Magazine mechanics

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mikenixon
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Magazine mechanics

Post #1 by mikenixon » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:45 pm

Old-time career bike mechanics used to have some pretty interesting vocabulary. "Squid," for example. Probably borrowed from old sailors who used it to describe shipboard newbies, to be a squid meant something equally derogative though a little different in the powersports world. A squid was basically a person who didn't know how to treat their motorcycle right, whether riding it or maintaining it or whatever. He was usually prone to crashing it also. Kind of a mixture of an individual who was immature, unknowledgeable and mechanically incapable, all at the same time. Bare-kneed, flip-flop shod teenagers on SOHC Honda CB400Fs comes to mind, or later, CBR600s.

And there were many other similarly graphic terms. A "prima donna" in a motorcycle shop was, as was true almost anywhere, someone who thought too much of themselves, making everyone cater to them. The prima donna invariably was the most capable mechanic in the place, and knew it. They had to be treated with kid gloves, humored, dealt carefully with. Made for interesting times, let me tell you. That's a story in itself.

But the phrase that sticks with me most right now, probably because it was so rich in meaning, I suppose, is the moniker, "magazine mechanic". You could hardly be more derisive of someone in the 1970s than to call them a magazine mechanic. What it meant was someone who got all their motorcycle technical understanding in a superficial way, most often from reading about motorcycles in magazines. A magazine mechanic was someone who could talk the talk, kind of, but could not walk the walk. He was clueless. A poser. And he may not even have realized it. Not everything written in magazines was worth repeating, let alone actually doing. Career mechanics had no time for these guys. Prey to the latest media pronouncements on anything motorcycle, they gave slavish attention to the titillating and trivial and not enough to the fundamental. The magazine mechanic had the latest noisy, ill-fitting aftermarket exhaust on a bike whose steering bearings were so loose and/or tires so low of pressure it was unsafe to ride. Kind of like, you know, a squid.... :-P.

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #2 by 5speed » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:54 pm

todays magazine mechanic
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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #3 by Track T 2411 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:28 pm

5speed wrote:todays magazine mechanic

Absolutely true! My stepson qualifies as a master Utube mechanic, lol. I have to put the brakes on every step of our project to teach him the 'why' of procedures, and how to actually diagnose problems instead of just making u-sumptions...

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #4 by mikenixon » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:01 pm

Track T 2411 wrote:
5speed wrote:todays magazine mechanic

Absolutely true! My stepson qualifies as a master Utube mechanic, lol. I have to put the brakes on every step of our project to teach him the 'why' of procedures, and how to actually diagnose problems instead of just making u-sumptions...


"u-sumptions" I like it! :)

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #5 by mikenixon » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:07 pm

5speed wrote:todays magazine mechanic


Hah! Warhol comes to mind. Where can I get one of those patches....? :lol:

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #6 by 5speed » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:13 am

mikenixon wrote:
5speed wrote:todays magazine mechanic


Hah! Warhol comes to mind. Where can I get one of those patches....? :lol:

I've never been able to find them.
Got a call from a coworker this fall asking if I could look at her generator. it had quit running and her husband youtubed it. :lol:
The return spring on the governor broke, he tore the carb apart.
Took me longer to fix what he did to that then it did to fix the real problem.

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #7 by mikenixon » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:08 pm

Hah! Something similar has happened to me so many times... In fact, I'd say that virtually every bike that lands in my shop does so because someone has rescued it from the wrong hands...

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #8 by 77Gowing » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:44 pm

I guess I'm a squid sort of. Before I started in on my basket of parts I read ALL of the shoptalk articles.
I have mechanical abilities for sure but highly variable. You know Jack of all trades master of none.
I lack finesse at times and yet other times I move with precision. Hit or mis.
Still I did take a basket of parts and find an operating gl1000 in them...eventually. had to do some task over till I got it right. Broke some stuff made a fool of myself, skinned my knuckles stubbed my foot lost parts to the abis of the garage etc. But all & all I'm still here and i would not change a thing except for my social missteps on this forum.
I'm proud of Ole Blue in spite myself. She runs so smooth.

I know a magazine mechanic were friends. He's an ok guy and means well.

YouTube has helped me with things I was totally ignorant of.
For example just watched Niel Perts A Work In Progress and learned that some of the techniques I developed on my own he did in his own way too. Now I'm not saying I can play like Niel, I don't and I couldn't at one time many years ago when I was about twenty I could do parradiddles and hit the drum just over 900 strokes a minute. Those days have long gone with age and arthritis. "Its not bragging if you can do it."

Y'all have a great evening.

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #9 by Chainman » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:10 am

How does one stop being a squid? Asking for a friend.

It's a parts washer, right? I need a parts washer.
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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #10 by rcmatt007 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:38 pm

and to think.... my competition is Dr. Google

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #11 by 77Gowing » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:34 pm

Dr.Fine, Dr Howard Dr Google!
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #12 by 5speed » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:08 am

rcmatt007 wrote:and to think.... my competition is Dr. Google


Image

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #13 by rcmatt007 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:02 pm

5speed wrote:
rcmatt007 wrote:and to think.... my competition is Dr. Google


Image


lolol

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Re: Magazine mechanics

Post #14 by mikenixon » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:08 pm

Image


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