My Bike!

Last summer, I sat down with filmmaker James Jones to talk to him about riding, wrenching and my dirtbike, The Runt. for  ‘My Bike!’, a series of short films featuring yes, you guessed it, riders and their bikes. My segment was just released online and the project in ongoing. If you and your motorcycle would like to a part of this series in the Greater New York Area, please contact the filmmaker James at pithypictures(at)gmail.


1971 Yamaha At1 125, 1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1962 Ford Ranchero

Black Bear Bar Sundays!

1012936_10151971076744608_160747559_nJust thought we’d share a few shots of the weekly shenanigans  over at Black Bear Bar…

1526306_10151957884034608_430078798_nIt’s a perfect way to wind down from a long week of work and wrenching at a fantastic, new Motorcycle-centric bar owned by friends in the two-wheeled community.

1618499_10151999551584608_1921147250_nbring your friends, have a pint, listen to some great DJ’d country and check out the killer rides on display…1017643_10152014523329608_409050531_nand of course, meet the lovely ladies of The Miss-Fires!

1800452_10151999631099608_1653247988_nIf you ever wanted to get advice on bikes, and make some quick moto friends, this is your chance. Every Sunday night from 7-10pm. See you there!

1546166_463278540443046_920567766_nBlack Bear Bar, 70 N 6th St, Brooklyn, New York 11249

Project CB350G

1234029_10152013274824608_1186951831_nSunday found us plugging away on the CB project. by the end of the day, cover pieces were shinier, and the top end is set, timed and ready to go!

1607013_10203002591802827_117769171_nCongrats to Suzanne and Tony (who stopped by with their pup) on their recent engagement. Glad we got to hang out and give you both a hug!

1796602_10152013298529608_1946351915_nAnd of course it’s not just us girls in the garage. The fellas were there for good company, moral support, ‘harley beer’ and custom patches. Thanks guys!


1971 Yamaha At1 125, 1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1962 Ford Ranchero

Project Dirtbike

image_1This Monday night’s addition of Project Dirtbike (the engine rebuild of my 1971 Yamaha At1 125), over at MotorGrrl, focused on Bearings. We determined they needed to be replaced as they felt ‘gritty’ when turned. Once extracted, we we pleased we decided to replace them as there was a good amount of dirt between the case and the bearings. no good.

photoThe basic procedure for installation is to freeze the bearings for a day or two, to shrink the metal. We pulled them out of the freezer a few minutes too early…so we kept them on ice, literally.imageMeanwhile, the cases were heated to expand the metal, so that the ‘shrunken’ bearings drop right in.

image_2Of course this doesn’t always work perfectly the first time, and Ross and Slade were kind enough to show us some tricks of the trade for perfect, flush installation. Thanks guys!

Corinna Mantlo

1971 Yamaha At1 125, 1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1962 Ford Ranchero



Project CB530G

photoStephanie’s 1973 Honda CB350G alternator cover came to Moto Monday night at MotorGrrl this week with 2 badly hardened steel  stripped screws.

imageIt took all night, but  we ground the heads off to pull the oil bypass valve and retain the cosmetic appearance of the cover.

image_1  Success!

Corinna Mantlo & Valerie Figarella, MotorGrrl


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…