… And the Art of Motorcycle Maintanance

A badly accessible battery
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Making messages online is topical work. In the production of the monthly magazine Auto Motor Klassiek is much more rest and planning. And that would be even more relaxed if online readers would subscribe. Because the monthly magazine is still the cork on which we float. The daily online news costs nothing. And such a subscription to AMK? That costs almost nothing.

All in all: after getting a fresh baguette my faithful sidecar combination no longer started. I lost the battery. This caused some delay in online planning this morning.

Taking a step back is good

Losing things for the mildly growing group of people who consider a step to just riding a real motorcycle again is a field of tension. Modern engines are very good, require little maintenance and there is almost nothing you can do about them without diagnostic software. And if there is an engine manufacturer who says that his engine is the ideal platform for your smartphone, then I quit.

Quite a few people who pick up motorcycling again run into the fact that modern motorcycles do not give what they hoped for in their nostalgia: Freedom. Some kind of adventure. That which you can pay maximum does not guarantee maximum fun. Classics have a much higher emotional impact. For yourself as a rider. For smiling passers-by. But riding a classic requires considerably more involvement than riding a modern motorcycle. The people who understand that become happy. The others drop out and remain brain dead.

In my classics, I walk around the thing once before every ride

Is everything still there? Do I not see loose or missing nuts and / or bolts? I take a look at the control cable ends to see if I see any fraying. Check the play of the coupling. The tire pressure. I see if at least the brake light works. Check the different fluid levels. In addition, my old mopeds have their service visits every 2500-3000 km. The result is that I almost never have any problems. Except for that just lost battery. I recently moved that battery outside. In the frame of the Ural combination such a battery is mounted which is unpleasant to service. This problem was solved with a sidecar-mounted battery box (Praxis beam carrier in half coats and width with a piece of PVC from a forgotten breadboard) in the context of Russian Free Thinking.

Everything was constructed with things that were still there. Including the used rubber strap that once held the battery in place on another engine. That 'once' apparently had an expiry date. The rubber strip had broken. The battery had just dangled from its wires. And had escaped. I live in a not so big village. Walked back to the previous stop. And with the Aldi someone had bothered to put the battery neatly on a wall. Fine. And then you come to something that is also typical for classics: The tools. The battery was improvised back in place with the on-board tool plus a set of tie wraps. Problem solved. For a moment. The finish will come this afternoon.

Roadside repairs

From this self-motivation angle, a new - or at least a different - cylinder was once mounted on the way. A certain kind of Mercury outboard bearing was found to fit in the front wheel of an old Kawa. The spark plugs of a Ford Taunus 12 M fit in a Liberator. Mad gimbal splines were intimately connected by piercing the case with an 8 mm drill and inserting a bolt. But those are repairs. But they are repairs just done on the go. There was no unemployment benefit or repatriation service. Except the one time when the shaft drive of a classic Guzzi did “what they otherwise never do”. A steel part that simply broke. Endearing. An email to TLM resolved the matter: they had such a piece of iron complete, but used in stock. Cost seven bucks. Can't say anything about it. The roadside assistance from then was my Lief. She pulled the Guzzi and its skipper home behind her BX. There she said: "You had your turn signal on!" I replied: "you were driving so slowly that I wanted to overtake".

But again: With classics it is advisable to check before every ride if everything is in order. Still stuck. Is still present.

And that book 'Zen and the art of etcetera?' That is the best known, least read book among motorcyclists.

Rightly so.

An inaccessible battery.

A tight plan!
You don't see that coming. But it is easy to repair an en route. If you just arrange another cylinder.
You don't want to be on the road like that

But some things are really unexpected and terminal.


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The May issue, containing:

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1900 Opel Rekord 1972 S Coupé auctioned at Catawiki

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Land Rover 109 'Station wagon'. Spartan pleasure for Gerrit de Vries