How many times have you broke down on the road?

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by double trouble, May 28, 2012.

  1. After my latest incident of breaking a motor mount stud I started thinking.
    This is now my third bike. All were bought cheap and had problems which is why i got them so cheap. I have never had to walk home , but I have had to pedal home at least 10 times. Most times it was on test rides in my Cul-de-sac , but 5 were 2-3 miles from home. No big deal , but I have gotten leary and now carry a few tools.
    I was wondering about every Else's experiences of breaking down and how you solved the problems on the fly.

  2. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    Once, on my first build, installed the engine out of the box and blew a head gasket 3 miles from home. Limped home, had to walk bike up the last hill to my sub division. After that I do some inexpensive mods and not broken down since 2009.
  3. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    Can't think of how many times i've been stranded (sometimes a long way from home), for it's taken two years of endless breakdowns, followed by re-engineering multiple components to finally achieve perfect reliability.
    DuctTapedGoat likes this.
  4. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    I have same comments as Fabian: chains broke or otherwise fell off (pedaled back; once was 12 miles), flat tires (called for help; cost me steak dinners), broke motor mount bolts (pedal back), bolts backed out from vibration (tightened with tools on the spot), Halfmoon key came out from crankshaft (50 miles from home, partially disassembled engine with tools on the spot). Muffler fell apart while riding; reassembled back at home. Now have a will-not-start Unhappy Time engine that used to start without too much trouble. Probably fuel flow problem.

    Fix: Got myself another frame, installed a Honda 4-stroke and made my own transmission arrangement. Got a better multi-gear cassette for back wheel. Made wheels with dual tires; they are almost flat-proof. Installed disc brakes front and back.

    After tweaking: The engine starts easily, vibrates much less, and nothing has fallen off yet. This bike is better because I used higher-grade components from the start and utilized "lessons learned" from previous build. Had to spend a lot more money to make must-have and nice-to-have capability happen.

  5. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    In the beginning I had 2 long walks home both because of flats, of coarse both were in july and aug when it was scorching out. After that second time I declared war on flat tires with tire liners and thick tubes and havn't had a flat since. Both walks were 5plus miles uphill to get I also buy kevlar reinforced tires to add to my aresenal.
  6. Anton

    Anton Administrator Staff Member

    Not once yet but I've had bolts rattle lose and lost a fuel cap which didn't fit right. All problems I could have fixed but I was too anxious to get out and ride. Remember to lock tight everything and put in washers and double up on bolts if you can.
  7. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    How do I love thee.....

    Let me count the..... times I broke down. :ack2:

    Weather Xtremes!!

    100 degrees F: At laundromat..... trailer full of clothes.
    flat tire....have patch kit & pump. tire sidewall & tube both ripped out.
    No one to call..... 2.5 miles....pushed bike & trailer w/clothes home. :ack2:

    3 degrees F : 11:30 pm......snow packed roads, on my way to work on my trike.
    chain broke
    luckily...bummed a ride for me & the trike to work....on time!!! :grin5:
    Boss gave me a ride home at the end of the shift.
    fixed the chain on my porch in the same 3 degree temp. :ack2:

    RAINING....cats & dogs. pigs,sheep, dingos, moose, name it
    (wearing rainsuit)
    broke another chain on the trike :ack2:

    pedaled a block....pulled under an awning by the college and repaired the chain. ( I now carry a spare chain & all the toolios to replace.)

    Same trike.... a few months ago.... frame broke....1 house away from work.

    hahaa... I had this one hauled home & cut it up in little bitty pieces. heh

    I fried a magneto 4 miles away....pedaled home. :sweatdrop:

    Out of gas.... an embarrassing amount of times. :dunce:

    I could go on. (& on & on....:grin5:)

    But in summary.... I've been playing with these bikes since 2005 & even with all the aggravation...... It must be know.... the kind we don't talk about. :devilish:
  8. professor

    professor Active Member

    Once in a while I have had to pedal home. Flat tire or some drive component let go, never engine related (4 stroke HFs). Love the fact that pedals still operate. Neither of my bikes are kit based, but are my own concoction. Seem good now, eliminated one bug at a time.
  9. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    On my very first build when i kind of had no idea of how finicky assembling one of these bikes can be.
    threw the chain off about 200 feet from my house.
    the chain broke at the master link and thankfully it didn't jam in the rear wheel or under the sprocket cover.
    BUT, the chain acted like a whip, and came up and whipped me on my left shoulder /back.
    left a chain marked welt on me for days.
  10. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    My comment could be titled 'Why I love MABs'. For me cars break down, motorcycles and scooters can break down, but a decent, well maintained and tuned bicycle almost never. Not bragging here but honestly I've never broke down, in the sense I had to walk or get a ride, on one of my MABs on the road. In earlier days I've had flats but I was prepared to fix them (tube or patch) on the spot in a jiffy and nowadays eliminated even most of that after getting dialed in with a working combination of tires/tubes/liners. Full disclosure is I don't own HT engines, no longer have any bikes that use chain or belt in the power drive train and am pretty much a preventive maintenance fanatic so many of the things that could go wrong with the bicycle or engine/drive have been eliminated.
  11. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    These all happened about 7 years ago:
    1. Clogged fuel filter that is integrated into the fuel valve...Solution: remove it and remove rust from tank prior to 1st use.

    2. Broken spark plug: chinese plug failed internally. Solution: I still use the china plugs and carry a spare NGK plug

    3. Blown intake gasket. Solution: cut my own using thicker gasket paper; results: no problems.

    4. Piston ring doo hickey that prevents ring from rotating fell out. Solution: Pull out with long nose pliers and JB weld it into place. No issue with ring getting caught on an intake port causing instant engine stoppage/damage.

    5. Derailleur mis-shift on shifter kit bike resulting in broken derailleur and bent chain and end of riding for day: solution: don't let idiot brother in law ride bike on long rides.

    6. Engine seized from upper wrist pin bearing falling apart. Solution: replacement bearing of higher quality.

    7. CDI failure. Solution: carry spare on all rides with quick connect (anderson powerpoles plugs) for replacement.

    8. Magneto failed. Solution: carry spare on all rides.

    9. 6 flat tires during a 40 mile ride. Solution: Use heavy duty tubes with slime, carry extra patches, and carry spare tubes. I had to hitchhike it back into town after I ran out of patches.

    10. 415 chain failure causing chain to snap around and put a hole in the engine case. Solution: I no longer ride single speeds.

    11. Engine died after refueling at gas station. Solution: don't add 2 stroke oil to tank first as it will settle and flow directly into carb when you open fuel cap. When I refuel on the road, I start engine and then add 2 stroke oil to fuel tank. The engine vibration will splash and mix fuel/oil up real good. Be careful and wear eye protection and put that cigarette out first.
  12. 2stroker

    2stroker New Member

    Thats a bummer. The only problem i have had is a flat tire. My kit has not once broke down and left me stranded and i have 2,000miles on it!!!! The kit i had before this one made it to 4,000miles before i had a problem and all i had to do to fix my kit is adjust the carburator!!! i like my kit because its very reliable!!! I like the bumblebeebolton friction drive and i like the robin engines there good to a little more pricy but they go!
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  13. mbatl

    mbatl Member

    My FD robin subaru bike has only broke down due to a flat tire and I had to limp it to walmart 5 miles and buy a tube. I stopped by Advance auto and bought slime on the way which worked for 5 mins, and then made an absolutely horrible green mess all over my rear rim and tire, which I'm sure was a peculiar sight for people to witness. I don't to use slime again due to the sticky mess it makes that was a pain to clean.

    Now my HT bike...
    -Broken engine stud
    -Engine cut off and wouldn't start I think due to carb issues (it was years ago)
    -Chain jumped off
    -Pedals stripped threads inside cranks
    -Nut that holds crank for shifter kit fell off and crank became very loose while in traffic. Not good experience.

    The biggest reason I've been stranded on the HT bike is for running out of gas:rolleyes7:, because when the HT kit is running right its is just soo much fun being able to shift through 6 gears and having the weight of the engine centrally located! Its so much fun that I've lost track of my fuel usage and had to peddle back countless times, the last occurence was about 3 miles of peddling that heavy bike...with a full face helmet to hide my embarrasement!:helmet:
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  14. 2stroker

    2stroker New Member

    Thats why I bring an extra fuel bottle and put it in my water bottle holder. I like the robin engines to but the bumblebeebolton's are just as reliable. I like the one bolt thing they got going on. I thought that was very simple and easy. Not everyone is mechanically enclined ya know and it makes it easy. Bolt it on hook up your bungee cable hook up the throttle cable and you gotta install the neutral bracket Its just a u-bolt and your off. Takes about 15min
  15. Cavi Mike

    Cavi Mike Member

    More times than I care to count.
  16. The_Aleman

    The_Aleman Active Member

    I've been riding these for 6 years and I can't possibly count how many times I've broken down. When I ran HTs, I had a breakdown at least every month.

    With my 4-stroke, I can count the break-downs. 10. 4 were due to valve stem failure on tires, 4 were carburetor-related stoppages, and 2 breakdowns due to clutch drum failure.

    Edit: I've run out of gas 3x, too, only with 4-stroke...hard to keep gas in the darn thing sometimes :grin5:
  17. Twice. Once with a flat rear tire 2 blocks from home. Easier to push the bike home to fix the flat than to fix it on a busy street. It was a Staton chain drive kit/Subaru Robin 35 and bullet proof, other than a hard time fixing a rear flat. Thorn proof inner liners, Armadillo Hemisphere kevlar cord tires, and slimed tubes went on the bike shortly after. No problems with flats since.

    Once when a brand new geared motor hub motor failed on the second trial run 7 blocks from home. That kit was returned and I went back to direct drive moter kits with never a problem since.

    4 gas engined bikes and 3 electrics, many thousands of miles traveled(usually WOT), and only 2 breakdowns. Not bad, I'd say. I have always used Subaru Robin 35 4 cycle gas engines on my gas bikes and high quality rack mount kits, never an HT China girl or cheap Chinese kit. 1 Staton Friction, the Staton chain drive mentioned above, and a golden Eagle belt drive used on 2 separate bikes. The 3 electrics I have built with direct drive hub motors from have been as reliable as a stone.

    Quality cost more, but it works without a lot of tinkering, is reliable right out of the box, and lasts and lasts and lasts. I enjoy tinkering, but I do it for fun, to improve the bike, not because I have to. You get what you pay for. Pay the man now for good quality, or pay later for junk and pay and pay and pay.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012