Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back Yard Maintenance

You would think a guy with an art/fabrication studio would have himself a sweet setup for wrenching on bikes too. I've definitely brainstormed some great ways to temporarily convert my fabrication table. I also wouldn't have to worry about shuttling tools around, and have access to my welders and such.

In reality my wrenching setup looks like this:


Yup. Posted up on a semi truck rim in the back yard, and by choice.



Perhaps its because I've always worked on my cars in the driveway, or maybe I worry about my fab table getting tied up in a wrenching project that'll take longer than I've planned (and they always do). I also now have the added challenge of a puppy to keep entertained while I'm working. So the obvious solution is to do my work as close to the expansive grass of my back yard as possible which has the added benefit of providing space for mid project mimosas and naps in the sun.

I enjoy the challenge of getting stuck without the right tool and needing to improvise. The above photo was taken this last weekend while I was swapping out swingarm bearings. I got about this far in the process and found I couldn't get the lower pivot bolt free without an impact driver (which I don't have). Luckily the swingarm had enough range of motion to still allow me access to install new bearings.  You know, it's like "practice" for when you're 150 miles from anything and things are REALLY effed up. (I'll try and get a photo of my bearing press posted too. Speaking of really effed up things...)

One last note: the semi truck rim has been invaluable for maintenance. My KLR balances perfectly, and stays stable. The Happy-Trails skid plate kind of locks it all in place. It is a bit of a challenge to get it up (my inner 5 year old just giggled), but I usually put the bike on the kickstand, then slide the rim into place, and finally lift the back of the bike up and pivot it on the front wheel over onto the rim. Having a friend to help stabilize/lift the bike is strongly recommended, but I like knowing I can take care of it myself, and hopefully don't have to rely on someone else when I'm out on a ride.

If anyone else has great photos of their disfunctional wrenching setups, send them to me and I'll be happy to post them!

Now, get lost.

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