Sunday, 20 June 2010

I mentioned something about making a more elaborate bracket for the fork brace I'd made in the previous post. In theory, I should have been a bit too busy to manage that, but I managed to combine what I was busy with and making the brackets for the fork brace under the same umbrella.

Aside from the lack of paint, I think it bears more than a passing resemblance to a real one. That's not really a surprise as making motorcycle accessories of this type was my day job for a while, and I've had a bit of practice at it.

By now, my original idea of unbolting some stuff, bolting some other stuff on, and having a Café Racer, has mutated somewhat. While the fork brace does indeed bolt on, the original idea would perhaps have been more accurately expressed as "buying some other stuff and bolting it on". In a completely predictable turn of events, that has become "making some other stuff and bolting it on".

I always planned to make the exhaust myself, and while the "nest of snakes" idea wasn't viable with the radius of bends that I can make in 1 1/2" tube, I wasn't so wedded to the idea that I was prepared to sit down and make one by welding mandrel bends together. By the time I'd repositioned the engine (...bolt some stuff on. Ha!) and broken off the threaded exhaust collar on one of the heads, there wasn't a lot of option other than to make one anyway.

Now that I've made a tail pipe and a silencer for the system, I'm reasonably happy with the way it looks, so it's staying for now. I made the silencer from some 3" tube and some hand rolled cones. It has a perforated tube running thought it and that in turn has a washer welded in it's bore which causes some of the gas to be diverted through the perforated tube into the body of the silencer and then back into the tube after the washer. I've made some similar ones in the past and they seem to offer a reasonable compromise between offensively loud, and stupidly quiet, and given that you don't need to burn that much fuel (and hence make that much exhaust gas) to produce the heady 40 whatever HP the R65 manages, I imagine it will work satisfactorily.

I got some exhaust springs from Meredith Motocross so I just need to weld some small wire hoops to the front pipes and drill the fins for those. I'm thinking about seeing if I can get the exhaust aluminium metal sprayed before I paint it black, since it seems to me that heat proof paint sticks better to aluminium than it does to steel.

I've also made a start on the rear sets, and once again I'm making them rather than buying them. Not because any that I bought wouldn't fit my preconceptions, and not because something else I've done would stop off the shelf ones from fitting either. No, this time the reason is simply that I quite like buggering about on the lathe. The adjacent photograph is the sort of thing I've got in mind for the footrests, though I didn't want them to look quite that chunky, on the other hand, I don't want them collapsing in use. I also want to use something other than a bend at the end of the linkages to locate them, not only for the look of the thing, but to provide a little adjustment too.

Strangely, I began this post with the feeling that I'd made quite a lot of progress, it certainly felt like quite a lot of work, but weighing it up now, it doesn't look like very much headway. I think that's because I can't point at anything on the motorcycle (with the exception of the engine mounts) and say "That's finished". The exhaust needs the spring loops fitting, I've got one, potential, footrest for the rear sets, the tank needs mounts making for it, the fork brace need brackets for the, as yet non existant, front mudguard and the subframe (which has been granted a reprieve) still needs some work. I'll make an effort to get something finished and see how I feel about the amount of progress then.

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