Sunday, November 4, 2012

Not so bike related...

I've always had a soft spot for Cressidas.  I know most people think of them as Old Man cars, but my Dad had one when I was a kid and it left an impression.  When I was in my early 20s I bought an MX83 Cressida with a blown motor and then proceeded to put a 1JZ twin turbo motor into it.  It was a great car and went REALLY well.

From time to time I get stupid ideas in my head and I just can't shake them.  For some reason I decided to sell the Cressida and drive some other crap car and I just can't help but think that I should have stuck with it.  I had put so much work into it and it was so close to what I wanted that I should have faced reality and not tried to play with any other cars.  I just have trouble staying focused some times... no kidding I hear you say.

Another one of those stupid ideas was to sell this very rare and fun to drive car!  What the hell was I thinking...

Anyway, years later I bought another MX83 and this time didn't do all the work.  I just drove it in stock for and fixed a couple of minor things that went wrong with it.  It suited my purposes at the time and was nice and reliable... 'till it blew a head gasket about two weeks before the rego was due.  Oh well... I figure it didn't owe me anything so I just sold it for parts on ebay.

I've never really been into Subarus, but the wife and I had been thinking about buying a Forester as our family car.  The plan was to buy an 04 XT for the wife, but when my Cressida gave up on me we decided to buy and older and cheaper GT and it would be my daily most of the time and then double as the family car when we do trips and need the extra space.

So this is what we bought.

I have to say that after now having the car for a few thousand ks and doing some work and modifications on it, I can understand why people buy a Subaru and then never drive anything else again.  It is well built.  Goes hard.  Parts are cheap.  Servicing is a bit exy but that is the price you pay for all the other benefits.

So far mine has got a WRX turbo, an STI exhaust, full STI springs and shocks and several other smaller mods.  It already had an ECU tweak and I have to say that I am REALLY happy with the car now.  There is always more I would want to do, but really... I think a nice set of Liberty mags is all that is likely to happen now.  It handles well, runs well and just does what I ask.  What more could I want... except two wheels and no body?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So what's the plan?

Well the business is going well and since we need a bike to start testing a few parts on I decided to rego the XL600.  I was also listening to one of my podcasts the other day and there was a comment made about not putting too much off in life 'cause we should enjoy life now as well as enjoy planning for the future.  This motivated me to get back out on the bike and ride.

So on Tuesday I pulled out the XL to take it in for it's rego inspection.  I looked it over and all seemed fine.  I kicked it over and it started after about 3 kicks.  All was going well and I was really looking forward to going for a ride.  It has been a few months since I even sat on the bike and I just wanted to get going.  Then I noticed something.  Petrol was dripping from the bottom of the carbs.  DAMN IT!

After a bit of closer inspection it wasn't so much dripping as as running freely...  that will teach me not to leave the bike untended for too long!  Then, to add insult to mechanical injury, one of my two air filters broke!!!!  Just a little of the rubber came off, but it was right where it mounts to the carb and it aint going to stay on there now!

So I wheeled the thing back up to the shed and got in my car and headed to work... not quite as nice, but at least the petrol stayed where it should and not running down onto the ground.

When I got home I pulled the carbs off and started to look through them on the bench.  The jetting is too lean, so I really should look at that while they are apart.  They just look like they need a good clean and a couple of the linkages were a bit bent, but went back into shape nicely and the staggered action is working really well.  I'm planning on taking the left carb up to a 120 and the right to a 130.  We'll see how that goes and then make changes from there.  Not sure I'll mess with the pilot at first as it idles well.  I also should get my act together and upgrade the muffler, but I figure I can just leave that 'till the rear frame is redone the way I want.

So while this is all going on I came across this...

If you go back to one of my earlier posts you'll see that this is quite similar to my old motard.  The wheels are a bit different as they are cast and YELLOW, but I do like it a lot.  I'm seriously considering making an offer on this one, but not sure where the cash will come from.

That said, it would be the perfect bike for the business to use as it's demo bike for all the DRZ bits we stock.  We have so many parts for these bikes and it would be great to make some videos of how to fit things and do some reviews of other parts that our customers might be keen on... So how do I convince the business partner that we do need another bike?  There is a shelf in the workshop where I put one of each new part we stock, just in case we get another one of these... it would take me a week to put all the parts on there are so many (and I'm a bit slow too :).

What do you guys thing?  Should we add a DRZ to the list of bikes in our stable and mod the hell out of it?

Monday, March 5, 2012

About time I had more of a plan than just copy others

I've been thinking about this for a while now and while I started off with that XL tracker from my earlier posts... the vision has evolved since then.  Seeing that XL was a real eye opener for me.  Since then I've started reading Pipeburn and BikeExif every day (and The Knee Slider when I have time to really read) and while I don't like all the bikes on these sites, I can see something in every one and the overall effect has been that my views on what I want have changed.  I still think back to my DRZ Motard with fondness and watch them on ebay, but if I had the choice I'd take the XL as a finished project as it will be 100% unique and pretty much what I want.  That said, down the track I'll be modifying a DRZ to be something a bit left of centre so watch this space.

Anyway, today is a bit quiet at work, mainly due to the fact that I'm not meant to be here 'cause number two child should have been born by now, but with no baby showing up as yet, I'm at work.  The problem is I've set everything up to be done and with other people... so it's time to do a bit of drawing while I wait for work to be ready to do.

Here is my first sketch and I have to say, that it is pretty much right.  You can see the CBR wheels (a bit rough) and the new CRF forks.  The tank is about what I'm after, but it remains to be seen what I can do with the XL175 tank I have on the shelf... it will help having a bare frame to work on (when it arrives).  The question is, what do you think of the exhaust?  I'm thinking a stubby muffler off a modern CBR with the two pipes merging under the engine and coming out on the right.

So after that first pic I was happy with the stance.  I just wanted to rework the tank and tail.  To be honest, the lines of that tank are a bit of a copy of the BCR Armadillo but it's such a stunning bike!  I also drew in some clip ons and the HD Sportster headlight.  I know a lot of people don't like the little headlights, but I don't ride much at night and I like the HD unit.  It just seems to have some substance when you hold it in your hand!  I've added a set of rear sets and left off the muffler.  I think I will go with the shorty muffler and bring it up under the rear sets.  I don't like the seat and tail on this one as much, but you can see some quick sketches at the bottom of the tail with two round sets of LEDs and the plate.  I don't need a battery or much wiring so I'm going to have the bike very open and I'm going to look at cap on coil for the spark, to drop some weight and more bulk from under the tank.  Oh, the swing arm is going to be black and I'm thinking the wheels will be too.  I don't like to polish and those big flat alloy surfaces on the swing are just look too shinny!

I'd add the muffler, put on the seat and tail from the first bike, raise the rear sets and add a support frame for the seat.  I'm thinking about a 25 degree angle or close to that.  Maybe picking up a line off the header pipe or something in the engine?  Also, I do ride when it rains, so I need a front and rear wheel guard.  The rear will be right down on the swing arm, so I'll have to do a bit of looking at what's out there.  The front will also be down on the wheel and I have a lead on a GSX one at the mo.  It's cheap so I'll see how it goes and change to another if needed.  I was originally going with something motard, but this bike would look silly with a short and high front guard... maybe I should draw it and see?

Update on the bathroom?  It's 100% functional and working.  There is a sink, a toilet and a shower.  The nice frame-less glass shower screen will be put in early next week and the cabinet for the built in vanity is coming.  I  also ordered the ceiling paneling today and it might even be in for the weekend!  It's pretty cool really as it's tongue and groove, and shiny white!  I know that sounds weird, but I'll chuck up some pics when it's finished.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Life getting in the way of life...

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but when we bought our house it was a DUMP!  The first time I walked in I burst out laughing... that is how bad it was.  The agent didn't seem too impressed, but he came around when I made an offer all the same.  Every room was filthy and all the walls and ceilings were stained with nicotine!  The guy who lived there before was a chain smoking widower who didn't clean for 10 years!

My wife couldn't even get the kitchen clean enough to use so I just tore it out.  We also took out a couple of walls and joined the dinning, kitchen and laundry into one room.  Took out all the asbestos and then put in fresh gyprock.  It all came up really nice with a new kitchen, some polished floors and a bit of tilling.  I also painted the rest of the house, with some help from my Mum and a bit from my little brother.  I've never had blue walls before, but the wife liked it and I think it feels quite cool.

Notice I haven't mentioned the bathroom.  Well it was the worst room in the house.  I ended up painting it with left over paint, just so we didn't feel sick going in there and then just ignored it for two years.  Then my wife got pregnant with number two and a deadline was created.  New bathroom before the baby comes...  Problem is that Christmas got in the way and then work and then it was Australia day and there wasn't too much time left.  I striped it out pretty quick, but one issue after another has stopped it getting done and now it is about 80% and usable, but not finished.  Hopefully this weekend will see the floor done and then it will just be a few finishing touches.

So between all this house work, one gorgeous daughter and another kid on the way, my wife and the trips away to see family and just have fun, I don't have as much time as I'd like.  So where is the bike up to????

Well it rides.  The brakes work.  All the lights work and the kick starter sits in the right place and does it's job well.  The bike runs ok, but REALLY needs some jetting.  NONE of my funky parts are on it... they are just sitting on a shelf in the shed.  I even had it inspected for rego and it passed.  Problem was, I had to spend the rego money on something else so now the inspection is out of date.  It's ok though 'cause the shop will just write me up a new one without too much fuss, when I get the cash.

Once it has plate on it, I will focus on the engine and it's associated stuff.  I'll start with the new 30mm carbs I got for it.  I'm also toying with setting up a pair of flatsides for it, but maybe that should wait 'till later.  I'll jet them nicely and then move to the exhaust.  Two pipes down the front and then a y join underneath.  Then a muffler swept up a little but still quite low on the left.

While that is all being sorted I'm going to do the wheels and stuff another way.  I picked up a spare frame so I'm going to build that up while I ride the xl.  It will get the new CRF450 front forks.  It will get the CBR wheels and the alloy swing arm.  I'll get it all set up and perfect and then just switch in the engine and take it down for rego.  That means I can ride right up to the last day of rego and then register the other frame the next week!

So no pics today, but I'm going to get more into this now that the house is settling down and I'll put up some pics of the build as it goes!