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Alternatives to AAA


DPWiegs

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I'm returning stateside after 4 years in England and was curious what luck folks have had with various roadside breakdown services. I previously used AAA but I didn't have a bike then and I seem to remember reading somewhere that their motorcycle coverage rider and/or towing coverage wasn't the best. I'm curious what folks are using these days?

 

Thanks,

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We have the coverage that is through KOA Campgrounds and it is around a hundred dollars a year and has unlimited miles on the towing. We have never used it and have only had it a little over a year but it sounds good.

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ShovelStrokeEd

Regular AAA gets you nothing. To have motorcycle coverage you need AAA RV+ which is more money, ca $100/annum. Coverage will get you a tow for 100 miles and an overnight stay in a hotel and rental car if your bike cannot be fixed that day.

 

KOA has unlimited tow mileage to a dealer but doesn't cover the other stuff. Depending on your needs, the AAA might be superior. I would say no if your riding area includes regions where dealers are few and far between.

 

The two times I have had to use my AAA coverage they were more or less prompt and efficient and both times the trucks came equipped to tow a motorcycle, with proper tie downs and a driver who knew his business.

 

I no longer use BMWs as my primary transportation, Honda instead, so the long tow thing is normally not a big deal for me.

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Just a note on KOA. Don't have them "auto renew" your account each year. Call them and tell them you will sign up again if they give you the Internet special price which is usually $25.00 less than the "auto renew" option.

 

They tried to charge me $99.00 to "renew", instead of the $75.00 internet price

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I received my KOA auto-renew membership card the day before leaving for Torrey. On a quick glance, I noticed "California Only" stamped on the front of card. In the paperwork there is mention of towing limited to first $250.00. eek.gif

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I received my KOA auto-renew membership card the day before leaving for Torrey. On a quick glance, I noticed "California Only" stamped on the front of card. In the paperwork there is mention of towing limited to first $250.00. eek.gif
That would certainly reduce the value of the service - are you going to investigate further?
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I received my KOA auto-renew membership card the day before leaving for Torrey. On a quick glance, I noticed "California Only" stamped on the front of card. In the paperwork there is mention of towing limited to first $250.00. eek.gif
What the heck does 'California only' mean? And how do they reconcile advertising 'unlimited' towing with a $250 limit? That doesn't make sense, especially because one of their selling points is that they will provide two tow trucks if necessary (one for a tow vehicle and another for an RV.) If ever needed that service would probably exceed $250 in a heartbeat. Please let us know what you find out.
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BMWMOA offers a premium membership package that has roadside assistance...can't recall what the exact price is but the towing is limited to only 50 miles.

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I received my KOA auto-renew membership card the day before leaving for Torrey. On a quick glance, I noticed "California Only" stamped on the front of card. In the paperwork there is mention of towing limited to first $250.00. eek.gif
I just got my renewal and can find no specific state related stuff other than the bail bond which California doesn't accept. These benefits are listed in the paperwork:

 

Emergency Road Service and Towing - Unlimited (I believe you have to call and get authorization for more than $250 but it worked when needed) This applies to any vehicle you are driving - owned, rented, borrowed.

 

Lock-out benefit - Unlimited

Arrest bond - $2000

Trip interruption - $1500 (includes hotels, air fare, car rental, meals etc)

Legal defense - $1500

KOA camp discounts

Trip planning

 

Coverage will get you a tow for 100 miles and an overnight stay in a hotel and rental car if your bike cannot be fixed that day.

 

KOA has unlimited tow mileage to a dealer but doesn't cover the other stuff.

Incorrect, see above.

 

No maps though.

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I compared AAA and KOA last winter, for US customers. Here's what I found:

 

KOA RV plan:

* cost was $73 per year as of November 06

* includes towing unlimited miles to a suitable repair location.

* It's intended for RV drivers but it also covers anything you drive including motorcycles.

* KOA's service is provided by Allstate Motor Club. You can buy pretty much the same plan directly from Allstate, but at a higher price.

 

AAA Plus RV

* costs over $100 per year in my state as of Nov. 06

* includes motorcycle, unlike regular AAA

* is limited to a 100-mile tow

* charges extra to add another driver from your family, I think KOA/Allstate does not.

 

AAA lists lots more limitations specifying what they won't cover, and limits on what they'll pay.

 

I didn't keep notes on it, but I think there's a difference in how much they'll cover for "winch-out", i.e., pulling your bike out of a ditch.

 

Both the KOA/Allstate and AAA plans will also cover roadside assistance for your car. They provide discounts at lots of hotels etc. and for rental cars, but not the same chains, so there's some value in have the cheap regular AAA plan plus a KOA RV plan -- that's what I ended up doing.

 

The Honda Riders Club has a good deal for roadside assistance, but it is useful only if you ride exclusively Hondas.

 

A search of this site will turn up threads bashing the reliability of the BMW roadside assistance plan in the US, but praising its counterpart in other countries. I mention this since you're returning to the US from the UK.

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Just a note on KOA. Don't have them "auto renew" your account each year. Call them and tell them you will sign up again if they give you the Internet special price which is usually $25.00 less than the "auto renew" option.

 

They tried to charge me $99.00 to "renew", instead of the $75.00 internet price

 

That's a good tip. I figured the introductory lower price of $75 was just to lure you in; when I go the notice that it would from now on be $100, I did not question it. I would have never thought of calling them back and asking for the original introductory price. Good to think "Outside of the box" and question some of these business practices.

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Information from India is that the "California Only" does not limit service to California. $250 towing limit is that they must be notified at each $250 increment. Auto renewal is about $80.00. I'll keep the card smirk.gif

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Look for other non direct benifits to the service. My family has the AAA Plus RV service, and we use it about once a year for towing for a handful of vehicals. However the best thing me are the other dicounts. I wear glasses, not contacts. Lenscrafters offer a 30% discount to AAA members! This is huge when buying eyewear! So in total the serivces and other discounts make the fee seem small. Something to think about.

 

Snowy.

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I use a service called AMA MoTow available through the American Motorcyclist Assoc. It covers all my bikes, (the bmw plan only covers bmw's) I think it's around 35 a year, I renew for 3 yrs at a time. If I recall it covers for the first 100 miles. Fortunately I haven't had to use it yet. (I figure it's like Murphy's Law, since I have it I won't need it).

 

I find it funny no one here has mentioned it. Let alone supporting the AMA and motorcycling.

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Paul Mihalka

I had AMA Motow. I needed it once and it was a disaster. My R1150R spun it's clutch spline in Eastern Arkansas, about 30 miles south of Johnsboro and 60 miles west of Memphis. They were no help at all. I asked to put me in touch with anybody in Memphis, I pay for it, just to get me out of the middle of nowhere. No luck. I slept on the couch of the farmer and got a Uhaul and drove myself home.

Worst part I sent them a note with the receipts expecting some refund. BMW assistance did that for me twice. No response at all. Now I have KOA, which is supposed to be the best. Did not test it yet...

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