Best Case Scenario: Pile of garbage transforms into apocalypse-ready personal transportation system Worst Case Scenario: Pile of garbage remains a pile of garbage, and I get to semi-rationalize getting a lot of fun tools in the process So I got this gorgeous beast two years ago for $300: It was just barely functional enough to ride, but the engine was in decent shape with low mileage. Unfortunately, the engine does not remain in decent shape if you insist on redlining it for several hours with low oil and no coolant in the middle of the broiling desert. Turns out that causes connecting rod bearings to melt. Who knew? So I end up trucking this pile of motorcycle bones and viscera around for two fucking years. Oh well. The time has come to learn something from this mess. A salvage engine in perfect shape is about $500, but I figure if Im a mechanical engineer I should be able to get the engine back together in fairly short order. I not .. thats kind of pathetic, but hopefully I can get a lot of practice and skill development in the process. I see this project as my Frankenstein-esque practice round for restoring/customizing future bikes. Im going to try to do everything there is to do and make all my ridiculous mistakes on this first project where theres very little cash involved and then at least sort of know what Im doing on the next one. Heres one piece of inspiration: Id consider something like that a resounding success. What it will actually look like when its done and when it will be done is a complete mystery. The game is afoot. First question: Whats the best practice of determining the bearing clearances (for the crank and balancer) with plastigauge: should I put down a bead of silicone gasket sealer around the edge of the crankcase while gauging the clearances, or leave the surfaces clean? The silicone gasket will be there when the thing is finally put together, but will it affect the bearing clearances enough so that it should be there when Im measuring them? If that was unclear, let me know and I can take a picture. Much, much, much more to come...... this is gonna take a while.