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Topic: AMA Road service... is it worth it?  (Read 82153 times)

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timgray
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« on: July 28, 2014, 08:57:53 am »

Most of the places I ride are back roads and rural, I keep hearing about guys that have  the AMA road service but they never have had to use it.    Does the AMA know to tell tow trucks to send a flatbed with all the proper straps for towing a bike?  or do they simply try to call a random tow service from the phone book like I would try and then hope the driver doesnt trash your bike?

The wife and I are planning on riding Route 66 from end to end next year and even though my bike is in like new condition and maintenance  I still like the idea of having a plan B in hand.
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 09:17:19 am »

Used it some years back and it worked fine, flatbed, no grief.
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 08:25:31 am »

I've used it a few times for the car, but haven't needed it for the bike yet. My only complaint is the length of wait for the tow truck to show up. They also seem to contract out to the cheapest garage, so the equipment might not be too recent. YMMV
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 08:44:03 am »

Does the AMA have a towing distance limit, like 50 miles?

When you're out west it could very well be more than 50 miles to the nearest qualified service center.

I used to have Honda one (or was that the AMA one?) years ago as it was cheap, but they had that distance limit. I have since switched to rvroadhelp.com, as they don't have any distance limits, cover all the vehicles our family drives or borrows, and has generally been responsive.

Back when I was on the Honda/AMA one, when I was in the middle of nowhere at 3pm on Saturday night with cords comingout of my tire I called them up and asked them to tell me where the closest shop was, and to notify the shop that I was on my way. Instead they spent my precious cell phone battery asking what color the bike was etc. and when my battery died I just rode to the nearest town and took care of it. Fortunately the shop stayed open late for me.

Now that we have smartphones and the ability to look up shops easily, the benefits of roadside assistance comes into play when paying the bills or when you're in places with voice service only (i.e. no data coverage). If you have roadside assistance on your insurance plan, that may help with the bills part.

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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 01:29:58 pm »

Have only used once to jump start my car when battery finally died.  Service was quick, within 15 minutes, Tech was proficient, equipment was clean and in good repair.  A friend used his AMA coverage to recover his FJR over by George, WA.  Flatbed Truck arrived within 30 minutes, had proper straps and chock for bike, driver knew how to use equipment and knew where to find a mechanic who turned out to be pretty good.
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 06:17:02 pm »

Used it once for a bike, flatbed arrived and worked fine.  Twice for cars, again flatbeds.  Just got my renewed membership card today  Smile
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 07:11:36 pm »

Towing distance cap is 35 miles.

I used it once for a dead battery on my bike at about 1am in the morning. Truck showed up within 30 minutes. Handed me the jumper box and I started the bike. No issues.

Used it again for a lock-out of my truck in the middle of the day. It took about 2 hours for them to get me. I was within minutes of a few different towing companies but they did not have an agreement with any of them. The guy that came was from a town 1.5 hours away.

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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2014, 02:37:21 am »


The wife and I are planning on riding Route 66 from end to end next year and even though my bike is in like new condition and maintenance  I still like the idea of having a plan B in hand.


A month before your ride call AAA and sign up for their premier RV coverage.  
RV covers M/C's plus cars, and everything in between, and premier has 200 miles of towing coverage.  
These AAA contractors are pro's.
A month ahead means you'll receive your AAA membership card in time - no sweat.
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 11:46:35 am »

Used mine for the second time last Saturday.  Dead battery again, different car though.  6 year old original battery in an Altima.  Same good response as the first time, guy with the jump start box arrived in about 15 minutes, car was running in a couple of minutes.  Off to the store, wrenches at hand, to buy and install new battery in parking lot.  
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2014, 03:50:39 am »

I've used mine several times.  Only once for the bike.

It took a long time for the tow company to get to me when I was on the bike, but they arrived with a flatbed and the proper equipment to tie my bike down.

Both times I've used it for cages, they tow arrived quickly and everything went well.

There is a fairly short range for the tow- the 35 miles mentioned seems about right.

On the other hand, I have my AMA membership set up to automatically renew, and this gets me my towing coverage for free.
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 09:27:28 am »

The one time I needed help (bent front wheel/flat tire after an encounter with a piece of pulp wood), I was told it would be 3 hours before anyone would be available. This on the I-95 corridor (don't ask) near the VA/NC border, not out in the boonies. Ended up getting assistance via my local BMW club with a call home to son, who posted a thread in the club forum. The tow guy was relieved when I called to say we didn't need him.

My breakdown happened at 3:30 pm on a Friday. So if you can plan your emergency for a non-rush time, you should be fine.

P
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 10:08:40 am »

I am now trying to figure out how to plan any future emergencies during more convenient times. I'm lucky to never have had an "emergency" so I hope you/I didn't hex me.

 Lol  Lol
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 06:14:09 pm »


I am now trying to figure out how to plan any future emergencies during more convenient times. I'm lucky to never have had an "emergency" so I hope you/I didn't hex me.

 Lol  Lol


 
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2014, 07:11:03 pm »


The one time I needed help (bent front wheel/flat tire after an encounter with a piece of pulp wood), I was told it would be 3 hours before anyone would be available. This on the I-95 corridor (don't ask) near the VA/NC border, not out in the boonies. Ended up getting assistance via my local BMW club with a call home to son, who posted a thread in the club forum. The tow guy was relieved when I called to say we didn't need him.

My breakdown happened at 3:30 pm on a Friday. So if you can plan your emergency for a non-rush time, you should be fine.

P


You know, lionlady, I was actually thinking about that incident a few days ago when I noticed a log in the road. I saw your wheel and I still don't know how you stayed upright or got the bike to the shoulder, let alone avoiding I-95 traffic. That must have been a damn fine bit of riding.

Back to the OP:
I think the 35 mile limit makes the AMA service fairly useless if you do more than ride your cruiser to the corner bar. UHOH's advice above re. AAA RV coverage is great and I've gone that way, but not every state's AAA offers it. Check first.

The other option is to get the towing coverage from your regular insurance company for the trip. It should be dirt cheap and you can often cancel it at will anyway.

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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 03:20:27 am »

The OP, TimGray, has not visited this thread since he started it in July.  This is now December.  
So, if TimGray is not interested in our info to help him, let's let this thread die.
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Re:
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2014, 10:46:20 am »

Didn't notice that.  Lol
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2015, 03:08:34 am »

I've had RVRoadhelp towing service for over ten years and have used them three times.  Allstate is the insurer and you also get KOA discounts.  Their deal is this; they'll tow (whatever you're riding or driving) to wherever you have to go to get fixed!  Period.  No mileage restrictions.  Waiting for a flatbed one year in the middle of WA state, their dispatcher told me they towed a Harley with a trailer from somewhere north of Fairbanks to Anchorage to get him back on the road.  Cost them over $1,500.  No out of pocket expenses that would ruin your tour.  It's about $70 a year to start and it goes up ten bucks a year until it levels off at just over a hundred.  Very very satisfied.  Got rid of AAA+ and MTS (and) saved money in the switch.  Good luck on Route 66!
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2015, 04:16:02 am »




A month before your ride call AAA and sign up for their premier RV coverage.  
RV covers M/C's plus cars, and everything in between, and premier has 200 miles of towing coverage.  
These AAA contractors are pro's.
A month ahead means you'll receive your AAA membership card in time - no sweat.


Just an F.Y.I. if you live in Connecticut AAA does not have the premier RV plan and does not  provide ANY coverage for motorcycles in ANY of it's plans (but they will provide bicycle assistance in it's top plan).

Gerry
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Gerry Petrecca
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2015, 02:17:35 pm »

I've had AAA RV for years, 100 mile range--sounds good, right?  You're limited to three free tows per year, but they'll find providers otherwise.

With now four bikes in our garage, we've had more occasions to use it than I'd like.  Twice, in Seattle, before rush hour on a sunny day, we've been told there were no providers--once last August when the Kaw broke down three miles from home, and once three weeks ago, when I was trying to get the Duc towed. Both times AAA reimbursed for service by outside providers.  I wonder if being in an urban setting hindered the availability of service. Tow companies were going to get business regardless and motorcycles are more work to load and unload.  The last time the BMW's battery died was in November in the rain and I waited three hours for a truck.

One provider did a sling-tow of the BMW, after I got a flat tire.  It was a five-mile tow but the truck still bottomed out the T-bar a couple of times.

When I started riding ten years ago, I was so nervous about my inexperience and motorcycles' reputation for poor reliability that I researched and made a list of all providers in the area that would take motorcycles. It was a short list--perhaps 25% of all towing companies in the area.  Our insurance includes towing coverage, you might want to check your policy and see if it suits a long trip.
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