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Question about asbestos on bikes
#775329 06/01/19 4:38 am
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Old bikes used asbestos on brakes, clutches, and anything made with Bakelite. I'd be very grateful for information on any other uses of asbestos on old motorcycles. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775334 06/01/19 6:34 am
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Composite cylinder head gaskets.

I didn't realise Bakelite contained asbestos; thought that was an early thermosetting plastic.

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775338 06/01/19 7:58 am
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I had no idea either but seems it was used as a filler so less plastic used.

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775343 06/01/19 9:51 am
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As a filler encased in Bakelite it should be fine as long as you don't start cutting or filing it and making dust.

In a composite head gasket I'd throw it away. It would be very old and would have sucked in a bunch of moisture even if brand new, new old stock. It'll delaminate.

Brake shoes are a risk. However they are a consumable/replacement item. If you find an old barn bike you'll be replacing brake shoes. If you buy a rebuilt bike it's unlikely it's got original shoes in it.

Not a lot of asbestos in old bikes these days.


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Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775345 06/01/19 10:07 am
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I’m interested in why you ask.

As well as the above, any old gaskets of the Klingerite or Halite type are pretty certain to hold some asbestos. The brand names may be different over your way. Anyway, the pink or grey gaskets, usually with some visible fibre.

Any filler or putty originally used in the frame or tinware may well be reinforced with asbestos fibre too.

Oh- and insulating collars and washers in the electrics.

Sometimes it seems they shoved asbestos anywhere they could get it to go, in the good old days!

But there’s really no need to worry about it, unless (in the UK) you’re employing people to work on it. Then the safety regs get pretty strict.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775365 06/01/19 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
Composite cylinder head gaskets.
Originally Posted by triton thrasher
any old gaskets of the Klingerite or Halite type are pretty certain to hold some asbestos. ... the pink or grey gaskets, usually with some visible fibre.
Any filler or putty originally used in the frame or tinware may well be reinforced with asbestos fibre too.
insulating collars and washers in the electrics.
Thanks for the above. Please keep the information coming.

Originally Posted by triton thrasher
I’m interested in why you ask.
It's related to importing motorcycles into Australia. Fifteen years ago they adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward asbestos which they started strictly enforcing about two years ago. This policy applies to motor vehicles imported permanently or temporarily, they are quite aware asbestos lurks in older ones, and it's up to the importer to "provide sufficient assurance" everything containing asbestos has been removed.

Taking the Australian regulation as an immutable fact, I would like to compile a list of all components in old motorcycles (i.e. as old as the 19th C) that might contain asbestos.

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775370 06/01/19 2:53 pm
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As an electrican I came across the old "Cambric" varnished cotton insulation in factories etc..This may contain abestos and it was used in old cars and I assume bikes...There is also asbestos containing high temperature used for certain applications, I don't know if its still used or has been replaced by "safer" materials...


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Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775374 06/01/19 3:27 pm
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You must be grateful for their saving everyone from deadly imported old BSAs.


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Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
triton thrasher #775392 06/01/19 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
You must be grateful for their saving everyone from deadly imported old BSAs.


Sorry to be serious for a minute but having seen someone die slowly from mesothelioma (google it), asbestos is no matter to joke about. The guy I knew was exposed to it once i his life for only a minute or two and then 20 years later it killed him.

I say good on the Aussies.

John

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775399 06/01/19 9:18 pm
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Friction discs for steering dampers and girder forks would originally have contained asbestos as well.

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
George Kaplan #775402 06/01/19 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by George Kaplan
Originally Posted by triton thrasher
You must be grateful for their saving everyone from deadly imported old BSAs.


Sorry to be serious for a minute but having seen someone die slowly from mesothelioma (google it), asbestos is no matter to joke about. The guy I knew was exposed to it once i his life for only a minute or two and then 20 years later it killed him.

I say good on the Aussies.

John


I’m always serious, especially when I make silly jokes.

We all already have thousands of asbestos fibres in our lungs. Far more than you could get from some old bike, even if you tried. The only people who don’t carry similar amounts of asbestos are those who have lived all their lives in freakily remote areas with no roads.

Guys who worked as laggers, or such jobs that meant they were enveloped in clouds of asbestos dust, had tens of millions of asbestos fibre fragments in their lungs. That gave them a serious risk of disease and death. If they smoked (and they did), it was odds-on they would die of asbestos-related lung disease.

If you’re John, who is George Caplan?



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Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775425 06/02/19 7:53 am
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I believe the old fibreglass lagging that most (British) houses used to be lagged in was equally as harmful to the human body although in some places you could for a time still buy that stuff.

Blue asbestos is the worst, some are still bad but not as damaging to health, a lot of factories used to use blue asbestos for various applications. Because it’s an excellent heat barrier, it’s very often used in different kinds of lagging.

Back to the bikes though... lots of people imported their bikes into Melbourne last November for the international bsa rally, it might be worth asking dome of those guys how they got on with the process, I know that regulation was tight and you believe you needed some kind of proof of no asbestos.


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Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
triton thrasher #775426 06/02/19 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
who is George Caplan?



He is the guy that Phillip Vandamm is looking for.

John

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775453 06/02/19 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
The only people who don’t carry similar amounts of asbestos are those who have lived all their lives in freakily remote areas with no roads.
The town of Asbestos, Quebec, Canada[*] seems to be somewhat remote and does not (currently) have anything to do with asbestos, but it does have roads so for that sole reason it does not qualify according to your criteria.

The current list of components that might contain asbestos is:

Engine:
Composite head gaskets
Composite exhaust pipe gaskets
"Rope"-type oil seals on early machines

Cycle Parts:
Brakes
Clutch
Steering damper friction material
Girder fork friction material

Electrical:
Fabric wiring insulation
Insulating washers
Bakelite

What else should be on this list?

Note: Triton thrasher mentioned Klingerit and Halite gaskets as possibilities but, at least as far as current production goes, they are asbestos-free.

[*] Prevailing winds are from west to east, ensuring the town of a constant supply of fresh Canadian air.

Attached Files Asbestos_Canada.jpg
Last edited by Magnetoman; 06/02/19 7:00 pm. Reason: added map
Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775465 06/02/19 8:33 pm
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Dont know for certain but I believe some paints contained asbestos as well as it being used in body filler, not sure what types of paint or even if they were used in the motorcycle industry,but several types of filler definately used asbestos fibres and its difficult sometimes, if its been done properly, to know if a part has been filled
Yosemite

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
yosemite #775478 06/02/19 11:04 pm
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Hi MM and All.
Asbestsos Canada is the polar opposite of Asbest Russia, named after the product of its mines
A "Google" brings up this frightening news item (If you believe such things)
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/07/world/europe/asbestos-russia-mine.html

John

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775481 06/02/19 11:34 pm
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Frightening indeed!

Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
Magnetoman #775482 06/02/19 11:36 pm
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While Australia is not unique in having a total ban on asbestos, we have a pretty big health legacy from asbestos (as do many other places I'd guess).

Folks were pretty cavalier about it here in the old days. Not so any more.

Check out the asbestos shoveling competition https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe/wittenoom-images

BTW Wittenoom is the subject of the Midnight OIl song 'Blue Sky Mine' if any one knows it. CSR and subsidiaries (James Hardie) bailed and went off-shore so they could avoid their legal liability.

MM you might contact Australian Custom (now renamed Australian Border Force by the looks of it) and ask what they would consider to be 'potentially' asbestos containing items that they might inspect. They have the 'hygenists' crawling all over everything apparently.

https://www.abf.gov.au/importing-exporting-and-manufacturing/prohibited-goods/categories/asbestos


Ray






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Re: Question about asbestos on bikes
BrizzoBrit #775491 06/03/19 1:35 am
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Originally Posted by BrizzoBrit
you might contact Australian Custom (now renamed Australian Border Force by the looks of it)...
The question I posted is just the tip of an iceberg. I've been looking into this issue in the background for the better part of a year and knowledgeable people in Australia are in contact with the Border Force. The question I posted is to gather information in parallel with that effort.

For what it's worth, I have the necessary equipment to determine whether or not asbestos is present in any of the components on the list in my previous email. But, for any report originating in the U.S. to count with Australian authorities it would have to come from a laboratory accredited by one of the nine U.S. organizations that issue such certification. Looking at their web pages it's clear that obtaining certification would be quite expensive.


Moderated by  Jon W. Whitley 

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