58 Tiger Cub Motorcycle

FRS 106, Michael Littman – Spring 2017

February 16th, 2017 (Day 4)


  • Reflections and learnings from the previous shop class
  • Discussion of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Design (Chapter 3)
  • Discussion of Shop Class as Soulcraft (Pages 11-31)
  • Continue disassembly in shop in sub-teams

Reflections and learnings from the previous shop class

  • Top and Bottom End Groups- Troubleshooting while taking out sprockets and other specific fasteners in the engine, learning about and avoiding mushrooming.
  • Clutch- Disassembly and cataloging parts using the manual
  • Electrical- Looked at a PDF to understand how the electric systems work
  • Fasteners/ Carburetor- Researched how a carburetor works, along with some disassembly
  • Fork- Found all the parts and catalogued them, referring to the manual
  • Frame- Took the pin out of the swing arm using an arbor press and copper mallet
  • Wheel- Disassembled front wheel, took out spokes.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Design (Chapter 3)

Motorcycle References:

  • Speedometer- Has a magnet which deflect the needle proportional to the speed. Magnetic Breaking uses eddy currents to break
  • Tachometer- measures angular speed (rev/min= rpm)


  •  Interesting to equate the concept ghosts and scientific laws with the argument that both are human invention and “exist in the mind”
  • Concept that everything that we “know” it true, is actually just invented by us
  • Idea that lots of philosophy is as much about posing questions and leaving it for the reader to interpret it as it is to answer questions
  • The philosophical side of the story really comes to light in this chapter

Shop Class as Soulcraft (Pages 11-31)

Motorcycle References:

  • Soldering/ Braising/ Welding (in order of effectiveness)
  • Carbs and Breaks- could identify what was being cleaned by the smell, as each is cleaned with a different solvent
  • Backfire (explosion outside ignition chamber- flashes coming out of carb) and afterfire (unburnt fuel in the exhaust causes an explosion) have different sounds
  • Starter Clutch- clutch associated with electric start


  • Theory vs Practice, why is there is a superficial divide between “thinkers” and “doers”? Divide between intellectuals and tradesmen.
  • Diagnostic technique- not just hands-on but also intellectual- should equate surgeons to mechanics
  • Education- decline in vocational education, but now is rising again; standardized tests, knowing factoids is great but you can’t do anything; idea about learning without practice
  • “Tell them, Show them, Let them do it”- different people learn differently.

Shop Time

  • Further disassembly and cleaning of parts
  • Getting an accurate inventory of spare parts and documenting what we need to order