Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5  All   Go Down
Print

Topic: Things I learned while STRANDED  (Read 72229 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
goldylocks303
02 Yamie 600R
*

Reputation 12
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
GPS: East Bay SF, CA
Miles Typed: 798

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« on: September 30, 2007, 12:34:56 pm »

This is a follow up thread to this one:
https://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,15738.0.html

You learn a lot of useful information while standing on the side of the road staring at your bike that doesn't work.  Before I forget all this stuff I thought I would share it with the group.  To you experienced tourers this will seem like old hat but if it helps anyone out of a jam it will be worth it.  

1.  $hit only goes wrong when you're in the middle of nowhere so plan on dealing with just about everything BEFORE you leave.  You will never break down in front of a shop that works on your brand of bike and has parts on the shelf.  In fact you won't even be within 100 miles of one.  

2.  Pack a lot of emergency stuff.  If you're not intimately familiar with your bike, bring the repair manual.  I brought tools (more and better ones than provided with the bike), two types of tire plugs and a battery powered inflator as well as some CO2, tons of maps, cold weather gear, hot weather gear, water, power bars, a flashlight that you wind up (no batteries)...  BUT what I forgot was the one thing that would have saved me: the repair manual.  My friend bought me the manual for my bike and it comes in handy but I didn't even think of bringing it.  Had I brought it I would have been able to quickly find the problem, get parts ordered and deal with it on the road.  Instead I blew about $1100 bucks on a truck to drive the bike home.  

3.  Getting stranded can be expensive, bring lots of cash and multiple forms of plastic.  I'm estimating here but getting stuck in Utah cost me a fortune, between the tow truck, a one way rental on a U-haul, and the gas to get home I spent about $1300.  I know what you're thinking, there had to be a less expensive alternative.  Shipping the bike would have been about $600, still involved getting it towed ($150), plus I would need to get to an airport (about $80 bus ride) and then fly home with a last minute ticket ($200-300), then do I ship the bike to a shop or home???  This quickly adds up to about the same price and a bit more head ache.  Plus shipping a vehicle is not like FedEx, they pick up and drop off on their schedule, not yours.  It may be a week before they pick it up and as much as three weeks before you see it again.  I may have had to pay the Honda shop storage while the bike waited to be picked up.  In short: there was NO cheap alternative that didn't involve waiting many days (which I didn't have).  Time is your enemy in this situation.  The more time I spent looking for a cheap, easy way to get the bike home, the more time I wasted not being in the U-haul driving back.  There is a 'bird in hand' philosophy here too.  You can spend a little bit of time looking for alternatives but ultimately, when you have an option ready to go in front of you and you're in a hurry, just take it and go.  

4.  There are people available to help you on the road but they don't always have what you need and you can't get everything as fast as you need it.  The Honda shop in Monticello Utah was incredibly helpful.  Big props to Mimi who stayed late at the shop to wait for me to arrive by tow truck.  Being in the middle of nowhere I wouldn't be able to get any parts any time soon and I didn't have time to wait.  STNers stepped in to help but by the time I got their posts there wasn't time for me to get to them.  

5.  That was the praise for the shops, this is the rant for the shops.  Don't expect too much from a shop.  I can't believe how some shops treat stranded travelers or how afraid some mechanics are to open up a bike.  The Honda shop in Monticello was very nice but the mechanic honestly seemed afraid to take the cover off my bike and investigate.  He was very helpful and let me use the phone to call a yamaha shop and he helped my load the bike into the U-haul and strap it down.  BUT I really needed him to just take one cover off and look inside and he was really against it.  I couldn't figure out why?  
THEN I called the Yamaha shop, expecting more willingness to investigate, and was shocked at their answer.  They were in SLC UT and said they would take a look at it but immediately jumped in with "We're really backed up right now so if it's a major problem it might be 7-10 days before we get to it".  What?  I know me being stranded is my problem but if I ran a shop I would give a lot of priority to someone who was really stuck and needed to get home.  Also, I didn't talk to the head mechanic, I talked to one of the underlings.  I explained the problem and he talked to the head mechanic who didn't feel the need to talk to me???  Hello, I've got a really strange problem, ya think ya might want to take the phone and give me two minutes of your time?  Instead he had the underling reiterate that they were really busy and it might be 7-10 days.  Come on guys, give me some optimism, explain my chances to me and display a little willingness to go the extra mile to help me out.  I would not run a shop this way.  JamesG and Explorer from this site gave me better advice than any of the shops did.  

6.  Carry an extra clutch cable and throttle cable with you.  Really cheap parts that may save your ass.  Turns out my problem wasn't a clutch cable BUT I thought it was and getting one was going to take forever.  I broke down at 5PM on Wednesday and when I called the nearest shop they were willing to overnight the part to help me out but it was too late to get it then.  So it would have been ordered Thursday morning, arrive Friday about 1PM, and I'd be up and running by Friday afternoon, that's almost 48 hours of down time and hotel bills.  OR if I had had the cable I would have been off at 10 AM on Thursday morning.  

7.  While you have cell service, call multiple people and work out back up plans.  Make sure someone is expecting you and knows the route you're taking.  I was right in front of a gas station when I broke down.  The attendant was very nice, I had cell service, he had a phone book.  Things were great.  I tried to ride the bike without a clutch back to the shop were it would sit for the night when the problem worsened and I was I lost all the oil.  Now I'm really screwed.  Bike is really not ridable now, I'm on the side of the highway instead of at a gas station, I have no cell service, the sun is setting and very few cars are passing.  I should have worked out some plan B's while still at the gas station.  

8.  Take 10 minutes of your time and learn to ride your bike without a clutch.  Get someone to push the bike forward while running the engine in neutral, drop it into first and get up to highway speed without pulling the clutch lever in.  It's rough on the tranny but 10 minutes won't kill it.  This is a useful skill to have, trust me.  

9.  Carry a phone card as well as a fully charged cell phone.  I didn't get cell service everywhere and having a phone card would have helped immensly.  

Hopefully this will help others in the future.  

eD

Logged

Try not to have a good time...  this is supposed to be educational.  Charles Schulz
Sport-Touring
Advertisement
*


Remove Advertisements

mike goodwin
Junior Member
*

Reputation 10
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 1992 BMW K75S
Miles Typed: 1157

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2007, 08:38:41 am »

Very good post. Thumbsup
A manual such as a Haynes or Clymer packs away easy enough as does the clutch and throttle cables.
One thing i learned over the years from touring is that on every bike i go over all exposed fasteners and make a list of socket,allen,and wrench sizes needed to work on the thing and keep that list in my tool box so when i am getting ready to take off i know what tools to put in my McGyver kit.
I also carry about three feet of 14 gauge wire and a very small roll of duct tape i purchased from Aerostich.
Electrical tape as well along with various metric nuts and bolts.
I bought a very slender multimeter from Radio shack a few years ago that really is handy for checking things that might go awry on the electrics.
I use a canvas toilet kit to carry this stuff in.
I also carry a small led flashlight as well as my mini mag.
Having been stranded at least three times on the road over the years has helped me with my kit and planning.
It aint no fun having your vacation ruined by a dead bike as you have found out Goldy.
Again glad you made it back home. Thumbsup
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 08:40:52 am by mike goodwin » Logged

mike
IBA 8384
Tar Snake
Lord of teh Typo!
*

Reputation 13
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
Motorcycles: 1988 BMW K75s
GPS: Laguna Hills, CA
Miles Typed: 4233

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2007, 11:17:02 am »

These aren't really neccesary items as they are not a trip stopper, but carry a spare headlight bulb wrapped in paper towel and stored in its box all taped up. I also have a taillight bulb in a film cannister, can you even get film anymore? Lol

....but every Quickie Mart/Gas station in the world has brake/tail light bulbs so it's strictly optional.

Logged

Go soothingly by

Chris  
Advertisement



goldylocks303
02 Yamie 600R
*

Reputation 12
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
GPS: East Bay SF, CA
Miles Typed: 798

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2007, 11:25:52 am »

Yeah, I picked up a few new things for this trip such as an LED flashlight that you wind up (no batteries), better flat repair equipment, better tools and a new pouch to hold them all, and a small roll of duck tape in a ziploc bag.  

Speaking of the extra bulbs thing.  I thought about the headlight one but never got around to it.  You're right about hardware stores carrying them but be warned, not all of them are open all the time.  I needed a mini blade fuse for my heated grips after riding from Fallon NV to the next town (100 miles) freezing my butt off.  When I arrived at the hardware store I found that Monday was the only day during the week they were closed  Angry3 Angry3 Angry3  How can they be closed...   it's monday??  Anyway, had to ride another 100 miles to the next town to get the fuse still freezing my butt off.  Moral of the story: hardware stores are everywhere but they're not always open when you need them to be.  


eD

Logged

Try not to have a good time...  this is supposed to be educational.  Charles Schulz
mike goodwin
Junior Member
*

Reputation 10
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 1992 BMW K75S
Miles Typed: 1157

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2007, 11:30:51 am »


Yeah, I picked up a few new things for this trip such as an LED flashlight that you wind up (no batteries), better flat repair equipment, better tools and a new pouch to hold them all, and a small roll of duck tape in a ziploc bag.  

Speaking of the extra bulbs thing.  I thought about the headlight one but never got around to it.  You're right about hardware stores carrying them but be warned, not all of them are open all the time.  I needed a mini blade fuse for my heated grips after riding from Fallon NV to the next town (100 miles) freezing my butt off.  When I arrived at the hardware store I found that Monday was the only day during the week they were closed  Angry3 Angry3 Angry3  How can they be closed...   it's monday??  Anyway, had to ride another 100 miles to the next town to get the fuse still freezing my butt off.  Moral of the story: hardware stores are everywhere but they're not always open when you need them to be.  


eD




Why did the fuse blow??
That generally indicates too much amperage or something went to ground.
Logged

mike
IBA 8384
LENSMAN
*

Reputation 8
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: '04 SV650, '97 Honda Blackbird
GPS: Montgomery County, Pa.
Miles Typed: 869

My Photo Gallery


NOW YOU CAN HAVE IT




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2007, 06:14:02 pm »

I didn't think of a spare throttle cable- not a bad idea. A spare clutch cable is a necessity for touring, IMHO.  Thumbsup
Logged

BE PREPARED
Zen Rider
Surfin' STN since '02
*

Reputation 11
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '07, '09
Motorcycles: '15 Yami FZ 900
GPS: Palm Desert
Miles Typed: 933

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2007, 06:20:25 pm »

U can use a fuel tank as a gas can, in a pinch.  
Logged
goldylocks303
02 Yamie 600R
*

Reputation 12
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
GPS: East Bay SF, CA
Miles Typed: 798

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2007, 12:18:33 pm »

Wait, do you mean seperate the fuel tank from the motorcycle and carry it to the gas station for gas?  That's actually a rather interesting idea.

Fuse - I think the grips were switched on when I turned the bike on and everything was cold and I just happened to pull too much power for a second.  They've worked fine on a new fuse ever since.  

eD

Logged

Try not to have a good time...  this is supposed to be educational.  Charles Schulz
jay547
Junior Member
*

Reputation 258
Offline Offline

Years Supported: '11
Motorcycles: 2015 Yamaha FJ-09, 2019 Honda CRF450L, 2002 Honda CR250, 1973 Yamaha AT-3
GPS: Northeastern, OK
Miles Typed: 3068

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2007, 02:30:23 pm »


Wait, do you mean seperate the fuel tank from the motorcycle and carry it to the gas station for gas?  That's actually a rather interesting idea.



i guess it depends on what your time is worth. i ran out of gas once, luckily the second car that came by gave me a ride. the store where i bought the gas made me buy a gas can. they absolutely refused to let me put it in something else (i just needed a splash as i was only about a half mile away). i asked them to please look the other way and they wouldn't. i wasn't particularly happy with them but i guess it was easier than taking my tank off. i gave the can to the lady that gave me a ride.
Logged

It's not the fall that hurts, it's when you hit the ground.
RBEmerson
Repaired but not refurbed
*

Reputation 32
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '07
Motorcycles: '17 FJR 1300ES, (lamented) '03 BMW K1200RS
GPS: Skippack, PA, USA
Miles Typed: 3747

My Photo Gallery


In Witness Relocation...




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2007, 09:44:11 am »

I tried to bump start the bike with a dead battery and ran out of hill before the (cold) engine would light (close but never really lit).  I parked the bike by the side of the road and hiked back up the hill to the house to get out cables and jump start from the car (don't ask why I didn't just do that in the first place...  Crazy ).  At least one bike passed me and the parked bike without even looking to see what was up.  A couple of guys in a stake-side truck offered a lift (not worth it at that point but many thanks for asking).  Makes ya wonder...  
Logged

It's taken me entirely too long to develop a sense of patience.
traveler
*

Reputation 10
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: Honda VFR 2000
Miles Typed: 1810

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2007, 12:04:00 am »

Some good tips coming in from everyone. I liked the one about carrying a phone card, something I do not do now, but will in the future. Cell phones seldom work where I like to ride, and your batteries or minutes might run out.

I will add one: carry water and some type of food, because if you're stuck in the middle of nowhere, it could be a while before help arrives. I speak from experience.

One more: It's good to have a ball cap (or, if cold, a watch cap) to help keep the sun off while waiting or making repairs.

Keep 'em coming, folks. We can all benefit from the vast experience of the riders here.
Logged
Andrew
If you think education is expensive try ignorance
*

Reputation 46
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '07, '08, '09
Motorcycles: YA I got a few
GPS: Left Coast
Miles Typed: 4801

My Photo Gallery


May you hear the music as well




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2007, 08:59:31 pm »

Carry Zip Ties and Duct Tape.
The LED flashlight that does not use batteries is a GREAT thing to have.
At least one Qt of oil (maybe 2)
Water and a small fuel can.
Logged

"Wild seeds grow in the sand and rock, may the four winds blow you safely home again"  GD
"Small wheel turn by the fire and rod, Big wheel turn by the grace of God Everytime that wheel turns round it's bound to cover a little more ground"
spinalator
Man can not live on cheese alone...
*

Reputation 14
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '07, '08
Years Supported: '11
Motorcycles: Super Tenere
GPS: Regina, SK
Miles Typed: 1562

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 12:52:07 am »

Great thread, I am glad you made it back alive.
Logged
Cpl Punishment
*

Reputation 11
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '07, '08
GPS: The Queen Mother's Lap
Miles Typed: 5062

My Photo Gallery


27.23 GBP Sock Puppet, and harbinger of reason.




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2007, 06:38:27 am »

Duct tape, definitely. Good range of tools. When I rode an outfit, I used to pack all sorts-even a spare wheel. Trickier on a solo.

Thanks for the very useful tip on carrying a manual.  Thumbsup
Logged

So, what is a sock puppet?
rodm850g
1 of vocal minority
*

Reputation 10
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 79 GS 850 GN,80 GS 1000 GT,99 VFR800Fi ,04 ST1300A, 13 Husky Terra
Miles Typed: 285

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2007, 10:20:17 am »

Guys,
What sort of luggage or tank type bags to hold this plethora of spare equipment?
Rod
Logged

enough of this talking/typing crap I'm going riding
desert_rider
When in doubt - keep moving!
*

Reputation 18
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '07, '08
Years Supported: '11
Motorcycles: 2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200s, 1977 Yamaha XS360
GPS: Yucca Valley, SoCal
Miles Typed: 2307

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2007, 10:54:06 am »


Guys,
What sort of luggage or tank type bags to hold this plethora of spare equipment?
Rod


With some creative packing I fit mostly everything under my seat(tool kit, flat repair kit, little compressor).  On longer trips I just throw the Clymer(in a big Zip-Loc bag) in the bottom of the luggage.
Logged

   IBA#39121
HipGnosis
It's Hip to Gno
*

Reputation 23
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '10
Motorcycles: BMW F800ST(low), VStar 950, Ninja 650
GPS: Not sure where I am, but I'm going back to villainy
Miles Typed: 5108

My Photo Gallery


Mercenary doppleganger scout




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2007, 08:46:38 pm »

I wrap some duct tape around the wrench I use most and electrical tape around the allen wrench I use most.

Keeps the tape handy and makes those wrenches a whole lot easier to find, even in bad light.
Logged

“There's a time for daring and there's a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.” - Robin Williams as John Keating in 'Dead Poets Society'
CoffeeGuy
*

Reputation 0
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 1993 Yamaha XJ600S Seca II
Miles Typed: 7

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2007, 07:09:46 pm »

A flashlight that doesn't require batteries is a great idea, however I always carry a Surefire e2e (bright enough to signal your 'rescuer' from a distance), as well as an inexpensive LED headlamp. The headlamp is easy on batteries, and is handy when performing repairs.
Logged
cooter
Junior Member
*

Reputation 10
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '09
Motorcycles: a naughty one
Miles Typed: 131

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2007, 04:59:39 pm »

 Headscratch

No one ever remembers this one.

Straps...

The nice guy in the old truck who may offer you a haul into town has a pretty good chance of having a piece of lumber for a makeshift ramp. But they almost never have straps.

I actually keep straps in both my trucks (bad habit of picking up cheap strays). They don't take much room so get an extra set.

Logged
goldylocks303
02 Yamie 600R
*

Reputation 12
Offline Offline

Years Contributed: '08
GPS: East Bay SF, CA
Miles Typed: 798

My Photo Gallery




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2007, 01:06:03 pm »

Holy crap, I got pinned!  

eD

Logged

Try not to have a good time...  this is supposed to be educational.  Charles Schulz
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5  All   Go Up
Print
Jump to:  



ST.N

Copyright © 2001 - 2013 Sport-Touring.Net.
All rights reserved.

 
SimplePortal 2.3.1 © 2008-2009, SimplePortal