Bangkok Flood 2011 or How I Drowned the Versys ;)

Discussion in 'Central Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by TonyBKK, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Happy to see that the "Worst Case Scenario" that some ThaiVisa loonies have forecast hasn't come true. :roll:

    Central Bangkok remains bone dry. Areas that were predicted to flood, such as Lad Phrao, Chatujak, Mor Chit, etc are still dry.

    And the water is already receding in many areas- when I crossed the Rattanatibet bridge last Saturday the road (302) was impassable to the west of the bridge.

    The Chao Phraya has flooded its banks here on both sides. Views from the bridge-


    On the 23rd you couldn't go west of the bridge. It looked like this:

    Yesterday it was dry until the junction with Bang Kruai Sai Noi Road (3215).

    Bang Keuai Sai Noi road is still flooded, but vehicles can get through-

    The water got deeper as I continued west on the 302 / Rattanatibet. I was trying to reach the Western Outer Ring Road (Kanchanapisek)(Highway 9).

    Well, I made it (on foot) wink.gif

    Looking south:

    Looking north:

    Looking east:

    Bike wouldn't start. Wouldn't even turn over. Exhaust full of water, and water in the engine. unsure.gif
    Just as I was thinking I'd have to leave the bike there and take an army truck out some super friendly Thai guys offered me a lift back to Kaerai in their pickup jap.gif Khob khun maak maak!

    Crappy pic taken while sitting on the bike in the back of the pickup wink.gif
    Once out of the flood zone we were able to bump start the bike and I made it home without any further drama smile.gif

    Today need to change oil and filter and open up the airbox to see if it took in any water. Will pull the wheels too to re-grease the bearings as no doubt they are full of water.

    Fun fun!

  2. Isn't it great to live in a country where:

    a) People are friendly and helpful

    b) Almost everybody drives a pickup.

    Maybe next time try what I saw up North a month ago. Jam a piece of garden hose up the exhaust and loop it over the seat 555.
  3. Living in Pinklao, a lot of water around now. I really want to avoid Tony's problem so just parked my ER6N on the ramp up to Rama 8 bridge.

    Good luck everybody (-:
  4. Thanks Tony for updating us with such great pics, videos, and actual on the road experience of the current situation in and around BKK.
    Makes the few days of problems we had in Chiang Mai look quite mild. Hope it does not get worse for BKK this weekend, which is what a lot of people seem to be worried about.
    Yesterday travelling to see friends around Chiang Mai, suprising how many already had relatives staying who had come up from Bangkok, and some of Tukta's friends and family already on the way up to Isaan, so seems quite an exodus.
    Brave of you to go into the deeps and good the Versys survived.
  5. Wow- she sure ate a lot of water!

    I've never drowned a vehicle before, so not 100% sure what the proper course of action is. I did ride her back from Kaearai to Wang Thong Lang last night- a distance of about ~20km. She ran fine, but I wonder if riding with that much water in the engine could cause any damage?

    Site Glass:


    I expect most of the water got in via the airbox so will open her up and pull the spark plugs and blast away with compressed air, then change oil and filter, take her for a spin, change oil and filter again and see how the oil looks after that.

    Anything else I should do?

    Hoping to ride up to the Roi Et Bike Week this weekend but don't want her to blow up on the way! laugh.gif

    Ride On!

  6. I've never drowned a bike but have salvaged a couple of drowned marine diesels. We used to drain the sump as soon as they came out of the water then immediately fill them up chock a block with diesel fuel. That was the extent of my involvement though. It was then handed over to the mechanics.

    I'd suggest filling her up with diesel first then draining to try and wash out that custard before filling with oil.
    Maybe after you've blown out the bores with air you could spray a bit of CRC/RP7 down there then crank it a few times..
  7. I don't recommend riding it till it's completely flushed. Having torn down a flooded engine that had had two oil changes and flushes, and failed within a thousand kms, and there was still plenty of sludge inside the crank and valve train areas. Plus flood waters are full of unhealthy abrasives, I know as it took a good oil bath and scrub to get my chain recovered following all my flood riding (knee deep in front of my house for 3 days).

    I have used pure methanol, methyl alcohol, to flush drowned outboard engines and the odd dirt bike dumped in the river well it was running. We add it to the valve train and spark plug holes, plus a good fill in the oil filler - all while turn the engine over by hand only. After draining be sure to fill immeaditaly with oil as your engines insides will be bone dry. You will see the sludge come out the oil drain.

    Have also heard of shops using manual transmission fluid as a final flush, as it's lubricating but with far higher solvent, with water, properties than petroleum oils. Never tried that thou

    Edit - I do know people, more experienced then me, that say you have to remove the head also; to check the cylinder and valve train.
  8. Thank you Tony for the interesting information an great video. I never thought that a Versys could cope with so much water ... at leasts till it was drawn. Hope that caring "mounth to mounth" with her will bring her back to life :)
  9. Thanks Tony for testing the Versys-deep-water ability ..... now we know what was meant with "Can we not do something with Tony's bike to slow him down?".

    Ok the exhaust was under water but how water gets in the airbox? I mean air-inlet was higher as the camera ..... hopefully the camera had his water-proof jacket on?

    Good luck with drying-out her inner-body,
  10. Cheers Guys!

    Thank you for all of the helpful advice.

    I want to get our and ride this weekend- (The Great Bangkok Evacuation and all that nonsense ;) ). Plan to leave Bangkok tonight with the bike on a trailer, so as much as I probably SHOULD remove the head and really strip her down, but I think I'll go with fish's suggestion of flushing her with transmission fluid, then a couple oil and filter changes and see where that gets me.

    I'll keep you all posted!

    Thanks again for the timely and helpful suggestions!

    Happy Trails!

  11. Hi Tony,

    This may be of interest for you..

    I was at Kawa Rama 9 this morning for my 6,000 KM KLX service

    Kawa will do the following after the flood.

    - Engine damage that is flood related.. 70% off parts
    - Free oil and filter change
    - other flood related damage 50% off

    But please confirm this 100% with Kawa.
    As things can get lost in translation.. But that is how I understood it

  12. Learn how NOT to drown your versys from this guy ..
  13. Here ya go Tony.

    How to modify the Versys to go through waist deep water.
    A snorkel behind the windscreen and extend the exhaust over the seat.:crazy: :clap:

  14. Did you check the axles yet?

    I rode my cbr250 through about 400m of flood in Minburi. When it got up close to the exhaust I got off and pushed it through with the engine in 1st and keeping the revs high so the water level never actually got up to exhaust outlet.

    Small amounts of water did come shooting out of the exhaust a few times, but no problems with the engine cutting out, and revs were kept high the entire time. It was going through the water for maybe 20 mins, most above the axle level.

    Not sure if they need to be checked or not. Everything is running okay.
  15. Yes, the axle seals on most bikes are NOT watertight. I pulled my wheels and the bearings were wet. Fortunately I'd packed them with enough grease that it didn't seem like water actually got into the bearings. Blasted them clean with compressed air and let them dry overnight before re-greasing them. This is one of the reasons you shouldn't let car wash places go at your bike with a pressure washer- it's very easy to drive water past the seals and into the bearings which will greatly reduce the life of the bearings.

    Riding back from Khao Yai last weekend I rode the Versys through deep water near the junction of 304 (Suwintawong) and Ramkamhaeng, Minburi. Kept the revs up and didn't have oncoming traffic pushing waves into me so I made it through. Unfortunately didn't have a camera running this time. ;)
  16. This video has gone viral- it's awesome!
  17. Took this vid from the back of the pick-up that rescued me and the Versys and brought us back to dry ground near Kearai-

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