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Old July 30th, 2021, 08:20 PM   #1
Bob KellyIII
Retired motorcycle Mc.
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Name: Robert
Location: Weed, California.
Join Date: Jul 2021

Motorcycle(s): 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250R, 2021 CSC TT250, & many others in the past.

Posts: 231
Mechanical Monsters , keeping them at bay

The other night when I took the Ninja for a short night ride on back roads
I came into a corner rather fast so I had to brake hard with the rear wheel
( I am not up on trail braking yet but getting there Instinct tells me not to touch the front brake at all, but I am getting over it.) as I did so I heard a clunk
from the rear wheel area. new bike to me and 1st or second ride it sent chills up my spine.... I continued the short ride as I was heading home by then anyway... it was pitch black so there was little sense in stopping. I did have the foresight of taking my flashlight with me in my zippered pocket so I did have light... and there are no tools on the bike at this point anyway. so I just went home.
when I got home I took out my flashlight and inspected the rear wheel
everything LOOKED fine.... but then I noticed the caliper slot was not over
the protrusion it was supposed to be on. which would allow the brake caliper to
rotate and make a clunk sound, satisfied that I found the culprit I called it a night.
the next day I fixed the problem and got the caliper in the slot where it was supposed to be, someone had put the rear tire assembly on too hastily
and missed it ( it will go on wrong! ) and like a dummy I missed that detail on my inspection of the bike when I got it.( it is easy to miss !)
Mechanical Gremlins are the easiest way to get hurt on a motorcycle...
from loose clutch levers to loose rear chains, to shifter levers falling off
most are just inconveniences but some can be deadly.
this is why it is of upmost importance not to put off regular maintenance.
I have had a wore out sprocket and chain on a Honda 305 Dream come loose ,wrap around the rear wheel sprocket and lock the rear wheel up at 65 mph... i had my hands full to say the least and the 18 wheeler behind me
saw I had trouble and I could hear his jake brake coming on....
it was not a incident I want to repeat ! I did not dump it though and came to a stop just off the freeway....... where I had to untangle the chain from the rear swingarm and get it all to work again just to get home.

if I had replaced the wore out sprockets and chain when I knew they should be replaced that would never happened, but money was tight and i couldn't afford it.
I always look over the bike before I ride, but many times that is not enough
having a clutch cable snap 30 miles away from home is very hard on the transmission when you have to shift without the clutch, even if you match RPM's always check for smooth operation of clutch and throttle
MODIFICATION of the bike in any way should really be thought on carefully
taking in all possible scenarios .... foot pegs, lowering the bike,steering head adjustment adding boxes on the back or front all these things effect the bikes handling and performance , lowering the bike can in effect make it so low you can't corner without dragging something, that's bad as it can cause a real hard crash. My Honda 305 Dream had an adjustable steering head
friction adjustment you could adjust on the fly, which was great when passing 18 wheelers they wouldn't blow me all over the place but corners were really steep leans and very possibly too steep at times.
cargo is another can of worms, you need it, but hate it....
I had hard saddle bags on my 305 and put 1000 miles a month on it for at least 8 years in a row, I loaded it heavy and had tools and wet weather gear with me at all times... it was My sole transportation everywhere.
but the additional weight was something I had to get used to.
Tires are often over looked but are essential !
the wider the tire the easier it is for a small rock to deflect your line...change your direction without you doing it ! but they present a bigger patch of rubber to the road I had a 500cc Honda 4 cylinder that someone had laced a wide rim to the rear and it had a 5" wide tire on the back going down the dirt road to the Ranch wasn't riding it it was hurding would not go straight ! on pavement it was fine only rarely did that wide tire make me change my line, but it did and could...
add to that the bikes wore out swing arm bushings and you have a recipe for a crash that nearly broke my wrist... coming home doing 70 mph on a twisty
road and getting ready for a corner and let up on the throttle and the bike straightens up vertically, i thought Oh Sh%@ ! and put everything into the corner but by then it was too late and I hit the pea gravel on the turn and we slid off the road.... the bike stopped abruptly in the ditch and I went over the handle bars siverly straining my wrist. didn't hurt anything but get it dirty
i was definitely lucky. later that day I discovered the problem was the rear swing arm bushings... the rear swing arm could be flexed 1/2" to 3/4"
I sold that bike shortly there after. to me the entire bike was a hazard !
Proper maintenance is a must for safe operation of a motorcycle
their not like a car....their different in that , a car don't fall over if something goes wrong
Its too late when you've gone too far !
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