58 Tiger Cub Motorcycle

FRS 106, Michael Littman – Spring 2017


March 16, 2017 (Thursday, Week 6)


  • Updates on shop progress

  • Readings and discussion of references and content

Updates- NOTE: Tuesday’s shop session was shortened because of the snow day and lack of helpers

  • Bottom End: Investigated the chain rubbing on the inner primary engine cover and the associated oil leaks/structural faults

  • Clutch: Installed hose clamps on oil lines and hoses on the blue bike; prepared the blue bike to drain oil in preparation to take off oil pump

  • Electrical: Continued fixing the ignition switch

  • Fasteners : Worked on installing the Japanese (turns out to be Chinese) carb on the blue bike; didn’t quite fit as the spring was too long and the air filter also was too tight

  • Forks: Worked on finding ways to get forks ready for powder coater using triple trees

  • Frame: Tried to find nuts and clean threads using tap and die

  • Top End: Cleaned up new oil line and cleaned barrel fins

  • Wheels: Disassembled rear brake assembly

Calculations Lesson:

Recapped last time’s questions:

  • How fast can a motorcycle go? Used RPM and gear ratios to determine top speed.

  • How much is maximum torque in rear wheel? Used friction force and diameter of the wheel to determine 200 ft-lbs of torque.

Building on these, we can ask how much tension the chain would be able to bear. We can determine this using the torque of the engine and the radius of the sprocket. The top of the chain bears the force whereas the bottom does not (at least when the engine is accelerating). When the engine is being used for engine braking, the tension shifts to the lower leg of the chain.

We can also ask what the engine torque is. Using the equation power= (torque [in ft-lbs])x(angular velocity [in rad/sec]) we can work backwards to determine what the engine torque is.

The final question we addressed was how much horsepower do we need? Drew out the incline plane diagram to illustrate what the power requirement would be to maintain velocity uphill. Used the power equation P=Force [lbs] x Velocity [ft/min] to determine what the power requirements will be.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Chapter 15

  • No substantial motorcycle references

  • Chapter focuses on his return to the campus he used to teach at

  • References the seed crystal of his memory about Quality- becomes an obsessive passion

    • Quality will become the focus of the rest of the book- there becomes a romantic and a classical divide in the ideas

    • There is a mention of the “you know it when you see it” attitude towards quality

Shop Class as Soulcraft, pages 93-113

  • Motorcycle References:

    • Discussion of wheel bearing and toying around with the bearing while drying it

    • Starter motor and the bearing in it being shot when the spinning cylinder’s bearings open up and rattle around, causing motor failure

    • Galling of the cam lobes because the valve springs are too tight- done by testing the force of the springs against a bathroom scale. Someone had installed a modified valve springs that had been installed to allow the engine to go to a higher engine RPM

    • References to Zen with the “idiocy” story of the mechanics

    • Oil galleries- reference to Pirsig- that caused seizures in head. Prof. Littman showed demonstration with the brake cam’s grease gallery

  • Content:

    • Discusses how he got into motorcycle maintenance in Chicago

    • Compares his experience in academia and at the think tank to his time working on motorcycles

  • Differentiates between liberal arts and servile arts- but he did not feel free working in the liberal arts (think tank/university)

  • Faces dilemma of being a sole practitioner and running a shop

  • Defines idiocy as both an ethical and practical failure

March 9, 2017 (Thursday, Week 5)


  • Updates on shop progress
  • Readings


Two MAE seniors will join us in the lab for additional assistance.

Instead of asking what to do next, ask ‘How about I do this next?  Take ownership.  Don’t be afraid to make things worse! Nothing is irreconcilable. Also, find problems early before we are ready to put the cycle back together.

  • Bottom End: looked at Kinex model, added neutral gear; Sanded and polished engine cover
  • Clutch: Cleaned; Catalogued bins; Began forming oil lines; Need to learn about dry sump concept
  • Electrical: Made a circuit to look at sparks; Worked on lighting switch
  • FastenersFinished the carb; put it on the blue motorcycle; Leaked gas so began fixing – to continue next class
  • Forks: Work continues; Categorized parts
  • Frame: Primed struts, dried them, may need to be sanded because paint dripped; Plugged holes for powder coater; Will look into having all the parts needed for the tank.
  • Top End: Bored barrel with Gleen on lathe; Honed the barrel (a really fine sanding to eliminate any roughness in the barrel)
  • Wheels: Continued cleaning with chrome polish; Began cleaning spokes – very dirty, so ordered new spokes


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Chapter 12

  • No motorcycle references
  • Today there are more specialists than generalists in career fields
  • DeWeese is a romantic, but although he doesn’t understand science and technology, he appreciates it
  • Aesthetic pleasure of well done cabins – connects the classical to the romantic
  • Journey to Korea vs India – in Korea, finds enlightenment without looking for it; in India, finds nothing while pursuing it

Shop Class as Soulcraft, pages 72-92

  •  Motorcycle References:
    • Intake manifold must be match-ported to be smooth for best flow and minimal turbulence
    • Transaxle – combo of tranmission, differential, and axle
    • Nitrided crank journals – pin in the flywheel – to limit wear, can be nitrided which makes them very hard, thus strong, and shiny
    • Greasing ball bearings – smushes Vaseline-like grease into the bearings
  • Content:
    • In education, is streamlining a loss or a gain?
    • Some kids may be forced to take the likes of shop class without wanting to, but others may miss it when it is not required.
    • Shop class vs. math class = infinite options vs. one or two right answers
    • Even shop class doesn’t allow much creativity – must make the product the teacher assigns
    • Basic skills are important.
    • Standardized tests require fitting in and matching yourself to them.  Finding a career is the reverse. Find a career that matches you best, rather than trying to match yourself to a career.

March 7, 2017 (Tuesday, Week 5)


  • Updates on shop progress
  • Readings with Gideon Rosen


  • Bottom End: Cleaned the transmission gears, counted them – the cycle has a standard ratio; Given a kinex model to explain to the class on Thursday
  • Clutch: Cleaned – oil parts, sprocket of clutch, ball bearings; Took inventory of clutch
  • Electrical: Tested capacitor
  • FastenersFound new seals; Cleaned the carb, began putting it back together
  • Forks: Cleaned fork, prepared it to be sent to powder coater
  • Frame: Sandblasted and polished rear struts – will begin painting; Frame needs to be welded
  • Top End: Machined dowels to align the head with the barrel (made a replacement part)
  • Wheels: Scrubbed wheels to get off rust


We were joined by Professor Gideon Rosen, a philosopher at Princeton

Rosen’s Background:

  • Mathematics: What is it? How can we know something is proved and with certainty if it is invisible and created?
  • Ethics: How should we live? Do we live in a deterministic universe?  Ethics deals with the application of morals and responsibility versus free will.
  • Rosen doesn’t have one key philosopher he looks to, for no one philosopher answers every question.

General Questions for Rosen

  • Why study philosophy?  It sharpens one’s thinking needed to deal with “muddy” topics.  Also, it brings the intrinsic value of reflection, and meets a genuine intellectual need in some people.
  • What is metaphysics? The study of reality – objects, their structures, and the principals governing them.  It looks to define which features are real and which depend on our minds and the way we perceive.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Chapters 10-11 

  • Scientific method leads to infinite hypotheses; it is constantly evolving new knowledge.
  • One view: Truth differs from what is “known” to be true.  Humans find facts, but do not make them.
  • Another view: Humans are not finding facts, rather new ways to describe reality.
  • Some intuition is required to make some hypotheses.
  • Kant: “a priori” – many objective features are subjective – we impose time on objects, but we aren’t detecting the passage of time
  • Whatever is out there, we cannot know anything about it beyond how it presents itself to us – we cannot peel away the layers of our minds to see what it really is (a mind independent world does not exist)
  • Motorcycle used to teach philosophy:
    • Concept of a motorcycle helps you know what it is as you move around it.
    • You know the motorcycle is not changing as you move even though your experience of it is.
    • The mind constructs the underlying permanent thing that resides below the changing sensory information.
  • Machine learning, when teaching machines how to identify an object, e.g. a chair
  • Hume said with just sensation and reason there is no learning.  To know more about an object, you need to bring some prior knowledge.
  • Kant tries to describe the algorithm the mind uses to go from sensation to object, and how we are able to make predictions about unseen sides of an object.
  • Rationality – what is it?
    • Coherent relations among beliefs – e.g. even a hallucinator can be rational
  • Reason – what is it?
    • Capacity of the mind for arriving at knowledge of one truth from other truths
  • Is perception hypothesis?
    • In modern view, yes.
    • In past, perception led to reason.
  • Pure reason is supposed to be free of perception.
  • Kant’s thesis: No knowledge of objective reality can come without some experience.
  • Reason applied to ethics:
    • Utilitarianism – moral requirement to act for the greatest good
    • Utilitariansim is a preposterous assumption e.g under it, a doctor should kill a healthy patient to give organs to several sick ones because the net survival is greater
    • But very simple reasoning behind this principle
    • Ends justify the means – very easily abused
  • Rosen’s opinion of ZAMM?
    • The story of a failed amateur philosopher
    • Gives a good example of the mind drifting the philosophical direction
  • Mindlessness is never the solution.
  • Everything needs intuition and imagination – from science to the arts
  • People have different levels of skepticism about the validity of generally accepted underlying views.
  • If one desires knowledge, classical is best.
  • Romantics can have valuable experience but cannot have an understanding of object.
  • So what is beauty?
    • An attention to detail
    • Some things are beautiful because they are useful, not in spite of it, e.g. structural art

March 2, 2017 (Thursday, Week 4)


  • Announcement: If anyone has photos from the first four weeks, email them to ajk2@princeton.edu 
  • Shop Updates
  • Readings

Bottom End

  • Cleaned case with orange oil
  • Found bearing that needs replacing
    • Ball bearings— give rotation without much friction


  • Finding parts
  • Oil line from top end to oil reservoir needs repairing
  • Reservoir is ready for powder coating (found old cap)


  • Researched parts, bought new headlights, tail lamp on Ebay


  • Remeasured and input coordinates of holes in engine cover for printing gaskets
  • Work with bottom end group to find out if we need new seals for the engine


  • Sandblasted
  • Cleaned out threads


  • Worked on disassembling second rear strut
  • Need to replace rubber
  • Need to sandblast 

Top End

  • Need to make two new valve covers
    • Going to 3d scan, print prototypes
  • Need to design and cut gaskets
  • Next week-going to bore the barrel


  • Cleaning (used wire brush and drummel)

Demo- Ping Pong Rocket

  • Electrolysis of Water
  • Increase in temperature —> increase in pressure —> ping bong ball shoots up

Demo-Ford Engine replica


  • Zen, Chapter 9
    • Motorcycle references
      • Spark plug gap
        • Spark must be blue
      • Discussion of electrical system
      • Using horn to test battery
      • Engine misfire
        • could be intake problem: loud bang (intake valve hasn’t closed)
        • engine could be running too rich: flames (unburned fuel out exhaust)
    • Discussion of scientific method
      • Inductive vs Deductive reasoning
      • Likens the scientific method to a bulldozer— takes a long time, but its reliable
      • Very organized explanation. The way he explains- similar to how Phaedrus would have thought
      • scientific method gives him confidence
      • Contrast between romantic and classical thinking— author favors classical
      • Nature can mislead you, but the scientific method can be a guide 
      • Shows the purpose of the scientific method— its not just procedural
      • Even with all the logic of reasoning, nature is still unreliable— demonstrated in the final moment with the near miss
  • Shop Class, Chapter 3
    • Motorcycle references
      • Idiot light
      • Kick-starting motorcycle- long process
      • Manual oil pump on older motorcycles- depended on the rider to remember 
      • “Betty Crocker Cruiser”
        • “accessorizing” modern cycles— we aren’t making real choices
          • author takes a condescending tone
        • Idea of Betty Crocker— can be a good first step, builds confidence
    • Content 
      • “Betty Crocker Cruiser”
        • “accessorizing” modern cycles— we aren’t making real choices
          • author takes a condescending tone
        • Idea of Betty Crocker— can be a good first step, builds confidence
      • Freedomism
      • Agency and Independence

February 28, 2017 (Tuesday, Week 4)


  • Updates on shop progress
  • Dynamometer Demo
  • Readings

Bottom End

  • cleaned engine case
  • used arbor press to remove sprocket bearing, took seal out (needs replacing)


  • need to go to bunker to find some new parts (oil reservoir cap)


  • finding lights online
  • polished parts


  • remeasured engine cover
  • completed Creo tutorial


  • measured forks
  • removed wiring from handlebars, removed grips from handlebars


  • worked on taking apart rear struts

Top End

  • sandblasted and scrubbed 
  • next step: cut gaskets


  • opened and cleaned rear hub
  • replaced rear wheel bearings
  • *important to make sure all parts are clean before they go to the powder coater

Dynamometer Demo

  • force- units: pounds, Newtons
  • torque- rotational force (foot-pounds, Newton-meters), r*f
  • power- energy per time (Watt, foot-pounds-per-second), or force*velocity
  • work- force*distance
  • one horsepower = 33,000 foot-pounds/minute (about 750 W)
  • dynamometer- what is the torque? what is the power?

DeProny brake, or brake dynamometer

  • measures torque vs rpm (angular speed)
  • find angular speed at which your motor generates the most power (which is why we have multiple gears)


  • Torque is turning force
  • Work is force*distance
  • Power is force*velocity


Zen, Chapters 7&8

  • Motorcycle references
    • Jets— oversized vs standard (use oversized/ pilot jet when idling)
      • size of hole determines air flow vs gas flow
      • At higher altitudes, oxygen is lower— needs less fuel
    • Spark plug— when “fouled”, covered with carbon— too much fuel
    • Chain— is running “hot and dry”— evaporating lubricant immediately
    • Cam and Tappets— made of hardened steel, because they take the brunt of the force
    • Need to adjust tappet/ cam shaft clearance when cold (when parts are warm, it stretches)— valves need to close fully
  • Content
    • revisiting classical/ romantic 
      • understanding thoroughly loses some beauty (Mark Twain—lost the beauty of the river), but there is also beauty in learning how things work
      • reconciling two viewpoints
    • “ghost of rationality”
      • rationality is not always beneficial
      • ethics— can rationality be applied? (utilitarian)
    • effects vs causes
    • “He was systematic, but to say he thought and acted like a machine would be to misunderstand the nature of his thought. It was not like pistons and wheels and gears all moving at once, massive and coordinated.”
      • whole vs individual
    • Steel
      • “Steel can be any shape you want if you are skilled enough, and any shape but the one you want if you are not.”

February 23rd, 2017


  • Updates
  • Readings


  • Bottom End – Disassembled the oil pump and removed the stuck ball bearing with the help of a hammer. Tested the oil pump by hand, which was not enough, because they only tested one direction.
  • Clutch Started preparing the oil reservoir for the powder coater. Started preparing the clutch pads.
  • Electrical – Started testing the capacitor, but the multimeter was not working. Prepared working on the lighting and batter box. Started looking for a headlamp.
  • Fastener – Measuring the engine cover and making a new gasket for it.
  • Fork – Started sandblasting new parts for the fork. They put in plastic so they could duct tape it onto the part.
  • Frame Researched style and worked with the professor to make their own part. Started taking apart the rear struts.
  • Top End – Spend the bulk of the last meeting sandblasting and clearing off the head. Cleaned the head using the orange bath.
  • Wheels 


A skill that we can develop during this course is Problem Finding, as opposed to Problem Solving.


  • ZAMM
    • Chapter 6
      • Motorcycle mentions
      • Feedback System
        • Cam Chain
        • Cam Shaft
        • Tappets
        • Distributor
      • Lubrication System
        • Camshaft
        • Wankel, Otto engines
        • Rectifier.
    • Classical vs Romantic –  false Dischotomy
      • Makes it more impressive
      • Classical doesn’t have to be dull, awkward, and boring
      • Classical vs. Romantic is simplified
      • Blueprint to a classical person – he is fascinated – a romantic view built into the classical view
      • You don’t see the forrest because of the trees
      • Scientific Analysis – breaking things into parts
      • John does not know how to approach a problem mecahanically and it overwhelms him
    • Phaedrus was a master at cutting things up
  • Shop Class as Soulcraft
    • Model T assembly lines
    • Personal Services are not safe eier
    • Pattern recognizing systems
    • Future of replacing peopel
    • Human Ingenuity to Repair and Figure out Stuff
    • Going to college vs not going to college – he is making a case for the trades
    • How do you figure out things.

February 21st, 2017 (Day 5)


  • Updates on shop progress
  • Readings


Bottom End Report


Disassembly of the engine:

-tried to get it to work:

  • found that the gear ratios are important
  • quadrant (the shifter)
  • to loosen (remove) the flywheel they had to lock the connecting rod into place with



Spent time on backplate, to figure out how it worked

Went to the bunker and found replacement parts


The points system was checked. Gotta get all the pieces cleared up


Finished taking it apart and started looking up missing parts.


Finished taking apart the forks and started cleaning them.


Almost finished sandblasting the frame and started checking for the cracks.


Emma and Stephanie are now the sandblasting experts and will take care of any further sandblasting needs.


Top End

Finished taking the valves and the springs out, together with the shins. They used a C-clamp to compress it. Afterwards they cleaned and prepared the top end of the sandblasting.



Worked on the hub, and took the bearings apart together with the other parts. They cleaned the other parts with a brass brush, since it does not damage the steel.



Motorcycle References

-Toolbox that comes with the bike;

-Adjustable, open-ended wrench (crescent wrench);

-Machinist Hammer: Ball Pein Hammer;

-Cold chisel: all-metal chisel;

-Taper Punch: used to punch holes (easier to handle) – Tire Irons: Levers



-Impact driver – used to get parts (bolts) that are stuck off.

-A point file:

  • Fueler Gauger – best way to measure small dimmensions.
  • Handlebar clamps – use a shim (piece of alumminum)
  • Plugs,
  • Points
  • Throttle
  • Cotter Pins – locker pins
  • Spare Chain
  • Chain Coupling Link – couples the chain (master link)
  • Riding a motorcycle gives it a personality
  • Engines has a nickles and dimes sound
  • Chain Tension
  • Chain Lubrication
  • Every Hundred miles – put oil on the chain
  • He carries the manuals and the troubleshooting guide


Ch. 4

  • He was willing to take care of the gloves and put effort into them.
  • Each motorcycle has its own personality.
  • The shim is a magical shim – Artistic versus Technological Understanding of the world.
  • Farmers value tech.


  • The son suffers from an early stage of mental illness. The wife is not along on the trip because the narrator and his son try to work this out.
  • We learn that Phaedrus is the narrator’s past self, when he had schizophrenia.

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

February 14th, 2017 (Day 3)


  • Reflections and learnings from the previous shop class
  • Choose groups
  • Discussion of Readings
  • Continue disassembly in shop in sub-teams

Reflections and learnings from the previous shop class

  • The process of removing the tyre from the rim (the machine used to do it, how the steel wires are pushed against the rim, removing the stem to deflate the tire, act of “breaking the bead”, using soap water as a lubricant
  • The spokes on the wheel can be tightened or loosened to adjust the gap between the rim and table top (when rim is lying flat on a table), listening to the “sound of the spokes” to judge whether they are the same and appropriate tightness.
  • Problem Solving (the troubles of working with something old- parts may be rusted together, choosing the right tools to disassemble)
  • Importance of the manual (to identify and sort parts, get more familiar with the names of the parts, need to know whether it is right handed or left handed thread)

Groups- Refer to groups tab

Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2 of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycle References:

  • Testing temperature of the engine by hand (exhaust pipe of engine is the hottest part)
  • Reserve Fuel Tank (discussion on redundancy)
  • What does it mean to burn a plug? The high voltage in a spark plug causes the grounded part to burn out, increasing the gap for the spark to cover, resulting in a spark not forming. More common is for a plug to get ‘fouled’- covered with carbon
  • Points- Contacts that open and close that trigger the plug to generate a spark
  • Engine Seizing- Piston (aluminum) and barrel (cast iron) have different coefficients of thermal expansions. Problem arises when the piston gets hotter than the barrel and could fuse with it.
  • Choke- Restricts air flow to the engine. On a cold day, it must be choked fully to ensure that cold air does not enter and the temperature is not high enough for a spark.
  • Tappets


  • Chatauqua- can be interpreted as a modern TED talk
  • Question of what’s the best way to lead your life and the pros and cons of technology
  • Message in the second chapter- take your time.

Shop Time

  • Broke into sub-teams, and worked on more intricate disassembly of particular parts. (e.g. getting the parts of the clutch separated from the engine, starting to take apart the engine, removing the spokes from the front tire)

February 7, 2017 (day 1)


  • Introductions
  • Task assignments for the semester (3 photographers, 1 quarter-master, 12 scribes)
  • Course overview
  • Basics of editing and accessing the website
  • Discussion of Preface and Introduction to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Shop tour and safety video

Course Objectives

  • Learn about the underlying science of motorcycles
  • Use a variety of tools
  • Consider system integration and human factors
  • Gain practical shop experience
  • Look at the big picture into which motorcycles fit (for example, their crucial role in transportation in third world countries)
  • Gain troubleshooting skills
  • Contemplate design objectives (why was this made the way it was? How does it operate?)
  • Explore the trade-offs in design decisions (why were certain compromises made?)
  • Be exposed to “modern tools” (for example, a laser cutter for the gaskets)
  • Develop a functional schedule to complete the project on time

Background on the motorcycle

  • 1958 Tiger Cub (a Triumph motorcycle)
  • Matching engine and frame numbers (a good sign!)
  • Sold by Adam Cramer (We watched a youtube video that he made in which he argues that the largest problem in America at the moment may be deindustrialization as it is causing the next generation of Americans to lose their “can do” attitude)

Discussion of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

  • Phaedrus (main character) introduces the theme of tension between his past and present self as he struggles to see which will win out.
  • The book looks at the distinction and synthesis between the “romantic” and the “rational,” integrating the concept of beauty along the way.
  • It is written as a travel log.
  • It broadly covers eastern and western philosophers, but, due to this sweeping approach to philosophy, is often disregarded as a serious philosophical piece by contemporary philosophers.


  • For Thursday, read the Introduction to Shop Class as Soul Craft.

February 9, 2017 (Day 2)


  • Recap and review of interesting/memorable/striking lesson learned about the motorcycle made on day 1 (tire-remover machine, suspension– particularly how there is more in the front than the back of the bike, the instability of lightweight forks, trail, fuel tank as structural component, differences between nvarious starting mechanisms, the importance of hole in the gas cap to allow air in, the role and impact of various design decisions–for example the structural purpose of the gas tank and the location of the muffler/silencer)
  • Discussion of Intro to Shop Class as Soul Craft
  • Review of newly posted material on the web site (group job descriptions, class task assignments)
  • Disassemble motorcycle and label and organize parts in the shop

Explanation of Swing arm suspension

  • Because the tension is highest in the top of the chain (as opposed to the bottom section of chain), the swing arm causes the whole rear assembly to swing up a bit if the bike is throttled hard.

Reading Discussion

  • Motorcycle/machine references (throttle–controls the gas to the engine, clutch–separates the engine from the wheels; some use axial compression (slip clutch), others use radial compression, lathe– a tool that spins the piece (as opposed to the piece remaining still and the tool, for example, a drill, spinning), allowing for rotational symmetry)
  • Crawford’s argument (influenced by his background growing up in a commune)
  • The importance of considering and weighing both pro’s (environmentally friendly, convenient, efficient) and con’s (abstraction, lack of agency–Crawford focuses only on the cons)
  • The paradox our increasingly specialized society faces between desiring progress and maximum efficiency, while also wanting more control and agency

Shop Time

  • We disassembled the whole bike, labeling and sorting parts as they came off.
  • One team removed the tires from the wheels.


  • Going forward, for every Tuesday, read 2 chapters in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. For every Thursday, read 1 more chapter in Zen and 20 pages in Shop Class as Soul Craft
  • So, for Tuesday, read the first two chapters of Zen.