A common grumble is that magazines like this one… okay, exactly this one… don’t carry enough technical stories. I never argue, not least because I always enjoy reading them. Another common grumble is that magazines like this one carry too many stories which are too technical. I never argue, because the skill levels of some guys are just awesome – hardly in the real world at all. Another common grumble is that magazines like this one don’t carry enough simple basic build-it stories. I never argue.CBG August p4
I must confess straightaway that I almost always enjoy rebuilding bikes, and I almost always enjoy reading rebuild features too. There’s always something to learn, often something to laugh at, and occasionally there’s a burst of utter brilliance, too. What prompted this musing was a mail from a reader asking CBG to produce a series of stories about biking basics. You know the sort of things: how to put oil on a chain, how to look inside an oil tank, maybe how to clean a set of points or adjust a cable.
As you’d hope, I replied wondering whether readers of a magazine mostly about old bikes actually need to be told how to do basic maintenance, adjust chains, change a bulb or a spark plug. Personally, I like to learn new stuff, so I’m more interested in whether modern carbs and ignition systems are actually an improvement, whether the current generation of electric starter systems for old bikes are worth the effort and expense, that kind of thing. The snag with that, of course, is that far too many opinions offered to the likes of us are exactly that – opinions, which aren’t much use.
What I would like would be for you, gentle reader, to drop us an email letting us know of your experiences if you have upgraded – or even, as seems to be happening a lot at the moment – if you’ve decided to ‘downgrade’ your bike to something less technical. Replacing an electronic ignition with a points set-up, that kind of thing. I’ve just done that to a BSA. It now doesn’t start…
That’s it. See you out there.

Frank Westworth


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