A few days later I got a call from friend belonging to the shipping company that the bike had reached my city and that I should go and collect it. After my office hours, I reached the place in Bhiwandi which is around 40kms from my place. At the desired location, I had to wait for sometime till someone at the office got free and paid heed to my request. It was pitch dark outside by now and finally we went to the shed where my bike was kept.
The person opened the shutter and turned ON the lights. Visibility was still low. The person showed me around the bike and with what I could see in the dimly lit room, that the bike was not in good condition. My heart beat was racing!
Upon close inspection, I inferred that the bike must have been fallen down either during the transport or when the bike was being unloaded from the truck. The packaging was damaged as I recollected the original packaging prior to it getting shipped from Delhi. The spare stepney which was tied along with the bike was removed and kept aside. The room was so dark that I had to use my mobile torch. The main battery terminals were disconnected and the wires we pulled off from the joints. At many places dents could be seen. Handlebar was moving too and fro and gear shifter lever was bent.
I went in total shock. I had to get my bike up and running at get it home at any cost. I managed to somehow make the connections on the battery. Thanks to one guy nearby who lend me an insulation tape to fix the cable joints. The speed of the work was very slow due to poor visibility. I tried to argue with the office guy but he said he too was helpless and didn’t know what had caused the problem at first.
I spent around 2 hrs. fixing my bike and finally it was in a condition to go home. I was totally pissed off with my friend for handling the bike in such a way. It was not at all a professional work done by them. I had trusted them solely on the basis that he was my friend’s friend and belonged to the same motorcycle club. The assurance what he had given me earlier totally went down the drain.
I took the delivery receipt and blasted off from that place. Riding a few kilometers, I noticed some rubbing sound coming from my rear tyre. I took my bike on the side of the road and upon inspection, I saw that the rear swing arm was bent and as a result the tyre was rubbing against one side of swing arm. This made me even more mad and right at that place, I phoned the friend and gave him left and right. But, what shocked me even more was that his casual approach towards the condition of my bike and said that this was normal kind of damage. He did not even apologize at first for his mistake, leave alone the taking responsibility part. This really enraged me. I told him clearly over the phone that “does this look like a normal damage to you “where one even can’t start the bike!
I had to drive in 2nd gear to reach home safe. I was not able to shift up due to the lever being bent. I guess, it took me around 2 hrs to reach home.
The very next morning, I called my friend again to tell the story but, it was the same reply from his side. ” This is normal damage”. It was useless speaking further to him and after many heated arguments, I hung up the call.
In the afternoon, I went to service centre to show the condition of my bike for which they gave me a 40K repair estimate! Even after sending that estimate to my friend, he kept mum and did not paid attention. He was taking undue advantage of the situation since he was far away from me.
Finally, it was covered under warranty and I had to pay 2K from my pocket to close the deal and ready the bike once again for touring! Claim settlement took time but I had no any other option.
The trip ended on a good note but seeing this much damage on the bike really made me cry. It was like someone had intentionally damaged the bike. What made me even more sad was that the other fellow was not ready to apologize for the things he had done, leave alone paying for the damages. I even took the battle to FB and other social media, spreading his name and company’s doings and telling all my biker friends to not to deal with him in future.
Sending your bike through roadways is always tricky and at risk but in this case, it was total lapse of responsibility. Maybe, I thought that the journey had ended and so, them knowing this, had shown total lack of care while handling my bike.
It’s always better to drive yourself up to the destination but for people like us, who don’t get much holidays owing to a job, this is the only option to cut down on unnecessary travel days.
Last but not the least, I would like to say that things like this are a part of the journey and we have to deal with it and move on. Only thing you can take back with you are the experiences and lesson’s learnt and apply them in future so that you don’t make the same mistakes.
Uttarakhand was and will always remain beautiful! It a request to you to please visit this beautiful and less crowded state once in your lifetime!
See you soon on the road!