I messed up big time. A massive thank you is going out to the fantastic team at Varde Engineering in Kristiansund Norway. Helpful, welcoming and generous. You saved the day.
A beautiful day and I messed up big time
Day 8 of my Norway trip 2018. Making mistakes should not be part of your adventure riding schedule.
Being overconfident is just as bad. Considering my experience, I shouldn't have made such a rookie mistake. I see myself very lucky because this stunt could have cost me the trip.
It was just the side stand, but it could have been so much more. That is what happens when you are losing your concentration.
And down it went
After the bike lost traction on a particularly awkward and narrow part of the track, the backend of my GS just went out of control to the left and come to a standstill about 1ft (30 cm) lower among large stones. I was still in driving position and after a quick look around I tried to get out of this predicament in moving the bike slowly forward with just a little throttle. This was when I realized the bike was actually wedged in between the rocks around the side stand and the back exhaust pipe.
It didn't look too bad and with a little persuasion from the throttle and wild shaking of the massive lump of a bike, I came free with not much trouble.
Big effort to break free.
Being finally free, I headed back to the main track to have a closer inspection of the bike. I was sure all we be just fine. But as soon I came to a standstill I realised not everything was in order. The Side stand was bent outward, so it was impossible to get off the bike without falling over.
Luckily there were plenty of boulders on the site of the road, so I was able to lean the bike against one of them and jumped off.
Inspecting the bike in more detail revealed the extent of the damage.
The side stand had a real kink and was bent upwards. Resorting to a brute force attack and standing on the damaged stand, I managed to bent it back a little at the time. Still, It wasn't good enough to keep the bike in a stable parking position. All the bending made the material soft and prone to collapse. It needed to be fixed.
Since there was nothing else damaged I got on my way thinking to find someone who could weld my bike together.
Fast forward Kristiansund:
That can only be a good sign.
On arrival in Kristiansund, I was looking for a motorbike workshop.
Google wasn't much help, so I asked at a local Volvo garage. They could do any welding, so I got directions to a local Honda garage.
On arrival, the very friendly owner told me his mechanic in on holiday.
Oh well, not much luck so far I thought to myself. ( Not exactly these words). As I drove out onto the main street I spotted lots of steel in the yard opposite the Honda garage.
Just ask and you will get.
I ask a Gentleman in the yard about the possibility of welding my bike, and he passed me straight on to one of his colleagues.
He had a quick look and after some discussion and ideas, the team moved into action.
I unloaded the bike to allow access to the batteries as I got advised it is better to do so during welding.
I was chatting to the sales manager who informed me he is also a BMW rider.
At no time I ever felt not welcome. Everyone was just so friendly and helpful. After an hour I was back on the road. The bike was fixed and could go on enjoying the ride through Norway.
I'm so grateful for your help
A massive thank you is going out to the fantastic team at Varde Engineering in Kristiansund Norway. Helpful, welcoming and generous. You saved the day.