Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > The perfect line and other riding myths
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-02-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
d.burbach OP
Gnarly Adventurer
d.burbach's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Oddometer: 134
Have you ever...

Had a mechanical failure while riding? What was it and how did you handle it? This could be anything from a tire blowing to a locked brake and everything in between.

PS-Sorry if there is another thread along these lines, if there is I couldn't find it.

My only mechanical failure was have my throttle cable snap a couple miles from my house, nothing dramatic, but I did end up pushing the bike home which wasn't fun.
Seeking adventure and working for RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel
d.burbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
Offcamber's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Oddometer: 1,926
Clutch cable some strong nylon cord at a hardware store near by. Routed it though the bike along where the broken cable was tied off both ends with as much tension as I could get. Was able to make the clutch work well enough to get home. About 30 miles.
"Beer cans explode with a nice loud pop when they are hit by a Heidenau K60 at 40 miles an hour. Now my bike smells like last call..." Me
Offcamber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:03 PM   #3
Legal Drug Dealer
RxZ's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Tyler, TX
Oddometer: 1,889
Last fall my bike randomly died on me on the way to work, about a mile after leaving the house. After inspecting everything it fired right up, and died again about another mile later. I turned around to head back home to take the car to work, and it died a third time. At this point, even though it had a full tank of gas it was acting like it was starved for fuel. So I left the gas tank cap open. Bike didn't die again.

After getting home that night (I took the car to work) I did some digging around on the internet and found out the gas cap of my bike has a small vent in it that is notorious for clogging up. Removed the vent, and have not had an issue since.
RxZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #4
____ as a Rotax
gmk999's Avatar
Joined: May 2011
Location: New England
Oddometer: 1,066

My Chain broke on my 650 at highway speed , the tire chirped,and the bike lurched for a split second but then was able to coast off the nearest exit ramp. Fortunately it broke twice and the pieces lodged away from either sprocket. After a lot of effort to remove the pieces ,a new (heavier) chain, and some bodywork. I was back on the road .

Had a tube tear at the valve stem while camping in Vt last winter and was able with the help of a few good samaritans get a new one in record time. and replaced it myself in a parking lot.

My VR fails every few years and usually takes my battery with it, Always in the middle of nowhere, I can usually fill the battery with whatever water I can find, remove my headlight bulb, and make it to someplace that can give me a small charge, from there I go directly home, I have though, bought a lawnmower battery at a hardware store and run without headlight for a few days.

I have an Awesome tool kit
gmk999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
Okie Preacher
Studly Adventurer
Okie Preacher's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: In the middle...
Oddometer: 911
Originally Posted by d.burbach View Post
Had a mechanical failure while riding? What was it and how did you handle it? This could be anything from a tire blowing to a locked brake and everything in between.

PS-Sorry if there is another thread along these lines, if there is I couldn't find it.

My only mechanical failure was have my throttle cable snap a couple miles from my house, nothing dramatic, but I did end up pushing the bike home which wasn't fun.
Clutch Interlock Switch went out and the outer seal on the rear end started seeping on the way to Baton Rouge this spring. BMW of BR worked me in and had me repaired in two hours.

Major throttle problems on the way to Phoenix last month (she kept hanging in the "open" position--which is exciting). GOAZ BMW in Scottsdale put me back together and sold me a new battery as well. Best dealership I ever encountered.

Ate the alternator belt last week in Colorado. Limped into Gunnison on the battery. Dealer in Grand Junction shipped me a belt overnight. Was going by 10:00 the next morning.

'09 GS with 26K miles... I love the pig, but she isn't the most trustworthy. Nothing major, but I end up looking for a dealer at some point on every trip over 2,000 miles.
Okie Preacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #6
Electron herder
BK's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Indiana
Oddometer: 591
I had the kick starter pawl break in my old Kawasaki 125 enduro back in the '70s. At the time I was about 3/4 of mile down a creek full of slimey rocks.

One of the other guys had some rope and towed me back to the road where we could push start it.
BK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2009
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Oddometer: 1,088
Chain failure 1: Tension was waaay too loose on my Ninja 250, I didn't realize this because it was shortly after I had bought the bike and had taken the word of the previous owner that it needed to be adjusted once or twice a year...which was true at his 500 miles-per-year rate. Not quite so true at the rate I was riding...and I lucked out in that when it bounced off the rear sprocket on a bump, it was in my driveway. It did lock up the rear wheel; it was after dark and in a lightning storm, so I dragged the bike out of the way lest someone else drive into it and left it until the morning.

Chain failure 2: Same Ninja 250. Might have still been the same chain, although I had gotten in the habit of lubing and adjusting it. I had noticed a cyclical ickyness in the drivetrain that didn't seem to vary with engine speed as much as road speed and wasn't the right frequency (in my mind) for a tire issue. I had already noticed that there was a stiff spot in the chain. I decided that I'd order a new chain and sprocket when I got home, which I did....after the chain broke coming off a stop sign (lucky again), about 50 road miles from home. I called a friend, walked her through hooking my trailer to my truck, and she came to retrieve me (lucky again).

Clutch cable failure: rode home without it. I started the bike in neutral, waddled a bit to get it rolling, and forced it into first. Then I just shifted without the clutch; fortunately, there was only one stop sign on the way home and no one was coming on the cross street. (also on the 250, but only about 20 miles from home)

Tiny screw that holds plastic that holds the throttle cable at the throttle end on the 1150 fell out on an off-road ride, resulting in being unable to use the throttle. Electrical tape solved that problem well enough to ride home.

Fuel tank QD failed on the 1150. After covering my right leg and boot in fuel, I realized that I wasn't just low on fuel but had a leak. Pulled over, removed both ends of the quick disconnect, cut a Bic pen body to length and used it as a connector. Ran fine like that for about a week before I got around to installing the new QD (of course, I was an idiot...I should've ordered the pair, as I broke the second plastic QD when trying to reinstall the tank after replacing the first).

There was also the time that a body screw vibrated loose and I ended up riding for a while with a string tied around the eyebrow / number plate-type-piece above the headlights on the 1150.
kbroderick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
Unstable Rider
Moto Fotografist
Unstable Rider's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Minn.
Oddometer: 2,632
2009 KLR wire harness faulted. Shorted out somewhere, but did not blow fuses, yet the bike would not start. Left us deep inside a military base. Had to send someone for a trailer and we hauled it home 50 miles. Looked at the harness and components for a week, could not find the fault.

Replaced the harness and it started right up. Armored the shidt out of the harness, never a problem again.

Split loom, zip ties and hockey stick tape your best friend...
Never do anything you would be uncomfortable explaining to the paramedics...
Unstable Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:21 PM   #9
Beastly Adventurer
FirstPath's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Formerly Shoreview, MN
Oddometer: 2,304
Where to start?

My '02 Ural had the little "top hat" fail that affects timing, lost crank bearings, and the battery short out. Loved that bike. I really did.

I had the upper rear mount on my Silverwing sidecar rig fail after hitting a bump. Snapped the mount right off the frame and rode it home with only 3 mounting points.

Ran out of gas a couple times...

After filling up my '79 Suzuki with gas I felt my clutch cable begin to unwind as I started up to get ready to go on the road. Made it home and gave it a few more pulls. Clutch cable snapped while it was in the garage. That was close!

Scott in Shoreview
'79 Suzuki GS550
FirstPath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
Beastly Adventurer
trc.rhubarb's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2011
Location: Concord, CA
Oddometer: 2,036
Stuck shifter arm, broken air cleaner, hole in fuel line, starter solenoid stuck engaged oh and ran out of gas in BFE Wyoming

Jerryrig, Jerryrig, Jerryrig, Tow Truck, CMA saved me...

OK one more, broke the kickstand off... clean off... used a borrowed ratchet strap to hold an HD touring bike up at each stop until I could get a replacement the next day.
2007 BMW GS Adventure / 2000 Ducati 900ss / 2010 Harley Ultra Limited / 1975 BMW R90/6 / 2006 DRZ400S
Follow me here
trc.rhubarb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
high dangler
Studly Adventurer
high dangler's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: pa.
Oddometer: 535
i was on a sun morning ride on my 09 c14 with 2000 miles on the clock
.I happened to look down and see my steering stem nut cover missing . Fukin Kawasaki to cheap for thread locker I guess.
I pulled over to look for it hoping it was maybe lodged somewhere underneath .
As i got off the bike i saw a small steady stream of coolant spraying my front wheel ..Brakes and wheel/ tire were soaked.
I also noticed after looking around for a bit, a nice ding/scar on one of the spokes (cast wheel)
I put 2 and 2 together. The nut plug thing came out , fell down into the spinning frt wheel and was launched into the radiator.
I called my daughter to come with my truck and got her home .
An expensive replacement part but it could have been worse with the slick coolant hosing my front tire and brakes.
I did blow a kawasaki 500 tripple motor to smithereens about 40 years ago but didnt crash
rompin stompin tiger 800 XC rider
high dangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 04:11 PM   #12
Beastly Adventurer
DAKEZ's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: OR
Oddometer: 19,747
Rode home about 38 miles with a clip less 530 master link stuffed through a 520 chain..
Worked great.

“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"

DAKEZ screwed with this post 07-02-2012 at 11:03 PM
DAKEZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #13
Don't Follow
royal's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Amherst, NH
Oddometer: 650
Three times and always hundreds of miles from home. All mechanical failures were on my BMW 1200RT. First one was the electronic anti theft system. Wouldn't allow me to start the bike. Towed to a dealer.

Next up, final drive crapped out on me. Towed to a dealer. No parts there, but they installed a used drive so I could at least continue my trip.

Then, I had a catastrophic transmission failure. And by catastrophic, I mean it blew the fuck up. By shear luck I wasn't killed. Towed to a dealer where I told them what they could do with the bike and I bought a Kawasaki.

Mechanical failures happen. Unfortunately, when they happen hundreds of miles from home, it's a real pain in the ass. I had bad luck with this particular BMW and I think that BMW could have done a better job with this bike. For the kind of money I spent, I shouldn't have been stranded three times in the first 7,000 miles of ownership. But, I'm not one to hold grudges and I wouldn't rule out owning another BMW in the future as I think they make exciting motorcycles.

As an aside, I've never had a mechanical failure on a Japanese bike (I've owned Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki). Currently, I'm riding a 2012 Harley Electra Glide. I have 4,000 miles on it and not a glimmer of a problem yet. However, my fingers are crossed and crossed hard. Not sure I entirely trust Harley and reliability quite yet. We'll see.
I'm wasted and I can't find my way home....
royal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 05:26 PM   #14
Beastly Adventurer
KeithinSC's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Sandhills of SC
Oddometer: 1,589
Sidestand spring broke and used some zip ties to hold it up for a few hundred miles. Gas stops were tough! Carry a spare now.

Another time we stopped for icecream, went to leave and NO electricity. Pulled the sidecover, all the fuses looked fine. Pulled the seat and poked at the battery, headlight came on. Somehow the + lead was a little loose, you could see some arcing on the terminal. Honked it down with a screwdriver and was on my way.
KeithinSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 05:57 PM   #15
The Byronic Man
AlanCT's Avatar
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Northeastern CT
Oddometer: 3,626
The rubber boot connecting the left carb to the airbox kept popping off during a recent trip. I jammed it back on and held it in place with my ankle until I could stop and deal with it properly.

On the same trip my airbox and filter got drenched with rain; a common issue with Urals of a certain age. I got a replacement that sort of fit from Napa and changed it in the bay of a car wash (shelter from the rain).
"You wouldn't be riding a motorcycle if you weren't an optimist."
- Matthew Crawford
2005 Ural Tourist, 2000 Kawasaki W650
IBA #23064
AlanCT is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015