After all the Maker talk this week at a conference I attended, I was keen to spend some quality time in the garage working on the 35 year old XS1100 basket case. It’s easier to walk the walk than talk the talk when it comes to Making. Unlike the education approach infused with collaboration for your own good, I did it the way I always do: alone in a garage. It’s wonderfully cathartic to get something broken working again, and meditative when I don’t have to explain everything I’m doing.
How do you get a 35 year old motorcycle left outside for several years unattended working again? Very carefully!
The front brakes were seized, the throttle body was seized, the rear brake is still seized, as are other things I haven’t found yet. Motorcycles aren’t like cars, when they’re left in the world they don’t have a shell protecting the mechanicals from the weather. Restoring a car tends to be more mechanically salvageable as a result.
I ended up having to take the end carburetor off the rack of four Mikunis that line the back of the Yamaha engine. It was the most carboned up and filthy one, and the grit had seized the throttle body rod. A complete dismantle, cleaning and reinstall has the carb working again (before this you couldn’t move the throttle body without great effort and a nasty creaking sound…
It took a couple of hours to break it down, find the problem and rebuild it.
|It was pretty before, but the Mikunis are even prettier now that they work!|