Friday, 30 September 2011


It's not finished, but it is re-born. Last night I got the front brakes bled and working and mounted the speedo sensor. This morning the second, perfect, incarnation of the seat arrived. The suspension needs setting up (which I need to save some moolah for), oil strainer crush washer needs re-seating/re-placing to stop oil drip, speedo needs calibrating. Top yoke will need re-powder coating (again). last this is a complete bike.

Sneaky very short ashphalt christening tomorrow. As far as I concerned my deadline will have been met. I couldn't be happier.

From this:

To this:

Rescued from neglect, pushed through a house, re-born in a shed, raised by chickens....

Saturday, 24 September 2011

This is why you can forget that Orange County shit..

If you followed this blog from the early days, you'll know I don't pigeonhole bikes, or discriminate. If something is crap it's crap and if it's good it's good whether it's Suzuki or Harley, hypersports or chop, or preferably something mixed up and in between. Anyway this is a wicked trailer for a forthcoming Dice movie, re-blogged from the excellent proper builder site "Machine" at

This should speak to anyone who builds, mods, customises and just generally loves bikes whatever kind they are...

6 Over - Teaser from Wild Honey Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Help and Respect

I used Haynes, I used the Desmo Times book, I checked the workshop manual, I followed and article in Classic Bike by a well known Ducati specialist shop. However the only place that told me the top pulley wheel on the rear clinder would jump out of position and would have to be forceably held there, was here:

Respect is due...

Decision on Le Derriere

Sent seat off to be re-covered today. Yep I am going back to black, but with some stitching etc. Mocked it up in this pic. Should be back from Viking Seats just in time for my deadline - otherwise I'm screwed....
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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Passed 10,000 views this week (since Nov 2009). Not huge I know, but pretty cool for a little shed project. Big thanks to all of you for your continued interest!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Bracketry and Declaration.

I read a magazine interview with a specials builder who said that the most basic skill you could have when modifying bikes was the ability to make brackets. The implication was that if you couldn't do that then forget it. Well it may be the bottom rung of the ladder but I'm really proud that I've got onto that rung. I've produced two differently curved brackets to hold the Mivv cans on. The variation is due to having to fit them around the rear brake controls on the right hand side.

These brackets were needed because I'm running rearsets, to get rid of the ugly and heavy units that originally supported front pegs and controls, passenger pegs, and rear of exhaust system.

The brackets were prototyped with the 2mm thick alloy strip from DIY chain store. Then I ordered 5mm thick ally strip from a supplier on Ebay. At first it seemed like I'd miscalculated, as when I tried to bend the 5mm by hand in the vice, the whole bench moved, and it's a solid bench!  Lesson learned, as I realised I have a book on metalwork that has a chart with "length to thickness to bendability" ratios in it. However that was far to scary and I wanted results - now! Applying energy with a different focus (or Ki for any martial arts people out there) i.e. using a big rubber mallet swung in the right stylie, got the right material moving. Offer it up to the bike, re-swing etc etc until bends are right.

Prototyping with two 2mm strips layered:

 After bending, then cutting rough shapes in the 5mm is undertaken with a jig saw and pillar drill. Then I used a combination of hand files, mini rotary-tool and Black and Decker Powerfile to finish the rounded ends, and the slotting.
Although not shown here, much of the work was done with the piece taped-up to avoid marking it too deeply... In the blurry pic below you can just about see the permy marker cut guide lines:
                                                                                                                                                                                          Finished off with wonderful Scotchbrite disk on electric drill, one of my most used tools. The finish it gives is not too shiny but nicely pro looking (I think anyway). 
A combination of laziness and some kind of Zen weirdness makes me stop at the absolute moment they look right at anything other than the closest range. I like the fact they're still a bit hand made when you look closely.
 The exhausts are now firmly mounted, in fact probably a little over-engineered but still lighter than the stock set-up.

Rougher brackets where knocked up out of the 2mm to support the 916 carbon front mudguard, as the fork legs mounting holes are at a different height from the original 'guard:

It's small spuds to the engineers out there but it's a start on the journey away from bolt-on Bertie status, and so satisfying...

I now have a target - I want this thing at least able to go for a shake-down up and down my suburban road by the 1st October. That gives me 3 weeks. She may have missed the summer, but by the gods she will not quietly into this winter go.....CHAAARGE!