Three out of every five callouts for broken-down motorcycles are for tyre problems, says National Motorcycle Alliance not-for-profit roadside assistance service.
Alliance GM Dave Cooke says 62% of callouts last year were for tyre problems and the second biggest reason was flat batteries, a problem that recently even sidelined Bruce Springsteen.
“Biggest tips for riders is to carry a puncture kit and know how to use it,” says David who races a Honda 600 in Pre-modern Formula 2 and a Suzuki Titan 500 smoker in Post Classic. He also rides a new Honda Africa Twin as his road bike.
Dave also advises riders to have their charging system checked when they get a flat battery.
“Too many riders just get us to jump-start them, then they need another callout a few days later because it was actually the charging system that was the problem and flattened the battery.
“But it’s difficult to diagnose on the side of the road sometimes.”
After five years, the NSW Motorcycle Alliance has officially become a national organisation, with a new name to fit the bill, the National Motorcycle Alliance.
“Changing the name to the National Motorcycle Alliance was inevitable really”, says Dave.
“Our 24-hour roadside assistance program operates nationally, and having NSW in our name just caused confusion. Many people assumed we only operated in NSW, but we’ve worked nationally since day one. We are just based in NSW, which is why it was in the name originally.”
Dave says the Alliance picked up or fixed bikes for more 900 stranded Australian motorcyclists last year.
“The most remote callout was to pick up a rider with a broken-down KTM out past Tilpa, NSW. We towed him over 100km back to Cobar,” he says.
The National Motorcycle Alliance provides motorcycle memberships for $45 a year which includes the first two callouts free every year and up to 50km of free towing.
“If you break down and you are not already a member, we can’t help,” Dave says.
“We only look after members who joined in good faith with their bikes in good condition. That’s the only way we can continue to do it for the price we do.”
Members can also cover their car, for less than most other roadside assist providers, he says.
The Alliance also provides insurance for social clubs and ride groups for their events.
Dave says they do a “huge amount of work” with governments, advocating for better rules and systems for the future of motorcycling.