MLK Jr. Day Weekend Motorcycle Teardown

I took off work and spent 4 days in the “Jankyington” garage. We burned enough wood to build a house in Kensington, which is to say, a fair amount of wood. Together with the Yerkes brothers, a lifetime supply of Sly Fox and a killer high from aircraft stripper, we had a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend no one would ever forget.

I began tearing down the top-end of my 500 with the help of a Clymer book. Essentially I’m doing the same rebuild Ed did with the 650, so I’ll hold off on the details during this stage. I’m taking it to the same machine shop, Mar Automotive, when the rebuild kit comes in.

Ricky and Dana gutted the engine from the Baja 350 project.

On day 2 I bought a bench grinder for the shop, so as we tore parts off, everything got a wire-wheel treatment and high-gloss polish. This was quite possibly the best investment I’ve ever made.

An old-fashioned steel wool polish.

Dana rips out the carbs on the 200T for a cleaning.

Thanks to Mick for the seat. We were almost convinced it was the ugliest cafe seat until I took a saw to it and trimmed more than half of it off. A very productive weekend. I’ll update as the 500 progresses.

13 responses to “MLK Jr. Day Weekend Motorcycle Teardown”

  1. Todd says:

    You finally got a proper seat. That will make the bike look even better. Are you going to loose the rear fender?

  2. Devyn says:

    I ditched the stock rear fender and in it’s place mounting another front fender to the swing arm as mocked-up in the last photo. That’s Jenky engineering.

  3. ed says:

    Real psyched you’re doing the rebuild. Wish I could be there to help.

    it’s kinda hard to tell from the photo, but in the picture of the pistons:
    it looks like there is “scoring?” on the pistons near the top? Like I said, hard to tell from the pic. But if the pistons actually are beat-up, now might be a good time to get a new set of pistons on eBay.

    Def have Mar Automotive do all new valve seals. They’ll come in your engine gasket kit.

  4. Devyn says:

    That was just oil, but in the pics it looks like scoring. I’ll have the guys at Mar check everything out regardless. And yeah, I wish I had started this while you were still here.

  5. ed says:

    yea, I could go for a group engine rebuild right about now. Starting to get a little bit of cabin-fever workin from home everyday.

  6. Richard says:

    Its Janky, not jenky. Jankyington

  7. mick says:

    rad update, excited to see it come together.

    glad the seat’s gettin some use.

  8. scott says:

    Excellent….what better time than now to do a “re-build”! This weather sucks! 😉

    I really like the way the solo seat looks with the front fender over the rear tyre. It will definitely make the bike stand out in a crowd. Can’t wait to see the next update!

  9. Tom says:

    Awesome. Let me know if you need any more help with that 500 build. I pulled my 500 ‘inside’ this past weekend as well and have started the exact same engine teardown. Will probably take the head etc, to Mar as well if you guys have had good experience with them. also, let me know if you decide to ditch the stock rear fender. i might be interested in that.

  10. Devyn says:

    Yeah Tom, let me know how it goes with the 500. You should post some pics. If I can make this fixed swingarm fender work, I’ll let you have the old fender.

  11. Adam says:

    Legit. Your engine is gonna purrr when you’re done.

  12. Aaron says:

    Everythin is looking good can’t wait to see how the 350 turns out. Been curious about that one for a while.

  13. ed says:

    @Tom –
    I have nothing but good stuff to say about Mar Automotive. Nice guys.
    I think they primarily get their work from other auto shops and car dealerships. I think all they do is internal engine rebuilding. The real nitty gritty shit.

    For example, my S2000 had a minor leak at the valve seat (factory defect) so the Honda dealer identified it, and they sent it to Mar to have them take all the valves out, measure everything, cut seats, and refurbish the head. S2000 is a super intricate head with the VTEC system. Also, Mar checked out the cb450 head, and obviously they did the cb650 head.

    All 3 engines were a good experience with good outcome. I didn’t have to pay for the S2000 because of warranty, but the cycle engines were def cheap. cb650 engine was $120 if I remember correctly. And that included:
    – overall cleaning
    – measuring and testing head and cylinders to make sure they’re good
    – fixing a shitty valve seat
    – cleaning of intake and exhaust ports
    – installing all new valve seals

    I’m not sure if they always accept “walk-in” work. With both my cycle engines, I just kinda showed up with the head and cylinders in trash bags and asked them to do it. They said okay. Took about a week for each engine. I did one engine in summer… other one in winter.

    I’m pretty sure if they measure the head and cylinders and everything is within spec, and all they have to do is dunk it in their tank to clean shit, the charge is around $65 ? Something like that, i forget.

    Their info:

    Mar Automotive
    4345 Orchard Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19124-4008
    (215) 288-7320

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