Home » It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Who’s Making Metric Magic With Motorcycles?

It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Who’s Making Metric Magic With Motorcycles?

Mechanic Team Reviewing Engine Of Motorbike On Factory
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TOSSABL
TOSSABL
11 months ago

Not a bike, but,
Tuesday I titled a 176k BMW<shudders>.
The good stuff: it’s a ‘98 Z3 M Roadster with a new soft top. Looks like the original plastic cooling system bits have already been replaced. PPO did struts all the way around, and, from the feel and a brief inspection, replaced quite a bit of the important steering pieces. Clutch feels good. No signs of cracking around the rearend.

Already ordered the tensioner & idler pulleys. The PS line that always leaks, leaks. The shift knob comes off in my hand. The oil pump needs to be done. The driver’s window needs to be adjusted before I burn out the motor. The hard top creaks in spirited driving. The aftermarket amp gave up, so no tunes. Both tops leak-and I have no garage. This was an ill-advised purchase

But, damn it’s sharp. And I fit so well it’s as if I wear it, not get in it. They finally opened a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway that’s been closed for 4 years, and it’s pure bliss taking my favorite curves in a capable car. And it’s my first convertible.

Approaching the upcoming 4-day weekend with giddy trepidation

Matthew Skwarczek
Matthew Skwarczek
11 months ago

Does it count if this weekend I’m hopefully doing the last part of “Plan: Put Bags on my Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer”?
Turns out, the rear footpeg/exhaust hanger brackets on the Racer are just different enough from the other V7 III models that I have to put the C-bow mounts for the bags I bought in an unconventional position. But when I put the mounts in a position that lets the bags clear the exhaust, the Racer seat–which is humped in the back and, as it turns out, slightly wider than the other seats–won’t click into place.
So, I had to buy a different V7 III seat from Germany, and hopefully by this weekend my bike will be able to take bags.

A. Barth
A. Barth
11 months ago

Headline: Who’s Making Metric Magic With Motorcycles?
Topshot: a historically non-metric bike 🙂

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Not to mention very non-mechanic looking mechanics.

A. Barth
A. Barth
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Oh, come on, they look totally authentic. 😀

Gubbin
Gubbin
11 months ago

Ugh, still haven’t pulled the carb off the Buell for cleaning. It stranded me after an hour ride and I had to flatbed it home, I assume something clogged a jet. And yes, I plan to install clear fuel line and a filter.
The Cyclone is a delight to work on, as long as I can find the T-27 bit and remember which fasteners are metric and which are SAE.
The whole fleet needs attention though. The SV650 needs a carb balance and fieldmice keep nesting in its air filter, the Zeros and the DR-Z all want their bodywork sorted, the Kubota still needs a trans seal and a spool valve service, the Subaru needs its window gussets replaced…

Jblues
Jblues
11 months ago

Still a shame we can’t post pictures. I bought some VVivvid carbon fiber vinyl and attempted to wrap my jeep’s center dash bezel. It was…good enough. Now I’m 3D printing a top tray for it.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago

What I love about working on motorcycles is manufacturers still encourage it.

The owners manual for any motorcycle is written the way car owners manuals were like 50 years ago – there are detailed instructions on tackling all sorts of in-depth maintenance procedures and troubleshooting various problems. And pretty much any bike comes with a tool kit of some sort, some better than others, but still, a collection of functional tools to actually affect at least stopgap repairs on the road.

Contrast this with our 4 wheeled vehicles and their endless “we really recommend you take it to the dealer” instructions for everything.

Motorcycles are more technologically advanced than ever before, yet they all retain the feel of the visceral ways of the old days b/c of things like this. Pretty wonderful combination.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Hadn’t thought about that before but you are absolutely right.

CSRoad
CSRoad
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

A related item, most Japanese manufacturers are pretty straight forward with selling you the Service Manual for a bike too either through the parts system or directly from their website. They tend to be written with a mechanic in mind though, so for people not so technically experienced, I recommend something like the Clymer Manuals, they usually list alternate tools and procedures as well, which can be quite a saving over the manufacturer’s specialist tools.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago
Reply to  CSRoad

I have a Haynes manual for my Suzuki, and I enjoy that 1) it’s UK market, as clearly there isn’t enough demand here for a U.S.-spec version (“Spanner? WTF is that?! I don’t have…oh, wait”) and 2) it has more faith in my abilities than do I…like you mention, there are a bunch of instructions for fabricating oddball, specific-use tools so you don’t have acquire the manufacturer ones. I appreciate that Haynes thinks I’m that capable.

CSRoad
CSRoad
11 months ago

I’ve been riding for over half a century and early on learned to fix and modify my bikes to suit me. Tools have been accumulated and lost as I went I started with metric and then Whitworth, SAE and now am almost entirely metric again for a good number of years. My newest bike is a ’22 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT, my play toy is a ’99 Honda Shadow 750 ACE “cruiser” that I ended up owning by strange set of circumstances, it looks like easy prey, but it is quite quick for a Shadow, thanks mostly to the work and writings of the Hawk GT cult that still exists. It is a potential hand grenade, but so far it has held together for 3 years in its current configuration with a 7,500 rpm max. shift point and a 8,000 rpm limiter, the stock engine makes a max. of 36 rear wheel hp @ 5,500 rpm.
As you can imagine the torque curve has moved right at the expense of the low end and the gearing has changed to compensate.
In reality the performance is about the same as the stock Kawasaki 650 twin.

The amazing thing about bikes these days is how reliable they are if you just perform regular factory scheduled maintenance, lube, filters, tires, brakes, and try to change the gas often. (-; It is not unusual for bikes to make 100 or even 200 thousand miles before major overhaul quite unlike the bikes of the 1960’s & 70’s, when 25,000 was considered good. Even drive chains and sprockets will last 20 or 30 thousand miles on a street bike now days, which is good as I dislike shaft drive and think belts are a poor solution to an already solved problem.

JDE
JDE
11 months ago

I happened to get a hold of a road star 1700 with fuel injection. it was kind of by accident, but to be honest outide of needing 6th gear, it seems about the same as my HD softtail Deluxe for the most part. it works, I would never have purchased it new as I preferred the Yamaha V-4’s or the Honda flat six over a harley clone, but I am past that now and just like to ride about anything.

A. Barth
A. Barth
11 months ago

Who’s Making Metric Magic With Motorcycles?

THIS guy! *points to self with thumbs in ironic and exaggerated fashion*

The one modern bike is due for an oil change. Managed to hose a forearm tendon a while ago, reducing grip strength to near zero, so haven’t been riding. 😐

The 1980s dual-purpose bike needs to have the rear fender, taillight, and turn signals installed and a good bath, then she’ll be ready for a vintage event next month.

The cafe project got a good boost a few weeks ago. I wanted wire-spoke wheels for this one, which generally meant drum brakes front (dual leading shoe) and rear. However, someone on a forum I frequent had been given some interesting parts when he bought a project bike. One of those items was a frame with a wire-spoke front wheel… with a disc brake! He got it for free so he gave it to me for free, which was very nice of him. I like the retro look of the drum brake but the disc is a better option from a safety perspective.

I think the rest of that frame may become a Predator-powered mini bike. 🙂

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
11 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Sorry to hear about the forearm tendon, that has to be tough.

A. Barth
A. Barth
11 months ago
Reply to  Inthemikelane

Thank you. It was my own fault, lifting something the wrong way like a dope. 🙂

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
11 months ago

For our recent purchased 2009 Ford Ranger 4.0 with manual transmission, I had to replace the lower hose of the radiator since it was slowly leaking. So easy to do it! then I started to notice the transmission was a little rough to put into 1st gear, so I replaced the transmission oil, it improved a lot 🙂 youtube is my friend for this truck, they are so easy to work on (so far) lol

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago

Saab electrical diagnosis is hell. And by hell I mean I’m pretty fucking sure that the only way anyone has ever fixed one of these involves live human sacrifices. Not goats.

Current weather conditions are: LITERALLY HAZARDOUS TO GO OUTSIDE and have been all day. PM2.5 has been between 290 and 325 (!!!) which makes our current AQI worse than New Delhi. I had to go out, and I NEEDED an N95 mask. Which if you have any experience wearing correctly, you know generally doesn’t help with the smell. Which is atrocious – I know what a wood fire smells like, I know what a forest fire smells like, and this is more like someone threw Tupperware full of PVC jacketing on the green wood fire.

Which thankfully has put me off the current plot to buy a Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive. That and a lack of accessories for 2003-2008’s. There’s a really nicely kitted 2003 with 35k in blue local to me for $3850, an ’04 with 40k and some scratched paint for $3k, and an ’06 in silver with faded black plastics but just 12k miles for $4k. They’re goddamn tempting.
So it’s your job to talk me out of buying a Burgman 650 Executive.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

You should do it. Burgman (Burgmen?) are excellent, a friend had one and it was a blast. Do it.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

<user has marked this reply as NOT HELPING THE ADDICTION>

A. Barth
A. Barth
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Which accessories do you want that are not available for the ’03-’08 models? And do they really matter?

Go get the ’06. 🙂

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Cargo. Cargo bits. And the seat(s).

A. Barth
A. Barth
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Yeah, seats are pretty important. D’oh.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Yeah. I mean the seats on it are probably perfectly fine and have lots of miles left. But if I bought it, it’d basically be a lifer. And the only standalone is Corbin (and I hate Corbins) and Day-Longs are a thousand bucks now. Hard to justify on a ‘fuck it’ money scooter.

CSRoad
CSRoad
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

If the seats are foam with a cover stapled on a pan, you may be able to DIY modify them or have an upholstery shop do it for you. In general terms there are videos out there showing what is involved modifying motorcycle seats, including foam carving and substitution, the main keeper advice I have seen given is don’t try to do it with a manual stapler.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
11 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

That crap is coming my way across southern Ontario. Wildfire smoke has derailed outdoor plans twice now through making outside being hazardous.

I really don’t want to do any garage work and expose my lungs to the particulate. Working on my RAV4 was a battle against rust and using lots of hand tools since not many things on it can be serviced using power tools. It still needs front control arms replaced. That involves either loosening the front subframe or raising the engine. Ugh.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
11 months ago

I’ve been avoiding tracking down the whiney noise coming out of the Mini when you turn the steering wheel. I’m hoping the pump is just low on fluid because I hate working on that car. Love driving her, tons of fun! But this car was not made with the mechanic in mind.

Chris Moore
Chris Moore
11 months ago

Had to get a full set of metric tools for the new bike. Cars are all GM in the house so full set of SAE. That said,as an adv, got bars for the handguards, headlight protector, luggage rack and trunk, and a side stand foot extender. Bike is seriously well equipped otherwise with stock luggage (that sucks, but the racks are decent rear crash protection, a crazy heavy duty skid plate, and all the creature comforts you’d expect of a touring bike: wind protection upper and lower, heated grips and seat, cruise, and all the traction/slip/etc control to keep you from being too stupid.

I can’t wait to hit 600 miles and change her oil and get out of break in mode.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris Moore

What kind of bike?

Chris Moore
Chris Moore
11 months ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Husky Norden 901 Expedition. Pick in the planes-bikes-other channel in the Discord.

CSRoad
CSRoad
11 months ago
Reply to  Chris Moore

Always good to get out of break in mode, I recently went through that on my Versys 650 LT.

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