Dealer fitted the wrong tyre speed rating to my motorcycle: Can I sue them?

Q. I had a new tyre fitted to my GSXR1000 by a small garage local to me. About a month later I took my bike to my main dealer for a service after I got back from Germany. Whilst in Germany I had ridden around the Nürburgring at speeds of up to 180mph. The problem I have is my main dealer tells me the tyre isn’t the correct one for the bike, and isn’t rated to go up to those kinds of speeds. The dealer reckons I could have been killed if the tyre had failed. I want to claim against the small garage for the fact I could have been killed and also for the cost of another tyre. Can I do this?


A. Thankfully you have not been hurt so therefore your only claim in my opinion is for the cost of a replacement tyre if you can prove the wrong one has been fitted. Whilst you may well have a good claim, it is likely this would be allocated to what is known as the Small Claims Track. This is because the financial value of your claim is below £5,000.00.

The Small Claim Track is designed so that people may bring their own claims without the use of a lawyer. If you do use a lawyer the disadvantage is it would be unlikely for you to obtain a costs order against the other side to cover the costs of the lawyer. The likelihood is that legal costs will equal a large part, or even exceed the amount you are claiming, so my advice would be to bring the claim yourself.

White Dalton Solicitors is Britain’s most specialist motorcycle law practice. Managing partner Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast and his bike riding barristers compile Motor Cycle Monthly’s legal column.

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