Ramp it up, workshop comfort with Nick Prince | WORKSHOP
Have you ever spent so much time in the workshop/shed/garage that when you emerge, you’re suddenly on “vision only” terms with your other half? Maybe you’re single (it does have it’s advantages).
Either way, why not factor in a degree of comfort while you care and nurture your beloved Canelloni Road Ripper during those long golden hours of scooter fettling time.
Self-confessed “Lambrettaholic” and habitual workshop dweller, Nick Prince focusses on how to turn it into a nice place to be with a couple of bits of kit he’s picked up along the way. It appears that Mrs P isn’t too concerned about the excessive amount of time he spends tending to his small wheeled stable… lucky bloke.
Unfortunately, I am not getting any younger and fortunately, for Mrs P, if I am not riding my scoot I am in the garage all the time. Many hours spent in one position concentrating means I need to be comfortable, the more comfortable I am the better job I do.
There are a couple of pieces of kit that have changed the way I work.
The ramp, a good buy?
If you’re considering purchasing a scooter/bike ramp, it is a big investment, at around £325 up to over £400. You are bound to wonder if it is worth it? Well here’s what I’ve found.
The model I have is a Sealey one and I have had it for about 11 years. As you can see I had to make a slight alteration by adding a flat plate for a lambretta center stand, however, you can now buy them with extenders already added. I have seen other ramps where people have welded an extra bit on, but I have found the flat plate fine as long as you flatten the sides on the bed of the ramp where it fits so there is no slippage. As you can see from the pictures, I have a G clamp on removable tail piece just to stop it from vibrating off whilst the ramp is in use. The removable tail piece is handy especially if you are short on working space.
If I had to get a new ramp
If I was in the market for a new one, I would not be tempted to buy a wider ramp as the distance to “lean” in to work on the scooter is wider and the narrower ones are normally cheaper. Another factor I would consider is a ramp which can be connected to an air compressor, letting it take the strain of raising it, rather than my legs.
You can read Iggy’s bench review here.
If you find your ramp is a bit “lazy” and takes lots of leg action to get it jacked, it’s probably because the hydraulic ram has some air in it. First off, get the ramp to it’s raised position, then place the locking tube or bar in place to ensure it doesn’t come back down. Now, if you look at the ram which is located under the ramp, you should see a little rubber grommet ( see pic). Now use an allen key with a ball end to push on the corner of the grommet this should release any air from the ram and mean less effort in getting it raised.
Another good tip I’ve learned the hard way is that whenever you find yourself in the doghouse, a decent ramp makes a good place for you to get a night’s kip!
Be safely seated, avoid the Ali shuffle
I have had a least four mechanics seats over the years, each with varying results. As I have rubber matting down and also an uneven floor the seats can be a bit unstable. So much so that on one occasion, the seat slipped and I fell backwards automatically grabbing the scoot which then fell towards me, but remembering the Ali shuffle I managed to push back just in time and I’m pleased to say both myself and the scooter were no worse for wear. I have now found a seat which is stable, comfortable and has solved a storage problem.
It has three handy pull out drawers , flip down sides and a screw driver rack at the back, meaning I have everything to hand so I am not up and down like a jack in the box. The list price for the seat is about £120 but I negotiated with the local dealer and got it for about £80, which was still a lot of money but it has been well worth it.
Fit for the job
I know these are both Sealey items but I don’t have any real reason to recommend their products above any one elses. I have just found these are bits of kit that have lasted me years and have assisted me in doing a good job. Like us all, I am careful what I spend my hard earned cash on.
Words/Pics: Nick Prince