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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just woken up after a disasterous first ride in ages. Been tidying up my @T for months and after much fiddling finally managed to get my headlights sorted and scottoiler fitted (last things on my list) a few days ago so at 2:30am thismorning decided to go for a ride when there was no traffic about to get a feel for the bike after not riding it for ages.

Get into the shed to take the bike out and remember that I've not put the sump guard back on yet, or the back side panels that I'd taken off to fit a cig socket. After much faffing around hunting out the fairing screws (realising I've lost one somewhere) and checking the tire pressures in the dark etc. I finally set off, deciding that it'll be OK without the sump guard on just this once as by now it's around 3:30 and it's starting to rain (after being clear all day and night - right up until the point I'm about to leave - crosses my mind "is all this an omen" - but I ignore my instincts).

Realise I'm probably low on petrol so I head for the cashpoint near the petrol station. Get some cash now only need to pop next door to the petrol station.

Decide to do an over-optimistic u-turn in the little bank car park considering I'm not used to the bike and haven't ridden for ages and this is a lot bigger and heavier than my old 125, full lock on, lean...lean..lean...it's going over...try to save it...bleedin heck..this is heavy...strain...strain..bike on its side....feeling like a bit of a wimp that I didn't manage to save it.

Now I find myself looking down at the bike thinking "bloody hell, I hope those instructions that I linked to on this forum about picking bikes up work". Manage to get it up very easily surprisingly (so they do work). Crash bars seem to have done their job excellently and my attempts at saving it meaning it was layed down more than crashed mean the only damage seems to be a tiny little flake in the powdercoating on the crash bar at one point (or at least that I can see so far). Luggage rack seems to have saved any damage to the back. Really impressed as not a single other thing touched down from what I can tell - not so much as a scuff on the hand guard, no broken mirrors or indicators or anything.

Now I'm thinking 'should I get some petrol now' - nah..The adrenaline's pumping after picking it up so I decide to go for a little pootle about first to chill out. The petrol warning light hasn't come on yet so it must have more than enough left for a quick spin, and they were working when I first got the bike so they'd be on if the fuel was running that low. Soon calm and enjoying myself and think I'll head for a bit of NSL road to wind it up a bit before heading back to the petrol station.

About 2 to 3 miles from home and the petrol station, flying down this NSL road, I hear 'bang..bang..bang' - bike's backfiring. Notice the oil light come on momentarily - bike seems to have cut out. Slow down and stop and push it off the road.

Try starting it up again and the oil light now goes out thankfully, but I'm getting nothing. Check the kill switch..that's OK. Turn key on and off - the fuel light bulbs appear to be OK and go out so there must be fuel.

Next I stupidly drain the battery trying to get it started. No problem I'll just bump start it....oh god..this is heavy..not so easy to bump start as my old bike..manage to get it going for a few seconds after several attempts by running with it and hitting the starter when letting the clutch out but then it dies. Battery well and truly dead now.

No problem..I'm not that far from home..I'll just push it home..so I start pushing...and pushing..and pushing...around an hour later with my heart pumping so hard it feels like it's going to burst out of my chest I look back to see how far I've come...not very far at all..this is going to take some time...push..push...push...I'm going to die...and I've still got a hill to get up yet..

Despite all the talk about bikers stopping for each other about half a dozen bikes go past during all this time and not a single one stops..most of them actually go out of their way to look in the opposite direction as they go past pretending they haven't even noticed me..I'm seriously starting to consider laying the bike on its side on the grass at the side of the road and laying down beside it to see if that'll stop the any of them.

Closest I come to anyone stopping is a taxi that slows right down as it approaches me (great, someone's going to give me a hand and they may even have jump leads)..then notice the taxi driver as he gets closer looking scared, stops completely in the middle of both carriage ways and stares at me with this worried look, then does a u-turn and speeds off in the opposite direction...WTF? Oh..and some old fella who's cool and says hi and makes sure I hadn't fallen off...who's out for a morning stroll...at about 5am!

By now it's about 5:30am so I figure I'll ring someone to come and give me a hand as it's at least getting close to a time waking someone up might be forgivable.

It's starting to dawn on me that although the petrol lights were working when I got the bike, and I know the bulbs themselves are working, since then I've had the tank off and on again, and it's been standing for a while, and the sensor is also part of the equation. So running out of petrol is a possibility if the sensor is faulty or the connection has got dirty.

One very apologetic phone call later (taking the phone was the one good decision I'd made), and more pushing to get it to a parking place at the side of the road (longest 600 yards I've ever walked/pushed I think), Dad turns up with a can of petrol but no jump leads..though he does bring some coke and fags which I'm overjoyed at as I could do with a relaxing smoke (not having been the petrol station I didn't get any), and I'm so dehydrated having sweated so much that you'd literally think I'd gone for a swim in full bike gear I'm that soaked.

Petrol in...nothing..but battery is so dead now it doesn't even attempt to turn over and just makes a buzzing noise..send Dad with instructions about where he can find my little 125 battery in the hope that that'll have enough juice to turn it over.

By the time he gets back I'm realising that taking off the jacket because I'm hot, on a cold night when I'm soaked through to the skin already, and when it's started to rain more, might not have been the wisest move because now I'm no longer moving and full of ice cold pop it's suddenly started to feel quite cold..

Manage to get the 125 battery connected holding it alongside the bike, after a few attempts and a worrying 'oh no..it's not powerful enough'...it finally starts. Connect up the the original battery when it's going (not sure if that's a good idea when the bike is ticking over but by then I'm so sick I decide to risk it). Manage to ride home.

Now I'm giving the bike a quick check over now it's light outside, and doesn't appear to be any more damage from toppling over.. but I notice some oil on the frame near the sprocket cover..probably just the scotoiler that I'd just fitted turned a bit to high..run hand under the bike along the oil filter and there's oil all over that as well..can't get the dipstick out to check it as the engine is hot and its too tight..I can feel a dint in the oil filter that I can't remember being there originally (though not sure).

I'm just praying that deciding not to put the sump guard/bashplate on wasn't another dumb move and that nothing is damaged and I don't have some hole there somewhere, and it's just the scottoil flinging off (seems to be all over the back wheel so I might have it turned up a bit high - first time I've used it since fitting).

Looking on the bright side I'm at least home now, know what it feels/sounds like to run out of petrol (and not to drain the battery stupidly when that happens next time), and that I really need to get some breakdown cover sorted before I head for the highlands this spring/summer.

Also managed to find some little battery device that claims to allow you to jump start by plugging it into the cigarette socket incase of a flat batery which I'm considering to carry on the bike if I head off touring.. and at least I know my petrol sensor needs looking at...oh and to practice my u-turns on the bike...and start getting some regular exercise so I might be able to push it 3 miles without being such a pussy and keeling over half way next time.
 

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Tropical Member
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2,037 Posts
Ah yes, the old "best laid plans of mice and men!" thread.:thumbup:
With hindsight, the old adage of procrastination: "F*ck it, I'll do it later", would seem to have been a better option!:D
 

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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ah yes, the old "best laid plans of mice and men!" thread.:thumbup:
Worst laid plans :D Looking back it's funny how one thing (toppling over in the car park) can trigger off a chain of bad decisions which in retrospect seem so dumb.

With hindsight, the old adage of procrastination: "F*ck it, I'll do it later", would seem to have been a better option!:D
I came so close to going to bed instead of going out, but I thought as it wasn't raining (at that point) it might be the best opportunity over the weekend.

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do next week" will be my motto from now on :)
 

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Registered
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890 Posts
Glad you're ok after dropping it Zenarchy. :thumbleft:

At least you've brightened my day up with hearing of your bad luck. No offence intended, it's just that I had to push mine home last week after the fuel pump give up & it nearly toppled over whilst pushing it with all my gear on. Yes, it was raining then as well! :mad:

The sun's out again today :sunny: so get back in the garage and check out the oil leak. With a bit of luck it's 'just' a hole in the filter as they are made of very thin ally/metal. Good luck :thumbup:
 

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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Glad you're ok after dropping it Zenarchy. :thumbleft:
Thanks. I think I'm in more pain thismorning from pushing it than toppling over. Not long after posting that I went back to bed and apart from being up for a few hours in between, I must have slept about 14 hours in total (my usual is about 4 to 6 a night).

At least you've brightened my day up with hearing of your bad luck. No offence intended, it's just that I had to push mine home last week after the fuel pump give up & it nearly toppled over whilst pushing it with all my gear on. Yes, it was raining then as well! :mad:
:D You really have my sympathy. They're heavier than they seem at first and seem to get heavier and heavier the further you go. Had a couple of moments myself when getting tired that I had to stop myself over balancing when the mind started to wander a bit.

Glad you got it home. Good effort! I gave up about half way :)

Still, at least it happened close to home. Hopefully it'll have given me a bit of experience to prevent making the same mistakes in the middle of nowhere next time.

The sun's out again today :sunny: so get back in the garage and check out the oil leak. With a bit of luck it's 'just' a hole in the filter as they are made of very thin ally/metal. Good luck :thumbup:
I'm hoping it's just the scottoiler flinging/over oiling. Going to have a look today. I notice the suns out now so I'm so tempted to get the bash plate back on and take it out again if it's OK, but have some work I should be doing really (was meant to be working yesterday but ended up sleeping instead).
 

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whys the rum always gone?
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17,680 Posts
well mate i would say you have used up your quota of bad luck for the year mate heres to rides full of reliable smiles:thumbup:
 

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Pleb
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1,792 Posts
Dad turns up with a can of petrol but no jump leads..though he does bring some coke and fags which I'm overjoyed at as I could do with a relaxing smoke .
Always keep emergency fags under your seat!
 

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geriatric
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2,474 Posts
wake 'em up whatever time it is i say......................thats what dads are for.



glad you survived it mate,been there myself very character testing in the least.
 

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Registered
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96 Posts
Wow! At least it can, hopefully, only get better.

I had to push a 250cc bike years ago about half a mile uphill. It was a great feeling when I reached the brow of the hill and I could coast down the other side of the hill to my house. It was hard enough to push a 250 two stroke bike, never mind an Africa Twin.
 

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Wing Commander
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14,437 Posts
Can't say been there done that (although the fuel gauge problem I can admit to), bit can own up to being an equal prat - and feeling it. I am sure we all can.
Lesson learned.
 

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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Glad you're ok - which is always the main thing.
Thanks. Still a bit stiff but shows I got some good exercise for a change :D

well mate i would say you have used up your quota of bad luck for the year mate heres to rides full of reliable smiles:thumbup:
I hope so :) Despite the hastle, I still kind of enjoyed myself and put a big smile on my face for the short time I was actually riding it. Can't wait to get back out on it.

Always keep emergency fags under your seat!
That's not a bad idea :) Not much room left under the seat but the little tool box looks custom made for that :)

wake 'em up whatever time it is i say......................thats what dads are for.
Thing is, I'm getting a bit old to be ringing him up for things like that (and he's getting a bit old to be helping) - though he was closest by and probably knows more than anyone else to get me going again so he seemed like the only option.

He was really cool about it though, so I'll have to get him a little present to say thanks. Didn't complain once at being woken up and dragged out of bed at half five in the morning. If anything, he seemed happy that I'd chosen to ring him. Not sure I'd be so understanding.

glad you survived it mate,been there myself very character testing in the least.
Was still a bit of an adventure I suppose. I'm glad it didn't happen when I was out in the middle of knowhere though. It happening now might have saved me from that hopefully as now I know to sort the fuel lights out.

Wow! At least it can, hopefully, only get better.

I had to push a 250cc bike years ago about half a mile uphill. It was a great feeling when I reached the brow of the hill and I could coast down the other side of the hill to my house. It was hard enough to push a 250 two stroke bike, never mind an Africa Twin.
I can imagine. I had a similar feeling when I made it to the parking spot. Still feel a bit useless at not managing to get it all the way home myself and having to call for help though bearing in mind it was just petrol that's probably what I should have done from the start (or if I'd had my chain with me locked it up and walked back to collect it).

Just glad that that's all it was really. I've never had a bike run out of petrol before, so I wasn't sure what it was at first. When the oil light came on for a second as I coasted to the side of the road I thought I'd ceased the engine or something.

At least I hope that's what it was. Haven't had a chance to check the oil filter etc. out yet (doing that in a minute).

Can't say been there done that (although the fuel gauge problem I can admit to), bit can own up to being an equal prat - and feeling it. I am sure we all can.
Lesson learned.
Hopefully it's taught me some valuable lessons. Might have been for the best really as at least it all happened close to home, so might have saved me from the same scenareo when I'm further afield. I'm going to try to make time later today to check out the fuel gauge. Hopefully it'll just need the contacts cleaning or something.
 
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