That's Not Gone Well...

As I learned a couple days ago, the exhaust system of the Buell Blast is solid mounted. It’s no wonder then that the poor thing will shake itself apart and why most Blasts I see on the net have an aftermarket exhaust...That and the factory exhaust costs like $400 new...

I overnighted some rubber/metal motorcycle muffler hangers for the bike, determined to fix the issue. Honestly, the end result was super clean. I gave the bike a nice Svending and on Sunday I was going to visit a friend in Milwaukee, help him do his smart’s brakes, then take some sunset pics on Lake Michigan. That last part didn’t happen...


What I didn’t anticipate what that the vibration from the motor being strong enough to undo the screws on my hangers. I’m not very strong, so I can’t imagine the screws were really torqued down with a lot of force.

While I was passing MKE, the bike crossed into a grooved concrete road surface (like is often used on bridges). As I slightly opened my helmet’s visor to let some more air in, I heard a “FWHOOP” sound. For a brief second, I thought that Milwaukee had installed a musical road or that my motorcycle tyres make a weird noise on grooved concrete...

Then I looked in my left mirror and saw a cute red tube skidding and changing lanes in the heavy traffic. It narrowly missed a red van and a Grand Cherokee on its way over to the shoulder. I was actually impressed at how well that muffler was tracking straight!

At any rate, I was already running two hours late and traffic was so heavy that I couldn’t easily get over, so I plowed forward; now with the loudest bike in Milwaukee.


Changing the brakes on my friend’s car was a half successful task. As with every smart 451 I’ve ever worked on, the T30 screw that holds the rotors in place was fused to the hub. Unfortunately my friend didn’t have a tool to extract it out. Thankfully his rotors are serviceable (lost maybe less than 1mm of surface), so we just changed the pads for the time being. While on our adventure to find the tools for the job, we spotted two BMWs:


I left my friend’s house around 9pm with a mission to find the muffler I lost seven hours earlier. I did three passes of the right shoulder to no luck. Right before I was going to give up and go home, I remembered that I watched the muffler head for the shoulder in my left mirror, meaning it went for the left shoulder.

I performed a pass of the left shoulder to no luck. At this point it was nearing 11pm and I was out of fuel. I decided to fill up, do one more pass, then give up and head home.


On my final pass, I decided to put on the high beams and ride slowly in the shoulder. Sure enough, I saw a red tube ahead...There it was, my mighty Thrush.

Surprisingly, aside from a lot of scratches (some down to the metal), it was free of dents or bends! It was filled with water, but that wasn’t much of an issue for me. I used the passenger rope thing to secure it and rode to the nearest petrol station. I quickly cobbled together a solution to get me home. Here’s the muffler as of this morning. I’m glad I had a clamp on me and some basic tools.


Lesson learned, lock yer threads!!

Side note, would a flex pipe be a decent option?

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