zaterdag 27 februari 2010

fender part II

A short summary of what I've done on the Suzuki the last couple of days: I painted the swingarm, reinstalled it and the fender (sorry for the blurry pic).

Added a carter ventilation filter (not sure if I'll keep it (there)) and I made the rear end nice and smooth (gave it a base coat too). I never managed to get my gashand grip onto the handlebars, just too tight (not even after heating it up to 150 degree to get it really soft). So I decided to ditch them. I'm now trying out racketgrips/tape. Not terribly sure if they'll hold, but they hold just fine on my squash racket and that get's a lot of abuse. The electrics still look a bit messy. This is because I haven't been able to find the right light bulbs yet and according to the wiring diagram the bike should be run with an electrical resistance replacing the lights when those are turned off. I'm not going to install a light switch, they'll just be on all the time. So I temporarily use the original resistance which is hanging from the handlebars. Comming weekend there'll be a swap market again. Shouldn't be a problem to find the right light bulbs there. What will be/is a problem is finding a head gasket. They appear to be sold out everywhere. Found a onscure website in Germany that promises to sell them, so all my money is on that.

And finally: I found a tank! I'm getting it Monday, so I'm not sure yet what state it'll be in, but the guy promised me it's in a more than reasonable shape. 

woensdag 24 februari 2010

rear fender

Found some time to work on the Suzuki again. To keep the battery clean and prevent the rearwheel form slinging dirt straight into the airfilter I still needed to make a rear fender. So that's what I did:

loosely mounted:

Also took out the swingarm and painted it. It should be dry enough to install it again tomorrow. Than I can take the engine out, paint the frame and start looking for a new head gasket. And also still looking for a tank. Thought I found one, but the guy stopped responding to my emails.

If anyone has any tips on finding a tank......

zondag 21 februari 2010

Had to say goodbye...

.... to my bike-building shoes. It was about time ;)

Haven't been able to do much on the bike. My study's been taking up a lot of my time lately. Didn't order a head gasket yet either. Did replace the mesh of the seat on both sides for metal plates though. Also been experimenting with paint again. I have no idea yet what colors to pick for the bike, so I'm just doing some wild, unmasked painting to see what different colors look like.

dinsdag 16 februari 2010

ride report

Ok, test ride report would be a better dexcirption. The good news first: The ride has iproved a lot after some modifications (mainly on the gear shift mechanisme). The bad news list is a bit long unfortunately:

- Pretty sure the head gasket is leaking. A lot. That's not something I can solve easily and certainly not here under these conditions, because

- it STILL snowing

- The engine seems to have started leaking oil at the neutral sensor

- I can't find a decent SP tank anywhere.

- I spend the whole of Saturday on making a muffler to get it a bit quieter. Didn't help a bit.

Especially the head gasket might mean that I'll have to put the whole project on hold. I have very little experience working on engines and I don't have a dust free (or even dry) place to work on the engine. So it sucks pretty bad... same goes for the oil leak at the neutral sensor. I'm guessing I'll have to take the engine apart to fix that. 

vrijdag 12 februari 2010

first test ride

Conditions were far from ideal, but the bike was ready for it and I ran out of patience :). So what was it like? Slippery... Wheel spin everywhere, on ice (obviously), wet road and in the grass. Had LOTS of fun though. It's impossible to say anything about the handling, it was to slippery to try anything, but it was a nice test to see if everything works. I found out I have to do some modifications on the rearsets (it's really hard to get it in neutral), the side stand (it's still a bit in the way when shifting gears) and the clutch. Operating the clutch is way to heavy, the test ride lasted about 10 minutes, but after those ten minutes I couldn't move my left hand anymore. But all in all it was very successful. Really looking forward to the first test under normal conditions.

Crappy video of the testride:

donderdag 11 februari 2010


Yep. Bought a chain. Also moved the lower shock mounts forward so the suspension is stiffer and (more important) the clearance has increased. Had it running and the rear wheel spinning to test everything, but it's not really ideal to take it for a testride. Something to do with snow... Besides, I still need top sort some stuff out before I can take it for a ride (mainly finding the right nuts and bolts for the engine mounts and the triple tree)

woensdag 10 februari 2010

Testing the wiring loom

Spend yesterday afternoon and tis morning on making a wiring loom. Apart from the indicator part I've now finished it. That means: time to test if it starts...

As you can see: it does. What you don't see on the video is that I spend the 15 minutes before that getting really tired while trying to get it started. Turned out that I accidentally unplugged the coil while installing the tank... Yep, I'm that smart. Very happy it all seems to work. Though a bit unhappy that it started snowing. again. Unbelievable. I'll need to find a chain somewhere and I need dry weather so I can move the shock mounts, than it'll be time for the first ride. I can hardly wait.

dinsdag 9 februari 2010

The most dreaded part of any build

At least, for me: Electrics. I'm making the wiring loom from scratch. Extra challenging for an electra noob like me, good thing is that the wiring loom is relatively simple (very simple). I moved the bike into the kitchen, it's freezing outside. Gotten pretty far today, pretty sure I'll have it finished tomorrow. 

Suzuki update

Didn't work on the Suzuki yesterday, I picked up work on the bike this morning. I planned to work on the wiring loom today (and I will), but I had to make a bracket for the ignition key first. I realized that a finished wiring loom would mean that I'd be very close to a first test ride. Two big things need to be resolved first though: I don't have a chain yet (do have sprockets), so that's not a hughe problem. The other problem is fuel tank. I decided I don't want to use the tank you've seen on the photo's. It just do it for me. It would be a waste to start looking for a petcock for a tank I'm not going to used. I still had the tank of the stripped SP lying around though. I checked it. It's rusty and dented, but I'm pretty sure it'll hold fuel without leaking. To my surprise, it looked rather good on the bike:

I'm ussualy against using stock tanks, too easy. But really do like it (if you manage to look past the rust). So I might go looking for a SP370 tank (any tips?)

As you can see I've also got new rear shocks. It wasn't only the look, they're ait filled, so it's really easy to adjust them. They're still a bit short, the rear tire wil hitthe exhasut as you might have seen on the last youtube vid. I'm going to solve that by moving the lower mounts a bit forward.

zondag 7 februari 2010


I want to make my own wiring loom since there's a lot of stuff on the original one that I'm not going to use and I want a totally different routing. To make it easier to find faults I wanted to have the bike running with the original wiring loom of the SP that I used for parts. SO that was my mission for today: get it running.

I blundered on the kickstarter, I'd welded it on in the wrong angle so the paddle would fold in when you kicked it.. So first I had to redo the kickstarter. I than filled the battery and put it on the charger after a while. Did have to do a lot of cutting and soldering on te original loom to get it to fit, so I did that too. Poored in some fuel, hooked up the battery and started kicking.


So  I checked for a spark: there was a sprak.

Kicked it for another ten minutes while fooling around with the choke

nothing, not a single ignition.

Adjusted the timing and started kicking again


Adjusted the timing some more and started kicking again.


had lunch, took some time to catchj my breath, check for sparks (yep), kicket it again



Tried another carburator and withing one kick it ran. Took some effort ;) 


I had to pull the sparkplug cable to get it to stop. Didn't have a key for the ignition so I hotwired it ;)

Still a lot of work left to do, but I'm really glad to have heard it run. I wasn't sure the engine would even work, but it does.

zaterdag 6 februari 2010

Suzuki update

So, why the new Suzuki? My bike came without an ignition, so I needed one. The 'new' Suzuki has one :). So I bought the whole bike just for this:

The bike was very cheap, luckily, so I'm not too disappointed after seeing this:

Though the add said the engine was 'healthy'.... Besides this it was full of water and the shifter rod was all bent and ruined the engine casing. Shit happens.

Didn't spend all my time on tearing that bike apart, dis some constructive things too. I switched the swing arm. The one I was using until now had a lot of play on the bearings and this is the cheapest solution. Besides, that one was of a GN250 and the onde from the SP370 is(looks) a bit beefier.  After installing the other swing arm (which will force me to do some modifications on the rearet) I made a conrod for the rear brake.

Stopped at about 2:30 pm. Went to meet a guy from Carburator needles of the BMW R-series apparently were made in two different kinds. Mine need replacing and, you guessed it, I'd gotten the wrong ones. Amazed that the BMW-'expert' who sold them to me didn't know.... Anyway, Pieter had the right needles for me and he wanted to trade them for mine. That'll make the BMW run a lot better, thanks Pieter! The weather forecast for tomorrow promises a day without any form of precipitation. That's going to be a tough decision tomorrow: Work on the Suzuki, or ride the BMW.....

New bike

Isn't she beautifull? ;)

Needless to say I'll be using this bike for (spare) parts.

vrijdag 5 februari 2010

Do The Ton bike of the month

I think Do The Ton is one of the (probably THE) biggest caferacer forums on the internet, it certainly is a very active and interesting one. So I'm very, very honored that the BMW got voted bike of the month February. Meaning this picture will be the banner of Do The Ton all month

Thanks guys!!!


Made the brake-side rearset yesterday. I'll finish it as soon as I've decided which rear wheel I'll be using. Either this rear wheel or the one form the donor bike that will be here tomorrow.

Also gotten in a new camera from ebay. 14US$ including shipping from Hong Kong.... 

It'll be easy to place where ever I want, so expect some more video's when the weather starts improving.

Camera test: (didn't charge the battery of the BMW, so I had to kick it)

You might hear a ticking sound like the valve play needs adjusting, it's been doing that for a while, but I've found the cause now: The rocker arms show some axial play. I'll need to order some shimms to correct them. Just glad it's something that innocent.

I've been getting a lot of questions about the Acewell tacho. As soon as the weather starts improving I'll do some filming of all the functions of the Acewell (including how the charge light works on the BMW) and do a write up of it. 

maandag 1 februari 2010

Suzuki update

The weather was appalling AGAIN today. It was either raining, snowing, there was hail or any combination of those. In short: it sucked.

I decided to get The BMW out of the shed to give myself enough room to do at least something.

Coming Saturday I should get a second Suzuki SP370 that I can use as a donor bike and I want the Suzuki to be as finished as possible by then so it shouldn't take too long before I can hear it run. One of the things left to do was find a spot to place the battery. Under the seat would have been easiest, but it would have been in plane sight, so I decided to put it behind the gearbox. That meant I had to make something to hold the battery.

I'm taking the weight watching thing seriously. The bike is incredibly light as it is (I can lift the whole bike by myself) and it's not going to be overpowered. So even though no-one will ever see it (probably) , I did the speed-holes thing again.

And the result:

It's pretty well hidden, something I like. There's a vertical piece behind the battery so the battery can't fall out. I had a lot of trouble welding in this weather, I'll have to finish some welds when the weather improves :(

The weather forecast for tomorrow is even worse....