Sunday, March 1, 2009

Nothing to see here....

Well, I guess I could have posted some pics, but there is not a pile of really interesting things to report on. As for the Ducati, I spent some time fitting the fibreglass chin fairing I got off of ebay. The seller posted the "Monza-style" fairings for $45 USD buy it now. The mounting tabs were another $20, but for $65, it is a great deal. Well made and plenty sturdy. I did have to trim it somewhat to clear the custom headers and the SBK rear brake set-up, but it didn't take much work. I plan on reinforcing the trimmed side somewhat with some fibreglass, but other than that, and some sanding, it was pretty straightforward. Still not sure what I will do with the headers, but apparently the company that makes POR-15 has some hi-heat, hi-strength header paint. You can buy it by the pint, and considering I will also have the mono exhaust to do (that is a must, as it is all mild steel), I might give that a try. No hurry on that at all. I also got a pair of retro-style header clamps -- they are machined to look like the old Norton-style thread-on type. Still use the same bolts as the OEM clamps, however. Not sure when I will install those -- will wait awhile until I hear the thing run.

I also worked on the exhaust system for the mono. Did it "proper" according to the tons of literature I've read over the year. The idea is never to weld a bracket directly to the header, but to attach it to a saddle (usually a section of the header material, split down the middle) and the saddle is welded to the header pipe. Helps dissapate some of the vibration and stress. As well, the saddle is "stiched" to the header, not welded solid. This process took several hours of fooling around, but when I remounted everything, it all lined up. Then I took everything apart!

The reason for the disassembly was to finish weld the tabs for the fork stops, and to finish-weld the bracked for the oil tank. In addition, I test-fit the aluminum spacers that were used to mount the engine to the front of the frame -- worked well. However, one of the spacers used in the rear swingarm area (between the engine and the swingarm) is a bit too small -- off by a few thousanths... so that means another trip to Atom Jet. I will measure the difference with a feeler guage and take it back, along with some stock material I already have. Damn! I really thought I was done with those guys. Again, this is not a high priority task, so it can wait awhile.

I've also been doing some research re the rear suspension. I think I am a bit short on the travel department -- the stroke of the hawk shock is only 16mm. However the CBR900 shock (a common cheap mod for hawk owners) is twice that. When mounted on a hawk, the cbr shock usses the stock hawk spring, and spacers to limit the travel -- the bump stop is pushed up the rod. My idea is that I use the CBR shock, NOT limit the bump stop, and use an eibach spring of the proper tension to allow the full stroke. Yes, the shock will need to be re-valved, but I would be looking at a custom shock to get the short overall length (12") with the correct stroke. I got a CBR shock for $24.99, so we'll see how it works. An online source was a huge help in comparing the two shocks.

The voting re the color is coming in steadily, if not slowly. Rizla blue seems to be in the lead.

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