Saturday, May 23, 2009


Dad had requested some more detailed pics of the oil tank. Come to think of it, the one I did post was poor, in that it only showed one angle, and the hose routing was described but not shown. So, the pic at the left shows the bottom of the tank, with inlet and outlet hoses, and the drain bolt. While the hoses do look like they come close to the exhaust pipe, there looks to be sufficient clearance.

This is the side view of the tank. Note how well it tucks into the contours of the frame, engine, and radiator. This extra time (and extra money) I think allowed the additional volume to be gained, rather than just using a flat rectangular box bolted to the side of the frame. As I stated before, all of the mounting tabs are inboard of the frame tube, and therefore hidden from view. Pretty neat.

The little valve you see in the pic cost me nearly 15 bucks from Dennis Kirk in the states, but my hope is that it holds up to the likely frequent removals and installations of the fuel tank that will come with the machine being sorted out over the coming months. As well, in order to prevent flooding while in storage, the valve can be shut off. Even with the 90 degree bend, an initial test showed the fuel flowed into the float bowl as it should. The vaccuum of the carb I think will help draw fuel from the tank as needed. I was also able to finally track down a proper sock air filter (UNI) that will work.
Because I have time, and the parts are already in primer, I began to spray the Rizla blue on the front fender and tail fairing. It's just Krylon from Canadian Tire, but it looks pretty darn close in my opinion. I doubt this bike will ever be placed side-to-side with the real MotoGP bikes, so I will say with some confidence that it is an EXACT match.

This is the tail -- but only 1 coat so far. Seems to cover quite well in 2 coats. Will give it lotsa time to cure, and then put a coat or two of clear on it when I have the time during an upcoming weekend... that might not happen until July!

Back to the Ducati -- I had aquired a retro-style cafe fairing that needed work on eBay for a good price. However it was for a 7" headlight, and what I had were 5.5" headlights. As well, it was much larger all around. Over the course of a few months, I've cut it, sanded it, fibreglassed it, and modified it to work with the smaller headlight. I also painted with my favourite cheap paint, "Hammer finish". Switching over from the streetfighter fairing was pretty straightforward, so I'll see how I like this. The windscreed does offer somewhat better protection, and I think the light spread will be better as well. Also seems to match the cafe-style of the reverse megaphone exhaust as well.

In running the bike at highway speed for longer than ~ 10 laps, I was surprised at how hot the cam belt covers got. Desmo times used to sell CNC vented covers, but no more. eBay is full of expensive vented covers as well, but I thought I'd break out the ruler, a sharpie marker, and give it a try myself. A combInation of 1/4" and 3/16" holes were drilled. Hopefully big enough to allow some hot air to escape, but not so big that a stone or a lot of moisture would be able to enter. Vertical cylinder has the same pattern.

This is the condition of the headers almost immediately after starting the bike up. Followed the POR-15 directions to a "T", I thought, but like anything, curved sections of exhaust tend to trap more heat, and I think exceed the 1200 F limit. Damn! Header wrap is on the way via eBay. It's stainless, so it won't rust -- will just drive me crazy from an asthetic or "finished" point of view until I can fix it. Not like I can see it while I am riding anyway!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Hmmm, title makes little sense without a pic. Been working when I can on both the Ducati and the mono. As for the Duc, I finally got it licenced and have been taking it out for short blats to test it out. The jetting was off at first -- moved the needle clip to richen it up a bit and got it sorted. The POR-15 header paint is crap, or the pipes heat up hotter than 1200 degrees. Either way, its flaking off pretty consistently. Header wrap it is! Brakes need some more fiddling to get them to stop a bit better, and I also vented the cambelt covers with some careful measuring and using the drill press. Streetfighter headlight looks pretty cool, but the lights leave a bit to be desired. Not sure what I'll do with that. Speedo guage is off, but tachometer seems to work OK. Bar end mirror useless! So some more fiddling to get the bike proper. Will add updates as they come in. Anyway its street legal, finally!
With the mono, the votes are in, and I am going to go Rizla-ish blue. Two cans of "close" Krylon sky blue were procured from Canadian Tire, and when I find time, the parts will be painted. Plan to use clear on this as well, as with a trackbike, fuel and other caustic fluids tend to splash around a bit. In the process of changing the fork oil weight to 20w (from 5w -- what the AF1 guys are running in their race rs125s), blew a fork seal. I had JUST ordered a fairing stay and windscreen the day before from AF1 in the states, so they also fired off a new set of seals as well -- EXPENSIVE! Installed just 1 in the offending fork leg, added the new oil, and everything seems to be tight. Also KREEMed the fuel tank to further seal everything up. Followed the directions to a "t", so hopefully it doesn't start to peel like it is doing on the Duc (on the inside).
That's about it, so hopefully I will spend more time riding on the Duc rather than wrenching on it... although there is still a puff of white smoke on startup -- either the rings are on their way out, or its just condensation. Oil levels seem stable. Maybe it will be a mhileswell winter... as in, I have to pull the heads to change the rings, so I mhileswell split the case and get the crank lightened, knife-edged, and balanced! Yeah, baby!
A neat experience was on the past weekend, when I was working on the trailer... heard the tell-tale sign of a dry clutch, so I knew Wilson was in town with his new to him 900ss SP. Definately the real deal, adjustable forks, alu swingarm, cast iron rotors, and tricked out with a cool CF karbacher seat unit as well. We swapped bikes and went for a spin. Compared to the SBK chassis of my bike, his is far more comfortable, but by Wilson's own admission, mine has legs on his. And even with over 20K mileage, it still looks great! Excellent shade of red. Nice bike. Welcome to the club, buddy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some pictures

OK, Ducati first. Yep, I'm really proud of the swingarm. So, why is it not licenced yet? Don't get me started. It appears that a blithe comment by an MPI employee (referring to Carfax) has everyone up in arms and the process has been halted until what "Carfax" means has been figured out. I LOVE BUREAUCRACY!

RHS -- still not done -- have a few cosmetic things in mind. As is, it's saftied.

LHS Rear. Just not registered yet. Good things come to those who blah, blah, blah.

Now the mono -- I hated where the oil evap tank was mounted, so I found another spot for it. This might be temporary, as I've posted the pics on the Thumpertalk forum to see what they think. I've never used an evap tank before -- stock there is one line coming from the cylinder, another goes to the head, and the third vented to the airbox. What airbox? Hence the wee breather filter you see under the race tail.

The street tail has been pretty much sorted, so until such time (ever?) it goes on the street, its now in storage. On with the race tail. I also removed the muy expensivo LHS cluster from the handlebars. Not needed on the track or in its current experiemental guise. That's a pretty cool oil tank, eh? Still no idea on the sidestand.

Rear brake line is on order. As well, a fairing stay and windscreen is en route from AF1 in the US. We're now into the details. Need to make a bracket to be welded to the steering head for the stay (so it can be removed if need be), and tidy things up. A fellow supermoto dude runs a 15-40 on his DRZ -- so I will track down one to replace the 14T I currently have. Will likely mean a re-engineered shift mechanism, but I have another steel stock shifter waiting to be modified. Would like to fit a temp guage and tach, and as stated earlier, a vapour might be the way to go. Knock wood (I have a headache!), it should be at Gimli this summer. Think I finally have the idle circuit sorted. Main jet should be close (160) -- needle nonsense next? Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Some quick news. The DRZ mono runs. Fooling around with jetting, but it starts on choke, and quickly settles to a nice idle with it off. Took it for an illegal spin around the neighborhood, so I know it actually moves as well. Busy doing many little things, like moving the oil evap container, fitting a rad overflow and wiring up the rear taillight. Next step is getting a front fairing stay for the RS50 fairing and a windscreen. Also sent an email to Dave at Tigcraft to see if he can remeber what kind of kickstand was on the bike. The cheap (under $50) blue colored chain off of Ebay was crap. Paint is peeling already and rust is forming -- in the garage out of the rain? I guess you get what you pay for.

The Duc is scheduled to have a new VIN number assigned tommorow. After nearly 5 years, it will finally be "legal" in Canada. Can't wait to get a plate on it and take it for a rip. Put on a R1 radial master cylinder (16mm bore) -- feels 100% better at the lever. Will see if it gets rid of the wooden feeling with the MV master. Thats it for now, more pics to follow when I get time. This week is particularly insane at work.