Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Been an interesting month... first, the political rant.  I am streetbikeless AGAIN!  As much as I enjoyed riding the 636 to work in March (earliest spring rides ever!), as soon as July rolled around, the need to ride the bike essentially dried up.  These two summer months see the focus shift -- work around the house (bathroom and fence this year) and maintaining/modifying the race bike.  The black kwak sat unused for nearly 3 weeks.  On top of that, I was paying the stupid insurance fees that mpi charges, to have it sit idle in the garage.  So... I sold it.  I think I should swear an affidavit to Kate that I will not buy a streetbike again until I have quit racing.  Another option would have been to cancel the insurance, ironically during the two best riding months, and reactivate it in September.  Realistically, the amount I ride on the street doesn't justify the expense.  Racing is the focus, and the amount saved on insurance is quite tangible.  Also, the sale of the bike (for exactly what I bought it for last October -- score!) helped pay for the bathroom.  Manitoba Public Insurance, is anti-motorcycle, and that is that.

Continuing on with the rant, the oil cooler project is stalled right now... I am currently on Sandwich adapter #4!!!
1.  The first sandwich adapter, from Glow-Shift, looked to be OK, but the two oil line fittings were 3/8 pipe thread, NOT 3/8 NPT.  There is a difference, and no one appears to make a 3/8 pipe thread to 6-an adapter fitting.  No go.
2.  The second adapter fitting was from Earl's, so it was a good name.  However I gambled on he filter housing size and... lost.  Too big to fit in the confined space of the ex650 oil pan.  Obviously meant for a car.  Dammit!  Strike 2!
3.  Adapters 3 and 4 are currently inbound.  I have thrown even more caution to the wind and have ordered another model from Earl's, as well as one off of eBay that had some dimensions listed.  The eBay one might still be a bit big, but the Earl's one I hope should work.  I had planned to skip this round of the local championship anyway (July 28-29), so the bike not being ready is no big deal.

Hopefully, either the 3rd or 4th time is a charm.  Alex Hutchinson and an eBay seller from the UK have both been more helpful than the entire hotrod industry in North America.  Can you tell I'm a bit exasperated???

So this is how the bike sits as is.  You will notice the wheels are missing -- off to get powdercoated.  Could not stand the metallic burgundy/red any longer.  Justified by the sale of the 636 -- racer's logic.  Also, note the woodcraft rearsets.  After being sponsored by them for a year, I have finally gotten around to getting these fitted.  LHS went on a treat, but the right hand side...

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice the lack of rear brake pedal.  The woodcraft brake pedal design fouls on the versys swingarm.  All of the versys - modified 650s are in the UK, and they don't use woodcraft stuff over there (at least to a large extent).  So this screw-up was somewhat surprising. That meant another solution, so I dug out the thumb rear brake from the old tigcraft supermono and fitted that.  It actually works quite well on this application. However, a 20 minute job turned into a day of fabrication!

And as I am sure you can guess, the thumb brake, once installed, fouls on the.... pick one:
a.  Fuel tank
b.  Dash
c.  Upper fairing ear near the screen
d.  Upper fairing near the tank

Correct answer:  d.  So after painting the fairing to match the rest of the bike, I had to attack it with the dremel tool.  A steady hand and some trickery with the masking tape resulted in a decent bodge and not a lot of stripped paint.  Again, "bolt-on" my butt!

You can see the fairing, new (used) screen and "intake to nowhere" on top of the next project -- at least this pic makes me smile.  The plan is to rebuild this xs650 into a cafe racer with some of my students this winter!  I have some big plans, involving the high school, hopefully cycleboyz, Winnipeg Technical College, and some others.  I will start a separate blog to cover the progress eventually.  Big thanks to blog follower and super dude Greg D for the awesome deal on the bike.  Two boxes of parts not pictured!  Note bathroom paint can!

Last picture is the undertail I have fabricated.  The R1 tail section had a little swoopy scoop that originally separated the two undertail exhausts, but on my application left a big hole for dirt and crud to get at the ECU, and was a bit dirty aerodynamically-wise.  Some light cardboard and three coats of fibreglass later, I have this.  I didn't spend too much time finishing it with bondo -- didn't want it too heavy -- and it will likely get hammered by stones in short order anyway.

So hopefully the next post will show the smooth installation of a custom oil cooler for the er6 and ex650.  Cross fingers!

1 comment:

Greg said...

The 650 looks great in your garage James :) Looking forward to seeing what you and the students do with it in the fall!