“Tech Tid Bits”
Unseen tech from the cutting room floor
by Daniel Donley
Originally Published August 2019
“Doin’ The Ton”, what does that mean? It means you’re going 100 miles per hour or more. Last month I finally achieved my 100th Tech Article so here is to “Doin’ The Ton” and more! Over the last 100 tech articles. I have come across many that didn’t contain enough content for a complete article. Now size doesn’t always matter but in this case… This month I am going to go through a few of those smaller tech pieces that didn’t quite make the cut.
The Flapper Shaft
This s a great tool to add to your deburring and sanding arsenal. Yes, you can buy these but why would we do that, when you can make one your damn self. The Flapper Shaft consists of a piece of ¼” diameter rod or 1/8” depending on your application. This fits into the collet of your die grinder and allows you to sand, smooth, deburr in those tight areas. So here it is in a nutshell, piece of round rod cut to your desired length, at one end with a hacksaw slice down through approximately 1”. This slice will allow you to insert folded sandpaper. You will also want to round or point the cut end, so you can reach into those tight areas. The Flapper Shaft works great for cylinder head porting and polishing and any hard to reach areas because you can control the size of your folded sandpaper.
The Cone Flapper
Much like the above, but here we use premade cylinder or cone sanding drums. What you want to do here is cut halfway through the drum or cone approximately ¼” to ½” back then spread open the cut point. This will also reach into those tight nooks and crannies for any deburring process. The Cone Flapper is a bit more controllable and precise than the flapper Shaft above.
The sandpaper stick, emery board/fingernail file that thing your wife uses to make her nails look pretty. These sandpaper sticks fit right into your wallet. And I have found many times to be very useful to have. Yes, I just said a fingernail file is a useful tool to have. So, you’re out on the road and burn a set of points up. You partially rip of one of your fingernails while in the shop… You have a big scab on your big toe… Sandpaper on a stick will smooth the points and get you home. Keep your from saying cuss words because your catching that fingernail on everything. I have actually used it to smooth out that gnarly scab on my big toe… Must have been bored that day.
We are all tuners and tinkerer’s so here’s a neat little tidbit. A simple way to get additional life out of a set of fouled spark plugs is to sandblast them. You don’t really want to use coarse sandblasting media but if that is all you have it will work. I have done this to spark plugs numerous times and the results is that they work just fine. Also, while we are on the subject about plugs, be sure to use copper anti-seize on the threads of your spark plugs, the copper is for heat applications and the anti-seize does what it says. Just to add one more here, you can use a sharpie to place a mark in line with the electrode arm, this will allow you to index the plug for best combustion.
Multi Meter, I don’t know how many times I have heard people say I have no idea how to use one of those things. Here is a simple breakdown. Typically, they have a dial that you turn to many different selections of numbers and weird symbols, these symbols can be overwhelming and intimidating. There are three major settings on a Multi Meter that we use for diagnosing problems with our bikes.
V-DC – Which means Volts Direct Current
Our bikes operate on 12 volts V-DC.
Select the number on your Multi Meter closest to 12 volts, this is typically 20
You have a RED + POSITIVE lead and a BLACK – NEGATIVE lead that comes from your meter.
V-DC allows you to check the voltage on your battery, check your charging system voltage while your bike is running to verify your charging system is working properly. Typically, 12.5 to 14.2 V-DC
Also, to see when your taillight is not working to know whether it is a voltage issue, or you just have a blown bulb or fuse.
OHMS – ? – Refers to Electrical resistance of a component or wire.
Select the OHMS on your Multi Meter
Using the RED and BLACK leads coming from your meter for testing a wire or component.
An ignition coil on an old shovel head has 2 wiring connections one on either end. Place one lead on each end this will tell you how many OHMS resistant your coil is. More than likely it is going to be 3 or 5 OHMS if you have 0 OHMS your coil is junk throw it in the trash.
If your OHMS reading is low or high this will tell you that it is still junk and not functioning correctly. That might be why your bike is missing so bad.
Your starter button engages but will not crank the motorcycle, there is a little wire that runs from that switch all the way down to your starter. Put one lead on each end and check the OHMS resistance. You want to see here is 000’s. If you see a high number or nothing at all that means, there is a lot of OHMS resistance in that wire and it cannot send proper voltage to your starter to make it engage as it should.
V-AC – Volts Alternating Current
V-AC is typically used to measure 120 or 220 volts in your house or your shop wall circuits. Why do I need to know this? Bikes that we ride the charging systems are typically 32 Amps stator, the stator creates V-AC from there the V-AC is transferred to the regulator which converts to V-DC then charges your battery. I have seen many times people replace regulators and batteries when they were fine. When actually the charging system stator was junk.
With your Multi Meter on V-AC jumpstart the motorcycle and get it running. Remove the plug from the stator in the front of the engine. You will want to bring the engine to a high idle approx. 1800 RPM insert one lead into each hole of the stator plug. You should see approximately 32 sometimes a little more or less. This is verifying that the stator is functioning properly. Typically, with these they either work or they don’t. IF the stator checks out properly use the above V-DC checking process to verify that the regulator is charging the battery.
This is only a few of the many different little tech pieces that are not quite big enough for a tech article by themselves. Have you ever heard the saying we can conquer more in masses? Well, we have all come across many different problems, situations and fixes with our bikes, so, let’s all come together and pass the torch around, share our problems and fixes. Stay tuned for 99 problems…
Calling all readers and industry professionals……….Submit problems WITH fixes 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 or email me with your idea!
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the shop anytime 419-576-6812
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