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I took my 77 KZ1000 to a "mechanic" around 15 years ago to make it run right. Four cyl, four carb, valve adjust, ign, old ...neglected ...bla bla bla. His name is Ross. He had a small private shop in an industrial park. He took half his estimate when I brought it in, which I handed over after seeing his shop full of vintage bikes in various stages of repair, and enough various toolage to make him appear competent on some level. He at least seemed capable and interested in his work.

After about five months of bs excuses, my surprise visits, seeing my bike pushed further to the rear of the shop, I emailed one day, as he stopped answering the phone, and said push it to the front, I will be picking it up tonight. He responded with pictures of disassembled carbs. Three weeks later I picked it up. It ran maybe 20% better, but it ran, and I hated him by then, so I paid the bill, which was higher (shock!) and took it home. On close inspection, I noticed the carb balance tube caps were used and mis-matched. I had provided all the new parts he would need and then some, including new caps. After some riding and realizing it was not properly tuned, #2 stopped firing, #4 intermittent, I confronted him. He said he needed the caps for another bike, and that they were "insignificant parts." The translation being .. I was an insignificant customer. I had served his purpose, cash infusion.

    I said to myself ..I can @#!#$# it up, alot faster and cheaper than shyster Ross, and at least learn something. I used several sources and tore into it. Rebuilding the rebuilt carbs, re-shimming the ignored valves, installing electronic ign. etc. #2 carb was better but not right. After cleaning twice more, I sourced another, rebuilt it and problem solved. I found an ex dealership tech to balance the carbs. He said they were very close already with my static setting. (an eighth inch drill bit). The spirit that gets properly brought to life in a Kaw Zed is a wonderful thing, especially when you owned showroom new one at age 26.

So now I'm a "mechanic". Only for my own stuff, and only to a limited level. I will still sub out some things.. mostly to get to an oem baseline, but now do all maintenance and straight forward repairs myself.  My recently acquired Ohlins with 25k miles, went to a factory trained, and respected Ducati tech for said baseline rebuild. But the next time, I will do it.  With my Guzzi's, the issues I am not comfortable with, I come here, V11LM.com,. to mooch advice and instruction from the keyboard mind of the experienced pro tech and the "extreem hobbiest". Advice given to help like minded owner/riders of a marque they love enough to want to keep on the road, even though it's not their own.

Mechanically, I help friends with what I can, with marques I'm acquainted. If I charged for it I'd be a charlatan for sure.

Ross stopped advertising and closed up shop a few months later. On my last visit with him I noticed someone had broken out his office door window, and Ross was wearing an ankle bracelet monitor. I'm guessing he fled the area to start up his scam in some other town, to take advantage of the (then) recent vintage boom. Watch out for him.

finished and smiling....

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Hey the bike looks great !

Sh**heads & charlatans come in all shapes, sizes & professions. Glad you are past that & added to your mechanical skills because of it.

:thumbsup:

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And here, I thought it was Moto Guzzi turning riders into mechanics (since 1921 !) . . . :grin:

Fine, fine looking Kawi Zed, footgoose! :thumbsup:

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I have the same attitude about wrenching, in most cases I figure I could do just as shitty a job as someone I would pay, cheaper. And maybe even better. Professional mechanics (and charlatans) rarely have the same level of concern for my things as I do. I might do the job slower, or even two or three times to make sure I got it right. They usually just want to get it out their door with the least effort required. If you find a professional mechanic that cares about your things as much as you do, or even close, that is a rare thing and I would suggest taking as much to them as you can. Guys like Pete Roper are not the norm, sadly. And I clearly am not as good as he is. But usually I am good enough.

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Lovely bike, I had a '76 KZ900 in a very similar color,, being young and foolish at the time, I had to trade it in on the new Yamaha XS1100, oh well hindsight.

I'm in a similar boat in regards to mechanics, I don't do it because because I love wrenching, I love my bikes and I want somebody that cares about the quality of work and care that goes into them,,, I've yet to find a mechanic that fits the bill.

Yes I take a long time to do some jobs, I spend more time researching than wrenching, but at least I'm confident that it's done well at the end of the day.

Tks for sharing, that's a sweet old bike.

Kelly

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5 hours ago, GuzziMoto said:

I have the same attitude about wrenching, in most cases I figure I could do just as shitty a job as someone I would pay, cheaper. And maybe even better. Professional mechanics (and charlatans) rarely have the same level of concern for my things as I do. I might do the job slower, or even two or three times to make sure I got it right. They usually just want to get it out their door with the least effort required. If you find a professional mechanic that cares about your things as much as you do, or even close, that is a rare thing and I would suggest taking as much to them as you can. Guys like Pete Roper are not the norm, sadly. And I clearly am not as good as he is. But usually I am good enough.

I find this with everything these days from Car/Motorcycle mechanics to any tradesman that works on your house to pretty much any service you engage. It's just the natural evolution of the capitalistic system where each individual is now their own little corporation and like a corporation the whole reason for existing is to make a profit. The rest is just vehicle to take you to that end. 

Try and find anyone these days that is in a profession for the pure pleasure of it or is just happy to be doing what they consider they were born to do and that's the primary reward . Pretty hard, but it used to be quite common.  

If history has shown us anything the 20th century demonstrated the total failure of the Communist and Socialist systems with the massive slaughter of its own countrymen and others and it's corruption induced collapse but having said that the capitalist system I believe is now in a serious downward spiral. The current problem of finding decent skilled people that care about what they do and take pride in what they achieve in their chosen field regardless of the financial rewards is just another indicator of the rot setting in.

Of course the problem is as I get older my capacity to do the things I'v always done diminishes and the thought of having to rely on the current crop of charlatans is somewhat of a concern. There are of course still a few good people out there but finding them can be pretty much impossible.

Nice old Kawasaki BTW.

Ciao

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Lucky Phil said:

I find this with everything these days from Car/Motorcycle mechanics to any tradesman that works on your house to pretty much any service you engage. It's just the natural evolution of the capitalistic system where each individual is now their own little corporation and like a corporation the whole reason for existing is to make a profit. The rest is just vehicle to take you to that end. 

Try and find anyone these days that is in a profession for the pure pleasure of it or is just happy to be doing what they consider they were born to do and that's the primary reward . Pretty hard, but it used to be quite common.  

If history has shown us anything the 20th century demonstrated the total failure of the Communist and Socialist systems with the massive slaughter of its own countrymen and others and it's corruption induced collapse but having said that the capitalist system I believe is now in a serious downward spiral. The current problem of finding decent skilled people that care about what they do and take pride in what they achieve in their chosen field regardless of the financial rewards is just another indicator of the rot setting in.

Of course the problem is as I get older my capacity to do the things I'v always done diminishes and the thought of having to rely on the current crop of charlatans is somewhat of a concern. There are of course still a few good people out there but finding them can be pretty much impossible.

Nice old Kawasaki BTW.

Ciao

 

Agreed..... I once heard the saying... ( Just take a little care in what you are doing )

Also one to remember and I agree on.... doesn't matter what you choose to do in life, Just make sure you are very good at it.

 

Ciao

34 minutes ago, Lucky Phil said:

 

 

 

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