How to Rebuild and Restore Classic Japanese Motorcycles by Sid Young | Review

How to Rebuild and Restore Classic Japanese Motorcycles | Rider's LibraryResiding in Brisbane, Australia, Sid Young is a systems engineer by trade, but has 35 years’ experience riding, repairing and restoring classic Japanese motorcycles.

Engineers tend to be very meticulous and detail-oriented. Young’s engineering background is all of that and it shows up in a very technically sophisticated, yet user-friendly book – “How to Rebuild and Restore Classic Japanese Motorcycles.”

To be sure, the technical depth Young’s book provides in a number of areas exceeds that in most other similar books. For example, Young doesn’t settle for a very general discussion of what types of fasteners will work in various applications.

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Rather, he explains the common types of fasteners used when the vintage Japanese bikes were originally built, grade designations and even goes on to provide an excellent explanation of modes of failure and the strength of various grades of fasteners. Then, he outlines the range of modern replacement fasteners to use in various applications during restoration.

The book doesn’t get so far into the weeds of technical detail that it loses sight of the need to help comparatively inexperienced restorers/rebuilders with some good, old-fashioned tricks of the trade. For example, Young includes tips on how to remove corrosion using a simple molasses and water concoction in a long soak and how to remove a four cylinder engine from a cradle-style frame safely—and without assistance.

The 240-page soft cover is arranged in nine chapters that are neatly color-code tabbed with a key on the back cover so it isn’t necessary to even open the book to the table of contents to be able to open it to the chapter you want. The first chapter, Restoration Fundamentals, includes some sage advice on what types of bike projects may be better walked away from.

Chapters two, Your Workshop; three, Planning Your Project and four, Getting Organized cover important pre-project operations such as getting the right tools together. They also cover getting the right technical manuals together (this book covers more on general topics common across brands and models—getting a model-specific service manual is a good idea for a major project on the bike you have in mind) and how to keep parts organized, including when they go out for work such as bead or soda blasting, powder coating, chrome plating or repair.

Chapters five, Material Preparation and Treatments; six, Fasteners; seven, Disassembly; eight, Inspection, Repair and Renovation; and nine, Reassembly get down to the nitty-gritty of the restoration process.

With 455 clear color images, illustrations, a number of data tables, three technical appendices and a very helpful index the book provides a lot of visual as well as text information that is bound to save time and money on most aspects of your next—or maybe it’s your first—rebuild and restoration.

Last but not least, the book has a standard-appearing soft cover book spine, which unlike some of others we’ve looked at, does not require parking a truck on it and breaking the binding to get it to stay open to the page you want when laying on the workbench. Thanks Motorbooks.

Title: How to Rebuild and Restore Classic Japanese Motorcycles

  • Author: Sid Young
  • Published: 2015. Soft cover.
  • Publisher: Motorbooks, an imprint of Quarto Publishing, 400 1st Ave. North, Ste. 400, Minneapolis, MN, 55401 USA
  • ISBN: 978-0-7603-4797-3
  • MSRP: U.S. 34.99, U.K. £22.99, $41.99 CAN