Learn By Doing.

I’ve made a start on my mechanic-ing.

I went and got Nathan’s dead heap.

It’s seen better days.


I say I got his heap, that was a challenge in itself. How do you get a full motorbike into the back of a Mini?

Not easy.


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Which then fits neatly into said Mini.

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But, after breaking my back, it’s still a pile of broken bits.

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In preparation for my new found mad motorcycle skills I’ve emptied out my shed, put in new posts to support the fence and built a lean-to affair at the back of the shed. It’s not pretty but it’s below fenceline so not offending the neighbours and it’s behind the shed so not offending Wendy. I cut down and moved one of my shelving units into it to pile all the rubbish.


It’s not going to win any prizes but it’s cleared my shed so I could do this:


I’m well happy with that. The blue thing in the bottom left is a bike jack thing which my mam and dad got me ages ago and now promises to be be essential kit. The work bench is a repurposed Black and Decker (left by my dad when they emigrated). As is the rug, now I think about it. That got downgraded after a few years to shed lining. And they got me the shed.

I bought the tool cabinet. So there’s that.

Anyway, thanks, parents.

The bike was as dead as a very dead dodo, so I couldn’t just strip the engine down, tempted as I was, as there would have been no way of knowing if I’d rebuilt it right.

I had to put everything back together and try to get the bike running before I could take it all apart and play.


That’s with the bike strapped onto the jack thing. I had to ratchet strap it on as there are no forks on it as they are totally smashed.

It’s been horrendous. The engine is quite light, as engines go, but it fits in the frame really awkwardly, and you have to hold it in position with one hand and a knee as you try and fit a bolt through the holes to support it. Then I went around fastening all the connectors and wires. They build them with oddly shaped connectors so they can only fasten to the corresponding odd shape so you can’t get it wrong. But when I’d rebuilt it there were two loose wires, no battery, and an odd shaped connector with no mate. I had the tank off a few times, searching for ages, I just couldn’t find it. The workshop manual is black and white pictures with no “what the hell is this bit?” section.

I gave up for the moment and decided to fix the bent side stand cut off switch I’d noticed while stripping it. Where’s the side stand?

Ah. It’s attached to the foot pegs (which were so badly bent I’d left them.) I went and got them and there was my blue connector! YAY!


The battery arrived today so I fitted that as well. The barrel on the ignition seems smashed so I took that off and ordered a new one. Happily the electrical bits come out as a separate unit, so you just have to change the barrel, no need to solder in new wires. I had a play with the remaining unit and reckoned I could operate the on/off switch without the barrel for now, but still no electrics at all.

I found and changed the main fuse. Nothing. Realised the starter relay was missing a cable, attached that properly. Nothing. I took the smashed headlight apart and realised two connections were undone. I traced them back and it was the ignition. I reconnected them, messed with the ignition electrical unit, and … LIGHTS!

I gave the starter a few blasts and got the engine turning over, I checked and I’ve got tons of spark at the plug!


I’m such a happy bunny! I’ve not got it started yet, but I’ve got a solid plan of attack. While it was just sat there, dead, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Now I’ve got lights, horn, starter motor, spark at the plug etc, it’s feels like it’s just a matter of ironing out the petrol feed problem.

This is never going to be a pretty bike, or a source of income, but it might, (might) get to be roadworthy again.

I’m ordering the tools I need as I need them. They are surprisingly cheap. £12 for a compression test thing, (the very first test, according to my yank mechanic guru) £7 for a multimeter (tests all your electrics). I’ve had to watch videos on how to use a multimeter, I’ve no idea, but once I’ve got the hang of it I’ll be able to work out logically and definitively the source of any electrical problem. No more prodding wires and hoping for the best.

Yesterday I was thinking this was all a waste of time, that I was still a useless idiot, but now with a tidy shed. Today, now the electrics are working, I’m thinking this is going to work! I’m not entirely stupid, if I learn the logical steps to fault finding, I could actually become proficient!

This could tick all the boxes. I could satisfy my bike shopping addiction, for next to nothing, play with them until they are sorted, ride them for a bit, sell them on for a bit of a profit, and fund the next one.


Right, enough positivity, it’s putting my karma out of kilter.