zondag 28 maart 2010

tuned it to the right melody

I really didn't have time for the bikes last week, though I did use the Beemer to get somewhere faster (the other options are public transport, which I loath, or cycling) . Did find half an hour to fine tune the BMW. It really is running brilliantly now.

maandag 22 maart 2010

Good old times

Found a guy who digitalized a few of his seventies smal film films. They are video's of motorcycle holidays to Spain, France and Switzerland. One video is of the TT races in Assen and not just the races, but also the whole happening around the circuit and town. Absolutely fantastic footage, enjoy!!

The music (singing) is mostly done by his daughter!

zaterdag 20 maart 2010

Virago update

We've been working on the virago again. As always when nearing the end of a build: a lot of work for very little visible result. The obvious things: Placed a speedo (of the SP370) and made a throttle cable + brackets. Also tried to start it, but the starter wouldn't turn over. So we spend almost the whole night looking for the problem and stripping the engine to get to the starter motor. It looks like we have a strange problem with the starter relais (it's clicking, but there's no power going to the starter). I hope we can solve that soon.....

dinsdag 16 maart 2010

It's worth doing things properly

Last week I received the needed shimms to get rid of the axial play of the rocker arms. Also took my time checking the valve play. I'll let the exhaust do the talking:

zaterdag 13 maart 2010

It was supossed to be dry today

But of course it wasn't. And of course I found out while already riding. Could have been worse though.

woensdag 10 maart 2010

Been riding

Took the Suzuki for a 10 - 15 km test ride today. She ran really well, but I'm still a bit unsure about how healthy the engine is. I reinstalled the old shocks again instead of the air filled ones I've been using lately. These ones don't look as good, but they improved the handling dramatically. The handling now finally is what I want it to be.

If you look carefully at this pic you can see the silencer I made for in the exhaust. It works, the bike is quieter, but it's still not quiet enough. I'll tackle that later, I first want to be sure the engine is fine.

The other thing you can see is a rev counter. I've been looking for a smaller, cable driven, one for months now, but I just can't find any. So I used the original one and the bracket I had already made for it previously during the build. It doesn't look to bad in combination with this headlight and it has a neutral light which makes my live a lot easier.

dinsdag 9 maart 2010

It's all about timing

At least today it was. The weather was perfect. Sunny all day and pretty warm. Very pleasant to be outside, working on the SP. Wanted to set the timing on the Suzuki. It need to be able to idle to do that. Took some time before I had it all warmed up and all the settings were right. Things became a bit more complicated when I realized my strobe light was 12V only (the SP is 6V). So I took the BMW outside and used it's battery.

All went pretty well. After some minor changes to the SP (raised the front, put a bit more oil in the forks, moved the side stand, did some tweeking on the rear sets, put some more air in the tires, oiled the chain, that kind of stuff) it was time for some more testing.

As always: good news and bad news. the good news is that the handling has improved a lot. The engine is also running pretty good. Compression has increased (I'll need a longer kickstarter).

The bad news is at 13 seconds in:

I was hoping the smoke was caused by the exhaust still being wet from the oil from before the gasket change. That theory was supported by a black, but dry, spark plug. But after twenty minutes of riding or so it was still smoking just as much and I don't think it's a good sign  when it smokes when I close the throttle. 

To be continued...

maandag 8 maart 2010

Too much time on my hands?

It might seem that I have... It a choice. My study is going to be really demanding in a few months, so I'm taking it easy at the moment. And working on bikes is my way of taking things easy :).

So, today: The carter/oil breather on the BMW has annoyed me for some time now. I was using a improvised cheap filter for that, but it just didn't look right to me and got the top engine cover a bit greasy. The original set up on the BMW was a tube straight into the airbox. Since I don't have an airbox anymore, but velocity stacks instead I put them there. I put a bolt in the drill, used a file to get it partially smooth and drilled a hole trhough the bolt an in the velocity stacks:

All looks really good on the bike. Next time I'll go riding I'll take a pic (It was too dark in the shed for a pic).

The second thing I did was replace the head gasket on the Suzuki. For me that is a hard job. I'm not a skilled mechanic, before the timing chain job on the BMW I've never worked on engines and I'm impatient by nature (that's actually officially been diagnosed). So trying to keep focused and not start rushing things for as long as it takes (me) to replace a headgasket was quite an ordeal. But I did very well (proud to say). It looks to me (not a skilled mechanic, remember) as if the old head gasket's been leaking (lower right corner of the pic):

It was all a bit too clean inside...

I guess that'll be caused by all the oil in the combustion chamber? Anyway: I had very little time for a testride. It's still smoking a lot (but that might be because the exhaust is really oily inside? (it is..), time will tell I guess?), but there's no oil leak near the gasket anymore (at least there's no oil visible on the cooling ribs like with the old gasket) and the compression has increased quite a bit (which is a problem, it's pretty hard now to kick it with the short kickstarter. I manage, but I don't think girlfriend can). More testing tomorrow (if the weather's fine).

zondag 7 maart 2010

As promised: the Acewell tacho.

I promised a couple of people to show the functions of the Acewell 2853 on the BMW caferacer, so here it is. I'm sorry for the blurriness, I apparently should have filmed from a bit further away. I'll keep that in mind for next time... But I guess you'll get the idea.

Besides the shown functions the indicator lights for the indicators and oil pressure also work. I hooked up the BMW charge light to the red triangle led. (no need for resistances or light bulbs when your charging system is healthy. Just start riding like any other bike and once the engine is warm rev it up/accelerate to over 5000 rpm (roughly) and the light goes off. It'll stay off too so the battery is charged). As you can see the neutral light is not working, that is because BMW uses really crappy neutral switches and mine's broken. 

I had a great time riding the BMW again. It's a lot more bike than the SP. I noticed that a winter in a not-very-dry shed took a toll, so I'll have some work to do (some rust on the headlight and exhaust). I tried to remove the axial play on the rockerarms before the ride, but I think it was too cold because there was already less play on the arms when I started with the job than last time I checked.

And sure enough: it started making the ticking sounds again. So I'll have to do that again when it's warmer (or park the bike in the living room for a while). Also replaced the worn gas needles. That made a big difference, the bike's running better mid range.

Took it for a spin trough the Dutch polders. This is one of the windmills they used in the past to keep the polders dry (they're 2 meters below sea level)

Only rode for about an hour. Way too cold and even a too expensive cup of coffee halfways couldn't get me warm again.

But no further complaints. It really was awesome to ride the BMW again. The sound, the acceleration, the handling... A very thrilling way to pass the first sunny day of the year.

If anybody is looking for me....

... I'm out riding! The weather is incredible (incredibly sunny and incredibly cold). So I did something about the axial play on the rockerarms and gave it a quick wash. Time to ride!

zaterdag 6 maart 2010

New headlight

Been to a swapmarket today. I found a ton of usable stuff (lot's of screws, bolts, balljoints, lightbulbs, that kind of stuff) and a new headlight. Why a new one? I like the other one too much.The bike's been sitting in the living room all this time, but after it's finished it'll go outside and that would be a waste of that headlight. Found a really cheap (but nice looking) new one. Also had the bike insured today, so after mounting the headlight (and linking up the rear brake + cleaning the front brake) I could finally take it for a longer ride.

So what's it like? Let's just say I still have some work to do. The engine is still leaking oil on top, I thought I'd fixed that, but I'm obviously wrong. It's also misfiring, but very irregular (it might run fine fore minutes and than misfire a few times and even stall when running idle) and somehow there's oil getting inside the cylinder. So my first diagnosis of a damaged head gasket might be the right one anyway.

The other thing is the ride. Not sure if it's the tires or the stance of the bike (probably the latter), but it's unstable when cornering 'at speed'. The brakes work fine now though. Turned out the front break was a bit greasy and this is the first time I rode with a hooked up rear brake (which works really good).

dinsdag 2 maart 2010

testride part deux

Finally found a tank yesterday and today was a very nice day to fit that tank. It's the first time in months that I've seen direct sunlight and: No snow!

I know I previously posted that the head gasket was a goner. Well, I'm not a very good mechanic (obviously) because the head gasket is fine. The leaky tank (the old one) + a leaky exhasut (didn't bold it on tight enough) + a loose sparkplug cap had lead me to the wrong conclussions. Just glad I don't have to open it up. Also traced the oil leak back to a damaged O ring, that was a 2minute fix and thus not as horrible as my doom scenario of having to open the side of the engine.

Anyway: I've done some work on the wiring loom, mainly by installing a brakesensor. Cleaned it all up a bit, installed the tank and it was time for a testride:

The acceleration is fantastic, the handling much better than expected (keep in mind that the bike is on knobby tires). The exhaust sounds incredible (incredibly cool and incredibly LOUD, I'll have to do something about that last thing)

short clip for the sound:

It was only a short ride. I'm not sure the insurance is all a done deal yet and I found a new oil leak where the RPM cable should have been connected to the engine. Turned out there was a part missing inside the head, but that was also an easy fix with a part of one of the spare engines.