Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old May 7th, 2008, 6:24 pm Thread Starter
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Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

AAA has sent me another invitation to join. I was a member for a while, but with new vehicles replacing the old, it just didn't seem worth it. But, if I take some long motorcycle trips, maybe it'd be good to have.

When I was stranded at Borrego Springs with a banged-up HD, a friend of mine called AAA for a tow, and they just kept giving later and later times to get a truck there. Eventually, we convinced someone he knew to drive down with his trailer, and I paid him to haul it back. AAA's service was lousy, but we were in the middle of nowhere.

So, is AAA worth it? Is there a better service for motorcycles?

When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.
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Bob
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post #2 of 13 Old May 7th, 2008, 6:32 pm
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

Bob,

What's "peace of mind" worth to you? I've been an Auto Club member for more than three decades & it's the one automotive expense I don't mind paying, even though I've NEVER had the occasion to use the service.

Cheers,

C. E. Doerr

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post #3 of 13 Old May 7th, 2008, 6:41 pm
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

I have had good experiences with AAA, both for my cars and motorcycles. I had 3 occasions to use them for the bike, no problems either time.

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post #4 of 13 Old May 7th, 2008, 6:53 pm
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

I had to use them a few weeks back when I bent my front wheel in a nasty pothole. My AAA membership had expired the day before but they let me renew by phone and sent a flatbed for my LT. A word of advice though... you may want to carry with you the instructions to properly tie down the LT. The tow driver insisted on tying down the handlebars and I had to convince him not to.

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post #5 of 13 Old May 7th, 2008, 8:14 pm
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

It cost us $35 to upgrade our policy to include the bike. We also have coverage with Progressive. Worth it to me, if we only use it once.

I made the mistake of trying to push my GS850 Suzuki touring bike (up hill) one day when it wouldn't start, just a block or so from my house, way back when I was too young to know better.......my back has never been the same. "Old too soon, smart too late", as my pop used to tell me.

As far as knowing how to tow properly, I had my 97 Ford van towed last year. The guy used the seat belt to lock the steering, and almost ruined the safety system for the belts, which would have cost over $500. Thankfully, after a few tries the local garage was able to reset the system. And, interestingly, they had two other vehicles that just suffered the same damage in the garage the previous week from being towed the same way.

I would not want their job.

Looks like another detail I need to look into as well, just in case.
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post #6 of 13 Old May 7th, 2008, 8:38 pm
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

I've used AAA for years with mixed results. The problem, especially in remote areas, is that the tow service AAA has contracted with in that area doesn't neccessarily live up to AAA standards. I've had no shows and excessive delays, not to mention some poorly trained drivers I'd rather not let touch any of my vehicles. This is not limited to AAA, I've experienced the same issues with other tow service contracts as well. After all, if there is only one tow service in the area, chances are it doesn't matter which service you contracted with you're going to get the same tow truck. I'd still use AAA in most cases since they do try to help and let them know if the local company they contracted with isn't doing their job.
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post #7 of 13 Old May 8th, 2008, 3:07 am
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

I've never been towed by AAA, but they have brought me gas on a couple of occasions.

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post #8 of 13 Old May 8th, 2008, 7:33 am
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

I have an all inclusive roadside service, including towing, with Allstate. It's a program offered through the Good Sam Camping Club. Around $90/year as i remember. It coveres my car, truck, RV and both motorcycles as well as any vehicle that I happen to be riding in whether I own it or not. I've used it three times in three different states. Once for a blown tire on the truck and twice for towing with the bikes. In all cases the service was excellent and was provided in a timely manner.

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post #9 of 13 Old May 8th, 2008, 8:58 am
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

I have been a AAA member for over 30 years. It's mostly that my parents were always members, and inertia. My wife is on it too, which costs extra. There is a peace of mind that comes with knowing that she has a number to call in case her car breaks down and I am not around to help. They make good maps. We use them for some travel planning, but not insurance.

Very rarely, we have used them for emergency roadside service. They have been prompt and helpful. It's nothing special, just a contract with local towing companies.

I don't know that it is worth buying a full AAA membership, then adding the extra cost for the motorcycle addition, just for emergency motorcycle service only. If you have other vehicles and other family members who might want the service, then it might be worth it. I would compare it with other services to see what they offer. Sometimes the devil is in the details - how far will they tow before adding charges? Etc.

The one time I needed service for my motorcycle, they were prompt and helpful. The battery died. It was late at night and the bike wouldn't start, not even from a jumper. I was in Orange County, CA (urban/suburban). They came and strapped my motorcycle to a large flatbed tow truck. They winched it up to the front of the bed, and then used straps to compress the suspension as hard as they could and keep the bike upright. The tow truck was not designed for motorcycles, but it worked, and there was no damage to the bike. They brought me and my bike home, and I replaced the battery the next day.

One interesting note. After calling AAA, I got a return call from the local service, and they asked me what kind of motorcycle I had. They were clearly relieved that it was an old Honda. I asked the tow truck driver about it, and apparently they don't like Harleys and other expensive motorcycles, because the owners complain of towing-related damage later. It wasn't clear what would have happened if I had owned a Harley (or my current BMW). Would they have passed me along to someone else? Would I have had to wait for hours? I don't know.

You may want to ask who the local service provider is, and then call them to see how they handle towing with your bike.
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post #10 of 13 Old May 8th, 2008, 9:43 am
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

When we had a FD breakdown right at the Nevada/Utah border, we called back to Ely, Nv. and got Denny's towing. Denny came out 55 miles to get us in his custom MC trailer and towed us back to Ely. Then he got on the phone with AAA and made sure that they would pick up the entire tab. If you ever break down near Ely, call Denny's Tow, he knows how to handle AAA. They paid the full bill.

Dan King
2000 K1200LTC
Springville, Ca
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post #11 of 13 Old May 8th, 2008, 11:27 am Thread Starter
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

Some good feedback. Thanks.

I have used AAA once, when my buddy ran out of gas. We were hiking Lake Havasu, and didn't realize that from the entrance of the reservation it was 50 miles to the top of the canyon. We drove to it, drove back another 50, and were on fumes when we left the reservation. The only nearby gas station was closed, but we did make it to a tourist trap nearby and called AAA. It was a 60 mile drive to get to use, from Kingman I think, but they did it in an hour and a half or so. The drivers were fun to talk to. Hauling gas to our area was not uncommon, it seems. Really helped us out. Like Mike said, they contract with local businesses, so it's kind of the luck of the draw, except that they may have a decent screening and feedback process.

How would it compare to AMA's Motow (which can cover cars apparently too). And, has anyone tried Internatinal Helping Hands? I see this on the AMA site, and it looks like a neat idea.

When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.
- Maxwell Anderson

Bob
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post #12 of 13 Old May 8th, 2008, 1:19 pm
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Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn_Keen
I have an all inclusive roadside service, including towing, with Allstate. It's a program offered through the Good Sam Camping Club. Around $90/year as i remember. It coveres my car, truck, RV and both motorcycles as well as any vehicle that I happen to be riding in whether I own it or not. I've used it three times in three different states. Once for a blown tire on the truck and twice for towing with the bikes. In all cases the service was excellent and was provided in a timely manner.
It's probably "RV Roadhelp", at least that's what it is called if you you buy it through KOA like I did.


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post #13 of 13 Old May 8th, 2008, 1:32 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Is AAA with motorcycle coverage worth it?

I have AAA Plus w/RV coverage that extends the range of miles they will pay. With the long distance between dealers it made sense to me. Espically for my Guzzi's. I used it last year with a car and I ending up paying $1.30. Without it it would have been around $90.
Jim

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