® Three Motorcycle Project Distinctives

How is the Motorcycle Project different from other carburetor rebuilders? Three ways. Let's call them the "Ps." (Bear with me here, self-promotion is not easy for me.)

First, with all these new carb rebuilders popping up all over, one has to ask, where did they come from and what is their background? I know several other rebuilders personally and not a one ever worked as a mechanic. Sounds strange, I know, but it's true. They don't have mechanical backgrounds, most rebuilders, which means they don't know how to handle unexpected issues that more often than not come up during a rebuild, for example, or that certain areas of the carburetor need much more than simple cleaning to the point of machining/sanding/polishing/greasing, what have you. One of these guys recently told me, "The way they come in is the way they go out. I don't do anything mechanical." Really!? That's bad enough, but an even more important aspect of this is if they aren't mechanics then they don't know the bikes. Think about it. A few of today's rebuilders may know carburetors, a little, but what they don't know are the bikes these carbs come from -- their idiosyncrasies, their weaknesses, their built-in compromises, how to get the best from them. This is not the way at The Motorcycle Project. I made my living on these bikes when they were new. I know the bikes well. I can actually make up for certain engine shortcomings by making slight changes to the carburetors. I can make suggestions and even predict certain things based on what I see in the carburetors. Black grunge around the throttle plates for example, tells me much about the tune of the engine. Can the other guys do this? Not likely if they never supported themselves in a day-to-day shop envirompnment. The point is I am more than a carb cleaner/reassembler. I am a trained machinist and draftsman, and a lifelong formally trained and experienced career mechanic. Consequently, I intuit and understand the mechanical needs of the carburetors I rebuild. And just as important, I know more than just the carbs; I know the bikes, too.

Number two, I'm in carburetor rebuilding for the long haul, not the quick buck. So what? Well, consider this. I do about one-tenth the number of carbs per year that the other guys do. And that's the way I like it. I have talked to the other guys and I know of the challenges they have every day trying to make sense of it all when there are 30+ carburetor sets on their bench at any given time. You can't help but lose perspective, get tired, and all too soon the enjoyment in what you do is gone. That's not for me. No way. I keep my workload manageable so I am never rushed, never stressed. I love my work, and keeping it clean, fresh, fun, and interesting is important to me. The end result, and I have seen the other guys' work, is a higher quality job for you. It just has to be. The bottom line, for me, is each project is a person; there is an individual behind it, a human being with passions much like mine that I want to connect with through the quality of my work.

Three, I am a stickler for the right parts. This means two things. First, rebuild parts. Parts may be parts when it comes to processed chicken, but not here at the Motorcycle Project! What do I mean? I mean I use only the best individual rebuild parts, sourced from the best vendors (the quality leaders in their fields), and I shun with a passion the ubiquitous carb rebuild "kits," those nearly ubiquitous cellophane wrapped or cardboard encased pieces of dog poop that are so common in our industry. These things are so bad that all credible rebuilders avoid them. Fact. Wrongly-sized jets, chewing gum-like rubber seals, zinc float valves, just for starters -- they're incredibly bad! But I don't stop there, with just the rebuild parts, I go way beyond and invest every year in huge amounts of repair parts also. Fact is, I stock every conceivable repair part that could ever be needed. I'm talking castings, brackets, float bowls, slides, tops, etc. I buy core carburetors just so I have available these hard-to-get (actually, impossible to get) parts. (Drives my tax guy crazy!) I don't need them on every job, of course, but when I do need a part, on these 30-40 year old carburetors that surprise us with broken bits every now and then (on some models, ninety percent of what I do is repair what other folks have done), I have the needed repair part and neither my customer or myself has to drop everything and hunt down these increasingly rare items.

So there it is, three things. Naturally, I believe there is a lot more that is special about the Motorcycle Project than this. For example, I communicate with my customers a lot more than most rebuilders do. I also provide shop services. And I take almost obsessive care with carburetor shipping. But the three distinctives enumerated above are the things that stand out a mile about the Motorcycle Project when compared with other carb rebuild services. In sum, (1) I know the bikes, not just the carbs. (2) I maintain an easy-going workflow, doing far fewer sets, spending far more time on each, than most rebuilders do. And, (3) parts are incredibly important to me -- the highest quality, the fastest access, no excuses, no crap, no jerry-rigging. These are the distinctives that I hope help you decide to start doing business with the Motorcycle Project.

Email me
© 1996-2018 Mike Nixon