Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The price of dropping one's motorcycle

I'd written that I'd dropped the bike while at a campground in Wyoming during my Labor Day Weekend trip to the Grand Tetons. Well, last night, I managed to do it again, dropping the bike that, after coming to an abrupt stop with the wheel in the turned position. Dammit.

I know better to do that too, so I added a couple more scratches to the right side mirror housing. Not too bad in terms of damage. Better yet, managed not to pull any back/arm muscles while fighting to keep the bike upright and soon failing.

However, the price of repeatedly dropping an 1150RT on its right side became evident last night as I started her up after righting her. The "Brake Failure" and ABS Red lights came on and alternated blinking at me as I rode along. The brakes/abs seemed to be working fine and I could hear the servo motors whining as usual. I stopped at a parking lot and tried cycling the ignition, no luck. So I rode home with the red lights flashing at me from the console. A bit unnerving.

I checked the owners manual and flashing lights mean low fluid condition usually. I then realized the price of dropping ones RT on its right side, you lose brake fluid from the ABS modulator unit! Some must have leaked out last weekend and last night enough leaked out to set off the alarms on the panel. BTW, gas also leaks out of the gas tank.

Took the fairings off, removed the gas tank, and yes, the rear control circuit on the ABS modulator looked dry. Hell, the rear brake reservoir container on the right side of the bike was dry! I filled the reservoir up and then went through "brake bleeding" procedures to pump some more fluid into the control circuit without inducing air into the system. I topped off the reservoir on the modulator, tried the brakes and hallelujah the warning lights went away.

Took Maria for a short ride around the block and no warning flashes! Good Stuff. As I was riding back into my cul-de-sac, the engine cuts out. I tried the ignition several times, nothing. I checked the fuel lines and found one not fully mated at the quick disconnects. Trying to get it to mate better, I managed instead to break the male end of the quick disconnect! Dammit.

I carry spares since these quick disconnects are known to break easy. I wasted some time trying to get the remnants of the male end to come out of the fuel line, finally it all broke apart and I just withdrew the pieces with a needle-nosed plier. I yanked off the POS bmw/bosch hose clamp for which you need some special tool to remove and put on. I replaced it with a good old fashioned worm screw hose clamp.

The Bosch clamp still in play as I tested the fit of the replacement item

The white object is the replacement male end of the quick disconnect, it was made by same company as the stock item so it worked just fine without me having to also remove the female end of the stock quick disconnect. I lucked out there.

I'll be replacing all the bosch hose clamps with worm drive clamps as I need. No sense taking apart stuff when its not broken eh?

So besides the aesthetics of dropping your bike with ensuing damage to the plastic, beware of the hidden dangers when fluids leak out while the bike is on its side. Don't waste time getting the sucker back upright!

4 comments:

Richard Machida said...

Thank you for sharing your stories. I thought that I was the only one who did things like "hit the front brakes while the bars are still turned". I enjoy reading your blog, keep the stories coming.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6:

You got off light. I missed a shift coming up the driveway one day, and dropped a K75 with a Sprint fairing into the garden. It was early spring. The ground was so soft, it simply made an impression of the bike.

I look at your stuff often. Yesterday's post made me think of how I gre up watching the World Trade Center under construction. I lived right across the river from it.

Fondest regards,
Jack Riepe
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...

thanks Richard and Jack for your comments.....Jack, it must have been quite a sight, watching the twin towers go up...

Ken said...

Geez I hate it when I just drop the bike because I did something stupid--and at about 2 miles an hour to boot! Better than 62 mph I guess.