Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Relativity, Motorcycle Repair and a Little Life

So there I am; single, not hard on the eyes (so I am told), intelligent, fairly literate, good sense of humor, easy-going; and what am I doing on a Friday night in Las Vegas?

Working on my motorcycle project, of course.

This was milestone evening. No more disassembly could occur until the engine was removed from the frame. Even with everything removed, that engine weighs probably 175 pounds by itself.

As motorcycle repair manuals typically are, the one for my VX800 is quite terse. Accordingly, to remove the engine one must simply disconnect the right frame member (yes, the frame comes apart), disconnect the engine mounts and remove engine.

Likely with a bike lift and winch and tools common to motorcycle repair, these instructions may be sufficient. I require more explanation.

So, 8:00 PM rolled around and there was the engine and frame, clinging together by a single bolt as if they feared being alone. Over and over my mind pounded on the mechanics of lifting the engine, removing the last mount bolt and setting the engine down next to the frame.

Then I thought about something I read in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". It is something I used to practice decades ago but since it is not a direct path from problem to solution and operated at 90 degrees to conventional problem solving techniques, it was left along the highway.

The concept of this problem solving technique is simple; understand the situation, limitations and requirements... and the go off and do something else. Don't think about it. Eventualy the solution will poke itself up through your consciousness.

In this case, the poking commenced about 30 minutes later. 'OF COURSE! Why remove the engine from the frame? Remove the frame from the engine!'

The result is the same, but the direction taken to effect the accomplishment is 180 degrees from what I was doing before. So, the engine was blocked up with some wood, a few twists on that last bolt, a little wrestling with the frame so it didn't fall into the plate glass window behind me, and...

Success!

Maybe the answer to complex problems requires a little absent mindedness.

1 comment:

Torch said...

It sounds like you are in the middle of quite a project. I commend your tenacity to tackle the project by yourself. Go get yourself a girlfriend. Like you said, sometimes distractions actually help.lol.

Ride on,
Torch