What was your dumbest mistake, and how did it turn out?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BlueRidgeBandit, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    17,699
    Location:
    Up. And to the right.
    Not buying proper motorcycle luggage. I'm sure I shaved off a few years of my life after dealing with that stress after my crash.
    #21
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  2. scottzilla

    scottzilla Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    543
    Location:
    LI
    OP's mechanical knowledge ends in 1986.:D
    #22
  3. ydarg

    ydarg Miscreant

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    2,154
    Location:
    Above the Equator
    Sounds like Xtreme Power Sports on 301 in Tampa. Got tires put on my old XB12 Ss there...once. I waited around and it started to get to the point where I asked what was taking so long after three hours. The service writer dude goes out, comes back in with his head hanging and says...."we dropped your bike and need to see what parts have to be replaced". I figured they didn't put the side stand down and it fell when someone got off of it.

    Nope.

    They dropped it off the lift from 4' in the air when it fell off the jack. Cracked the frame (which was the fuel tank), cracked the primary cover, broke the L peg off and dented the swingarm (which was the oil tank), bent the rear subframe. Bike was totaled by insurance.

    This was 2010ish. Still won't go back there.
    #23
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,919
    Location:
    alabama

    it was an independent in Brandon/Valrico, don't remember the name. hopefully they're out of business by now.

    your bike was a LOT nicer than mine, i would have been very upset
    #24
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  5. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,296
    Location:
    Truckee
    Working on my bike a couple of years ago. The front sprocket sits on a set of splines and held in place with a cir-clip. Finish putting the bike together over a couple of days. I am sure some heavy drinking was involved. Head out for a short test ride up the street. Did wear a helmet. Go uphill, so if something goes wrong and dies I can coast back to the house. At the top of the hill, everything is good turn around to head back. Another first test ride rule of mine: GO SLOW. Bike running GREAT. I stand up on the pegs. Slow and bored I take my hands off the bars doing my best Kate Winslet Titanic impression: look I am flying. Rear wheel locks up and throws me forward. Pinch the tank with my knees and jam my upper thigh into the bar. Somehow kept my face off the front tire and endo'ing OTBs.

    Turns out I forgot to put the circlip on the front sprocket as I was waiting on a new one. Sprocket comes off driveshaft, it and the chain jam up and locks the rear wheel.

    [​IMG]
    #25
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  6. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    4,781
    Location:
    England On the Scotish border
    1975 a young Matty 17 was saving hard for the air fair to New Zealand a job culling deer over there had the deer hunter in me on overdrive and i had to go in my gap year .
    No money to waste had any decent car or van out of the equalisation. and i bought a ex CO OP Bedford HA van for £19 with mot but a blown head gasket.
    Like this one only in shabby condition.
    [​IMG]
    I gets the van home rips the head off the little 4 cylinder.
    Called in the discount motorist store on the way home the next night , it was pouring down and late November , so i pushed the old van into the cow bier no lights in there at that time so i got an old hurricane paraffin lamp and set too replacing the head gasket.
    My father came out to help me and we had the block and head scrubbed up in no time i changed the thermostat which was the cause of the blown gasket , and it was time to put the head on , keen to get indoors we cracked on with the job, then my mother shouts my dad indoors for the phone call. as dad is walking away he shouted back through the rain the choke cable matty . OK i shouts back taking it that he had fitted it to the carb ready to just drop the head over the new gasket bolt her down in for supper and a warm dry trip to work the next day.
    I stormed through the job feeling my way about in the shadows of the hurricane lamp. gets the head bolts torqued down petrol pipe on rockers into the push rods quick check of valve clearances two were quite a way out. Water in my best new anti freeze and top up the screen washer bag with the left over water in the watering can. and its action stations.
    She spluttered to life with a blowing exhaust which suprised me and on three cylinders occasionally two cylinders. it was cold i had started it by pumping the accelerator pump on the old zenith carb. but pulling the choke leaver nada was solid.
    switches off, have a quick look and its obvious i had tightened the choke cable between the block and the head flattening it and marking both the block and the head. The blowing was not the exhaust but the head where the cable had trapped through me rushing in the dark. Van was a scrapper i did not even bother unbolting the head to have a look just weighed it in for scrap the next Saturday morning off work. i lost about £15 on that mistake i was on about £30 a week then. Not my finest moment it has to be said.
    #26
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  7. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18,811
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    Back in 76 I traded my Suzuki TM125 for a Honda CL350 - really stupid. I already had a Kawasaki 400 triple. Duh! :baldy
    #27
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  8. Wingboy

    Wingboy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    576
    Location:
    Waterloo Ontario
    Drilling out a broken upper shock mount bolt on my RL250. Put the drill bit right thru my thumb. Ok... Doesn't hurt to bad. Unplug the drill, into the house in the little bathroom right by the entrance. Run it under cold water for a while. Starting to hurt now! I'm tough, plug the drill in, put it in reverse.
    Came to on the floor with my wife and neighbor standing over me and blood everywhere. When i hit reverse, i passed out and fell back, hit my head on the toilet tank lid, smashed it, and split my head open on the ceramic. Wife came home and found me with a broken toilet in a pool of blood with a drill in the sink. Bandaid on the thumb and 3 staples in the head. Haha.
    #28
  9. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 Knowledge is horsepower...

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    24,988
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, MN
    Installed a Wiseco piston backwards in my XT600 and bent a valve. Maybe more than once. :doh

    Ended up donating it to a local boneyard for $100 bucks.
    #29
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  10. tominboise

    tominboise Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,236
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Bike wise - probably the time I started my new to me DR350 in the driveway (standing next to it on the left side, holding it upright). For some reason that I still can't fathom, I reached down with my hand and slapped the shifter into first gear. The bike proceeded to take off and run into the side of the house. Busted the mirror off.

    Professionally, probably when I was a new engineer at Boeing, designing the flat pattern for a pulley bracket on a PCM (photo contact master) drawing, which are supposed to be scaled 1:1. So the shop can use the drawing as a layout and checking fixture. Only i designed it at a 2:1 scale. It went through check and released to the shop. The shop guys were kind enough to call my and ask WTF I really wanted to do.....
    #30
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  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18,811
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    Isn't machinist support nice. When I was doing hydraulic repair sketch up for parts they pulled my ass out of the fire a few times. Always good to realize those guys actually have knowledge, no diploma to decorate the wall, but good knowledge. Any kid in school for engineering I tell them the floor workers are their friend, treat them as the knowledgeable people they are.
    #31
  12. cmfireman

    cmfireman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    Oddometer:
    47
    Drilled too far when removing the EPA brass blank on the fuel/air screw on my DR650 carb. Broke the EZ Out bit trying to remove the mangled screw and basically ruined the carb body. It turned out well as it was an excuse to buy a TM40 carb from Procycle. Same bike, I overtensioned the chain and cause the countershaft to flex tearing the countershaft seal out. Luckily I saw it quick due to the quart of oil in my garage floor. Ordered a countershaft seal retainer and new seal from Procycle.
    #32
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  13. Bumble1

    Bumble1 n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Alaska
    Bought a used Triumph.....so far so good....she just requires a bit more attention than most....British electricals.
    #33
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  14. Grestil

    Grestil Burly

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    668
    Location:
    Farmersville, Texas
    I assembled an engine with a total of 2 rags in the cylinders once. Took it apart and removed a rag and then reassembled it. Then I took it apart again and removed the second one. I can disassemble that particular model rather quickly.
    #34
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  15. Bounder

    Bounder Typing...

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,023
    Location:
    West Cork, Ireland
    I had an IT175J when I was at school, probably 15 or so.
    I had the carb out for some reason, and after refitting it put the slide in backwards. Young me never checked for correct throttle operation before kicking it over.
    Those old Yamaha two strokes are quite reliable and started easy, straight to 8k rpm! No killswitch installed so I thought I'd put it into gear and stall it.
    Big mistake, instant wheelie and a crash in the enclosed courtyard of the bike shop I was in.
    Luckily for me the fuel tap was on stop and once the float bowl ran dry as it lay on its side it cut out.
    No damage to me or anything else luckily but I have a great deal of respect for the torque of those small two stroke enduro bikes even to this day.
    #35
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  16. jfauerba

    jfauerba Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Replaced oil filter on bike. After aid fresh oil rev engine few times and heard a pop and oil all over the place. Turns out the old oil filter gasket stuck to engine and then put new filter on which doubled the gasket. Pressure made it pop.

    Other issue, replaced front tire on xt225. Went for test ride. At stop sign no front brake and went right though it onto main road and hit sidewalk. Failed to pump brakes after wheels put back on. FYI, at the time only used front brakes on paved road, back on gravel.
    #36
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  17. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,238
    There are so many! But there are a few that are memorable and rather stand out, for numerous and different reasons.

    The old Ford Falcon with dry suspension joints so stiff you could hold the car in any position. Lifted it, leaned over the wheel, commenced greasing. That relaxed the car and it settled down on my neck, trapping me between the fender and tire. Took a while before anyone noticed and let me out.

    Lifting the engine cover of a running lawnmower engine. Doctors were able to put the fingers back together!

    Trying to decide if the engine rapping was rod knock. The engine exploded in my face. I didn't get hit by any shrapnel.
    #37
  18. nhbubba

    nhbubba Internet Tough Guy

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    683
    Location:
    Southern NH
    I do my own tire mounting. Bought a set of D606's on recommendation for my first ever dual-sport motorbike. Over a year later I'm at a rally, deep into a "big bike hard" group ride in the woods. Ride leader looks over at me and my bike at a stop while waiting for stragglers to catch up and says "hey, did you know your front tire is mounted backwards?"

    Doh. D606's work better when mounted correctly, little FYI for the room.
    #38
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  19. zeerx

    zeerx Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,371
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    Sold my ‘75 Z1.
    #39
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  20. Skidmarkart

    Skidmarkart Dirty Middle Age Man Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8,458
    Location:
    Durham NC, The Old Durty
    Hard to pick just one, but a good one was when I purchased a new (to me) Superhawk with performance exhausts. The bike wasn't running when I purchased it, but after a thorough inspection, and a new battery, I didn't see any reason why it would not run. At this point, I should point out two things: I pretty much never use the kill switch, and opt instead just drop the kick-stand to turn off my bikes, and I am working in a very small garage with only the door about half open for fumes. Well, I sit there and crank and crank and crank... everything turns, sounds like everything is right, but it just will not take over from the starter. After doing this for several minutes, I am frustrated. I look over the bike again, and there's the problem! The kill switch has flipped. I flip it on, touch the starter and...

    BOOOOOOM!

    The loudest backfire I have ever heard, in a 12 x 8 garage, and of course, no hearing protection. My hearing hasn't been the same since. Thankfully, since I've been with the same lady for 19 years now, I need it less than ever. :jack
    #40
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