Did you abandon your bike, or...?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports & Photos' started by Bob, May 25, 2020.

  1. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Edit: Did your bike abandon you?
    Let's face it gentle Inmates, not all rides go as planned. Tell us about having to abandon your bike... or vice versa? LOL
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  2. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    Salmonier line on a K Bike coming up from Colinet and just coming through the chicane like turns before the Deer Park forestry station I may have been a bit too aggressive and tore the splines off the single dry clutch disc. Revved up but no forward motion in any gear? WTF? Thought it was the driveshaft U-joint but the sounds were in the wrong place so I took my GF on the back of hers to home and got a trailer. Happened to have a spare disc from a wrecked machine I had as salvage but it was soaked in gear oil. I was told that you can't use it because the oil soaks into the fibers but with no dealer here and parts were at least a few weeks out so I boiled it in dishwashing liquid soapy water while I pulled the transmission out through the arse end of the bike. After supper I installed it but having no clutch alignment tool I hauled the input shaft off the shattered tranny that spewed the gear oil and used it as a Hail Mary device. Test rode it on the hill I live on before final button up.
    Eventually I put over 100,000kms on that disc but I lubed the splines more regularly.
    dresda and Bob like this.
  3. 00PowderSpecial

    00PowderSpecial New Member

    The only time I ever had to was when I lived in NS, and came to visit my parents in Central NL. I got off the ferry and was having battery issues on a 2000 Yamaha R6, about 20kms from Port Aux Basques the bike died. My Dad ended up driving over and towed me (sketchy!) back to Port Aux Basque where a kind fella offered to store it during my stay, he even charged the battery for me so I could drive it back on the ferry where a friend in a pickup picked me up on the other side. Friggen voltage regulators!
    Bob likes this.
  4. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    I've had to leave a bike literally on the shoulder of the road four times which I don't think is too bad but kind of ruined my day. I'll get to those if no one else posts up...
  5. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    That was a long recovery drive for your Dad for sure. Hope those Wreckhouse winds didn't interfere with you being towed.
  6. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Good thing that didn't happen on one of your longer rides Murph. Some fixes can get pretty spendy when you're far from your shed.
  7. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    Never had to yet.
  8. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    I remember taking you on the back of my Vespa when your Aprilia was left in Portugal Cove :D
  9. Trash

    Trash Well-Known Member

    All three times that I have had to leave a loaded bike at the side of the road have been because the Operator (me) ran out of fuel. Each time I was rescued by a friendly motorist who not only drove me to a gas station, but also drove me back to my motorcycle to make sure that I got back on my way safely. Motorcycle fuel tanks never seem to be big enough for me.

    Fortunately, this hasn’t happened to me in more than twenty years, so I guess I can claim that I have gained some wisdom with age. :rolleyes:
    Bob likes this.
  10. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Gas mileage has improved in the last 20 years too...
  11. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected but I didn't abandon it on the side of the road either. That poor little scooter is still in the shop!
  12. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    My first 'abandonment' was in April 1970. I was on my way home from MUN after exams. That was the last year before they moved to a semesterized system so we'd started in Sept and wrote finals in April. I was soooo happy to get out of Town I didn't care about a couple hour ride home in the rain. What could go wrong? Only a bit of rain, and it was Spring after all. So, rubbered up in the apt. parking lot, gassed up out by the overpass and headed home on my little BSA 500 like the one in this month's avatar.
    Naturally I was froze, soaked, struggled to get a smoke lit in Whitbourne. I'd end up quitting in a couple of years but thoroughly enjoyed a smoke during long cold wet rides . In retrospect the whole process of stopping, warming and drying hands, digging out cigarettes, getting matches to work, getting teeth to stop chattering and lips to keep from dropping the smoke all helped as a 'warm up'.
    By the time I got through the Doe Hills ice was forming on the bike, the shoulder of the road and my goggles were icing up too. You can only scratch so much ice off goggles with oily gloves before you can't see much. Goggles became neck warmers after that. I wore glasses back in the days before eye surgery. When they iced up I could remove then with my left hand, lick the ice off and put them back on again. I was very near sighted so I'd have to watch for a chance to do that without stopping.
    By Southern Harbour the bike was acting weird. Felt like both spark and gas were coming and going. Every now and then I'd pull over to warm my hands on the motor, listen to the bike, and wonder what was going on. The steel nosed work boots and Black Diamond rubber rain gear were iced over a bit too which was good as the ice helped helped keep out the cold. I had not encountered 'black ice' on bike up to this time in my riding so I didn't know what I didn't know...
    Luckily no ice formed on the road, however it seemed to be forming everywhere else. The bike kept acting up and by the time I got to Come By Chance it was surging so bad I hardly made it to the top of the hill where you turned off to Come By Chance or Sunnyside, depending. At this point my problems took on a new perspective... the bike died completely and the transmission lines were down at the Sunnyside substation. As close as I could tell in the near dark my cables kept freezing open where they entered the top of the carb. I tried melting the ice with my fingertips but they didn't have enough heat. I had a passing thought about my matches but I really liked that bike and it was the weather, not the bike, which caused the issues. Work crews were starting to show up and people stopped to gaze wondrously at the iced up power lines and flattened towers. One of them offered me a ride on in to Clarenville so I pulled the key, beat the ice off my knapsack and hopped in. The heat in their car hit me I fell asleep before I could have a smoke. I must have looked like a bad ass biker for sure. I guess final exams took more out of me than I knew.
    My ride woke me up at a gas station in Clarenville where I apologized for being such poor company and I topped up his tank in appreciation. The power came on again sometime over night and late that morning I went back in our pickup with a buddy in to get my bike. Turned out she had a cracked coil as well. The Power crews were still doing a fair bit of work in that area so I guess no one bothered the bike thinking it belonged to one of the workers.
    I knew I caught a break leaving that bike abandoned on the shoulder overnight. I said I'd never have to do that again. But I didn't know what I didn't know...
    Jim C-G, Stevenl and skibum69 like this.
  13. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    I flogged that nice little 500 for the next year until the top end went. Pity I knew nada about valve adjustments and such or it might have lasted another 11,000 miles....
    Anyway fast forward a year and a bit later I ended up on a BSA 650 Firebird Scrambler (A65FS). This one had low pipes like the one in this vid:

    As far as I could tell then (and now) the only differences between the Scrambler and the 650 Lightning was the lower gear ratio on the Scrambler (didn't want to go over 80 mph) and that the Lightning, by contrast, was "...deliberately designed to be more durable...".

    So, headed West after work on a warm Friday afternoon in July hoping to get to a friend's in Lewisporte that night. Only 3800 miles on the bike and it had already had a warranty recall done to fix a known lubrication issue. The recall was done by a legendary local motorcycle mechanic local small motor guru and authorized BMW dealer. So naturally I was looking forward to getting way more than just 11,000 miles out of this one what with a bigger motor and everything. I mean, what could go wrong?

    Well, about 20 miles west of Clarenville the motor went without warning. And it didn't go quietly, it went with an enormous explosion which frightened the daylights out of me. In the milliseconds that define such events I felt the rear end break traction before I could hear the rubber squeal and I grabbed the clutch, just by instinct, not from any advanced motorcycle training. That instinctive clutch response had already saved me previous grief and was becoming hard wired into the limited lexicon of my "oh snap!" moment response repertoires. By the time I got stopped I was thinking the drive train may not be the issue. Two years before this I blew the tranny on my Honda 305 Superhawk so drive issues remained embedded deeply in my unforgettable motorcycle moments.

    Anyway, only riders who've loss of their one and only bike mid summer know what I was feeling as I slowly dismounted. Having already ruled out drive train issues I was optimistically hoping for just a blown head gasket but what I found was a rod had punched through the casing and bent the left down tube so the frame was gone as well as the motor.
    I sat on the shoulder dry cried my way through a couple smokes then hitchhiked home and got the pickup and a buddy to get the bike. I had no worries about abandoning this bike on the side of the road... the rod pushing the the frame out to the front fender was clearly visible to passing traffic. Turned out the extra oil port that was drilled in the con rod to 'improve lubrication' was not much of a fix after all.

    I'm trying not to be 'nostalgic' about these old bikes but I do appreciate what I learned form them and the memories I made on them. But the bikes themselves? Most of them had issues and none of us trusted them to go very far or very fast for very long. We had a local riding club back in those days with about 30 members but could never put more than a dozen bikes on the road for any given ride due to breakdowns. In all fairness to the bikes most of us didn't know anything about motorcycle maintenance and didn't have access to tools, workshops etc. They were maintenance intensive by todays standards and we were maintenance insensitive, also by today's standards. LOL
    While buying a pack of smokes at the drugstore one payday I also grabbed Robert M. Pirsig's 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'. I had a 305 Super Hawk too and Pirsig was an engineer so I thought I might learn something... as usual I didn't't know what I didn't know.
    dresda likes this.
  14. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    Just read a good article on ADV about BSA Lightning and one for sale. There was a little video of Johnny Dep reading Hunter S Thompson which was also good. Now I want to see the movie.
  15. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Yeah, I was looking at the same ADV stuff which reminded me to update my BSA experiences. Only one BSA abandonment left and it wasn't pretty. There'll be a Honda and a Triumph abandonment after that to be followed by lessons learned and a new path forward blah blah blah.

    FYI: I've edited the title thread to reflect an unexpected theme that's emerging about the delicate and sometimes dysfunctional relationship between bikes and their owners and which may delve deeper into the lived experience of abandonment issues. LOL
  16. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...going deep are you?
  17. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Water's fine! Come on in:cool:
  18. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member


    When are you coming home?
  19. Backdraft

    Backdraft Active Member

    Mike when you were in Guyana did you stay in Georgetown??? I stayed at the Pegasus... 8 long warm days...
  20. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Whenever they let BC residents in for non essential travel. Definitely homesick but RTR here helps with that... LOL

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