the build(s?) (mysta2)

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the build(s?) (mysta2)

Unread post by mysta2 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:19 am

I've decided to start this to try and document for myself and anyone who’s interested; my first steps into this obsession that is motorcycles. I'll be the first to admit that I'm jumping in a little late so here’s the back story:

When I was 18 I bought my first and one of my current cars:
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...and I was hooked. The following years have been spent obsessing about all that is cars, trucks, bikes... anything that had an engine and wheels. It wasn't till college that I learned about old bikes though, the shop foremen at my school had what must've been a new (vintage looking) Triumph or Royal Enfield, at the time I didn't know anything about them so I can't place it now. Anyway I started to pick up classic bike rags and spent hours pouring over the ads in the back trying to figure out what I liked so much about those classics and picking out my favorites. At the time I was dreaming about a Buell Blast (and trying to ignore the fact that being a full time student, living in down town Seattle, on my parents bill wasn't going to afford me anything but the bus)

Fast forward a couple of years (to last year) and I'm living in Texas working full time and one of my friends who's been riding a Honda cruiser for a year or so (I still have yet to swing a leg over a running motorcycle) decides he's going to Daytona. Well, I'm always up for a little impromptu road trip so we pile into his truck and set off for Florida. (I wish I could post all the pictures I took out there but it would take forever to upload them all) Anyway, Daytona changed me a bit; before the trip I just wanted a stock bike to ride... now, it was going to have to be custom :twisted: (so much for a bike being a money saving idea)

Upon returning from Florida; down the street from where I work I keep passing by this kind of ratty looking standard with a for sale sign on it.
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It sticks in the back of my mind and I bring it up to my friend, he asks me what I would do if I went over there and he was asking just $500 for it... I can't decide what I would do, so I go over and he wants $300 (or two I-pods as my friend puts it)... it's not running. The next day it's in the shop at work and we're trying to get it to run, so he can teach me how to ride it :) The next weekend (still not running) I spend in my MSF class and I start to tear into the bike. Oil change (sure wish I could lay my car on it's side when I've got a stuck bolt) new plugs, battery, points, condenser, wires, strip seal and clear the tank, crop 12 inches out of the frame, mold a new carbon seat, fit new clubman bars. The main switch turns out to be pitted out and non functional, I replace it and the bike would now run if it wasn't torn apart all over my garage floor.

I finally get her all back together and manage a few short rides often walking back (one bad coil, one plugged cap vent) until she's riding relatively dependably:
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the seat's not finished at this point.

I pick up a copy of Hells' Angels for inspiration/heritage, and start riding more often (I also get myself a helmet, and jacket to compliment the boots and gloves required by the MSF) I spend a lot of time at various Starbucks since there's always a couple within my dependability ring that I'm willing to ride a bike that may not be coming home under its own power. The pipes go black and the seat gets finished:
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Last edited by mysta2 on Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:19 am

how not to paint your' helmet or how to make your' brand new expensive helmet look old

well this was something I knew I wanted to do but couldn't decide how to go about it so eventually I just broke into it and kept moving forward-backward-upsidedown-sideways... till it was done... and I documented it all:

Step 1: get rid of all those annoying useless stickers
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(I used heptaine, denatured alcohol, and a blade for the more stubborn parts)

Step 2: formulate a plan that will be completely abandoned before the first layer of primer
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at this point I was still thinking I would do seams and rivets to look like a WWII Japanese zero.

Step 3: sand everything
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I wet sanded everything down with 600. The vents are just taped on with molding tape, dragging the edge of the sand paper back and forth under them will essentially cut (or dislodge) the tape

Looking better already
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Step 4: mask everything else
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If I would have discovered that I could take the side caps off before I put it all back together I would have removed them before this point and shot them separately. (There's a little red tab at the bottom of each one that releases it)

The better the paint system you have the better your' results will be...
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...theoretically

Step 5: paint it some ungodly color that will completely discourage you
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Well, my excuse was that this was just the basecoat to back the airbrush work.

Step 6: deny deny deny
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Still trying to push forward with the panel seam idea

Step 7: give up and shoot it satin gray
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this shot obviously taken after shooting the gray and masking for flat black.

Step 8: matte black make everything better
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...and a little Rudolf nose

Step 9: take some white trash Ebay style photos on your' cheesy $10 coffee table
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back

not shown is the mask for the red spot on the back or me applying the sticker and heating it with a heat gun to conform it to the curve

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Unread post by mysta2 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:21 am

One night I get ambitious/bored and decide to tear my front end apart and see how much better I can re-assemble it.

first things first disassembly:
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This is what progress looks like in my world

After cleaning up anything that was now exposed I decided the front fender that had developed a fast growing crack had to go and the bars would look better under the top clamp:
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Only problem... they don't fit. I need to slot the back of the bar to clear the neck, Vise + Bridgeport = solution:
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(earlier I had to cut the other holes into it to accommodate the stock controls and run the wires)

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no need to clean up the hole since no wires will be running through it. (although I did still sand it out a little after this shot was taken... it just looks better)

the reason those holes were cut into the bar ends:
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Lock to lock it clears just fine:
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This was just blind luck

I also switched all the phillips and standard hardware with allens (not pictured) and lowered the front a half inch or so... the top caps just looked better sitting even with the top of the clamp.
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If I don't end up fabricating all new triple clamps I'm going to have to knock those brace extensions off that thing.

Close-up of the inverted risers:
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I also had to ditch one of the bushing out of each mount to get the bars to pivot forward enough to clear the neck (I wanted to notch the bar as little as possible)

All together:
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Those cables are getting longer and longer each time I drop the bars. That's on the list, but I keep forgetting about it.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:22 am

Wheels… well this all started when I decided to replace the old decrepit dual sport tire that was on the bike when I bought it. This thing will (at least while I own it) never see dirt again so I wanted to go with a more street appropriate tire. I stopped in at my local Cycle Gear to get their recommendations and I walked out with a Dunlop 120 GT501 (which turned out to be too big for my rim, but more on that later) I pulled the rear wheel off and of course my mind got to working and I decided that with the wheel off I might as well clean everything up and send my spokes, rim and hub off for powder coat… and while I’m at it, why not do the front too. When the rims came off was when it became pretty obvious that my new tire wasn’t going to fit the skinny 185 rim but I had by that time fallen in love with the idea of that big fat 120 (trust me, it’s fat compared to the old one) sitting on the back of my bike, so I called Buchanan Spoke back up and added a new aluminum Excel rim to my spoke order. This is when I decide that I finally need to let go of the glamorous idea that this is going to be a cheap project.

Almost ready to send to the powder coater:
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I went down to Ace the last Friday to pick up my parts and brought them back to the shop for a little assembly fun:
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You can just barely see the rims in that shot, I got all the internal hardware in a satin black (hubs, plates, spokes, and stay) and the rims in a high gloss to set them off against everything else.

Gotta love freshly greased and assembled parts :) Also I took some time to polish and brush the hell out of everything that wasn't going black.
Image Image
Sure is nice to have a solid catalog of process photos to remind you how everything went together.

Make sure before you coat parts that you have a good idea what's exposed and what's not, there are a few surfaces that I missed on the rear hub that I would have coated if I hadn't mistaken them to be mating surfaces. Oh well, next time. Also if you’re going with powder get all the grease, oil, and bearings out of the parts… they will not stand up to the baking process, and will have to be removed later anyway and will have bled all over your’ not so perfect anymore fresh finish.

Later I took all my parts out to High5 cycles for them to be laced, trued, mounted, and balanced, and learned that I wont be seeing them again for another week… it’s alright though, if I can manage to gather up the motivation, that should give me the time to fix my leaking gas tank and rebuild my forks. Maybe even shorten my cables… I’m still afraid of that though.
Last edited by mysta2 on Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:22 am

Currently it’s set up in m garage on my floor jack in somewhat of a psudo-mockup
Image Image
which has gotten me thinking of how low I can really get it when I put it all back together again.

This is the bucket of parts that it’s so far dropped (less a couple that went straight to the dumpster, and the seat)
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If I had to hazard a guess I would say it probably weighs in at about 30 pounds.
Last edited by mysta2 on Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by cb360 » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:26 am

Holy cow! You are truly fearless. Anyway - great pix and a good story to boot. keep it up.
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Unread post by blues2cruise » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:34 pm

cb360 wrote:Holy cow! You are truly fearless. Anyway - great pix and a good story to boot. keep it up.
and obviously talented. :)
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Unread post by mysta2 » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:08 am

Made myself some headlight brackets last night (also finally took my parts down to the powder coater, I should have them back next week)

Always a good first step: measure everything you can reach:
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btw: the tubes are 204.74mm outside to outside, 33mm dia, and the headlight’s 183.87mm hole to hole.

Always work your design out on paper first
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this gives you something to go back to when you forgot a defining dimention… and it’s faster then doing it later.

Next is modeling it up in ProE, I’m still learning this step
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On to Surfcam for tool path programming
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First side running
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finished, ready for flip
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second side run
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tapping the threads (1/4-20 in retrospect I probably should have used something metric since even the allen key is standard)
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finished (still a little dirty though)
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I might polish them up later or paint them, machine finish is cool for now.

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Definitely needs to go lower, I’ll figure all that out later when the thing goes back together with wheels and all. They certainly aren't the prettiest things I've ever made, but they do what they were made to do and that's all I ask.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:53 pm

Here’s a simple little entry on refreshing a very worn out tail light:

In need of a new tail light to replace that monster that Honda decided the bike needed I headed down to Bates’ Cycle Salvage here in Garland to cruise his yard. I found a trick little light mounted to a very muddy Kawa dirt bike. So we tore it of (literally, took most of the fender with it) and I took it home and mounted it up, placing it’s refurbish on the low priority list:
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I don’t think you can tell in that shot just how lousy it looked in person, you can see the crud around the script and what looks like a scrape across the boss on the left side… but it still looks kinda shiny… it’s not.

Anyway, I pulled it the other night and started blocking it out with some 600 grit to get rid of all that DOT carp (wet sanding is always better than dry, the only time I will ever dry sand is if there is a concern about water damaging the part):
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Following a quick buff with 1000grit, 1500, 2000 move onto the polishing compounds (Miguiars makes a plastic polish, that works by chemically melting the plastic rather than using good old friction. I know a number of people that swear by it… call me old fashioned but I don’t trust it)
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Everyone’s always afraid of polishing because they think it takes forever like when I list off all these different grits. The only one that will take you more than 10 minutes is the 600… that’s the only one that’s trying to bite into the material significantly and remove it. The following ones are simply to even out the scratches you just made, and they’ll actually save you time because if you go straight from 600 to the buffer you’ll be there forever and you’ll stand a better chance of melting down your’ part (radiusing all the edges that are supposed to be sharp) When I take it down to a hand buff before the wheel I’m only at the wheel for a couple minutes and I have much more control of the final outcome.

This is after machine buffing it. I’ve decided that the best way to clean all the cemented on dirt in all the inside grooves is to media blast it out. Might help to diffuse the light a little better to boot. The outside is masked with standard painters tape and it’s ready to be shot:
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You can use regular tape to mask out sandblasting very effectively, a lot of people don’t seem to believe this and I’ve never been able to figure out why. My best guess is that they can’t help but hammer every inch of the part which will eventually break down the tape but shouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

A follow up hand buff and machine buff to fix any damage the sand blast may have done followed by a couple coats of Turtle and it’s looking better than new:
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Last edited by mysta2 on Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:31 pm

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I just can’t seem to keep this thing together…

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I’ve stated before in another post that I have a habit of wasting my own time and money, what follows is one of those famous exercises in futility.

So while I’m simultaneously Working on building an all new one in ProE, I can’t leave well enough alone and decide to clean up the old tree… the old broken tree. I’ve mentioned earlier that I wanted to get rid of those old clock mounts…
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…one down, one to go.
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I hadn’t even realized that the thing was broken until I took it into B&A looking for new hardware and the guy behind the counter asked me how I broke it. The previous owner had drilled out the clamp and put ¼-20s in to hold new straps he made from strips of steel, and I was none the wiser.

Moving onto the bottom clamp… what the hell’s that mount for anyway:
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hope it’s not important, because it’s gone:
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That should also give me a touch more clearance to drop the front a bit.

I took the top clamp to the buffer simply as a surface check before sandblasting it again and shooting it:
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all parts sandblasted and ready for primer:
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I used a metal etching primer that we get from PPG called SX1031, it bonds well to aluminum, this is the first time I’ve used it on steel but it’s made to eat into galvanized steel so it should work fine:
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Followed by an epoxy paint by Sherwin Williams (Polane) I think I used the wrong catalyst though, one type makes it glossy and another makes it set up matte. I wanted it to be matte but it came out more of a semi gloss… I may have simply shot it too heavy though:
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23 parts become one:
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Although it’s hard to see in those shots, I replaced the through bolts for the headlight, headlight mount, and risers with black socket heads.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:57 pm

Well, this one’s a bit out of sequence… oh well.

The seat was in the cards from the beginning. Originally (and still, actually) I had wanted to pound it out of aluminum… well I’ve never worked aluminum, and am more than a little embarrassed to admit that I have no idea how to weld. Not that this was enough to stop me; not having a torch, hammers, a welder, or sandbags however did stop me. So I decided to do the next best thing and lay it up out of carbon. I briefly considered fiberglass but I wanted a running theme through this bike to be the truth behind its’ makeup (hence the ground tank, the visible machine finish and the polished parts) I had partially chosen this because I hate trying to pick a color… I think any painter will tell you the same.

I don’t have any pictures for the first part so I’ll have to try and explain it as best I can. I started with a sheet of corrugated cardboard that I cut out to the shape of the frame to makeup the bottom of the pan. Using the same board I also cut out some ribs to outline the hump at the front of the seat where it mates up with the gas tank. Then I covered the whole thing with painters tape to fill in the holes, and make a solid foundation that I then laid fiberglass matt over. This made up everything with the exception of the rear end cap. Just to make sure everything was all symmetrical and straight I created the end cap I wanted in ProE and machined it out of #10 foam (also commonly called sign foam, it’s what most of the fancy 3D signage is made out of in your’ local mall) The first half of the seat was Bondoed smooth and a heavy coat of primer was applied and sanded. I glued the end cap to this part and then mated them together with another layer of fiberglass:
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That part (the plug) was also Bondoed, primed, painted, polished, waxed (don’t use expensive car wax for this, many types have a cleaning agent in them that will stick to your’ mold… ask me how I found that out). At which point I laid another couple of layers of fiberglass over it with some ribbing built in to hold it straight (the mold) once the resin has kicked off the two can be pulled apart. Now the mold needs to be cleaned of any residue and waxed for the carbon fiber to be laid into. It’s best to keep the plug around and stretch the carbon weave over the plug before putting it into the mold, this way it will already be stretched to the proper shape, and will go in much easier. Lay the carbon fiber into the mold (I think I used 3 layers, with stripped foam core for support on the seat base and the back) and let it kick off. Pull them apart and trim your’ part:
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On the left is the plug painted black and polished. Remember what I said about the wax… I used the wrong kind and had to rip the plug in half in order to extract it from the mold. In the middle is the mold and on the right is the part.

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Here you can see the dirty finish that using the wrong wax created. I decided to wrap the whole thing in a fourth layer of carbon to clean up the finish and round out the edges. Unfortunately with all the resin that went into the last layer to make it smooth and pretty, the seat’s not very light (in comparison to how light it could have been)

I didn’t want it glass smooth glossy, but more like the carbon you see on race machines so I gave it a real quick sand and buff but didn’t clear it.
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ba-donk-a-donk

Add a little shaped foam for comfort (mostly shaped with the belt sander and finish sealed with a heat gun)
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I’m still on the fence whether to get this covered or not. If I did, the leather would wrap the entire front of the seat leaving just the end cap exposed. But I do like the honest street fighter-esk quality the bare foam has.

BTW: thanks for the encouraging words, they help keep me motivated
Last edited by mysta2 on Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by -Holiday » Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:00 pm

Just thought i'd say what nice work you do. I've been reading your posts on this board, and on the international cafe racers bbs and you're really getting me excited about starting work on my winter project, a 76 CB 360T i picked up a few weeks ago.
I've put put up a page about it, but I havnt had time to start any work until I get moved into my new place next week:

http://64.202.167.206/bustedgroove/machine/360.asp

thanks for keeping me motived!

Oh and, btw, would you mind if I put a link to your project pages at the bottom of mine in the "related links" section?

-brian
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Unread post by Aggroton » Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:53 pm

yeah your bike is amazing...defiantly inspirational...

and holiday...let me know when you want to sell a scooter...
thats a sweet bike.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:29 pm

-Holiday wrote:...thanks for keeping me motived!

Oh and, btw, would you mind if I put a link to your project pages at the bottom of mine in the "related links" section?...
thanks in return

I don't mind at all, please do

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Unread post by ZooTech » Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:05 pm

Keep up the good work! It's lookin' sweeter and sweeter every day! I hope to have the time to do stuff like that as soon as the kids are a bit more self-sufficient.

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Unread post by Iain » Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:10 pm

Wow is all I can say. Thats pretty incredable. You must have a great shop to work with. The seat is looking amazing. I can't wait to see this bike put together. Way to go! :thumbsup:

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Unread post by R Dresden » Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:13 pm

Wow....you're my new hero my friend. Maybe if I had the time/place to tear into my piece like that I would do it. I have all the manuals to do it but seem to lack the final courage when crunch time comes. LOL
Keep up the work and feeding us new posts my man!

Peace,
Rodger 8)

BTW...that first color you had on your helmet is a sweet color...it's the same color scheme we went with on the race car this year. We added some fuchia(sp) stripes to it as well.....Green for the Money, Pink for the honeys.
Why don't you try practicing random acts of intelligence and
senseless acts of self-control?

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Hi mysta

Unread post by motohead » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:55 am

Do you mind my translating this into Chinese and post it on my Chinese Blog?

Wait for your feed back. Thanks!

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From BeiJing CHINA
GS125

MSN:xjinzhe@hotmail.com

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Re: Hi mysta

Unread post by mysta2 » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:13 pm

motohead wrote:Do you mind my translating this into Chinese and post it on my Chinese Blog?

Wait for your feed back. Thanks!

Xiejinzhe@gmail.com
LOL, no, that's cool. You have to give me a link though... I've never spoken chinese before :)

Time for some randomness:

Check out the freshly packed, non tapered, open bearings. Lovely
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good old molybendium

Bat-Pac:
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Well that’s what it looks like, I filed a couple of notches in the housing so it couldn’t vibrate out of the clamp. I also sanded the far end of it flat to get rid of the overfill resin (I just can’t seem to help it)

I also soldered a larger terminal onto the ground wire so that it would fit in the same place as the original strap (and re-soldered the original while I was at it)
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None of this modification is really needed if you don’t want to do it. You could just bolt the original ground line to the end of the original batt strap, but that would have left me with a bunch of wire I didn’t want to have to tuck.

Strapped in place:
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that engine bolt that’s half out of frame in the second shot is the one that the ground is mounted to, see why I didn’t want 10 inches of extra wire. I must admit that hose clamp is pretty gross, I’ll work out a better mount for it if I ever get it to work out dependably.

If I haven’t said this here yet, the bat-pac worked wonderfully for the first day I was riding (photos below in the latest wheel entry) until the sun went down, when the headlight switch doubles as the kill switch. Although after installing a freshly charged battery that quickly ran down also (and I was able to swap in the bat-pac which I still had in my pocket and get the bike home that night without a headlight) so there’s obviously another problem with my charging system, so I’m hesitant to yet declare the bat-pac a failure.

cables
when I found out that I wasn’t getting my wheels back for a while again, the bike started falling apart some more.

This is not how you pull your’ bungs:
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ask me how I know (:

The method was suggested to me (by someone who builds cars and bikes from scratch for a living) that if I clamp a channel lock onto the bung and heat it up the solder will soften and the bung will drop off (if anyone has the real word for what I’m calling the bung please e mail me, I’d like to know) Turns out… the whole bung is a big glob of solder. So after screwing that all up, I took my clutch and brake cable down to 2WheelWorld and had Mike cut them down and put newer style bungs on them. A lot of shops I found out later wont mess with old cables but only shorten new ones. Often since the old cable’s been lubed and greased over and over the solder won’t stick, 2WheelWorld’s pretty old school though.

rubber
I love this stuff:
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I shoot all the rubber I can get to with it.

wrap
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some brands of this stuff want you to wet it down just before wrapping so that when it dries out it will conform to that orientation better. Mine didn’t say anything about it and considering that the engine wont be fired for up to a week after the wrap goes on I didn’t want the thing holding water in and rusting out the pipes before I got a chance to burn out the moisture.
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I used the one inch and varied between third and half overlap depending on the contour.

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the only tip I can offer is to cover up when you do it, I did it sweating and shirtless on a very warm night, and couldn’t sleep in my bed that night, I had to sleep on the carpet to even out the itchiness and get my back off the ground a bit.
Last edited by mysta2 on Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread post by mysta2 » Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:40 am

Another night in the garage and a bunch more parts fall off
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ugly aren’t they

first order of business is to rid myself of those cheesy ball ends on the levers
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as you can see, one of them was seriously bent:
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until I heated it up and beat on it
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BTW map gas isn’t nearly hot enough to do this job very well, I would recommend oxy-acetylene. Although my levers are this weird cast aluminum so I can’t really even be sure how that would work. The ball has already been roughly chopped off with a band saw in that shot.

Looking a it better after some belt sander lovin
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and hand sanding
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Also needing some work
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both stock original parts:
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the spring on the right I haven’t touched, the one on the left is the result of about 5min at a wire wheel and 7min at the buffer.

All parts ready for sandblasting
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although not absolutely necessary I like to put the parts I’ve modified or sanded to the buffer right before sandblasting to check for any scratches or imperfections. The levers, brake stay, and brake actuator have all been polished in this shot (the threads on the end of the actuator will be masked before sandblasting)

freshly sandblasted batch ready for paint
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sandblasted parts should be handled very carefully, the fine surface you just created will stick to and “absorb” anything it touches. They should never be handled with bare hands between sandblasting and paint, but if it can’t be helped special care should be taken before painting to remove all oils and fingerprints.

Etch primer
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Polane (two part epoxy coating)
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“Dead Flat Black”
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I figured out why my last parts came out so glossy, I thought the flatness of the finish depended solely on the catalyst, but I came to realize that there is actually a flat black paint afterall.

gloss black
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next morning
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mmm… so fresh and so clean clean
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even better than new parts…
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… old parts that look new again. Well, the shocks are new, but believe me, I’m not happy about that. Also pictured are the cables: post shortening.

All back together again, again.
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Last edited by mysta2 on Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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