Project Dirtbike

imageMonday nights this winter are all about my little dirtbike rebuild over at the MotorGrrl garage. Miss-Fires member and MotorGrrl owner Valerie is a fantastic host with beers on ice and music cranked. And leave it to the Miss-Fires ladies to always arrive with baked goods…mmmmm.

photoI’ve had my 1971 Yamaha At1 125 for a few years now and its served me well as an awesome daily rider, and there isn’t much that’s more fun than bouncing around on it on the Red Hook cobblestones. Of course, then the engine got filled up with about a gallon of slime and i was time to give it a little love. So, with the engine in a thousand pieces, and new parts ordered, Lori works on extracting the old bearings and seals. Heat is used to pop the bearings out easily. And I’m glad we did decide to replace the bearings as on removal, there was a ton of crud between them and the case. Well worth the time and expense.
1779745_10151986978559608_781079486_n While The ladies worked on the Yamaha bearings and drilled out frozen screws on Steph’s Honda CB350 case, I kept my nose to the polishing wheel, to have the engine cases bright and shiny in time for the whole thing to go back together next Monday night.image_2Of course the best time was probably had by Neville The Devil.

Corinna Mantlo

1971 Yamaha At1 125, 1968 BSA Lightning, 1962 Ford Ranchero


Project CB350G

45639_685708924784009_651841843_nOn any (winter) Sunday, you can find The Miss-Fires working away on Stephanie’s 1973 Honda CB350G complete rebuild project at Motor Preserve. This bike came to her in boxes and we are determined to have her riding by her birthday this spring.


With the cylinder, cylinder head, and cam base installed we are ready to tackle the camshaft.  We installed the cam chain sprocket, camshaft, cam chain tensioner, rocker arms, rocker pins and set the alignment of the camshaft and sprocket with the alternator.

1549287_10151970478059608_926037277_nOil pump and filter were cleaned and all gaskets and o-rings replaced. Engine covers were cleaned and prepped.

oilpumpandfilterassemblyNext week, we will install the primary gear. Reassemble and install the oil filter and pump, as well as the clutch basket. We’ll set up the ignition timing; points, gaps, and check/adjust timing.  The alternator cover which has stripped screws will be drilled out.

1601227_10151970713559608_181491727_nStephanie and her engine block are coming together. Happy girl!

– Valerie Figarella, MotorGrrl

1978 Yamaha XS650 Custom Street tracker, 2003 Honda Shadow Spirit, 1974 Harley Sportster project

Project Dirtbike

1513198_10151959762489608_279578354_nWhen it comes to vintage bike projects, it seems like you’re always waiting on something. It’s not until the cases were cracked that we were able to determine what needed replacing for the complete rebuild of the little 1971 Yamaha At1 125 engine.

overall, everything was pretty clean, but the decision was made to go replace the seals and bearings as the ball bearings felt gritty when rolled. Parts were ordered from Cyclepartsnation which is a great resource for vintage bike parts and makes it easy with exploded diagrams of each section of the bike for part identification.

In the meantime, instead of twiddling our thumbs or b-lining it to the bar, we got to work  polishing the covers and head, which was fine since Val always has a cooler of beer and the music cranked over at MotorGrrl garage on Monday nights. When using the polishing wheel, make sure to keep a good grip on the piece your working with, and use lots of polish on the wheel pad. To preserve the finish after polishing, rub all pieces down well with WD40.

– Corinna

1971 yamaha at1, 1968 BSA Lightning, 1962 Ford Ranchero

Project CB350G

1465362_658716790816556_2096607320_nStephanie’s 1973 Honda CB350 complete rebuild project. This bike came to her in boxes and is currently a roller. The goal is to have it finished by Spring!

1010219_463277647109802_1190288380_nforming a plan. She left off with the engine mostly put back together. Today’s goal was top end, rocker boxes, Cam, etc.

1014394_463277623776471_2083610922_nUsing Kim’s CB350 as illustration…

1012034_10151957171709608_370249061_nGetting there!

1526306_10151957884034608_430078798_nThen it’s off to wind down at our regular Sunday night happy hour at Black Bear Bar!

Project Dirtbike



Corinna’s 1971 Yamaha At1 125 had filled itself full of a lovely mixture of fluids…today’s goal was to crack the cases and clean it out.


while we’re in there, everything got a good cleaning and once over to determine what parts needed replacing.1484256_460876304016603_2027967997_nWe always find a bit of time for beer and gabbing…

1477364_460876330683267_1834396144_nWith the rotor threads completely stripped, Fumi (of Sixth Street Specials) improvised a bit to help us crack the cases open. We’ll be adding a new rotor to the list in case it has to come off again.

5744_460876324016601_265785325_nall hands on deck…


Project Dirtbike

1513245_455556781215222_730956852_nCorinna’s 1971 Yamaha At1 125 daily rider needed a bit of love to save it from becoming a planter.


We headed over to MotorGrrl garage, got the beer on ice and got to work.

this bike has seen some fun in it’s day.







547552_455556881215212_2048818304_nShop Dog. Neville The Devil.