Tech Tip: 2-for-1 “What it takes!” w/ Hugh Mackie from 6th Street Specials

To all the aspiring “builders”, “mechanics”,  “bike guys” etc. There are two “jobs” that separate those who “can” and those who “cannot”, those who “know” and those who “know not.”

#1. Fixing a rear flat on the road – Preferably on a 1978 T140V Triumph Bonneville. Removing the wheel, pulling the tire, switching the inner tube, replacing the wheel, while alone, is the physically hardest mechanical job on a motorcycle. If you complete this task successfully, and ride on down the road, there is nothing you can’t do while “building” a bike.

#2 Ignition Timing – Setting the ignition timing on a motorcycle, any motorcycle, is the same job whether it’s an old magneto, points and coil, or modern electronic ignition, the principle is the same. Learn it, understand it. Many people can describe what ignition timing is, but have no understanding of what is actually happening on the machine. My point is “ignition timing” is the hardest concept to grasp and once understood, there are no tasks you can’t perform on a bike.

Follow these tips and you could wrench in any shop, anytime, anywhere.

– Hugh Mackie, 6th Street Specials. NYC.

2 replies
  1. Giacomo
    Giacomo says:

    Hugh,It is great to see you on this site.I was only at your shop once.It was a pleasure to meet you and love your work and the shop.

  2. jennifer davey
    jennifer davey says:

    i went all the way to East Village after seeing an article in a mag, Not knowing then that u had been forced out, thats wat i got told, where r u now, i passed my test in 1983, so av ad a love affair with yon triumph and BSA C15, which i atill have, i just need to b around people with the same feeling about these bikes, cause i never get the buzz i do from these bikes, and i was gutted that your place no longer xisted. where r u and if i can get to N/york i can get wherever, i saved up just to get to 6th street specials. And can do it again, and i worked bloody hard to get that £ tgether


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