Monday, December 28, 2009

New tail section

Picked up a damaged RS125 GP tail for cheap awhile back.  Needed considerable work to put back into decent shape.  And again, this is "race shape", not show quality.  It is the curvy and pointy modern GP design, and I swung by Cycleboyz to check in on the exhaust progress, and to also see how it fit.  While the exhaust system wasn't complete, some progress was evident -- the proper 1.5" stainless tubing was in, and the first part of the 1.75" header, sleeve, and mounting hardware was in place.  The fabricator seemed pretty confident that it would be a straightfoward build.  As for the tail section, a large chunk of the rear subframe was now unnecessary, once I relocated the battery to the front of the engine -- this also helped for the tail fitting, as the stock subframe was meant to work with a 250/400 sized seat, and not a narrow 125.  The plan is to cut a chunk off the rearmost part of the subframe, and mount the 125 tail fairing.

Note the bondo, epoxy repairs, and lines drawn to indicate where material has to be removed...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Going Green Again, maybe...

While at Canadian Tire, I came across a new Krylon Color, called "Key Lime" -- as in a psychedelic green... which got me thinking... Transcanada Motorsport has always been supportive of me in racing -- no free bikes, but a willingness to help, to provide a 15% discount, and Scotty the owner has just generally been a "nice guy" -- increasingly rare when I have expanded my bike collection to include Ducati, Suzuki, and now Honda.  Perhaps I should call the bike a "KLX400" (the engines and bikes were almost identical, save the color of the plastics).  Transcanada has been a long-time Kawasaki dealer, and I first worked with them back in the EX500 days, and later the ZX6R era.

This is Shinya Nakano's ZX-RR from 2006.  Arguably the most successful Kawi motogp bike ever, considering the overall results of the team.

This one has a slightly different paint scheme, and also different graphics.  A can of matt black, along with the green, should be easy enough to replicate, or at least be inspired by...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

outsourcing again -- UK this time.

Not a lot to report... no word on the exhaust, although I think I might make a coffee run out to Cycleboyz to spread some Christmas cheer and peek in on the progress (if any).  I've also been keeping my eye out for proper race bodywork for the 'mono, for 2 reasons -- weight, for one, as the ABS plastic on the bike right now is quite heavy.  And, if I plan to ride the thing at trackdays and eventually race it, I need proper fairings with an oil retaining bellypan.  Not a huge issue with a 2-stroke, but the mono is a 4-stroker, and I hope to be carrying around close to 3 litres of the slippery stuff.  God forbid the bottom end goes, but anything can happen on the track.  The only place that had bodywork which would "work" was Armourbodies.  Canadian, of all things, and they had an RS50 fairing kit... but stupidly expensive at over $800!  However, some ebay trolling found a pre 2006 RS125 race pattern bodykit -- should be close to the RS50 stuff, as the 50, 125, and 250 all use the same windscreen!  This is out of the UK, but I could get it shipped to Canada, with the currency exchange, for under $300!

According to the posting, the dzus fasteners are included, although I will have to fiddle with the fitting -- note no windscreen bolts are included/ no holes drilled, and likely some of the bellypan will have to be modified to fit the exhaust.  Pretty straightforward, in all likelihood (and compared to what I'm used to).  This, combined with the RS125 (Honda) race tailsection I scored for cheap should make the bike look a little more sleek, and save some weight.  Of course, this gives me the opportunity for yet another paint scheme... I think I might revert back to my "lucky stroke" roots...

I had a student create this logo for me in the late 90s, when I was still racing 2-strokes.  I think it is particularly appropriate for the mono, for a number of reasons -- it's in the colors of the "lucky" Irish flag; the engine is a torque-loaded thumper, which implies the "stroke" of the the engine.  The process of getting the base frame from Dave, getting it home for free in carry on luggage, getting a mis-labeled DRZ400 engine for cheap, having a lot of parts mate up far easier than they should, and this being the 3rd frame I've built myself, all leads to the "lucky" moniker...  and of course, I'm feeling pretty fortunate this time of year (as I should all the time) to have the opportunity to ride, race, build the parts, have a patient wife, willing co-conspirators in my parents, etc. etc.....

So, imagine this paint scheme... the red becomes the Irish Lucky green, and the grey (which looks black in this photo) the golden yellow... all on a white background.  Might end up looking like a "Skoal Bandit" bike, or a "Kool" tobacco paint scheme from a distance.  We'll have to think on it a bit.

Friday, December 4, 2009


The 'mono is off for a multi-day sleepover at Cycleboyz.  Dad was kind enough to ship the Jardine exhausts I bought for the bike to me direct, and now the 'boyz are building me a header for it.  As per the Yoshimura system, I am going with a 1-2 system, and using the twin CRF250 exhausts from Jardine.  The plan is to start off with a 1.75" header, and then split off into two -- 1.5" pipes to each muffler.  Everything is as short as possible, with the cans exiting just behind the rearset pegs.  The cans are currently mocked into place using some aluminum strap, and a proper stainless bracket will be fabbed, using the rearset plates as pick-up points.  Hopefully will look pretty neat when all is said and done.  Of course, the whole shebang will be made out of stainless and tig-welded.  So we're gonna do it right this time!  Pics to follow -- Kate has the camera.