Friday, 29 October 2010

Logjam Busted

At last the swinging arm bearings turned up. My good friend Barry lent me a big car draw-bolt kit - lovely German tools. Bearings went in as sweet as you like! Unlike removing them which took some heat, and some heated words. A bit of improvisation and the same happened with steering stem lower bearing, smooth as butter.

Baptism of Swarf

Decided to try and make my own open clutch cover out of the stock closed cover. Enter the Drill of Death, donated to workshop by my mate Graham.

Then time for some elbow grease with files etc, tried using rotary tool but didn't have enough relevant attachments.Hand files give more control....

Angle of Ducati logo not quite right when mounted but I still like it. Have to decide whether to leave scotchbrite satin, or paint.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Darkness and Light ( The Omelette)

This is an unashamed homily, maxim, proverb, down-home sayings, cheesy wisdom post so be warned. Last week I had workshop mood-swing big time. One night I managed to damage, ding, over-file and otherwise screw up various powder-coated bits and felt totally depressed. A couple of nights later I decided to have a play and put together some of the front-end just to have an idea as to what black yokes and black headlamp rim would look like:

It's going to be cool! I am finally getting to the "build it, style it, fettle it" stage! News just in - the bearings and seals I have been waiting months for are finally in! This means a winter of proper progress...

The thing is, I am clumsy and lazy and not a perfectionist, so a few dings, a few things destroyed, a few quid wasted, a few short cuts, what the hell. This is my first project and "get it done" is the number two rule, and "keep it simple" is number three. What's number one you ask? To quote a great friend of mine, usually talking about fettling guitars or playing gigs, "It's supposed to be fun."

I have the following paraphrased on my workshop wall (paraphrased means I couldn't be bothered to look it up and wrote it slightly differently, which is a nice metaphor for this project when you think about it):

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
Samuel Beckett 

To put it another way, you can't make that omelette without breaking some eggs. (I just hope I break the cheap ones not the unobtainium ones......)

Has anyone got one of these....?

I'm looking for a chain adjuster plate as the two that were on the bike don't match... People seem to make nice aftermarket anodised sideplates (that the axle goes through) but no-one does an aftermarket one of these. If I have to get a stock one then second-hand would be great.... The one on the right is the type I need - just the angled plate nearest the camera, not the rest of the adjuster.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


There are still some pretty big items cost wise before this project is complete. In terms of expense, paint job is probably the biggest, fork rebuild ties for first place or is a narrow second, saddle customisation comes third. Floating around the £100 mark are little luxuries like chain and sprockets and other consumables that you don't think about because they are a bit boring, but can end up bankrupting you....

However time and time again in articles I see specials builders saying, if you see a special component that's rare, or rare at the right price, buy it. One of my other items for completion was an electronic speedo/dash. I was looking at one of these:

The Vapor (not to be confused with Veypour who also make digital dashes) is light, capable and reasonably economic at around £90 without the plastic dash and lights shown here.
 However, since I started researching for the bike I fancied one of these with its stepper motor and hidden LED readout and lights:

It's the Motoscope Tiny, from German company Motogadget who make some amazing instruments including an almost microscopic digital dash. As you can see from the coin in the picture, it's very small. This is a digital speedo with a stepper motor reading out through an analogue display. It includes hidden LED warning lights and LED readout which displays a variety of info.

Aesthetically it's bang on for the retro/techtro look I want. It's extremely small and light (though not as light as the Vapour). It doesn't have a rev counter like the Vapor's nice bar display, but then the original Monster dash doesn't have a tach. either and it's not really needed on a big air-cooled twin. These go for around £200, but one turned up new but ex demo on the bay last night for £140 so the decision was made. Let's hope I can get the warning lights hooked-up and the speed sensor in a happy location. Sure the expense pushes back the forks and paint, but it was needed and it's right. Feels good...