Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1 year on and where am I?

Well I have managed to get a promotion at work, but it is just an acting arrangement and therefore only good 'till the end of the year.  I have got a few small jobs done around the house.  The kitchen is almost finished, though I could have said that last year.  I think there is only one door frame to paint and the pipe for the extractor fan to do.  We do have a 5000L water tank that has helped us to cut our metered water usage in half!  I love it when it's full and I run the whole house on rain water.  Nothing better than a hot shower in rain water.  Nothing but clean rainwater, except maybe a little bird poo!

So what about the bike?  Well it has a new home!  No I didn't sell it, but I have relocated it from outside, under a cover, to inside my new man cave.  Now I can work on it and not have to pack up at the end of the day.  I can do 10 mins here and 30 mins there so I should be able to get more done.  Also, due to the new storage, I should be able to find the missing air filter while I move everything around.  That said... I've moved half of the stuff now and still no sign of it?

This morning I was up a bit early so I went out and moved some things into the container.  I had my nice CBR600 wheels on the bench and decided to see if the sprocket thing I bought from the states fit it.  Basically I got a bare rim with none of the cush drive bits and no sprocket.  I did a bit of research and found that the CBR carrier would be way to fat anyway.  I came across one comment by a guy who rode SV650s and he said that lots of people put the CBR wheels on them and use a carrier from an old VF500 Interceptor that had a lot less bulk.

After a while looking around eBay I found someone who had the whole rear wheel of the VF500.  I did a deal to just send me the carrier, rubbers and sprocket.  The part was cheap, but the postage was steep.  I would rather pay the person a lot and skip USPS, but that isn't how it works.

So this morning I pulled out the carrier and the rubbers and the rim.  It took me 30 second to see how it all went together and the rubbers fit PERFECTLY! and are in great shape for such an old part.  The sprocket has almost no wear, but I'm not sure on the pitch and it also has 46 teeth... a bit to steep for me.  I like to cruise at low revs, but I think the 46 will just be too tall and have nothing off the line.  Time will tell, but the carrier is exactly right.

So we take the wheels from this bike

Then we take the carrier from this bike

The rear disk from this bike

And the swing arm and axle from this one

And we put it all on this bike

You have to love the Internet!  Where else could I find all the info to make a Frankenstein mix like this work.  That said, I don't know if it does work yet.  Stay tuned!

Well almost ridding...

So I pulled my finger out after the last post.  I got out my eBay special XR600 front brake and cleaned it up and fitted it.  Other than the me being a bit heavy handed with the spanner and breaking one part it all went well.  Luckily the part could be got from the old XL brake and reused.

I went over the oil system since I'd left it all finger tight after draining the oil a few months back.  I tightened the drain bolts, but on a new washer on the sump plug.  Tightened up the bit at the bottom of the frame where the mesh filter is and refitted the stone guard thing.  Then I got a nice semi synthetic oil at the correct viscosity and filled her up.  I kicked it over a few times to pump through some oil and nothing leaked.  You've got to love it when a plan comes together.

One of the foot pegs was still removed from when I had the engine side cover off to do the kick spring.  So I went to bolt that on and found the bolt that was there before was really worn out and not the right length at all.  I took the correct one to the shop and picked up a new one.  I cleaned out the thread and put the new bolt in and the foot peg is now as good as new. 

The battery replacement capacitor fits the old battery wires perfectly and will be temporarily cable tied to the frame.  Once the rego is done, I'll do a Saturday of wiring and find somewhere for the capacitor and the other bits to go as since the air box/battery box/ rear mudguard - Honda know how to make a part do lots of jobs - is now gone, they are just dangling in a big empty space.  And more than a little too close to the rear tyre!

I also test fitted the side plastics and they are going to need some loving.  New bolts and washers are needed and I might even have to rely on some cable ties where one of them is all torn up around the mounting hole.  They only need to be secure for now, but will be gone once I cut off the rear sub frame and make up a new one.  I just have to find a seat that I like the look of and let that guide me to what to build.

Then it was time to fill up the tank and start thinking about starting.  I found the jerrycan and jumped in the car.  5 litres of premium fuel should be a good start.  Back home again and I'm starting to get keen.  Think first... I'll have to rinse out the tank... then I remember that I haven't fitted the other air filter...

Air filter... where is that second air filter?  After a few hours of looking everywhere I knew it should be there is no air filter to be found!  Oh well.  I'm going to buy a car.  eBay I hear you say?  Well it just so happens that there is a Cressida on there I like the look of.  More on that later.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time to ride... whether I like it or not.

Monday this week I drove to work as usual in my Commodore. I don't really like the car, but it was a gift and certainly did the job it was intended for. I've just jumped through all the hoops to get it registered again and the plan was to sell it in the next few months and then upgrade to something more to my taste, now that we aren't so broke.

Anyway, back to the story. I drove to work and parked in my usual spot. Grabbed my stuff, locked the car and walked off into work. 5pm came around and I headed back out to where I'd left the car, but was a little puzzled by an empty space. Maybe I parked further down the road? Nope, not there. Maybe the other way? Nope, not there. I guess someone likes Commodores more than me... It's been a few days now and nothing from the Cops. So time to rego the bike and see if we can be a 1 car + 1 motorbike family.

Even though I bought this bike with lots of great intentions and ideas. But it seems that between financial and family commitments, it just isn't that easy to mod a bike to perfection. So between the theft of my car and my lack of time and money, I've decided to change my approach. Fix all the bugs and rego the bike. Then add all the nice mods, as and when I can afford them.

All the little problems are fixed now and this weekend the vital fluids will be added. Some nice, yet cheap, synthetic oil is sitting ready to be poured into the frame (what a strange place to keep oil!) and 5 litres of premium petrol will go in the rinsed out tank. Then some filter oil on the two new foam filters and we'll see if I can get some life out of it.

One of the issues with removing the air box is the lack of a place for the battery. That said, there was no battery in the bike anyway, but I'm told that the charging system is designed to have one and tends to not last long without it.

"So what to do?" (as Doctor Joe would say - I so want to go back to Goa!) Some searching revealed that a few people have been here before and if your really keen you can buy a battery replacement thing from the US. The basic component is a large capacitor that acts like a battery and allows the bike to just get on with running the lights and spark.

After a bit of hunting down the specs I found the right part on ebay UK, for a fraction of the price of the brand name battery replacement in the US. A 19000UF, 25V DC Electrolytic Capacitor with screw terminals. Great thing is, it just fit straight onto the wires that use to go to the battery!

That thing in the bottom of the pic is a pen...  gives you an idea of the size of the thing!

So once I tape up a bit of wiring and double check everything, bolt down the tank and plastics and go for a little spin, it's off to the mechanic for a pink slip.  Lets hope that they aren't too picky and don't fuss about the few little mods there are and about the battery.  The XR600 never had one anyway!

Monday, May 23, 2011

What the hell am I doing here

After months of working on front line IT support - setting up computer, fixing hardware and software issues, talking to clients and even working in the call centre a bit - I'm now back working on development work.  The problem is... IT IS DULL!  There is none of the sexy coding and I can't do anything cool.  Just build reports and even that is slow going as the business are hard to get feedback from 'cause they have their work to do.  I think I'll go back to the other work when this job winds up, and just find a role where I get out and about and earn a little extra cash.  Stuff this crappy dev work.

Anyway, back to the bike.  It's been months, and while I was all keen at first, I lost momentum fast.  The problem is that I got given a car.  Now that would be nice and don't get me wrong, I appreciate it, but I can't have a car and a truck and a bike registered.  Anyway, so the truck is going on eBay this weekend and so is the car.  And the bike is getting rego'ed ASAP and I'm not getting stuck in the stupid traffic anymore.

Most of the issues with the bike have now been fixed...
  • Kick start lever now has a new spring and returns when kicked!
  • New master cylinder and caliper for the front... fitting tomorrow night!
  • Blinkers are on and just need a little soldering
  • Capacitor set up for battery replacement - just a little soldering and we're good!
  • New light bulb
  • I'm trying to ignore the front forks 'till after rego. Maybe I should just suck it up and do the seals?
  • New oil filter and fresh oil

I did originally intend to do allot more up front, but I did also say this was a project I could ride and work on.  Once the rego is on I'll start making more plans.  I've bought some CBR600 wheels - that came with all new bearings and front disks - and a CR125 swing arm and brake.  I'm thinking that I could build that up on the bench to the point where it is all working and then just bolt it on and only have to work out the master linkage to the peddle.

 This is what  the wheels look like - mine are silver though and my bike will be quite different...

I'll also need to get some CR125/250 triples and a set of CRF forks.  They are really quite cheap in the states.  I'm also toying with the idea of getting a complete CBR front end and putting on my wheel and running the dual disks.  Imagine how that would stop.

I also got a new tank, but I think it will take a bit of stuffing with.  I might just skip that one for a while and get some ks on the bike.  I'm not so keen on being at work and I'd much rather be working on my bike all day, but at least I can ride to and from work if I get it rego'ed.  I'm not really very good at finishing projects, so I'm going to break this one down into mini projects and that way I can do several min projects and learn to finish them.  That way I'll have some practice for when I get my garage and my car.

This is what it looks like at the mo.  Needs some assembly and work...

It also occurs to me that I was a bit of an idiot selling my old bike...

This was my bike that I mentioned earlier.  AWESOME and I'm and IDIOT!