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Thread: frame crack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default frame crack

    i have a 2002 kawasaki ninja zx6r with two thin cracks in the frame and was gona have a welder here in my town tig weld it for me who has been welding for at least thirty years and i am told he is the best around i was just hoping to get some reassurance that a aluminum frame welded by a profesional is repairable and would hold strong and be ok thanks guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    It will be ok and strong. But be sure that when this welder starts welding he will properly clean the welding piece and rod (and use right rod), it will give the strenght. If finished weld is clean and have no black mess around it, then the weld isn't contaminated and is safe to depend on it. But when it has some black mess around it then propably there were left some contaminants (oil, grease or sth like that). Strong and reliable aluminum weld should have shinging and non porous finish on welding bead.

    Aluminum is really easy to weld if you keep your welding rods and welding piece clean.

    Nice shining finish.

    Black mess finish you should stay away from.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Delmont, PA


    Hey Dman,
    My response is based on riding a motorcycle for 54yrs & welding for 47 years. I only offer "food-for-thought" to consider & serious suggestions to contemplate since your a$$ is on the line with a motorcycle frame repair.

    First, for anyone to post "It will be ok and strong." is ridiculous. How can anyone make such a statement not knowing the entire parameter of the damages & especially not seeing the damage...... duuuuuhhhhh!

    1) Where are the cracks located?
    2) What is the extent of the cracking?
    3) Are you sure of the frame material?
    4) What effect will welding produce regarding the HAZ?
    5) Is the person you consider totally familiarized with the stresses, flex, & lateral forces applied to a motorcycle frame?
    6) Why did the frame crack? Seems like some excessive forces were administered because of stupidity by doing idiotic maneuvers like constant wheelies & such. Manufacturers do tremendous research & engineering with their motorcycle frame applications to insure strength & safety. Liability is their primary concern & they cannot be held responsible for the actions of the user beyond the limitations of their design & manufacture.
    7) Is the weldor, who you consider adequate, going to assume liability if something goes wrong after he repairs it? I would wager he will make you sign a waiver from any liability resulting in a post repair accident......that is if he has enough grey matter taking on this repair.

    You better do some serious homework. It certainly indicates this motorcycle was abused beyond its' design. Since you describe the motorcycle as a Kaw. Ninja, being an 'ol timer, we call them "crotch-rockets", you are young & foolish & your testosterone will tempt you. You know I am right.....most are afraid to admit it. Ever experience "road rash"? PAINFUL to say the least. Then again, there's the ultimate get to meet the Grim Reaper. Tread carefully youngster........


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default ninja

    hey man for one i am not young and foolish i have just recently purchaced this bike and i have also been riding bikes for several years and know what i can and cant do on a bike just cuz some of us dont like what u old timers call cruisers dont mean the ones who own crotch rockets all do stupid things on a bike and that kinda makes me a little mad thats just like saying everyone who owns a harley wears colors deals drugs and beats there old ladies so i dont appreitiate just cuz someone who owns a rocket gives u a right to automatically think people ride them hard and yes this welder knows what he is doin he has repaired several bikes works for the company i work at repairing railroads and multi million dollor equipment so im sure he knows what he can and what he cant weld i just came on here to get a little assurance cuz i read that aluminum welds are weak and just wanted to do a little homework like u just mentioned

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default suvi

    suvi that first pic is exactly what his weld looked like on a frame he just finished

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    Any post that starts up with "I have this 200mph missle that I intend to ride through traffic with millions of innocent bystandards nearby.... and I'm just going to weld this critical component...." throws up all kinds of red flags.

    Generally speaking, if you have a crack that happened for no reason.... simply welding it up will not help things. You might even make things worse (create new and 'interesting' stress risers in areas you might not expect).

    Have you considered contacting Kawasaki? They should have repair information associated with that frame. At least for cars, when Audi introduced its all-aluminum frame 8 series, they actually had classes for bodyshops on how to properly repair the frame.

    They should be able to at least tell you exactly what kind of aluminum and what heat-treat was used during manufacturing.

    Who knows, maybe they can even sell you a new frame.

    Other options - contact shops that have experience racing these motorcycles. They would have an idea on what can typically go wrong (why the crack happened in the first place). They might even have suggestions on how to re-enforce the frame so that this particular crack won't happen again.

    BTW, with Audi, I believe the major point they tried to make to body shops is that you couldn't just pull a frame straight. Soft aluminum tends to work harden when you bend it. I don't know what happens to hardened aluminum but I suspect it similar.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Lodi, CA


    Dman, you posted here looking for opinions, you got them. This isn't the place to come if you just want somebody to rubber-stamp your ideas.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Upstate SC


    I would hate to have to diagram that sentence!

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Lake of the Ozarks MO


    Quote Originally Posted by chewinggum View Post
    I would hate to have to diagram that sentence!

    More than likely done on an i-phone.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    A weldor can make a perfect looking weld, but it's the science and engineering that makes it perform. That being said, having someone to perform the weld is the LAST of your concerns in that type of repair. YOU must determine through ENGINEERING and RESEARCH, if the weld will be safe. Or to put it more simply, it doesn't matter what millon dollar whoo-ha the guy normally works on, if you hand him a heat treated part to re-weld, it will be garbage afterwards. Simple enough?
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