How To Set Up Your Motorcycle Workshop

by C. G. Masi


"How to set up your Motorcycle Workshop" is an unusual motorcycle mechanics book in that it deals solely with creating an efficient working environment. That subject is usually given the short shift or ignored completely in other books, so the attention is welcome. Having attempted rebuilds myself in damp, leaky garages with too-short workbenches and too-little light I think the subject's important enough to deserve its own book.

"After reading Masi's extensive rant on storage space versus work space, I immediately rearranged my own workbench."

When he's not writing motorcycle books, Masi's an engineering lab supervisor for Hewlett Packard. When it comes to efficient workspaces he knows what he's talking about. His book is split into sections -- figuring out what you need, laying out the workshop (power, lighting, heat, storage), basic tools, advanced tools, serious stuff like lifts, welding gear and lathes. Final chapters are case studies of workshops -- a typical home shop, a friend's killer 30 ft. x 50 ft. super-size home shop, a small professional shop, and Yoshimura's full-on race shop. Each shop's layout is described, along with the reasons why they chose their design.

After reading Masi's extensive rant on storage space versus work space, and why they shouldn't be mixed, I immediately rearranged my own workbench. I moved my Maico engine from its prime real estate on top of the workbench and banished it underneath. Further tips came from his chapter on lighting, which helped explain why my garage is too dim even though I put in lots of lights -- I hung them too close to the high ceiling.

Masi's chapter on basic tools didn't impress me as much, possibly because it's oriented towards Harleys and I have yet to own one. His sections on advanced tools like lathes and milling machines are quick outlines of what those tools can do, because, as he explains, any work with them will require books and further instruction specific to their operation.

If you wrench on motorcycles, especially for a living, this book is worthwhile reading.

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