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Bodger Fix What they don't show you in the repair manual - tales of duct tape, bailing wire and WD 40.
Bodge, Bush Mechanics, farmers fix, patch, temporary repair, or whatever your definition, tell us YOUR best story of a bodge that got you home!
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Old 24 Feb 2011
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So what's a bodge?

Bodging it - we've all done it, so admit it!

Sometimes you just have to get it going, no matter what -with or without the "right" tools, parts etc. A little ingenuity can go a long way when you're stuck at the side of the road.

On my bike I always carry duct tape, stainless steel wire, a bunch of long and short zip ties, a few misc long bolts and matching nuts, a film can of thick grease, and a pair of vise grips. On long trips or into remote areas I add a foot long strip of 1" x 1/8" (30cm x 25mm x 3mm) aluminum, a hacksaw blade, and a 6mm drill bit. With that lot it's amazing what you can do!

Kevan Ibbotson, also know as "dirtpig" is our Master Bodger / Moderator, and he has loads of stories - I've even seen him at work, bodging it with flair!

Let's see your story of how you "got it going" by inspiration and ingenuity! Best bodge of the year gets an HU Fleece Jacket!
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 24 Feb 2011
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bodging !!

basically anything i touch !!!!!!!
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Old 24 Feb 2011
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F650 fan switch gone? Just pug the wires from the horn in

I'm less proud of the trip I did with a baked bean can welded and glued and bandaged into the oufits exhaust to cover a hole you could drop pound coins right through

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Old 24 Feb 2011
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Most of what I do is a bodge or penytech. I think a bodge is more of a fix, penytech is more of cheap work around for a problem.

One thing I did was a 2 days before I need to leave for the California (or Colorado it is hell getting old) HU meeting my new racks for my DL650 show up. I had the TT box from my F650 sitting there so why not get them to go. Well the rack went on with a little work but the box not so much. The pucks did not fit the rack and not in the right spots and well nothing fit. Well work a machine shop so I lash down a box and ride off to work cut the pucks to fit and try it on. Nope I can not get bottom pucks to work right with the top pucks and fit in the rack no matter how much I yell and call them names they gust will not work. Being a cheap sod I will not let this go and get new boxes. I make a bracket out of scrap aluminum for the box and one for the other drill and tap them. Fit them to the rack and drill holes for the pucks, all is good? nope dam rack is to close the bike and puck will not clear, bugger fined a spot it will work and the dam puck is not going to work but there is no other way the steel that holds the box to the rack is too short. It is late I hate the Boxes I hate my bike and the dam rack. I now know people like soft bags. But I can not let this beat me.
Walk over the scrap bin and get a little bar out cut it down and try to bolt that in. Nope bolt is to short and I am in the USA no metric bolts in the shop no taps nothing so I use a SEA and re drill the box and the puck and drill and tap the scrap bar I have. Done 1 box fit to the rack ride back home and get the other one. I do the same thing to this one and it went on much better.
Now I have 2 TT boxes on my bike there fit and have 5 grate big holes in them I look around for something to patch them with and noting but a plate of 1/2 in thick. That will be more that the box and all the stuff in it.
Dam hell fire!
Nothing at all.
I pack up and go home to look around I now have burned up a day gust fitting 2 boxes It is dark I need food and drink. I find some bathroom sealer and think why not it is waterproof just needs a week or two to dry well it has 1 day and I still need some thing reinforce the pucks and bracket, I look and all I find is a baking sheet not the best but hay it will work better than the nothing I have now. Cut the sheet with a hacksaw and brake the blade at about half done.
This is gust not going well. I need sleep and a new start.
In the morning I get the last mail and tell the mail person to hold the mail. On the way back I look in my old boat and see salvation! A sheet of Aluminum used as the flooring. With a bit of luck I will remove half of it toss it in the car with the boxes and off to the shop I go. After laying out what I need and cutting the bits out I use the bathroom sealer and a few bolts to hold the mess together and drive home. I then sand and paint the boxes and let them dry. Next day I pack and ride south.
It still holds up. Not the most need bodge but one of the longest.

There have been the odd dragging side stands I have tied up till I found a spring in a burned couch.
I have had to tie down a bag with some cord I fount at the side of the road.
Most people I know that ride have used a vice grip as a brake handle.
I have used a nail I have fished out of my tire as a cotter pin after losing the cotter pin after a patch job. Handy that.
Tapping things together after a dropped bike.
Used a car cup holder on my to hold a scrap lit of plate so my kick stand did not dig in to dirt. dropping the bike. Someone liked the idea so much it walked off.
used a film can top on the ignition switch to keep out rain and dust.
I have used a bottle top a nail and rock to make a washer.
Made a patch for a wire with a coat hanger and duct tape.
Used the bikes oil to oil the chain.
Installed a hidden switches to work the ignition when the key ignition went out.
I did stop using speaker wire for electrical fixes as it will start a fire.

Nothing like being a cheap sod!
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Old 24 Feb 2011
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From Wikipedia

Just to clarify

This is from the online dictionary - Wiktionary - so no I am not making this up

edit] English

[edit] Etymology 1

The term "bodge" derives from Middle English boccen, which means "to mend."
[edit] Verb

to bodge (third-person singular simple present bodges, present participle bodging, simple past and past participle bodged)
  1. (UK) To do a clumsy or inelegant job, usually as a temporary repair.
    • All the actions of his life are like so many things bodged in without any natural cadence or connexion at all. (A book of characters, selected from the writings of Overbury, Earle, and Butler, Thomas Overbury and John Earle, 1865)
    • Some cars were neglected, others bodged to keep them running with inevitable consequences (Original Porsche 356: The Restorer's Guide, Laurence Meredith, 2003)
    • Do not be satisfied with a bodged job, set yourself professional goals and standards (The Restauration Handbook, Enric Rosell√≥, 2007)
[edit] Noun

bodge (plural bodges)
  1. (UK) A clumsy or inelegant job, usually a temporary repair.
[edit] Related terms
[edit] Derived terms
[edit] Etymology 2

[edit] Noun

bodge (plural bodges)
  1. (historical) The water in which a smithy would quench items heated in a forge.
  2. (rare) A sleeping area within a large bush (i.e. boxwood) in front of a Lodge or Fraternity House.
  3. (South East England) A four wheeled handcart used for transporting goods. Also a home made go-cart.
[edit] Adjective

bodge (comparative more bodge, superlative most bodge)
(slang, Northern Ireland) insane or off the rails
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Old 25 Feb 2011
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A sign-age idea for my new company
1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

BMW Dealer Technician

Ushuaia - Colombia 2007/8
UK- South Africa 2010/11
India 2012
Yukon 2012
S.E Asia 2014
U.K - Magadan 2015
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Old 25 Feb 2011
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I had an LDV convoy that went for an MoT (UK test of 'roadworthiness') and failed due to a massive hole in the exhaust. As a friend was with me we went round the corner to buy some fire putty, jubilee clips and two cans of Scrumpy jack cider. A quick , cut and tie job had the van passed.

I am not sure if the look on the guys face when we said we'd fixed it and he saw the repair was admiration or contempt, all he said was 'well I guess it's not blowing anymore'

Standard bike bodges normally involve, as previously mentioned, duct tape, cable ties (zip ties), spare spanners/tyre irons and hitting stuff with rocks.
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Old 25 Feb 2011
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Also started it's own thread

What: BMW r100gs Hardtail. Note the use of a tyre lever and webbing... A bodge repair after snapping a shock.

Where: Jack-Sh!t-For-100-miles-around-ville, Patagonia 2001

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Old 11 Mar 2011
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I remember seeing an issue of Trailbike mag where Paul Blezard had a big BMW on test, he managed to bog it in a muddy field then broke the shock.
His bodge was to use a section of a tree branch to prop the back end up.
That single sided shock idea is daft to me.
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Old 12 Mar 2011
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cable ties, swear by them.

a friend of mine recently had an off in the wet, due to his lacking in any kind of mechanical skills he asked me to get his bike road worthy until he switches it in a couple months.

here is the result.

Leading cause of motor accidents:
1) Speeding 2) Texting 3) Turtle Shells...?
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Old 13 Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by Huan View Post
I remember seeing an issue of Trailbike mag where Paul Blezard had a big BMW on test, he managed to bog it in a muddy field then broke the shock.
His bodge was to use a section of a tree branch to prop the back end up.
That single sided shock idea is daft to me.
Many years ago (when everything was twin shock) I saw someone using two ring spanners to hold the back end up when one of the shock absorbers had snapped at the bottom eye. It was some lightweight British bike (it was a looong time ago ) so the spanners didn't have to take much weight. Not sure it would work these days - you'd have trouble finding good quality spanners
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Old 2 Apr 2011
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Bodging by "left-overs" from the tarmac workers...

In early summer 2004 I was heading home from Oskarshamn in southern Sweden, a trip of about 230-240 km depending on the route choice. It was Monday and I was going to start work at around 13.30-14.00. I was driving my Suzuki GSX 1100 -81 equipped with a 4 into 1 exhaust which isn't silent enough to be successful at SBP every 2nd year without some effort done to the interior of the silencer before going there...
However, suddenly the nice deep tone changed into a ROOOOAAAR when the screws keeping the interior into the silencer went on their own tour out on the newly laid out tarmac together with the interior of the silencer - changing the silencer into a megaphone by the about 4 times + size opening...
This happened after about 60 km of driving, so it was some part left to drive...
The road was of the 2/1 type - not wide enough to have 2 lanes in each direction, but 3 lanes is ok - divided so when you have 1 lane on your side, the meeting traffic has 2 lanes and vice versa.
This happened where it was just 1 lane on my side - so too narrow to make a stop, I had to go on until there were a crossing to be able to go back to find a new crossing to be able to search for the lost part - hoping that it had not been crushed by a truck...but I was lucky that way, I found it and it wasn't crushed, just some marks from when it hit the ground after being launched from the silencer! I managed to get it back in, holding it in place with my right foot while I drove to the crossing again - there was a parking space close to it where I stopped to try to be able to keep my right foot on the peg instead of mealting it on the back of the silencer...
So, what can you do in such a situation...I didn't have any extra screws with me, nothing else either to mend it with...but then my eyes caught what the tarmac workers had left for me to use! Some very useful "left-overs" in the shape of the string they use when laying out the tarmac - I took up a piece of it, maybe 8-10 meters and started to tie the interior to the silencer by the passenger peg! It worked well!
I got home as well as to work and back home (80 more km) as well as some places to find new screws - they were hard to find! At last I found some used ones at a garage in the next town...
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Old 2 Apr 2011
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A bodge I did on a bikie's z1000 in Australia - he was stranded by the side of the road with no power; I offered to help and he told me to piss off - must have hurt his pride. Anyhow, I was waiting for some friends to show up so I sat back and watched him - for about an hour. It was painful. At the 60 minute point I couldn't take it any more so went back over and suggested we wire the battery directly to the ignition circuit before it got dark - at least he could ride home even if there were no lights, indicator, brake lights etc.
He agreed - took about 2 minutes - cue one happy bikie as the engine roared into life.
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Old 25 Jun 2011
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The art of bodging

Years ago and being very poor at the time (Not much better off now!), I had an old and rusty Toyota. The front silencer rusted through so I just welded in a straight through bit of exhaust pipe. Working as a bike mechanic I had access to the damaged and broken bits removed from crashed etc bikes. At one point it was fitted with a GSXR 750 'door' mirror, a VFR 750 rev counter and a very shiney Honda Goldwing silencer with the brackets made from a motercycle crate.
The car was very rusty and nothing seemed to stop the rain getting into the boot (trunk)... so I just drilled a few holes to let the water out.

I like to think of these as 'running repairs'

Just remember that most motorcycle parts will work on others if you are determined, desparate or brutal enough!

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Old 7 Oct 2013
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Ive used the spray that you put in a flat tyre for short distances...its good for slow puntures...fixes the problem more or less ...just dont forget to take it out
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