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ZEN and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

1585 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Maico Shark
OK, I'm reading the book not the movie, but I'm betting at least some of us out there can read. :D It's more zen than motorcycle, but still interesting. I'm still trying to figure out what he's riding, it was written in 1974, and his bike has four cylinders, but that's as much as I know so far.
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Could be a CB750 or 500 or 550 or 350 or a Kawasaki Z1-900 or.......

I might have to pick me up a copy of that book if you say it's good.
It's a lot of philosophical stuff surrounded by a motorcycle ride, but it's not psychobabble, it makes some sense.
I majored in Philosophy at Penn State...I was a state licensed motorcycle inspection mechanic...If I couldn't fix the bike, I looked for a bigger hammer:)
OK, after a few breaks, I've finally finished this book, which is a record for me, I'm usually a fast reader. It really dragged in the middle, and is not an easy read, but was still fascinating nonetheless. It's not just one story, there are at least three that are obvious, and probably even more beneath the surface.

It's worth hanging on to the end, though, once all the threads get wrapped up, or reasonably so, it really does make sense.
Read this book a few years back. Actually probably among one of the LAST books I took the time to read (besides Shop Manuals) in the past few decades?! Sad, I used to be a real little bookworm in High-School鈥.. (tryin鈥 HARD to stay out of trouble鈥!). :eek: My experience also, very difficult to read (some books are like that鈥) but was worth muddling through. The follow-up at the ending though was a heartbreaker: the author having lost his life a few years later because of some low life creep out there! Dang shame鈥

LRG :cool:

Try hard to follow this (from the book) WHEN the machines are giving me a tough time! :rolleyes:

鈥淧eace of mind isn鈥檛 all that superficial, really ... It鈥檚 the whole thing. That which produces it is good maintenance; that which disturbs it is poor maintenance. What we call workability of the machine is just an objectification of this peace of mind. The ultimate test鈥檚 always your own serenity.鈥

鈥淚f you don't have this when you start and maintain it while you're working you're likely to build your personal problems right into the machine itself. It鈥檚 an unconventional concept, but conventional reason bears it out. The material object of observation, the Motorcycle, can鈥檛 be wrong. Molecules are molecules.鈥

鈥淭hey don't have any ethical codes to follow except those people give them. The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn鈥檛 any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it鈥檚 wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed. The test of the machine鈥檚 always your own mind. There isn鈥檛 any other test.鈥
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That might well be but something I noticed when I split the cases on a 1953 Durkopp 150 was that you can gain insight of the people who built it by the quality of the machining, the mesh of the gears, and the originality of the design. Like ancestors poking through the entrails of a gutted chicken...there's much to be learned there. A forecast of the future...what problems you might expect with the machine.
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