Riding to the Blitz to Branson one year, just outside St. Louis, my R1100RT bumped a few times like I was going over a rough road. I looked down to see what it was and realized the bike was starting to coast. I got to the shoulder and found that the motor was running, but nothing happened when I let out the clutch. So off to the local dealer on a tow truck.
First phone call from the dealer: “There’s a hole in your swingarm. Yes, a hole.”
Second phone call: “We had to cut the swingarm off with a Sawz-All.”
Third phone call: “We have the swingarm off and found the output shaft on the transmission is bent”.
Fourth phone call: “As long as we have the transmission off, do you want us to put a new clutch in?”
Eventually I flew down to St. Louis and picked up the bike and a box full of broken parts, and left $3500 lighter.
The bumping I had felt was the front u-joint on the driveshaft letting go, and the driveshaft flailing around and breaking things. At least the rear wheel didn’t lock up.Other than a vague feeling of a vibration when bouncing through a dip in the road that I had noticed about 50 miles before, there was no warning.