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Bike work in the house?

2254 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  JungleBiker
Has anyone ever done work on their bikes in the house? In the winter, my bike lives in my 8' by 8' shed, and between the bike, a tool chest, lawnmower and other gas yard tools, I have no room to work in there, plus in Chicago, it's mighty cold in the winter (though it's been a nice couple of days since it's been in the mid 20's). I've been toying with the idea of working on the bike and keeping it in my spare bedroom. I'm a hermit and nobody ever comes over, so that room doesn't get used. It is carpeted though. Anyhow, has anyone ever done this? If I go about doing it this way, are there any precautions I should take care of (other than draining fuel) as I plan to keep it in the house for the remainder of the winter? I have some upgrades I want to do before riding season starts back up, but I need to purchase the parts piece meal.


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Get some plastic sheeting lay it down first then get some 1/2 in. sheets of particle board to lay over the plastic. Duct tape the seams of the particle board. I used this system to cover a carpet in an office that I used as a service area, It held up for 16 years and when I pulled up the plastic the carpet was good as new.

Good idea to drain all the fluids and when bringing the bike in for the first time put some old carpeting down to avoid rubber scuffs etc on any tile /carpet you might roll it over.
I unfortunately went from a 3 car garage to an apartment. I have my t dub in the living room next to the front door on an old heavy duty rug. That way it is out of the way and I can still work on it.
I built an 8' dingy in the living room of our duplex, (the other unit was on top) and fiberglassed it in one bedroom. I used 30 lb roofing felt on the floor, the owners never knew. Go for it, a TW to work on in the living room would be fun.
i think a lot of us has done this before at one point or another. besides preping the floors and draining the gas including the carb i would take the air filter off and let the bike sit maybe two days so all the smell from the gas can evaporate.
A friend of mine did a 6 year chopper build right in the center of his living room. I was an interesting centerpiece and topic of conversation, and it gave you a good place to kick your heals up while watching the game and drinking beer. I always enjoyed going over if I hadn't been there awhile, just to check his progress (and watch the game and drink beer). All the pieceparts were painted, plated and powdercoated elsewhere and then installed right there in the living room. At the end, he called a bunch of us over ro remove the door frame and muscle this beast outside. Sigh......., things just aren't the same anymore.
I used to cover my bed with a piece of plastic, then a piece of plywood, to make a work table on which to rebuild engines.
I used to keep my gas-powered go-kart in the spare bedroom at our old house (no room in the garage). I never drained the fluids (two-stroke) and it never leaked or smelled though there were no sources of ignition in that room. It did start a few conversations when people came-by (most of them started with the phrase you might be a ******* if...) but it worked. When we moved the Go-Kart didn't; I sold it at a garage sale. We no longer have anything gas-powered stored inside our new house, though if we lived in a cold area and didn't have a garage where I could work I would probably work on my bikes inside the house.

In the early 60's, at the University of Delaware in Newark, cars were essentially banned from the city - for resident students. This kept the roads and parking areas clear for the commuters. So everyone had a motorcycle or motor scooter of some sort. Remember the sales pitch "You meet the nicest people on a Honda"? The 50cc bike in the ad came in 4 different models, and only 1 model had a clutch.

Because the newest dormitories had all lineoleum floors, they were real popular with "bikers". You only needed to have someone hold open the door and pop a small wheelie to enter the building. The two man dorm rooms were just big enough to park a bike in the study area, without causing a significant traffic jam.

Early in my sophomore year I upgraded from a 125cc Yamaha to a 250cc Honda scrambler, and had just moved to the third floor of the dorm. When it came time to change the oil in late fall, I had my roommate hold the door open, made the front of the bike as light as I could (Honda's old scramblers were extremely heavy), and started up the concrete-treaded stairs. Was great sport at each landing since you kind of had to powerslide the bike around the landing to get set for the next 1/2 flight of stairs. Got a little tricky at the top landing since it was only half as large - kind of had to wedge the bike on the landing catty-corner, until the roommate could catch up and open the top floor door.

Long story short - The scrambler had completely open pipes. Made lots of noise. Dorm mates soon found they could ride the stairs on their bikes to "relieve tension", even on a 50cc Honda if they were careful to keep the revs up. Guys from other dorms soon joined the fun, and ran an endless loop through the building with just one short piece outside (and wired the doors open to make it all easier). Far too much fun was had by all. Attracted the attention of the part time retired gentlemen the college referred to as "campus police", who detained all of the "round trippers" they could find, and searched every room in the place for illicit bikes. Got caught changing my oil and had neglected to drain the gasoline (I was between laps, and the oil was nice and warm!). Resulted in a very delicate conversation with a very pissed off Dean of something or other, and I got put on disciplinary probation for the rest of the year.

Moral of the story - lineoleum is best, but drain the tank first to eliminate the fire hazard. And don't ride inside the building with open pipes.

- - - Happy Trails, Jim
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Dang, TrailWhale, that's a heck of a story, and it was worded so well that I kind of lost myself in a nice mental image of the whole scenario. Why didn't I go and live in a dorm

As soon as I can get my bro-in-law's help (He's a wuss, but if I push him enough, he finds strength to help lift) to get the bike in the house, but first, as soon as it stops snowing for a couple of days, I need to get a sheet of plywood and a new, clean tarp for the bike's new bedroom.

Thanks for the input guys,

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I once did a complete frame up rebuild on a Honda SL-125 in my bedroom.I ended up covering the wall,floors and bed with old newspaper as to be able to paint the bodywork and frame.A fan in the window blew out the fumes. I also think I was the only teen to have a fifty pound bag of oil dry,toolbox and tire pump in my abode.I was also blessed with very understanding parents.
Back in 1992, I almost got into trouble at college for stripping down a '76 YZ400C and a '76 RM250 in my dorm room. Apparently the smell of gasoline made its way into the room directly below mine and people complained to some important guy or other, who came up to my room and told me to take the bikes out. I invited him in to look around and see if there were any bikes in my room, but he couldn't find anything; I had already finished stripping down the engines and had squirrelled the parts away in different clothes drawers, each transmission shift was in a pair of socks, cylinder head in a t-shirt, etc., etc. There was nothing for him to find, I guess he never would have dreamed that anybody would store an engine in with their socks and underwear.

After I left school, that same YZ400C ended up living in my bedroom--I had a bunk bed with no bottom bunk and so I kept the YZ under my bed. I wasn't worried about the carpet in that house, (it needed replacing anyway) but that bike never leaked a drop of oil, so it didn't matter. I kept that bike there every winter.
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