A Cautionary Tale

Warning, long post follows

Hi all, first post here. I’ve been having a ball riding my kitted and well-modified Puch maxi with the Casserollers since last year. Was gleefully looking forward to my first out of town rally to the Black Hills for the Big Dirty. Unfortunately, I crashed on the return leg of a ride two weeks ago and will be out of commission for awhile.

I just wanted to let y’all know how I screwed up, so perhaps someone else may avoid a similar outcome.

I decided earlier to remount the stock front fender because, you know… I might get wet or something. As I have aftermarket forks and a DIY stabilizer bar, I added a single tab to mount the upper fender, and used the original lower rods that loop under the axle nuts. Worked perfectly until the night of the ride…when it didn’t.

I hit a small bump and heard a small rattle. Hit another and heard a louder rattle. Glanced down and could see the top of the fender waving around. Hit a third bump and was immediately and violently slammed to the pavement at about 35mph.

I fortunately only wound up with a broken right hand, it could have been so much worse. It was nighttime, no other vehicles or people were involved, and no solid obstacles were present.

The cause was immediately and painfully (in more ways than one) evident. I had neglected to use any sort of safety on the single upper mount and when it vibrated loose, the fender rotated backward and contacted the spinning tire, which then grabbed the lower edge of the fender which instantaneously tried to wrap itself around the front of the wheel, twisting the steel support rods as it did.

I’ve had time to reflect on my mistake, and why I made it. The modification itself was probably ok. What I didn’t appreciate at the time was, by eliminating the upper support arms, the single connection to the torsion bar not only kept the top of the fender from flopping to and fro, but also prevented any rotational movement. A safety of some kind here was critical. I may have been thinking of the flimsy, seemingly afterthought fenders on bicycles, as opposed to the far more substantial fenders and mounts on motorcycles. And I just never experienced or heard of such a thing, so foolishly failed to realize the possible ramifications. There was no doubt a bit of complacency and/or laziness on my part as well.

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to express publicly, is my gratitude to all who were on that ride. While everyone shut their rides down and waited patiently expressing their support, Kim, John and Luke dove right in, removing the mangled fender and re-mounting the wheel. Trevor offered me shelter at his home nearby. Brad bundled the fender on his mount, and others helped out as well. We finished the remainder of the ride back. Next day I received numerous calls and texts of support and encouragement. What a great group of mopedders we have here in the Twin Cities! Hoping to be back in the saddle soon.


hand broke.jpg

Re: A Cautionary Tale

im grabbin coffee 1/4 mile from my house on a ratty maxi i JUST got running and its still got 40yr old tires

i think im gonna push it home

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Woof. That sucks.

I screwed up and broke my left radius about 8 weeks ago. (Picture attached because it’s a crazy break!)

I felt like a dummy and I’m a little more careful now. Hopefully you heal up quick.


Re: A Cautionary Tale


Re: A Cautionary Tale

That radius break looks gnarly. how well is it healing so far?

Re: A Cautionary Tale

> Steve Cloutier Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> That radius break looks gnarly. how well is it healing so far?

It’s coming along pretty well. I had to have surgery and ended up with a metal plate, some screws, and some crazy bills.

A major advantage of surgery is that I ended up in a splint and was able to start occupational therapy right away. I just got released with about 80% of my mobility back.

I was back on a bike after ~5 weeks but that was probably a bad idea.

Do you know what they’re gonna do with your break?

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Damn I have a fender mounted exactly like this

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Josiah Radebaugh /

Nash it's good, my friend and I road 35yr old tires for about 200 miles, no problem. Got new ones now.

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Sorry to hear Steve I hope that sweet seat is alright and ur hand will heal over time.

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Tittybats, I hope that wrist heals up well for you. I've got a couple pns installed for 6 weeks. They're going to look at it tomorrow and advise.

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Eric, thanks. Always optimistic. The seat wasn't touched, and the Puch escaped with less damage than me.

Be back riding in no time.

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Glad you're alive. That looks painful. The whole story sounds painful. How much road rash? Hang the fender on the wall some where.

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The road rash would have been way more serious had I not been fotunately wearing a lightweight leather jacket - now destroyed.

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Glad you were not hurt worse, heal fast!

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♣Slew Foot♣ /

Titanium club...

Welcome to the titanium wrist Plate Club I got one of them Honda Odyssey took a left at a yellow light and caught me I did the eject the moped move and I was standing still end the Vans mirror broke both my wrist bones right at the wrist and I thought it was bad when your brake tab breaks off one of the better ones is when you have a hard Seas on your crank and it locks the back wheel at 40

Re: A Cautionary Tale

Glad to hear you're ok, heard the story last week summarized by 'He was super cool about it and rode home'

I guess i still don't really understand what you mean by the one mounting point on top? Lots of fenders like the chrome maxi fenders are mounted with 2 pop rivits on the top holding them to the stabilizer bar.

But yeah, seen a few times that people had front fenders come loose at rallies and eat shit, also speedo drives that locked up. Seems to happen more often than you think it would and even the best rider in the world has a hard recovering from a locked front wheel. Not much you can do when that happens.

Re: A Cautionary Tale

mother fucks!

My friend Will's been riding a flory one-handed after skateboarding his hand to pieces.

that sucks. what a break!

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