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What is broken??

headstill2172

Member
Member
Hey COG,
I just got back from a short trip on roads that I know well. One of them has a pot hole...sometimes it's filled and some times not. Once I saw it was NOT filled I was doing about 50 but did not slam on brakes and road through it. I thought I had bent the rim,... then thought I blew out the shock....., but this????
My question is this the frame? if not what is it? can it be replaced without tearing the entire bike down?
IMG_6965.jpg
IMG_6964.jpg
 

fastenova

Member
Member
WOW! That must've been a serious pothole. Glad you're OK and it didn't cause an accident.

I just went down and looked at my own bike (2011) as well as the parts diagrams over at PartZilla, and I hate to say it, but it looks like it's part of the frame. Kawi doesn't call out any separate part number for the lower part that is broken in your picture and I can't tell if it's one giant piece or a subassembly. I think the red circled area is the broken part in the pic.

1642109892538.png


1642109840844.png
 

Scary Harry

Fear is not boring. COG# 4090
Member
EeeeGads! I better check mine again. I hit a drive shaft, last year, that was laying across the road and I could have cracks in that area.
 

fastenova

Member
Member
I just found a better picture on eBay of a frame for sale, and... 😭😭😭 it does look like the frame is one piece.

1642110243003.png


Might be time for a call to your insurance company... Unless you're feeling ambitious enough to tackle a whole-frame replacement. Know that if you go to sell the bike the VINs won't match, and it would likely need to be retitled as a salvage vehicle if you state does VIN inspections as part of the title transfer.
 

headstill2172

Member
Member
Thank you for the responses.
Yes, it is the frame, yes, it has sheered completely off on both sides, NO damage to tire, rim, wheel, to speak of, not even any impact on the bottom of the shock( I thought this could do it). Contacted Kawi support and they want me to bring to dealership to inspect...not holding my breath, but who knows.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
What year is the bike?
Some time ago there was a discussion about some frames cracking from improper torquing of the rear "swingarm bolt". (I think)
As I recall it was primarily ZX's. but some ZG's had the problem.
I doubt it pertains to you, but worth looking into.
Hopefully someone can find that discussion.

Ride safe, Ted
 

headstill2172

Member
Member
What year is the bike?
Some time ago there was a discussion about some frames cracking from improper torquing of the rear "swingarm bolt". (I think)
As I recall it was primarily ZX's. but some ZG's had the problem.
I doubt it pertains to you, but worth looking into.
Hopefully someone can find that discussion.

Ride safe, Ted
2013
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Ok, it won't pertain to you as a fix was done on the later frames.
But, still worth a read if we can find the discussion.

Ride safe, Ted

Found some of it;
 
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fastenova

Member
Member
Thank you for the responses.
Yes, it is the frame, yes, it has sheered completely off on both sides, NO damage to tire, rim, wheel, to speak of, not even any impact on the bottom of the shock( I thought this could do it). Contacted Kawi support and they want me to bring to dealership to inspect...not holding my breath, but who knows.
That stinks, I'm quite curious to know if the dealership is willing to provide any remedy. Does the bike happen to be under any sort of extended warranty?

I'd try to get pictures of the pothole, measure both the diameter and depth of it. Seems insane that a pothole would crack a frame like that without damaging the wheel, tire, or suspension, unless the factory welds were of poor quality and weakened the metal.
 

FTB530

Member
Member
That stinks, I'm quite curious to know if the dealership is willing to provide any remedy. Does the bike happen to be under any sort of extended warranty?

I'd try to get pictures of the pothole, measure both the diameter and depth of it. Seems insane that a pothole would crack a frame like that without damaging the wheel, tire, or suspension, unless the factory welds were of poor quality and weakened the metal.
I can’t imagine a warranty covering that issue.
 

nickrides

Member
Member
Before I would call the Co/ City...
I would pound my head on the floor about 50 times.
That should fix that urge!
Nick
2014 C-14
 

fastenova

Member
Member
I would be somewhat surprised if a warranty covered it as well, but if the bike is out of warranty then it's pretty much guaranteed that the dealership will only go so far as to offer to sell the OP a new bike...

If it's in warranty, one could argue that potholes are common and the frame should be able to handle the shock associated with riding over one. Above I mentioned poor welds, which is unlikely because I'm sure these frames are all welded by robots... could also just be a bad part, i.e. impurities in the metal used to make the frame, not alloyed correctly, etc.

I imagine the cost to move everything over to a new frame would be in the several thousand dollar range in labor, and I am not sure how the OP would get around the mismatched VIN plate on the motor and frame UNLESS Kawi is involved, as an OEM they should be able to supply the correct VIN plate on a new frame. Whether the dealer/Kawi is wiling to do so, I can't say.
 

FTB530

Member
Member
Someone just crashed a 2011 and was asking about selling or parting it out, i dont know if a 2011 frame and 2013 are interchangeable but might be a option if you could get the other bike cheap enough.
 

Merle Lowe

Member
Member
I'd wait to see what Kawasaki says. IMHO, that shouldn't have broken before a lot of other stuff failed first. Maybe reading too much into it, but the fact they want a dealer to inspect makes me think they know something about that type of failure.

But, whatever comes of it, consider that any major incident on two wheels that doesn't end with serious injury is a win of sorts. The cost of doing business.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Can you see a point of impact on the frame/other? (from the Pothole)

OOps, just found this.
NO damage to tire, rim, wheel, to speak of, not even any impact on the bottom of the shock( I thought this could do it).

Wondering if the point of impact was on the rocker?

Ride safe, Ted
 

cmoore

Member
Member
First time I've ever seen anything like this. Just to document things I would try to take a photo of the pot hole (if it can be safely done) to show the dealer and Kawasaki what you hit and think caused the damage.
 

Bud

Member
Member
I just asked a friend of mine that works for a state farm agent about this. She said that if you hit something, in this case a pothole, then it would fall under collision and be considered a chargeable accident that could result in rates going up. If, for example, something is flying through the air and hits you, then it would fall under comprehensive. So it could be that insurance would pay for the bike, but it would be just like hitting a tree with you being at fault.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
I just asked a friend of mine that works for a state farm agent about this. She said that if you hit something, in this case a pothole, then it would fall under collision and be considered a chargeable accident that could result in rates going up. If, for example, something is flying through the air and hits you, then it would fall under comprehensive. So it could be that insurance would pay for the bike, but it would be just like hitting a tree with you being at fault.
It’s crazy… but part of the risk we assume when driving on public or even toll roads. I have seen some toll roads here in PA that I would categorize as criminal in the poor maintenance / repair dept..

My tire / wheel insurance said the dent was too small in my front wheel and does not pose a risk this it’s not been replaced / repaired. I don’t even remember now but when checked at the dealership the deflection was under the threshold which I believe was 3/32”.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Looking more closely at your first (right side) image, I see that the break is on/thru the weld.
This is the same place as the breaks in the Recall.
Definitely point that out to Kawasaki, and have a copy of the recall with you..

1642270676939.png
 

Just Cliff

Member
Member
If this kind of damage was caused strictly by a pothole hit there should have been wheel/tire damage also. These wheels aren't that hard bend.

This should be on momma Kaw!
 

Pete_COG_TN

Member
Member
Some thoughts regarding the why's of the break for those that are curious (I'm an ME that does structures for a living). It's possible it was starting to fracture, i.e., a small crack was initiated by a defect and was slowly growing. Then it was already partly cracked (one of the sides) when it got hit with a large blow. I suspect if one side was defective and let go, the other side would be overloaded during the impact.

Up close photos of the fracture surfaces would show if it broke just from a single large overload or it a crack was slowly growing. The fracture surface will have stripes close to the initiation point (we call them beach marks) if a crack was initiated previously by a defect and was slowly growing. Could also have a shiny spot where two fracture surfaces were rubbing. It will just be a nice clean fracture surface with consistent coloring and texture if it failed totally due to a sudden overload. I suspect this is what mama Kaw wants to find out and may affect if they decide to cover it. Might be good to take some nice hi-res photos of the cracks up close. I always wondered about the wisdom of cast aluminum frames.

Good Luck!
 

zarticus

Member
Member
I would be VERY surprised if Mama Kawi will do anything on a 9 year old bike that the owner admits he hit a pot hole. Not the owners fault and a pot hole should not cause that damage. A suggestion to anyone else that this ever happens to is to not post on social media saying they hit a pot hole/curb/bump or anything else before finding this type of damage. Dealers & Manufacturers are always looking for an excuse to not cover something !.
 

Pete_COG_TN

Member
Member
Yeah not sure what Kaw will do but I would guess they would like to see it. Certainly their intention when they designed it was that the frame not crack when we hit potholes. It looks like the fractures are different on either side and not in the same place. Like one is at the weld (top picture) and the other is not, bottom pic. I looked at my bike and that piece is welded to the main frame on both sides. This is a WAG but my guess is that one side was defective (weld issues) and when it let go on impact the other side was way overloaded. But just a guess from limited information. An experienced failure analysis guy will be able to determine if defects existed. Not sure they will admit it or not. Glad the OP was OK though.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Good point Fred. Now, why didn't I think about that?

Unfortunately, If you have full coverage and if you claim it, they "will" total the bike.
There is no way that they would pay the $$ required to repair it.

Ride safe, Ted
 
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TireguyfromMA

Member
Member
I'd also suggest owners of the older Concours, like my own 2010, might want to do a real good inspection of the suspect frame area on their own bikes and take pictures. One of the best ways to find very small cracks/fractures in aluminum is by using Magnaflux color dye on the area. This stuff will light up cracks in aluminum with a red dye that you normally would not be able to see with your eyes, especially in a area that you can't view very easily.

Below is a link to the magnaflux product offered by Chemtools. There are a few other companies that make magna flux. A good welding shop should have this stuff on hand in case any of you have friends or connections at a shop.


Here's a link to a YouTube video showing the magna flux being used to detect invisible cracks on a cylinder head.

 

headstill2172

Member
Member
Thank you to all who have commented/read. Kawasaki has asked me to bring in to dealership for inspection. No the bike is not under warranty of any sort. Yes I am fully insured but figured I would see if Maw Kaw wanted apart of their design failure. They are having me trailer up there take pictures with head mech, then trailer home. They said if Kawi were to cover the frame it would be under a "good faith" claim with Kawi to cover.

I saw pot hole, lifted rear, road over pot hole, front felt like it was a 2" bump...hardly at all. When butt came back to bike it felt very rough (no suspension)....(thought I blew out shock). Pulled over at next stop (firestation) put my feet down and immediately knew something was wrong because I was flat footing both feet like my old cruiser. The slant of the firestation driveway, allowed me to put down side kickstand, but I could still see nothing. I rode it home for 2-3 miles on smooth pavement, again feeling harsh in the rear...I could smell nothing, no smoke, sizzling, popping. ...just a low rider. Got home, had help to get on to center stand, then took pictures above.

I have mixed feelings... do I want a mech from a "catch all" dealership swapping out my frame for a set time? not real excited about that.
or
do I want it totaled out by my insurance and deal with rate hikes
or
do I do it myself? Would need a frame and title, problem here is VIN, and STATE...they will most likely salvage title the bike.

Tomorrow Kawi looks, will keep this updated as I was generally shocked at the impact VS damage to bike. IF this is a fault of bad engineering, I am not too excited about getting another C14..
 
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connie_rider

Member
Member
It might be possible to weld it, but not trustworthy. I KNOW I wouldn't trust it.
The parts that are broken are cast aluminum.
Cast aluminum is very difficult to weld, and welds on cast aluminum are prone to porosity.
I'm certain that Kawasaki has a very strict welding procedure to do it themselves.

Ride safe, Ted
 

texas.devops

Eager Upshifter in SW Houston
Member
It might be possible to weld it, but not trustworthy. I KNOW I wouldn't trust it.
The parts that are broken are cast aluminum.
Cast aluminum is very difficult to weld, and welds on cast aluminum are prone to porosity.
I'm certain that Kawasaki has a very strict welding procedure to do it themselves.

Ride safe, Ted

Concur, welding aged die cast aluminum is just not worth the risk IMHO (especially not on a machine that'll run 150+ MPH on various road surfaces). Even the best MIG/TIG welders will agree that it's never 100% after a joint repair. The thermals have changed the molecular structure in and around the seam, and the unseen stress at other places just beyond the weld will only appear in the next failure.

If after it's been "repaired" and the bike is sold, and then there's a subsequent fatal accident caused at least in part by the failure of that part, I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing someone's life was exchanged for me saving a couple hundred dollars. Recycle and replace it is the safest option from my point of view, but obviously it's not my budget being discussed LOL.
 
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