Chris' 1994  R100GS/PD ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650

Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

July 13, 2000

cRasH- Thrills, spills, and shipping to OZ

-- Story by Chris --

Saturday, June 8, we woke up again on the wooden floor of the large one-room home. It’s a simple house on stilts with creaky wooden floors, no telephone, a swing hanging from the rafters, and a bunch of grandchildren sleeping. We headed out to view one of the cousin’s farms, a rubber and pineapple plantation (over 50,000 pineapples) – the locals are all farmers, said to be land rich but capital poor.

We left the village around noon, heading back to KL some 470kms away.  It was a beautiful twisty mountain road, but I wasn’t feeling well, and we stopped several times so I could get sick or use the toilet.   It was a long day.... 

At around 4pm, we stopped at the small town of Raub to drink some fluids and have a brief rest.  KL was only 120kms away, and although we were tired, we decided to push on.  Erin took the lead, and we headed out of town.

In Malaysia, like most of Southeast Asia, road traffic drives in the left hand lane.  We were overtaking a row of vehicles (about 70-80km/h) when a small truck veered out of the line to make a right turn -- catching/smashing Erin’s left pannier, sending the bike up, spiraling around, and Erin went sliding (I couldn't see her anymore) head first into the oncoming lane.  It was a pretty scary.

I was riding about 15 meters behind Erin when this happened, and was stunned -- It took me a second or two to react, and so I smacked into the back of the truck -- I had slowed down, but not enough and there was a good "thunk" when the headlight crashbar smacked into the truck's high tailgate.

I jumped off the bike, ran around the truck, and saw Erin lying across the road in front of the oncoming traffic, which, thankfully had stopped.   Her helmet front was raised, and she didn't move or say anything as I approached -- In the past when she's dropped the bike or fallen, she immediately gets up and starts bitching and complaining about what caused it. 

I knelt down beside her, scared.  Fearing the worst, I simply said, "talk to me".  She inhaled deeply and replied, "I think I'm OK".  A visual scan confirmed nothing appeared out-of-the-ordinary, except she was lying in the middle of the road wearing full, but tattered, motorcycle gear (Thank God).

A crowd quickly gathered, I think there were 3-4 people near her even before I got there.  They were asking if we wanted to go to the hospital, and Erin replied that she thought she was OK.  We slowly got her to her feet, thankful that nothing appeared to be broken, and moved her to the side of the road where she sat down in the grass. A few guys helped lift the bike and move it off to the side.

I ran back to my bike which was parked in the middle of the road, and grabbed the water bottle.  On the way, I passed a warped pannier, a baseball cap, a (new) shoe, a foot peg, turn signal lens, winter riding gloves, and some bits of glass all strewn across the road -- It was odd because they all came from different parts of the bike. 

People at the scene were incredibly nice -- Everyone was calm and orderly, and doing they're best to help, without trying to interfere. They kept inquiring if Erin needed to go to the hospital, and were concerned when she said, "no, I'll be fine" -- What she really meant was, "I just want to get out of here".

Shortly afterwards

The driver never approached us but did hang around to make sure everything was okay.  After I was sure Erin was OK, I went to find him and discuss the settlement. Erin's pannier and top case had put a HUGE scrape/dent in the driver's door (I'm not sure it can be repaired), and yet he refused to accept payment of any sort for damages. He claimed it was obvious we're on a big journey, and we would have enough problems to deal with. I didn't know what to say/do, so I gave him our address/phone/fax and told him to contact us if he changed his mind.

By this time, Erin was feeling very embarrassed that there was a huge crowd.  She wanted to get back on the bike and go somewhere quiet.  I started her bike, then it died -- I was somewhat grateful as I knew it would be better to rest and figure things out.

Left side pannier.

This was the initial point of contact with the truck -- notice the red paint?!


The bike slid on the right side....

.... and so did Erin

We loaded the debris onto several scooters, and the locals escorted us to a nearby hotel where they negotiated a favorable rate for us.  Erin's shock began to wear off, and she started to really feel the pain.   While she showered, the hotel owner drove me to where we left Erin's bike, then towed me back to the hotel.

Around 8pm, we rode on my bike to the hospital, just to be sure nothing was broken.  While we waited for the doctor in the emergency room, I called Devindran (BMW dealer) in KL to ask for help.  A half-hour later, he had arranged for a truck to pick us up the next day (Sunday), and take Erin's bike to the dealership.

Meanwhile, the doctor confirmed Erin had not suffered more then bumps and bruises.  He gave her some pain-killers, and sent us on our way.  We had offered to pay, but Malaysia has socialized health-care, so the visit and medication were free. 

Sunday morning, the truck arrived and we loaded the F650 aboard and rode a couple of hours down to the BMW dealership.  Devindran was there to meet us, and after the bike was securely parked, we drove to his home where he insisted we stay for as long as we want.

This was an incredible offer, especially as Devindran had to fly off that night for a 4-day trip to Singapore.  Angeline (his wife) has had to put up with us for the past week.  She has been the epitome of a wonderful hostess, especially on such short notice and to people she's never met before!

Monday morning, we went to BMW to determine the actual damage to the bike.  Gary and Along (the mechanics) were fantastic, and they spent the entire day working on the bike -- They even got some of the guys from the auto-body repair division help out too.  The aluminum panniers took the brunt of the damage, and will need to be replaced.  The rack for the Givi topcase broke, and will also need replacement.  The right side passenger peg and plate are also broken, and we'll try to find used parts in Australia.  Considering the severity of the accident, the bike was now in pretty good shape.

Along and Gary, the mechanics at BMW

At the end of the day, we washed the bikes and were presented with a towing bill for 300 ringgit ($80), and no invoice for the work BMW did.   The crash was a terrible experience, the aftermath has been an incredibly good one.

Tuesday afternoon, we rode the bikes down to Port Klang where they were crated and fumigated in preparation for their shipping to Sydney.  It was a fast, efficient, and therefore a relatively uneventful experience -- Mr. Murali and his crew at Multimodel were fantastic!!   After the crating was completed, Mr. Murali took us out to a wonderful crab/fish dinner. 

Normally, we write much more about the crating/shipping experience -- but this was so easy, we were done before we knew it.

Nice hair

Liam with his Africa Twin just before the sides and top were added.


Listed below are the 2 shipping options to Australia that we're aware of (we used the one on the left).  *Our bikes were in wooden crates which had to be fumigated for entry into OZ/NZ.  The bikes will still have to be quarantined when we arrive in OZ.  In either option, the bikes must be at the port about 5 days before sailing.  Jesselton only handles shipping from S'pore to Darwin, while Multimodel handles all other ports in OZ as well as Auckland, NZ.  Charges on Multimodel to NZ are identical, but shipping increases to $40/m3.  Multimodel can also arrange shipping to India as well.

SHIPPING CHARGES from KL / Port Klang to Sydney

Each crated bike was 2.62m3, for a total of 5.24m3 (meters-cubed)
$1.00 = 3.80RM  /  $0.27 = 1.00RM

Shipping ($25/m3) $131
Crating (250RM/bike) $135
Fumigation (120RM/bike)* $65
Trucking  (40RM/bike) $22
Customs  (30RM/bike) $16
Bill of Lading ( " ) $16
EDI Fee   ( " ) $16
LCL Fee (35RM/m3) $50



Transit time to Sydney is 13 days

to Darwin

Bikes are not crated, but rolled directly into container (Ro-Ro)
$1.00 = 1.70SD  /  $0.58 = 1.00SD

Shipping ($275/bike) $550
Crating n/a
Fumigation - Only for wood crates n/a
Trucking  n/a
Customs / Handling = SD 80/bike $100
Insurance for damage and loose value over $500, based on US$6,000/bike = SD50/bike $60



Transit time to Darwin is 8 days

For more information, contact

Port Klang, Malaysia
ph:  +60-3-365-2616
fx:   +60-3-365-2617
We dealt with Mr Murali, who we hear in 2001 is no longer there

For more information, contact Angie Ong:

ph:  +65-222-5677
fx:   +65-226-1171

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