Learn Moto

How we became motorcycle mechanics.

Tag: complexity

Manuals

So what’s common about motorcycles and washing machines? They both have repair manuals. But don’t be mistaken, these are not like those manuals that tell you that if you drop your cell phone in a sink it will most probably stop working. However, for easier understanding, usually they even come with a lot of technical drawings and photographs, it never tells you to seek professional assistance. The simple reason for that is that they are meant for professionals. Pro mechanics need these so they can quickly see how the bike is designed, and what is best for it. Many variables are determined by the manufacturer, who actually know the inside-out and the background of their bikes, hence being the creators, they know it better then any mechanic.

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A GSXR-750 engine and the repair manual in our school.

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What is a motorcycle?

Apart from being a commuter or sport instrument. A piece of art. It’s even more. Let’s see from a technical point of view.
The internal combustion engines generally work with an efficiency up to  30-40%. The rest, 60-70 percent of the energy that an engine produces is not translated into motion but simply into heat. So the motorbike is a machine that produces heat. Therefore it is also a machine designed to cool itself !
It gets all the power by burning liquid into gas. And that has to flow through its system, so, it is also a flow technology based design.
But it’s even more than that. It has two wheels, yet when running it is stable, and maintains a straight line of motion. It’s a gyroscope ! Given not only by the mass of the wheels, but even more importantly the crank shaft’s rotation. This effect actually plays a huge role in defining the riding experience (for example, 4 cylinders has a wider and heavier crankshaft then v2).
The story doesn’t end here. It has lights, it communicates, ignites, and does even more that requires electricity. So it is an electric device too!
And… It won’t go anywhere without a rider. A good rider perhaps. But that’s another story. Now we can see, that it is in fact a very complex organism, that requires a fine balance from many aspects to operate smoothly and sustainably.