Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Bodger Fix
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!
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India

Like Tree30Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 15 Nov 2013
g6snl's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Home in Essex GB
Posts: 563
DL650 - On a recent trip back through Europe with the wife the clutch started to slip quite badly in Slovenia. I couldn't think of a bodge to get home other than stick the wife on a plane from Venice................it worked ........I made it back .
Reply With Quote
Old 17 Nov 2013
brclarke's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 812
I had an Enfield 500 that was my daily ride to work. One day the return spring for the kickstart lever broke, so I could kick it over once, pull the lever up by hand, and kick over again. I could get the bike started with one or two kicks no problem, but then what to do with the loosely dangling lever..?

I used a loop of old shoestring to tie the lever up and out of the way after getting it started. It actually worked okay, and I kept riding the bike every day to work until the replacement spring arrived from the warehouse about 10 days later.
Bruce Clarke - 2020 Yamaha XV250
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Nov 2013
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 13
In serbia this year solo on a cbr600, the bike was overheating the fan wasn't kicking in and turning the bike off when stationary means the water isn't moving around and will just boil in situ.

Unplugged the positive connector to the horn and made the cable a bit longer, and just held the horn button down when required..
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Jun 2014
on probation
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Belgium
Posts: 17
pair of vice grips to extend what remained of the sheered off clutch lever

and using a piece of fairing i cut out of a friends dirt bike to patch up his plastic fuel tank using two component glue
worked like a charm and he still rides around like that after more then six months
Reply With Quote
Old 3 Jul 2014
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 679
What 'get you home' repairs have you made


Funny same happened to me on a Bullet 350 but in the middle of the Zanskar range in the himalaya. I used a length of metal wire from some farmers, and tied it to the handle bars when not in use. It was a royal PITA as that particular bike cut out every time I stopped.

I think the Indians must be the bodge-fix kings. On a different bike I had it serviced by a truly abysmal outfit of 'mechanics' in Rishikesh. A few days later it became apparent that while they had changed the bars to a low set of choppers, they failed to change the cables, not only that they didn't tighten the bars so after a rough stretch the bars came forward and pulled all the cables tight, snapping the internal mechanism in the throttle jamming it closed (and ruining a clean pair of underwear in the process).

I wheeled the bike to the nearest village where thirty blokes crowded around. We took the throttle apart and then one blot picked a twig up from the floor and jammed it into the mechanism with some superglue - hey presto it did for another 250 miles until I got it back to the mechanic.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Oct 2014
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: The Newforest, England
Posts: 1
Bush winch

In 1992 i was traveling around Australia on my own in a 1978 XC Ford Falcon 4.1ltr,somewhere between Emerald and Longreach i came across a dried out river/creek bed that's bridge had been washed out, i was'nt about to turn around if i could help it, so walked alongside the riverbed until i found a spot where i reckoned the bank was low and slopey enough to drive in and out the other side, still a bit lively though, but bugger it, so i drive in ok and cross the bed with out any problem, but i under estimated the angle of the bank on the far side and after several goes at it, and loosing the number plate i sat down and got the stove out for a brew, tea is an amazing brain stimulator i reckon. AAHH!! i thought,there's a very handy tree about 15ft from the bank, (not too many of them about either) i got a good bit of rope in the boot, and a spare wheel, it's worth a go,so i turned the car around with the arse facing the way out, i got the spare wheel out and let the tyre down, jacked the car up and put it on, i tied the rope really tight around the flat tyre so it would grip and form a pulley, the other end went round the tree, just, then i put the car in reverse,and being an automatic i could leave it in gear keeping the rope tense while i got out and steered it, keeping an eye on the rope on the wheel,and gently putting my foot on the throttle a bit as we went up the bank backward's, laughing like a lunatic and thinking to myself,me and PG tip's can solve anything. Pretty damn ingenious i thought, and so did the blokes in the next pub i came across, which was the Emerald Hotel
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Jan 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: stord island, west norway
Posts: 21
ok bodges and roadside repairs.... here goes....
let me think back....
my first bike, a 1984 suzuki cl50, the P.O. had used sealent instead of gaskets on the motor, so the top end went, i rode it a mile with no piston rings at about 3mph.... my mates tomos (same year model oddly enough) decided to blow all the bulbs on the dual carriageway (yes 70mph limit and we rode mopeds on it!) at night, so i was his lights for a few miles, which was VERY scary!
then came my gilera runner, 2001 plate 4 stroke.... loads of problems with that one, let me see, i rode into the back of a car, and smashed all the panels, so used duct tape to hold it together (good for over 70mph by the way) the variator smashed to peices once at 70mph and locked the back wheel, couldnt fix that at the side of the road!
next came my cheapy £50 pit bike one of those daft chinese things with the big bore honda crunchy engine, anyway, me and a mate where riding in some wasteland, and my chain snapped and he ran out of fuel, i fixed my broken chain with some old wiring from a burnt out car and towed him home with some rope we found laying around! crazy stuff!
then there was my suzuki gt125, i did lots of bodges, they were originally temporary, but lots stayed forever, the list was a follows:
the ignition was so worn out that i just used any old key to start it
it got stolen so i bypassed the ignition and fitted a hidden switch
the steering lock had to be smashed off (from the theft!)
the seat rusted, so i cut the subframe and got a cafe racer seat, which was cable tied on (so i could top up the oil tank!)
the bars bent when it blew over once, so i fitted some clip ons with some old innertube cut up to make them fit!
oh the list goes on.....
next bike is my VF750, i "ran out of talent" in a hairpin in a tunnel and managed to "park" it in a drainage ditch, we pulled it out and wheeled out of the tunnel, when i tried to start it, coolant poared out, so i freewheeled down the mountain (luckily we were at the top and a petrol station was at the bottom!) and just pushed the top rad hose back on, and it was fixed.
Reply With Quote
Old 9 Feb 2015
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5
hmm few bodges in my 5-6 months of riding so far
had a wee spill and snapped my clutch lever, disconnected the lever and used a spanner and gaffa'd the cable on. got me home & stayed like that for a week while i was waiting for the replacement...

Zip tied some sticks together to hold my rack together after it snapped in half on a dual carriageway... took me being flashed by the car behind for some time to notice

Taped together mine and my mates plates after some toerags had so kindly smashed them off for us, quite amusing watch a xj6 with flappy plate and furious rider go over speed bumps

Loving this thread, some of these are genius!
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Feb 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 24
Back in the day and on a CT175 Yamaha, I towed mate on his Bultaco Lobito about 15 kl with a 800mm long bungie cord.By the time we hit town it was at least 4 meters long,on the slack.
Then there was a Mark Two Zephyr with twin SU carbs and a busted link.A matchbox to hold it at lowish revs got it through town and home. Intersections were interesting
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Feb 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 104
leak fuel tank fix

On return from France to UK last year I started to leak fuel from under the tank. Close inspection found some bad corrosion and vibration on frame caused pin hole leak. Quick fix was chewing gum and gaffer tape which got me home.

Once home I bought some of that 2 pack tank weld stuff for fuel leaks and that worked for a couple of months and then the leak got a lot worse. After speaking to one of our Aircraft fitters at work he suggested I try B2 Aircraft sealant which they use to seal high pressure fuel tanks on the Aircraft we manufacture. Bottom of tank now plastered in the stuff. A bit messy to apply and cannot be sanded or painted so only good where it doesnt show. It also comes frozen so you have to defrost it and then have 20 mins to work with it..

Works a treat! and hopefully will hold up for my UK to Croatia trip this summer
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Feb 2015
Lifetime Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 365
Fuel tank leak from a pin hole. Fixed by driving in a self taping screw with a steel washer and rubber washer (a bit of old inner tube) under the head. This thread has just reminded me of it - it's been holding about 3 years now, think I'll continue to leave well alone

Sent from my GT-P3110 using Tapatalk

finally back on the road again

Reply With Quote
Old 21 Feb 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 2,106
This might be of interest if you're overlanding on anything using points -

AA mechanic fixes Land Rover with a spud | Western Morning News
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Feb 2015
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wessex, UK
Posts: 2,136
The original owner of my R80G/S told me that the rear crankshaft main seal started leaking when he was in India on a RTW trip, not having the tools or spares to do a proper job he smeared some instant gasket around the seal and hoped for the best. That repair got him home, 30 years and 90,000 miles later it is still there and has not leaked.

Last edited by mark manley; 21 Feb 2015 at 12:45. Reason: Something that is not a repeat of the last post.
Reply With Quote
Old 25 Feb 2015
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 14
When someone has put Petrol in their diesel car...

and is 20 K from home when it quits. In saying that the car drove about 15Km on the fuel Mix of about 80% petrol 20 % Diesel He'd just filled it at the petrol station about 10 mins earlier

Recovery was not an option due to how it had quit and he had flattened the battery getting it out of traffic

So Rig up a dummy tank

Turn on the ignition (to open the stop valve)

and pump with the bulb to flush PetroDeisel out (via the return fuel line) and fresh Diesel in and while this is happening you have a car running beside boosting the battery up

Started in about 15 seconds and drove 25km home until I could drain the tank and fill with Fresh Diesel I guess the same would work for a holed tank provided you stop and refill the can every 40 km
Attached Images
Reply With Quote
Old 5 Mar 2015
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 31
When you run out of spokes.

In 2012 I broke 120 spokes on my 1910 FN riding it from Nepal to Belgium. First repair was done by a guy who cut the ends and bent them to suit. Then, when no more were available, I had about 50 broken spokes welded together to make new ones. They didn't look pretty but they got me from Pakistan to the Czech Republic where I managed to buy new ones.

see on my website: Old Bloke on a Bike

And in the 80s when an airline broke on our Honda GoldWing in South America, my wife flagged down a passing truck and offered to buy the guy's aerial. He broke it in half and said, "Medio para tu, medio para me," (half for you and half for me). The aerial was still working as a replacement years later when I sold the bike.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Home-made alternative to bungees PocketHead TRAVEL Hints and Tips 14 24 Jul 2012 16:41
Home made air filter carwyn Yamaha Tech 1 29 Mar 2009 21:47
Home made insect repellants apattrick Staying Healthy on the Road 20 26 Nov 2007 20:11
home made pannier severin Other Bikes Tech 5 22 May 2007 05:46
DR 650 SE Home-made pannier rack beddhist Suzuki Tech 6 31 Mar 2007 06:33



Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.



  • Queensland is back! May 2-4 2025!

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!

Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.

Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 00:37.