Bikes break – fact!

…but what if they break when you are in unfamiliar territory and you have to rely on a stranger for help?

Over the years I have met numerous riders nationally and internationally that had great things to say about mechanics they’ve met, and love to share that experience whether it be on ADVrider, Horizons Unlimited or actually tag the GPS waypoint on

The bad, the unknown – these get flagged as well, but it might be a rant in a ride report and then it’s gone, or it might be a case of you the rider not explaining or knowing what the issue was and getting more work done than required?

So a few obvious/ unobvious pointers –

  • Firstly, if at all possible call or email your ‘local mechanic’ back home and ask their advice, and price so you have a point of reference
  • you are on the road don’t be taken advantage of
  • if possible check with a few places to compare prices, the first guy is not always the best guy. Don’t jump to a decision, step back think, assess the situation, don’t make a decision if you feel stressed
  • try to find a clean shop, if a mechanic can’t keep his shop clean, then your parts could go missing or the bike not be handled with care
  • if possible, be there watch what they do
  • DON’T engage the mechanic in too much conversation if you are watching, let them concentrate on the job
  • ask to see the old parts if you aren’t there
  • if you are just having an oil change, double check your oil level before riding the bike. This seems to be the most common, oil not being added…I have heard this, dozens of times
  • if the mechanic isn’t using a torque wrench then make a point of YOU supplying Loctite, and if possible double check his tightness on the fasteners he touched later on or the following day
  • Replacing a blown fuse does not always correct the issue, find out why the fuse blew, ask questions, try and replicate the situation.
  • Adding a bigger fuse is not a fix, a fuse is that size for a very good reason
  • Electrical problems make up around 70% of breakdowns, before you go looking for help because of an electrical issue, double check your battery connection READ THIS 5 MINUTE BATTERY CHECK I wrote
  • One broken connector can stop your bike dead! Double check these first and carry a few spares before you open your wallet, these are easy fixes, cheap and don’t add any weight to your luggage

  • Welding – if you ever want to take one thing away and learn from ‘Long Way Round’…ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS unhook, your battery AND ECM before any welding is done. The mistake is at 20.35

**** and as an added bonus if you hadn’t seen LWR, LWD etc, and want to Ewan and Charley have started a YouTube channel and all episodes are now up for free viewing.

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