Category Archives: Funny

Hertfordshire Superbikes Launches on-line TV channel on YouTube

Hi ladies and gents!

As per the title, we have launched Herts Superbikes TV, as part of our YouTube channel.

Basically, it is a series of videos, to show our customers and the public the day-to-day happenings at a busy motorcycle workshop.

You get to see behind-the-scenes action, as well as the laughs and banter that goes on! You’ll also pick up tips and advice along the way!

We haven’t got professional video equipment, not are we professional videographers (give us a Ducati and we can work wonders, however!).

Check out the channel below!




How to get a motorcycle upstairs !

If you want to get your bike upstairs but don’t have a big ramp ?
We have solved the problem by making up a carrying jig which fits onto the forks of a forklift truck. the bike is strapped onto it with normal tie downs , the barrier upstairs is removed and the whole operation takes about 5 minutes !

This is a shot looking down on the bike being lifted and picke me up sitting in the forklift.

Ducati 916 – rear suspension stiff.. or.. seized swinging arm bearings – BADLY SEIZED! and how we removed

Hello again – as promised a blog post about this Ducati 916 swinging arm bearing, pivot/pin that we had some issues with. This might be a long one, so please do bookmark this page.

The story started off with a customer of our who booked his bike in for an annual/routine service, and an MoT.

During the MoT test, the tester noticed the rear suspension not working as it should – it was pretty stiff. This then followed by Terry, our track day expert, testing the rear suspension (he knows his way around what a bike should feel like!), and it didn’t budge at all.

This then followed by Terry taking a seat on the bike, myself on the pillion seat and both of us bouncing on the bike whilst Simon hold it upright – not even an inch on movement, so we imagined the rear shock absorber was totally seized solid!

Having rang the customer, he approved for us to remove the shock absorber to take a closer look – and we proceeded.

But there was only one issue – as you remove the shock, you need to support the swingarm, so as it does not drop down. Of course, we had it all secured, but the swingarm didn’t move much –  soon as you remove the shock, there should be nothing holding the swinging arm up, except for the pivot pin/bolt, so it should simply drop.

That’s where the problem was.

Magically, a swingarm floats, as per above pics.

The swingarm wouldnt budge at all – having done a quick internet search, we found various online forums where people just seem to argue and talk about horsepower and cylinder porting, and not many have the solution. Drilling and hammering parts is the *last* resort, according to most workshops and technicians, and it is for us too!

So we got out some tools, only to get some bad results..

A few slight hammer taps and still not going anywhere, so we got the big boy tools onto it. Below you will see a spring compressor adapted to suit the situation at hand.

It still didn’t want to budge. It got to the point where there was strain on the flat parts of the spring compressor.

Simon is very handy with a lathe, and welding equipment (well, he did build a few bikes – check out the 48 cylinder for a good example of his work!)

He manufactured a drift, which was the perfect diameter to mate against the swingarm pivot pin, but small enough to not damage the surrounding area. Even that, and a big hammer – the only result, a bad hand, and a very bad drift. See below pic for the results.

Running out of options, and the customers bill going up due to the time spent, we decided to start cutting. Even that was tricky, as it can only go so deep, so it was a case of drilling, pushing the pin from the other side, and more drilling. Eventually, we had one broken swingarm pin (well, remnants and powder of!) and a very warm drill bit! Not to mention various blisters from the whole job.

We replaced the pin – of course – and all the bearings and seals.

In the end, it was nearer 20 hours of labour – a whopping bill. We did manage to cap it to 12 hours however, but what a long job.

20 hours later, many blisters, skinned knuckles, a broken 1/2 inch drive allen bit, a bent drift – it was mission complete.

All this, because they weren’t greased as per required – so next time your bike is in for a service and the girl or guy behind the counter asks “would you like to have your swingarm bearings, or steering head bearings greased?” you now know what to say. Many customers still insist that they’ll do it next time; its better done now than having to pay over 10 hours in the future!

Most service schedules insist that they are greased every 4 years or so – when did you last grease, or have greased, your bearings?….

We Will Buy Any Bike dont bother with DOT COM !

I recently had a guy ring us up with a pretty uncommon bike to sell. It was a Kaasaki VN 1700. We had one of these in for a service recently and they are as about as big as a bike gets and there are not many comparables around so I thought I would plug the details into the we buy any bike  site.

Well I wish I hadnt bothered and indeed I gave up in the end. Making bike purchase simple and quick it is not. I think their business plan is to wear people down so much they just give up in the end and take what ever is on offer. Mind you buyingused bikes is not easy. Most people selling a bike have an over inflated idea of what its worth and seem to think the people buying it only need to sell it for the buying price to be happy. On top of that they look at ebay and assume everything sells for the asking price

Fact is any bike dealer needs to make on average £500.00 on a average  bike not allowing for any parts required.

I can see why the above named buyers have to be cautious but at Hertfordshire Superbikes I have found that 90% of bikes offered to us have been as described and pretty honest bikes but there is the odd duff one now and then. we will normally give a price over the phone but a few pictures always helps and we can coleect locally the same day.

We have bought a lot of non runners which we like . The thrill of getting a dead bike running will never diminish for me and even today we got my recently purchased 1929 DKW running and it sounded great !

We have now opened a paint booth so we are on the look out for more modern bikes which may be a bit lacking in the paint dept ( gravel rash and all that ) so if you have a bike thats needs a lot of TLC give us a call