26 December, 2014

DKW Progress: Seat building

I'm finally feeling good enough to work in the garage, so I started the cafe seat for the DKW project bike.  This time I'm building it out of metal, not fiberglass.  While I enjoy the quick shaping of fiberglass, I get tired of spending week after week sanding bondo to get it to look nice.  So I'm hoping sheet metal will leave me with much less finish time.

03 November, 2014

Benson: Final Beauty Shots

Nothing too fancy, just a few shots in the driveway of Benson, now that he is officially finished. I finally sorted out a muffler to help quiet the insane racket he bellowed out of his tuned pipe.  Mr. A also gifted me a pair of hand painted tank badges for my birthday, which look great!

So just to recap. this was my first scratch built frame.  Constructed out of 5/8" tubing, I built the frame using a simple wooden jib I fashioned up.  I raided the parts bin for the main components, like the Yamaha GT80 engine, Honda S90 tank, forks, swingarm, and hubs.  I think the headlight is off a Bridgestone 90, and the seat was of course built from poplar wood, is despite its chunky appearance is quite light thanks to be mostly hollow inside each layer.

Wheels are 2.15x18 aluminum rims laced to S90 hubs, sporting Shinko 244 tires in 3x18 size.

I went a little crazy with the engine, upping compression from a meager 7:1 up to around 10:1 thanks to shaving down the head and fitting a slightly domed piston.  I also opened up the intake and exhaust ports, and did a little filing on the piston to change the port timing per some race specs I found for old 80cc Yamaha engines.  It really does scream.  Well, as much as say 10-12hp or so, by my estimate.  Which is a lot more than the 4.9hp it made stock, with the tiny little carb.

Speaking of, yes, I have an air cleaner for it.  But it is currently sitting on the DKW acting as a space saver during mock-up.

01 November, 2014

DKW Coming Along

Yes, I've worked on the DKW some the past month.  But it has all been little jobs, that don't really lend themselves to photos.  Today I finished a seat pan, using an old crusty pan from a leftover Bridgestone project.  It fits snugly over the new frame, and will give a bit of an air gap for the under-seat mounted exhaust.  

I've also built up the exhaust, but to finish welding it so it is presentable. 

27 September, 2014

DKW Mocking Up

I started getting busy on the DKW project.  Since just restoring bikes a is a bit boring, I've decided to build it into something fun.  Have no fear DKW purists, I won't be chopping up the original hard to find parts, like the stock front and rear shocks, chrome fenders, or tank.  But I have decided to chop the frame a bit.  

After chopping off the rear portion of the frame, now I need to mockup what I'll be building:

I've also been busy cleaning up and building the hub assemblies.  I pulled the brakes completely apart and ran all the small bits through the small tumbler I have:

Yes, speedholes.  This is the front hub, complete with cooling holes and fancy little mesh screens I built using some screen, a washer, and a press to create a "cup" shape to the screen, so it fits into the holes. Then it got epoxied into place:

The 18x2.15 AL rims have an anodizing coating on them.  Instead of spending a week sanding through it, I've used some easy chemical solutions to effectivelly dissolve it.  Then I can clean it up.  I'm not going with a full polish, but instead opting for a smooth finish using 000 steel wool and WD40:

The rear portion of the frame after chopping it off.  This was by far the ugliest part of the bike:

The rear hub and wheel assembly.  Steel wool and WD40 give the AL parts a nice finish.  I used new zinc coated spokes intended for a Honda CL90.  Just the right length at 160mm.  I got pretty lucky mocking these up with some older CL90 spokes, and sure enough the length was just right.  The bike oriignally came with a 21" front wheel and 18" rear wheel.  I'll be running 18" all around:

I've modified the Earles front forks a bit.  I needed to lower the front end a couple inches, and didn't want to molest the stock Boge shocks.  I happen to have these Fastace pit bike shocks, so I fabbed up new upper shock mounts.  I'll have quite a bit of height adjustment using these units:

04 September, 2014

FV Photos

Just a few photos of the FV, so I have them in one place

15 August, 2014

More Beercamp Beers

Chico King Pale Ale:  What to say about this one?  Well..I couldn't finish it.  It just didn't taste good.  I'm not sure if it was infected, but it had a very stale quality about it, and a not so good flavor.  Really disappointed with this one.

Electric Ray India Pale Lager:  A big 8.5% and 70ibu pale lager.  I liked the upfront hop aroma and flavor, but the bitterness levels weren't that overpowering given the stated ibu.  The big alc no doubt helped.  I would have liked a bit more malt body though, as you wouldn't have known this was a big beer, without reading the label.

Canfusion Rye Bock:  tagged as a dry hopped rye bock, this is pretty good.  I like the citrus hop aroma and flavor, and the bitterness is fairly low.  Nice body too, but the dry hopping very much comes through.

There and Back English Style Bitter: Ok, but not a great English style.  Pretty bland overall.  It could have used a bit more malt body, as it just wasn't very flavorful.  It did have a nice bitterness on the back end.

11 August, 2014

Beer camp across America - Torpedo Pilsner

A really yummy combo of malty pilsner base, with up front fresh hops.

02 July, 2014

Brewing with Rice

And no, I'm not talking about making Bud Light, using 50% rice for some sugar/starch.  In this case, I'm talking about malted rice, as produced by Eckert Malting right here in Chico.  Supposedly the only malter in California, and the only rice malter in the country.

I came across the grains at the local home brew shop, and thought it would be fun to give it a try.  I'm using my West Coast Pale Lager recipe, which is a very simple pale ale style recipe using summit and cascade hops, with 10 days of dry hopping, and S23 lager yeast.  During the hot summer months it is hard to maintain good ale fermentation temps in the mid 60s, so I've been lagering instead.  S23 yeast actually seems to work best in the 55-60 degree range, and the converted wine fridge I have can maintain that temp if I turn it to the lowest setting.  As in, the warmest it will go.  After primary, I put the vessel in the back of the main fridge and lager at around 40 degrees.

Fermentation usually takes about twice as long, about 10 days, but I've really enjoyed the final product.  S23 tends to kick up the malt flavor a bit.  It also doesn't seem to produce any diacetyl, but I tend to do at least a 24hr rest  at 70deg before transferring to secondary.

I have an email into Eckert Malting to find out if there are any tricks to using this malted rice.  Dawn, from the brew shop, mentioned they suggest a longer mash time, as in upwards of two hours.  But I want to find out if they had any other tips.  I was also interested to see if I could visit their shop, and check out the roasting process.

For my 2.25gal batch, I'm using 5# of base pale rice malt, 1/2# of crystal rice malt, and 1/2# of biscuit rice malt.  They also produce a brown rice malt, and a dark rice malt.  Prices were very reasonable too, with the pale malt I think going for $1.60 per pound.  So pretty much what I'm used to paying for normal barley.  This won't be 100% gluten free, as I had Dawn run the rice through her mill, so I'm sure it picked up some barley dust.  But I don't really suffer from gluten issues, I just wanted to give it a try.  The rice doesn't look entirely cracked though, so I think I'll give it a few rolls with the rolling pin.  If I keep using this, it might compel me to build a crusher.

Edited:  I borrowed my neighbors mill, and ran the rice through it. Just a bit tighter crush than barley, per Jim's suggestions at Eckert Malting:

31 May, 2014

My old Fiat 124 (orange one on the right) appeared in this months issue of Practical Classics magazine. Looks like it enjoys life in England.

28 May, 2014

Front Yard Work

I've done a bit of yard work over the past few weekends.  Tonight I finished off the walking path, using some "shasta chip" stone.  

Lots of great boulders from a contractor friend:

I moved the citrus trees out front, so they didn't get so baked in the late afternoon sun being in the front patio area:

I even threw in a few extra cucumber plants I had leftover:

A couple rosemary plants out front:

The area by the front door continues to take shape:

And Buster hanging out next to his new friend, an Aloe Vera plant: