Need help with a broken bolt on the casing. - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-09-2019, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 3
Need help with a broken bolt on the casing.


I am from India and new here. I just got myself the 2019 VStrom-650XT as they sell it here in India - and have rarely done around 350 odd KMs on it.

Now on how I got Screwed (no pun intended)- I got myself a SW-Motech skid plate and decided to mount it myself (I have a decent bit of experience working on my Royal Enfield Machismo 500 AVL for close to 13 years). Now while the whole thing was going smooth and I was tightening the bolts with quarter inch turns one by one. One of the bolts just snapped on the engine casing on the right (to the right of the engine oil level checker window - mind you these weren't even fully tightened yet). I have added the photos. I immediately removed the entire thing and mounted the original bolts back - and after a thorough inspection realized that the part of the bolt that is broken is sitting flush inside the hole with no possibility to get a small grip and pull it out.

Now I tried the very basic methods to extract - barring a drill and any sort of hammer beating - and as was expected nothing came out of it. Took it to the dealership and after a thorough check they said - ride it a little and see if there is any leakage - we open it and remove it; if there is none - leave it as is. Their assessment was that the screw is holding on to the casing pretty well and the other screws are there too. This happened within the first 50 KMs and now I am already over 350 KMs with no leakage whatsoever - I have taken it on a 100Km+ run too with lots of bad roads and a lot of inclines and steep downhills etc. However that broken bolt leads to sleepless nights! I would love to know if:

1. There is no leakage does that mean that it is alright to leave the broken bolt in there, as the casing is capped from behind; and there are plenty of other screws holding it in place?
2. Can the screw under any normal riding conditions somehow just go through the engine casing inside the engine? Heat/physics/science/shit-luck anything.
3. Is it true that once you open the casings on these bikes it is never the same? I was told by a local mechanic as I went to him in desperation to ask what can be done about the broken bolt- that considering these are "robot assembled" machines, it will never be the same; I call it baloney, but this is my first ever Jap Bike - so no Idea and now the doubt has taken my mind hostage.
4. Is it actually actually OK to ride this bike without getting the broken screw out?

Please help me out, I haven't been able to really ride this bike since this fiasco as I am always stressed something major is going to happen.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-09-2019, 10:56 AM
blaustrom's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: north east, Buffalo NY area
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Just ride it and file the whole saga under lessons learned.

I suspect that the screw broke because it is too long and bottomed out but not sure of the exact configuration. It that's the case it will not go anywhere and will be difficult to extract, even if you take the clutch cover (I assume that what it is) of. And with cleaned mating surfaces and a new gasket there would be no problem taking that cover of and putting it back on, if done properly!

AND, although I like other SWM products, I don't like having a skid plate attached to the engine cases. Kind of defeats the purpose. Sell the darn thing and if you are really bouncing over rocks get crash bars and a proper skit plate.
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Last edited by blaustrom; 04-09-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-09-2019, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 3
Hey Blaustrom!

Thanks a ton for your reply. Yeah - it is the screw that SWM provided that snapped. The thing is being India, broken roads and pot holes and flying stones is a part of daily life. I will also be taking it on a 3000KM trip to some of the worst that India has to offer in June. The Skid Plate is currently mounted on all other points other than the engine casing and I believe it is holding just about fine (the casing mounting points aren't load bearing IMO or are they?). Only time will tell.

Now considering these were brought in (we have no local dealers) replacing or returning is not an option and we hardly have any accessories available in India, selling is kind-of not an option! My search for a better skid plate continues.

Thanks again for your answer, it has given me a lot of peace.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-09-2019, 11:56 AM
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Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 386
Being that it wasn't tight yet, it must not have been bottomed out yet? Was it still turning pretty easy? If so: I'd drill a small centered hole, then bigger, and use an easy-out. Or even a straight bladed appropriately sized screwdriver blade lightly hammered into it. The hole looks empty, but you say it broke off flush? I'm confused about that. The main thing is a pretty accurate job of center punching for the first small drill. It would drive me nuts to leave it as-is!
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-09-2019, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pasadna area
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Sometimes a bottomed bolt can be removed without too much stress as 45813 suggests.
When putting a new one in measure how long the bolt is and how deep the hole is.
Good luck.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-11-2019, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 3
@Don - It wasn't turning very easy but easy enough - there was a spacer provided and the bolt still had a little space to go in (it was still sticking out a bit) - but the next tightening - just a quarter turn and it snapped. The hole looks empty cause it broke where the threads begin, the hole in the beginning has no threads, but where the threads start that's where it broke. I would love to take it out too, but I am not confident enough to pull that off and the dealership is reluctant too.

@notacop - Thank you will be putting the original screw back whenever I get this one out.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-24-2019, 11:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 386
So the bolt is broke off down in the hole a ways? That cover will have to come off, most likely, to drill it accurately. So, just keep an eye on it, it'll probably never leak much, if at all anyhow. Sorry, I didn't realize it was so far down. Just happened upon this post, was never notified of your response.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-25-2019, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ann Arbor, MI and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Posts: 106
Exact same thing happened to me on my 2014 1K that I keep in Mexico. Also an SW Motech skid plate which the previous owner had banged up pretty badly. The bolt broke with very little torque on it. Motech apparently provides longer than stock bolts and if you check the parts diagram, you'll see that those side case bolts have different lengths in different spots. My theory with mine is the previous owner got the wrong bolt in the wrong place (too long) and over stressed it in the past, so it was a disaster waiting to happen when I reinstalled that bolt (which I had taken out to drop the plate for an oil change).

I left the remains of the broken volt in place and am just watching it. Next time I go to Mexico, I plan to bring a case gasket and a new set of bolts - all of them.

The bike has gone 500 miles so far with the broken bolt and no sign of any seepage. If I do see seepage, I'll pull the case, extract the remainder of the broken bolt, and replace the gasket and all the bolts. But I will ONLY do that if I see any seepage.

My suggestion would be to leave it alone unless or until you see a problem. I don't think pulling the cover would be particularly difficult, but I don't see a reason to open that can of worms unless it starts to seep. More risk in messing with it than in letting it be.

Good luck with it.

(And btw, I have a Happy Trails skid plate on my Vstrom 1K here in the states, and it is not attached to the side cases at all. Much better, IMO.)


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