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First fall

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Turnip, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Hi everyone

    I've been hanging around here for some time now, but haven't had anything to say until now. I've been riding a 50cc hired scooter for a month and a half while I've been doing my lessons (assessment in early January). I've covered a few thousand kilometers at least.

    The last few days have been quite wet, and today on my way home from my bike lesson, I had a front wheel slide in a carpark. I found myself on the ground with a bruised left elbow and right knee.

    I was properly attired - leather jacket, full faced helmet, gloves and draggins (only a day old), so I wasn't hurt badly. The scooter's another story - front wheel doesn't point the same way as the handlebars anymore, and it's a bit worse for wear.

    I think the accident was probably caused by my front brake - the disc is warped, so it's always been very rough when stopping. I complained about this a few times to the hire place and they said they'd replace it when another scooter became available. Four weeks later, they still haven't replaced it, so I'm of the opinion that I shouldn't be paying for the damage.

    I also had pretty good timing - two minutes after the fall, one of my collegues showed up to visit the computer store near where I fell (which is quite a coincidence considering our office is 20km away), and he was able to give me a lift home.

  2. Russ, I don't like hearing that anyone has taken a fall. I hope the injuries end up just being minor superficial ones and that you're 100% really soon.

    The situation you're in about not paying could be sticky depending on whether the place you hired from are or aren't pricks. Is there any documentary evidence (either their records or a letter/fax by you) showing that you've complained about a scooter that has problems? If so, you should be able to stand your ground about not paying.

    There's two ways people could comment here. The first is that you shouldn't have ridden a scooter with a dodgy front brake. The other way is that the hire place is negligent for not doing anything about it. Either way isn't going to help you so I hope nobody labours either of those arguments.

    I hope you can sort this out rationally and not having to argue. I'd be taking the same stance as you. Good luck.
  3. Thanks

    I agree - I probably shouldn't have continued riding the scooter with a dodgy front brake, but the fact was these people were considerably cheaper than the next cheapest hire place, and for a 3 month hire period, that really makes a difference. My reasoning was that I didn't think it was a serious enough problem to justify returning it, as I still felt in control. Of course, that all changes when you ride through an oil slick.

    At least when I get on a real bike and go riding out in the bush and have my first fall, it won't be my first fall (Same as what the more experience rally drivers told me when I joined their car club, having already had a couple of car accidents).

    I really wasn't hurt badly. I'm a little bit stiff, but I've hurt myself worse tripping over while running.

    I hope I won't have to argue with them - I don't think we'll be talking about a large amount of money for repairs, and their attitude will decide whether I go back to them for another month's hire, and whether or not I recommend them to other people. The boss wasn't in today, so I haven't discussed it yet.

    Unfortunately I don't have anything in writing showing I complained about the brake. The best I can do is I have a mechanically minded friend who's been riding for a number of years who had a quick look at it for me a few weeks ago.
  4. The front disc should still be warped now shouldn't it :idea:
    Evidence that they sent you out on a dodgy scoot. A big No No for them.
  5. & you subsequently found out why they were considerably cheaper as well didnt ya :LOL:
    & it wasent sufficient enough for you to look elsewhere was it? Now that shits hit the
    fan you start crying foul. :roll:

    You rode a scooter knowing it was defective. You took on the risk. It didnt pay off so
    now, IMHO, you should be made to cough up for the damages you're responsible for.
  6. Bugger! Hope you are ok. Get back on is my motto :)
  7. Repeat after me "No front brake at low speeds in turns or rain!".

    Regards, Andrew.
  8. Russ, Typhoon is right, apart from any other comments and discussion on your off, there is a learning aspect he has pointed out, don't overlook it. I am sorry it happened and am glad you weren't badly damaged, Hope you stay safe and it works out for you.
  9. Thanks for all your input.

    I've been running through it in my mind, and now I'm not so sure I was on the front brake at the time - I thought I was because of the way the front wheel moved, but it's quite possible that it just slipped on the oil slick without the front brake on.

    I had been accelerating, as I was heading out of the carpark - if I'd been on a geared bike I'd have been in second gear at this point. The scooter fell to the left, and I came to rest about a meter away landing on my left elbow and right knee.

    I can also remember the noise of the engine a little more clearly than what my hands were doing, and I don't think the throttle was closed.

    If this is the case, I'm still annoyed that I was given an un-roadworthy scooter, but it probably didn't contribute to the accident.

    Hopefully I'll be able to find another scooter to use until I get my license - once I do my boss will get me a 125cc scooter to use for work and for getting around until I can afford my own bike.

  10. Bummer about your fall, Russ. You're right, at least your mate rocked up just in good time.
  11. I've just got back from the hire place - they're charging me $125 for the damage, and I've decided not to argue about it.

    The guy said "If you had a problem with it, you should have brought it back and swapped it". They would seem to be really disorganised and not communicate with each other - I asked for that three times and each time I was told "We'll call you when one becomes available, probably tomorrow."

    Anyway, now I've got another scooter. It's done 4000km more than the other one, and the engine's a bit rough, but the brakes are nice and smooth. The handling had me a bit worried for a bit before I realised they hadn't put any air in the tyres, so I pulled into a servo and sorted that out.

    Also, the chiropracter said I'm fine, and the stiffness will go away soon :) Can't wait until January when I can get my license and get off these pissy 50cc things.

  12. :cool: :cool:
  13. Is there not some other hire place you get a scoot from? These guys sound like total f'heads. You'll probably get yourself killed riding their poorly maintained/defective machines. :shock:

    Name 'em and shame 'em. I wouldn't want to do business with people like that. :evil:
  14. The other scooter places I looked at charged 50% more, plus insurance, plus extra km's. Would be cheaper to drive. The company I work for will be buying me a scooter as soon as I get my license, but it doesn't make any sense to buy a 50cc scooter if I'm only going to keep it a month.

    I was turning right today, and found my indicator kept cutting out whenever the engine was idling (if idling is the right word) and the brake light was stuck on, so I called them up and said I'd be returning it.

    They gave me another one and I insisted on checking it out thoroughly before I left. This one is actually pretty good - I'm quite happy to continue riding it until January (it still needed a little bit more air in the tyres, but it wasn't dangerously low like the last one).

    I had a bit of an argument with the boss, who turned up as I was about to leave on the replacement replacement scooter. He checked out the one I returned and said there was nothing wrong with it (the lights had fixed themselves by this point). He was quite rude, and went off at me for calling it unroadworthy, cos the secretary would have taken it off the road and he could rent it out to someone else...

    That's very good business sense - customer says there's something wrong with it so he gives the customer a replacement then tells the customer that he'll rent this one out to someone else... He could have at least told me he'd check it out first.

    It's very true that you get what you pay for. They are considerably cheaper than any other hire company, but I'm glad that after I return this scooter in January I won't have any further use for a 50cc scooter. The company is called Yellow Hire.

    My advice would be to thoroughly check out any hire vehicle before you hand over money for it - check all lights, tyre pressures, engine idling, seatbelts (if it's a car) etc, and if something doesn't feel right once you get it on the road, take it straight back. Lots of hire places just don't care and will send out a vehicle right after it's been returned without even looking at it. In the case of a scooter/bike hire place, you also have to assume that the staff don't ride, and if they did test it they probably just rode it around the driveway.