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Classic Motorcycles: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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?
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 Ten Best Handling Motorcycles of all Time
To come up with a list of the ten best handling classics of all time, it is necessary to select one considered the best. Most riders who have experienced a Norton Featherbed’s handling will use this chassis to judge all others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is a Cafe Racer?
Most motorcyclists have heard of cafe racers. But what are they, and where did the name come from?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4 Stroke Engines - Operating Principles
The working principles of a 4 stroke are relatively simple. Popular amongst classic bike collectors, 4 strokes have powered motorcycles from simple commuter bikes to Superbikes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Making a Motorcycle Wiring Harness.
Replacing the wiring harness, or loom, on a motorcycle is a relatively easy task but can be time consuming.
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 road trip.
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.
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.
Honda Classic Motorcycles
The largest selling motorcycle of all time, the Honda C series.
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.
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.
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.
Welding Motorcycle Frames
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
Restoring a Vespa Scooter
Although the Vespa’s have proven to be reliable machines, during a restoration a scooter must be fully disassembled to check for damage or cracks on the chassis which may need welding.
Motorcycle Gear Change Levers, Left or Right?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
Hardware, Bolt Identification
For the classic bike owner who performs service and repairs on their bikes, the ability to identify bolts is essential.
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 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?
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.
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 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.
Motorcycle Riding in Cold and Wet Weather
Riding in wet or cold weather can be very challenging for motorcycle riders. The different grip levels on hot dry days compared to wet days is enormous. Keeping safe is often down to common sense does and don'ts.
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.
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.
Most enthusiasts in the US are familiar with Aermacchi Harley Davidsons, but before joining Harley, Aermacchi produced many classic motorcycles in their own right.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three Classics from Kawasaki
Kawasaki has produced some great bikes over the years. Many of these bikes are classics today and are highly sought after. Some of these classics are valued around $2,000, while others are nearer to $20,000! We take a look at three examples.
Nuts and Bolts Thread Identifcation
Identifying left or right handed threads on bolts or nuts is easy when you follow these tips.
British Motorcycles, Cotton
In keeping with many of the early motorcycle manufacturers, Cotton’s heritage can be traced back to bicycles. However, founder Frank Willoughby Cotton was one of the first to realize that bicycle frames had limitations when an engine was added.
Five Classics for Less than \$5,000
With a budget of $5,000 a potential classic bike buyer can find a lot of machines. Within this price range are machines that are relatively recent, generally from the mid to late 80s.
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?
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.
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 Remove Damaged Crosshead Screws
Many motorcycles suffer from damaged cross-head screws. Luckily the repair is relatively straight forward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Welding Repairs on Classic Motorcycles
Occasionally a classic motorcycle will have a bracket break or the machine will be involved in an accident which requires the use of welding to produce an effective repair. The owner of a classic, whose machine requires welding, must make some careful decisions before committing the motorcycle to a welding or fabrication shop.
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.
Motorcycle Carb Problems
Motorcycle carburetors are simple devices that generally last for years and require on basic maintenance. Occasionally, however, they develop faults which can be easily traced by following a basic diagnostic sequence.
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.
Buying a New Motorcycle Helmet
The most important safety item for a motorcycle rider to get is a helmet, so when it comes to buying a new helmet, price must not be the only consideration.
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.
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.
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.
Villiers Motorcycles
Thanks to the recommendations of Frank Farrer, Villiers 2-stroke engines have powered many different classic motorcycle manufacturers’ products, and everything from lawn mowers to milking machines.
Motorcycle Gearboxes
Periodically (depending on the mileage) or during a restoration, a motorcycle gearbox should be checked for wear. In addition, if the gear change is not working properly or if the oil contains large amounts of swarf, the gearbox must be inspected.
How to Drive with a Trailer
Having the knowledge to drive a motor vehicle with a trailer attached has many advantages. For the classic bike owner looking to take his classic to a show or to a race, etc., having the knowledge to drive with a trailer is essential.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Suzuki GT750
Combined with direct oil injection, the Suzuki GT750 was a sophisticated motorcycle in its day. It was produced from 1971 (GT750J) to 1977 (GT750B) after being shown to the public for the first time at the Tokyo motor show in 1970.
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.
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 Restoration--Parts Lists
For a complete classic motorcycle restoration, an extensive list of replacement parts will almost certainly be required. Establishing this list at the outset will save a lot of time.
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.
Development of Motorcycle Front Suspension
Motorcycle designers have tried many different ideas for the front suspension on a motorcycle. From girder forks to race car style links, the steering and braking assembly on the front of a motorcycle followed many different design concepts.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Royal Enfield Motorcycles
Established in England in the late 1800s, the name Royal Enfield is still used today on motorcycles made in India. The company can rightly claim to have one of the longest running production runs of any motorcycle with their Bullet model.
Sidecars as Military Vehicles
Sidecar development throws up many interesting and unusual facts, not least of which is the many names they have been call including: chairs, combos, combinations, hacks, side-hacks, outfits, rigs, platforms, three wheelers. But whatever they are called, the net result of fitting a sidecar to a motorcycle is fun. Page 3.
Classic Motorcycle Carbs
Motorcycle manufacturers have tried many different types of carburetors on their machines since the beginning. But it was the CV (Constant Velocity) type carburetor that ultimately became the accepted carburetor for motorcycle (and scooter) use.
Motorcycle Storage – Winterizing Your...
For many classic bike owners, winter is the time to do essential repairs or maintenance. However, winterizing the bike first is a high priority.
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.
Triumph TWN
Triumph motorcycles were manufactured on two different continents. The German TWN (Triumph Werke Nurnberg) manufactured motorcycles from 1903 to 1957.
Development of Motorcycle Controls
Almost every mechanical and electrical part on a motorcycle has been redesigned at some point. For example, for many years motorcycle manufacturers offered a decompression system to aid starting.
Tools for Motorcycle Mechanics
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Owning a classic
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.
Honda CB750F Restoration
The management of the Honda importers in Canada kindly agreed to let members of their riders’ association (all employees) to restore two motorcycles which ultimately will be on display in their museum. A CB750F and a CX500 Turbo.
Classic Motorcycle Racing, High Performance...
Although the early 2-stroke race bikes were not easy to ride, they were, and still are, great fun to race. But before going onto a race track for the first time, the rider must do some research.
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.
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.
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.
Before Top-Dead-Center (BTDC)
Definition of: Before Top-Dead-Center (BTDC)
Motorcycle Wiring
Rewiring a motorcycle is a relatively simple task as long as some basic guidelines are followed.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 Engine Break In
During a restoration, the engine and gearbox will most likely have been rebuilt with new parts. As with a new bike, a rebuilt engine will require a period of running in.
Watsonian Sidecars
Sidecar development throws up many interesting and unusual facts, not least of which is the many names they have been call including: chairs, combos, combinations, hacks, side-hacks, outfits, rigs, platforms, three wheelers. But whatever they are called, the net result of fitting a sidecar to a motorcycle is fun. Page 2.
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 2.
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.
Replacing Spark Plugs
Changing a spark plug is probably the easiest job on a motorcycle, but if you've never done it before, a little guidance is always welcome.
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.
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 Frames, History and Development
The first motorcycles consisted of an engine bolted or clipped to an existing cycle frame. However, development was rapid. Within a short time there were single and double loops, monocoques, backbone, frontbone, and many variations of these designs, being used for frames.

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