Kill switches and Other Dumb Things

2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
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Littleton, Colorado
Okay, we had some fun with reading the demographics of our group but I wonder how many of us can be totally honest with this one. I'm going to start this off and here's how it works. Tell us, or confess, whatever you'd like to call it, about the dumbest thing you've done regarding MBs or anything mechanical.
My story: When I was a kid my dad bought me a mini-bike. Who rememberes the Doodle Bug? It resembled a Cushman Eagle but was kid sized. Mine had a 3 horse Briggs & Stratton with a kick starter. To kill the little four stroke there was a strap of metal that mounted to one of the head bolts and when you pushed it against the exposed spark plug top it grounded the ignition and shut down the engine. My idea was to mount a kill switch where it was easier to reach than fumbling under the seat usually resulting in touching the top of the plug in an effort to kill the engine. I took a standard toggle switch, mounted it to the handle bars and ran a wire to the frame and the other one I twisted around the top of the spark plug. "Should work." I told myself, and it did. Only one problem. The high voltage current that was supposed to go to the plug was now let loose in the frame of the mini bike and, yes, you guessed it, into me. On my first attempt to shut off the engine with my new switch it didn't take me long to get off of that bike. Wow! who would have thought that little mag could have produced that much juice?
Okay, there's ONE of the dumb things I've done. Anyone else care to contribute their confession?
 

Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
11,843
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up north now
Yesh....I have shorted out my boys against the gas tank by trying to shut off my bike with the kill wire grounding it to the frame.

I have also drilled a hole in my leg with a 1/4" drill bit.

Go ahead, ask me how...
 

GoFastBicycles

New Member
Jul 29, 2008
560
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West Point PA.
No way you too Joe just drove 1/4" in my leg last week . How you ask? Well I was drilling out the rivets on my rear fender being that the bracket snapped well I was using my leg as a work bench SMART move.
 

Jemma Hawtrey

New Member
Dec 29, 2007
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Essex, UK
Theres been a few...

Started a car from the button on the coil without realising that my fingers were millimeters from a 1/16 plate steel engine fan..

Couldnt understand when the kill switch wouldnt work on the handlebars... turns out if you are using rubber suspended handlebars all a kill switch does is punt alot of volts into your hand... 10kv hurts....

And the highlight... we are on a ramble in the country... its england, so its raining like sunshine is going out of fashion... and guess which bright spark decides to hoist a leg over the electric fence... put my foot on the floor on the other side and got 12vs right up my spine via delicate parts of my anatomy.. not an experience I wish to repeat any time soon... the people I was with didnt stop laughing for about an hour.. It didnt help that I was walking somewhat gingerly rotfl

There are more... but I think I embarrassed myself enough already..

Jemma xx
 

Dan

Staff
Staff member
May 25, 2008
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Moosylvania
Smork!! Love it. I run out of gas about once a week. Have lost 2 forward motor mounts due to lack of checking them. Forgot to put oil in a 2stroker that now is a lovely door stop. And after a few libations, happily drove off a path and into a bush at a party. Seems burly rough necks lumped up with branches in their hair is hysterical to some. (really was)
 

Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
11,843
236
63
up north now
No way you too Joe just drove 1/4" in my leg last week . How you ask? Well I was drilling out the rivets on my rear fender being that the bracket snapped well I was using my leg as a work bench SMART move.
Yesh...end of a long winter project.... drilling out a license plate to fit a euro-spec plate holder....it was the LAST thing I had to do on the bike..... (76 BMW) I drilled out the first hole.... the second one was "taking too long" so I set the plate on my leg and the drill instantly bit into the plate and then down into my thigh.

I missed the bone, but buried the drill to the chuck, then took out twisty flesh bits as I pulled it out still running.

Not for the faint of heart, fo' sho'!

A quick trip to the emergency room and some pain killers and I was as good as new.
 

Dan

Staff
Staff member
May 25, 2008
12,775
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Moosylvania
Yesh...end of a long winter project.... drilling out a license plate to fit a euro-spec plate holder....it was the LAST thing I had to do on the bike..... (76 BMW) I drilled out the first hole.... the second one was "taking too long" so I set the plate on my leg and the drill instantly bit into the plate and then down into my thigh.

I missed the bone, but buried the drill to the chuck, then took out twisty flesh bits as I pulled it out still running.

Not for the faint of heart, fo' sho'!

A quick trip to the emergency room and some pain killers and I was as good as new.
I am in no way laughing at your misfortune, but the retelling cracked me up. "Twisty flesh" was just to much! Still trying not to laugh. Wife and dog think I am having some sort of fit. sorry
 

Jemma Hawtrey

New Member
Dec 29, 2007
288
2
0
Essex, UK
Yesh...end of a long winter project.... drilling out a license plate to fit a euro-spec plate holder....it was the LAST thing I had to do on the bike..... (76 BMW) I drilled out the first hole.... the second one was "taking too long" so I set the plate on my leg and the drill instantly bit into the plate and then down into my thigh.

I missed the bone, but buried the drill to the chuck, then took out twisty flesh bits as I pulled it out still running.

Not for the faint of heart, fo' sho'!

A quick trip to the emergency room and some pain killers and I was as good as new.
Yikes... I wish you hadnt have given quite that much detail...

Worst pain I was ever in was boiled caramel from a microwaved mars bar down my hand... I had a half hand sized burn that blistered horribly.

I think I would have blacked out with the drill still running to be honest.

Jemma xx
 

2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
16,326
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63
Littleton, Colorado
Okay, one more then I'm done.
Years ago, pre beard days, I stopped in for lunch at a pizza place, snagged a couple of slices to go then out to the car to eat on the run. When I bit into the pizza the cheese seperated but the crust stayed intact. When I pulled it away from my mouth a pizza slice shaped slab of hot cheese slipped off and plastered itself to my chin and under it almost to my neck. I had this triangular shaped burn, red as all get out starting from my lower lip and wrapping under my chin. Maybe that's when I decided to grow a beard.
 

Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
11,843
236
63
up north now
Yikes... I wish you hadnt have given quite that much detail...

I think I would have blacked out with the drill still running to be honest.

Jemma xx

That was the "family friendly" version of the actual incident....

I have many adventures/misfortunes/serendipities in my shop.

After I sat down and assessed the damage, I had my assistant bring me the drill and looked at the bit just to see how deep it went. There was "evidence" that it went all the way to the three toothed chuck.

The fiasco that ensued at the emergency room was nearly as hilarious/tramatic as the drilling of the leg.

A giant nurse lady cleaned the wound, called me a simple minded crybaby, injected me with demerol, then broke the needle in my rump, got flustered that she did it, and lost track of what she was doing. She pulled the needle out with a pair of hemostats and then got ANOTHER syringe and shot me up AGAIN!

Hunter S Thompson-esque from the start to the finish that project was.....I bought the bike from a guy who fell asleep riding it through the mountains and crashed. I sold it to a guy who fell asleep on it and crashed. I went home, finished the license plate drilling and mounting, went upstairs, fell asleep and crashed.......this is my real life.
 

deacon

minor bike philosopher
Jan 15, 2008
8,117
3
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north carolina
Just follow me around for a day and chronicle them.

I hate to think of all the stupid things I have done while pursuing this hobby/obsession.

Building the carb throttle linkage backwards and having the c clip get sucked into the engine is right up there though.
 

Norman

LORD VADER Moderator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2008
2,605
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68
pampa texas
Drilling into your leg is NASTY I mean REALLY NASTY and $hit that had to hurt!! One of my friends was building an RV-6 airplane drilling holes for rivets and he drilled through the metal skin and right through his index finger nail and all with a #30 drill about 3/32" I think not that big but it did the flesh twisty stuff not once but maybe a doz. times while building the plane when I was there and seen him do that I almost whizzed in my pants from laughing at him but I really did feel bad for him and got him another beer for pain management.
Jemma takes the cake for the shocking experience. I have naughty thoughts about that. I bet a friend that he couldn't pee over an electric fence one time that was the best spent quarter ever!!!
I had a home made mini bike that would knock the snot out of me every now and then when the spark plug would touch the frame a little problem with the frame design made the ride exciting and a challenge.
Norman