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Top Bike Breakdowns: The Most Common Motorcycle Warranty Claims in the UK

  • Top Bike Breakdowns: The Most Common Motorcycle Warranty Claims in the UK

In this article, we'll look at some of the most common motorbike warranty claims made in the UK and what protections owners have under UK consumer law.

Owning a motorbike can be an extremely fun and liberating experience. However, like with any vehicle, things can and do go wrong. When parts fail prematurely or issues come up that can't reasonably be attributed to wear and tear or rider error, UK motorbike owners have certain consumer rights that allow them to make warranty claims.

Manufacturing Defects  

One of the top reasons motorbike owners file warranty claims relates to manufacturing defects. This refers to parts that display flaws, imperfections, or mistakes that occurred during production in the factory. 

Some common motorcycle manufacturing defects include things like poorly molded plastic components, leaky gaskets or seals, incorrect wiring, loose brackets or fittings and improperly calibrated electronic control units (ECU). 

Premature Engine or Transmission Failures

Another prevalent motorbike warranty claim stems from premature failures of expensive powertrain components like engines and transmissions. These components obviously receive significant wear during use. However, modern engines and transmissions are generally expected to meet certain mileage or lifespan benchmarks when properly maintained.

So if an engine needs a top-end rebuild well before reaching expected major service intervals, or transmission gears become damaged or worn out prematurely, the warranty will typically cover at least a prorated portion of repair or replacement costs.

Electrical Gremlins 

The high number of electrical components and sophisticated ECU systems in place on most modern motorcycles also make them susceptible to electrical faults. 

Problems like shorted wiring harnesses, glitchy onboard computers, non-working instrument clusters, malfunctioning fuel pumps or ignition coils and charging system issues all fall under electrical warranty claims when they happen prematurely or without reasonable cause.

As the complexity of motorbike electrical systems increases with time, electrical gremlins also remain at the top of warranty complaints for UK bike owners.


Additional High-Cost Repairs

Beyond relatively straightforward manufacturing defects or premature failures of key components, motorbike owners also rely heavily on warranties for certain expensive repairs:

Replacing a broken crankcase on a liquid-cooled motorcycle can cost upwards of £1,000 - well outside most owners' budgets. Many bikes provide 3+ year warranties on crankcase cracks or similar structural failures.

ABS control unit or wheel speed sensor replacements often cost £500 or more. These components are usually covered for 1-3 years under standard or extended bike warranties.  

Repairing or replacing sophisticated electronic ride control systems (for stability, traction, suspension adjustment, etc) often hits four figures, making extended warranties vital.


What Warranty Lengths Are Typical?  

The majority of modern motorbikes sold in the UK provide a standard 12-month manufacturer's warranty covering parts, components, materials and build quality defects. Premium European brands frequently offer 24 months of coverage for extra peace of mind.

For buyers looking for long-term protection against expensive failures, purchasing an extended third-party warranty for 2, 3, or even 5 years represents an important investment. While adding to the initial purchase price, extended warranties help avoid potentially shocking repair bills down the road on costly components like engines or electronics.


Making a Motorbike Warranty Claim Against The Manufacturer

If an issue arises with a motorcycle that may fall under its warranty protections, the process of filing a claim is relatively straightforward. Here are the basic steps UK owners need to take:

  1. Review warranty details - Confirm issue falls within coverage limits based on bike age/mileage and the type of failure.
  2. Contact your dealer - Initial warranty assessments and covered repairs will be handled by trained technicians at an authorised franchise dealer.   
  3. Provide service records - Make sure to supply maintenance records to the dealer, as improper servicing or rider neglect can void certain claims.
  4. Undergo inspection & diagnosis - The dealer will thoroughly inspect, diagnose, and quote the warranty work required.  
  5. Authorise needed covered repairs - Once the claim is approved, the owner will sign off on the authorised dealer work.
  6. Pay any applicable excess or contributions - Depending on claim circumstances, an excess fee or owner contribution may apply upfront.
  7. Accept completed work/warranty repair process finishes.


Making a Motorbike Warranty Claim With Us

If you have a motorbike warranty product with us, then making a claim couldn't be easier. Give us all the information we need to get started on processing your claim online, over the phone, or in an email, so that we can get things moving. Once we have confirmed whether the fault will be considered, we'll ask you to visit any VAT registered garage to diagnose the issue, and provide an estimate for the repairs. Providing that we're happy with the estimate, we'll approve the repair and cover you for the cost, as per the terms of your warranty plan. Then it's time to get back on the road

Understanding consumer rights and navigating the warranty claims process is key to getting back on the road quickly when that new dream bike starts developing issues. While paying for protection plans represents an added expense, they can really pay dividends by avoiding massive repair bills - giving bike owners extra confidence.