SOME­TIMES SHAR­ING THE WORK IS MORE PRO­DUC­TIVE. SOME­TIMES

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - On The Bench - Alan See­ley

There’s a great sense of achieve­ment to be had from do­ing all the work on your bikes your­self. How­ever we all need a help­ing hand some­times and not just for the tricky stuff like lift­ing in an en­gine. Work­ing with a mate can yield other ben­e­fits, like a lit­tle ex­tra im­pe­tus when a project starts slow­ing down.

Back in the 1990s I had a lock-up in Lewisham, south Lon­don. It was one of a num­ber ar­ranged in a horse­shoe be­hind a rail­way em­bank­ment. Rent was a fiver a week and once a month I’d pop a cheque into the let­ting agent’s of­fice and have my rent book made up. There must have been 15 or so lock-ups on the site and at least half were rented by mo­tor­cy­clists. There was a guy with a Kawasaki GPZ1100 who did mas­sive miles on it and it al­ways re­quired some main­te­nance or other. There was an­other bloke with a Tri­umph TR6 with mis­matched crank­case halves hence it leaked oil all the time. On the car side, one ten­ant was restor­ing a Buick Road­mas­ter like the one in the film Rain Man. There was an old codger with one of those mock Tudor Mor­ris Trav­ellers he’d owned from new.

It was a great com­mu­nity and we’d share tools and skills to get what­ever the job was done. There was no elec­tric­ity on the site so when it got dark we’d treat our­selves to a cou­ple of pints in the White Horse as a re­ward for a day’s work (gen­er­ally) well done.

I haven’t been around that way for years but I bet the lock-up site has long been sold off for over­priced flats. How­ever a legacy of those days is the re­al­i­sa­tion that span­ner­ing of­ten goes bet­ter when you work with a mate. It’s an ex­change of labour that also ce­ments friend­ships and presents an ex­cel­lent ex­cuse to so­cialise.

Com­mu­ni­ties like the one I was part of in Lewisham are prob­a­bly a lot thin­ner on the ground now but so­cial me­dia presents the ideal fo­rum for find­ing your span­ner­ing part­ner – if you don’t al­ready have one. Or maybe I’ll de­velop an app for the sin­gle spannerman or woman; a Tin­der of the torque wrench.

“THE IDEAL FO­RUM FOR FIND­ING YOUR PART­NER, AN APP FOR THE SIN­GLE SPANNERMAN OR WOMAN; A TIN­DER OF THE TORQUE WRENCH”

Two id­iots are usu­ally bet­ter than one. Usu­ally

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