If You Want To Understand How Motorcycles Work, Start Here

Illustration for article titled If You Want To Understand How Motorcycles Work, Start Here
Image: FortNine

To paraphrase the iconic Spice Girls, if you wanna understand the motorcycle basics, you gotta get with Ryan F9. The good-natured Canadian folks at FortNine have been putting together some of the most interesting and well-produced motorcycling videos for beginners, experts, and everyone in between for quite some time now. And every time they drop a new one, it’s always a stop-what-you’re-doing-and-watch moment. This most recent video sees the flannel-clad lad tearing a small vintage Suzuki limb from limb in the interest of education.


Ryan has done this before, but in reverse, a few years ago with a busted KLR650 rebuild. A place for each piece, and each piece in its place. Fancy stop motion and off-camera wrenching make it look easy. For something as simple as this old carbureted, drum-braked, cable-operated Suzuki, however, it might actually be as easy as it looks. There’s not much to it, and if you can get over the idea of never getting it back in one piece, you can do almost any little job. If you’ve never taken a bike apart, however, this is a great place to start, because it’ll help you understand how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together to make combustion into go-fast.

I’ve done this myself to a few different motorcycles to differing results. Hell, I’ve done it to a few cars, too. There’s nothing quite like hands-on experience to really help you understand how everything works, but the closest thing to a substitute that I can think of is watching someone else get hands-on.

Even if you aren’t into motorcycles, the basics of mechanical transportation are here for you to see out in the open. You might learn a thing or two about how stuff works, and heck, you might actually get into bikes. Either way, I recommend you stop what you’re doing and watch.

H/T: RideApart

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.



Tearing one of these down would be a great activity for the young’ns, and it doesn’t necessarily require a running motor. A non-running bike would be cheap like $50 cheap. What’s scrap value of a small motorcycle? Everyone wins — kids get a hands-on learning experience, and the bike is already half way there to parting it out. I like this!