The Fine Art of the Bodge


Alison Green 


Bodge – verb: to fix or repair with whatever is at hand. Temporary emergency repair. Ingenious use of material to effect repairs. 

If you ride and maintain older British bikes, then this is the appropriate term when one is forced to use a piece of wire to hold some component together. This is to avoid resorting to trailers or other embarrassing forms of transport for the last leg of the trip. It is a rather handy term which covers a multitude of temporary and not-so-temporary repairs when the necessary parts, time or tools are not at hand. 

I’m equally certain that almost anyone who rides a motorcycle that is not show-room new, has had occasion to ‘bodge’ a repair of sorts while on the road. Sometime the ‘emergency’ repair is so effective that it becomes permanent. More often, it only stays in place until proper repairs or replacement of parts can be completed in the comfort of the home shop. I’ve heard some amazing stories of wounded bikes rescued from dire situations with the oddest of materials. My old BMW is relatively reliable and seldom sheds bits and pieces along the road but… At the bottom of the tool tray, I have a secret stash of odd things and I have been very grateful for this collection on more than one occasion. 

My stash  includes, but is not limited to, the following: 

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