Stretch Henrick is a man obsessed with measuring everything about motorcycles. He owns an enormous collection of measuring instruments, from state-of-the-art laser beams for setting wheel alignment to collector's items such as micrometers more than a century old that can still measure accurately down to one thousandth of an inch (0.025mm) - about half the thickness of a human hair.
He grew up in Wellington, and bought his first motorcycle - a Honda 175 - at 17. Like every cash-strapped teenager, he soon learned to repair and maintain it himself, but it was only when he began studying electronics that he learned the importance of accurate measurement.
It was during this period (early 1975) that he developed one of the first electronic ignition systems, using an infrared light source, a sensor and a little wheel with a slot cut in it as a trigger - and argued for hours with the mechanical students, trying in vain to convince them variable valve timing was possible.
Henrick bought his first Italian motorcycle - a Laverda 750GT - in 1979 and, since there was little or no technical assistance available, taught himself to work on it by simply measuring everything he could. By the time he graduated with a Master's Diploma in Technology in 1987, measuring how motorcycles work had become a passion.
Most mechanics work by a simple process of substitution