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motorcycle repair problems

Motorcycle Repair Problems? Blame the Garage Gods!

Motorcycle repair problems are probably not your fault.

You know the garage gods are watching us, right?
And they like nothing better than a good laugh.

What a shame that we’re their favorite joke!

Head out to the garage to do some motorcycle maintenance, and you can hear them chuckling already.

You may think that your motorcycle repair job won’t take long.
It’s just a quick fix you’ll deal with, and then go for a ride.



Because the motorcycle garage gods are bored.
So that simple little motorcycle maintenance task is about to take longer than you could ever believe.

And if you think I’m talking crazy, bear with me for a second.
What other explanation could there be for these common garage scenarios?

4 Motorcycle Repair Problems Just Waiting in the Garage

You think you know how a spanner works.
But the garage gods will try to prove you wrong.

Any of these moments sound familiar?

1.  The tools are AWOL

Before you locked your garage last night, you set everything up just right.
The bench is clear; the right tools are laid out for you to get started first thing Saturday morning.

You’re feeling as neat and organized as this guy’s haircut.


getting organized for motorcycle repair


The next morning, you wake up looking forward to a day of spannering.
You wolf down your cornflakes and head out happily to your garage.
But hang on a minute.


They’ve completely disappeared.

There are really only 2 possibilities here:

  • Someone has broken into your motorcycle garage, left the bike untouched, but taken the tools.


  • The motorcycle garage gods have come out to play.

They’ve reached in from their dimension and lifted the tools.
They didn’t even need to open the garage door.

Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
Otherwise, where the hell did the tools go?

2.  You thought one million washers were enough

You know your motorcycle parts.
You know there’s a fine art to attaching them to your bike.

So naturally you have boxes and boxes of bolts, lock nuts, screws, socket head screws, torx screws, grub screws, acorn headed screws and grommets.

And then there’s your impressive collection of washers…

You have flat washers, star washers, spring washers, copper washers, tab washers, wave washers and thrust washers. New washers, old ones, shiny ones, rusty ones that’ve been lying there for decades.

not enough washers

Realistically, if you counted these individual items they’d probably number in the six figures.

But do you have the one washer you need right now, for this apparently simple little motorcycle maintenance job?

Of course you don’t.

And you know why?

The motorcycle garage gods have it.
They knew you’d be needing it.
So they’ve made sure it’s not there.

Naturally, you’ll spend the rest of the afternoon ransacking the garage looking for that one special washer.

But stop for a second, and listen closely.
You can almost actually hear quiet laughter.

3.  A blood sacrifice is required

When putting your bike back together, of course you like to do it right.

So you have all the contact points perfectly cleaned.
Your new part is pristine, and smeared with just the right amount of Locktite.

You’re holding everything together with one hand, and all you need to do is twist that first well-greased nut into place.

Forget it!

The nut will slip out of your hand and roll away.
Or the rest of the assembly will suddenly give way, and scatter – crash! – all across the garage floor.

Each one of those carefully greased little motorcycle parts are now covered in dirt.

No, you didn’t suddenly transform into the clumsiest oaf in the land.
The motorcycle garage gods simply want a sacrifice before they can let you get on with the job at hand.

Now if you lived in the ancient world, you might sacrifice a goat at this point.


motorcycle repair demands sacrifice


But these days, you “only” have to clean everything from scratch, and start again instead.

4.  Welcome to the Third Dimension

You could be forgiven for wondering if your motorcycle shed is built on its very own Bermuda Triangle.
Because if you drop any of your smaller motorcycle parts, you’ll flat-out never see them again.

One minute that little spring is right there in your hand, and the next – pfft! – it’s gone.

Like your missing spanner, that perfect little spring has been spirited off to the third dimension.
But unlike the missing tools, the nuts, bolts, washers and screws disappear before your very eyes.

It’s some kind of sadistic magic trick.

The motorcycle garage gods add your new little spring to their collection, and order another drink.

They watch you throw a spanner on the floor and shout a string of your favourite swear words so loud that your neighbours close their windows.


motorcycle tools disappear


The gods love this.
They’re laughing way too hard to even drink their celestial beer.

And of course, they’ll hang onto that little spring for awhile, and then toss it back under your workbench about 3 weeks after you’ve ordered another one.

The garage gods love making your motorcycle repair problems worse.

What makes us insane with rage is just dinner theater for them.
The more veins that pop on our mortal foreheads, the happier they are.

So what’s the solution?

How do you cheat the motorcycle garage gods out of their free entertainment?

I reckon there are two possibilities.

1. Just take your motorcycle into a damn bike shop, and pay someone else to have a stroke while they search for disappearing washers.


2. Step into the sunshine, look up at the motorcycle garage gods, and give them a friendly wave.
Let them know you’re onto them.

Then simply take the edge off your frustration with a beer of your own.
There’s nothing they can do to interfere with that.


Like this article?

Try this one next:

Are Motorcycles Dangerous? (Spoiler alert: yep)


    Excellent piece! Always said, it was an easy fix, if I did it without bleeding

      Right on, Paul! Lack of blood almost makes up for the 14 hours in a row in the garage eh!

    Ok so what I learned long time ago, all repairs require 2 days one day to disassemble 2nd day to reassemble. Leaves lots of time for sacrifices to the Gods.

      That’s a more reasonable time frame, Steve! Once you build in time for sacrifices, you stop being in a hurry and getting all stressed out about why a 10 minute job is taking a week…!

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