The other day I managed to remove a broken screw from a very expensive casting. Specifically, the engine casing of a Ducati motorcycle. But the job turned out to be a breeze using a backwards drill bit!
A previous “mechanic” had broken one of four of the M6x16 sump cover bolts. Instead of removing the remnants they had globbed it over with RTV silicone for the another poor schmuck to deal with at the next oil change. A few minutes after discovering this I could fully understand why. Being at the lowest point on the engine, it’s not an easy feat to find room for a drill… and then drill into the screw while upside down. But disregarding this hurdle, I resolved to remove the broken screw and repair it properly.
These clever banjo bolts, with an integrated bleeder, made a huge improvement in the braking system on my Ducati Multistrada. I think the same upgrade could be applied to other bikes or cars with stubborn brake hydraulics.
The early models of the Ducati 1200 Multistrada were equipped with four halogen headlamps. These use H11 bulbs rated at 55 watts and put out a decent amount of light. But there’s always room for improvement!
More modern headlight bulbs using light emitting diode (LED) technology can produce more, whiter light than halogens while using less power. Another complaint with the Ducati is the way the hi/low headlights work. Switching on the high beam turns off the low beams (or dipped beam as they say in the UK). For my aging eyes I want all the light I can get! Fortunately there’s an easy way to remedy this.
Or: Why is All Our Ethanol Made from Corn? The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed into law by George W. Bush and created the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Among other things, the RFS set goals for the amount of renewable biofuels to be blended into the nation’s petroleum fuel supply. That meant gasoline would contain ethanol and biodiesel would be blended into diesel fuel. At the time the domestic source for almost all that ethanol was corn. But corn was not supposed to be the sole source. Over time, corn was supposed to be supplanted with other sources of ethanol.