In preparation for several successive upcoming rides, I decided to pull my shift linkage for preventative maintenance. (Clean & re-lube)
When checking the ball pins for tightness, I encountered one that looked tight visually, but yet when tested with a wrench, would turn & not tighten. Though I was apprehensive about it, I reassembled the linkage and while on center stand, hand shifted it thru the gears. Before I could cycle it back to 1st gear, the shift lever went floppy. I first assumed that a hair clip had broken or was not installed correctly. What I found was that the threaded shaft of the ball pin in question had broken. Extraction of both pcs, showed rust of each end at the break. I had caught the part in the process of breaking.
Had I not caught it, my next ride (Billings MOA Rally) would have stranded me.
Having replaced the part, it occurs to me that bike maintenance is essentially like time traveling to the future to save your own azz.
I owe Kirk Johnson a debt of gratitude for his video regarding the preventative maintenance and calling attention to the need to service the shift linkage. Thanks Kirk.
Will pledge some bucks to his club; The BMW Motorrad Club of Northern Illinois.
ps; now trying to figure out to time travel to the past