What is Motorcycle Gap Insurance, Anyway?

Wondering if you need motorcycle gap insurance? Someone trying to pressure you into buying it? Wondering what it’s all about?

Well fear not, my fellow rider, for here is everything you need to know (and I mean EVERYTHING)!

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You may think that having fully comprehensive insurance would give you maximum protection in this worst-case scenario. An insurer can write off a vehicle where it has been damaged by fire or floods, stolen and unrecovered, involved in an accident.

The unfortunate reality is the bike will have lost money as soon as it was driven away from the dealership and will continue to depreciate over time. Some of the worst depreciating motorbikes can lose almost 50% of their original value leaving you severely out of pocket compared to what you paid for the bike initially. Any settlement from your insurance company will only reflect the depreciated value of your motorcycle.

In addition, if you bought the motorbike on finance the total owing could be more than your insurer’s settlement leaving you supplementing this amount yourself – whilst still having to look at buying a new bike.

The good news is that you don’t have to find yourself in this situation. You are able to purchase Guaranteed Asset Protection – otherwise known as GAP – which protects you from financial loss in the event of a total loss or write off.

Is GAP Insurance worth buying?
If your motorcycle is involved in an accident the likelihood of the bike sustaining severe damage is more likely than with a car. Bikes are also easier to steal than cars. These two factors combined mean that motorbikes are more likely to be written off and so present a much higher risk for owners and insurers alike.

The average purchase price of a motorbike amounts to £9922, whilst an average claim settlement comes to just under £3,000. It’s a sobering thought that your bike can lose as much as 30% of its original value and you can ensure that – for as little as £159- your wallet doesn’t suffer if your pride and joy is stolen or involved in an accident.

Some GAP policies also cover up to £1500 of factory fitted extras that you paid for when you bought the bike.

How does a Back to Invoice Plus+ policy work?
Taking an independent GAP provider ala.co.uk as an example, you can purchase their Motorcycle Back to Invoice Plus+ policy. This is suitable for vehicles bought from a VAT registered dealer and purchased outright or on finance whether obtained through the dealership or a personal loan.  A policy can be purchased for vehicles less than 10 years old that has been delivered in the last 180 days.

If the vehicle is written off the GAP policy will pay from your insurance company’s settlement back up to the original invoiced amount you paid for the vehicle. Any finance on the motorbike is cleared by the insurer, the GAP insurer or a combination of the two if required and the amount remaining once that has been paid is yours to do with as you wish.

Read the T & C’s!
It’s easy to see that GAP insurance can save you thousands of pounds if you’re unfortunate enough to have your motorbike written off. It is important when buying GAP, as with all insurance, to look at the wording of the policy to know you’re getting exactly what you pay for.

You don’t have to pay excessive premiums
Most people are offered GAP insurance by the dealer when they purchase their motorbike. If you have been in that situation GAP may have sounded like a great idea, but at an average cost of £299, is an overly large expense.

There are alternatives to buying policies from the dealer – online GAP companies can provide highly competitive, good value quotes.

It is equally important not to be taken in by the cheapest policies available. They often contain hidden clauses and restrictions (see below) limiting any settlement you might receive based on the Glass’s Guide Retail Value of the bike at the time of the write off, which may not reflect the settlement you actually receive from your insurer.

Avoid Market Value Clauses and Glass’s Guide Maximum Payout Clauses
If a GAP policy contains these clauses you may not receive the amount you expect from a claim

Some GAP insurers use Glass’s Guide Retail Value as the absolute figure that your insurance company should settle at. This is not always the case as insurers can use different sources which produce assorted valuations. Where the insurer settles at a lower figure than that given in Glass’s Guide, you can then end up with a shortfall despite buying an insurance designed to avoid that situation.

There are only a few companies that do not use these clauses and instead simply pay the difference between your insurance company’s settlement (even if it is lower than Glass’ Guide) and the original amount you paid for the bike – giving you total peace of mind.

Free transfers
If you decide to change your motorbike before your GAP policy expires, a reputable company should allow you to transfer your policy – without any nasty admin fees.

This is usually done using a pro rata calculation of any unused premium remaining in the policy, which is then deducted from the price of a new policy. All you have to pay is the balance leftover and you get a brand new policy without having to pay the full amount.

UK based, UK underwriters
For most people it is important to buy GAP insurance from a UK based provider with UK based underwriters. These companies should be full authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and should be members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This protects you and your policy in the event the underwriter ceases trading.

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10 Adventurous Questions with Patrick from Unleashyouradventure.com

Patrick has some heavy-weight adventure touring experience under his belt and, along with his girlfriend Shellie, also runs the awesome adventure blog, Unleashyouradventure.com. It’s always good to hear about other people’s stories from the road, so I decided to ask him a few questions to find out more about his touring adventures. Check out his inspirational modesty and see how it’s possible to ride the world, even if you aren’t a millionaire maverick.

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1. How old were you when you first got your licence and what was the trigger for you to do so?

I was 18 and got the bike licence together with my car licence. My dad had one so I needed one too.

2. You’re really lucky to have a girlfriend who shares your passion for bikes. Do you and Sherrie plan all of your trips together, or does one of you take charge when it comes to deciding where you’ll be going next? Do you ever miss riding solo?

We plan the trips together and to be honest there is not so much planning at all. For our last trip , we just decided to ride East until we hit Newfoundland and so we did. Sherrie rides her own bike so I can still take an extra tour when I feel like it.

3. You guys both have a BMW F 650 GS each, which I’ve ridden myself and loved, was there a reason neither of you went for the 1200? Would you ever be tempted?

Yes I give you 3 reasons: Money, Weight and Height. We’d rather spend the money on the trip than on a fancy bike, a smaller bike is much better off road and Sherrie is not the tallest. She perfectly fits on the F650. But yes, I was tempted, but not by a 1200 GS but by real offroad bikes, especially in Mongolia.

4. What has been your single most memorable motorcycle adventure?

Crossing the interior of Iceland. A very challenging but also amazing trip. We saw the incredible landscape of Iceland’s interior but had also to deal with storms, a sunk motorcycle and a blown tire accident which brought us to hospital.

5. You guys both have some seriously heavy-weight touring experience; what would you say the biggest challenges have been whilst riding in far off lands? It must be really stressful trying to buy a bike when you aren’t in your own country. What about sorting out insurance?

The biggest challenge? Get your ass up and go! Once you are on the road everything usually falls into place. The hardest part is to set a date and hit the road. We had some difficulties to buy new bikes in South East Asia but I wouldn’t call it stressful rather than a challenge. We had health insurance with world wide coverage and got a bike insurance where it was required.

6. What’s the smallest budget you have survived off whilst on a long-distance journey?

Our normal budget was 30 EUR/day in South East Asia. You could get away with half of it if you had to. I met a guy in Argentina who lived off 10 EUR/day including gas. That was pretty extreme I guess.

7. Your blog is inspiring for anyone interested in long-distance touring. How do you manage it whilst out on the road? Do you take a laptop with you and blog en route, or do you just take notes and write it all up when you get back?

We had two netbooks with us and updated on the fly. Internet is good in most countries. Before that we had only one laptop and we ended up fighting over it all the time.

8. How do you manage having a full-time career with your need to take off on round-the-world trips?

Sherrie works as a freelance English teacher and I was an IT consultant. Now I took up the challenge to create the best travel search engine for Europe, GoEuro which does not leave much room for travelling at the moment.

9. Looking to the future, how do you see you passion for bikes and adventure evolving? Will you be toning it down or revving it up!

We got a daughter last spring so travelling is a bit on hold, but not for that much longer ;-)

10. Have you ever had any close calls that have made you stop and reconsider your motorcycle obsession?

Yes, I had two accidents with blown tires and a pillion. In both accidents we could have been killed, thank god nothing happened besides a few bruises. But when I came home after 14 months of travelling I walked up the stairs to my parents house and broke my foot.

Thanks for your time Patrick, I for one will be following your adventures – best of luck and please keep us all updated!

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Would You Like to Win Davida Retro Products Every Month?

Then sign-up to the Davida newsletter by clicking on the helment below….

Davida is a well-known motorcycle helmet brand that has been going for more than 30 years, hand-making their helmets right here in the UK. With iconic styles that are beautifully put together, it is hard not to love them. Davida also do motorcycle clothing, accessories and goggles, and you could win a bunch of their stuff by simply clicking on the helmet below and signing up to the awesome David newsletter. Good luck! and ride safe!

davida-helmets

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7 Retro Adventure Motorcycles That Changed The World

Adventure motorcycles haven’t always been as mainstream as they are now. Needless to say, Charlie and Ewan made a massive impact on the perception of adventure and enduro motorcycle riding – changing the landscape forever. But here are the real stars of the show. Built primarily for off-road duties, these are the purebreds that have led to what we now take for granted. 

1. BMW’s R80G/S – 1981
The first heavyweight, on-road/off-road motorcycle to hit the market. Not only is it still one of the best looking adventure bikes ever built, it soon became the standard to which all other adventure bikes would be based on.

r80gs-original_bmw_adventure_bike_paris_dakar2. Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Ténéré – 1989
Long range and race-ready production meant this middle weight adventure bike soon became a firm favourite. It really did look the part, too.

yamaha XTZ750 1989 adventure motorcycle3. Ktm lc4 640 adventure – 1999
Incredibly light weight and versatile, what it lacked on road was more than made up for with its immense off-road handling prowess.

Retro_KTM_adventure_Motorcycle4. Triumph Tiger 955i – 2001
A sign of things to come, Triumph’s millennium attempt at their versatile tourer is easily one of the most beautiful adventure bikes ever built.

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5. BMW R1150GS – 1999
This bike needs no introduction. Continuing to be the standard to which all adventure bikes designers, including BMW, aim to achieve. It has power, dependability, and above all, style.

BMW_R_1150_GS_yellow_adventure_motorcycle6. Honda Africa Twin 750 – 1989
Based on the NXR-750, which won the Paris-Dakar rally four times in the late eighties, the Africa Twin agility and bullet-proof reliability made it one of the most popular adventure bikes of all time. Even just looking at it makes you wanna sell your house and ride around the world!

honda-africa-twin_adventure_bike_poster7. Suzuki DR800S – 1999
Loved for their low maintenance swagger, these little adventure bikes can still be found tearing up the mountains, 600,000 km later! Suzuki were ahead of their time with the design, which is more similar to the modern GS icons than other adventure bikes of the 90s.

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Other useful info
Specialist motorcycle insurers, such as Bennetts, suggest that adventure motorcycles are some of the most affordable to run and insure. Many residents in the UK are ditching their cars in favour of these valiant commuters. You can’t blame them!

BMW accounts for a large chunk of the adventure market sales, the new 1200GS continues to be one of the biggest selling bikes of 2013. Servicing fees are high, but owners are generally more than happy to pay the extra money for the prestige and dependability that they receive in return. I know where I’d spend my money!

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Top 5 British Motorcycling Tours This Spring (2013)

Winter’s coming to an end, the frost is thawing around the UK’s countryside and many bikers are in the process of digging out their gear and uncovering their ride for another season.

British Motorcycle RoutesAs March quickens pace and the beginning of spring looks to be around the corner, now would be a good time to review the best tours to embark upon this year. From Scotland to Cornwall the UK’s roads are some of the best in Europe for variety and scenery, and these might be well worn routes but their popularity endures for a reason. Whether you are a new rider or an experienced veteran, check out these top 5 British motorcycling tours this spring.

The Antrim Coast Road – Northern Ireland
One of the joys of this road is that it isn’t really a major thoroughfare. On a small, lightly used and narrow road along the Antrim coast, the A2 provides some of the best looking 25 miles you’ll see in your lifetime. Highlights include the ‘Black Arch’ and the The Causeway Coast.

The A82 – Scotland
The ‘Great Western Road’ out of Glasgow, otherwise known as the A82, stretches through the Scottish Highlands, past Loch Lomond, Loch Linnhe and Fort William to Inverness. It covers some of the most stunning scenery the UK has to offer, and sweeps dramatically through mountainous terrain on smooth asphalt which is a dream to ride.

Lake District
There are so many stunning routes around the Lake District it’s often hard to know which to take. Roads with elevation changes, lakeside views and classic pubs litter the landscape – and one of the most dramatic has to be the Hardknott Pass. Not for the faint-hearted, this is one of the steepest roads in Britain, and with a 1:3 gradient it’s a no go for beginner bikers.

Cornwall
One of the favourites, the B3306 connects St. Ives to St. Just along what is known as The West Cornwall Coast Road. With long sweeping bends interspersed with tight village roads and narrow hedge-lined tracks, the B3306 has some of the best views in the region as it hugs tightly to the sea. If touring this part of the South-West, a stop at the Tinners Arms in Zennor is a must.

Warminster to Poole
The A350 from Warminster to Poole cuts south on a primary route through some of the most interesting countryside in this part of the UK. Single-carriageway in its entirety, the route can often be busy but offers good overtaking opportunities through areas of outstanding natural beauty. Highlights include the Westbury White Horse and many small villages hosting rustic pubs, lovely walks and weekend retreats.

The 5 routes documented here offer a starting point for many amazing tours of the UK. On every stretch of road, any biker could easily find a number of welcoming B&B’s, pubs, country houses and hotels which offer a good night’s rest in preparation for more riding the next day. You’ll rarely get bored, and the element of diversity is consistently exciting and engaging.

In terms of motorcycle accessories, get a good map and some lightweight clothing for some of the warmer days spent riding. Infinity Motorcycles are a good bet for finding decent clothing at good rates, and they often have deals and packages available. Log on to www.infinitymotorcycles.com for more info.

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