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False Neutral #46: Raiders of the Lost ATV Motors

Several things happened in our workshops this week, so we update each other on our project bikes. Garrett delt with Nighthawk wiring issues and missing pieces inside the engine. Thanks to Garrett’s help, Bultakenstein might get some new parts fast-tracked. Things remain too cold in Eric’s Michigan garage, so he’s working on vintage audio equipment instead. We preview the topic for next week’s show, which brings us back around to two-strokes, tiny Wankel engines, fantasy engine layouts, and finally updating the formula for our faux-Italian tiddler to include the engine out of the Yamaha Blaster ATV.

Our question for you this week: Do you do your own work, pay to have your bikes maintained and repaired, or divide those tactics somewhere in between? Where you do draw the line?

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False Neutral – Raiders of the Lost ATV Motors


Bultakenstein’s rear engine mounts, sketched out…

…and mocked up out of 3/8″ high density polyethylene sheet.

The underside to Eric’s German-made turntable.

The Aixro XR50 wankel kart engine

Yamaha YSF200 Blaster ATV

Jimroid’s Blaster-swapped Yamaha XS
Image Source: Build thread on ADVrider.com

A closer view of the Blaster Bike’s engine bay.

Hikaru Miyagi
Honda Motor Co. photo

Hikaru Miyagi with Dream S streamliner & crew at Bonneville
Honda Motor Co. photo








  • Batshitbox

    On the Laverda, I’ve recently resorted to having a professional do the fixing. It’s a tall order to find anyone who will work on bikes made in the 1980s, and it’s always been difficult to find anyone willing to work on a Laverda. My guy is 3-1/2 hours up the coast. (For the first 15 years I owned it, it never really broke down, then there were 15 years I just couldn’t get ’round to it. Now that it’s mechanically restored, I hope there’s another 15 trouble free years ahead of me!)

    I still work on the other bikes, a DR650 went through here, and there was an EX500 for a few months, the TW200 and the DRZ400 are thumpers, and designed to be fixed in the field.

    Cars I’ve pretty much given up on fixing myself. It’s just not fun anymore. The Scout market got really expensive while I owned the ’62 and the ’63, and another cheap project car hasn’t inspired me since.

  • Sheepio

    When I lived in the bay area I went to Moto Guild. It’s a workshop where you can rent garage time and they provide a lift and tools. They also have classes and offer 1-on-1 tutorage so for tricky jobs you can get a mechanic to help guide you through it. I did all my maintenance there and wish there were something like that in Colorado. (There may be, but I haven’t found it yet!)

    • Garrett Michael

      I wish (or maybe they do?) have workshops that that around the Portland Oregon area. I wouldn’t mind volunteering my time helping others maintain their bikes. Come to think of it, I feel like that is exactly what my dad’s race shop has become since he retired! …at least for my riding buddies 🙂

  • ninjabortion

    I do everything myself except tires. I am capable of doing them, but it is worth the 25 bucks to let a guy i trust with a big machine do it without risk of scratching the rim in minimal time. Almost everything else i find pretty relaxing to do myself. If it ends up not feeling rewarding that is when i start thinking about outsourcing…