GSX-R flat battery fix

Published: 17 November 2004

I have just experienced the most freakish stroke of good luck.

It all started when my bike’s battery went flat. This was due to a combination of factors.

First was my lack of riding due to the imminent birth of my daughter (two weeks before the birth I went everywhere by car. Her Majesty wouldn’t have appreciated a backy to the hospital…)

After the birth we holed up for a couple of weeks and I even switched my mobile off. So when my Avoid-It alarm started sending me text messages to warn me the battery was low, I didn’t get them.

By the time my mobile was back on the bike’s battery was virtually dead.

I found an Oxford Oximiser at the NEC Show for £25 (usual price £45), which I thought was great – until I saw the same thing advertised in MCN at half price (£22.50).

Still, my purchase did the job, charging slowly over 48 hours to full charge.

I called Steve Ford at Avoid-It to let him know I was going to try to restart the bike – as I didn’t seem to be able to contact the phone-based alarm at present.

I reconnected the battery and Steve sent the unit a text to check it was disarmed. And the bike started again. At least we had proved that even if the bike was stolen, left for its battery to go flat (or had its battery removed), the alarm would start functioning to locate the bike for you the moment the bike was put back into use.

Find out more about Avoid-It here.

So what about this stroke of luck? Well, when I removed the seat I discovered there was only one bolt holding it on. I wasn’t particularly shocked. Vibration has a way of undoing bolts from time to time. I’d had a similar experience with a Hayabusa in 1999.

So, I was particularly careful when tightening the one remaining one – didn’t want to lose it did I? So, of course, I dropped it – down somewhere awkward inside the fairing.

Not particularly lucky, I hear you sigh. Ah, but this is where the luck kicks in. As I was scrabbling around under the bike I found the bolt. It was resting on the swingarm on the near side, just next to the chain. Seemed an odd place for it to land (I had been tightening it on the offside of the bike).

And then it struck me. This wasn’t the bolt I’d just dropped – it was the one that had been missing. I could now see the other laying on the offside where I had just dropped it.

So, either it had rested there through trackdays and over bumpy roads for months on end… or it had unscrewed the last turn of its thread the moment I last rolled it into the garage. In either case, like I say, I’m feeling pretty lucky.