Friday, 14 January 2011


So a good friend, (and consumate piss-taker), Dan the Man not only put my tyres on, but supplied one of them for free - thanks mate you know who you are! The powder-coating seemed to hold up to the procedure which was a relief as I was a bit suspicious of it's resilience.

Unfortunately, my donor bike came with front discs with different disk carriers, round hole pattern on one side and spoke pattern on the other. I don't have the budget to sort that at present, especially as both discs have plenty of life in them. Ho hum. Think the spoke pattern looks nicer, so if one of those turns up...or maybe some wavys if I ever have the spare cash. I'm still saving for paint job and seat customisation.

Talking of budget woes, more news in - my daily ride (Firestorm) has fallen victim to the curse of the Honda cam-chain adjuster. I new this was on the cards but...well it's a long story which I'll skip. I've bought a second hand engine with low miles on it, but I don't think I can face doing the swap in the 'shack which already has two disassembled vehicles in it. Also, I would like to have the manual adjusters I bought (part of long story) fitted and the valve clearances checked.

I thought of how great it would be to have the experience and psychological lift of doing it all myself. However the ethos of the Ducati project has been slow small steps. I can't afford to have something go wrong while re-building the Firestorm, and find myself in a shed with three piles of bit in it, (son's scooter project, Monster and 'storm). Especially as the Cutter family's last running bike, Mrs Cutter's M695 is now having clutch problems. I think it just needs bleeding, but this is getting depressing - I do have a day job....

So, I've had some great advice from forum, and may get the work done by a chap from the forum who seems to have a hell of a reputation for fixing and modifying 'storms. It's all a bit of a pain and a distraction from the project, but it is my daily ride to work and I need it to keep me sane. It's also made me realise how much I love the Firestorm, even though it started out as a cheap bridging ride between loans to free up cash for the Rooster's carbs and Ohlins.

Anyway, I still feel like the project is really rolling now. When I started I didn't allow myself to think much about the really fun bit, putting it all together. I wanted some of the scary "heavy lifting" out of the way. Now I'm in that rebuild phase and it feels so good. Here's a shot of the swingarm with scotchbrite (dull polish) and laquered adjusters, and gold anodised adjuster plates: The adjusters look better in real life, not nearly as dull but nicely lived in.

Next steps in rebuild order, exhaust manifold on, and then the FCR carbs!! Need to decide whether to paint manifold matt black, or heat-wrap it before I fit it. The heat wrap thing is getting a bit common but it is nice and edgy.

I have a fairly free weekend but tomorrow I have to go and get that Firestorm engine from Suffolk. It's unlikely I'll get the exhaust decision sorted but there's plenty of other little jobs need doing - tarting up brake and clutch resevoirs for instance, taking the headlamp apart again and fixing an internal metal cover that has come adrift, and braving the crimping/soldering nightmare of the Motogadget speedo connector and it's microscopic gauge wiring. Onwards and upwards compadres!!