Old Bikes and Roadside Repairs

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Night Train, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Night Train

    Night Train Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This story illustrates why I ride old motorcycles and carry a good set of tools, with a little ingenuity you can make it home...

    Roadside Repairs
    #1
  2. marksbonneville

    marksbonneville Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Arizona, Prescott more less.
    I sure hope this thread takes off with some fun stories and great ideas. I ride old bikes because I like them and I can afford them, when I rode the Triumph Bonneville (now sold) she once broke a muffler mount and I walked along side the road and found an old rag and some wire and withing a few minutes we were off and riding. I prefer vehicles that can be fixed with road trash rather than a computer. My tool bag (s) have an assortment of tools/parts and a flask of rum in case the bike is going nowhere.
    #2
  3. chaddhamilton

    chaddhamilton Just the tip

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    319
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I ride and older triumph and have a pretty decent tool kit contained in a old military mess kit. Zip ties, extra bolts, and a strip of aluminum tape have all helped me get home.

    Quick tool story.
    I was riding on a busy 4 lane highway with a buddy a few years ago when my tool kit detached itself from my bike. I look back and it's spewing tools all over the road. I stop, walk back, and between passing cars, would run out and grab a few tools and then back to the shoulder.

    I had almost everything collected when I spotted my small crescent wrench on the road. Just as a car passed, I made a run for it that I wish could have been caught on tape: the car's rear tire had ran over it causing it to fly into the air and perfectly into my open hand!! My riding buddy watched that happen and we always rehash that after a few beers. :lol3
    #3
  4. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    18,700
    Location:
    McMinnville, Oregon

    :lol3
    #4
  5. pommie john

    pommie john Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,571
    Location:
    Brisvegas, Australia
    My mate was driving his old Nissan when it ground to a halt. The spring on the points had broken and they were flapping around doing nothing.
    We got a bit of foam rubber and wedged it between the back of the points and the distributor body and that acted like a spring. Got us home , no problem.
    #5
  6. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,731
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    Shovelheads were always a chance to test your mechanical prowess. A rock and a screwdriver seemed to be all that was required to fix most things. Another broken set of Harley points..

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. rudolf35

    rudolf35 Warped & Twisted Mind

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    830
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    After visiting a mate in IA I was headed back to TX on my 850T3. About 50 miles south of OKC the bike started to run bad with backfiring ever so often. Nursing the T3 into a rest area i soon discovered that one of the two point sets had burnt. With only the stock spanner kit onboard i had no "official" way to mend the situation. So, after a bit of dumpster diving i found a beverage can and removed the tab that bends inward. Having procured a "scraper", I opened the burnt point and gently scraped off the carbon. Having the points to a semi-shinny state, I reinstalled them and the T3 took me home without as much as a miss.

    Nothing like free tools from a dumpster.
    :evil
    #7
  8. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,398
    Location:
    Inverary, Ontario, Canada
    In case you missed it before:
    Dead Right There - 1972 Guzzi on the James Bay Road.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=800877

    A few roadside repairs are part of the challenge and pleasure of riding old bikes. Where's the fun if nothing ever goes wrong? That's just dull.

    Nick
    #8
  9. McJamie

    McJamie STROMINATOR

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,595
    Location:
    Courtice, Ontario, Canada
    I have always carried an extensive tool kit, but have never had to use it on my own bike. During the first day of a multi-day trip ( my buddy on his KZ1000 and me on my 900F ), his chain breaks. We took a pair of needle nose pliers that I had, and some safety wire that he had, and connected two artily broken links. Not only did we finish the trip, but it was another week before he bought a new chain.
    I always carry a foot-long piece of safety wire........................now!
    #9
  10. What?

    What? curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Biddeford, Maine
    It just goes to show you that a stitch in time saves nine. If you had put the smallest dab of grease on the cam, the points would have never broken in the first place.:D
    So, yes. Continue carrying your sewing kit.:rofl
    #10
  11. Gham

    Gham Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,732
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    I get too nervous for leaving things that have been rigged,I understand the roadside fix but not getting it taken care of proper at the nearest place possible:eek1 me thinks your pressing your luck and most times that has poor results.
    #11
  12. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,069
    Location:
    NorCal
    Riding my little K11p up Mt. Hamilton, my front header pipe fell off.:eek1 Ended up using the 46 year old tool kit screwdriver and a rock to spin the header lock ring back on.:lol3 No pictures though.
    #12
  13. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,684
    Location:
    Kensington, NH USA
    An aluminum shim made of roadside beer can was quickly fabricated as an exhaust port thread shim on the Commando. :clap
    #13
  14. racer

    racer Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,712
    Location:
    Indiana
    A couple things...

    If you are riding a vintage bike with known issues like points breaking, why wouldn't you carry a spare set or two, cheap and they take up no room.

    As to "why I ride vintage iron", I've never been stranded on my newer bikes.

    Just sayin........
    #14
  15. Meriden

    Meriden Yea whatever

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    900
    Location:
    Crossing a required field
    Gotta say that my old Triumph never stranded me. I rode home in the dark once, but never it never stranded me. I keep enough tools in a leather pouch to strip it on the side of the road, spare wire and bulbs in the headlight housing, and a master link clipped to the clutch cable. Best thing I ever did for that bike was to ditch the points, rectifier, zenier diode and the other associated crap and replace it with modern electronics. Too much piddling around for poor results. Need to get rid of the Amal too, but I'm too lazy.

    I was riding out in Acton, California with a couple of friends the day before LAB2LV. Headed back to the campground I passesd a guy with a beautiful emerald green HD bagger. He had the bike spread all over the shoulder and a tool roll six feet long, so I stopped.

    "Can I help you?" I asked.
    "You got a 10 MM?" He replied.

    All of his tools were SAE as was all of his bike. All of it except the battery that was stuffed in some spot where he could only reach it with a wrench.

    m
    #15
  16. marksbonneville

    marksbonneville Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Arizona, Prescott more less.
    Wow it must be nice to have one of those newer bikes that never break down. :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl
    #16
  17. Kt-88

    Kt-88 I like everything.

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    SLC area, Utah
    Last roadside repair on the r90 was done with sticks and a rock. I had gotten the points covered in salt and they didn't like conducting anymore.

    The one time I didn't carry tools. Dummy.

    Correctly sized rocks to open the Allen heads and scrape the points, sticks to act as a wrench to disconnect the battery prior.

    Got 105 miles home!
    #17
  18. Ron Bernert

    Ron Bernert hiding in plain sight

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    Oxford, Ohio
    I figure that as long as I carry the full BMW toolkit, a leatherman and a spare tube/tire, I'll NEVER have to fix my bike on the side of the road..... But it sure comes in handy fixing others!
    #18