Sunday, 25 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Somewhere down the line, the original side stand bolt had gone missing and been replaced with a hex headed set screw that had had it's head ground to a countersink and a slot hacksawed in the end of it. That meant that the stand was pivoting on the thread of the screw, which isn't ideal, so I took an 8mm countersunk Allen bolt, and threaded it further up it's shank and cut the threaded portion off to the correct length. With that sorted out, I re-assembled the stand onto the modified bracket and got Ben to hold the bike at the angle I wanted it while I tacked the saddle to the frame. After a couple of goes at finding a position for it, I eventually had the stand positioned so that the motorcycle didn't appear to be in any danger of falling over, and the stand itself stowed away neatly missing the exhaust and gear change.
Many people would feel that was an inordinate amount of trouble to go to over a simple side stand, but I don't agree. Many of those same people would happily go to immense amounts of trouble, and expense, over a paint job. If the motorcycle is prone to committing Hari Kari every time it's left on the stand, how long is that paint job going to remain unmarked? Coming back to the motorcycle and finding that it has not only decided to lie down and have a rest, but also leaked the majority of the fuel that was in the tank all over the tarmac doesn't do much to improve your day either. I may have mentioned that it's not enough for a thing to work, it has to work well.
Something the motorcycle is clearly lacking, is a seat, and since the object of the exercise is to build something that makes the average passer-by think "Oh! Look! A Café Racer!" it needs a bum stop seat. I could just buy one, but there are a couple of snags with that, to whit, my knees and the point.
My knees would prefer it if the seating position was nearer to the standard height, and not the sort of height that an after market bum stop mounted on the seat rails would dictate. The point is that, at heart, this is a styling exercise and slapping some random piece of fiber glass on there doesn't contribute to a cohesive look. Now that it has a stand I can wheel the motorcycle out into the fresh air and stand back far enough from it to make some sort of a decision about what I want the seat to look like.
Because I need the seat height, I might as well stow a gel battery on its side under the seat, in which case, some of the other electrics might as well live there too. Hopefully I can stow the coils under the tank, I'm planning on dumping the standard electro-mechanical regulator and the diode board for the much more compact (and cheap) components from the inside a car alternator and there will probably be some trickery with relays involved. Unless I have some electronics made to do the same job...
And it has to do all that well.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
So, I went shopping instead. I needed some bits and bobs to finish off the rear sets, and chased most of them down on the Internet. I was a little dubious about the left hand thread M6 x 1.0mm stainless steel nuts I bought off of E-Bay arriving in time as it did say "seller usually posts within 5 days", so I stopped off at my local supplier and bought some from them. The Rose joints, two right hand, two left hand thread, were ordered on the Thursday night, and arrived on Saturday, and the left hand M6 x 1.0mm die and die holder were ordered Friday afternoon and showed up on Saturday too. Sadly the other thing that showed up on Saturday, was a hangover.
While that lot won't prevent the rear brake from working, it will mean it doesn't work very well. For a little more effort, it ought to be possible to have a rear brake that performs very much like the factory one. My rear set levers have a ratio of 3:1, so I cut the original brake pedal up and welded a piece of 1"x 1/4" strap to it to turn it into a 1.66:1 idler for the brake mechanism. 3 times 1.66 comes to 4.98, and that's pretty close to the original 5.
As well as sorting out the pedal ratio, this also puts the brake rod in the original position where it's pivot is much closer to the swinging arms and the whole geometry of the set up is a lot happier and the rear brake set up now uses the original pedal stop. I might add that while the maths was getting more complicated, the hangover wasn't getting any better...
As you can imagine then it came as something of a relief to go back to making the link rod from the rear sets to the idler. Somewhere in the week, I did find the time to make the ends for the pedals, but apparently I didn't find time to swap the zinc plated Phillips screw holding the two sections of the pedal together for a stainless, button headed Allen bolt. I think it's fair to say that the finished thing looks quite a lot like a real one, though for the reasons I explained, they're going to work better than some of the off the shelf "real" ones you see.
Clearly, the original "bolt-on" concept I had for this project is long dead, but I'd like to think that the reasons for that aren't entirely due to my reluctance to part with money. If I feel I can make something that works and/or looks better, then I'd rather make it myself than buy it. That's not because of some misguided idea that you have to make it all yourself, it's simply because I know what I want, and I'm not compromising that by buying something that's only nearly what I want. The other part of the equation, which may come as surprise to people who watch a lot of Discovery Channel, is that it's better to hit some notional target of right, than it is to have it done in some notional period of time.