Documenting life during the first attempt at restoring a vintage motorcycle.

Similar to the zen -like feeling that is realized through surfing,
motorcycle repair can elevate the mind to a meditative state that eludes time and space...
Meaning I obsess over it, get frustrated, yell, laugh at myself and overall waste a lot of time.


Pieces of the Pie: Man Vs. Magneto

Ok, I must admit that the past few weeks (months?) have shown minimal progress in the rebuild of the motorcycle – the whole purpose of this blog. Had I the time, know-how, money and adequate work space, this project should have been finished in a few weeks… But then the blog would be short-lived and I would need to seek another creative outlet… which would certainly lead to something blowing up, burning down, breaking or getting arrested for public nudity. Nobody wants that. So I will go ahead and say it “I have been lazy, unmotivated and apathetic.” I blame the economy, forces of nature, the oil spill, Thailand, El Nino and my neighbor who thinks I’m washing dishes too loudly on a Saturday afternoon (yes I wash my own dishes).

But alas, I have made some progress. Although it may seem like a small step, removing the magneto cover/ flywheel has been the second most difficult and by far the most time-consuming challenge of the rebuild yet. I touched on the subject in an earlier post. It was a huge pain in the ass, however with the help of Dr. Daniel Galligani and his powerful mustache we were able to overcome the bolt that so firmly holds the flywheel/magneto cover in place. Damn that bolt. After several agonizing attempts, blistered palms and sweaty brows, Danny motioned me aside with a wave of his hand, gripped the crescent wrench and twitched his mustache at it. Miraculously the bolt loosened, and the flywheel came off, succumbing to the mighty forces of his mustache. Anyways, the reason this piece has to come off is so I can re-wire the entire bike. The magneto is a big magnet that spins with the motor and creates the electricity needed to power the spark plug, lights and horn. The main wiring harness attaches to several points underneath the magneto. There are also 4 other bolts underneath that, which need to be removed so I can take the left half of the motor apart to replace the kick-start gear and shaft that apparently broke off. I don't know what those Japanese engineers where doing 35 years ago because this engine was not designed with the intention of ever needing to be taken apart. (Too much Sake while drawing blueprints?)

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