Tech Tip: After you crash, don’t start that bike!

It’s tempting, I know, but when you have even a minor crash or drop, don’t react by immediately starting your bike up.

Sit down. Drink some water. Catch your breath.

Then inspect your bike carefully and closely.

This 2004 R 1150 GS Adventure came into the shop after a low-side. The owner wisely retrieved the bike with a trailer; had they started it to ride home, not only would it have sprayed hot engine oil all over the place, but the aluminum bits we found inside the broken cylinder head cover quite likely could have destroyed the engine outright.

Note the tiny piece of aluminum on the cam chain and the buggered bolt hole.

Luckily, this rider had obvious signs of damage, as the cylinder head cover was cracked right open, but because the damage was on the bottom of the cover, a cursory once-over might not have made the damage obvious. It’s always worth a few calm minutes of close inspection before trying to start the bike you just picked up off its side!

This damage would not have been obvious on a roadside inspection and was only found after removing the cylinder head cover. The missing aluminum had to go somewhere, and that somewhere is likely straight into the bottom end!