We explain how anodizing works, show how to remove a deteriorated coating, then discuss and demonstrate options for replacing it
When Trent found out about a way of using baking soda gun to clean up bike parts we were dead keen to give it a go. All you need is an air compressor with a duster gun, some plastic line, insulation or gaffer tape and a supply of bicarbonate of soda. (more…)
Waz and Pete demonstrate how to make and use your own simple soda blasting kit from cheap parts
It’s warming up in these parts and I’m getting closer to putting the swingarm back on my bike. Since Trent made me a linkage bushing in the last episode, I’ve been gathering new bearings and seals, getting the swingarm powdercoated and even fabricating my own chain slider out of a special hard-wearing plastic. (more…)
Waz replaces his rear swingarm bearings, showing how to press them in and out while explaining the different types of bearings involved
The winter months are a great time to catch up on bike maintenance, so I have finally removed the rear suspension from my Cagiva Elefant 750. I bought the bike secondhand a few years ago and was prepared for the worst when I finally got round to this task. (more…)
Some of the Garage Nighters come home with trophies in hand after Mountain Madness in the Pyrenees
Missed part 1 of our KTM fork conversion?Click here. This is it. After two years of theorising, trial and error, parts fabrication and emptied beercans, we’re ready to bolt the new forks on to Richard’s Beemer. (more…)
A Garage Night special project: kitting out a BMW F650 Dakar with KTM White Power forks
Garage Night TV has turned 10! Well, it’s our 10th episode, anyway. In this instalment, Pete replaces the rear wheel bearings on his Honda Africa Twin 750 – and gets a nasty shock when he finds what some previous mechanic has done in this department.(more…)
Trent assembles Waz’s wheel with new spokes and nipples – then gets it running true
Trent and Pete are back from Mountain Madness 2008, and Pete’s KTM 950 Adventure is in need of a new chain and sprockets. It has actually spat out a couple of rollers – not something I have seen before, but an obvious sign of serious wear and tear. (more…)
It’s a key area of wear and tear on a bike, and especially a big trailie – so replacing the steering head bearings is one of the essential jobs you’ll have to come to grips with on a long trip, or just as a long-term owner. Continue reading →
I will always remember Simoncelli’s last 30 seconds or so and the amazing battle he had just been having with Alvaro Bautista – some of the year’s best racing and pure Super Sic at his determined best. I hope people will remember those penultimate moments at least as strongly as the awful instant in which he was killed.
There are plenty of people in MotoGP and WSBK who have somehow crashed their way through a career without coming to serious harm, but without achieving much either, other than creating a pile of bent bikes, while better racers missed out on a ride. Continue reading →
So thanks for all the emails asking if we’re planning to do more episodes. The answer is yes. We’ve been just been quiet over the (northern hemisphere) winter because it’s just been too bloody freezing to hang out in an unheated garage drinking beer, spannering bikes and waving a camera about.
But we’ve all been busy with our own projects. I decided to paint the ugly front subframe on my Cagiva Elefant 750 and touch up the engine side cases and belt covers, which the dreaded ‘previous owner’ had allowed to get into a horrible state. That snowballed into painting the whole engine, which meant taking the heads and barrels off, so while I was at it I did the valve shims – finally conquering one of the tasks most feared by the Ducati home mechanic. If you have a two-valve desmo Ducati there are videos here and here that break the job down into a fairly simple procedure, complemented by a pretty decent write-up here (read carefully though – it does get a bit out of sequence at one point). Basically you just need to be methodical and stay on top of the measurements. And don’t drop anything down the oil return holes! Continue reading →
If the bead won't break and you don't need the tyre, there's always the Stanley knife option ...
Changing a motorcycle tyre usually would not involve a Stanley knife, but this was something of an extreme case. I got hold of a spare back wheel for my Cagiva – all it needed was a wipe clean and some sprocket bolts. And some fresh rubber.
I have changed the tyres on my bike several times in the past year and was actually looking forward to putting my skills to the test once again. The more you practice, the quicker you’ll be on the side of the road in less than ideal conditions.
Well. First, Richard and I used his tried the conventional method using the centrestand of his F650. Then we tried the sidestand. Neither worked, and now the sidestand is bent (Richard charitably noted that there was already something wrong with it and he needed a new one anyway).
I’m not quite sure what it is, but my nerves are jangling. Maybe it’s the sunnier, longer and marginally warmer days we’re having in these parts as a nasty winter slackens its grip at last. But more likely it’s my inner biker emerging from a gloomy winter of hibernation.
Waz's way of getting through the winter - a vintage Dawes King Pin bicycle from the 1970s. Lesson learned: 1200 grit wet and dry paper soaked in WD40 is great for removing that fine speckly rust from old chrome
Through the cold months I’ve actually been questioning my biker side – staring forlornly at my partly dismantled Cagiva with lots of cruddy bits that need attention, inwardly lamenting my lack of proper workshop facilities at home, juggling working on the bike with family life, and even asking myself whether the bike thing is worth my time any more.
I ploughed my way through the winter on my folding bicycle, a veteran Dawes King Pin from the 1970s that someone on Freecycle gave me. I’ve been riding it partway to work and back each day, and actually I’m hooked on cycling now. I even got to put some of Trent’s know-how on wheelbuilding into action by replacing five spokes and truing up the rear wheel. All this pedalling must be doing me some good too, because despite my age carving a deep furrow through the upper 30s I just bought a pair of the same size Levi’s as three years ago. Continue reading →
Nick and Pete from Team Garage Night on Exercise Autumn Wander
Here at Garage Night we’re between episodes at the moment. We nearly filmed one on bleeding Etienne’s DRZ brakes, but we started the night by helping BMW Noel with fitting a rear shock. He’s off riding Africa from top to bottom so the job had to be done.
The shockie job ran late, so we put the camera aside in the interests of getting both bikes finished and out the garage door.
Missed part 1 of Chain and Sprockets? Click here. With the old chain taken off and consigned to the trash, Trent and Pete remove and examine the old sprockets, install the new ones and rivet the fresh chain in place on Pete’s KTM 950 Adventure. Continue reading →
An overview of a bike’s wiring harness, or wiring loom. This spaghetti-like confusion of wires and plugs is the backbone of the electrical system – and after a ride across a partly flooded South American salt lake, the KTM’s needed replacing. Pete gives a brief rundown on rear suspension compression, rebound and preload settings, and how the shock and spring are a single unit but do different jobs. Continue reading →