General tips from Mark

Bertie Simmonds
April 26, 2017
  • Now and then you will find that a nut or bolt simply will not undo. You have tried everything: heat, penetrating oil and even an impact wrench but still the fastener remains resolutely tight. There is one more thing before you reach for the angle grinder. It definitely does have a normal right-hand thread of course? Sometimes left-hand threads are used to prevent fasteners from undoing in normal use. These are almost always found on rotating parts, such as engine or transmission components or possibly on the wheels.


    Candidate for rusty nuts!
  • It you have wire wheels and have just bought a tyre you may see on the side the word Tubeless. This does not mean that you do not need an inner tube, nor does it mean that you cannot use an inner tube. This indicates that no tube is necessary provided that you have wheels which are suitable. Unless you have special rims with external mounting points for the spokes, your wheels are not suitable and air will escape.
  • If you have difficulty in removing a fork leg, what is probably happening is that the lower yoke clamp is doing its job, so tap in a suitable wedge to open up the gap. Often the assembly will start to descend quite suddenly, but with luck your strategically placed foot will prevent any damage — to the fork leg, that is. Steel toe caps?

Potential toe crushers…

About the Author

Bertie Simmonds

As a child Bertie (well, Robert back then… blame his sister for the nickname) was exposed to motorcycles thanks to his uncles. They would show up at his house with a lovely lady as pillion throughout the 1970s and 1980s. After a naughty time on field bikes (it’s what we did back then) Bertie passed his test in the early 1990s and became a reporter for MCN in 1995, moving to the sports desk and covering World Superbikes in 1996. With a change to Bike Magazine in 1997, he stayed until 2000 as news, features and road test editor. Moving into PR with Cosworth, Bert was bored with cars and returned to bikes in 2001 with Two Wheels Only, becoming editor in 2002 and leaving to be freelance at the end of 2004. With almost a decade freelancing, Bertie joined Mortons in 2013 and became editor of Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, a post he’s desperately clung to, to this day. And no, he’s never had a pretty girl on the back of his bike.

Share this article