My 2-stroke Kawasaki KB100: Engine seized on a highway

A good samaritan on a blue Honda SP125 came out of nowhere and towed me for almost the entirety of the remaining section of the journey.

BHPian TorqueMonster recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The last update was just the beginning of good times with this bike. There were no further updates owing to the fact that it was a reliable daily driver for the most part.

The bike on one of the many rides I have taken it to.

But then, things just go to hell. The first of many issues was that of leaking suspension. The entire suspension set-up had given up. Despite no oil seals or fork damages, the forks have worn out from 34 years of abuse and oil is leaking from the shocker rod. While the bike is still temporarily usable, the oil literally gets run out within 200km, making it a 400 Rs expense every week.

Now, it is unfortunate that in the part of Rural TN in which I am, no mechanic would want to touch this bike with a barge pole owing to the lack of spares and the complexity of fixing it.

Hence a decision was made to ride the bike back to Madurai, where it can be fixed. A choice which in hindsight would lead to a mess-up of colossal proportions.

Now it is to note that the bike is not shy to rides, in fact, it does ride easily despite its age. So an 80km highway ride should be one with no hassles.

But that was not the case. Barely 20kms from my home, I noticed that the bike's sound had started to sound coarse, producing a sound eerily similar to what you would hear when a propellor plane is flying over your head. Strike 1.

I slowly saw the bike losing power and managed to clear the bridge I was going through and stop on the side. Or more like the bike stopping and gravity bringing me slowly to the side. Strike 2.

While the situation had instantly become scary, I started to gaslight myself on how it was just a heating issue, and that taking a 15 min break would solve it. I take down an entire bottle of water, and took a leisurely 20 min break, mindlessly scrolling through Instagram to avoid thinking about any possible damage to the bike. I go and decide to start the bike. 2 seconds later, both me and the bike are on the ground. I kick the bike and the kicker is stuck, it is rock solid, I feel a jolt go through my right leg and have no choice but to wave my leg in pain, tripping over the bike and falling down. Strike 3. Strike 4 if you count the damage caused to me also.

I at this stage go into total panic mode. I am stuck on an isolated highway, half an hour away from home, and with absolutely no idea what to do. I call up my mechanic, who confirms my worst fear, that the engine is seized.

I genuinely did not know how to feel about this. This bike has been with me for years. This bike is in my childhood memories, of going around Delhi with me sitting on its tank as a child (I know it is unsafe but my family did not have a car at that time). It is the bike I learnt to ride on, the bike I first tried working and fixing on my own. It has been my daily driver in university, an unofficial member of my friend circle being the go-to bike for my bike rides. It has taken me places, alone, with friends, dates, and almost every core memory I have, and this bike has managed to find its way to it. As I was sitting under the tamarind tree on the side of the highway, watching the bike, I felt the same as I would feel if I were attending a funeral for a loved one.

My temporary funeral was cut short with the arrival of a loud twin-cylinder recovery vehicle, in the form of my Super Meteor 650. But there lies another issue. The Super Meteor, while being a powerful vehicle, does not have the low-end torque to effectively tow a motorcycle. The forward set footpeg also made it difficult to push the bike using legs. One of those moments where my trusted Thunderbird and its low-end torque would do wonders.

I have no photos for the same but halfway, a good samaritan on a blue Honda SP125 came out of nowhere, and towed me for almost the entirety of the remaining section of the journey, and just took the next turn even before I could thank him. The fact that I was not stuck till late and reached back within 2 hours is because of this person. Thank you Blue Honda SP125 owner.

So you may ask, what next for the bike? The bike's engine has been opened, showing that the piston of the bike has been damaged totally, and there pretty much lies nothing that can be done which is fixable. Right now, there is a crossroads between getting an entirely new engine from somewhere, or that of checking the condition of the engine block and seeing if it can be bored. The terrible parts availability for this bike puts both alternatives in question.

At least temporarily, it is time to announce the demise of this bike. But I can guarantee, that as soon as possible, it will have its rebirth. Parts are being searched for, and whenever it is humanely possible, the entire engine will be working again, giving the bike a literal rebirth. I shall be updating the thread regarding the work that is being done to the bike, and I guarantee that before too long, the bike will be back on the road, in the same condition as it had come out of the factory in 1989.

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