Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Crap You Need To Know When Buying A Secondhand Motorcycle.

The BikeTech7 Guide to being a Punter.
Here's a collection of abbreviations and descriptions to help you out when you're buying, or have already bought, a secondhand motorbike.

P.O. — Previous Owner. 
Will very likely soon be known as butcher, bodger, tosser, or worse once you begin to work on your newly-purchased motorcycle. They probably talked the talk at the P.O.S., but unfortunately very few have walked the walk, and those little intricacies only show up once you get it home. Marvellous.

P.O.S — Point Of Sale.
This is usually a point of great happiness for the new owner, and a point of utter elation for the P.O. He will be struggling to hold a straight face as he counts out the readies and dreams about getting down to the pub for a couple of swift halves. Once you ride that bike out of his driveway, any previous mention of warranty, help or even basic friendship is null and void. You are now on your Jack Jones.

P.O.S. — Pile Of Shit.
Yes, it's a clever abbreviation this one and could mean two things. Right after the first P.O.S., you become familiar with P.O.S. number two. Riding out of the driveway and there's a nagging doubt in your mind as you become familiar with a braking system unfit for a pushbike, and the steering ability of a shopping trolley run over by a cement truck. But it all fades to oblivion because "the rebuilt motor has got some go in it". Whoop!

Rebuilt Motors.
There is a fair chance the P.O. was being completely honest at this point. The engine, or motor guv'nor, has indeed been taken to pieces and then rebuilt. 
However, no parts were changed during this transaction because it would've cost an arm, leg and probably his old boy too, so it was slung back together with the old parts and flogged on to the next unsuspecting punter. Hopefully, and if you're very lucky, it'll get you home... this week.

"I'll bloody kill meself on it!"
This guy is fast, and should've been racing. He's had more police chases than you've had underwear and needs to sell it before... he bloody kills himself. A quick look at the tyres will give you some indication of his incredible pace. They'll be fucked... in the middle.

"Not for the faint hearted."
It was once a quick bike... twenty years ago, but time hasn't been kind to this fella. Under delusions of something, he will harp on about how fast it was and how he can still overtake an R1 on the back wheel without even using the clutch. It was pushing out 147BHP at the wheel, back in the day, but he just can't put his hands on the dyno sheets.

"The parts are here somewhere."
Sometimes a bike comes with spares — awesome! 
You really want the oojamaflop valve to put back on at a later date, and he's adamant it's in the garage. "It'll show up and I'll send it on" he says reassuringly... you will never see that valve. He will throw it in a skip rather than send it to you. Forget about the valve, it's gone.

"Only selling due to family commitments."
His three-legged dog has to go in for its fourth hernia operation, the wife wants a new car or the kids have an expensive drug habit. Whatever transpires at this point will probably be a lie. Best not to ask. Put your hand up to his face, say I'm not interested and try to check out the bike as best you can. 
If, as you ride away, a bandaged-up, three-legged dog strolls by with two lines of coke on his back being chased by some fucked-up kids, you might've picked a good bike after all. Happy days.

"I tuned it myself, it'll pull one-sixty."
It wouldn't pull a pram. He's banged on a Chinese K&N air filter but left the jetting standard. The "race can" is just the original with its internals removed by jack hammer, but it will run fine on choke... for a while... until the valves burn out.

"It's all there, just needs putting together."
It's not all there, and some of the parts that are have been damaged beyond repair. Very often used in conjunction with another little gem we call "Easy restoration". This, of course, is utter bollocks. It would be easier, and more pleasurable, to chop off your old boy, whack it in a slice of bread and call it a sausage sizzle.

"Perfect for learner rider."
It doesn't go quite as well as it should, in fact the engine is knackered. Grandma is pulling better standing quarters on her invalid carriage, and looks better getting there.

"Regretful sale."
The only regret here is gonna be yours.

"Serviced regularly" or "Over-serviced"
Of course it was. It's had a couple of oil changes and the plugs were out once. The sump plug threads are only stretched because the P.O. had no idea how to tighten a bolt. But he did insist on using genuine supermarket oil "because they're all the same".

"Must sell, moving interstate."
Because as soon as this little beauty is sold, he's going to put as much distance between him and it as is humanly possible. It could also be a double bluff so you don't come back to his house asking for a refund.

"Always garaged."
On February 29th... without fail.

So there you have the, slightly tongue in cheek, sceptical guide to buying bikes. Buyer beware people. 
Now who wants to buy a mint, one-owner GSX750ESD with low miles and fully-rebuilt set of carbs? And it ain't for the faint hearted.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Suzuki GS Engines — Checking Valve Clearances.

Basics — why do we need clearance?
In an ideal world, the combustion chamber in an engine would be completely airtight during the compression stroke. However, due to basic mechanical inefficiencies, there will always be blow-by somewhere. But by keeping this to a minimum, your engine is able to produce good power. 
Possible ways for the air/fuel mix to escape could be via the piston and rings, through a failed head gasket or the valves in the cylinder head. Because we're dealing with valve clearances today, we'll stick with those. 
In modern engines, the poppet valves in a four-stroke engine are either machined perfectly to form a seal against the 'seats' in the head, or lapped in with grinding paste to match them together (older engines). Springs then hold them tight against the seat and, voila, no air leaks. 

Suzuki GS550E. In this pic you can see the two camshaft lobes above their respective bucket and shim. The cam cap is removed because some clown (previous owner) stripped a thread — in fact they mullered a few of them and decided to replace them with some coarse-threaded bolts! Marvellous.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Queensland Raceway with Champions Ride Days — 28/2/2016

Hot day at QR.
Considering I wasn't that bothered in going to this one, and only made my mind up at 4.00am on the day, it was a cracker! Good old Bry picked me up and we stopped for the obligatory Wild Bean coffee on the way. All signed in and even scrutineered before 7.30, much to the dismay of one of the guys checking the bikes. Never mind, a bit of cheek from Bryan about doing some work soon had him smiling, or grimacing — it's a wonder it passed! 
Will and Leigh, of Billeigh Photography, were already here and set up with a table, chairs and various other luxuries. It seemed rude not to make use of the facilities.

The car crew were all out on track doing laps and then... well, looking under bonnets. I took some pics of the bikes in the meantime while we waited for Dave to arrive.