Thursday, 30 September 2010

Back in black....

Hi, I'm back. It's been a long summer with project progress being fairly slow. I ordered swinging-arm pivot bearings in May and half the kit arrrived after a month, the rest still isn't here. I can get bearings direct from bearings distributers, but not the seals which are unmarked. Much talk of Italian holiday season in August, but I suspect a lack of concentration at the dealer at this end has contributed to the delay. I am investigating alternative source. I successfully got the old shagged bearings out by drifting them using heat gun, brute force and ignorance. I am fairly apprehensive about getting new ones in so the waiting is killing me as I want it over with. Once they are in I can start the rebuild in earnest which should be the fun bit.

I have put the right side of the engine back together having re-sprayed the starter motor with Smoothrite (one of the starter mounting bolts is only accessible with the casing off) and cut back the paint on the crankcase cover with a Scotchbrite wheel, This has left a nice patina as  most of the original paint has survived quite well. The plan insn't for an immaculate as-new engine, but I may touch up  a few flaky sections.

The frame, wheels and various other bits have been to the powder-coaters.....twice. I got the frame and front wheel done as already had a black rear wheel. Realised that the new coating was much glossier, but also concerned at how easily the new coat got a little ding in it. I took the newly coated  front back for comaprison with  the rear and the chaps at the powder-coaters spotted something was wrong straight away. They offered to hard lacquer everything they had already coated for free, as the new coating was marking easier than they expected. We shall see if that fixes it. Of course I managed to drop something heavy on the rear rim AGAIN! and ding it straight away. Luckily the tyre will hide this, however little worried that the hard lacquer hasn't solved the problem. I can't face taking everything back again so will see how it turns out in the build.

Still, looks nice eh? I also got the top and bottom yokes done, including the old top yoke and bar clamps. This was in case I decide I just can't live with the clip-on handlebars and want to put straight bars on. I'll post a pic of the coated new top yoke soon but here's the old one:

 Other bits include headlamp ring which was originally chrome:

 That's the sort of small detail which I think will make a lot of difference.....

I also splurged on some nice Oberon levers due to a nice deal from Spareshack via Monster Owners Club UK:

However they show up the master cylinders and reservoir covers which will need some work:

Other news - I went to visit the excellent John Baines at Silverstone when I was at practice day for the British MotoGP. I had a plan to fit the project bike with a classic750/900SS bevel style race fairing. John was great and gave me loads of free advice and let me take pics of some of the great bikes in his workshop:

John Baines was producing kits to convert modern SS's into classic replicas before Ducati started bringing out their recent retros like the GT1000 and Paul Smart. He was ahead of his time as the craze for all things retro hadn't really kicked in. His Imola project was the nuts so if you want an authentic replica you know who to ask! Anyway we had a chat about the frame-mounted fairing supports that would have to be fabricated and he gave me some contacts for engineers who could help. After a few weeks mulling it over I decided that this was my first build and was supposed to be relatively simple. I figured I have enough on my plate with complete rebuild of bike and fettling of new suspension, setting up new FCR carbs etc etc. Not to mention cost. Maybe next time...