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Old 01-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #1
prince_ruben OP
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Joined: Dec 2005
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DIY'ers for the next generation?

Man this guys message hit me hard this morning:

I'm 36, diy'er, partial nerd, jack of all trades master of nothing kind of guy and I like to understand shit and do it myself. Multiple bikes and one car, I like to bang knuckles and allow carcinogenic fluid absorption on my epidermis. Recently my HOA complained that I can't work on my bikes in the garage because someone smelled exhaust. F' that. Anyhow, the vid moved me and felt good to watch on a rainy Friday morning before I brushed my teeth and hop on the bike and ride in the rain to work.
No worries in death, no worries in life.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Andover, New Jersey
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I liked it. I had a friend growing up who's father seemed like he could fix anything, and take on any DIY project, so I've always wanted to be like him. I can fix almost anything around my house, eventually. The Internet is amazing for finding info. I fix household appliances, my cars, and of course my bikes. I haven't paid anyone to fix something I own or do anything around my house in at least 15 years. I have two boys. One of them is interested (when he is not on the couch with his girl friend) and good with my tools, and the other, not so much so.

1979 CX500
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:44 PM   #3
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Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Cin City, OH
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I can do a certain amount of things, mostly bolt off/bolt on. More or less limited by my fear of taking things apart and having extra parts at the end.

My wife has fairly amazing mental powers re: spacial relationships, she's helped me to re-assemble things, i.e., carbs, by looking at parts and visualizing how they would fit together although she knows nothing about them.

My son used to watch me do things, then started doing things on his own. He now has moved away and tackles things I'd have never attempted. I'm shocked, amazed, and very proud of him.

So maybe there is hope after all.
Oh I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused-E.Costello
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
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Joined: May 2012
Location: VA
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If that guy lived nearby and was amiable, I would volunteer to work at such a garage. As a teen, I worked with a guy like that in the '70s who always had older foreign cars around. He was born in Bolivia, worked at a meat packing company as a chemist, and traded 55-57 Ford Thunderbirds (mainly) along with working on cars. Ah, the days of my youth spent tinkering on cars.

Not a Harley fan, some Japanese bikes are ok but the older British and German bikes spark my interest. I want a Triumph Bonneville - but not a new one. Instead, one of the older bikes. I like working on motorcycles more than riding them - at least riding on the road.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
Mors ex Tenebris
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Moving the speed of rust in mid-OK
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My father was something of a jack-of-all trades. Born in in 1928, he'd seen a lot and done a lot more than I will ever know. He didn't finish high school because he was needed to work in the coal mines in Pennsylvania. He worked in a machine shop for a while and learned how to weld and braze metals. He used to hang out at a nearby airfield and eventually learned how to fly. He joined the Army Air Corps in WWII and was a Warrant Officer, flying B-17s. After the war, he went on to fly for a major airline.

At home there was always some project he was working on, or tinkering with or trying to improve. He was a plumber and a carpenter and a mason. Through being his "go-fer", I learned a lot of what I know today. He would tinker with his motorcycle, but never really tore into the engine. I can never actually recall him ever taking an engine apart, just maybe tuning one to his liking.

As a consequence, I used to hang out with a friend from high school who, it seemed, was always working on engines. This is where I learned even more. It wasn't until years later that I realized I had surpassed my father's knowledge, at least in some respect. When I went in to the Marine Corps, I bought a used 1978 Dodge Power Wagon, my first non-motorcycle. I put a lot of miles on that truck while in the service and shortly before my last deployment to Japan, the engine developed a miss that I just could not pin down.

I drove the truck back home to Arizona just before deploying, experiencing a radiator failure (with roadside solder repair) along the way. While sitting thousands of miles away in Japan for 6 months, I managed to troubleshoot the miss in my mind, and had reached the conclusion that I had a burnt exhaust valve. This was long before the days of the internet.

I returned from Japan and explained to Dad what I believed was wrong. I pulled the truck into his garage and tore in to the motor, removing the intake manifold and the heads, only to find one bad exhaust valve, just as I had predicted. Dad was apprehensive at best, concerned that this pile of parts was now stuck in his garage. I obtained a rebuilt set of heads and put everything back togther. The Dodge engine was designed where the distributor (at this state of assembly) could only be installed with correct timing or 180 degrees out. I was about to turn the key when Dad peered in toward the carburetor and asked, "Do you think it will run?"

I knew in my heart that it would , but I toyed with him. "Well, I have a 50/50 chance it will fire. I wouldn't stand right over the carburetor...just in case I am wrong." I turned the key and the truck purred to life, nice and smooth. A faint smile crossed my father's face. I think he realized at that point that his work was done.

I try to include my daughter when I work on projects, just as my father did with me. I take the time to explain how things work and she is not afraid to get dirty when it comes to helping out. She just does not have the natural inclination to take something apart with the sole intent of seeing how it works. That is not who she is.

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Trust and Respect take years to earn, but can be lost in a moment.

Life's too short to hold a grudge. -Joe
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:32 PM   #7
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Here and there and stuff.
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I believe my mechanical aptitude is derived from me growing up with bikes.

If it was broke it was up to me to fix it, gentle prodding and helpfully hints from my dad.

I still call him from time to time.

I'm a...


I'm no expert, at any. But I ain't scared either. I'll teach my kids the same.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:17 AM   #8
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I cant see the vid as I am at work but will later.

First off, I hope you told you HOA to fuck off.

Growing up my dad wasnt real handy. He did pretty well with deck and fence building, but his projects also lead to some pretty hilarious injuries

Most of my knowledge in fixing stuff is from my own experience. I like to know how things work, and don't mind having a go at it. Last week I diagnosed and repaired a bad inducer wheel on my furnace - not rocket surgery, mind you, but that little problem would send many people to their hvac guy for $400.

Always figured I can screw up a project 3 times and still save money over a pro doing it.

So, I havent found anything I can't do. Just some things less well. Remodeling (demo, build walls, plumbing, electrical, drywall, flooring), wrenching on the cars or 4 bikes....there is always an opportunity to pick something up.

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Old 01-26-2013, 06:42 AM   #9
Rides slow bike slow
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: New(er) Mexico
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Originally Posted by prince_ruben View Post
Recently my HOA complained that I can't work on my bikes in the garage because someone smelled exhaust.
Jebus. Where does it end? Can the HOA legally tell you what you can't do INSIDE YOUR GARAGE? Stupid fuckers.
You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitro glycerin plant!

Badasses might screw with another badass. Nobody screws with a nut job. -- Plaka
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: SW Florida / Western NC
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Good video, I've been saying that for a long time. I'm 53 and most of the people I socialize (infrequently) with wouldn't be able to change a car tire on the side of the road. I don't have any kids of my own, but my friends kids have no interest in how things work, and have no interest in hard work at all. The parents buy their kids too much shit. I've been approached a couple times to put someone's kid to work. Or spend some time with me in the shop. Building fence during a Florida summer, right... They'd rather get a job bagging groceries, air conditioning and easy work trumps sweating any day. The couple that I've had over didn't have enough of an attention span to do anything, plus they're on their phone constantly. They don't care how you fix shit, they have enough money to just go buy another one.

P_R, I doubt there is anything in your HO covenants about working in your garage, maybe if you were running a business out of your garage, but working on your own stuff, get real. I lived a deed-restricted community, once. Now I'm on 5 acres, trailers parked here and there, if I want to leave a Chevy small block hanging from a tree limb, or pop off a couple .223's, nobody's gonna care.

Keep wrenchin
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:38 PM   #11
prince_ruben OP
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Initially I was pissed about the the complaint but ignore it now. Turned out the President was the loser who complained and I never liked him anyway so I continued to wrench. In fact, I just came in from servicing my GS.

Glad you guys are getting the youth more involved and appreciate the video, and further to gent in the video.

My wife grew up on a farm and her family are DIY folks. Her dad is a major inspiration. Without the internet, he would figure stuff out by talking to people. I remember him always saying "It's cheaper to buy the tool than pay someone else with the tool!" Her family have always bought me tools during gift exchanges and I thought that was bad ass.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #12
Island Rider
solo adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: San Juan Island, WA
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I like to say "I have very good rapport with machines...people, not so much."
I have little respect for people that can;t fix stuff.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #13
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Orange Co., CA.
Oddometer: 988
I grew up in house where my father fixed everything...didn't matter what it was. I learned from him, and ever so thankful for having a weekly lesson on something, carpentry, welding, auto repairs, cement, motorcycle repairs you name it.

Today, the internet and YouTube has been an envaluable for my continued education. I love fixing things, projects, fabrication, etc. This very forum has been an amazing place for inspiration also.
Yamaha R1, Kawasaki BF V750
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:32 AM   #14
Motorcycles are therapy
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Illinoyed
Oddometer: 221
The fellow featured in the movie shares the same thoughts I do for the vintage rides. I've just finished fabricating a sidecar attachment to an older CB550. Nothing novel but I did it out of scrap metal I acquired.

The more I work on the older bikes, the less I enjoy the thought of fiddling with a tupperware ride. New gadget farkling is dandy but gives the bike all the character of Robocop.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:06 PM   #15
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Location: Wandering In The Desert
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Like many posting here, I grew up fixing stuff myself. By the time I was 13 I'd already stripped a motorcycle to the frame, painted it, and put it back together, put in a new piston in my dirtbike, mounted tires using screwdrivers (not the best idea...) etc. My dad dragged me into a "finish the basement" project where we took a bare, open cinder block wall basement and turned it into a game room, 2 bedrooms, and a bathroom. We did everything, plumbing, wiring, frame up the walls, sheet rock, and painting. That was a long time ago, but now I do most stuff myself still. No one works on the bikes but me, and most of the problems with the house I fix.

It does seem like more and more the people I meet don't do this, and rely on someone else for even the most simple things. The world has become a black box for too many people, and figuring out and doing repairs yourself is becoming a lost art.
"The atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts."
- Werner Heisenburg
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