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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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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.

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Old 2 Oct 2011
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What 'get you home' repairs have you made

Not all my roadside repairs have always been successful. I've ridden home a few times on a flat tyre, failed to fix a chain due due to the link extractor not being man enough and had a fuel line connector snap with no means of repair available.

Over the years though I've mostly managed to keep going and rarely ended up stranded at the roadside. How often have you been let down by your tool kit or spare parts box?
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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I had a throttle cable break ,so I used a piece of string attached to the carb slide and the other end tied to my knee .Stuck my knee out and vroom vroom off we go .
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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I used twigs, bits of wire and matchsticks found at the side of the road to keep my exhaust system from falling apart during a trip back through France.

In our family car some years ago the wiper linkage from the motor failed in a rainstorm. To continue we tied shoelaces to the wiper arms, brought them back in through slightly open side windows and the kids pulled them backwards and forwards to get the wipers working. Worked perfectly for half an hour till the rain stopped.
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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On our way back from Romania my Wife's Pegaso had it's second rear puncture, just before the Severn Bridge on the M4 at 2am. Had already used our spare 17" so stuffed in my spare 21" front and got home on that.
Years ago returning from MCC's "Land's End Trial" the exhaust pipe snapped off at the head on my MZ 250. Bodged it somehow with fencing wire nicked from Sedgemore Services fence, still made a racket but got me back.
Only time i've ever failed to bodge and had to rely on breakdown service was in Northern France a couple of years ago coming back from DLWF winter rally. Chain link snapped on the remotest, straightest bit of road in the country which would'nt normally be a problem except i'd lent my spare link to another guy on the rally.I now carry a spare chain and 3 links!
Just going for a short ride on my bike....
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
I had a throttle cable break ,so I used a piece of string attached to the carb slide and the other end tied to my knee .Stuck my knee out and vroom vroom off we go .
I generally have spare cables taped alongside the main ones but a length of string (or shoelace) has many uses it would appear. I used to make or repair the cables on my old Brit bikes but they were never very reliable.

I had the large dome nut fall off the bottom of the carb of my old BSA. This lets all the petrol out quite quickly. So I scoured the road for this nut for ages, I didn't find the original but, by good fortune, found something similar but quite a bit larger. I managed to lash this onto the bottom of the carb with iron wire and although it leaked a fair bit it did get me home. If you carried everything that could go wrong with a BSA as spares you'd need very large panniers!
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Old 16 Nov 2011
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I bodged an exhaust that had cracked at the flange near the head on a dr650
using jb weld and a piece of fence wire wrapped round the header and then i put loops in the end and attached the loops to the bike frame with a bungie cut in half and knots in the cut ends.............the jb weld and bodge got me the 300 miles home!
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Old 16 Nov 2011
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We would love to see some pictures of these bodges if you have some
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Old 16 Nov 2011
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Spark plug used as replacement for the transmission drain plug after I lost it (and all the oil) around 100km earlier on the Birdsville track last year.

More recently (3 months back), a couple of cable ties used to hold the front subframe and fairing (20kg) on after the metal mounting tabs snapped off on the old telegraph trail(Cape York).

I always find corrugations are great for discovering the weak point on any bike.
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman
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Old 16 Nov 2011
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Picked up a 2 1/2" deck screw in a rear tire. Blew the tube and broke the rim strip into several pieces. Didn't have enough tape to go around the rim. So I cut a new strip out of the blown tube. Inserted a new tube and rode on.

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Old 19 Feb 2012
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I used bungees to resecure my top box after one of its retaining parts snapped in a tumble. It has worked so well I have just left them in place. The hooked ends of the bungee loop into the top box and so when you close the lid and lock it they cannot be removed.
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Old 22 Feb 2012
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- Used the trunk of a small tree and fencing wire to shore up a trailer leaf spring with three (out of six) leaves broken. That got me 300km until I found a similar spring in a wreckers that was good enough to get me home.

- Wired an electric fuel pump to the tail light for a friend when the pump circult failed somewhere in the loom in the middle of nowhere. (No, it wasnt just a fuse!)

- Wrapped cardboard around a chafed wiring loom that was intermittently shorting on the frame.

- Used a rubber band and a paperclip to replace a broken throttle return spring.

- Replaced a welsh plug (freeze plug) in a block with a section of tree branch whittled down to size and jammed in the hole. The wood expanded and it remained leak-free for weeks!

May 2015 - Canberra to Townsville via the Birdsville Track in a 1969 Mini Van.
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Old 22 Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by bnicho View Post
Replaced a welsh plug (freeze plug) in a block with a section of tree branch whittled down to size and jammed in the hole. The wood expanded and it remained leak-free for weeks!
Here's a radiator cap I made to the same design. It is actually perfectly round where it seats in the rad. The cable-ties are just to stop it popping like a champagne cork. It worked fine with no loss of coolant; just a few bubbles out of the end-grain.
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What 'get you home' repairs have you made-radcap1.jpg  

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Old 22 Feb 2012
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Between Acapulco and Cuernavaca, Mexico

What a great thread. I have always wanted to share this true story.

Many years ago circa 1972 while touring Mexico in a 1966 Volvo station wagon
with a 122 S 4 cylinder Volvo engine carrying SU carbs - same engine used in marine applications, a support brace for "add on" air conditioner broke and somehow snapped off the fuel pump.

My young GF was from Trinidad and quite beautiful and I was very concerned, for her and indeed for myself, as it was coming dusk and all caution had been, not to be on this particular road after dark, due to "revolutionary activity," in the province. There had been several murders of tourists.

I had an extra fuel pump and was all about trying to remove the broken one and install the spare when a volkswagan pulled up close behind. A very large nordic/Swedish looking man stepped out, looked at me and stated "Dats a Volvo"
I agreed, trying to figure his reason for stopping.

My concern was soon answered when he explained that he worked for the Volvo factory in Sweden and had some tools with him. Lynette and I stood amazed as he brought out a large wax cloth roll containing professional looking tools.

We were more amazed when his expert hands moved smoothly over the 122 S and quickly replaced the fuel pump. By the time he completed his work, which included a quick carb adjustment, it was dark so he offered to follow us to Cuernavaca, where I promised him and a good meal.

Once safely in town and after downing a few, I finally asked him...

"You work for Volvo right?" "Ja" he replied....."Then what the hell took you so long, we broke down an hour before you arrived?" We all had a good laugh and this is a true story.


Eat, Drink and Be Careful
Motorcycle Parking Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Old 23 Feb 2012
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I once rigged a temporary gravity feed fuel tank on a Lada, when the fuel line nipple into the carbs removed itself from the casting. Duct taped it to the roof, used an empty washer fluid bottle and the now useless fuel line which was a press fit into the carbs. Ran for an hour to get home.

A couple of times on bikes and chain saws I have whittled wooden oil filler plugs. Use green wood, and if you are careful about the diameter and taper, it will screw right in. Leave it 6 inches long to make removing it easier. Another time I used a big potato pressed into place by the weight of the hood to make a temporary oil cap on a jeep.

I have used the aluminum foil fuse trick a few times. I learned that one can control the amperage to a degree by rolling a tighter or looser cylinder of foil, cut to length with a pocket knife scissor. Works best on old style glass tube fuses. A wire from a bread bag twist tie worked once on a modern style fuse, but glowed red hot in the night. That was the thinnest wire I could find.
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Old 18 Aug 2012
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My brother in law fell off his XT350 on some slippery beck stones and he managed to smash the oil filter cover into 2 bits on the same rocks, it also bent one of the 3 bolts and smashed out the case on the front top bolt.
We were about 3 miles down a trail and we didn't have mobiles then so I straightened the bent bolt with a rock and put the cover back on with some big washers I always carried and the bent bolt helped by forcing the broken part of the cover onto the main part of the cover.
Topped up the oil from my bike and rode home 5 miles with only a tiny leak from the cover.

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