The Importance of Motor Tuning | Mechani-Kinks

By Uncle Frank

From the November 1933 Issue of Motorcyclist Magazine.

Q.-I’ve got a late model machine and for some reason I don’t seem to get the speed it should make. I’ve taken good care of it, and have run it in carefully over 3000 miles. If you can give me any dope on this motor I’ll surely appreciate it. I want to do the right thing to make my bus fast.- T. McD.

A.-I’ve been waiting for this question. It is one that should interest every motorcycle rider who is out for revs. This will be a long story, but well worth your interest. I’m even going to take you abroad to make my point clear.

In the first place, most every rider expects too much of his motor. He thinks it should do the impossible and keep on doing it forever without attention. There is only so much in any motor, and to get that last ounce of power-you must use your head and hands. How long do you think a 90 m.p.h. motor will continue to roll that fast without attention? Not Long. You must remember that a motorcycle engine is open more than any other type of motor, except possibly an airplane motor. And how long does a plane motor run without tuning? You answer it. I hate to hear a fellow say, “An automobile motor does not need the attention and tuning that a motorcycle engine does.” How long would a car motor last if it were run and treated like you treat your motorcycle engine? You answer that one too.

Your motorcycle engines are tuned for the last ounce of h.p. If you take ‘em out and wind ‘em up at every opportunity-you must keep them in tune. That is the price you pay for your fun, and it is worth it!

The motorcycle engine is the most efficient of all gasoline power plants. It develops more h.p. per pound than any other engine on wheels. If any car motor developed h.p. in the same ratio it would rate over 1000. Think of that!

Low r.p.m. motors will hold their tune longer than high r.p.m. motors, but motorcycle engines are high r.p.m. types. Some American riders seem to think that European machines are faster than our makes. If they are, it is only because they rev. higher-and those who ride ‘em keep them that way. European riders know the value of tuning. They do not expect a motor to run forever without tuning. Those fellows fairly ride around with a pocketful of spark-plugs, valve springs, etc., to keep their motors in tip-top shape, would you do that? You will if you want to be fair to your motor. I’ve told riders that they needed new spark plugs. They think I am trying to sell them something. I am. I am trying to sell them better, faster motor service for their own benefit.

Boys, there is nothing as satisfying as owning a motor that revs. You should take enough pride in your motor to keep it in top-notch shape. The only difference between European riders and American riders is one of pride. Those fellows know how to keep their mounts in tune. The majority of our riders don’t give a damn. They would rather growl and grumble about the motors than to work on ‘em.

By Uncle Frank
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