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check your rims, often!

last thursday evening, on my way home, TW560 experienced a major problem: a rim broke whilst going around a corner at about 55 km/h.

it was a harrowing experience.

first of all, a big bang. then loss of most maneuverability. after that, VERY ugly splintering and scraping sounds coming from behind whilst trying to break and trying not crash into some containers just a few metres away.

after what seemed an eternity, TW560 came to a shuddering halt.

nearly crashed into those containers!

nearly crashed into those containers!

i stayed in the TWIKE for a few seconds to draw some deep breaths and then got out.

what i saw hurt my heart! bits and pieces of my beloved TWIKE were strewn along the road for about 30-40 metres.

TW560's ex-rim

TW560’s ex-rim

the rim and wheel arch cover were way back and metal scratch marks were visible on the tarmac for dozens of metres > something got some serious abrasion during the ordeal. (i just hope it isn’t the battery cases!)

around 30-40 metres of scratch marks

around 30-40 metres of scratch marks

although this is not the first time this has happened to me, it is certainly the first time at higher speeds.

TWIKE rims are not exactly the sturdiest part of the vehicle. TWIKEs were not made to be driven like i do (i do like my G’s when going around corners). they are (were) made by a company called grimeco. the aluminium quality is low to begin with and some of the rims in the past had some type of contamination making them even less reliable.

part of the rim

part of the rim

during a typical year i usually replace about 3-4 rims *BEFORE* they break, Thomas Möckli and I keep checking them continuously.

This time, however, the rim that broke today was more or less new: just 2 months old and had done about 2500 kms mostly on motorways.

Ouch! Look closely and you will find a lot of broken things!

Ouch! Look closely and you will find a lot of broken things!

very, very bad!

very, very bad!

dazed, i pick up the broken wheel, wheel arch cover and all the bits and pieces i can find lying around.

then, i call my insurance and to my surprise they agree that it would be a good idea if thomas möckli, the person who usually services TW560 could come and pick it up – they would cover the costs.

TW560 ready to be picked up

TW560 ready to be picked up

then i call my wife and ask her to pick me up.

slowly, the magnitude of what has happened starts to sink in: i was really lucky not to crash into anything and even luckier not to have gone off the road somewhere high up or hurt someone during this event.

TW560 looks like it might be repairable – i’m sure it won’t be for free, however!

i’ll keep you posted!