Monday, 4 April 2011

Not The Approved Method (or "Clown over Matter")

As some of you may have noticed, my version of a hydraulic bike bench (to raise a motorcycle to an ergonomic height for working on) with a further jack or stand securely mounted on it (to further raise the bike off it's wheels when on the bench) is a coffee table. Not just any coffee table, but a shagged-out one rescued from a skip, constructed from some toxic exotic wood, supplemented with a few bits of pine block and board, some nailed carelessly to the top. It gives the miser in me, and the spirit of my can-do ancestors, great pleasure to utilise only equipment that would look at home in a Brothers Grimm tale.

On Sunday I had a sudden urge to put the front wheel in and let fate decide how the bike would get off the table.

During that process the inevitable happened. The bike, which has been teetering for weeks, fell over away from me as I fiddled with the front wheel while sitting on the floor. Toward me would have been worse. Through some fluke, and due to the centralised mass of the engine on which the whole thing was pivoting, even though it fell to an angle of about 80 degrees, I was able to counterweight it easily but not move, or remedy the situation. As I was about to reach for my phone and alert the youngest Cutter offspring, I noticed that said Cutter-ette was looking out of the window at me, so I gestured in a desperate fashion and together we got the thing upright. Sufficient to say I was determined not to learn my lesson, and not ten minutes later the front wheel went rolling across the garage floor as though determined to fall and damage a disc rotor. As I groped for it ineffectually it came to rest gently contacting the world only through the medium of rubber.

Due to mistakenly thinking I was missing a spacer, I resentfully changed tack and started thinking about mounting the Motogadget Tiny speedo. I knocked up a simple bracket, and this proved to be all that was going to be necessary, stylistically as well as functionally. I'd though I would have to make a small alloy dash as the new speedo only has four warning lights hidden in it's face and I need more. But it seemed a shame to take such a minimalist little gauge and put it in an acre of alloy plate.

The speedo will handle indicators, high beam, neutral and oil pressure. That leaves side-stand warning, low fuel (there is no gauge or reserve on an M900) and charging light. I can probably live without the side-stand light as it has a cutout anyway. So I've ordered two LED's in bezels that I hope will mount stealthily in my very mimimalist bracket, under the speedo itself.

This bracket may prove to be just a prototype, but it cheered me right up seeing the speedo mounted. I'm still anxious about the wiring job to come, and I was grumpy about what I thought was missing spacer for the front wheel slowing my headlong plummet toward destiny.

Today I realised there was no spacer required, it's function is carried out by a shoulder on the front axle. Time to enlist fate again. The coffee table is birthing a healthy sprog but it's a complicated labour, and not by the approved method:

I think I have reached a point where an assistant is required again. I'll let y'all know when she gets down off the operating table safely, but in the meantime it's so damn good to see her with wheels on. Remember don't try this at home, yours or anyone else's.....

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