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Best roadside "Macgyver" Repairs

1424 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  08sv
We started a thread like this on my other regular forum, so I was curious about this readership.

What's your best roadside repair?

I'll start it off:

(All this happened on the first two road trips of my life! haha)

1) While camping in BC, the bike fell over, breaking the clutch lever. We scrounged together some tools, and some plastic, found some rivets, and then made a make shift clutch lever. It was the saturday of a long weekend, so all the shops were closed, and the closest bike shop was about 200kms away AT LEAST (the closest "town" - population 1000 - was 40 kms away). The local tow truck driver had a spare dirt bike clutch lever. 25 minutes with a die grinder and I had a shorty clutch lever.

2) A couple hours outside of thunder bay (on my trip across half of Canada) I saw a stranded biker on an intruder (I think - big suzuki cruiser) with a flat tyre. He had no tools, and no way of fixing it. Again, saturday of a long weekend (labour day). I pulled over, and assessed the situation. I had a tyre repair kit, but he didn't have a center stand. A quick trip into the woods yielded some logs and dead branches. Leaned the bike all the way over one way, shimmed the log underneath. Broke up the branch, leaned the bike over on the log and put a stack of branches (a la cribbing) to support the weight. Next, couldn't find the leak. Used my compressor to pump up the tire, and then listened for hissing. I found the leak, and then walked the guy through repairing his own tire. Pumped it up, made a list of the tools I used and told him to stop by at the next canadian
tyre and pick up the tools because he'll probably never need them again.

My favourite was when I was laying out the sticks as dunnage and the guy asked: "what are you, some kind of boy scout?" to which i replied: "worse, i'm an engineer who grew up watching macgyver"

we laughed.

2*) nothing special or ingenious, just also happened on my ride to ontario:
Harley guy ran out of fuel outside of town and I saw him pushing his big cruiser (one of them electra glide types). I use a multi fuel stove, and use the stove's fuel bottle as spare gas container. It was less than a litre, but it was more than enough to get him to the station.
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I went 250mi. to S.Ohio to meet up with some friends. Once I got close I was to call them. So as I'm going down the road my phone rings and I pull over onto a gravel pull off to get my phone out of my tank bag. I hop of the bike and fumble my phone not securing the side stand very well. So due to the slight forward slop on the pull off and my negligence my bike falls over as soon as I take a couple steps away. Broke the shifter off. So I finished my phone call and told them where I was at. Stood the bike up and acessed the damage. Took my tools out of my handy tankbag. Poked some holes in the rubber on the shifer lined the broken knub on the lever and zip tied it in a cross pattern through the holes I made to the lever and took a roll of electrical tape. Wraped it round and round until it felt sturty. Got back on the bike and made the 250mi. trip home. Worried about it the whole time but It worked. Drilled the lever out when I got home and replaced the knub with a bolt and nut and it worked for 2 seasons!;D
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I've never done anything more than help push people out of the snow. I do want to hear some other people's stories, so bump for some good ones.
While searching out new twisty roads 200mi. away from home one Sun. Morn, i went down while target fixating in a high speed sweeper on rt. 55 in the Catskill Mtns.,
I was fine , bike had broken mirrors, shifter ,clutch lever etc.
Me & my 2 friends made a shifter out of a pair of mini vicegrips, & crafted a stick for a clutch lever.............worked fine all the way home.

Then there was the time in 2004 when i was riding through Maines "Allegash" region on my Sv solo, when suddenly the bike started to vibrate at speed ,after a hard downpour, it had thrown a wheelweight from the ft. rim , & there was NO parts store for over 100mi., soo i took a stone from the ground & glued it to the wheel w/Silicone RTV in the same the spot where the wheel weight was....VIOLA! .......NO more vibration & the the rock stayed on the wheel 500mi.all the way back to Connecticut!!
I had a carb needle come out on a really hot day. For some reason the o-ring holding it in deteriorated horribly. Superglued it in place and rode back home. I know the carb slide is a $50 part but it was either that or ride at near redline for 40 miles. Been like that for two years now. Cant complain. Not as cool as the rock wheel weight though.
ive had to jb weld three katan clutch covers together mid trip in middle of no where, my so use to be kinda climsy with the bike
I remember reading a letter in a bike mag, someone had broken his throttle mechanism and rigged the front brake (cable drum) to the throttle instead- pull brake to go faster. That's kind of awesome, in its demented way.
1. in my 88 vw gti, i was sitting in rush hour traffic and i snapped a belt. i looked around for random tools couldnt find nothing then i seen a pack of zip ties and "made" a belt out of zipties. it got the car running again and far enough to the nearest pep-boys (about 8 miles)in rush hour traffic. as soon as i got onto rt2 i floored it and the zipties went bye bye but at that point i was in the parking lot.

2. i was in my 01 turbo saturn and i kept blowing couplings every 5 minutes about 3/4 the way into a 1000 mile trip. so i took a screw and my cordless and screwed through the clamp the coupling and the pipe and before i tightened it i used rtv to seal it. might have screwed with the flow du to a 2" drywall screw in the pipe but it held
Non bike related, but utterly hilarious...

Ramstein Germany, 1990: The cable snapped on my accelerator pedal in my '87 Turbo Sprint while driving down in the German countryside. I was carrying a bare minimum of tools.

My buddy Jon had to lay upside-down in the passenger seat, head in the floorboards, and clamped vise-grips to the frayed end of the cable... then manually operated the throttle on my voice commands!!


Not the smoothest ride back to base... and the look we got from the gate guard was CLASSIC. ;D
For those familiar with toyota vanwagons ( it's a cab over). My throttle cable snapped. I loosened one end from the pedal and pulled the sleeve off of it and had to route it to come up from under my seat and in order to accelerate I pulled out sideways from my hip. Talk about weird. The rubber gasket between the seat and engine bay was a bonus it acted as a slide.
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