Sunday, February 22, 2009

Getting Hosed

Hmm... weak Canadian humour. Suppose you could call me a hoser. Anyway, I have been able to get some proper rad hoses from Napa, and they fit up quite well to the rad and inlet/outlet spouts of the engine.

The rad hose under the engine would be suitable to splice in a water temp sender. Last time I was at Transcanada, a fellow picked up a digital guage from Scotty. It was for a number of machines, but the label included Raptor 700 and LTZ400 -- either way, it inclued a plastic piece to splice into the rad hose to keep an eye on temps. A really nice guage, a bit cooler than the the trailtech I have on the Ducati. We'll see.

I also took the time to repaint the exhaust cap, and the mount I made for the canister. The cap was cleaned off, and sprayed with basic hi-heat black; the brackets were sprayed with hammerite paint. I love the hammerite stuff. Any of the small brackets and etc are easily coated in the stuff. Properly prepped, primer isn't needed. Saves getting all the niggly bits powdercoated.

Spent most of the time today fabricating a better shifter rod for the rearsets. It was a case of make one version, think about another option, sketch it out, think some more, and decide to go for it. Hard to describe, so I'll let the two pictures do the work. This shows the even shorter rod needed with this design (better for less slop), and the "regular" or GP-shift style options on either the top or bottom tabs. Now it looks like the chain will promptly saw through the rod, but...

I relieved the section of the tube where the chain run is. The tube is 3/4", and the welded in relieved section is with a piece of 1" tube -- very thick stuff. Overall not too heavy, but even with a slightly slack chain, it does not foul on the shift rod. We'll see how it works in actual practice.

I also had the wiring harness inside to label all the connectors with my finally arrived manual. In the warmer temperature, the whole thing became more pliable. I decided to take it outside to see how everything fit on the frame, but it almost immediately got stiff and I didn't want to work with wiring harnesses in the cold -- that is how things get broken. However, I did come up with a well-grounded (ie all steel) mount for the coil, right close to the cylinder. No need to modify/extend the length of sparkplug wire.

The leetle neeeple on top of the cylinder head is the oil return overflow line from the oil tank. Speaking of the oil tank, I decided to find out the acutal volume -- it appears to be about 1.8L -- almost identical to the specs of the oem oil tank from the DRZ. The pic at left shows one of the many aftermarked oil tanks available for the Raptors. Not an identical bolt on (not the different location of the mounting tabs), but might be in the future...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Merci, M. Riel!

Today is Louis Riel Day in Manitoba -- AKA Family Day in other parts of Canada. That means a day off -- the garage beckoned. My goal was to mount the oil tank and finish the exhaust. By 5 p.m. I had finished for the day, pretty much accomplishing what I set out to do. The pic at left shows the exhaust with custom hanger, with the oil tank sitting just in front of the engine.

This is the front of the oil tank. The drain can be seen at the top, while the oil return (to the engine) is on the bottom, unseen in this pic. The bolt at the bottom is the oil drain. To fill, I will have to loosen the two mounting bolts to get access to the grey cap to the right.

Tail section and tank in place. Note that the cap on the exhaust has been removed. It is a really nice magnesium piece, removable with 5 bolts. I took it off to paint, as it suffered a few scratches in the fall (which resulted in the exhaust can being put on ebay in the first place).

The seller indicated the exhaust canister was from a ZX10R. Turns out it slid right into place (after I bought the correct adapter from Canadian tire). Basically the header is 1 3/4" throughout, and then it expands to 2" at the exhaust. My plan is to remove the Two Brothers logo (pop rivets) and "flip" the can around 180 degrees. That way, the undamaged side will be facing out. Then I will rivet the logo back into place on the other side of the exhaust canister.

Everything mounts up very well. The oil tank is offset to the right (as you sit on the machine), and is far enough from the front wheel that the tire will not touch on full compression. All in all, a workable solution. I suppose the location could be better, but unless I pay big bucks and get something custom fabricated, this will have to do. At least it will allow me to run the bike as is... as soon as the weather improves!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Too much time on my hands...

Well this is odd -- 2 extra days off of work because of closed roads, and very little done to the bike. For once I have time, but nothing pressing to do. I am slowly working on the tail section, to get it to asthetically mate up with the tank, but in terms of hard parts... nothing much is happening. For no other reason than its the coolest thing I've seen in awhile, check out this video on John Britten. Makes what I'm doing look like a grade 4 science fair project:

Its a 5-part series that has about 7 minute clips in each. To think the guy passed away so(too) soon is a real tragedy.

Along the line of other visionaries, this seems like a neat project! GSXR1000 engine, trellis frame, hossak-like front end. Nice!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What, me Hurry?

Finishing the tank has been an interesting exercise in patience. The good news is, the sectioned-out piece was leakproof right off the bat -- it was filling in the old petcock holes that took 3 tries. Borrowing a bicycle pump, filling a sink with water, and sealing up the other holes resulted in a few pinholes, but with some patience and 3 attempts (and a switch back to "spit") determined all was sealed appropriately. Now that the bottom of the tank was airtight, I promptly drilled a hole to put in the repositioned fuel drain tube. Using lessons I learned when I modified the 916 tank to work with the SS engine, I was able to do it right the first time. Again, the fuel drain tube was plugged, and I forced 5 lbs of pressure into the tank. Some spit around the welds, and.... no bubbles! A trial fit on the frame showed a nice smooth path from the tank drain to the carb. Sorted!

Now that the major fabrication has been completed, it is down to the niggly things to finish. Scrimping here can really make the finished product look poor, so at all stages I am going to try to avoid the Home Depot alu strap (although I've said that before) and use steel nuts welded in, rather than the quick and easy alloy nutserts. The first detail job was a set of fork stops. Dave had tacked on two small, short tubes to the side of the frame, just aft of the steering tube, likely to mount a fairing stay to. It turns out that the fork tubes hit this area at full lock, so I cut some neoprene round stock to suit, drilled it out for an M6 bolt, and tacked in a shouldered m6 nut into the end of the short tubes. I now have a workable steering stop, adjustable even, if I want to re-cut another section of neoprene to a longer or shorter length.

I also finally got in the J-bend piece of 1.75 inch tubing from Canadian Tire, and started to route the exhaust towards the rear of the bike, skirting around the oil tank return hole, and the oil drain bolt. I also wanted it to point near a rear frame lug that I had welded a nut into, to act as an exhaust mount. Everthing is still tacked, not finished; will need the muffler in hand before I finish anything. Should get that from Pop next weekend.

The Tyga kit also came with a beautiful battery box out of aluminum, and it fits perfectly on the rear subframe, and under the rear seat hump. Nice. In my pile of parts I got with the engine, I also found the oil retun tank (not the actual oil tank), and it fits "OK" on the frame. Will have to sort the hoses, but it should be OK as is. Might fab something out of aluminum once I become a proficient mig welder... one less thing to buy.

I got my hands on a KTM-style headlight fairing from eBay.UK. Been looking for one for years. It wasn't cheap, but it will look better (I think) than the Tyga full fairing, and a lot less hassle to live with. Will post the Tyga front fairing and accessories on eBay shortly... as soon as the headlight fairing shows up. Seller seems like a good chap! Oh, and speaking of oil, I'm gambling that an oil tank from a Yamaha Raptor 700 will be suitable. I think it will fit just under the rad, in front of the engine. I will have to come up with some sort of mount for it, but the volume, according to my reaseach seems to be right. No more than the stock 2L, but at least no less.

I also got the staintune header back from Cycleboyz. My big worry was distortion -- any minor warpage at one end could have severe consequences at the other. It lined up perfectly! I was HUGELY impressed. There were four different areas to weld, all tacked and only a bit of fill to deal with, but it was absolutely BANG ON. Their welder is a genius!

I still need to paint the exhaust mount (which I built from 4130), but I really like the look of this system. The guys at the shop don't hold out a lot of hope that the welded sections will polish out. We'll see, but I might put a hi-heat coating on it (eventually), rather than wrap it again in header wrap.

I'm still not sure about that yet. I wonder what it will sound like, or how much farting around I'll have to do with jetting. Those wimps and their EFI bikes!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Carburetor and other stuff

I was able to tear down the carb and re-assemble it over the last few days. It is stock, save for the custom "machine screw addition" to the float bowls. I had purchased some allen head bolts to replace the soft phillips bolts that were supplied with the carb. During reassembly, a new allen bolt replaced the machine screw, and I think it will hold. If I take the shebang apart and put it together again frequently, I may run into some problems. We'll see. The plan, due to a variety of reasons, is to leave the stock carb as is, and jet to suit. After some research, I also found out that the idle screw has a cap covering it; that needs to be drilled out to accomplish any jetting changes when the airbox is modified, or the muffler is changed. Considering I have no airbox, and the exhaust system should be far less restrictive, I will definately need to do that. The good news is, the fuel screw can be replaced with an aftermarket "long" one to allow for easier changes. As for jet kits, the usual vendors apply. As you can see by the pic, it will be a bit lean!

I got the bolts back from Atom-Jet. Spent some time yesterday cutting them to the proper length (as in cutting off the un-needed thread length) and installing them on the bike. Rear swingarm pivot seems great! Front engine bolt appears to be bang-on as well, and I might just need another washer for the rear axle. Other than that, everything lines up the way it should.
I was also able to properly mount the radiator. Unfortunately, for now, I had to renege on my promise to not use any home depot hardware... however the lure of aluminum strap at a cheap price beckoned. It is easy to work with, light, and while not beautiful, could look worse. Over time I'll replace it with... something else.

I test-fit the upper fairing. Am still waiting for the nsr250 fairing stay I bought from the UK. How that works with the fairing will determine how well it sits on this bike. In the end, I'm still not convinced I will go with the full fairing. The kit as I bought it did include the rear seat, subframe, seat pad, battery box, rear tailight and licence plate mount. I might (for a variety of reasons) re-sell the front end of the kit and put something simpler out there. Still too soon to do anything... need to get it running first!

I needed a set of rearset levers -- both brake and shift levers. The only easily-available sets came from either woodcraft, at $40 each ($80), or OEM copies from Ebay for half of that. Both would also require new pegs; while I did get pegs with the rearset plates from Dave, the levers pivoted on the pegs, and it would be an expensive game of trial and error to see what would work properly. And the pegs are $25 per for solid mount ones (again from Woodcraft). Instead I found a set of SATO copies in the US for $88 buy it now. No, they aren't the real deal, but essentially identical ones made in Taiwan. By all accounts they are decent, and when they arrived I noticed that the levers pivoted on roller bearings. They are also very adjustable, both up and down and fore and aft. They required some modification to work with the frame, but in the end look pretty great. A Nissin rear master cylinder is on the way (9.99) to use with the rear caliper.

The next step might be taking the entire assembly to Cycleboys. I'm at the point where the oil tank needs to be built. I know the engine turns over OK, and that the starter works. I have the ECU in hand, but still need the regulator/rectifier. As well, the handlebar swichgear is still needed to get the engine turning over and running. I'm still waiting on header material to finish the pipe; Dad has the muffler in Fort Frances. This is really the only part of the built that I am shopping out to someone else. However, proper oil/lubrication is critical, so I don't want to mess it up. These Harley specialists have lots of experience with dry sump engines. Will have to think on that.