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Learning Motorcycle Mechanics - which engine configeration?

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by jayray, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Im looking into buying an old, second hand <$1K motorcycle to pull apart, put back together, service and generally learn the basics of motorcycle mechanics, maybe even slowly turn into a cafe project as I progress. I have a couple of maintenance books as references, and plan to buy the bike manual along with a basic tool kit. I have an empty garage which will make a small but good space to work.

    I am unsure of what sort of bike / engine configeration is best for a beginner. Will I find learning the basics of a single or parallel twin much easier then an inline 4 or V-twin?

    Can anyone recommend particular bike models that are affordable, easy to work on and somewhat bulletproof? Im thinking Japanese, 1975- 1985ish and in running order (so that I know it works from the outset)

    Any other tips? Cheers.
  2. Do yourself a favour and start on a single. Spares availability is going to be a big issue. Any of the Yammy SRs should do the job.
  3. Hi Jayray. I have a old GPZ at my shop I was about to put on ebay. If you want to come have a look at it let me know. Im in Fiztroy too. 345 St Georges Road or ring the shop on 03 9077 7312.
  4. +1 single cylinder
    or 2 stroke.
  5. The Mole's 3rd Law of Motorcycle Maintenance

    The ease of maintenance is in inverse proportion to:
    (number of camshafts)squared + number of carburettors.
  6. I am looking at doing the same sort of thing myself.
    I have been looking at bike wreckers as well as general classifides.

    Personally I am thinking of a cbr250 because theres alot of them and they are chrashed often.
  7. Personally i would be looking for a dirt bike as they are cheap & easy to get parts for. Dirt bikes are also alot easier to pull apart cause they dont have as much frame, fairings and electrical components to get in the way.
  8. Single cylinder dirt bike or a transverse v twin like the CX 500 would suit & be in your budget.

    All the stuff you will need to learn like valve adjustment, spark plug maintenance, oil filter, carb cleaning, syncing/tuning, etc is easily accessible on the CX 500

    Slightly biased info, but it makes sense to me! :grin:
  9. I'd just get whatever bike you like/can afford, and go from there. If you have something you like, you'll stay motivated and enjoy the results more.

    If you want it to be dead easy and to invest the minimum amount of time possible, look for a bike with:
    Single cylinder,
    2 valves per cylinder,
    Air cooled

    Any bike will be much easier to learn than any car.
  10. Single cylinder.

    XT, TT or SR. All have shitloads of parts available, and are actually bucketloads of fun to ride.
  11. +1 to air cooled.
  12. +1

    Work on what you like. Dont worry how complex something is, there are manuals a plenty, and all it takes a willingness to learn.