Major Mechanical Failure

June 4, 2016

It was just a matter of time. If you spend as much time as I have in the past 11 months riding a small motorcycle through all of the places I’ve been, something is bound to fail eventually.

Let’s face it: these bikes were never designed for this type of use/abuse. It’s small, it’s underpowered for a long-distance tourer, it’s air-cooled, it’s intended to carry a smaller, lighter load for shorter distances and shorter durations at slower speeds. 

At the end of the day, all of this stuff is still mechanical. Parts wear. Especially after ten months of continuous use. 

I knew before I ever left home that sooner or later something would have to give. 

And this morning it happened.

At least it happened in a good place, and not in the middle of Africa, or Patagonia.

So, to recount my experience, here’s what happened: As I was preparing to leave Ian’s, I went to zip up my ultra-expensive Klim riding pants, and the zipper broke. Complete failure. I took them back off, and sat on the couch for about thirty minutes trying to reattach the zipper before giving up. 

At around $500 for a pair of pants, I expected them to last longer than 10 months. I suppose a bit more maintenance on the gear might have prevented it, or maybe I would have caught it earlier before it failed. 

Broke down, but still going….

So I consider this a major mechanical failure.

Fortunately, there is a rain flap behind the zipper, so I’m not creating a huge wind scoop while riding. And if it starts to rain, I’ll put a piece of duct tape over the fly for additional waterproofing. 

I intend to look around on the Isle of Man next week and see if I can find anyone that is doing leather repairs, but in reality I need a new waterproof zipper first, so I’ll probably just wait until I get the pants repaired properly. 

Meanwhile, the little XT250 continues to purr along, far exceeding my expectations of reliability. 

11 thoughts on “Major Mechanical Failure

  1. I’ll ask around about a repair before you get here!! There’s bound to be someone here who is repairing leathers!!

  2. Use Silicone spray lubricant for the zipper, well at least on the new one, won’t stain, attract grit and isn’t oily. Use it on you tent if has zippers as well, I use it on the seat rails in the plane and the zipper on the Cessna headliner with discoloration of the carpet or headliner. Enjoy the IOM

    • Exactly what I was referring to when I mentioned the need for maintenance. I stopped yesterday and picked up some silicone spray and wiped down the rest of the zippers (another observation: it’s nice to be in a country where you can find something like silicone spray on the first attempt). No matter how much I spray on the broken zipper, it just won’t heal though. 😉
      But the tent zippers are much happier now also.

      • WOW, 1st try.. Parts stores here stock Magazines, Candy and Soda, Oh and LED lights, everything else comes out of their warehouse by noon tomorrow

        • Even crazier, I stopped at a “Garden Equipment Shop” as I came into a small village (a Stihl and Husqvarna chain saw dealer). Without a doubt, the most expensive can of silicone spray I’ve ever bought but I’ll find lots of uses for it.

    • Hmmm…..good point. Shoulda thought of that earlier. I guess I can ditch the adult diapers now. 🙂

  3. Pat, , I found a place here that says they can fix/Replace your zipper!!

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