nr's blog

Paying homage 17 September, 2013

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 5:44 pm

Whilst it’s fair to say that I’m not a nostalgic person to any great degree, it’s kind of nice every now and then to look back, and make a link through time to where you are now. I had one of these moments earlier this afternoon, while replacing the clutch plates on the ZXR. I was saying only the other day that I’d not found a single seized or rounded fastener on the bike since I picked it up, but sure enough, the first bolt I got to on the clutch cover was both seized, and rounded. I tried gently tapping it with a small hammer. I tried a variety of 8mm sockets, just in case one was slightly tighter than the others. I tried Mole Grips. I tried a slightly bigger hammer. I tried heating it a little. I tried a really big hammer. It seemed that nothing I had in my armoury of skills and tools was going to shift this bolt, and I’d need to get a bar welded to the head to get it moving.

And then I remembered Goz.

Goz was one of my big brothers mates at school. I guess I would have been 13 or 14 when we first met, and he would have been a couple of years older. Straight away, we hit it off. He was (still is, I hope) an intensely practical chap, perfectly happy delving around in engines, fixing anything mechanical, panel beating, spray painting etc. He also had a GT250X7 that he’d tuned himself, which was legendary around our way for the ability to wheelie in 5th past the Lake Avenue chippy.  It’s pretty safe to say that he had a formative impact in my own love of motorbikes and messing around with them. He also had a stock answer for a lot of little problems that life threw at us back in the 1980s:

“Goz, this bolt’s stuck – can’t shift it. Any ideas?”

“Cut a slot in it and use an impact driver”

“Goz, this allen screw is seized solid. Tried whacking a Torx bit into it, but it’s not moving.”

“Cut a slot in it and use an impact driver”

“Goz, I can’t shift this spindle – I reckon…”

“…cut a slot in it and use an impact driver”

“Goz, I think my girlfriend is seeing Dwayne from the next village, you know, the guy with the MBX125”

“Cut a slot in it, what? Let’s go out and have a chat with him about it. Got your impact driver?”

So… without further ado, I whipped out the angle grinder and slitting disc, cut a nice little slot in the offending bolt, slipped a straight blade into my impact driver, and starting hitting it with the Really Big Hammer. At first, nothing happened. But slowly, it started shifting, until I had it on the bench next to me. I thanked Goz for his help.


Half an hour later the new clutch was fitted, and everything was bolted up again. This is a bit of a milestone, as it now means the bike is ready for the road. There’s still loads to be done to make it lovely, but it’s now rideable. So, hopefully, tomorrow I’ll be strapping my lid on, and going for a quick whizz. And if I end up hoisting a monster past the Lake Avenue chippy in the process, so much the better. It will be fitting, I think.


3 Responses to “Paying homage”

  1. I hope you’ve replaced the errant bolt


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s