Harley-Davidson® of Dallas
304 Central Expressway South, Allen, Texas 75013

214.495.0259
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HOW BAD IS MOTORCYCLE FLOOD DAMAGE?

November 02, 2018

DALLAS FLOODING RUINS MOTORCYCLES -- AND A LOT OF OTHER THINGS

a713a59127fe441f720541a776114977_81d47b02502b0de4.jpgAs this article is being written, Dallas is under a flood warning. A flood warning occurs when flooding is imminent or already going on. When the National Weather Service issues one, even areas outside the flood zone can experience gradual flooding.

The flood stage is 30 feet where minor flooding is already happening and there's more in the forecast. The National Weather Service says the river will continue rising before cresting this afternoon. If you're in one of the areas impacted by the warning, take precautions. Don't walk or drive through floodwaters. If waters rise around your car or motorcycle, get yourself to safety even if that means abandoning the bike.

FLOOD DAMAGED MOTORCYCLES IN DALLAS -- HOW BAD IS IT?

When you realized your bike was under water, it probably felt like a kick in the gut. That sinking feeling that followed is because you value your H-D®, but there's good news. Restoring a motorcycle that has been under water usually isn't as costly or difficult as fixing a car in the same situation. With cars, you probably already know once it's been submerged, it's trash.

The factors involved in restoring a flood damaged motorcycle depend on the following:

  • Whether the bike was dunked in salt or fresh water
  • What else was in the water (chemicals or debris complicate things)
  • Whether or not the force of water slammed your bike into something else
  • If water got in the crank case
  • How long the bike sat before you got it help
  • Whether or not you started it after you realized it was flooded (DON'T DO THIS!!!)
  • How high the water got

If the water only came half way up your tires, the water damage may only be in your front and rear axle. If it rose to your engine and muffler or your bike was fully submerged, the restoration process is more complex.

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T START YOUR BIKE AFTER FLOOD DAMAGE

You probably already know if you drop your cell phone in water, you shouldn't power it up. Once it's been submerged, water seeps into electrical components. If you add power it fries systems that are more expensive to repair than the value of the unit. It's the same with your bike.

Just being under water doesn't ruin your motorcycle. If it's got mud all over it from flooding it's okay to use the water hose to rinse it off. Then it's tempting to see if it will still start, but that might be the worst thing you can do. Dry it out first.

Get your bike to an expert as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time rust and corrosion have to build. Water gets into fork sliders, axles and wheel bearings, the starter, the motor and every inch of wiring. These things start to rust from the inside. Corrosion stays hidden under wire insulation, at electrical plugs and in circuit boards. Your bike may work at first then leave you stranded down the road.

H-D® FLOOD DAMAGE RESTORATION 

Water damage restoration is a complex process even for basic bikes. For newer Harley-Davidsons® there are components like your Electronic Control Module (ECM) that have to be programmed by an expert. 

If your motorcycle was only half flooded we'll remove your brake system and chains to clean, dry and grease where necessary. We'll clean your tires, add air and put everything back together, only without the moisture and debris. Even if your engine was under water restoration is possible. Our experts are thorough, checking every single place water could seep through. We'll address water in your fuel tank, spark plugs, combustion chambers, crank cases and electrical systems.

WILL MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE COVER FLOOD DAMAGE?

It depends. A standard liability policy probably will not. Comprehensive coverage often pays for loss or damage from causes other than collision, and this includes weather damage. If you have a note on your bike you probably carry more than just liability coverage.

At Harley-Davidson® of Dallas in Allen, we're here to help. If your bike was under water, we have finance and insurance specialists that can help you figure out the best way to get your bike back on the road. Don't put off repairs so that water damage turns into a more complex problem. Give us a call, let's talk about what your bike needs and what we can do to fix it. Call (214)495-0259 or schedule online today.