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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I started another thread where I went into some detail about a pretty serious accident I was in over the weekend. Luckily, the others involved weren't injured at all and I came out pretty unscathed.

On the surface, the bike seemed to fare pretty well, but when accessing the damage in more detail, I noticed what looks like a bent frame...

See the attached images.

When sitting on the bike, I don't notice that the orientation seems off. But the view from the rear is definitely concerning. What do you guys think?

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The luggage racks are definitely bent. The orientation of the whole bike looks off to me, though. After the accident, I only had to ride home for about 2 miles and did so at a low speed.

Nothing really stuck out to me in terms of the 'feel' of the bike, but there's no denying what can be seen in those pictures.

There was damage to the tail light as well, which became partially dislodged from it's housing, so maybe it's just that that whole piece of the body in the back shifted?
 

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Looks like the luggage racks took most of the abuse and saved the bike. The fender is tweeked, but that may be the luggage frames pushing on it. It's possible that the rear subframe is bent, but I wouldn't assume anything else is bent. Take the racks off and see what pops back.
 

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Hey all,

I started another thread where I went into some detail about a pretty serious accident I was in over the weekend. Luckily, the others involved weren't injured at all and I came out pretty unscathed.

On the surface, the bike seemed to fare pretty well, but when accessing the damage in more detail, I noticed what looks like a bent frame...

See the attached images.

When sitting on the bike, I don't notice that the orientation seems off. But the view from the rear is definitely concerning. What do you guys think?

Dave

Is there a reason you wouldn't have the insurance company total the bike? The bike is pretty tweaked easily a couple thousand in damage. Typically insurance companies are quick to total a motorcycle.

You could always buy it back from them if you're emotionally attached. :grin2:
 

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I crashed in Utah and the luggage was destroyed but the factory rack came out unscathed. Your rack is less robust than the factory style. It may take some swearing and hammering and twisting to get the bags to hang right again.
The subframe could have problems too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Spec: I only have liability insurance. All repairs are going to be out of pocket. The bike has less than 5,000 miles on it and was purchased less than a year ago.
@Bikehigh: Thanks for the optimistic response. I'll remove the racks tomorrow and see if the bike realigns. I have my doubts but would love it if that would solve the problem.
@notacop: Before I noticed the orientation was off, I was set on getting the rack back in order, as it only seems to be bent, but now I'm really not so much concerned as I've got the frame on my mind. The right pannier was crunched and was tossed.

Any other thoughts?
 

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The sub-frame (or what Suzuki calls the seat rail) is probably bent. The frame is pretty beefy and unlikely to be damaged, insurance co's propensity to "total" bikes notwithstanding. The sub-frame is a trellis-like grid of metal bars and much easier to twist or bend in a crash. Other riders have been able to bang it back into shape. The swingarm could be bent but it is pretty sturdy too. Sight the rear wheel alignment with the front wheel and check the chain isn't bowed in one direction or the other. If it passes those tests its probably the sub-frame.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, @dmfdmf.

Sounds like the sub-frame is a likely culprit.

I see that they run about $418 on Cheap Cycle Parts - see attached image. I'm guessing this is an install that I'm unlikely to be able to do myself, in the event that it is bent. I'm still a newbie with tools and motorcycle mechanics.

Has anyone replaced the sub-frame themselves? I'm curious about how involved of a job it is, i.e. how long it's going to take a mechanic to do it at the shop, i.e how much it's going to cost.

Thanks for your help, everyone.
 

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Sounds like the sub-frame is a likely culprit.
You'll need to pull some (mostly plastic) parts to confirm but seems likely, especially in a crash with side cases. Cases will put lateral forces on the sub-frame in a crash which it really isn't designed to take.

I see that they run about $418 on Cheap Cycle Parts - see attached image. I'm guessing this is an install that I'm unlikely to be able to do myself, in the event that it is bent.
Replacing it seems like overkill to me, its not a structural component. Its just there to hold up the rear fender and your rear end. You and two of your beefiest friends can probably wrestle it back into alignment or close to it with cargo straps, come-along or some other contraption without removing it from the bike. Its an opportunity to be creative (and cheap). It won't effect the ride, tire alignment, handling, etc. if its off a little but if you can get it straight enough it should be fine.

I'm still a newbie with tools and motorcycle mechanics.
No time like the present to learn.

Has anyone replaced the sub-frame themselves? I'm curious about how involved of a job it is, i.e. how long it's going to take a mechanic to do it at the shop, i.e how much it's going to cost.
If you can't DIY then your bike is very nearly totaled if you have to pay someone else to do the work. You'd be better off stripping the parts/farkles that you want for your next bike and selling the carcass as a parts bike on ebay/CL if you have to pay someone to do the work. Sorry.

One non-moto tip; you should step away from the bike and not think about it or work on it or make any fix/sell decisions for at least a week. You just had a bad wreck and you need to decompress before you make any decisions. You sound like you still might be a little amped up.
.
 

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we really cant tell from pics on line unless its REALLY bent. how fast where you going when you went down. was it a slide or a down and hit hard and sudden deceleration . strip it down alittle ( rack. chain cover. rear fender) ride it are handle bars straight. have someone follow you. are you tracking sideways. do you have a shimmy or shake. put it up on a stand spin the back tire watch the chain on the sprocket. Id do these cks first
 

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Don't know your area but there are people in the moto biz that are frame straighteners. They make worser wrecks serviceable again.
David Moore is one in the SoCal area. 760 240-3543, Hesperia Ca. He may know of a guy closer to you?
 

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I would call some motorcycle salvage yards to see if I could buy a used replacement.

While not structural, this part effects the fit and alignment of too many parts to try to straighten it. Go cheap on other parts, this IS a frame if only a "sub frame" assembly. Keep the frame parts straight and other parts will work and fit right.
 

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The challenge with straitening out with a long lever, like a 2x4, is two fold. Aluminum only like bending in one direction, while a slim chance it possible it will fracture when bent the other direction (but what have you got to lose?). The next problem will be how will you secure the bike when you try to apply a couple hundred pounds of torque to the subframe? Probably easier to swap it out, but I'd be game to try and pull it back if I could figure out a way to secure the bike.

One idea, if you have access to a truck bed, secure it in the bed super tightly with ratchet straps and get a 6 foot length of 2x4 or 4x4 and slowly work it back into shape. Go slow so you don't over shoot it's alignment.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

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Pull the rack parts and see what you've got then. Some times a fork will seem twisted, but loosen everything, give it a shake and .... voila! Good to go for $0. Your obviously bent rack could be contorting the rear end. Remove it from the equation. If your sub-frame IS bent, there are at least a couple on e-bay right now. One is under $100, albeit in Canada. There is nothing tricky about replacing it. It is time consuming with many fasteners and parts, but nothing difficult. Get a manual, take many pictures, label things with masking tape as you dis-assemble. I bought a wrecked Wee in WAY worse shape than yours and got it on the road for $1000. And it appeared to have a bent sub-frame at first. It was just the mangled racks. Good luck.
 

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There is some play in the mounting points for the subframe and for the fender. Loosen the bolts and see if you can re-align things. Guaranteed it is out of true after a crash like that and not just because the luggage racks are bent.

Not a big deal if it's not quite straight. Your rear fender is the most obvious visual indicator that things are not right. I'd be happy if I could make that look straightish.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the advice, everyone.

We've had a few days of rain here but I'm going to pull the rack and other parts tomorrow and see where we are. I'll report back, hopefully with good news.

More to come!

Dave
 

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I have bent things like this with clamps straps and muscle before but that was steel.Old Triumphs and Jawa's. Not sure what the tolerances are for aluminium. A small twist will look allot bigger by the time you get to the end of the rear fender. Could be a 1/4 inch at the mounts and look like 2 inches at the end. Anyway if you find it's minor I'd see if you can tweek it but if it's got a good crank on it I'd look at replacing it just in case there is any unforeseen stress fractures. Good luck
 

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Looks like the subframe copped a knock by the pannier racks.
1) Remove racks and check how much tension that has taken off the subframe.
2) Do NOT!! loosen the 4 subframe bolts!
3) 2x4 is way too bulky to fit among the frame rails.
4) Strip the rear end (seat, guard, factory rack etc etc
4.1) the subframe is mild steel only

5) Looks familiar?





6) Some delicate tweaking with a crowbar :smile2:
Use old rags/ welders gloves etc to protect the paint of the frame
and place crowbar about 3" forward of the rear crossbrace of the subframe.
Have someone watch and stabilize the bike...not like this clown below :)




7) That's better



8) 30.000miles later we're still a happy couple

 
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