Sometimes, old machines are the biggest bitches ever.... Over the past two years, I’ve rebuilt the bing carbs half a dozen times. Adjusted the valves easily a dozen times. Coils and condensers have been replaced, and so much time has been spent fiddling with the points...

Each time, after going through another system (again), the old motorbike would spring to life, run like a champ, leap across mountain ranges... and then after about 100 miles, it’d begin to sputter, backfire and then it’d have to be limped back home.....

“Maybe some crud still in the carb passages? Loose ground somewhere? Defective Condenser? Points somehow rattling loose? Coils not bosch enough? What?!!”

So I’d go back through each system... disassemble the bings, open up the motor case and go fiddle with the points, trace the wiring harness, open the head covers and check the valve lash.. Put it all back together and it’d run great! Until 100 miles later.


Finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a techy-tech electronic ignition system. (It uses lasers!) It got installed yesterday morning and the bike started on the first attempt... and when I hit the throttle it revved like it never had with it’s 38 year old points...

Took it for a spin and it was running great. And since I’d spent SO much time going through the bing carbs over the past year, I wanted to wring them out too. So I decided to head up into the hills to see how they’d handle the higher elevations.


The bike raced. It’s never felt so fast. The German boxer motor roared up the slopes. I felt like I was barnstorming in a messersschmitt. Took her as high as we could go, way above timberline... and she didn’t miss a beat.

Sometimes, old machines are the greatest things ever.