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Another thread, talking reliability, figured I'd start a thread that chronicled the "when, where, what" of being left roadside by your machine...so he we go.

It would be nice if we knew a little of your mechanical, preventive maintenance, OCD'ness...are you a wipe off every bug, or ride it till it stops kinda person or somewhere in between? Does the thought of someone else working on your bike terrify you? Or do you know it's best if someone else does the work?
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My OCD level, at least 7 outa' 10. I fix everything myself, I mean everything, roofing, plumbing, engines, brakes, rust...always have, always will. The only $$$ spent paying someone has been for laser alignments (cars) because it's just too complicated to get it right at home and tires are expensive. I ride locally, not long trips, just not comfortable for me and I don't like ultimate behemoth motorcycles. Everything I own, I take exceptional care of; and I believe "oil is cheap and repaires are expensive" so you'll never find black oil in my machines.

Ok, the list of being left on the side of the road:
  1. 1970 Honda Trail 70, in ~1970, broken spark plug.
  2. 1973 Honda CB750, in ~1977, clutch cable broke.
  3. 1982 Suzuki GS550 in ~1984, battery terminal connector snapped off.
  4. 1986 Honda 700S, in ~1988, electrical failure, charging?
  5. 2017, that GS550 above, yeah, still have it, I learned the gas gauge was wildly inaccurate and I had long ago gutted the complicated vacuum regulated fuel valve; so no reserve gas...
Bikes from the 90's up became incredibly reliable, and my riding miles dropped off a bit. There were a few other dead battery events, but those bikes were easy to pop start, so I wasn't stranded. Weird how a battery will start a bike, then it won't.

Well, that's it. Own 3 bikes now, Harley, Honda, Suzuki, all running perfect.

My brother in law has been a "Harley Only!" guy since the 60's...lol...if he posts here, it's gonna be a long list:) He was a great mechanic, seem to remember him over the handle bars a few times via the kick start kick back of a Harley.
 

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2008 Victory Vision, ~ 2019 dead battery in parking lot at work, caused by stuck switch on trunk light. Jumped and got home, changed battery. Disabled trunk light.
1978 Honda CB400TII, July 2020 Carb float stuck. Managed to get it working roadside by flushing out junk.
1981 Indian moped, ~1983, burned exhaust valve riding to the beach 2 up on hot weather. Sort of peddled/ ran it home. Replaced cylinder head.
 

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1971 piece of junk Norton. New. Ignition advance system exploded. Wrecked the points and backing plate. Removed the cover and shrapnel type pieces fell out. Hammered backing plate with a rock and screwdriver against the steel guard rail. No fixed position for the points cam. It goes on to a tapered shaft. This same bike would fail me again, and again. UK
 

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Years ago, my Dad told me that the only way to find out what's wrong with, or can go wrong with a car or motorcycle, is to work on it yourself. The drawback is the fact that when it breaks, you have no one to blame but yourself, so do the job right!

I'm not the best 'shade tree' mechanic, but I have learned over the years. I've only been left stranded on the side of the road once in 60 years of riding motorcycles. That doesn't mean my bikes didn't break. I've lost throttle cables, clutch cables, points, flat tires, junk in the carbs, and other things I have long forgotten about. But with roadside repairs, I've always been able to get home for a proper repair. The one time I had to put the bike in the back of a truck? A rubber '0' ring in a oil passage to the head on my Honda 750 collapsed and cut off oil to the head. Once I got home, I pulled the engine, replaced all the oil '0' rings, and ran the bike for another 5 years.

I will not take my bike to a shop and trust my life to some mechanic.
 

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.....
I will not take my bike to a shop and trust my life to some mechanic.
I agree 110%, I don't trust anyone other than myself.
 
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Never been stranded if you can believe that. I have a good ear for problems apparently because I would hear something odd and investigate. Headed off a lot stranded occurrences. I've limbed home many times. Sometimes with sparks flying. Sometimes on fewer cylinders than the bike had. But never actually stranded. Pulled into a dealership for several on road repairs before getting stranded too.
 

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I ran out of gas and walked a quarter mile. Then remembered the Scrambler was carbed and had a reserve. Sheepishly walked back down the freeway shoulder, got on and rode away. What a pain in the pride.
 

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I ran out of gas and walked a quarter mile. Then remembered the Scrambler was carbed and had a reserve. Sheepishly walked back down the freeway shoulder, got on and rode away. What a pain in the pride.
Takes a man to admit that kind of mistake. :) But I did laugh
 
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I do nearly all my own maintenance on my bike and cars. For big or really nasty jobs like replacing ball joints or exhaust systems I take it to a mechanic.

1. I ran out of gas on my way home from work late one night because I had forgotten to turn the petcock from "reserve" to "on" at my last fillup. (1981 Honda CB900C)

2. The engine just suddenly stopped while I was approaching a red light on a city street. I managed to coast into a parking lot and had the bike towed home. It turned out the fuel pump fuse blew. I don't know what caused it, the fuel pump and all the wiring was fine. Maybe the fuse just got tired after 16 years. (2003 BMW R1150RT)
 

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I had a pro rebuild my 650 BSA motor. Out riding in the middle of nowhere, I heard a knock knock sound. Big end problems from lack of oil, that had leaked out of a square plate on the bottom of the engine. Had it shipped home. Aluminium alloy welding, and rebuilt by another mechanic. UK
 

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I'm very leery of those that use Pro anywhere in their adverts.
 
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