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Broken GPX and scaphoid

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by backmarker, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Monday 29th December. Boy, had I been looking forward to this day! I had been increasingly frustrated with the lack of riding I had been able to do. Short, lunchtime rides are nice, but I craved a nice, long ride. I had visions of the Fleurieu, the back road to Carrickalinga, Delamere, Bull Creek, and who knows where else. (I’m from Adelaide).

    Finally I found a day that worked. After the mad rush that was the lead up to Christmas, especially with staff off on holidays, and working consistent 12 hour days, I saw the promise of the week between Christmas and New Year. It would be quiet, and there would a day in there, somewhere, that I could take and make mine. After four days off over Christmas, the family wouldn’t mind me taking time without them. Looking at the weather, it was clear that Monday the 29th would be the pick – a delightful day of 24 degrees. I couldn’t wait!

    On the morning of departure it was fine and overcast – perfect. I left home at 7:45am, and headed out, taking the time to fuel up, check tyres and insert ear plugs. Belair Road was traffic-free, and then I enjoyed the high road through Coro Valley – the one which involves continual dodging of manhole covers. Finally I joined the winding back road to Clarendon.

    Despite a couple of times revving the gpx out in the straight bits, I settled into a comfortable cruise. I had a long ride ahead of me, and speed isn’t really what I ride for. I had a nice, easy, almost lazy rhythm going. Tighter corners which really called for second gear, I took in third, easing the bike around and just riding the torque (yes, a gpx does have some).

    A few corners before Clarendon I eased into one of the tighter left-handers; almost a hairpin, but not quite. Again, although a serious rider would have been in second to power out, I was happy to ride it through in third – no rush. Then, suddenly, it started happening.

    The bike turned in harder, the peg scraped (I never scrape pegs, so this was a first!), and then the bike threw me from what started as a low-side, straight into a highside. Up, over, finishing on my bum then back, then stopped. At such a low speed (about 25k/h) I didn’t even tumble far enough to hit my helmet! And here I lay, thinking about how my beautiful wife may not be happy to hear this!

    Then I look at the bike. The fairing is smashed on the right side and hanging off at the front. It looks awful! I get up – I’m a little sore, but fine. My gear is virtually unmarked. This really was a low speed off. My right wrist is a little sore, but that’s about it.

    (I test out my full expletive vocabulary in angst at the situation. Very mild, really; I need to get out more).

    I get under the bike and lift it how I’ve seen on the net. It comes up ok, but the right clip-on is hanging off – I know immediately that I won’t be riding on; my day is over in the first 30 minutes. Then I try to push the bike off the road. Bugger – still in gear. That’s quickly fixed, but that rear wheel still won’t turn. What damage have I done? A quick inspection shows that the chain is off the rear sprocket and jammed solidly between sprocket and swingarm. Now I know why I lost control on good bitumen at slow speed. A rear wheel lock-up from a wayward chain. That is scary! What if that had happened in a fast sweeper out from Delamere?

    I managed to pull the bike with locked wheel off the road, and called for assistance. It looks like we can sort out the bike with the help of some friendly wreckers.

    I then spent the rest of the day at the doctors, then radiology, then the doctors. Verdict – fractured scaphoid, plaster for six to eight weeks. By the time I can ride again I’ll be off restrictions! But I’ll be on the gpx for a while yet.

    The cause for the off? It appears the front sprocket had loosened, letting the chain jam, then release and then jump off the rear sprocket. That’s the guess, anyway. I’ve had the bike for three months, and shortly after I got it I had it serviced and asked the mechanic to look over it. I know need to find out how the front sprocket loosened, and it looks like I may need to become more involved in my bike’s maintenance. The chain was fine before the incident, and the tension was fine.

    So much for a day riding… Maybe I need to get a shaft drive!?

  2. I've only once, ever, had the countershaft sprocket come loose, and that was on an old nail, not a pretty new bike. (Fixed it on the side of the Hume Highway with the bike tool-kit and a handy rock :LOL:). That's bum luck, but I wouldn't beat myself up too much about maintenance; I'd bet the guys doing a $300 service wouldn't have checked for that.
  3. that really suxes mate, trust me i completely understand the frustration of not being able to ride and fracturing the scaphoid because 7 weeks ago i did the same thing.

    Best advice i can give you is go see a specialist about it....it is a pretty serious bone to break and if not treated correctly can lead to huge problems down the track. After i did it a few people told me to be careful and not to try anything stupid like riding with it, and after reading lots of horror stories online of others that haven't let it heal correctly and now have big issues i decided to do things by the book.....i am now about 3-5 weeks away from getting back on.

    Take care and don't rush the recovery is my best advice, if you can hold bbq, attend bbq, and get every other rider you know so pissed that they can't ride the next day :LOL: it's basically worked for me for the last 7 weeks.

    As for the bike, you will have that fixed no problem.

    Best wishes and hope your heals as well as mine has and you are right to go in about 12 weeks :wink:

    Cheers stewy
  4. I've only ridden shafties since 1989. I can recommend them. :grin:

    Mind you, I still miss the many happy hours I used to spend lubricating the chain, cleaning the rear wheel and adjusting the chain tension. :p
  5. After reading this I decided to pull off my front sprocket cover and check that everything is OK.
    Hope you and the bike heal up soon :)
  6. *Ktulu goes and checks the tension on his chain...
  7. Dude, I feel for you. Scaphoid done here too. Glad it wasn't worse.

    How old was the bike? When was the last time YOU did the chain clean and retension? Have you confirmed the front sprocket theory?

    Whippet had a scary experience on her VTR. The chain was at the stretching stage and it stretched enough that over a series of serious bumps that caused a tank slapper (while straight!), she suddenly found herself with no drive whatsoever. The engine was running fine.

    A quick look found the chain OFF the rear sprocket. Thankfully it did NOT jam up the rear wheel.

    Even though she did chain maintenance, the chain was too far gone from the previous owner.

    By all means leave your chain maintenance to the mechanic and disregard lubing and cleaning... but you'll get within cooee of similar experiences every 15,000 - 20,000 km.
  8. I think the same thing has happened to me. I think the previous owner was a bit lazy when it came to chain maintenance. I've been cleaning and lubricating the chain on a regular basis but that's really only been buying me time. A new DID will be going on shortly.
  9. The bike's 12 year's old, with 26000km. I haven't cleaned or re-tensioned the chain at all - left it to the expert, and I'm new to bikes. However, I have been lubing and inspecting the chain. But yes, I am now quite enthusiastic to get into checking things myself!

    I'll defintiely lube, but everyone argues so much about cleaning, I havn't worked out if its worthwhile yet! But the bike's defintely getting a nice, new, quality chain now!

    By the way, thanks all for the thoughts! Not being able to ride is a pig, and so is not being able to write, sign, open jars, wash my left armpit (don't worry, my wife does it for me! :p ) drive, etc etc!
  10. Good to see some enthusiasm.

    NO mechanic is going to sit down and spend 20minutes cleaning your chain for you. Some will spray chain cleaner, give it a wipe, then brush on some wax... but WAX doesn't penetrate. That is NOT what I'd consider a decent chain maintenance regime

    Good to hear you've been lubing... but without a regular clean, the lube might no longer get under the rollers, which means an increase in friction, which then generates a lot more heat (and robs some power) which then speeds up the Oring aging process and drives off the volatiles in the factory sealed in lube meaning the sealed in lube ultimately degrades.

    "No chain maintenance" guys are mechanically savvy and don't mind replacing the chain/chain and sprockets once in while as opposed to getting down and dirty often.

    Choose a philosophy and maintain the appropriate watch in brief. If you have the readies, be prepared to pay up $300 at a pop to replace chain and sprockets often.

    What else is your lovely wife doing for you?? ;) :p
  11. That's terrifying.

    How often should I be cleaning my chain?

    Remembering to lube it is hard enough :(
  12. Ok, I'm getting off my chain high horse after this response to Schwer... there are copious chain threads where we can continue the discussion...

    Schwer, as you pull in after a longish ride, spray a bit of lube on the warm chain, just a few spots, then spin the rear wheel for 20 - 30 secs to spread the lube. Works best with a center stand or paddock stand.

    Clean the chain when it looks like it needs it... or about every 2nd or 3rd tank full is a common rule of thumb... Use kero, a toothbrush and a rag to wipe it all down, then go for a few minutes ride, come back and lube.

    Or use Motul Chain cleaner or similar, let soak, wipe, dry, then lube...
  13. I second that.

    Firstly, sorry to hear about your off, I'm glad you posted it because I didn't even think that that could happen.

    Also, I did my scaphoid about 7 years ago, and the nurse at the 'medical centre' cast if up. Badly.

    I didn't find out it was incorrect until getting it taken off by a physio (family friend), and my right wrist has been sore ever since. Long rides, using the computer for a couple of hours (I used to work as a graphic designer) etc. cause a type of RSI pain, and i'll just have to live with it. I only get it rarely, but I wonder if it could have been avoided.

    Make sure you get someone good to check it's cast properly.
  14. They can fail too: