Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sprocket to Me

The above photos show a front chain sprocket from a Honda CM400. If you have ever wondered when you ought to change a sprocket, if yours looks like this then NOW is the time. Honestly, months ago was probably the time, but don't sweat the small things. The last image shows the amount of material that was lost between the original item and a spanking new sprocket.

Personally, I'm going to polish this thing up and use it as a throwing star for any wayward ninja vagrants.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Bike Has Been Making A Lot Of Noise Lately

Rocker arms
What you see in this picture is the chewed up rocker arm of a 500cc single. A few months ago this bike came in with that really bad top end noise and it turned out that it didn't have ANY oil in it. It ran for a little while longer after refilling it, but it eventually died.
When we took the bike apart, we discovered where that very awfully loud noise was coming from: one of the rocker arms had worn paper thin, so the clearance between the rocker arm and the valve got rapidly bigger, making all that racket and the piston was worn out, too.
The damaged rocker was on the exhaust side. The engine would suck in fuel but because there was a big gap between the rocker and the valve, it wouldn't really open, not releasing the burnt fuel, causing it to not run anymore. The piston got damaged also when it was run low on oil, so it's getting a bigger Wiseco piston now!
So there is an upside: Our customer took the opportunity to make the engine faster and better and it'll run like a bat out of hell once we're done with it!
He's also doing some custom work to it, will post pictures when done! It should turn out pretty nice.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nom Nom Nom Nom!

Hi, girls and boys!

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I wonder what my bike would do if I let the rear brake caliper eat my rain cover while I'm in motion?" Needless to say something exciting, as one befuddled but ultimately lucky customer found out in person.

Thankfully, even a totally gummed up and immovable rear wheel from Bavaria won't stop this bike from rolling about. Utilizing the very latest in modern sportbike transportation technology, we set the wheels in motion, cleaned this puppy up, and set it off roving.

Stay frosty out there.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sweet 16...

On August 1st, 2010, Werkstatt turned 16. In some countries this is the legal drinking age. So cheers! Here's to 16! And you are allowed to now finally ride a motorcycle. That's something we here at Werkstatt have been doing for far longer than 16 years. I got my drivers license 22 years ago, and most everybody that works here has been riding since a young age.
My wrenching habit is turning 22 also if you count the many hours I spent on my first bike, a kick start only XT500 that constantly broke down, to the point that 20 years ago I decided to do an official 3 year apprenticeship in Munich, Germany, and then worked as a technician in a dealership near Munich for a while.
A lot of things have changed since then. I have moved to San Francisco. I became a business owner in 93, opening Werkstatt in the back of a welding shop as a one woman operation. I have hired people to grow Werkstatt to the great business it is now, and the staff has grown to 5.
This year we got voted "Best of The BayList" by the SF Chronicles SFGate readers, and we got voted "Best San Francisco Mechanics" by the readership of the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
The website was started in 2001 I think, and I started writing the blog in 2007. I have since neglected it, concentrating on the business and racing instead, but since we are getting requests to start up the blog again about the ongoings at Werkstatt, we will start posting again. There will be guest posters such as Kyle Dinh and Will Houng to share their experiences along with me. So keep posted!
Cheers! Jennifer