Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Side of a mountain in New Hampshire
Same reason a dog licks his boyz. He can.
Just saying, in the grand scheme of things contemplating your navel over why head gaskets fail is answerable. Thing is... really?
Congrats on dodging a real bullet. Revel in the victory.
Alternate misery. My snowblower threw another shear pin. Dammit. Why does this shit happen to me?
What gets the blame for head gaskets? Warp, defects, delam, the price of tea in China.
All those happen as often as blue moons. The real culprit is typically the hand of man. Lack of proper installation technique including cleanliness, lubrication, care in assembly, and PROPER TORQUE SEQUENCING will get your heads bouncing around like a ritalin kids foot at the dinner table.
While your motorcycle is apart the mech can do some detective work. I suspect "No, not Victory's fault" will be found to be the cause but hey good luck with RICZ's them feeling sorry for you ploy. It might work... and pitching the idea is free.
The old gasket may reveal the true cause to the educated eye but at the end of the story the fix will most likely be cleanliness, lubrication, care in assembly and proper torque sequencing. I don't know how many times the guy says "but all you did was slap in new ones. What's going to prevent it from happening again?" Well, cleanliness, lubrication, care in assembly and proper torque sequencing come to mind. Magic tricks with feeler gauges, parts juggling and show machining, not so much but sometimes peeps just ain't happy unless they paid for a pile of shavings or a couple of doorstops that look like perfectly good old heads and barrels to go with the repair.
Head gaskets fail. That's a given. Not often, in the case of new motorcycles, rare as all get out but they can and do fail. Even in the age of robotics and mechanized assembly, dirt and lackadaisical attention to QA still happen. So for that matter does a poorly machined surface or a bad gasket but my money is on whatever the circumstance the culprit is some bipedal anthropoid. I kind of am living in a post blame world. I would be so happy to find out that my motor is just a head gasket away from healthy that the factory could send out a bonehead to take the blame for the assembly and I would say "Well pal, I sure hope they sent a bike for you to ride because mine is fixed and that conversation is so over. We is burning some miles today! Saddle up sunshine!"
Key thing, you monitor the repair. If a motor is losing a head gasket much of the time there is some telltale blowby, either gases leaving a scorch or oil leaving a film. Sometimes that stuff starts well enough ahead of the failure that you can get the bike into service in an orderly fashion instead of after it humped hot oil all over your leg and your girlfriend. Hell if your machine is sporting stock pipes you might hear the fttt fttt if you put an ear to it at idle. You might even feel the rush of air squeezing out if you check it while it's first running. Sometimes they just go south all of a sudden but clues are worth keeping an eye out for. You might insist on a compression test every 500 miles from the shop doing the work for say, couple thousand miles. If the numbers are reasonable for 2k I would relax and call it good.
Adequate warm up, attention to temperature, decent fuel, the regular unexciting maintenance items may not save you from head gasket misery but they will not hasten it either.
Cross Country Tour.
We can't help it
We just keep moving
It's been that way since long ago
Since the stone age chasing the great herds
We mostly go where we have to go
That was written by James McMurtry