Cycle Works PDF Print E-mail
Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Friday, 26 June 2009

Cycle Works started as a motorcycle repair shop by Ed Korn in the 70’s, Cycle Works has evolved into a business that provides specialized tools and services to owners of 1920’s era to 1995 BMW R-bikes.

I purchased Cycle Works from Ed in January, 2008 and have attempted to make the transition as seamless as possible.  I’ve gathered that there has always been a bit of mystery as to how we function, maybe more so since ownership has transferred.  In order to provide a little more visibility, I’ll address a few FAQ’s:

Ed used to provide this tool or perform such-and-such service, do you still do this?

Yes.  We’ve yet to drop a product or service.  To the contrary, I think there are a lot of tools, even for the “/2” bikes that could/should be offered.  The pipeline to get a new product into production is surprisingly long but customers will see a number of them in the early part of 2009.  If there’s a particular tool you’d like to see us produce drop me a line.  Given enough perceived demand we’ll make it.  

Will you rebuild my crank with oversized rollers?

Yes.  There was a time when this wasn’t a cost effective approach.  Disassembling and reassembling a crankshaft is a significant undertaking.  As long as the crank was apart and the parts were available and affordable, it only made sense to replace the parts subject to wear (crank pin, connecting rod, roller bearing).  Those rod assemblies became an expensive enough item, though, that we began exploring other options for customers.  We still recommend replacing the entire assembly, but a viable alternative is to hone the connecting rod back to round and to the correct size to accept oversized rollers.  All this assumes that the crank pin is within wear limits (the vast majority of the time it is).  Current prices are $50 per rod for honing, $14 to $18 for each rod’s oversized roller bearings and $48 to provide and install a new connecting rod bushing.  Multiply that by two and you could save about $200 on a crank rebuild.  As an aside, the R51/3 manual has a good write up on crank rebuilding.

My flywheel has come loose and gouged the rear taper of my crankshaft, can this be repaired?

Yes.  Again, there was a time when it made more economic sense to just replace the web as building up and grinding a taper is a fairly difficult and expensive task.  Cranks and crank webs are becoming increasingly scarce however and we can now typically offer this service more cheaply than replacing the entire piece.  Prices will vary depending on the extent of the damage but $210 is the going rate if your woodruff key slot is intact.  We offer the same service for flywheels at similar rates.  

Do you make the tools yourself?

No.  Typically our tools are produced in lots of at least 100.  Shops that perform these kinds of production runs are best suited to produce the tools.  We hand the design to one of our suppliers, they program their machine (whether it be a computer controlled mill, lathe, laser, water jet, or other) and out comes our part.  We’ll then have the part heat treated, plated, or welded as appropriate.

I hope that gives a general idea of what we do and what we’re trying to do.  Our plans are to gradually grow the business by:  (1) continually producing new tools and products and (2) offering more of the specialized services that may not be available to individuals locally on a ‘one off’ basis.  

In addition to those mentioned above, here are some of the other services we can provide:
-  CAD plating
-  Plunger frame driveshaft hard chroming
-  Exhaust thread sleeving
-  Flywheel lightening
-  Cylinder head rebuilding
-  Cylinder boring
-  Transmission shaft plating

There’s more information on the website (, or just contact me direct at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or (913) 871 6740.

Dan Neiner

Note: Dan is an electrical engineer by education but in practice his engineering tendencies have always strayed more toward the civil/mechanical side.  He has held a few jobs in and around this capacity but the ones that he has enjoyed the most allowed him use of not only his mind, but also his hands.  He says he purchased Cycle Works so that, “I might do for a living exactly what I'm passionate about.”

Dan further tells us:
“I met Ed and became aware of Cycle Works in 2003 when I was looking for resources to maintain/repair/restore an attention-starved R51/3 that I had purchased.  After ordering and using a tool or two, I found myself turning to Ed frequently as a first resource for information, parts, tools, etc.  I became particularly impressed with the quality and efficiency of the tools offered.  The simple elegance of these motorcycles is what draws me to them; in much the same way, the simple elegance of these tools is what drew me to Cycle Works.  These bikes are representative of who I am; this business is but a logical extension.”

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