Can it be welded? Is JB Weld an option?
So I was riding my winter bike home a few weeks ago (a Yamaha WR250 with 40,000 miles of winter riding so far) and started to notice a tick-tick-tick when about 15 miles from home.
I had the valves checked/adjusted at 30,000 miles (all spot on except for a mild adjustment to the exhaust valves that could have been left alone but since we're in there anyway...(tired of these side-thoughts (my editor wouldn't allow this), yet?)), but didn't replace the internal timing chain. So, I was thinking, "crap, is that the timing chain getting ready to go?", and made sure I was ready to pull in the clutch, and just kept riding. It's only 15 more minutes. Maybe I'll make it.
Don't do that people. If your bike is wrong. Stop. Evaluate. Make it right, right _NOW_!
But I never learn. This time the main drive chain broke and I was pushing my bike a few miles to Arby's where I ate sliders and waited for my wife to bring the truck.
I had a newish chain and sprockets so I was really worried that it was an internal part. What does it say about my maintenance that I'm happy when the drive chain brakes? I really don't treat my winter beater as good as I should.
So now I have a hole I need to fix. I wore a grove that leaks oil when the master link on the chain started to back out and scrape each time around the front sprocket.
I'm not a wrench beyond changing oil, tires, chain, brakes, etc. All the outside-the-engine stuff I'm comfortable with but I'm just cracking open my first engine case this winter (a RS50 Aprilia). Not knowing about engine internals, is the oil in that part of the engine under pressure? Should I just try to JB Weld it closed or is there a way to fill in the groove with new aluminum?
I've asked a few welders and nobody wants to try it as they think the case will just melt and I'll be left with a worse mess.
Kent Larson from Minnesota
(looks like snow next week so I need my WR back on the road soon)