Sunday, March 8, 2009

A good day...

I'll be busy with work-related stuff over the next few weekends, and Spring Break has been set aside for visiting family that we missed over the Christmas holidays. I might find a few hours here and there to do some work, but today is the last day of uninterrupted time for awhile. It turned out to be very productive.
Dad shipped me another care package of parts, primarily the CBR900 rear shock, the new chain, and the LHS switchgear for the DRZ. All arrived quickly and in great shape -- thanks pop. With a few hours and finally some decent temps, I decided to work on the shock and the chain. Originally, based on the research I had done, I assumed I would have to swap out the spring to make the rear shock work properly. I counted on a new eibach, to the tune of around $100, to replicate the spring rate of the hawk shock. First, I bored out the top clevis to 12mm on the new Ryobi drill press I bought yesterday. After several years' service the Canadian tire 8" press my folks bought me bit the dust. This press was only $129, was 10", and even had a laser sight! Regardless, it worked a treat and I was able to modify the shock to suit. On a lark, I decided to mount it to the bike to see how "close" the spring rate was. Lo and behold, despite my (likely faulty) physics, it appears to be bang on -- the preload is set near the middle of the range, and the machine seems to have the proper sag?!? Makes no sense, but if it turns out to be the case, I've saved myself $100 and a re-valve (another $250!). As pictured, I plan on flipping it 90 degrees so the remote resevior exits out the other side. And, compared to the hawk shock, it has twice the travel. Not that I will be motocrossing, but the hawk seemed to have too little. Score! As well, the shock has compression and rebound adjustability.

Next I went about fitting the chain. I am still waiting on a spacer from atom-jet, so I didn't really knit things up fully, but I got it cut to the correct length and installed. Nice blue to match the (likely) color. Not a pukka EK chain -- a cheaper option. Only $40 vs the $120 of the EK. Likely don't need the EK either, as the bike will only be putting out 40 hp or so.

I also did some work again with the seat. Trying to get the proper transition from tank to seat has been, well, trying. Anyway, the second tray appears to be a better effort -- still hours of glassing and sanding left to do, but the basic shape appears much better. Will head someplace indoors, warm, with lots of ventilation and get to work.

Lastly I was able to fit the mantis fairing. Took some fiddling in order to find a proper braket to mount to the forks. What you see is a combination of 4 stainless muffler clamps, two pieces of aluminum angle, and some steel sheetmetal cut and bent into shape. Once again, it looks like it will work properly -- 4 solid mounting points holds the whole thing in place.

Although I might end up sounding like a fool (engine won't run, bike handles like crap), I'm revelling in the glow of self-satisfaction. I'm pretty proud of what I've got done so far, both mechanically and asthetically. Some people might not like the looks, but I'm happy. The fender is a spare Ducati one I have -- I have a proper RS125 one from Sharkskinz on order. Apparently they are the first and only North American fabricator of the part -- and a complete fairing set as well.
There should be room for a nice guage behind the fairing -- still not decided as to what type to use. Either way, the bike will be running first, before I plump for a guage package. Apparently the cool looking Venom one I saw at Scotty's also comes with an idiot light option as well. At some angles the fairing seems to stick out too far, but I need the room behind it for the guages -- as well, the clutch cable and brake master cylinder come close to touching it anyway -- any closer to the forks or triples and it would foul on them.

These are just some gratuitous, self satisfying angles...

Ok, done for now.... note that Kawasaki green is catching up... wonder how it would look with the blue wheels?

No comments: