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What was the stupidest mistake you made working on your bike?

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I'm sure lots of us have some funny, sad, stupid, dumba$$ stories about working on our bikes. What's yours?

When I put my first set of barkbusters on my DRZ I put them on the wrong sides. It took forever, was accompanied by much cussing and swearing and throwing of tools, and I had to customize them a bit but I got those suckers on! As I was admiring my handiwork I started wondering why that little flange was sticking down below the clutch 😢 Then I thought wouldn't that have been better utilized to stick up in front of the brake fluid resevoir on the other side to protect it? 😢 Then it was back to the shop for another set of barkbusters, telling them of course that these were for my son's bike.

Back when I had a KLR I wasn't happy with the headlight. Too dim on low beam, aimed too high on high beam, when the angle was adjusted so I could use the high beam better the low beam just lit up the front fender plus the cops pulled me over for riding with the high beam on in town. So I fixed it! I modified the switch so I could run both the high beam and the low beam at the same time, or run either of them seperately. It worked great🤣 So me and my wife went for a little night time ride. Thirty miles out in the country I realized I shouldn't have done that, or should have installed a bigger fuse 😢 As I'm riding home by moonlight on a two lane country highway I get pulled over again 😢 Seems they thought the bike might be stolen since I was riding it after midnight with no lights :D After I proved ownership they were nice enough to lead me back home and didn't even write me a ticket 😢

I still LMAO when I think of those and other dumba$$ things I've done while showing what a master home bike mechanic I am (NOT). So how about you?

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lol nice one.. i got a couple.

i broke off my oilfilter cover bolt on my new 04 yz 250f about 2 months after i got it. i rounded off the chain adjusters. and im never going to let that hapen again.. thats really it for now, unless i think of some that i might of forgot.

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i was a genious and broke a bolt in the case on my kx250f after the second or third ride. i had to take the engine off, bring it to a machine shop and wait acouple months which brought it into the winter, so basically my first real ride was in the spring, at my first race. it was an adventure...

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about 3 months after getting my xr650r, I was cleaning the filter. I put a rag in the airbox to keep dust from collecting in there since I wasn't going to put the filter back in for a couple of days. After the cleaning the filter and replacing it, I loaded the bike for a weekend ride. Got out to the riding area, fired her up, got about 100 yards down the road and she stalled. &%$#@!? Checked everything, plug, fuel, yeah, everything but the airbox. Drove the bike 60 miles back home, dropped it off at the shop. $70 in shop labor to find out there was a rag in the airbox 😢

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So far.. putting the tire on and forgetting to pull the valve stem through...

So far I've managed to keep my butt out of any serious trouble.

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not lame, but im pretty stupid....

i usually check my oil regularly, but apparently i wasnt checking it right. so i send my ttr into the shop for regular service and they tell me i only had a few ounces of oil left in the engine 😢😢😢

needless to say now i check it much carefully but i almost always keep the bike filled, so i dont have another of these disasters

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Forget the basegasket on my CR250 (when i had it) after doing the top end. Then i had to tear it all down again to put it back.

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i removed my sub frame and air box assembly for cleaning,so i put a rag in the backside of carb.i reinstalled everthing night before a race got to the track and bike would not start.totally forgot the rag in the carb i did not even realize it untill i removed seat tank and top of carb and removed carb slide and then seen the rag sucked in the carg (crf450) daaaa.missed first moto!

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When I used to ride 2 strokes.....

I rejetted the carb on my almost brand new KTM 300 E/XC. I unhooked the fuel line from the carb and bent it upwards to hold it in place. I removed the carb, jetted it and put it back on. I noticed the fuel line had flipped back down into position but it was no big deal (at the time). I hook the fuel line back up and notice the metal clip that holds it on was missing. I tear up the garage looking for it for an hour or so and decide it must have flipped under the bench or something. 😢

I take it riding the next weekend. I get about 4 miles from camp and the engine locks up. &%$#@! I think. I go to kick start it and the crank won't move. CRAP I rock it back & forth, get it loose. Kick it, it tries to start, but never does. Get towed back to truck by my buddy. Get it home, remove the head and cylinder and guess what I found. The missing clip, mangled and in pieces inside. It ruined the piston and cylinder. 😢

When the fuel line flipped down it threw the metal clip into the clean side of the airbox (what are the odds of this hitting the little hole in the airbox boot?)

. So It was inside the clean part of the airbox, and after the 2nd or 3rd jump it goes past the reeds and CRUNCH!!!!!! 😢

I removed the clip at the other end of the fuel line and put it on my keychain as a reminder to always FIND THE MISSING PART!!! 😢

That clip cost me $700.00. 😢

  • Angry 1

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Back when I had a KLR I wasn't happy with the headlight.

man, you guys are dumb. i figured out one day i could just finesse the klr headlight switch in between high and low and both beams would light. then i started home from my parents house in santa cruz, heading up a twisty mountain (dark) road (old san jose rd). while going around a corner at 40 mph or so, the fuse blew, plunging me into almost complete darkness. i held my line while wondering what the hell to do, and then turned the right turn signal on, which gave me enough illumination to see the white line on the shoulder so i could pull over safely. thankfully, the klr included a spare fuse, and it only took me 20 mins or so to find the fuse box (i had only owned the bike a month or so, and it was my first bike in 20 years) and replace it.

that rag in the airbox thing is wacky. why do you guys shove the rag down there so far? i just cover the opening of the airbox with a paper towel. i pin it down with the air-filter cage if it's going to be open for a while. i have never put a rag far enough into the intake that it wasn't plainly obvious at first glance.

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ok i will chime in on my stupidity - The first is while doing a top end replacement, i looked at the opening to the bottom half of the motor and thought to my self - i really should put a rag over that incase i drop anything down there. Well i thought to myself - that won't happen - so i then droppped the piston cir-clip in the bottom half of the motor. I tried everything i could think of to get it out with no luck and running out of time i decided to just split the cases. The splitting of the cases went fine and at about 2 am i was putting everthing back together when i got a little lazy and hit the flywheel bolt with the impact wrench. which of course broke the end of the crankshaft off. I had to drill out the end of the crank, tap the hole, and install a bolt to make it through the weekend.

All because i didnt put a rag over that damn opening

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The day before an enduro I was putting new bars on the Black Beast. Tightening up the bolt on the clutch lever, thinking to myself, don't f- it up by over torqueing. As I was finishing the sentance... SNAP, broke the part that holds the lever on the bar. 😢 I think I even cried. 😢

I had been looking forward to this race for a long time. How was I going to ride with a broken clutch? It was a magura hydraulic clutch. No Magura dealers local. I figured I was toast. Then I remembered, don't KTM's have Magura clutches? And me with a KTM dealer within 5 min of my house. 😢 Raced over there and WAHOO, he had one! Saved me big time. Best 14 buck I have ever spent. 😢

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When I was young I used to work in a bike shop changing tires etc. One day I was changing the oil on some street bike and got into a long conversation with some other riders. When my boss came I cut the conversation and went right back to work.

As I was filling oil into the bike I kept checking the fill window. Nothing. After a little while I was thinking holy cr*p this bike takes a lot of oil! Still nothing in the window. It took awhile till I saw I hadn't put the drain plug back in and the drain bucket was full!!!!!!!! 😢😢 That was the stupidest I felt working on a bike..... 😢

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Installed 2nd gear backwards in my son's '87XR200. He puts the engine back in the bike and then asks me why the shifter won't move.

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I decided to put an FZR600 motor in my FZR400 chassis. Found a motor that needed new valves. To cheap to have the mechanic do it, I had the valve seats cut and bought a couple of new valves. Lots of work later, and about 50 miles into the first ride, one of the valve keepers pops off, drops a valve which destroys the combustion chamber and piston. I still have the piston with the valve embedded into and through the piston. Reminder to pay attention to the little details.

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Not my stupidity but someone elses'.

This past summer I pulled up to my local bike shop. Some guy's Suzuki G-something-or-other was sitting in the bike parking lot on a jack with the back tire removed.

Started to look at the guys' set-up, when he comes out of the store. We get to talking and I asked what kind of trouble he is having.

Not much he says, "just mounted the tire backwards."

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I did the 6x6 air box mod 😢

I'd heard a friend talking about the 3x3 mod he'd done and I decided

"more is better, right ?" . . . Well it didn't work out that way.

I now have a duct-tape lid on my box 😢

Luckly just after that I found ThumperTalk and have done

most of the common mods without incident. 😢

Gene

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When I was wanting to put my yz250f on some type of stand so I could repack my front bearings. I didn't have an actual stand besides this plastic concrete bucket. I was wondering why the bucket was near the trash can and I figured my dad was throwing it out since it was obviously empty but usually he keeps stuff like that. I put my bike on it and about 3 seconds later it falls on top of me. There was a crack in the bucket and that's why it was near the trash can. Oops

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Was cleaning off a chain on an old street bike, and decided that propping it up on the center stand, and starting the bike and putting it in 1st would be a great way to get the chain spinning while I slopped solvent on it, brushed it, more solvent, then a rag to clean off the slop.

I was just about done with getting all the slop off the chain, when the rag I was using got caught, and it pulled my thumb (left hand, luckily) through the rear sprocket and chain.

I lost about 1/3 of the nail and end of the thumb.

Stupid, and I got caught.

Funny story tho...

At school, I had this Korean exhange student who told me "in my country, injuries like that mean that you are skilled with your hands".

I laughed, and told him "in my country, it means you did something STUPID!"

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