Saturday, May 24, 2008

Plugging away

Things are proceeding at a decent pace. Got the lower exhaust hanger built and painted, and dropped off the pipes at Cycleboyz to get properly welded. The headers were aluminized stuff, so my oxy kit won't weld it properly. The guys at the shop will either tig or mig it, depending on what they think. Don't care a whole lot either way, to be honest.

Got the bodywork back on -- looks great, except for... BUBBLES IN THE TANK PAINT!! Dammit!!! This will be a real bugger to fix right, and while the machine is certainly rideable, the tank may need to be bead blasted down to bare metal, re-prepped, and re-painted properly. Getting rid of the auto-air is nasty as well... I will leave it for now, but it certainly is disappointing. There are a few of them...

Also in the process of shortening the shotgun pipes. A real PITA, but I got one sectioned. Despite the fact that the exhausts weight about 20 lbs each, they are made of aluminum (at least the outer sleeves are. The guts are steel, and the rediculous pipe maze to quash sound and kill some ponies in the meantime. And again, something I cannot do due to the pipes being alloy. Will shorten the other tommorow, after I fought with the first one.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Good Help...

... is sometimes tough to find, so when Dad and Mom showed up for a visit, I stole Pop away for some quality time in the garage. There was lots that needed to be done... wheels mounted, swingarm mounted, exhaust routed, brakes hooked up, etc. etc.
1. Dad was the parts courier again this time, and brought in the rear hubcentric and tires to be mounted. When we removed the rear hub from the old swingarm, we found that most of the mounting bolts and the rear brake stay pin could be used on the MH swingarm. As well, the hub bearings looked OK, but were due for a clean and re-grease. While this was taking place, the rest of the rear axle of the bike was put together. When the hub bearings were done, the spacers went onto the swingarm axle, and the rear swingarm was attached to the engine case. Next went the tires onto the wheels, the rear rim onto to the rear axle, the shock, and then the front wheel was mounted. Finally the Duc got back onto its "feet".

2. While this was going on, Dad and I started to dream up a way to get the PS1000 headers and exhaust cans to work. I incorrectly thought they would be a bolt on, but I couldn't be farther from the truth. The best compromise we could come up with was a design with two separate pipes, no crossover, exiting out the right hand side of the bike. You can see in the first pic the rear header cut and tack-welded to clear the rear shock.

3. It took a rediculous amount of time, but over the course of 2 days we got the two pipes to the state you see here. You can see the steel upper mount (which I hope doubles as a mount for the rear licence plate, and the temporary alloy mount which is attached to the footpeg brace. It was very tedious to get the pipes symmetrical in terms of their angle, and roughly close to their orientation towards the rear of the bike.

4. The rear upper exhaust hanger is pictured below -- it is long to allow some flex in the design -- too short would have been too stout, and vibration may lead to cracking rather than flexing.
I don't know a lot about exhaust tuning -- a motoGP tech book I bought shows pictures of how the same engine from Honda, Ducati, Yamaha, etc. all had different exhausts on the bike depending on the characteristics the engineers wanted from it. Common sense to me and Dad suggested we try to get each header pipe the same length as the other, due to the lack of the crossover pipe. Stock, the front header was 9" longer than the rear. When I was done, the difference was only 4". How will it run? I have no idea. Will it make more or less horsepower? Only a dyno could tell. As this isn't a racer, I don't care a whole lot. Definately a different look but I'm happy with the progress so far. I'm sure I will have to fabricate an exhaust guard for my right boot, and I did see a neat bike with these same exhausts shortened for a stubby look, and likely a growlier sound. Need to finish the lower bracket first.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


For the last time, I think. Frame and swingarm/subframe came back from the powdercoaters. A nice durable finish, but not show-quality. At least if it were pristine, I would be reluctant to take it out on the street or track. It isn't going to peel, that's for sure. Cost me $250, which is a steal, due to the trellis design. A bit fiddly.

One afternoon's work got it to the stage you see here. Note the stack covers, which I hope will provide the same level of filtering as an aftermarket foam filter. I might add some K&N pre-filters as well. The mesh screen installed is pretty fine in terms of filtering. Will likely have to play with the jetting to get it to run OK. Still waiting on some parts for the rear axle (Dad has them) before I put the rear swingarm on. Want to line up the sprockets installed, and that will require some spacer juggling. So no sense doing anything at this point until I have the rear hubcentric to install inside the rear swingarm.

For the 4th time, finding discreet spots for all the wiring is getting somewhat easier. Its hard to believe how much extra footage of wiring is included, but I suppose there was an acre of fibreglass fairing to hid it all behind.
Home-made rearsets appear to be in the right spot peg-wise, but will have to get on the bike and ride it to fully be sure.

More to follow when the rest of the parts come in.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Slow Going

Slow going indeed... not much to report. I am supposed to be going to the powdercoaters tommorow to pick up the frame and swingarm. Hopefully it is ready to go prior to me making the hour-long drive down south. They were sandblasted awhile ago -- hopefully no surface rust has formed, and he remembers the color scheme I wanted and where the powder was to go and NOT go... we'll see.
I actually made a conscious business decision on ebay -- I bought the aformentioned Quat D exhaust for $450 bucks -- new, so less than half price from a retailer. Got it home, posted it on ebay, and advertised it on my usual Ducati stomping grounds with a $675 buy it now price... and got it within 3 hours. A cool $200 profit. Yippee! Yes, you CAN make money on ebay (sometimes). As for the exhaust, I think a sport classic shotgun system fits the style a bit better. Will keep you posted on that.
So the plan is to get the frame and swingarm tommorow, and start reassembly. Mom and Pop are coming for a visit on the long weekend, hauling the final pieces needed to get the bike back on its feet -- rear wheel, street tires, exhaust, etc. Will take lotsa pics of the reassembly as it proceeds. MotoDesmo is supposed to be running with 2 more articles on the build over the next few months.