MCN Fleet: How hard is it to pick up a Harley?

I thought I’d never answer this question, but sadly I found out first hand...

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It was all going so well. In my last report I said how after around 5000 miles it had all come together and I was really gelling with the bike. Summer was upon us and I was cruising around with the music blaring and the wind in my hair. Then one sunny evening I was riding home down the A1 and pulled off to get some petrol. I stopped at a roundabout and just as I was about to move off, I saw something approaching very quickly in my mirrors. The next thing I know, I was skittering along the ground and the Harley was crashing onto the roundabout.

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The driver lept out and was profusely apologetic but that still didn’t stop me wondering – how the hell am I going to get this 375kg behemoth up onto its wheels and off the roundabout? Thankfully it was surprisingly easy. Lying as it was on the pannier and crashbar, it was just a case of flicking the stand out and levering it over the top of itself but in doing so, the damage was immediately apparent.

The force of the impact had smashed in the rear light cluster and broken the mudguard. The left exhaust and pannier were bent away and had taken the subframe with them. The right pannier was dented and scratched where it had gone down the road, along with the footboards, crashbar, exhaust and bat wing. A few bikers passed as all this was going on and each one stopped to offer help, which went a long way to raising my dipped spirit.

The insurers recently sent through the estimate, which was £6659 – not bad for a little shunt. The nature of the accident meant that both panniers had to be replaced (£655 each) as well as the exhausts (£440 each), the indicator bar (£483), the subframe (£587) and various other bits and pieces. The one most expensive item was the rear mudguard, which cost an eye-watering £744. Despite the big bill, the bike is expensive to being with, so it wasn’t written off. To expedite things though, Harley kindly swapped out my long term bike while the other one was repaired and it’s almost identical, except it’s blue. The king is dead, long live the king.

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