 RUX where are you now) I wandered around the local roads and empty open spaces for a few hours, just to see if it had been dumped. It was horrible and I never saw it again. It was because of this, that my bikes are either alarmed, have trackers or both.
There are social media groups dedicated to the theft of motorbikes, with people offering rewards and or threatening physical harm on those who have taken it. I've seen rewards for thousands of pounds. Thousands! A high end tracker, not these Poundland wastes of time, cost at the max, £300 and that includes the installation and subscription.
All this just leads to the mindset of instead being poorly prepared and reactive, be well prepared and proactive. It may cost a few quid in the short run, but it will minimise, or completely reduce stress or serious financial outlay in the long term. Back to the rider in question, his little 650 Suzuki had trick grips, ASV levers, coloured braided hoses and an action camera mount on the tank. Now they could have all been on the bike when he got it, but if not, instead of splashing out £200 on levers, spend a third of that and get a top recovery package and don't spend an hour in the local supermarket, worried how you're going to get home in the dark without a clear visor.