NEXT WEEK PLANET ME­CHANIC

Vi­tal checks for your new used bike be­fore its first ride ‘We’ll see bikes with less teeth on the sprocket than Al­bert Step­toe’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

‘What’s it like run­ning a work­shop in Lon­don?’

Matt Bald­win, 46, man­ages the work­shop at the fam­ily-fam­i­lyrun Bur­win Mo­tor­cy­cles in Is­ling­ton, Lon­don

“Al­though we’re in cen­tral Lon­don we are an old-school busi­ness with a lot of ban­ter in the shop, where cus­tomers can make them­selves (and us) a cup of tea. My dad founded the busi­ness in 1976 and I started out sweep­ing the floor as a kid in the 1980s.

“Most of our cus­tomers are long-stand­ing, maybe 20 years or more, and they are still com­muters so they aren’t in­clined to do main­te­nance. In fact we’ll do the tyre pres­sures and lube the chain for some as a free pit-stop on the way into work.

“All that stop-start com­mut­ing takes its toll on brakes, chains and tyres and we’ll reg­u­larly have bikes come in with less teeth on the front sprocket than Al­bert Step­toe or discs that are so thin the mount­ings are start­ing to crack. We tend to fit Ferodo Plat­inum pads. They are not as sharp as some, but they don’t shred the discs like some ma­te­ri­als.

“Right now we are build­ing up the tyre side of the busi­ness, with Miche­lin Pi­lot Road 3 and 4s prov­ing pop­u­lar. The best thing man ever in­vented for chang­ing tyres is a car­a­van chock. They are just the right size to wedge un­der the tyre and keep it sta­ble. You can then push the chock for­wards so the spin­dle lines up. I reckon it saves us 10 min­utes per wheel and only one per­son is needed to line it up.”

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