Sunday, March 27, 2011

getting miggy with it

Wow, another weak Will Smith play on words.  I'll stop, I promise.  After googling the net to try to find information on simple frame jigs, I came across a design that uses a combination of rectangular and square steel tubes.  Having some leftover 1x2 and 2x2 tubing in the rafters, I decided to give things a go.  Here is the end result.
This is the "finished, now I have to shove it in the corner" phase.  I was able to try out the mig welder I had lying in the corner of the shop.  Actually did a decent job for only being a little 110 volt version.  No gas, so I had to use flux-cored wire.  I see why people use these mig machines, and it went quite quickly.  More time to set up the tubing than to actually weld it.  I still need to work on my technique.  It now has me interested in setting it up with gas, and using it on thinner wall tubing... would for sure make tack-welding a million times simpler.
You can see the weld spatter, with is common when you weld without gas.  Might price things out at the welding shop just to get an idea.  Would need the bottle, a regulator, and the connecting hose...

I also was able to snag this from Germany.  Its a mito frame, an evo model, and the seller was able to speak in englitsche, and able to ship to me for a reasonable amount.  I plan on setting up the jig to work with the rs125 frame I got lent to me by Steven, and the mito frame pictured.  Then I'll build up the mito using the 610 engine. 

Staying with the 2-wheeled theme, I got my hands on a kona alu frame and project 2 fork... both for under 100 bucks.  The frame also came with xt front and rear derailleurs, a nice seat and seatpost, and a set of bars.  The steel barracuda mtb bike I had was nice, but at 16", too small for me.  I decided to swap over the parts from the barracuda to make a simple town/commuter/pit bike.  Leaving it as a 7-speed.  I needed a new bottom bracket and chain, both of which required special tools to install.  As well, I need a special steerer tube adapter to work with the stem.  Should be a nice fun light bike.  Shocked at how cheap bicycle parts are... a nice swich from mo'sicles!  That's Kate's giant in the background.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

something new

Another bit of news on the supermono front -- a new engine!!!  Kits to bump the drz to the north end of 50 hp will run me about 500 bucks.  Beyond that is a stroker motor, split the case, etc etc, and then we're looking at at least 800 bones.  Imagine my surprise when I stole this for $359, including wiring harness and digital tach:
Its a 2006 husqvarna 610sm engine.  50hp in base form, with 6 speeds.  No dry sump.  Requires a 41mm carb, but it looks like the rear mount and swingarm pivot is the 17mm I've been working with.  Radiator might be a bit of a question mark, but anything's possible.  Even saw a video of it running before the owner parted it out.  The question is, what do I do with it?  The way I see it I have a few options...

1.  Put it in the current tigcraft frame.  I think it would go with not too much work, but I still feel the wheelbase of that bike is a tad on the long side for a supermono.  Would be the cheapest option, and while I'm fitting this engine, I could install the new tank, fit a different exhaust, swingarm, bodywork, etc, etc.  Could have it running far sooner as well.
2.  Use a 125 frame as a starting point.  Someone has done this already.  This is an example of the same engine installed in a cagiva mito frame.  Non-existent in North America, but relatively plentiful in the UK.  Several for sale on eBay all the time, just need to get it over here for me to use it.  By these pics, it seems like the engine was meant for the frame!
Not sure what radiator is being used here.  With just a bare frame, I can fit the mito tank I already have, incorporate the sturdier (but heavier) rg125 swingarm I've got waiting, use the rs125 wheels and forks from the current mono, as well as the bodywork.  A more straightforward build.
I would make my own rear subframe in order to use the rs125 rear seat I have waiting for me in Fort Frances.  The mito chassis is used by many supermono racers in the UK -- ktm and even jawa engines can be made to work with little effort.  Haven't hefted one myself, but while it is alloy, the front headstock and rear swingarm areas are all cast, and appear to be quite heavy.  I also wonder about the vibration and the aluminum chassis... cracking?

3.  The next option is the clean sheet approach.  While this is more effort, considering I have all the ancilliaries in place already (swingarm, wheels, engine, rear subframe, tank, etc), it might be the way to go.  I've got quite a bit of 4130 left over, in the garage.  The end result will be lighter, and I have plenty of inspiration to go by.
 I even have an rs125 to orient a jig around (thanks Stephen!).  I've started a jig just for fun in the garage, and will see how square I can get things set up.  Aside from an old lathe bed that dad dropped off years ago, there isn't a flat surface in he entire garage.  With that in mind I'm using it as a basis to create a simple two-channel jig.  I'll use the rs125 frame as a starting point and see what kind of geometry I come up with.  I think that frame is a bit too small for this engine, but extending the main frame by perhaps 1" should do the trick.  With that in mind, I'll see what kind of response I get from people on eBay...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

new developments

Winter is holding on like grim death here.  Still, no tsunamis, so I can't complain.  A few bits of news.  The FCR carb has a zillion overflow tubes that normally expel extra fuel onto the ground.  Not a big deal on an mx track, but not ideal on the road.  Further, raw fuel getting splashed around in the event of a crash could lead to fire -- hence supermoto race sanctioning bodies regulating an carb overflow catch can fitted to bikes.  The real deals are bulky and can range up to over $100 for a bespoke item.  A forum posting advised getting an radio controlled model fuel tank and adapting that.  Sure enough, the local hobby stop had one on sale for 5 bucks.  Easy peasy, sealed it up, and now just have to route the overflow lines into the tank.  Neat solution!

I also made a proper shark guard for the underside of the supermono rear swingarm.  Some aluminum sheet I had lying around worked a treat.
Have found another sponsor -- Tagger Designs (check the banner up top).  They paint custom helmets.  Considering my new Bell helmet last year was just plain white, I couldn't help myself.  The end result should be a nice patriotic testament to Canada, my Irish heritage, and Lucky Stroke Racing.  Stay tuned -- a total self-indulgent move, but with the sponsorship help and the Canadian dollar, now is the time to get it done!
The other thing in the works is a more protective upper fairing for the ex650.  The superduke will work for now, but a sale on a vortex ex650 bracket ($50!) and some thinnin' about what might work with it could lead to a neat solution.  Will let you know more when it comes together.  Shovelled half a foot of snow yesterday, Daytona races on the tube today.  Hard to believe we live on the same planet!