Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Importance of knowing how your bike is put together!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Jimmy37, May 29, 2012.

  1. Hey all,

    Not really much of a poster on these forums, im a permanent part-time stalker though. I'm also not sure whether there should be somewhere better i should be posting this, but here seemed appropriate; feel free to move/delete/whatever if necessary mods

    This is aimed at newbie eyes (being an L plater myself), to see the importance of having some general knowledge of how your baby is put together

    I was about 3/4 the way home from work today (10-15 min ride,) when I was approaching a set of lights that had just turned red. I closed off the throttle, and pulled the clutch lever in to gear down. Snap! I looked down to see the clutch cable in front of my speedo, and wire sticking out of the end. Shittttt.

    I was in 3rd (I think,) going about 20km/h by now, so you can imagine she was bunny hopping a fair bit. I was about 20m from the lights, with 2 cars waiting in each of the three lanes at the lights. I could see cars turning into the street on my left from the opposite side of the lights, but took a gamble and putted down the side of the left lane intending to turn through the red light anyway, as I knew wherever I stalled, I'd be there for a while.
    Luckily, the road was quite wide and I had plenty of room to ride alongside the cars turning with me from the other direction, and then stalled her about 100m from the lights in a side street, in an awkward angle in the gutter. I had no tools, having removed them from under the seat less than 24 hours ago whilst adjusting the brakes the previous night.

    So, long story short; 3 hours later (8pm) a friend has finally arrived, we picked up a clutch cable from a wreckers, and its now pitch black. HOWEVER, having taken my bike apart about a billion times, we managed to take off the old cable, and get the new one in and the bike back together in the darkness. Both our phones were dead so we had next to no light. I know it's not a very difficult task, but when I first started tinkering with bikes not 2 years ago, it was!

    SO what I'm trying to get at with this enthralling tale, is to be PREPARED FOR ANYTHING! I have read and heard heaps of stories about people breaking down with no warning, but of course; there was no way it was going to happen to me. My bike had not too long ago had a major service, where I was assured little things like clutch/throttle cables had been checked for wear, as I don't get the time to do maintenance as often as I would like to.

    Also, ALWAYS CARRY the tools required to take your baby apart. A small socket set, screwdrivers and allen keys at least, as you never know whats going to happen. If I didn't know how to change the cable previously or how to take her apart, I'd probably still be out on the street, in the cold, fiddling in the darkness. I hope this helps someone/opens a few eyes :)
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Thanks kneedragon, I don't know how I didn't see that thread!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Nice tip :). I enjoy taking my bike to bits, just the hard part is putting it back together the way or came apart lol
  4. Very good advice, it's always good to atleast know the basics like where the key parts of your bike (battery, overflow bottle etc) are and how to access them. We've all pulled the fairings off one side of the bike to find what your looking for is on the opposite side. That's not fun on the side of the road!
  5. Also good to learn clutchless shifting, probably a little down the track though...

    Glad you got it sorted.
  6. so my clutch has started making this click noise when i take the slack out of it and now i'm paranoid that something is going to snap I HAVE TO LEARN ABOUT MECHANIC STUFF
  7. Yea it crossed my mind, but as the light was red and I had cars in front of me, the only choice I had was whether to cark it in the middle of the main road or down a side street. I'm not the strongest of lads, and moving a bike that's in gear with no clutch isn't the easiest of tasks

    slygrgog is it just the lever that is clicking when you let it go? or the actual clutch itself?
  8. Back in the day, when my Brit bikes were all cable clutches, I used to have a spare cable routed alongside the one in use, just ready for the day when it would break. Connect the new one in place of the old and you're riding home. Worth thinking about. And keep them both well lubed.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Havn't seen or heard of anyone doing this for years. Even longer since I have seen (esp old brit bikes) with the clutch leaver shortened to about two fingers wide...
  10. no clutch = no wheelies
    very sad
  11. I rode a friends bike 2 hrs back to the cars with no clutch cable back when I used to ride dirt bikes... Can be done if you know how
  12. Well, given that THAT is rather unusual, and as it will take you a little time to pull your bike down to try and analyse what's happening, I would take it to a reputable dealer or workshop, before you end up on the side of road, in the rain and wet as a shag.
  13. Learn to ride it with broken bits, at least it will get you home,
  14. Power wheelies my man
  15. Seeing as you asked. Here's one I prepared earlier.
  16. An interesting question for a new rider...
    If a bike gearbox is quite capable of changing gears without a clutch, why have one?

    Hint: the clutch is just like any other tool in our toolbox.

    *Experienced riders who are aware of the answers...shadap! :)