Have you ever...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by d.burbach, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. d.burbach

    d.burbach Been here awhile

    Jun 19, 2012
    Winston-Salem NC
    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.
  2. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

    Aug 23, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Clutch cable broke....got 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.
  3. RxZ

    RxZ Legal Drug Dealer

    Mar 27, 2010
    Tyler, TX
    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.
  4. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

    May 2, 2011
    New England
    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:evil
  5. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

    Aug 11, 2010
    In the middle...
    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. :huh
  6. BK

    BK Electron herder

    Jan 28, 2011
    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.
  7. kbroderick

    kbroderick Long timer

    May 7, 2009
    Red Lodge, Montana
    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.
  8. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

    Jul 23, 2010
    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...
  9. FirstPath

    FirstPath Long timer

    Aug 20, 2008
    Formerly Shoreview, MN
    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. :huh

    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
  10. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

    Nov 15, 2011
    Concord, CA
    Stuck shifter arm, broken air cleaner, hole in fuel line, starter solenoid stuck engaged oh and ran out of gas in BFE Wyoming :D

    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.
  11. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

    Aug 6, 2011
    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
  12. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    Rode home about 38 miles with a clip less 530 master link stuffed through a 520 chain..
    Worked great. :ricky

  13. royal

    royal Been here awhile

    Oct 21, 2009
    Amherst, NH
    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.
  14. KeithinSC

    KeithinSC Long timer

    Oct 18, 2009
    Sandhills of SC
    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.
  15. AlanCT

    AlanCT The Byronic Man

    Apr 15, 2009
    Northeastern CT
    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).
  16. boxermoose

    boxermoose Now fully goosed

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gulf Coast TX
    Leaving a gas station about 10 miles east of Shreveport the coils on my airhead shorted out in a biblical downpour

    As I was also soaked it kept shocking me - remember the old "hold this spark plug" thing your bad uncle used to do to you with the lawnmower:rofl
  17. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Isn't this that guy?

    Nov 29, 2009
    The Holy City
    Chain jumped off, going around a corner, up a hill, with traffic behind me. Luckily it went off the sprocket to the outside rather than in, I think that would've really messed up my wheel. Just scratched up my swingarm instead haha
  18. gspell68

    gspell68 Long timer

    May 8, 2008
    Georgia (The State, not the Country)
    And there's a thread with a guy complaining about his new Urals that weren't that bad!!!
  19. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

    Jan 21, 2008
    Port Orchard, WA
    Riding from Ely to Caliente. Merrily buzzing right along, smug with my IMS tank on my DR on my first ever road trip on a bike.

    PUH,... Bike dies and I coast to the shoulder. Glance at odo, 124 miles.

    Ponder about the bike for awhile to see why it died. Then finally, I crack the cap and peak inside.

    Out of gas, well hit reserve anyhow.

    Stupid newb, of course you ran out of gas riding into a headwind at 85+ on a "Grapes of Wrath" loaded bike. Tilted the bike to get some gas over to the petcock side and cautiously rode on to the next gas stop. I was quite sure in the knowledge that I was getting nearly 250 miles per tank before hitting reserve that it never crossed my mind that I'd ever run out.

    Only other issue I had on that trip was the trail of screws/bolts I left strewn on the road behind me to stick in the tires of other hapless HWY50 travelers as they vibrated their way to freedom on the open road. Safety wire, threadlocker and a little time in camp alleviated that problem,... mostly,...

    On my XT225 I had a minor mishap weeks after getting "my first bike". Riding around the Naches area I pull up to a stop and put my left foot down on the down hill side of the bike. Buddy says, " I look back and I see you running downhill with your bike tumbling after you."

    Well down at the bottom of the hill we get the various bits of the bike bent back into a semi-appropriate shape and I continue riding.

    After a short while I'm thinking, "dang, this bike is handling like crap."

    I slow to a stop just as my buddy comes rushing up shouting "YOU'RE ON FIRE!"

    At this point the smoke wells up in front of me. I hop off the bike in a mildly excited state. The front rotor cover is melting over the rotor. It's not on fire, but smoking quite a bit.

    Well at this point, I toss the keys to my buddy, "Go get my truck, I'll be right here."

    Well, long story short, I'd hit the barkbuster, pushing it back to just slightly contact the brake lever. That was all it took to create the tiniest bit of drag on the brake and she super heated pretty quickly.

    Back in camp, folks would walk by and comment on the simply lovely shade of blue my front rotor had turned.

    It really was a pretty blue.
  20. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

    Feb 11, 2012
    Once the rear wheel bearing of my CBF 600 broke ~300 miles from home. Still worked well at high speeds but towns or stops were awful and in the end all but two of the rolling elements were pulverized.

    The ZZR 1400 vibrated loose its front fairing at max speed, one time shut down all electronics and the engine in city traffic out of the blue, again ~300 miles from home but luckily went back to life after stopping and restarting, and finally it blew it's engine at 120mph full throttle on the highway. No Kawasaki ever again for me...