Practical Sportsbikes (UK)
Following a pattern
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.