On 30 July I joined the BMW Club on its annual winter ride to Sutherland. 11 of us elected to do a route on gravel and mostly rode together in convoy. After getting to the top of the Ouberg Pass we had a short break and then rode off towards Sutherland. The conditions were fantastic and other than some surface water the road was pretty good. There is some GoPro footage of the ride loaded showing the condition of the road. Approximately 14 minutes after the stop the front of my bike collapsed and I hit the ground heavily. I had my GPS on and the log shows that I was doing 45 kph (28 mph) and the front end of my bike collapsed. The rest of the group rallied around me but i could not be moved until the ambulance arrived some 90 minutes later. The bike was loaded onto a trailer (which was accompanying the main tar road group) and I was taken to hospital.
I suffered 10 broken ribs, a broken shoulder and punctured lung, and spent a week in hospital (part of which was in ICU).
At the time of the accident my bike was 7 months old and had done +-14 000 km. I had TKC tyres fitted on Wednesday 27 July and the bike was ridden and checked by Donford’s before the ride which started on Saturday.

A number of knowledgeable people looked at the bike and were puzzled to see that there was a stanchion separation and at that time nobody had previously seen this. I got some experts to look at the bike and all of them were puzzled and suggested that the forks should be sent for further analysis. I have some reports on the findings.

BMW Head Office said that they wanted to send the front end back to Germany for analysis and the bike was sent to JHB. I flew up on 17 October and filmed the dismantling of the front end. This was then sent to Germany for analysis.

After a number of emails to BMW enquiring about the status of the findings I was continuously told there was no news from Germany and that as soon as there was something then they would come back to me. I started to hear about other incidents with stanchion separation and increased the pressure on BMW, eventually putting them to terms to reply to me. I received an email from BMW South Africa on 12 June with a report basically stating that the stanchion separation was as a result of an impact and that it had nothing to do with the design or manufacture of the front forks.
All of this information plus the pics will be loaded elsewhere on the site, and I have instructed my attorney to issue summons to BMW.
Anyone who would like to contact me is free to call on +27 82 446 1417 or email me directly on cdowns@iafrica.com.

 

 

Medical Report

Hydraulic Oil Staining

GPS Logs

BMW Report Back