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The VFR's Trial By Fire



It's been a while since I have been here.  A lot has changed.  This forum, my life.  I figured I would drop back in now that things have settled down for a bit and catch you up on my VFR's recent life experiences (you thought this was going to be about me?  😄).


I hadn't been riding much as I made a move to a new department at my work and finally got into something I loved doing (IT)!  My poor VFR sat in the garage after I spent the summer getting a lot of maintenance done.  New chain, sprockets, upgraded the RR, and new tires.  Work has been busy and never ending because I am essentially work on a 3 person team covering hundreds of lab computers so when I would get home I would cast tired glances at the VFR with hopes to get her out on the weekends.  Those were always full though because I had to get everything I didn't get done during the week caught up before Monday rolled around.  That's life some times.  And then it all changed in one night.


January 30th, 2021 at about 0245 all of us were asleep (Wife, daughter, 3 dogs, and one cat) when the hallway smoke detector went off.  I don't want to go through all the details of that night but within 2 minutes we had safely evacuated all the humans and 2 of the dogs.  Faulty aluminum wiring had started the back wall of the house on fire igniting the patio roof and the attic.  I remember the fire department arriving within 4 minutes of the 911 call.  I remember freezing in the 28 F night air because I was only wearing a pair of sweat pants.  Thanks to the charity of my next door neighbor I ended up with a sweat shirt, jacket, socks, athletic sandals, gloves, and a beanie.  In the course of the night the fire team was able to get my missing dog and cat out of the house unharmed (though I did have to put the cat on oxygen for a bit).  It took almost 8 hours to clear all the hot spots and I have a gallery with all the associated photos that you can peruse for now.  I would post them in here but I need to resize them so they are more appropriate for this post and I am not sure if they would be deleted by a moderator according to the guidelines.  For now, know the house was a total loss and even the rooms not hit by the fire suffered extensive smoke damage. 


The garage took a pretty big hit but fortunately the VFR was located in the least affected area.  Even then the smoke damage was intense.  I filed a claim on my wife's car (also in the garage) first and they totaled it based on the extent of the smoke damage so I dreaded what that meant for the VFR.  Still, I eventually mustered up the courage and filed a claim on the bike.  I was shocked when I was told it was all good and the extent of "repairs" would just be a good detail which was under my deductible so I found a reputable one in town and had them tow it from the inspection facility to the shop.  Apparently the tow truck driver thought that meant he could take it for a joy ride.  He left the tank on empty, dropped it on the right side, scraped the paint off the nose fairing on the left side, ripped the battery cover off the bike (to jump it I suppose), damaged the heated grip on the throttle and had the audacity to tell the detailer when he was dropping it off how fast my bike was.  Needless to say I was not happy and filed a complaint with the insurance company for all the damages which they ended up covering.  The detailer, on the other hand, was all professional and for the sum of $400 (including a generous tip) my bike looked like it had rolled off the show room floor.  Aside from what the tow truck driver did I was ecstatic.  Driving it home was hard because the throttle has no gripping material so it was a bitter sweet reunion. 


I have had to buy a lot of new riding gear and we are currently in a rental home with a nice 2 car garage where the VFR is resting comfortably while I wait for a new heated grip kit to arrive.  I did take it out for a Crest Road ride to give it a shake down and even though it was a beautiful day and the VFR ran great, the adhesive I had hoped would fix the heated grip from slipping didn't hold and it was a long ride home trying to keep the grip from rotating while maintaining a steady speed.  Fortunately that should be resolved on Tuesday.


Everyone is healthy and unharmed but one of our dogs passed away about 3 weeks later from an unrelated health issue.  It's been a hard road this year but at the end of the gallery you can see there has been significant progress in getting the house ready for the rebuild.  We are throwing in some remodeling into the mix and slowly working our way through replacing a lifetime's worth of stuff but our insurance has been taking excellent care of us (USAA) and we are recovering slowly but surely from the trauma of all of this.  Next week looks like good riding weather and temperatures so I am hoping I can put some miles on the VFR and get some road therapy to help clear my head.



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  • Member Contributer

Sorry.  I didn't upload the photos correctly but they are all there now.  Unfortunately they are in the reverse order so start at the bottom and work your way up if you want to follow chronological order.  🙃

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  • Member Contributer

Glad you could save her.  That's the worst part of my job, knowing someone has just lost everything.  

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  • Forum CEO

WOW..so sorry this happened to you, and the tow truck driver needs to be fired! I hope the rebuilding of your home is going smoother.


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Wow.  Sorry for all the bad news, but of course the most important thing is your family is okay.  Bikes and even houses come and go, but I'm glad your VFR survived both the fire and that idiot tow truck driver.  Why on earth would a guy to treat someone else's prized possession like that?!


Anyway, good luck with the house rebuild, and I hope you find some time to ride this year!  👍

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  • Member Contributer

Horrible news! Sorry to hear about your troubles!
Glad you and family are OK and bike looks great!

Yeah, that tow-truck driver needs his knee-caps kicked in!

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  • Member Contributer

I finally got the last of my issues sorted out yesterday and took her for a test drive.  Came back home with a ridiculous grin on my face.  I drove her to work this morning even though it was crazy windy and in the mid 30's F.  This week I am doing an oil change and then she's all set for the riding season. 


As for the house, they just started on it this week.  I need to get in touch with the contractor for more details.  I will keep everyone up to date on both the road adventures and the house progress.  Thanks for all the well wishes and for those of you who think the back end of that tow truck driver needs some dents, you should have heard what my wife and 9 year old daughter had to say on the matter.  😆  The insurance company took care of all the damages though so I took the high road and focused on getting my VFR back on the road.  Crest Road take 2 this weekend after the oil change!

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