My Motorcycle Is Emacs

My motorcycle is Emacs. It came from the factory with a bunch of fundamental motorcycle functions built in, a bunch of standard options already installed, and a whole load of hooks.

The dealer I bought it from changed the stock handlebars for a pair he liked better, and then changed them again to a pair I liked. He changed the large, ugly indicators for small, sexy ones, fitted a higher, flatter seat, removed the emissions control and fitted a much shorter silencer.

When I got the bike home, I added mirrors (these came with the bike, but aren't fitted onto it as standard) and a side-stand, and replaced the stock mild steel front brake link rod, trunnions and lock nuts with stainless-steel pattern parts. Since riding the bike I've adjusted the foot-peg positions and gear shift pedal position to suite myself. Over time I have to periodically set the tappet clearances, adjust the the front and rear brakes and the clutch cable. The tappets must be set just so for the engine to run well, but the setting of brakes and clutch is, within safety limits, a matter of taste and riding style.

There were problems with the bike as delivered, reluctant starting and irregular idle. I was able to work around these by fiddling with the carburetor air-screw from time to time, but eventually I took the bike back to the dealer who replaced the sleeve joining the carb to the inlet manifold (question: it's a single cylinder engine, so why is this component called a "manifold"?) and set up the idle jet and airscrew again. Now it's set correctly, I can deal with the inevitable drift myself.

My plans for the future include a larger drive sprocket to raise the gearing a little, fitting an Amal concentric carb and K&N air filter in place of the stock items, putting on twin single saddles instead of one double seat, and maybe adding a windscreen. Some of this is to do with functionality, some with taste and some with comfort.

My motorcycle is Emacs. It's does a very, very good job of the basic motorcycle function, and offers almost endless opportunity for tuning, adapting and just plain enjoyable fiddling about. IfYourCarWereEmacs, it would be like this, too. But your car, I'll bet money, isn't Emacs. Your car, I'll bet, is Microsoft Visual Studio.

Note that, in these terms, which is better is largely a matter of taste. Largely, not wholely. I used to have a Yamaha. It was MSVS, too. That was fine, but after a while I wanted a more direct biking experience, one with more involvement. So the Yam went up for sale and I bought an Enfield Bullet. The Yam was a much, much slicker product, and a very reliable mode of transport, but, by god, the Bullet is orders of magnitude more engaging.

Spoken like a true wrench. My Yamaha came out of the box with more horsepower, handling, braking, and just about all other functionality than I knew what to do with. I found no reason to change a durn thing until it broke or wore out.

My bicycles, on the other hand... -- MartySchrader

>Might it still be called a "manifold" because there are other I/O ports, like fuel in and vacuum out, present? Or does the mani- prefix require multiple instances of a primary function, that being in this case getting fuel/air mix into the combustion chamber? -AnonymousGearhead?

See also: ZenAndTheArtOfMotorcycleMaintenance

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