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Old 08-25-2012, 06:29 AM   #1
colodak OP
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Swingarm spool mount sheared off, bike down

Friday night I was installing my rear rack and Givi top case. Had the bike up on the rear stand so it was level for working on. Had everything mounted and was making so adjustments, told the wife to get on the bike and lean against the case I could make sure she was comfortable. She said she was fine and suggested that I put one of my panniers on so she could check her footplacement with it.

Installed the right side pannier, she said it was still fine, but her foot was pretty far forward. She suggested that I get on as well to make sure her foot didn't interfere with me. Now, I probably should have take the bike off the stand at this point, but it slipped my mind. My wife weighs 140, I'm about 240, plus the weight of the bike, HT Teton panniers, and top case, was apparently too much and the right side swing arm spool mount sheared off the swingarm and the bike went to the right. I was able to stay upright, but the wife was thrown to the right, partially trapping her between the bike and the garage wall, with the bike coming down on her right foot/ankle. Thanfully for the pannier being there as it kept the full weight off her. This morning she has a lovely black/blue mark on her right calf and ankle.

I was able to lift the bike enough for her to get out and go get the neighbor to help me upright it. Apparently when it fell, he heard the crash as it went over. So far, the damage appears to be limited to the sheared mount and the right side mirror housing scratched to hell. My handguards came loose but easily retightened. Tip over sensor kicked in and the bike didn't start once we righted it. But I turned the key off/on/off/on and let it sit on the side stand for a few minutes and it fired up.

Needless to say I'll be taking the bike to the dealer this morning to have them look at it, and see what they think as far as if it was too much weight, metal fatigue, bad weld, if Mama Kawi needs to be brought it as well and if it can be repaired.

Mirror


Spool and swingarm








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Old 08-25-2012, 06:52 AM   #2
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Clean break. Find a good welding shop and have it TIG welded back on. Simple job.
The dealership probably won't have the expertise to weld it properly and will recommend a new swingarm just to cover their asses. Whether they will foot the bill for it is the question. I doubt it.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:44 AM   #3
colodak OP
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main reason I'm going to talk to the dealer is this could be a factory defect, wondering if Kawasaki would step up, bike is an '09, but it was sold new to me with 10 miles on May '12. Figure it's worth a shot, if not, then I'll deal with it myself.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
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dealer will tell you the spools are not made to support the bike with a rider aboard let alone two people..and recommend you buy a new swing arm. You honestly pushed them well past what they are designed to support. I would just run it down to a local welder that could tig weld it throw him $20 and be done.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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Yeah this is not a defect, this is just a case of using something outside of it's design limits. You got lucky tho :)
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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Would you put a Gold Wing on a stand designed for a sport bike.... probably not. The spool mounts were stressed way beyond their intended design. Have a welder tig it back on and you will be all good. Thankfully a cheap and easy fix.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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to my novice eyes, it was a low penetration weld. It looks almost as if it was just cradled in rather than 'becoming one' with the weld. Looks like a defective weld to me even if the circumstances that caused it's failure were above the design specs.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colodak View Post
main reason I'm going to talk to the dealer is this could be a factory defect, wondering if Kawasaki would step up, bike is an '09, but it was sold new to me with 10 miles on May '12. Figure it's worth a shot, if not, then I'll deal with it myself.

Factory defect? C'mon dude. The swingarm spools are made to support the weight of the bike. Not the weight of the bike, a passenger, panniers, top box and you!

You fucked up, now deal with it instead of whining to the dealer.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:57 AM   #9
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I would consider using a stand that cradles the swingarm instead of spools. I've got an adjustable Pit Bull that I use on my old Supersports, and it works very well.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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Seems to me that Kawasaki has some of the softest aluminum on their bikes. I have a 2011 KX450 and the swing arm and frame dent too easily. Additionally, the frame holes for bolts strip easily and the motor side cases are way too soft (I had a small get off and the clutch cover cracked and leaked all oil out while on a ride)...

However, the motor on the Kawi is awesome and can outweigh the other small issues so long that the integrity of the aluminum holds up; in addition to the fit and finish on the bike as a whole.

Nevertheless, depending on how new your bike is and if its under warranty, I take it to the dealer and make them replace the swing arm. If welds break on a tip over, it makes me question the integrity of critical welds within the swing arm/frame---Can be scary, especially if you're riding off road.

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Old 08-30-2012, 03:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNO_RIDER View Post
Seems to me that Kawasaki has some of the softest aluminum on their bikes. I have a 2011 KX450 and the swing arm and frame dent too easily. Additionally, the frame holes for bolts strip easily and the motor side cases are way too soft (I had a small get off and the clutch cover cracked and leaked all oil out while on a ride)...

However, the motor on the Kawi is awesome and can outweigh the other small issues so long that the integrity of the aluminum holds up; in addition to the fit and finish on the bike as a whole.

Nevertheless, depending on how new your bike is and if its under warranty, I take it to the dealer and make them replace the swing arm. If welds break on a tip over, it makes me question the integrity of critical welds within the swing arm/frame---Can be scary, especially if you're riding off road.




You didn't really read what the OP wrote, did you.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
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Heh, been there. Done that. (Sorta)

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:44 AM   #13
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If you want to stay on good terms with the dealer you got it from, don't go there looking for a warranty job on this s/arm. Even IF the dealer replaced it for you, if he ever got wind of the circumstances of the failure, he'd fuck you at every chance he got, and rightly so. You fucked up. Now own up to it and get it fixed yourself.
Oh, and I'm glad your wife didn't get hurt during this debacle.

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Old 09-12-2012, 11:13 PM   #14
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i can weld that back on for free .... only thing is i live a looooooooooooooooooooooong way from you .....would like to to see a pic of the wifes thigh and bruise .....
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:57 AM   #15
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Have a welder weld it on all four side and you should be good. Something is going to give with that much weight on it, if the welds didnt break then the bolt in the spool would have gone next. You are talking abot maybe 600 pounds being held up by 1.5 inches of welded aluminum, not really a surprise it gave out.

It doesnt bode well for them holding up under any sort of crash if they are meant to be sliders, might as well have the other side re welded while your at it.
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