Author Topic: How did stuff become so difficult?  (Read 1278 times)

Offline Trigger

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2020, 07:55:10 PM »
First off an apology to anyone who feels targeted by this; honestly not intended!

Having read some of the questions being posted on this forum, have we got to the stage where we overthink just about everything? I read most topics out of interest and occasionally to see if I can offer an opinion or suggestion, but some are so basic and simple that I just think WHAT!!!!!. Are you really asking that! Most of the bikes owned here are so basic and simple to work on that back in the day a spanner in one hand and a Haynes manual in the other would have sorted nearly all problems. I know that sometimes this could end in the most horrendous insults to Japan's finest and a lot of non standard remedies resulted, but unless you had a mate handy with the tools you were on your own. Perhaps it's down to the arrogance of youth that all things were doable with a screwdriver and hammer but come on, age and experience should at least have some influence at this time of life?

Just get stuck in! End of rant.:D


These bike maybe simple to some people but, not to others  :o I get called out to Honda dealerships were i am met by a 22 to 31 year old Honda trained technician standing with a laptop in hand and they can't find were to plug a 400 four in to the computer. I found this amazing that they have not been trained on carbs and points or they don't even understand a floating caliper  :o But, as one of these young guys asked, do you know how to remap or code chase a new fireblade. Most of the language they were talking, i did not understand and they had not got a clue what i was talking about until i explained in detail.

As for manuals, forget it. Too much incorrect info, even in a Honda manual, never mind a haynes one  ;)   

Offline Charlie J

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2020, 07:55:25 PM »
Absolutely nothing wrong in asking questions, and this forum is up there with the best in providing helpful and knowledgeable answers. But, I do wonder how I used to manage before the internet. These days, I seem to spend a lot of my time checking and rechecking how to do things I used to do without thinking when I was younger. So, I think, for me the answer to the question "How did stuff get so difficult?" is, I just got older.

Offline Grumpyfck

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2020, 09:36:00 PM »
I rode mostly in the 80s, I didn't have the self confidence, nor was I encouraged to learn anything mechanical. I took everything to a workshop. Here I am aged 55, doing my first build learning as I go. Full of stupid questions, reading and learning much from this forum and loving it. I have learned more about motorcycle workings this last 3 months than the whole of my previous riding life.
Longest midlife crisis known to man.

Offline K2-K6

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2020, 10:06:21 PM »
There's that saying "someone who doesn't know what they don't know is far more dangerous than someone that recognizes their limitations and seeks advice" seems very true.

There's just so much to find out about in any topic we care to think of, with most things fascinating when looking further in depth.


Offline Grumpyfck

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2020, 10:58:21 PM »
I have mentioned before, photography and classic cameras are my thing. Very few people fix the things I use so I had to learn, I think nothing of stripping a 1920/30s graflex and rebuilding now. I earn half my income from it. I clearly had the ability when I was 20, just never believed I did. Still, the bike is giving me something new to do with enthusiasm.
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Offline Bryanj

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2020, 11:43:47 PM »
There was a saying going round when i was a college technician.

Those that can, do
Those that can't teach
And those that can't teach, teach teachers!!!!!!

Offline Lobo

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2020, 12:09:23 AM »
I get where you’re coming from Bob, but at 60+ have learned what’s obvious to me ain’t so to others. And having been involved in instruction / examining much of my working life (er, thanks Bryan!) the best way to ensure a worst outcome is ridicule / belittlement etc.

This year I joined a Moto Guzzi forum as it’s all ECUs, mapping and crap that I’m totally at odds with. I managed to cope / maintain dignity (just!) - but by god is that forum different to this. I rarely look at it or post now; it is generally good, but alas prone to too much testosterone & outbursts such as, “You fucking muppet, I told you 3 posts ago it was the xxx switch”.
I can really do without fellows’ being bullied; that is what is so good about this forum of Steve’s and ‘us lot’.

Offline taysidedragon

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2020, 01:21:18 AM »
I was lucky when I got into bikes at 17. My dad was an experienced engineer and showed me the proper way to build engines and repair things. I started out on British singles and twins, which were quite simple so a good place to learn.
Even after years and years of experience fitting parts and rebuilding engines I was a bit reluctant to do a complete rebuild on a 400f. Once you get into it it's not that bad, I don't know why I was holding back.

Some people don't have the good fortune of a mentor readily at hand to show them the ropes. They are not going to know how to use a torque wrench or a micrometer, the right way to use feeler gauges, or which parts to lubricate on assembly.

It's risky relying on YouTube videos to teach yourself because there's an awful lot of crap ones out there. Someone learning won't know which ones are right and which ones are wrong.

Some questions may be basic, but we all have to start somewhere, so ask away.
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Offline Macabethiele (Ted)

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2020, 04:17:45 AM »
First off an apology to anyone who feels targeted by this; honestly not intended!

Having read some of the questions being posted on this forum, have we got to the stage where we overthink just about everything? I read most topics out of interest and occasionally to see if I can offer an opinion or suggestion, but some are so basic and simple that I just think WHAT!!!!!. Are you really asking that! Most of the bikes owned here are so basic and simple to work on that back in the day a spanner in one hand and a Haynes manual in the other would have sorted nearly all problems. I know that sometimes this could end in the most horrendous insults to Japan's finest and a lot of non standard remedies resulted, but unless you had a mate handy with the tools you were on your own. Perhaps it's down to the arrogance of youth that all things were doable with a screwdriver and hammer but come on, age and experience should at least have some influence at this time of life?

Just get stuck in! End of rant.:D

So who or what is this self righteous post really aimed at that you seem to be suggesting that as you understand bikes so should everyone else as they are so simple to work on? The purpose of this whole site is it not is to share knowledge so that people can learn from the likes of probably yourself plus the many other really helpful folk here.  The posts of project builds with superb photos of restorations is truly inspiring.

Speaking for myself as a youngster of 72 years who has a background of working on motor cycles up until I was about 21 yrs then moving onto cars until around 5 years ago when poor health prevented me from maintaining not just my vehicles but that of my family and friends I consider myself pretty skilled as a mechanic.

What I have noticed is that publications such as Haynes Workshop Manuals have over the years become wanting in the actual detail of how parts are fitted. Photographs have fallen in quality with the text lacking basic information such as which way round a chamfered washer should be fitted on  say a crankshaft. Added to that is the move for a manual covering multiple variants of a model so some photos are of no help whatsoever.

Speaking for myself when I was younger I suspect my short  memory was good enough to not have a need to photograph items before I dismantled them being easily able to reassemble an item weeks later. Lastly there is another aspect for me especially now that I am working on motor cycles again - that is a loss in self confidence with age and unfamiliar territory as I feel my way around my project.

As a teenager I had my father who was a Rolls Royce & Bentley Cars trained mechanic to guide me. I know that as I have asked questions and been provided sometimes with different answers my cognitive skills have improved thanks completely to members here who have given me advice without being condescending or critical of my questions.

If you feel some questions here are too basic, simple or obvious  perhaps you should look at yourself and ask yourself  why you have that view rather than blame the questioner on the forum. Maybe you have just posted to provoke or after a bad day if that  is the case fine but perhaps some thought on your part  beforehand would have avoided my response. I am not being defensive or antagonistic but you need to be told that others are not as skilled or smart as you and seek answers here.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this - but I've had my rant now so all is well in the world of Honda sohc for me.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2020, 05:00:20 AM by Macabethiele »
Honda CB400F2 under restoration
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Offline SteveD CB500K0

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2020, 07:03:10 AM »
There was a saying going round when i was a college technician.

Those that can, do
Those that can't teach
And those that can't teach, teach teachers!!!!!!
You didn’t marry a teacher then Bryan?


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Offline Bryanj

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2020, 08:57:00 AM »
Nope, a teachers daughter!!!!

Offline bobv7

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2020, 09:44:33 AM »
I suppose this all arose from posts apparently confusing the vast difference between building a usable, road worthy machine and going for a full restoration. One requires a pragmatic and practical approach and the other vast amounts of cash, infinite patience and a black book full of specialist services. If the former then a decent set of tools, some mechanical knowledge and a steady supply of tea is usually good enough. If the latter, then a step by step learning process via advice from a website forum may not the best way to go.

When I got my bike the bulb holders for the warning lights were rotten so I bought a bunch off eBay. Snip and solder and now they work. End of story. Are they a match for the originals? No, but they do the same job. Same with the busted fuse holder which now takes a better protected blade fuse, and the handlebars, indicators and the front brake line. Perhaps that would have the purists frantically rummaging though my rubbish bin, but that’s their problem. Do vintage vehicle owners insist they only use the manufacturers recommended brand of calcium carbide in their lamps?

I’m not and never have been a rivet counter but I did want a new toy to fix up and to occasionally ride. If I’d wanted something shiny to put in the living room it would not have been a motorcycle. My point is that before you start a project you need to have a clear idea of where you’re going and the available resources in place to get there.;)

Offline AshimotoK0

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2020, 10:12:46 AM »
To me the electrics on 70's Honda 4's are very basic and dead simple to understand but many people see electrics as a black art. But there again I am an electronics engineer, so it should be simple to me.
I could just think .. what ..he (she)  doesn't even know Ohms Law !! .. Ye Gods what kind of school did they go to?  ;D
Newbies, everyone, keep asking simple or even dumb questions. Probably worth using the excellent search facility on here first though as it has  possibly been covered several times already.

This forum is a breath of fresh air compared with others. The prize one has to be the UK Vintage Radio Forum. It's an absolutely stunning source of info but run on slightly Draconian guidelines.. for example  offering something for sale or free is a nightmare ..  '1st dibs' like on here seems to be frowned upon and it all gets very complicated and heated on there with 'hats' etc.
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Offline JonnyB

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2020, 10:49:49 AM »
Electrics are easy, you just have to be careful not to let the smoke escape.
Regards and Ride Safe!!

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Offline SteveW

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Re: How did stuff become so difficult?
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2020, 12:56:44 PM »
I get to play with electrics / electronics every day.

I have a lovely job tomorrow, I have to re-establish the magnetic field in an MRI scanner which involves slowly taking the electromagnet inside up to just over 500 Amps. The windings have to be cooled constantly with liquid Helium at -269 Degrees.
What could possibly go wrong. ;D
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