Article By: Daniel Donley
Originally Published In The February 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Over the previous months I have been reaching out to you readers and industry professionals seeking a problem or situation and its fix. So, here are some of the problems, from being broke down on the side of the road. To some situations in the shop like, Fabrication, painting, electrical, troubleshooting etc… Here is a good mix of some of the “99” Problems!
Gas Cans we all have them. We use them for our lawnmowers, yard equipment and toys. Over time, that little vent on the top back side that allows free gas flow typically
gets broken and lost. Then you find yourself going to the gas station and on the way home you find the can squirting gas all over the inside of your wife’s car. Here is an awesome fix to that. I like to use a valve stem, yes… a valve stem. Start out by drilling out the old vent to the size of your valve stem. Use a piece of coat hanger or wire to fish it through the gas outlet back to the venting area. Now grab hold of the valve stem and pull it through until seated. You also need to remove the valve stem core. So, air can flow freely while pouring. When not in use put the valve stem cap on and this will seal up your new super awesome gas can vent. Submitted by: Casey Merillat, Defiance Trailer Sales
When building a new custom motorcycle from scratch we all know
there are many variables that we have to deal with. We have decided to mount a custom hidden spring kickstand to our new ride, but weren’t sure where to mount it or how high off the ground? I come up with trick a long time ago, With the bike straight up and down take a level and place it on a flat surface beneath the bike. Then place the kickstand assembly on the bike resting on the level. I have found that most are 2 to 2 ½” thick, this represents how high the kickstand is off the ground. At this point you can tack weld into place, then lean the bike over carefully and check and make sure the lean angle is what you’re looking for.
Hand Grips, every motorcycle has them. Over time they can get sticky, yucky and worn out. One way to add a little life to your worn-out grips is to use some grip tape to cover them. A few wraps around and they will look a hell of a lot better than they did. What is nice about using grip tape like used on hockey sticks or bats is that it has is a little tacky. So, the next time you want to throw the front wheel into the 12 o’clock position you know you will have a nice firm grip. Submitted by: Lee Champagne
Another custom bike building challenge can be fender mounting.
When mounting your rear fender and you stand back for a look, you realize the fender is sitting on top of the tire at your desired location typically a half inch or more. But you realize there is an issue. The actual radius cut out of the side of the fender no where near matches the line of the rim. A cool cheap tool, to mark out a new radius is a 5-gallon paint stick. I cut a V at one end, then mark and drill a small hole the size of a pencil or sharpie marker will fit at the line of my rim. Then you sweep tip to tip of the fender with the centerline radius marking tool, this will establish your cut line to trim to a super sexy look.
Zip Ties! They are necessary evils to hold things into place, wiring, cables and such. Here is a little twist on how to use a common Zip tie and s little bit of tubing to create a little standoff. Your imagination is your limitation with this. Cut a piece of tubing, the color of your choice that will match your bike. Run the zip tie
through the tubing around your frame or handlebars then back through the tubing finally around cable or brake line. Check out the picture on this one and it is difficult to put into words but so simple to do.
When you live in the hills your daily commute can be up one or down one. The variation of elevation can play tricks with your carburetor. Here is a cool little trick to make your idle screw easily accessible and adjustable while on your daily ride. You can solder or braze a small washer into the slot of your idle adjustment screw. For making those on the fly adjustments quick and easy. Whether you’re on top or the bottom of that mountain. Submitted by: Lee Champagne
Here is a shop tool trick. A Vice, we all have them in our shops. Typically, they have steel jaws. Those steel jaws can sometimes mar up a precious part. A quick and dirty trick I like to
use. Once again Paint Sticks…. Cut a paint stick to the length of your jaw times 2 and use some masking tape to hold in place…BOOM soft jaws. It works, try it!
Here is a good one for all you travelers. We all pack only necessary things on our motorcycle, tools, spare parts and such are always at the top of the list. A spare throttle cable is always a good idea. A great place to stow that spare throttle cable is around your headlight or better yet remove the headlight from the bezel and place the wound-up throttle cable inside and replace the headlight. Submitted by: Lee Champagne
Still travelin? A spare clutch cable is also a good one to have on extended trips. Unfortunately, they are thick and stiff making them difficult to wind up and stow away. Place your spare clutch cable right behind your existing one and zip tie into place. This one will be ready when you are! Submitted by: MR. High Life
Calling all readers and industry professionals to submit your problems WITH fixes and PICS to the email below (Bikes, Shop Equipment, Paint, Tools, Etc.) If there is something that you would like to see a Tech article on please call me or email me with your idea! If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the shop anytime 419-576-6812
Daniel Donley, Pandemonium Custom Choppers
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