Hold on to your hats it’s BIKE TIME. My mom’s neighbors in the quadplex she lives in just moved out which means I can use BOTH HALVES of the garage for shenanigans. Off come the seats and the gas tank and boy howdy looks like this 2-occupant bike has quite a few more occupants than expected. Few taps with a mallet and the wasp nests are gone, and appear to have been vacant. Good.

First order of business is to check the plugs. Yeah those are a bit black. Not oily, though, so the valve seals and piston rings are probably fine.

Off comes the valve cover so I can adjust the valve lash. Spec is .003 inches. My feeler gauges goes up to .025 inches and even then some of the valves had more lash than that. On most bikes the lash will get tighter over time as the valve seat in the head wears and the valve slowly moves “up” over time. On Rebels the jamnut isn’t a locknut so it just kinda vibrates and loosens over time quicker than the valve seat wears out. Civics are the same way. No lock nut for the lash adjustment. Must be a Honda thing.


Bikes and roadsters. Aww yiss.

Other than valve lash and spark plugs I also installed an inline filter in the fuel hose and sprayed some carb cleaner into the carb. Went to start the bike and I heard what sounded like the starter spinning, but the engine didn’t spin. Suspecting the clutch was acting up again I took off the left cover and again heard the noise of a spinning motor but the starter wasn’t turning at all. Suspecting an issue with the reduction gear box in the starter I popped it off and took off the gearbox. And then the brush holder slipped off the armature.


Son of a bitch. 3 hours of swearing with two helpers and some tweezers and flathead screwdrivers and I was finally able to shove the springs and brushes back into their homes and shove the armature into the center of the whole mess. Slap the starter back together (the gearbox was fine) and put it back on the bike, make sure it spins, and angrily go home. I’ll charge the battery and put more fuel in it and see if I can get it to consistently kick over so I can diagnose why it won’t actually start. Push-starting wasn’t happening for whatever reason.


Dog helper.