What road/trail breakdowns have you had, and were you able to fix the issue?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by STLR, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. STLR

    STLR Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Oddometer:
    427
    Location:
    SoIL
    I've been reading through the various toolkit and spare parts threads in the quest of the Goldilocks kit that balances need, space, and weight. As noted in another thread, I am guilty of packing a heavy and cumbersome TEOTWAWKI kit based on perceived need instead of reality. We all know there are basic tools that BMW doesn't provide. My question is what tools, and under what circumstances, have you actually used in order to return home?

    1. Lost rear brakes though the MT Rockies, completely failed in WY, and was able to make it to the dealer in Sturgis, SD. Pads and fluid were replaced, but the reason was never identified and was not fixable without items that I do not carry.

    2. Water crossing spill. High-centered in a creek crossing in MO. I put my foot into a hole and fell, but killed the engine before any water ingress. I carry a plug socket and coil puller, but luckily did not have to use them.

    3. Not a breakdown, but I air up/down quite often so always have a compressor.
    #1
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  2. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    Jan 30, 2006
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    2,771
    Location:
    Midwest
    Bottomed hard on the Dempster and blew a fork seal. I took a rag and wrapped the fork at the seal and zip tied it in place to absorb the oil pumping out . Replaced seals 5500 miles later at home.
    #2
  3. jbuggyus

    jbuggyus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
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    547
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    washington
    Cracked valve cover on my 1100gs 30 miles out in the middle of no where. Some 5 minute jb weld i was back on the trail in 30 minutes! 5 minute jb weld will always be in my tool kit ( also a can of parts cleaner)
    #3
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Feb 11, 2005
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    Alexandria, VA
    #4
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  5. Roads and Trails

    Roads and Trails Just Ridin' Along Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    The 505
    In 1994 on a back road in Nevada, riding two-up, my R100RT dropped one cylinder. It didn't take too long to figure out I had a split carb diaphragm. That puppy vibrated like a Buel Blast!
    Rode fifty miles into Ely on one cylinder, after dark, and found a Ben Franklin store open. I bought a bicycle tire patch kit and some party balloons. Cutting a balloon to the correct shape and gluing it in got me home.
    #5
  6. BMWBOB51

    BMWBOB51 Going slower, but bench race faster :)

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Oddometer:
    800
    I had a plug back out (my fault) and bike died. Reseated the plug, but modern electronics decided to not let the bike start. I had to push it a quarter mile, get a ride home, call BMW for a tow. Dealer reset the error code and back on the road. Now I carry a 911! If I was on my 1974 Norton Commando I could have ridden home on one cylinder!
    #6
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  7. ydarg

    ydarg Miscreant

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    Nov 11, 2015
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    2,215
    Location:
    Above the Equator
    Rear puncture during Anniston (bicycle race). Monkey dick, air back up with compressor and back in the race within 15-20 min.
    #7
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  8. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,973
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    I carry a torque wrench in a inch and a half black abs drain pipe.

    SO this is the way I choose my tools... I have NO PARTS....so why carry enough stuff to rebuild the whole bike?

    I do carry a lot though....in the scheme of things it's not at all heavy. Lot less than a case of beer, more like a twelver and we all carry one of them at the end of the day.

    I wouldn't worry about worrying if I had enough tools....just carry what makes YOU feel comfortable.

    At our local café race stop in the mountains I am the 'go to guy' riding the BMW if anyone needs a tool!

    I've fixed MANY more bikes belonging to others than I have fixed my own.
    #8
  9. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Alexandria, VA
    Same here.
    #9
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  10. twinsig

    twinsig Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    581
    Location:
    Middle Alabama
    I think Murphy will often find a way to ride along unless you carry enough stuff to limit his space.
    On my old hi mile oilhead I carried all kinds of sh#^..!
    But nowadays, riding the brick, I keep a set of short-straps under the seat, fuses, bulbs & tire repair crap with the tools.
    Murphy can kiss my A$$. Then again someday, could be vice-versa. Pucker-Up!!
    #10
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  11. nw_gser#0001

    nw_gser#0001 aka Brewin_Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    160
    Location:
    Seattle
    I broke the driveshaft universal that connects to the transmission splines on my 2008 R1200GSA. I was not able to repair that on the side of the road.
    The bike is repaired now and ready for a long tour on the 1st of May.
    #11
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  12. Ua the Destroyer

    Ua the Destroyer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    434
    Location:
    Portland
    I carry a full toolkit that has benefited others more than me.

    Rear brake line failed on my 1150gs. I knew I needed to update the lines and had them but hadn’t installed yet. Luckily I was 10 miles from home and got the caliper released and avoided the rear brake until home.

    Also had a valve stem fail in the middle of the north Cascade highway. If I would if had a spare valve stem we could have fixed it. Rode a buddies bike back witht the wheel to an Awesome shop in Concrete WA that fixed me up great. Continued with trip.


    Old airhead Gs limped home 50 miles in 3rd gear from a broken pawl spring in the transmission. Couldn’t shift gears. Rebuilt the transmission at home.

    Worst was crashing an srx600 on a country road. Seat came off and the battery ejected into the bushes. Took me 30-45 minutes to find the battery. A bit longer to find my ego. Also a kickstart only 600cc thumper with a bruised and battered body and messed up right leg was a bit rough. Still made it home on the bike though.
    #12
  13. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

    Joined:
    May 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,699
    Location:
    Wet side of WA.
    All the normal stuff that went along with owning Nortons, Triumphs and BSA's long after they quit making them.

    The other bikes ? and I'm not counting crash damages here:
    Front and rear flats. Broke clutch cables. Fouled plugs. Electrical gremlins. Fried stators. Fried regulators. Cracked battery. Spit chain. Blown valve cover gaskets.
    Fork seal blowout. Vacume leaks. Exhaust leaks. Broken muffler tabs. Fuel filters clogged. Fuel filter media swelled shut. Swamped bike. Stuck calipers. leaky brake lines.

    Seized piston, cracked engine case and dropped valve all needed a tow home. The rest I fixed on the spot or made do.

    I have decent bikes but sometime I miss those old clapped out beaters.
    #13
  14. Ua the Destroyer

    Ua the Destroyer Been here awhile

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    Sep 30, 2011
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    434
    Location:
    Portland
    Oh yeah. I forgot seized camshaft on another srx. Didn’t make it home on that one.
    #14
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  15. bykemike

    bykemike "ready to navigate" Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,178
    Location:
    St. Augustine FL
    cracked fuel disconnects

    tubeless tire valve blow out of the rim

    lost a pair of cap coils within 1000 miles of each other on a cross USA trip (came home on the lower plugs, you can ya know)

    I don't carry much, you can not plan for what may happen I don't think. If I can make it to an Autozone I can find the stuff it takes to cobb it together, buy the bargin bin tools to do it and roll on out, if there is a motel within walking distance to the parts store I am in a sort of heaven. I can fix my bike and catch up on Law and Order reruns :)
    #15
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  16. RJAMT

    RJAMT Who remembered the winch? Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    780
    Location:
    Belleville, IL unfortunately
    So far it sounds like carrying tools hasn't been of much use to the person hauling them.

    Should that be chalked up to bikes being more reliable now or are they getting so complicated that they can't be fixed "in the field"?


    P.S. - good to know I'm not the only Law & Order junkie!
    #16
  17. KHud

    KHud Survivor

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    Jun 24, 2008
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    4,794
    Location:
    Big Sky Country
    I carry a bunch of tools, because if I have a mechanical problem, then there is a chance that someone will come along that knows how to use them.
    #17
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  18. windypoint

    windypoint Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    739
    Location:
    Walla Walla
    Put the bike underwater in Australia due to a flash flood. Almost had it fixed when I forgot the exhaust was full of water and hydro locked the cylinder and broke the ring gear. Dealer had to fix that.

    I had the starter/kill switch go out in Northern B.C. and I couldn't sort it out in the field so I rental trucked back.

    Other problems were sorted on the road. This is over 40 years of riding all over.
    #18
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  19. McBike

    McBike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    268
    Location:
    Durango
    On my new 2014 GSA I had the clutch seize just above 12,000 feet on the last switch back on Ophir pass, coming from Telluride. The bike had only 1,200 miles on it and I was set to leave exactly two weeks later on my CDR trip. $3,500 worth of towing paid by BMW and it was fixed within 2 weeks by the Grand Junction BMW dealer. They flew in a new clutch from Germany. Hitched a ride on a jeep into Silverton so I could get a cell signal to call roadside assistance. Then rode on the back of my buddies 700 GS to Durango. Good times.
    #19
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  20. JMforPres

    JMforPres Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,368
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I was a day ride away from home at the Georgia Mountain Rally on a 1977 Airhead. The bike started to run poorly then went back to full power sporadically. It came back to full power while I was leaned over in at turn, very exciting!

    When i got back to camp Rick Jones (Motorrad Elektrik) diagnosed the problem via my description and told me to put the original points back into the bike. I replaced the after-market electronic ignition system with the points while being watch by about 30 people at the rally making comments about old bikes. A quick static timing and the bike started on the first try. The crowd of 30 people quickly dispersed but the an Airhead Marshal gave me a beer and a smile.

    Jon
    #20
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