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Classic Motorcycles: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Diagnose Motorcycle Carburetor Problems
Carburetor problems generally fall into three areas. Diagnosing carburetor problems is relatively easy and follows some telltale symptoms.
Motorcycle Engine Rebuilding, the Basics
Rebuilding a motorcycle engine can be very easy (a single cylinder 2-stroke) or complex (a multi-cylinder 4-stroke). But the same basic rules and procedures apply, regardless of the type or size. However, the sequencing for doing an engine rebuild is very important to the ultimate success of the project.
The 10 Worst Handling Motorcycles of All Time
Some motorcycles just handle badly! But which classic bikes make the top ten for worst handling bikes of all time?
Working as a Grand Prix Mechanic
All sports are intense at the highest levels, perhaps none more so than Grand Prix motorcycle racing. The pressure on the riders is intense, but it is too on the mechanics. One mistake by a mechanic and it would not matter how good the rider was.
Shaft Drive or Chain Drive?
If the final deciding factor on buying a classic motorcycle was whether it was chain or shaft driven, which way would you go? Both final drive systems have advantages and disadvantages.
The Ten Best Handling Motorcycles of all Time
Taking a great engine - the Bonneville - and mating it with the handling of a featherbed produced this iconic motorcycle: the Triton.
Motorcycle Frame and Engine Numbers
For information about a specific make or model of a motorcycle, the owner must have the frame (chassis) and engine numbers. Locating a frame number on an early machine, especially one that is dirty and in need of restoration (barn fresh for example), can be challenging.
What's a Bobber and Why Do Some Motorcycle...
Done properly, a bobber is a motorcycle that has had unnecessary components removed (unnecessary in the opinion of the owner) and is styled to the owner’s taste—no rules.
Polishing and Buffing Motorcycle Engine Cases
There are few more satisfying tasks when restoring a classic motorcycle than buffing and polishing the engine cases. With some basic tools, and a few hours work, the surface on a case can be transformed into a chrome like finish.
Ten Best European Classic Motorcycles
European motorcycles are characterized by their styling, handling, and in the case of classics, by their unique riding experience. We take a look at ten of Europe's best. Page 2.
How to Bleed Your Motorcycle's Brakes
Bleeding motorcycle brakes is not difficult, but as this task is obviously safety related, it is very important to follow correct procedures.
What is a Cafe Racer?
Most motorcyclists have heard of cafe racers. But what are they, and where did the name come from?
How to Fix the Carburetor on Your Motorcycle
Fixing a motorcycle carburetor need not be a daunting task to any reasonably competent mechanic. By following some basic guidelines the bike can be up and running again in no time.
Painting Motorcycle Parts
Painting motorcycle parts is relatively easy. By following some guidelines, the home mechanic can get good results.
Why a Motorcycle will not Start
There are many individual components on a motorcycle that can, if broken or damaged, stop the engine from starting. But in essence, an internal combustion engine needs three things before it will run.
How to Make a Motorcycle Cable
Making a motorcycle control cable is relatively easy and requires few tools. If the cables are to be made from scratch, the mechanic must first establish the length of the outer cable. Page 2.
75 Years of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Sturgis, South Dakota, is a must visit place for any classic, historic or vintage motorcycle owners. This year’s rally will mark the 75th anniversary of this classic motorcycle get-together. If you are heading that way this year, be sure to say hi to Brittney Olsen who will be riding a very special Indian in the flat track race.
It's Boring, but Someone Has to Do It
The first indication that a motorcycle engine requires a rebore, and/or new rings, is when the rider or mechanic notices the engine emitting smoke. This applies primarily to 4-strokes. On 2-strokes the rider will notice a drop in performance and difficulty in starting.
Classic Motorcycle Wiring
To completely rewire a motorcycle, the owner or mechanic must have considerable previous experience, or at the very least, the ability to read a schematic wiring diagram. That being said, it is a relatively easy task.
Just How do you Ride a Sidecar?
Throughout the history of the motorcycle, sidecars have been attached to most solos at one time or another. But learning to ride these machines takes a special skill set.
Start Your Motorcycle the Right Way after...
Protecting the various components and systems during long periods of storage, such as winter time, ensures a motorcycle will be in good condition when it is time to ride it again. However, if a motorcycle was winterized, it will need some basic checks before it is ready to ride.
Classic Bike Ignition Systems
There are two common ignition types associated with classic bikes: contact points and fully electronic. One of the shortcomings of the contact point ignition system is the tendency for the heel on the points to wear, which has the effect of retarding the ignition.
Painting a Motorcycle Fuel Tank
Of all the paint finishes on a motorcycle, the fuel tank is the one that most people will be drawn to. It is, after all, the most prominent item on a motorcycle. In the case of a motorcycle restoration or in a situation where a fuel tank has received damage in an accident, the tank should be repaired and resealed on the inside first.
Setting Motorcycle Valve Timing
Knowing the timing system before disassembling or reassembling an engine is critical, but one aspect of timing comes before all others: crankshaft position.
Motorcycle Handling Problems
For the classic bike owner with a motorcycle that does not handle well, there are some changes (even modifications) that will improve the handling of his machine. However, before making any changes, it is very important to establish what is causing the handling problem and in particular when did it start?
Custom Helmet Painting
Personalizing riding gear by painting helmets is something motorcyclists have done since the very beginning. The home mechanic, with access to basic painting equipment, can transform a standard helmet into a custom designed unit.
Motorcycle Handling Problems and Suspension...
For most street riders, the handling of their motorcycle rarely comes into question unless something is worn or broken. However, occasionally the suspension settings will need adjustment.
5 Pieces of Motorcycle Riding Gear for the Hot...
Putting clothing on during hot weather seems crazy. But for the classic motorcycle rider who wants to be safe and cool, there are some specially designed pieces of riding gear to consider.
Making a Motorcycle Wiring Harness.
Replacing the wiring harness, or loom, on a motorcycle is a relatively easy task but can be time consuming.
First time Restoration of a Classic Motorcycle
For the average mechanic with a set of good quality tools, the restoration of a classic motorcycle should not be beyond his or her capabilities.
Carburetor Balancing Using Vacuum Gauges
Carburetor balancing on multi-carb, multi-cylinder engines is very important. The most accurate method of balancing these types of carburation systems is by using vacuum gauges. When attached to the inlet systems, the vacuum gauges measure the amount of vacuum drawn on each gauge as the engine is running.
Don't Pay too Much for a Classic Motorcycle
How much should you pay for a classic motorcycle? Let’s face it: sometimes your heart rate will be the determining factor. But if you’re concerned about practicality, it is essential to do a little research when considering purchasing a classic motorcycle.
Classic Motorcycle Identification
Identifying a classic or vintage motorcycle is generally easy, but every now and then, a motorcycle comes up for sale with none of the telltale pieces intact. How to identify a classic or vintage motorcycle.
How to Build a 60s-Style Cafe Racer
Building a cafe racer today is even easier than it was in the 60s. With such a well known style, specialist suppliers can be found for almost every item.
Motorcycle Trials for Vintage and Classic Bikes
Motorcycle trials were one of the earliest forms of competition for motorcycles. The courses generally consist of a number of sections laid out on natural terrain. Each rider must complete the sections without stopping, or placing his feet on the ground.
How to Set Up Ignition Timing in Motorcycles
Setting the ignition timing on motorcycles with contact point ignition systems is relatively easy. By following a few basic rules the home mechanic can set his or her timing with just a few hand tools.
Motorcycle Oil Advice
How often should you change oil on your classic motorcycle? What is the correct grade for your bike? Should you use additives? An oil company expert answers these questions and more.
Kawasaki Triples
The Kawasaki three cylinder 2-strokes were unique motorcycles. For street bike performance, the H1 was unrivaled; at least as far as acceleration was concerned.
600-cc Superbikes
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Motorcycle carburation - Just what is a Rich or...
For an internal combustion engine to run properly it needs three things: gasoline, air (compressed), and a spark. However, having the gasoline/air mixture ratio right is very important for performance: too rich or too lean will affect the performance.
Adjusting and Inspecting Motorcycle Clutches
By far the most popular clutch design is the multi-plate layout. Depending on the rider and type of riding he or she does, most multi-plate clutches will last for many thousands of miles. Typically, the first indication that the clutch is in need of maintenance is when it slips under heavy acceleration.
Classic Motorcycle Mechanics – Basics to...
For all mechanics, learning how to undertake mechanical work must be done in stages; it starts with basic jobs and progresses, as the knowledge base increases to more challenging work.
Vespa
History of the Vespa scooter. The first Vespa's were designed by aeronautical engineer and inventor Corradino D'Ascanio, with the first machines being offered to the public in 1946.
Swapping Motorcycle Engines
Motorcycle engine changing, or swapping, has not been limited to café racers. Many motorcycle owners have created their own versions of the ideal motorcycle by replacing the stock power unit—some out of necessity, some by choice. However, although it sounds simple to do, fitting an engine into another manufacture’s frame is not easy and there are many safety implications to consider first.
2 Stroke Engines – Operating Principles
The working principles of a 2 stroke are the simplest of all internal combustion engines. They have the least number of moving parts and are becoming popular amongst classic bike collectors.
Plating Motorcycle Parts at Home
For the home mechanic who may be restoring a classic motorcycle, there are some plating kits on the market designed specifically for home use or do-it-yourself plating.
How to Transport Your Motorcycle
There are many ways of transporting a classic motorcycle, but the main priority is to safeguard the bike during the trip.
First Time Riders on Classic Motorcycles
Riding a motorcycle for the first time is often exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. If the bike happens to be a rare classic, the owner will be very nervous too. But there are some basic riding rules that the first time rider must adhere to that will alleviate some of the potential problems.
How to Make Braided Brake Lines
There are few more useful modifications to do to a motorcycle than replacing the rubber brake lines with braided stainless steel lines. For the home mechanic, this task is relatively simple. Page 3.
Starting a Barn Find Classic Motorcycle
For the new owner of a barn find classic motorcycle, there is a great temptation to put fresh gas in and attempt to start it. However, considerable damage can be done to an engine without some basic checks being done first.
How to Restore a Motorcycle
Restoring a classic motorcycle seems like fun, on the face of it. It is, however, a long process requiring dedication, organization, mechanical skills and some tooling. But, for the most part, it is not beyond the average owner with good mechanical skills to restore a classic motorcycle.
JAP Engines
John Alfred Prestwich is famous for a number of designs including cinematography equipment. But he is best known for his motorcycle engines known as J.A.P. engines.
Balancing Twin Motorcycle Carbs
Carburetor balancing on twin-carb engines is very important. Each carb must supply the same amount of mixture (fuel and air mixed) for the engine to run smoothly, develop good power, and maintain fuel economy
Conditions Affecting the Values of Classic...
The condition of a used motorcycle is is generally described by one of six conditions: perfect, excellent, very good, good, fair and poor. But what condition must a motorcycle be in to fit into one of these categories?
Honda Classic Motorcycles
The largest selling motorcycle of all time, the Honda C series.
Right or Left Side Gear Change Levers
Learning to ride a motorcycle with the gear change on the opposite side to what a rider is used to takes time and practice. However, once mastered, it will allow the rider to transition from one system to the other easily.
The Yamaha XS650
The Yamaha XS 650 has a large following all over the world. This basic robust machine has been used in almost every conceivable form of motorcycle style. From commuter bikes, to road racer, drag bike to café racer, the XS has been a great success.
Disassembling a Motorcycle Engine--4-strokes
Disassembling an engine sounds easy, but there are some major points to consider if it is ever to run again!
How to Balance a Spoked Motorcycle Wheel
Balancing a spoked motorcycle wheel is a relatively easy task. By following some basic guidelines a competent mechanic can ensure his wheels are balanced.
10 Reasons to Stop Riding Your Motorcycle
Riding on when a problem arises on a motorcycle can be dangerous. Sometimes it is imperative to pull over and check.
4 Stroke Engines - Operating Principles
Drawing of the component parts of a 4 stroke engine.
Motorcycle Repair Prices
For the owner/rider who does not want to work on his or her classic, finding a good dealer is important. Arriving at a fair price for service or repair is important for both dealer and owner.
Motorcycle Cylinder - How to Check Without...
Checking the internal condition of a motorcycle engine with a cranking pressure tester is a simple task the home mechanic can undertake.
Classic Motorcycle Frame Welding Types
The early bicycle frames used the lug construction method of frame assembly. Later motorcycle frames used various welding types including brazing, shielded metal arc, MIG and TIG to join the various tubes.
Excelsior Motorcycles - USA
The name Excelsior was used by three separate companies, one in the UK, one in the US and one in Germany. Excelsior USA was famous for their board track racers. They used racing to promote their machines, and even had a race track on the roof of the factory!
Restoring a Vespa Scooter
The restoration covered here is of a VBS Vespa, with GS specification modifications. Although this restoration was performed by a professional company, it gives the private owner/restorer an insight into what is required to make the older Vespa’s serviceable again.
Motorcycle Mechanics – Removing Fairings,...
Before doing maintenance or repairs on motorcycles, it is sometimes necessary to remove fairings, tanks, and seats. Although removing these is relatively simple, for the beginner, there are some important does and don'ts.
Suzuki TS Motorcycles
The TS250 is a reasonable all round classic motorcycle. Prices for an early example in excellent condition are relatively low at $2,000 compared to an equivalent Yamaha DT1 at $4,200 which would suggest the Suzuki is due for a price increase.
Checking Ignition Timing Using a Timing Light Gun
Ignition timing lights or guns offer an invaluable way of checking the ignition timing dynamically. Most modern gauges also offer RPM reading and dwell angle checks on LED screens.
The Honda 305
There are many popular classic Hondas around, but the early 250 and 305 models (CA71 and C76) are particularly popular due to their reasonable prices and part’s availability.
Motorcycle Chrome Plating
With a few exceptions, all parts on a motorcycle have undergone some painting or plating process; the most well known of plating processes is, of course, chromium plating. The highly reflective bright finish of chrome has long been a favorite of manufacturers and owners alike. But what is chrome plating?
Classic Motorcycle Racing, TZ Yamahas
The TZ Yamahas have won more races than any other make or model put together, and for good reasons. As there are so many different models, a prospective buyer of a classic TZ, must do a lot of research before buying.
Adjusting Motorcycle Cables
Adjusting the free play of motorcycle control cables is a relatively simple job, but there are safety issues that must be considered.
Motorcycle Wheel Building
Although the job of replacing rims and spokes on a motorcycle wheel is somewhat complex, it is not beyond the competent home mechanic.
Replacing Bearings and Seals in Motorcycle Cases
During a motorcycle engine rebuild, it is good practice to replace the bearings and oil seals. The cases will need to be heated to expand them (away from the bearings and seals) and in so doing will make it easier to drift them out.
Triumph Motorcycles
Follow the history of Triumph motorcycles from its foundation in 1902. Famous for their sporting background, the company was the largest producer of motorcycles in the world during the 1960s.
Diagnosing Motorcycle Noises
Occasionally, a motorcycle will develop a noise that is not typical and needs serious investigation. For the most part, noises can be both traced, and the root cause diagnosed, without disassembly.
Classic Motorcycles and Gasoline
For the most part classic motorcycles will operate without problems when using modern gasoline formulas. However, there are a number of precautions the owner should take, particularly when storing his or her bike.
Which is Best, 2-Stroke or 4-Stroke?
The main advantage of the 2-stroke was its power to weight ratio and its reduction in moving parts compared to the 4-stroke. Alas, with emission legislation getting tighter all over the world, the days are numbered for the 2-stroke.
Motorcycle Engine Disassembly (in the Frame)
Disassembling a motorcycle engine can seem a daunting task, but with careful preparation, this is a relatively easy job.
Motorcycle Tires, for Vintage and Classics
Motorcycle tires for newer bikes are easy to find, but older bikes - classic and vintage - it can be a challenge. Luckily there are a few dedicated suppliers that help to keep the wheels turning on some of the oldest bikes.
Indian Motorcycles
The early 1900s saw an outbreak of new motorcycle companies. In the US, a company whose name would reflect and embody the country’s history was also established. The Indian Motorcycle entered the field.
Suzuki RG500
The Suzuki RG500 Gamma is based on the factory racing machines. It is more of a racer replica than a straight street bike. With a power to weight ratio of 95 hp: 340 lb's, these fast classic 2-strokes are highly sought after.
4 into 1 Classic Motorcycle Exhaust Systems
Of the many performance enhancing items to be made for the Japanese bikes, none were more popular than the 4 into 1 exhaust systems.
Adding Badges and Studs to Leather Jackets
Adding badges or studs to a leather jacket is relatively easy. By following some basic guidelines, the owner can personalize his or her jacket with some basic tools.
Aermacchi
Most enthusiasts in the US are familiar with Aermacchi Harley Davidsons, but before joining Harley, Aermacchi produced many classic motorcycles in their own right.
How to Maintain and Adjust Drum Brakes
Many classic motorcycles use drum brakes. These simple, reliable brakes have been around since the beginning of motorcycling. Adjusting and maintaining them is also relatively simple.
How to Change a Motorcycle Tire
Classic motorcycle tire changing is something the home mechanic can undertake with a few tools and an understanding of the intricacies of the job.
Replacing Motorcycle Sprockets
All of the components on a motorcycle wear. One of the first items to need replacement is the drive chain and/or the rear sprocket.
Replacing Motorcycle Cables
Sooner or later a classic motorcycle owner will need to replace a control cable. Replacement may be part of a restoration project or due to a breakage, but either way, routing and following the correct procedures is very important.
Five Things not to do When Braking on a...
Motorcycling is not without its dangers and incorrect use of the brakes can make it a whole lot worse.
How to Race Classic Sidecars
Learning to race a sidecar is not easy, especially if the race track has many different corners to master. The skills required are special to this branch of motorsport and bring much satisfaction to crews piloting them.
Classic Motorcycle Exhaust Systems
Classic motorcycle owners are unlikely to have problems with noise outputs as many countries exempt older machines from the current laws. However, to keep a motorcycle period correct, classic restorers must ideally find NOS (new old stock) items or modern replicas for their machines.
Riding Vintage and Classic MX
Some of the most popular competition events for classic and vintage machines are MX, or as they were originally known, Scrambles. Learning to ride these machines fast takes practice.
Kawasaki
Kawasaki has produced many significant models over the years, predominantly with an appeal to sports riders. The knowledge gained in international motorcycle competition (including Grand Prix racing and world Superbike) has been used to good effect on many of their street machines.
Collecting British Bikes
Ask a non-motorcyclist to name a classic bike and they would probably pick a British bike. Early Nortons, Triumphs and BSAs are considered typical classic motorcycles. But for someone considering buying a classic British bike, where do they start looking?
Nuts and Bolts Thread Identifcation
Identifying left or right handed threads on bolts or nuts is easy when you follow these tips.
Motorcycle Seat Re-covering
For many classic bike restorers, having the seat recovered is a must. Removing the old cover is relatively simple. However, before paying to have the seat professionally re-covered, the owner should check to see if there is a cover available, or a complete seat, as a spare part.
The Servi-Cycle
Servi-Cycles were manufactured by the Simplex Manufacturing Corporation in New Orleans. The little 2 strokes were produced from 1935 to 1960.
Motorcycle Exhausts - 2-Stroke Expansion Chambers
As motorcycle engineers gained more knowledge of the 2-stroke and its working principles,it became obvious that to increase power they needed to have a method of varying the exhaust port timing. The invention of the 2-Stroke Expansion Chamber was the result.
Motorcycle Forks, Seal Replacement
Problems experienced with front forks typically range from stiction, due to worn bushes or bent stanchions, oil leaks due to pitted stanchions or worn seals. However, the forks must be removed first to affect any repairs.
Japanese Motorcycles, Four History Changers
From the 1960s onwards, Japanese motorcycles dominated the world’s markets. Of all the motorcycles designed and produced in Japan, the following four were highly significant for differing reasons when offered to the motorcycle market.
Replacing Motorcycle Valve Guides
During the service of a cylinder head, the mechanic is often faced with the question of whether or not to replace the valve guides. The good news is that by following the correct procedure, replacing guides is relatively easy.
Finding TDC
When setting valve clearances or ignition timing, the mechanic must first set the crankshaft in the correct position—typically at a set distance or angle BTDC (Before Top Dead Center).
1950s Motorcycles
In the early part of the twentieth century, motorcycles were little more than cycles with a motor. As each decade saw new technology introduced, the machines of the 1980s were similar in name and concept only. Page 6.
Motorcycle Wheels
The evolution and development of motorcycle wheels have typically followed performance increases. But not all new designs were successful.
Yamaha DT1
The Yamaha DT was not only a perfect fit into a gap in the motorcycle market, the timing of its release was also perfect.
Motorcycle Electrical System Service
The electrical system on a classic motorcycle is a typical example of a system that requires special attention for service and inspection. Electrical system or component failure can, in most cases, be avoided by these simple checks and some basic maintenance.
Measuring Motorcycle Pistons and Rings
Measuring the amount of wear on pistons and rings is relatively simple (once an engine has been disassembled) and requires few tools, primarily a feeler gauge.
The Yamaha RD Motorcycles
First introduced in 1972, the RD range of 2-stroke twins were developed for street use from the Grand prix racers of the 50s and 60s, firstly in air-cooled form, then later with water cooling (known as the RD LC range).
Motorcycle Painting
Motorcycle fenders, arguably, are subject to the most abuse from the environment, from riding (trials and MX bikes in particular) and from mechanicing. Sooner or later they will a repaint. With a careful approach, this job is relatively easy.
How to Adjust a Motorcycle Chain
To ensure safety and longevity, motorcycle chains must be correctly tensioned and lubricated. For most classic bike owners, this is a simple task. But there are some important aspects to consider. See a step by step guide to motorcycle chain adjustment.
How to Remove Damaged Crosshead Screws
Using impact drivers on cross-head screws (even new ones) is good practice and will avoid damaging the screw head in most cases. Page 2.
Can-Am Bombardier
Bombardier has produced some interesting vehicles over the years. From tracked vehicles for traveling over snow to motorcycles to PWCs, Bombardier has produced something for most types of terrain.
How Not to Crash a Motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle brings pleasure to many people, but riding is not without its dangers. Learning the limits of a particular machine will go a long way to avoiding crashes.
1960s Motorcycles
In the early part of the twentieth century, motorcycles were little more than cycles with a motor. As each decade saw new technology introduced, the machines of the 1980s were similar in name and concept only. Page 7.
Military Classic Motorcycles
Motorcycles have been used in combat from the beginning. Classic motorcycle enthusiasts looking for a reasonably priced classic, with a plentiful supply of parts, should consider ex-military motorcycles.
Hardware, Bolt Identification
For the classic bike owner who performs service and repairs on their bikes, the ability to identify bolts is essential.
Classic Motorcycle Wheel Alignment
Checking the wheel alignment on a classic motorcycle is relatively easy. Although this is not part of a regular maintenance schedule, it should be undertaken on an older machine, especially during a restoration.
Suzuki GS1000
The GS Suzuki’s were very popular in the late 70s early 80s. They were good all round bikes, being capable of long distance touring on the one hand, or production and superbike racing on the other.
Motorcycle Flywheel Removal with Pullers and...
Special tools are essential for certain jobs on classic motorcycles. One job in particular is removing the flywheel from the end of the crankshaft.
Setting the Ignition Points Gap
Setting the points gap on motorcycles with contact points type ignition is essential to ensure correct ignition timing. Luckily it is a relatively simple job.
Hot Tips for Hot Weather Motorcycle Riding
Riding a motorcycle in hot weather requires some planning. In some areas it can be too hot for man and machine.
Motorcycle Service – Mechanical
Although each classic motorcycle will have different specific items to service (see owner's manuals where available), they will all need some general service. For instance:
Top Ten Ugliest Motorcycles of all Time
Over the years, all of the major motorcycle manufacturers have produced beautiful classics and some ugly brutes, too. This list of ten ugly motorcycles represents the views of many riders as to which motorcycle deserves the title of ugly.
Replacing a Broken Brake Bleed Nipple
The design of brake bleed nipples makes them prone to seizing and braking, particularly in older motorcycles. Luckily, removing a broken brake bleed nipple is relatively simple.
Classic 250 2-Strokes
For many riders, a 250-cc 2-stroke was their first experience of a performance street motorcycle. In particular, three Japanese machines had a large following when new, and are being collected now as classics. The three in question are the Kawasaki KH, the Suzuki X7, and the Yamaha RD.
Power Jet Carbs
One of the simplest, and most effective, updates to stock competition motorcycle carburetors were the fitting of a power jet. Mikuni introduced this design primarily for their TZ350 in 1979.
Motorcycle Cylinder Head Service
High mileage engines generally need their valves re-seating and their seals (where fitted) replacing. For the home mechanic, servicing the cylinder head will generally be limited to decoking the combustion chamber and re-seating the valves.
2-Strokes; The Good, The Bad, and the Very Ugly!
The 2-stroke motorcycle engine holds a special place in the classic motorcycle scene. The venerable 2-stroke dominated most forms of competition and produced record sales in many categories. But it was not all good news, some 2-stoke powered bikes were just poor and some ugly!
Problems Starting a Motorcycle After Storage
There are number of items that can cause a motorcycle not to start after being in storage. We take a look at some of the common problems, and what to look out for after storing a motorcycle.
Classic Motorcycle Parts--Grit Blasting
To return a motorcycle component (such as a frame) to its original “as new” condition often requires the use of a sand or grit blaster. However, there are some important rules to follow before grit blasting.
Rotary Engined Motorcycles
On the face of it, rotary engines are ideal for motorcycle applications. Unfortunately they have a number of inherent problems. Included in these problems are apex sealing issues, overheating and the exhaust emissions.
10 Things Everyone Should Know About Classic...
Before getting into classic motorcycles, there are a number of important things to consider. Classic motorcycles are often considered investments. But just like stocks or shares in a company, values can go either way—up or down!
Starting a Classic Motorcycle Club
Before starting a club, it is essential to research the legal requirements, if any exist for your type of organization. The legal requirements generally revolve around the status of the club and its tax reporting status.
Kawasaki Z1300
Kawasaki produced the longest manufacturing run of street bikes with a six-cylinder engine in the Z1300. Today these six cylinder motorcycles are amongst some of the most desirable, and affordable, classic machines available.
Riding Vintage and Classic MX—Intermediat...
Events for classic and vintage MX bikes are very popular. Many old MX machines are being restored and ridden by old and new riders alike. Learning to ride fast on these machines takes lots of practice.
Spark Plugs
Examination of a spark plug can tell a lot about the conditions within a cylinder. From worn rings (oily deposits) to incorrect jets, the spark plug's condition is representative of the workings of a cylinder
Motorcycle Gearing, Changing the Final Drive...
Many classic motorcycle owners change their bike’s gear ratios. This is particularly true on racers, but it does apply to street bikes too.
Classic Motorcycle Tire Changing
Classic motorcycle tire changing is something the home mechanic can undertake with a few tools and an understanding of the intricacies of the job. Page 9.
125 Grand Prix Racing History
2011 will see the end of this era when the last race finishes at the Spanish track of Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana. The 125-cc Grand Prix class will be missed by many, but rest assured, the little machines will be seen for years in classic racing.
Suzuki Motor Company
From loom manufacturing in the early 1900s, to major auto and motorcycle manufacturing in the 2000s is a big jump, but Suzuki did it.
Building a Classic Racing a Superbike
Not everyone has the skills to build a vintage or classic racing superbike, but for those who have, the results and enjoyment are plentiful.
Yamaha RD/RD500
Two Japanese companies motorcycle dominated the 500 GP class between them from 1975 until the introduction of MotoGP in 2002: Suzuki and Yamaha. Both built replicas of their racers: the Gamma and the RZ500R or RD500LC.
Triumph 'C' Series Oiling Systems
The Triumph 'C' series motorcycles have some unique features in their oiling systems. Some very important do's and don'ts must be followed on these machines to avoid disaster.
Motorcycle Electrics
Sooner or later a classic or vintage motorcycle will need its wiring harness or wiring loom replacing. For the home based mechanic this is not a particularly difficult job as long as he or she follows some basic guidelines.
1970s Motorcycles
In the early part of the twentieth century, motorcycles were little more than cycles with a motor. As each decade saw new technology introduced, the machines of the 1980s were similar in name and concept only. Page 8.
Classic Motorcycle Riding – Intermediate...
To enjoy riding a classic motorcycle to its fullest, a rider must consider all of the safety aspects. Besides having his machine in first class condition with regular maintenance, the rider should ride defensively as the road conditions demand.
Development of Motorcycle Front Suspension
Motorcycle designers have tried many different ideas for the front suspension on a motorcycle. Leaf springs, like those fitted to some cars, were used on some early motorcycles. Page 2.
Motorcycle Frame Modifying Using Jigs and...
Modifying a frame is often done to personalize a motorcycle--building a café racer, for instance. But these modifications must be done carefully so as not to compromise the integrity of the machine.

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