My Great Catastrophe Page.
On the 20th of November 2007, while cruising at an even 70 mph (Cruise set) at about 2000 hours, I experienced a most unusual event.(total miles on the bike, just a little over 22, 600) It was a pleasant evening, the temperature was about 60 degrees and the bike was running smooth (as usuall). Without warning, I heard the most horrible crunching of metal, the kind that you feel down deep in your bones, never mind through the handle bars and the seat. I could hear some metal hit the roadway, and I could see the flames engulfing my legs and the entire lower and bottom of my bike. As I was in the left lane having just passed two school buses and could not pull into the median as it was all tall dry grass and I was on fire, so I prayed those behind me were on the brakes and I pulled off the road, and onto the shoulder. Now the flames that were blowing to the rear of the bike are rising straight up and licking at my 3/4 full gas tank. Ever so quickly, I strip out of my heavy coat and leathers to get to the key for my saddle bags, as I have a fire extinguiser inside. After what seemed like an eternity, I managed to get the fire extinguished while the motorists that where behind, but where now stopped watching in amazement. Once the fire was out one of the passers by walked up and asked "Hey Dude, have you ever seen that movie Ghost Rider? That is just what you looked like" I still haven't seen the movie but have seen some pictures. As it was very dark that night and I was out in the very rural area where there was o ambient light, I guess I must in deed have made for a rather spectacular site. Another passerby asked if I was burned at all. The short answer is no. I wear full leathers and a full faced helmet, religously. I was then too. They thought after seeing too much TV that the way I was stripping out of my jacket that maybe I was on fire myself and they just could not see it. The truth is that I carry my keys on a lanyard that I wear around my neck and it just happened to be under everything I was wearing. I was bundled up pretty good as I had a 70 mile run ahead of me and it was already in the low 60's when I left Alamogordo.
The next day, I took the bike to the dealer for repairs. While they had it for two months before I got it back on the 11th of January, I did not pay a dime for the repairs. I am told that bill totalled at just a little over $4000.00. Even though my Kawasaki warranty had expired in September (Just 2 months before this event) I did have the extended warranty from the dealer. The service manager stated to me that they think what happened was that the front drive shaft bearing dried out, got hot enough to become molten, subsequently melting a path for the crankcase oil to get in and rapid cool the mess. That resulted in the molten metal hardening and then things started breaking. Of course the still hot metal was hot enough to ignite the crankcase oil once the case itself had broken and had a good oxygen source. The dealer reported that Kawasaki picked up the entire tab because I had been faithful and On time with all of my preventive maintenance and they were all done by the dealer (part of the Dealer warranty) and that I clearly had taken good care of the bike. Apparently Kawasaki was also amazed as they report never having come across such an event before.
Below I have scanned in the three pages of parts that were used to repair the bike. They even threw in a new battery as my original died while it was sitting in the shop. There is ZERO doubt that my local Harley Davidson dealer would have so gracious.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 22:02