• Tony Dymock

Death of a Motorcycle

There comes a time in a man's life when he must depart with something he cherishes so that he can obtain what his heart truly desires. For most people, this is a slice of freedom in return for the eternal loving embrace of a beautiful partner with whom they will spend their future. In my case, it is my motorcycle for ... I don't quite know yet. My 2010 BMW F800R is no more. Dead at 9 years old, with just shy of 50,000km on the clock.


Let's rewind a bit. Monday, 6th May 2019. The time is 1025pm, and the ambient air temperature is 18 degrees with low winds caressing the quiet streets. Such an environment lends itself to a clean blacktop ready to carve open with a two-wheeled death machine, and baby, I feel like doing some carving. It's cathartic. Good for the mind, good for the soul.


As I'm putting my gear on, the usual dread comes over me. It may surprise you that riding a motorcycle actually terrifies me. Having had a few crashes, I'm all too aware of the dangers drivers pose to me. But that's why I ride as much as possible. It makes me feel alive.


Fully geared up, I insert the keys, turn the ignition, and ... nothing. What? No low beams on? No light sweep on the gauges? Huh. Press the starter. Nothing. Odd. The bike worked fine this morning.


Turn the ignition off. Ignition back on. All lights, the horn, everything is going crazy. That's pretty strange. Ignition off, and back on again, and nothing. But hang on ... What's that smell? Oh shit, is that SMOKE in my helmet?


I quickly jumped off the bike and took a peek under the frame, only to see a ring of fire gathering brightness. The entire main electrical wiring harness is enveloped in flames and starting to drip off the bike. "That's new," I thought to myself as smoke begins to blanket the basement. I grab the hose and full power blast the motorcycle until the smoke stops. Well, damn. I guess that's the end of that ...


A quick call to the insurance company at 1130pm at night, and it looks like it'll be a fire claim. The bike is to be towed over to BMW where it'll be assessed by already know how this story ends. 9 years old, just shy of 50,000km. She served me well after my Ducati was stolen a few years back. She won't be coming back from BMW ever ...


The question now is - what to get next? I think I'm about done with European vehicles. They have proven to be extremely unreliable and cost a fortune to maintain. My Audi car was the worst, most expensive "luxury" vehicle one could imagine, and my BMW motorcycle just self-combusted. Maybe it's only the Germans - looking to self-immolate after all their past misdeeds of the 30s and 40s. Ok, bad joke. Whatever. Flame me on Twitter or something.


Maybe it's time to look at a nice, sensible, Japanese bike. The Mazda is much better than the Audi, so how about a Yamaha or Suzuki? Or will the dark side allure drag me back into Ducati land? Time will tell.


I am very much looking forward to throwing my leg over as many babies as possible though.*


* That's a reference to test riding motorcycles, not some implied non-consensual contact with babies. Disclaimer.

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Prahran, Victoria, Australia

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