31 October, 2010

Wheelie Machine

I've managed to get through a short list of modifications to the Trials bike this weekend. In no particular order:

I wanted to move the footpegs back, to get some weight off the nose of the bike. This side of the bike was the most difficult spot to get pegs to fit into, as the exhaust bracket, swingarm, rear brake lever, and kick starter all need to be friendly. As it turns out, I had a set of spare pillion foot pegs that pivoted up. This allows the kick start lever to clear. I mounted them to a stout piece of aluminum (the same 1"x5/8" piece I made the extended front leading links with) that mounts to the lower frame section:

I also had several spare rear brake foot levers, so with a bit of cutting and welding, I managed to get one that fit around the exhaust and was sitting in the correct location for my foot to reach.

The new handlebar was a spare Hodaka piece I had in the parts bin. Much wider, a bit taller, and fits standard 7/8" throttle and grips. I still need to route the throttle cable properly, and likely fit it inside tidy looking sleeve:

Looking a bit 4x4-ish, I've gained roughly 2.5" of ground clearance:

One of the big benefits of the new handlebars and rear-set footpegs, is a dramatic change on "corner" weights. In this case, the amount of weight on the front and rear wheel. With me standing on the bike in a normal riding position on the old setup, the weights were:

Front: 125#
Rear: 180#

With the new bars and footpegs, the weights are:

Front: 110#
Rear: 195#

I've managed to shift 15 pounds off the nose and onto the rear tire. The end result? Wheelies. It is very easy to lift the front tire up and over curbs now without much effort. I'm also much more comfortable standing on the bike, with a less crouched position.


26 October, 2010

Old Man River

I took the day off today to spend my birthday hanging out with my little Mexican. We ate, shopped, watched movies, and I drank and brewed some beer. Overall, a great day.

I made a good haul too, as shown below:

Yes, two pairs of New Balance shoes (thanks Craigs and Susan) two beer shirts (thanks Panama) and two CDs. One is a "Book on CD" of three different Ken Follet novels. The other is a Phil Collins greatest hits. Hells yeah. a 6-pack of brew was also in the mix, but those are chillin' in the fridge already.

This evening I started a brew for a Christmas Ale. It has some orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and some Willamette hops for a 15 minute boil. It smelled super yummy! I'm hoping this will be ready for some Xmas sipping.


24 October, 2010

Motorcycle parts organization - part 1

I am taking on the overwhelming task of organizing all of spare parts from my many bike projects. This includes the partially assembled parts bikes, and the many many many boxes of random stuff throughout the garage, storage building, and side yard.

Job #1 was to put up some new shelves in the garage. But since it has been raining all weekend, I haven't had a chance to get my shelving material. So I've jumped into Job #2, which is to organize the parts. I had some spare shipping boxes and made up some labels to identify the categories. Long story short, I got busy organizing today. I can tell already this is going to take a while. I have lots of treasures!


23 October, 2010

Spanish Shocks from England

My Betor Expert Trials shocks arrived from England today, after spending a whopping 3 days in transit. Thank you FedEx. I ordered from England because most of the US Trials/Vintage bike companies were more expensive for the same part, and/or didn't have them in stock. As it happens, Sammy Miller Products had the exact pair I wanted in stock, and shipped the same day I submitted my order.

That's right, Competicion

Mmmmm, so pretty

I had to modify the upper and lower bushings to fit the bike, using bushing collars from the spares bins to fit the 10mm lower bolt and 14mm upper bolts/ But other than that, they bolted right on. What's nice is that they have adjustable lower spring perches and a nitrogen valve for adding gas under the piston. I've currently got ride height set at the second snap ring from the bottom, with three more rings above to increase preload.

Roughly 2.5" increased height front and rear

Upper mounts needed new 14mm sleeves to fit over the larger Trail 55 upper mounts:

Next project is to get the new bars installs, with a new throttle assembly I've ordered for 7/8" bars. And then I need to think about moving the footpegs back a bit, as they are too far forward for getting the front wheel up and over obstacles.


16 October, 2010

Early birthday kicks

My birthday is in a couple weeks, but I just so happened to have killed off my main pair of casual work shoes. You know, the kind that are "dressy" enough to be work shoes, but not be tennis shoes which are outlawed at our old school company. Usually I wore cheap skater shoes, brown in color.

As it happens, my favorite little mexican picked me up a pair of new kicks and decided to let me open them early, to avoid me rushing out and buying myself new shoes.

Adidas Campus, in grey. Sorry Craigs!


More work on the Trials bike

I needed to make a little tab for the "passenger" side front leading link, that would hold the front drum brake backing plate from spinning. I cut a short piece of the same aluminum I made the arms out of, shaped it to fit the slot, drilled and tapped it, then attached it to the leading link. Long story short, it fits. It still needs some smoothing and finish work:

The 49-tooth rear sprocket off the parts bike cleaned up well:

And it mounted up on the Trials bike. I had to shorten the chain a few links too:

I had been running the 72-tooth rear sprocket overlay from the Trail 55, but I found it produced gearing that was WAY too short. I actually ran some trials sections in 2nd gear, as using 1st gear found me running in the upper rpm range which was more difficult to be smooth with. I'm hoping this slightly taller gearing will let me use 1st gear for all sections, and give me better gearing for the short burst on gravel lanes to get from section to section.


C110 Parts bikes

I picked up these two C110 parts bikes a couple weeks ago during a trip to Southern Oregon. They were only $50, so I wasn't expecting much. As it turns out, there are a few decent items on them that could be useful.

Handlebar assembly is in very good shape, with no pitting on the chrome:

One pair of wheels looks decent, with minimal pitting and not bends or dings:

Both bikes have C100 engines, included the standard C100 cast iron cylinder heads. But they both have a C110 intake manifold:

The crusty red bike had am aftermarket sprocket, as manufactured by CT Alloy, with 49 teeth:

I'll probably strip both of these bikes down and catalog all the parts during my 2-week vacation at home in November.


14 October, 2010

Extended shocks and leading links for the Trials bike

In an attempt to get more ground clearance, I fashioned up a set of temporary rear shock extensions, and a pair of permanent front leading links. I was hoping to gain around 2-inches both front and rear, which should help me get up and over a few more robust obstacles on the #3 lane.

The rear shock extensions were fairly simple, made out of a 2" block of aluminum. Drilled and tapped on both ends to thread onto the shock rod, and to accept a stud that would thread into the upper eyelet. these are temporary, because I actually have my eye on a pair of Betor trials shocks. These spacers mimic the length of the Betors.

Simple rear shocks extensions just to check height:

Up front, these old Hondas use a leading link that pivots in the rear, and acts on a vertically mounted coilover shock/spring combo. All of the gubbins are housed inside the front fork sheetmetal. Which means I had to be sneaky when creating new leading links, as I didn't want to have to cut away any sheet metal to gain access or provide more room for longer shocks.

Pair of leading links in unfinished form:

The results was a pair of aluminum (same material as the stock leading links) links with a gentle curve in them to clear the sheet metal housing. This relocates the front axle roughly 2-inches down. I'm going to put around with this setup a bit to see how it feels. If all seem right with the world, I will order up the rear shocks, and spend some time making the front links pretty. I figure an hour with the die grinder to slim them and knock over all the sharp edges will go a long way toward making them disappear. Right now they just look like chunks of aluminum.


10 October, 2010

Rogue Jacksonville Anniversary Ale

unknown ABV.

Susan picked this up last weekend when we were in Oregon, after a quick shopping trip to Harry and David. She chose wisely, as this offering is rather yummy.

It has some great sweet malty aroma, with a fairly thick syrupy feel that coats the glass. It fizzed loudly when I popped the top, but didn't have much carbonation after pouring it. Luckily it doesn't taste flat. What it does taste like is malt and sweetness with just enough nuttiness to remind you this is a brown ale. It isn't particularly well balanced, as the sweetness overpowers the nuttiness, but it is very yummy. I tend not to pick a lot of sweet malty beers, so this is something I'm not used to. But I like it.


08 October, 2010

Random Weekend Activities

After a few too many busy weekends, I decided to try and lay low this weekend at home. Since I've been planning on laying low, that means I've made up a list of way too many "projects" to work on. In no particular order:

-brew up a batch of a coffee stout beer
-attend Octoberfest, as listed in below post
-celebrate the old ladies birthday Sunday
-clean the garage, as it is currently a giant pit of disaster
-make some front fork and rear shock extensions for the Trials bike
-swap cylinders on Salty to a standard low compression cylinder and see if I can get it running better
-if the above occurs, attempt to actually ride him down the street
-mow the lawn

Reality will prove that I dont come close to finishing half of these tasks, and instead lay on my ass watching TV and drinking beer.


Somebodies glorious wife (not naming names) apparently purchased a pair of tickets to Sierra Nevada's Octoberfest event, being held tomorrow night. I'm exciting for four reasons:

1 - the main food entry is slow cooked pork
2 - I get all four beer tickets, since Susan thankfully doesn't like beer
3 - they have a "hardcore polka" band playing
4 - the event is being held out in the hop fields, and the weather should be in the 70s