Nuts & Bolts

Simple How-Tos, Maintenance, Repairs, & Upgrades

Garage Mahal

Some find rest on a couch reading a good book, some recharge their batteries on a beach tanning under the sun, others find solace doing yoga poses on stand up paddle boards and as much as I find bliss in a snowy mountaintop view, I love a busy garage: the smell of gasoline, the sound of bad music, the cold metal and the hot blowtorch, the clink of a dropped wrench and tinkle of ice in a mason jar of scotch. Todd’s shop is special in this way, crowded with bikes and tools here is the place where bikes and riders properly worship the God of Speed and ply The Carb Whisperer’s expertise. This is the Garage Mahal, a Mecca with every tool you could think of, all the expertise you need and all of the reasons to never leave.

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Against The Wind

Some years back on a cross-country excursion with my old riding pal Mike, while crossing Oklahoma and north Texas westbound on I-40, we found ourselves struggling against 30-40 mph winds blowing north, pushing on us from our left. At highway speed (doing about 75-80), passing or being passed by semis and the crazy turbulence they generate, Mike and I literally had our hands full keeping our luggage-laden touring bikes in our lane. The winds howled two days against us, determined to toss us into the ditch or under some truck’s tires. But we prevailed, albeit completely exhausted. Quite the nerve-wracking stint in the saddle, to say the least.

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Slow Bike Fast

Deposited like an ambulance delivering two terminally ill patients, a pair of ancient Honda Trial 90s were dropped off in front of my house silently; no fanfare, no excitement, no hurry or joy, unloaded quietly, then slowly rolled into my garage, their future operating room.  Last licensed and running when President Clinton was entangled with Monica Lewinsky they languished outside for dozens of years worth of northwest sub-zero temps and triple digit heat.  Decrepit and decaying, my job was to get them running.  I promised their owner I could.  I opened my mouth again.

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Rockin To The Oldies

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to wrench on an older bike, a 1969 Triumph T100. An acquaintance had asked if I could help him get it running again. He had told me the bike would kick over after some tickling and kicking (it’s still a full kick-start), but not stay running more than about 30-40 seconds. Conceding that I am no master mechanic, yet interested in seeing if I could bring it back to good health, I agreed to take a shot at it…

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Great Group Riding Tips

Although it’s sometimes thought of as a solo activity, motorcycle riding is far from it. There is a strong sense of community, great camaraderie, and a large contingency of group functions that are built into biker culture. The simplest form of this is going on group rides – if the thrill of the open road is great to enjoy by yourself, sharing and relating the experience of an exhilarating ride is sure to be amplified if you bring your friends along.

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