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Desperately need estimate!!!

1842 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  hogcowboy
My commuter bike was a clean, well-maintained 2006 Suzuki GS-500F that I purchased from a local dealership early this year. Less than a month after purchasing it, my ex made way into our gated community, removed the bike's cover and poured about half a gallon of house paint all over the motorcycle. I found it the next morning when I went out to warm it up for my commute.

I filed a police report because I knew who was responsible and I was hoping survelliance in the complex caught it.

I spent hours trying various ways to remove the paint, but it was everywhere. Ignition, every cable, rims and tires, behind the fairings, under the seat... EVERYWHERE. It took days for it to cook off anything that got hot so that came with smoke and odor. I had an issue starting it for a while... plugs maybe, fuel system... who knows. The seat was stained. Okay... I'll attach the pics taken by police for the report. Did I mention it was baby blue? The case went cold as there was nothing but my word against his.

Then... two months after the incident, I wreck on a 5 lane highway in San Francisco while approaching the Bay Bridge. I got cut off (pretty common in the area) and still question how it all happened. I never hit the guy but laid the bike down avoiding him. I have over 20 years experience, yet I'm not sure if I over corrected or my brakes felt a bit compromised as I was 25mph under the speed limit. I broke the handle bars, snapped the shifter and pegs off and somehow jammed up the alignment so it wouldnt even roll to the shoulder. Now, because it was still trashed from the unexpected paint job it had gotten months earlier, I let the tow company have it and signed the title over. No point, in spending more than it was worth to get her running and she still looked like **** from the paint. All of this was a sign to just let her go and take the loss. It totally sucked. :-( Hell, I still have road rash. Lol.

Fast forward another 2 or 3 months... out of nowhere... I learn who was responsible for vandalising my bike and I got evidence. I took it to the police and activity on my case had relaunched. I'm a single mother that works her ass off and I will be damned if I write off that bike that I spent months saving for... especially because some ******* just didnt get his way!

Now, charges were eventually filed against him and he was arrested for vandalism (misdemeanor). I also sued him in small claims court which we have in about 10 days. I simply asked for the amount that I paid for the bike about 3 weeks prior to the incident.

The District Attorney and City Police asked me to provide them with a repair estimate to add to the police report. Fortunately, my oldest daughter's dad was a certified motorcycle mechanic and kicked ass on body work.

He wrote up an estimate. Needless to say that the cost for parts was a lot, but the labor behind it was way beyond what the bike was worth.

I submit the estimate to be attached to the police report... several weeks go by and we go to his criminal hearing. His lawyer tried to throw it out because my ex doesn't work at a motorcycle establishment. His certification doesn't mean he is a "licensed professional."

The courts have pushed the case out for a month so that I can get another estimate. PROBLEM!!! I NO LONGER OWN THE BIKE and all I have are photos that the police took. I cannot find one business in the San Francisco Bay Area that is willing to write up an estimate simply based off of what they see on the photos. Some of them not only required that the bike be present, but they also wanted me to pay them upwards of $150! WTF is that all about??

I just need a professional to provide me with a summarized estimate to repair and/or clean up the bike based on photos of its condition after the incident. I think just the exterior or cosmetics of it alone would be sufficient. I only paid $2k for it. And since the bike is no longer around and photos are all we have, I can shop for estimates anywhere really.

PLEASE HELP!!! I am desparate and need this for court ASAP.

Thank you so much!
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What a pickle. If the tow company still has the bike, make sure they would allow someone to come over to look at it. Call your insurance company to see if they have someone that does damage assessments that will look at it. You may have to pay a fee.
If you manage to get someone from a dealership to look at it, you'll probably have to pay a fee. A dealership is not going to be anxious to help you, there's nothing in it for them. Plus they might lose an employee for a day if a defense attorney wants to ask questions about how did that employee arrive at a certain estimate.
I sympathize with you but I think you're between the proverbial rock and hard spot. I still wish you the best and I hope I am wrong.
It's hard for me to imagine that any business would want to be part of this if you are telling them the truth: that you no longer own the bike, have no intention of having any work done, and only need a document for the court. An estimate is a commitment to do the work stated for the price stated, so they do have some liability. Giving estimates for vehicles they can't actually see may even be illegal?

I know it's no help now, but I'll say it for the benefit of anyone else who might learn from your experience. It seems clear that the time to get that estimate was right after the damage was done, when there was some prospect of a shop getting work out of it, and before you started to clean it yourself.

I think you might have to get creative to get that estimate, like photoshop creative. A less risky alternative would be to state to the court that you are NOT able to get the document for repair, due to the circumstances, and present your ex's estimate simply to give an idea of the cost of the parts involved, along with the bill of sale from the original purchase, and say that since professional repair costs exceed the purchase price, that in light of the circumstances you will happy to be compensated for some amount less than the purchase cost, plus the defendant pays your court costs. If you can afford a good attorney, things might go a lot better for you.

On the bright side, It's probably a good thing that you don't have a ex who is lawyer.
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Oh Heck!
An estimate can not be done on a bike that is not physically there.
However, you could get prices for ALL of the parts that can be seen in the photos with paint on them, including tires. Show the price list to the judge in small claims court. Maybe that will help your case because the cost of all of the body parts alone will, or would have, probably totaled out the bike.
When in court (with photos, the receipt showing what you paid for the bike 3 weeks prior and your price list) I'd tell the judge the whole story and hope for a good judgment that you can live with.
Sorry to hear that your ex is such a jerk but you know what they say....
What Goes Around Comes Around ....
BTW. Have you thought about getting a restraining order against the guy?
Please let us know how it goes in court.

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I think Semifast has the only viable solution. You hosed yourself on this one unfortunately. You should have gotten an estimate the day or week after the incident. Yes, you would most likely have had to pay for the estimate being in the Bay area like you are. Your ex or whatever him or her was will be visited by miss karma some day. Jerks like that will get their rewards at some point. They are already living a screwed up life anyway so it will happen. They don't magically change and pay for their passed mischief. And that's what your case is even though to you it was much more. Just do the best you can now as Semi suggests and get this behind you and never look back. Eyes forward and chin up. You'll be fine in the end. Whatever you do, do not stoop to their level.
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Yeah only thing I think possible is what Semi Fast suggested since you got rid of the bike (This leaves me puzzled other than you got frustrated before you had evidence of the whom part) I would have gotten my pressure washer out and cleaned it immediately, paint is easily cleaned off in the first 24 hours.
Zep Orange cleaner would have worked to I bet. It does for overspray and that's some overspray.:) :) :)
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