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Old 06-14-2019, 09:34 AM   #1
NeilInPacifica
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Educate Me on AAA for Motorcycle Towing

I have some long trips planned and was curious what others experience has been using them for motos.

In my research I came across the following exclusion that surprised me [in red]:

What is Covered
The Company will provide benefits for Trip Interruption due to the following events:
1. Vehicle disablement due to Mechanical Breakdown (excluding tire trouble), substantiated by garage or repair facility or rental car
company report;
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:38 AM   #2
cheez
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I believe that's for "Trip Interruption" coverage which covers things like hotels and meals if your vehicle breaks down and it takes you time to get it home. I've had AAA tow me for flats before without issue.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:39 AM   #3
295566
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You only get moto coverage through AAA if you have their highest paid plan, which includes RV's and motorcycles. I'd recommend getting an AMA membership which includes free towing instead of AAA (not too moto friendly IMO)
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:02 AM   #4
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I'd recommend getting an AMA membership which includes free towing instead of AAA (not too moto friendly IMO)
Same here. I've had my car towed twice via AMA. A no-brainer.

Sometimes you can Google moto-friendly towing people in the areas you will ride. Indeed, there's a big difference between a generic towing company, and one that knows how to and have the proper tools to grab a motorbike.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:06 AM   #5
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AMA towing is 35 miles
AAA towing is 200 miles
Pay attention when signing up for AMA. You do not automatically get roadside assistance with your membership.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:42 AM   #6
Crispietogu
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I pay for the highest AAA coverage and it's been great on tow. I towed 2 bikes so far and they been both a good experience
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:45 AM   #7
davidji
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I think I've used AAA Premium once for a bike tow. Worked fine, though of course there was a wait. For as long as I've had it, it would have worked out better to not carry it and just pay for that tow.

Last time I tried to use it for my car on a roadtrip, I was unable to. I didn't have enough local knowledge to fill in all the stuff on their web interface, and couldn't get through on the phone. If their DMV services weren't helpful I would have dropped them altogether after that.

It seemed like they made their service much worse over time: an automated system that can be difficult to navigate for a stranded motorist, and fewer people answering the phones.

I have AMA towing, but haven't used it. Their distance isn't enough for the moto tow I did with AAA.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:30 PM   #8
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If you have reliable, newish type bikes, which you do, I think I go along with davidji's comment, just pay for the tow you may need.

In all the riding I've done, I've only required two tows, both the same bike, my 91 VFR.

First was a failure just outside Beatty Nevada in 112F weather. Called a local tow company offering flatbeds, he was there within 20 minutes, transported bike and me to Las Vegas, great air conditioned truck, good conversation for about 75 miles, no bike damage, and as I recall $300 on the Visa

Second a few years later, bike craps out south of San Luis Obispo, stator and reg/rec failure. I had Honda's "Red Rider" plan -- and it took a lot of effort to get to the right people to help. They insisted on knowing the zip code before continuing in the question answer routine. How the hell do I know what the zip code is on the highway somewhere near Arroyo Grande -- couldn't they look it up? Nope.

So I had to find it out, then call and repeat the routine a 2nd time. FINALLY they agree to send for a tow truck -- but the truck wasn't equipped for motorcycles. The tow guy was great however, and managed to use his conventional truck on a short haul to the Honda dealer in San Luis Obispo.

The plan cost me time and aggravation. I'd rather have just called a local service and paid for it. Or maybe just call the Captain and have him come get you in his truck... (sorry, that's all I got...)
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:37 PM   #9
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They insisted on knowing the zip code before continuing in the question answer routine. How the hell do I know what the zip code is on the highway somewhere near Arroyo Grande -- couldn't they look it up? Nope.

So I had to find it out, then call and repeat the routine a 2nd time. FINALLY they agree to send for a tow truck...
In my limited experience with dispatch centres, I had to help them quite a bit before they could help me. Once, with the AMA, upon being asked 'which rear tyre do you have a puncture?', I had to explain my motorbike only has one rear tyre. Yep, the AMA. Go figure.

If I were going on a long, adventurous journey, I'd Google bike-friendly services along the route.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:51 PM   #10
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Not sure if you've gone down this route yet but your current insurance may provide some roadside assistance for a nominal amount. I have Progressive and pay $20 / yr for each motorcycle. I've had to tow my BMW 3 times this year and it's paid for itself already. They contract out the service and I can tow for any reason for up to 20 miles.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:27 PM   #11
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Can't recommend it enough.

Broke a chain in the middle of nowhere, got towed 100 miles to Redding, and then 200 miles to home... for nothing. Guy quoted me at almost 8k if I had to pay out of pocket.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:29 PM   #12
cheez
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So one thing to note- with AAA Premier you get one 200-mile tow per year covered. I hit a deer on 88 near Kirkwood and that night got towed to Carson City, because it was closer; the next day we realized having the Jeep worked on in Livermore made way more sense, so we had it towed back over the hill to Livermore and dropped at the insurance-recommended repair shop. Keep in mind that's 200 miles one way- that truck driver had to turn around and haul 200 miles back, empty.

If you wreck a bike out in the foothills, getting it back home can be valuable. It's always easier to deal with repairs locally. I think it's just another form of insurance and have been an AAA member for 20+ years.

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Originally Posted by i_am_the_koi View Post
Guy quoted me at almost 8k if I had to pay out of pocket.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck me, fuck him, fuck that, fucking hell!
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:31 PM   #13
SFSV650
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The roadside assistance programs bundled with my State Farm policy and Verizon cellphone have towed my bikes and cars with alarming frequency over the past decade, for flat tires, starting issues, brake failure, overheating, and an imploded fuel pump.

It's never cost me a penny. AAA has never seemed necessary given the above. YMMV.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SFSV650 View Post
The roadside assistance programs bundled with my State Farm policy and Verizon cellphone have towed my bikes and cars with alarming frequency over the past decade, for flat tires, starting issues, brake failure, overheating, and an imploded fuel pump.

It's never cost me a penny. AAA has never seemed necessary given the above. YMMV.
How far have you been from home when these incidents occurred?

Most insurance and other roadside assistance/towing services limit a range or dollar amount. My previous insurance company, Geico, would only cover the first $250 of a tow. I can tell ya, that's not going to get you too far.

AAA with their 200 mile tow has helped me and friends out when we're far from home. Their DMV services are also quite helpful.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:04 PM   #15
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I've had to tow my BMW 3 times this year
As the owner of a similar bike, I'm curious why.
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