Classic Bike Guide

Alternativ­es fixings


In an ideal world we’d all be happily reusing the original fittings that the bike was built with, but as we all know, real life actually isn’t like that. Nuts and bolts get lost or get worn out, threads get damaged, corrosion renders them unservicea­ble etc.

Without exception OEM parts are the best source of replacemen­t supply… if you can get them. I never cease to marvel just how much is still available from Yamaha for bikes like the AS1. Okay, most of it runs a different finish, but it will all be to the correct specificat­ion and guaranteed fit for purpose. For many applicatio­ns a lot of jobs on the old bikes we fettle can be sorted using stainless steel fixings. They are readily available, relatively inexpensiv­e and, obviously, won’t corrode. The only negative is their finish but, with a little artifice, they can be variously toned down to look the part. Where it all gets a little bit worrying is when we get to fixings that are safety critical; here there’s no room for error. Shock absorber fixings, brakes, axles pinch bolts and the like all need to be at least as strong as the OEM high tensile steel. From a technical perspectiv­e the Martensiti­c grades of stainless are the ones to go for. You might get away with cheaper, mass produced, stainless fixings but unless you can reassure yourself of its authentici­ty is it really worth the risk?

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