30 January, 2011

Trials Bike Lives

Roughly 10 after days after breaking in half, the Trials bike rides again. This time with a beefed-up frame, and CL90 telescopic front end. It rides better than ever, with a much smoother front end feel. And thankfully, it gained a whopping 2 pounds in the transformation.

Upgraded front end features CL90 telescopic forks and 18" whee/tire:


23 January, 2011

Beefed-Up Backbone

I started working on the Trials bike yesterday morning, and made pretty good progress. I decided to see if I could beef-up the original frame. As it happens, the ID of the main downtube is roughly 1.68". The OD of a piece of Schedule 40 steel pipe is 1.6", and has a much thicker wall thickness. So I cleaned up the ends of the downtube, cut a section of the schedule 40 pipe, and persuaded it inside the downtube with the help of a 5# sledge and some cussing. I plug welded the steel pipe in 20 different places before seem welding the downtube pipe back in place. I also added a thin brace on the underside of the downtube, using a piece of 1/4" thick, 3/4" wide strap material. I can't imagine the frame is going to break again.

Another project I wanted to work through was to see if a telescopic front end from a Honda CL90/S90 would mount up. As luck would have it, all of these small old Hondas use the same size steering stem and steering bearings, so the CL90 front end bolted right in place.

The stock setup was the old leading link system, which had a 14" distance when measured from the lower bearing race to the center of the front axle. I had made up a set of lengthened leading links that made that distance 18". This setup has been working fine, but it was another small non-stock part that could cause problems. The CL90 telescopic front end also had an 18" distance, so I had the ride height I wanted.

The only "issue" I had with the front end swap, was that the CL90 front axle was bigger in diameter, and wouldn't fit through the hub/bearings on the C100 wheel setup. As luck would have it, one of the CL90 parts bikes had what looked like brand spankin new 2.75"x18" trials tires mounted front and rear. So I grabbed the front setup, gave it a good cleaning, and mounted it up. That netted me another 1/2" of ride height up front since the original wheel was 17" diameter.

Today I got the freshly painted chassis, front end, rear end, engine, wiring, fuel tank, and exhaust all mounted up. I need to order a new chain, as the old nasty chain that was on the bike broke apart during my pile drive move.

Random pics below.


19 January, 2011

Face...Meet Ground

What happens when the main downtube on your trusty little trials bike breaks clean in half? You pile drive the ground with your face. Yes I had on a helmet, and gloves, and boots etc. I even had on a nice thick jacket. I was going 2mph, coming off a small rise. The front just buckled under and I headed south.

The aftermath:

I need drugs and ice.

16 January, 2011

Canadian Dark Cedar

Yes, I got the idea to use cedar in a brew from the show Brewmasters. But beyond that, this was kind of like an end of the week stew, a little of everything thrown in for good measure. And it turned out quite good!

Nice dark color with a thick head. When poured cold, it was a bit strong in alcohol notes in the body, with a light bitterness on the end. After warming up, it got much smoother with some nice chocolate and coffee notes, and almost a nutty/woody bite to it. Very surprising considering it used a very light Canadian Draft extract as the base.

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Bitterness 62 IBU
Alcohol by Volume 5.2%
Recipe Color 39° SRM
Alcohol by Weight 4.1%

0.50 lb Brown Sugar
0.50 lb Chocolate Malt (US) Grain Mashed
1.00 lb Crystal 120L Grain Mashed
0.50 lb Molasses Sugar Other
1.21 lb MrB. High Country Canadian Draft Extract
0.50 oz Centennial Whole 15 minutes
0.50 oz Magnum Whole 40 minutes
1.00 unit Mr. Beer Dry Ale Yeast
1.00 lb Cedar Wood Chunks - in for full mash and boil

More Bridgestone Updates: Footpegs and Rear Brake Lever

After a successful morning fabbing up a new rear brake lever, brake light switch bracket, and mounting new footpegs, I took the Bridgestone for a short ride. Holy smokes does the fat expansion chamber pipe make a difference. When you only start with 9hp, picking up 1 or 2 more feels pretty damn amazing.

Stock passenger footpegs mount right up to the swingarm, and are roughly 2-inches lower than previous fabricated pegs:

Rear brake lever is made from 1/2" aluminum scrap I had in the bin, and uses a Honda Cub footpeg as the toe kicker. Honda Cub also provides the rear brake switch, and mounts with a small aluminum angle bracket:

A very nice improvement. Much better positioning on the bike, and enough room to get at everything should I need to make any adjustments.


15 January, 2011

Canadian Honey Brew

I bottled this "Canadian Honey" two weeks ago, so it was time to try my first bottle. Overall, I'm very pleased. It has a nice light body, but with a well balanced hop flavor from aroma to a light bitterness on the back end. Not a lot of honey flavor, which surprises me, since it was quite honey strong when I bottled it. But still quite good.

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Bitterness 42 IBU
Alcohol by Volume 4.9%
Recipe Color 13° SRM
Alcohol by Weight 3.9%

0.50 lb Brown Sugar
0.50 lb Crystal 60L
1.00 lb Honey
1.21 lb MrB. High Country Canadian Draft Extract
0.50 oz Centennial Whole 5 minutes
0.50 oz Magnum Whole 30 minutes
Irish Moss Fining 1/2 tspn
Mr. Beer Dry Ale Yeast Yeast
1.00 unit Orange Peel, one large
1.00 unit Vanilla Other 1 tsp


Bridgestone Updates: New Exhaust

I have a few updates and upgrades to make on the Bridgestone. Including revising several items I've fabbed up recently. Such is life.

What I've realized is that my footpegs are too high, so I'm not comfortable on the bike. Way too much weight up on my wrists, and my legs are too cramped. Also, I had no real good way to attach a rear brake light switch to the brake lever I built. Normally I build a brake lever that mounts behind the swingarm, with the toe peg poking out below the swingarm and above the exhaust. Unfortunately, there was no room with the stock exhaust. So step #1 was to build a new exhaust.

The result is shown below. I used the spare header pipe and an expansion chamber I had in the parts bin from a YSR50. Since the YSR50 is a very peaky 50cc engine, this expansion chamber actually closely matches the dimensions Bridgestone shows for building a hot rod exhaust for the 90cc engine with a lower rpm peak.

Exhaust mounted up, just shot with some high temp black paint for now:

Tons of room for relocating the footpegs and brake lever downward a few inches:

I'll likely wrap the exhaust once I finish fabbing up the rest of my mods.


06 January, 2011

F250 for a day

Big Hank (the F250 I normally drive) is in getting fresh fluid and a new fuel bowl drain valve, which has been leaking a tiny bit, giving off some sweet fuel smells in the cabin. Instead of the usual Ranger or Focus loaner, I got this:

El Duece. A stripped out F250 standard cab, standard bed, 2wd. I have no idea what V8 gas engine is under the hood, but it makes lovely V8 growls. And thanks to a very short-spaced 5-speed auto trans, this thing books. It makes my big lumbering diesel seem slow.

Unfortunately, it also makes Big Hank feel like a limo. This is bumpiest vehicle I've ever driven. Worse than the Ranger I had last time. Something about a 3/4 ton chassis with stiff springs and crappy shocks to give you white knuckles while driving down 55mph back roads.

And while the vinyl bench seat, roll-up windows, and am/fm radio aren't super fancy, the fact it heats up in record time and clears the windscreen of ice in a minute was a bonus this morning.

Update: I looked up the specs. El Duece is sporting a 6.2L V8 making 385hp and 405lb-ft of magic. And I was wrong on the auto trans, it is actually a 6-spd auto. No wonder it hauls ass.


02 January, 2011

Goodbye Beard

First I was like this:

Then I was all like this (hi ladies):

How you doing?

The butt chin exposed:

I will miss you beard!