Tuesday, 18 March 2008

One step forwards, two steps back... the bike becomes a 'mule'

With the likelihood of a move to Melbourne I didn't want to transport a disassembled motorbike. But with no hope of finishing in time, I thought it wise to reset the bike and get it running again. So its back on with the original tank, seat, gauges and headlight but also on with new decompression cable and a Daytona decompression kit from Vanem.

I don't mind putting lots of the original parts back onto the bike because I'll be able to test the adjustment of the cables and routing of the wiring in a much more straight forward manner. The original headlight is great for hiding all the wiring - I'm starting to think I should keep it!

The Second Major Stage

Hopefully with the original, rather than final parts in place, the bike will be less delicate to transport... I'd hate for something to happen to that shinny aluminium fuel tank.

Amazingly the motor turned over on the second kick - the tank had been off for 3 months! It was good to go for a ride and to test the new reduced turning circle (caused by the steering limiter which stops the clip-on bars hitting the tank). It was also interesting to experience the first stage of the new riding posture... reaching down onto the handlebars certainly does add strain on both the wrists and the neck. But these will be sacrifices worth making!

When I pulled up at the first set of lights another motorbike came up along side - the rider immediately started asking questions and complimenting me on my bike - and this without the cool tank and seat! It wasn't until I pulled away that I noticed that I'd forgotten to put on the rear view mirrors.

Well, the 'to do' list:
  • install the shorter throttle cables and a new black hand grip on the throttle
  • install the shorter clutch cable
  • mount the smaller stainless front mud guard
  • bolt on the now silver stone guard
  • Cap-off the top yoke with a aluminium handlebar post cap
  • reintroduce the indicator light kit - this is going to fit more neatly if I get a stainless steel bracket cut
  • replace the gauges with smaller diameter Dayton units (both a speedometer and tachometer, probably mounted to the same bracket as the indicator lamps)
  • install the engine breather filter
  • remove the airbox and install the K&N air filter
  • move the battery, fuses, etc. and introduce the required battery plate
  • mount the carburetor support bracket
  • remove the engine vapor return hose
  • mount the horn (this will probably need a custom bracket)
  • introduce the rearsets (removing the existing rider and pillion foot pegs)
  • install the ducktail seat
  • swap the petrol tanks (including swapping over the fuel tap)
  • mount the new stainless steel exhaust and re-jet the carburetor
  • resolve the graphic treatment on the tank... and the many other things that I haven't even identified yet!

Friday, 7 March 2008

First Major 'Stop Work Meeting'

I'm back on the build! And this time I mean business!... well, I thought I was back on the build. I've encountered my first set of problems which are either based on a slight incompatibility of the parts I purchased or I need more parts!

After slowly jacking up the bike, and in turn loosening and lowering the forks, I managed to slide in place the new headlight brackets and clip-on bars (top left and right images respectively). This is when I discovered the first of three problems (bottom left image). Firstly, the vintage headlight overlaps the main switch assembly (ignition) so that if I want to use this light I have to move the switch and probably replace the top yoke, which is my second problem. My third problem (bottom right image) is that the decompression lever hits the broad tank... I think I need a new clutch lever with the decompression lever on top. In this final image I have reverted to using the original headlight which is shallower but of a much larger diameter.

While in my possession the bike has only done about a weeks worth of riding, and the motor hasn't been turned over for 2 months now so I'm getting eager to ride the bike again. I'm also keen to check that I haven't inadvertently done something to the engine immobiliser so that the bike no longer starts. I know that the longer I wait to start the bike the harder it will be to diagnose starting problems as the number of variables climb.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Minor Works Report

I don't have a lot to show for my tinkering over the last few weeks - I keep telling myself that I can make time for the build 'next week'... next week is yet to come!

(Top left) This once black stone guard is now shinny and silver. I don't want to be accused of not doing things properly (if not actually over doing things)... this part bolts into place underneath the bike and is unlikely to be seen but is likely to get damaged, but I painted it anyway.
(Top right) The new 'vintage' headlight and brackets are ready to go onto the bike... once the forks are dropped out!
(Bottom left) Most of what has to come off the front of the bike has been removed and some of the new electronics have been fitted.
(Bottom right) The tacho cable has been removed and the hole in the top of the engine has been plugged... I'm not running a tachometer on the finished bike though I am toying with the idea of mounting a little dial on the side of the headlight... but that's something to think about later.

... not having time for the build is OK 'cause I'm getting some other cool things done...