“Effective Emergency Strategy or Method for On the Road”: “Baling Wires and Zip Ties”


Harley riders and others can relate to this topic, either uses this form of emergency on the road one way or another. I know I did a time or two, very effective emergency strategy or method – EMERGENCY ONLY.

Last year, on our way to a Motorcycle Rally; on the last stop to fill up the bikes, I drove off on a deeper side of a curve not paying attention; I never did give it much thought when we pull out.  Shifting going up – no problem but somewhere in between, I broke the shifter linkage on my 2001 Harley Davidson Road King Classic. At the time, I did not realize it until we got closer to our destination – Kansas. When I tried to down shift, there is nothing there only the arm but I did manage to shift it down to third (3rd) gear, so during the turns I used the 3rd gear for speed to slow down just a little and throttle up so the bike won’t die. When we got to the entry way, also where we pay for our camping sites; it was a slow pace, I pulled over to the parking area(grass) and the bike died because I couldn’t shift it to first (1st) gear.

Ask son if he has any zip ties or tape or something to temporary ties the shifter linkage until we get to the camping area, he came up with some “zip ties and baling wires”. Used the zip ties for a temporary repair, I manage to baby (shift with care) the bike to the camping area. 

During the weekend, walking the “strips” where vendors set up booths on both side and have a road (gravel or tar) in the middle for walkways’ or drive throughs for people shopping; everyone sorts of keep an eye out for any vendor that might have a shifter linkage for sale. With all different vendors selling different things – not one vendor selling any part for what I am looking for.

On the last day before pulling out the next morning, I re-done the zip ties to make sure they are tight then use the baling wire to secure it in place (learned that from Hubby). Rode the bike home that way, shifting carefully so the linkage won’t come apart.

In the meantime, remember the “new” windshield that I mention on one of my blog; that story also goes with this one. On the ride home, I have notice my windshield is foggy.  On the 1st gas station stops, fill up the bikes, check the linkage, and wipe down the windshield which I thought it was dirty, everything is okay accept the windshield is still foggy. During the ride home, I thought to myself – maybe I am seeing things; so, on the last gas station stops; I gas the bike up, check the linkage, and wipe the windshield again – still foggy, no luck.

Made it home; check the temporary repair on the linkage – still holding, but the coating on the windshield is peeling on the inside and outside.  Check around on how to measure the windshield, it is a very interesting topic. My unusual working schedule, does not leave me any time to take the bike anywhere to get the right measurement to order a windshield.

Through my research, I found a windshield company “Freedom Shield” that makes windshield that fits perfectly for any Harleys or others. When I receive my windshield, all my old hardware from the previous windshield bolts up with the holes on the new one.  My new windshield is awesome, but to get back to our recent topic.

The “baling wires and zip ties, very effective emergency strategy or method for on the road  repairs – emergency only not permanent”. It holds up windshield, foot pegs, running boards, motorcycle wires, throttle and brake cable, motorcycle seat, sissy bar, shifter linkage, exhaust pipes (oh, but that’s another story), just a temporarily emergency repair until you get helped or to your next stop or a destination for your Harley parts. Now if it is something heavy duty like an engine; call a friend, a relative or 911. Ride safe!