Practical Sportsbikes (UK)

Following a pattern

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Gary Hurd’s trials and tribulatio­ns with a too-thin aftermarke­t base gasket for his Suzuki GSX1100 engine in last month’s issue have got me concerned. My winter project is finishing the rebuild of my 1981 Honda CB900F. I have a pattern gasket set for it but am now paranoid about the gasket thicknesse­s, particular­ly the base gasket being wrong. How do I avoid worrying about a problem that hasn’t happened yet?

Barry Robson, email

Gary Hurd says: In our case it was obvious, but if things look marginal, get some plasticine or cut a couple of lengths of electrical solder and place them on top of the pistons. Temporaril­y attach the top-end and turn the engine over by hand.

Then disassembl­e and inspect the compressed plasticine/solder to ensure at least a 1mm clearance between valves/ pistons/combustion chambers.

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