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When the Job Just HAD to be Done (Motorcycle Topics Only, Please)

Discussion in 'Missions Accomplished' started by Dark Angel, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Dark Angel

    Dark Angel Still kickin' it! Club Sponsor

    I’d ridden home from work in the dark and the rain without a problem but, as I indicated to turn into my street, everything went haywire. The indicators were malfunctioning and the lights were acting like indicators.

    Of course, the fault could have manifested itself at almost any time during the previous three months but it had, maliciously and deliberately, concealed its existence until it was dark, raining - and it was also the night before we were due to leave for Portugal and MotoGP Estoril, in 2006!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I didn’t have a garage and I didn’t have a clue what was causing the fault - or how to fix it - but I had to get it sorted or cancel the trip. At seven o’clock in the evening, my only source of information was B.I.R.D, so I had no option but to strip the bike down in the kitchen and hope that somebody on the site could provide the answer to my problem.

    As I recall, I had the “bad earth - check ‘em all” responses in less than an hour. It was a panicky time, but I managed to find the culprit wire, remedy the fault, check functions and re-fit the bits without a hint of resistance from any of them. What a relief when it was finally done! (y)

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  2. Vinterceptor

    Vinterceptor Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    Went up to Seaton Delaval nr Newcastle from Preston to visit me mum with the GF as pillion on my GT750kettle. Stayed a day or two then on the last morning went to the paper shop early. When I came out a paper lad told me my bike was leaking. Surely enough bright green liquid pishing out the overflow pipe. Rode it back to my mums place a couple of blocks away.
    Let it cool checked rad cap, topped it up, fired it up and water instantly leaking out again....barsteward suspected leaking head gasket.

    First step of the fix, I found a massive thick book called a telephone directory (it was quite a while ago) and found a suzuki dealer in Newcastle. I telephoned them and was pleased to hear the news that they had a head gasket in stock along with a Haynes w/shop manual too. Up to this point in time I had only ever done oil changes and basic bike maintenance before.
    Step 2 figure out a route into Newcastle entirely by the aid of busses and find the shop, then make it back again. I was quite pleased with myself when I got back to Seaton Delaval.
    In hind sight I should have bought some tools too as those available in my step fathers shed were hardly up to it. Despite having plenty of hand tools, lathes, and numerous other machines for making gears and stuff they were mostly related to his trade as a watchmaker.
    So with the aid of a claw hammer, a very old adjustable spanner (the type that in profile looks like a stilson), a ring spanner borrowed from a neighbour, a hammer and a pen knife. I changed the head gasket and estimated the torque settings along the way. Topped up the coolant and fired the engine up with baited breath........... no leaks:aaaaa: and we got back to Preston in time to get back to work(y)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. slim63

    slim63 Never surrender Club Sponsor

    Back in the 80's on the way back from rally my mates xs400 started blowing a bit of smoke & was struggling for power then eventually stopped, this was early on a Sunday morning in the pissing rain somewhere around the arse end of Durham

    By the oil down the front of the motor it was obvious the head gasket was gone, obviously no bike shops were open & none of us had home phones never mind mobiles in those days so it was a case of sort it or scrap it

    I found a news agents open a few miles away & bought a box of Farley's rusks & a carton of milk, we had breakfast in a bus shelter before stripping it with a multi tool, half a honda tool kit & half a yam one, one Farley's head gasket & a lot of swearing later off we went steadily until we found an open garage about 20 miles later where we topped up the oil then Gaz thrashed the bloody thing all the way back to Leicester a distance of 150+ miles at a guess

    If I remember right he rode it to work & back for a couple of weeks after that until his local shop got a new gasket
    • Like Like x 2
  4. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    I made a temporary generator cover gasket out of a Shreddies box...was still there working perfectly well when I sold the bike some time later...
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  5. Squag1

    Squag1 Can't remember.... Club Sponsor

    I reckon a Weetabix box or Alpen box would be good. They are a bugger to tear up.
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  6. Dark Angel

    Dark Angel Still kickin' it! Club Sponsor


    The pictures I‘ve used in this thread are what I refer to as “rummage finds”: old stuff that’s been “lost” for years on the computer, but then turns up when I’m looking for something else. When I stumbled upon the Estoril pictures, I found these, too, from the same trip. This time, Mrs DA was the one who came up with the solution to the problem…

    On one of our stops on our way through Spain I ran my usual checks and discovered that the oil level was the tiniest bit low, so I topped it up, laughing and giggling because this was a Blackbird with 40K on the clock and I’d never had to do this before! We bought drinks and grub from the nearby cafe and, in due course, resumed our journey.

    We must have been about ten miles down the road when I smelled oil and a glance in the mirror revealed the faint-but-always-dreaded blue haze behind us, so I pulled off the carriageway with every nerve screaming and a sense of disbelief that was overwhelming: “Blown oil seal somewhere? Broken piston ring? What the hell…?” A quick scan revealed that it wasn’t that complex, really: I’d forgotten to replace the oil filler cap.

    Shame-faced and in full defensive mode I launched into a two-minute rant at the bike, at myself, and at the fact that there wasn’t a Honda dealer for a hundred mile radius who’d have a filler cap - we’d never make it in this state.“What did you do with it?” asked Mrs DA. “I must have left it on the kerbside where we stopped” I said. “Well - can’t we just go back and get it?….” “…Errrrrr… …Yeah… Yeah… …Of course we can.” I faltered, “I’ll just see if there’s anything I can use as a substitute…”

    The moral of the story: it’s always best - no matter what’s happened; it’s always best if you can sta-a-a-ay ca-a-a-alm…

    …That way, you don’t end up looking - and feeling - like a knob.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 1
    • Great stuff ! Great stuff ! x 1
  7. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    What drinks and food did you have??
  8. DEG5Y

    DEG5Y Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    I take it the milk was to put on your Farley's?
  9. DEG5Y

    DEG5Y Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    Can't remember what the cause was but I remember having one of a mates carbs off his GT250 stripped bare in the middle of Oulton Park, praying I didn't loose any of the parts in the grass, because it kept flooding!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. slim63

    slim63 Never surrender Club Sponsor

    Yep a bite of rusk & a swig of milk each, none of us were refined enough to take bowls spoons etc on a rally back then :oops::D
  11. Squag1

    Squag1 Can't remember.... Club Sponsor

    The carb or the grass.... you'd find the float anyway:rolleyes:

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