nr's blog

Loomy Sunday 3 March, 2019

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 9:06 pm

Yeah, I told you that you’ve love the title of this one… Anyway, very quick update,  I’ve been working on the loom today.

Before:

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After:

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It will, of course, be wrapped up again. I have some lovely Tesa cloth loom tape to do that job. I have no time at all for people who wrap looms up in insulating tape – it just leaves a horribly sticky mess for the next poor owner to sort out, doesn’t work that well, and is probably more expensive than proper loom tape anyway. I understand why people do it – it’s like why most households have a paint covered screwdriver. You need something to lever the lid off the pot, and when that’s done you need something to stir the paint with, and, well, hey, look what I’ve got in my hand! It’s perfect for the job. It’s the same with wrapping looms. You do all the hard work making the connections, need to wrap it up again, and well, hey, look at what’s next to me on the bench, a roll of insulating tape…

And while we’re talking about the right tool for the job, I picked up a pair of Stanley Fatmax wire strippers to help with this work. Money very well spent – highly recommended to anyone about to embark on their own wiring odyssey.

I’ll leave it here for now. There is other exciting stuff to talk about, but really, I only wanted to write this today to use that title. Sorry.

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Beat The Clock 28 February, 2019

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 1:14 pm

When I picked up the SV, it was immediately apparent that the clocks needed a lot of sorting out. Well, it was immediately apparent that pretty much everything needed a lot of sorting out, but the clocks in particular, as they fell off when I wheeled the bike out of the van. The back of the housing was smashed, there was a large grommet missing which exposed the circuit board to the outside world, three of the four mounting lugs had been hacked off, and the loom appeared to be about a metre too long.

20190112_142622

I didn’t worry too much about this initially, as there was no guarantee that the moribund piece of wreckage would ever need the services of a tacho, never mind a speedo.

But, time moved on, and as detailed further down in the blog, the bike has now got to a point where it runs, and I needed to consider the electrics. In order to do that, I needed to mount things like the clocks and CDI, which is how we ended up here. The first thing to sort out really was whether to stick with the standard clockset, or put on something aftermarket. The advantage with going for aftermarket stuff is that you can drive the speedo from a GPS signal, so no need for a speedo drive from the front wheel. Also, there’s about 20 years of development, so a modern clockset will look nicer for sure, and probably be more accurate. However, pragmatism overcame artistic vision in this particular case. I decided to stick with the stock set (at least for now) as I’ll be doing a lot of hacking around in the loom later on, and if anything doesn’t work, I’ll know that it’s down to my loom bodgery more than an incompatibility between the bike and the clocks. Also, a set of clocks with smashed glass but good internals and backplate came up on eBay for a tenner, so it was a simple matter to combine the good bits of both sets into one good set. Besides, the stock clocks don’t look too bad anyway, and my personal preference is for analogue speedo and tacho rather than digital. All in all, it wasn’t a tough choice.

Having decided what to mount, I now needed to mount it in the right place. In order to do this, I started by replacing the frame. Yes, really… I think I probably mentioned this before, but one of the previous owners of the bike had hacked off one of the mounting lugs from the headstock. This is such a monumentally idiotic thing to do that I just can’t for the life of me work out what the thought process was that went into that decision. Maybe they just got a new angle grinder and were wondering what to do with it. Anyway – a very nice second-hand frame was picked up, registered in my name, and the bike was built up into the donor frame. The old frame was sold on eBay for 99p, collection only. And now, six weeks later, it’s still sitting in my shed waiting for the buyer to come and collect it. But anyway, I digress. Now that I had a frame with the right mounting points, I needed something to join them to the clocks. This was actually made pretty easy, as the company that makes the bodywork I want (more on that later too) also make an SV650 specific clock mount to suit the bodywork. An order was placed with the help from my friend Michael, and I got a mail in return saying that it would take about two weeks to fabricate. I also got a bill for the (very) thick end of 100 quid. Did I mention that it came from France? Hence the requirement for a French speaking friend, and the large bill courtesy of shipping and the current ruinous exchange rate. However, the order was placed, and I sat back and waited. Sure enough, about three weeks later, a large box turned up with the clock mount/fairing stay. First impressions weren’t that good really – the welding wasn’t the best I’ve seen, and the mounting holes were badly aligned.

20190226_145205

Rather than send it all back again, it was an easy enough task to clean it up. Besides, I quite like an excuse to get the Dremel out and make lots of noise and sparks. The frame also needed a little attention from the angle grinder to get things to fit nicely, but nothing to write home about really. Once I’d cleaned up the welds and spatter with the Dremel I gave the whole thing a good scrub with a Scotchbrite pad, cleaned it again with acetone, and then stuck a couple of coats of etch primer and satin black to stop any rust forming, and this is where we are now:

20190228_114231

I’m rather pleased with that. The mount will no doubt need to be knocked around a bit to fit the bodywork, so that finish is only temporary. It’ll get a proper coat of paint when the time comes. But it’s good enough for me now to finalise the position of the clocks, so work can begin on the loom. But that’s for another time and blog post. You’ll love the title for that one… One thing that I wasn’t really expecting was the necessity to drop the clipons by 40mm to clear the fairing stays. The seat was thrown on temporarily to check the seating position, and it’s safe to say that this bike will never be a great long-distance tourer unless you have the build of an orangutan with an extendable neck. I don’t, so I suspect this bike will be used mainly for the odd Sunday hack with a few trackdays thrown in for good measure. It’s definitely going to be road legal though – I’m not going to make a trackday only bike.

So, what next? Well, as mentioned, I can start getting stuck into the loom now – I have all the connectors, crimps, loom tape etc. etc. that I need. I can at least work on the front end, and finalise the connectors to the clocks and controls. Also, it’s time to order the bodywork. I’ve agonised long and hard over this, as it will be by some way the most expensive aspect of this build. But, for every other bike I’ve restored, I’ve always skimped on cosmetics. Function over form, every time. This time, however, I’d like to make something that doesn’t look like I’ve just recovered it from a scrappy and crashed it three times on the way home. So, a nice set of very expensive bodywork will be ordered in the next day or two. Gulp. Hope I don’t louse it up with the paintwork.

 

Intermission 25 February, 2019

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 1:25 pm

As mentioned last time out, a small spanner had been thrown in the works of the rebuild progress – I had tried running the engine up to temperature, and been rewarded with a smoky exhaust and water in the oil. I wasn’t overly despondent about this really, as it’s all part and parcel of rebuilding crap old bikes. These things just happen. There were a few options I could take, and one of the tempting ones was just to take the moribund heap of shite outside and set fire to it. I’ve been a bit grumpy of late.

However, once I’d got over the shock of the spares prices (and I mean that in a nice way) it was really a no-brainer to drop the motor out and fit new head and base gaskets. While I was in there I’d also give everything a thorough clean-up and fit new valve stem seals. The engine dropped out easily enough (as it should do – I’ve had enough practise now) and one of the nice things about working on a little V-twin is that I can pick the thing up and just plop it onto the workbench. If I tried that with a GSX1100, I’d end up with a hernia and a big pile of splinters where the bench used to be.

First thing to strip was the front cylinder, and other than needing to buy a new 12mm socket to remove the head studs (they’re quite deeply recessed, so a deep thin walled socket makes this task a lot easier), everything came apart quickly and easily, to reveal quite a buildup of carbon on the piston crown and combustion chamber.

20190212_101538

This picture shows the piston half-cleaned. I didn’t get a picture of the combustion chamber, but it was in a similar condition. Cleaning it up was easy enough with a small wooden stick to get the worst of the gunge off, then a good clean up with some contact cleaner, and finally a soft mop in the Dremel tool. Easy enough. Pulling the barrel revealed that the rings were largely OK, but the top one was pretty sticky in its groove. Again, a good cleanup got everything moving nicely before a new base gasket was plopped in and the barrel refitted. I’d been warned that this could be tricky without a decent piston ring compressor, but in the end it was easy enough just to squeeze the rings with one hand while juggling the barrel back on with the other. While I was faffing with the barrel I also replaced the exhaust studs with some nice stainless ones, just to make life easier in future. The valves were popped out of the head with a valve spring compressor, and again everything was given a really good clean with cloths, contact cleaner, and the Dremel. I also got one of those little chimney-brush style whizzy wire things in the Dremel to get some more stubborn carbon deposits out of the exhaust ports. The valve seats all looks good – no real pitting to speak of, so I just cleaned it all up, popped new stem seals and head gasket in there, and put it all back together. I also replaced the gasket for the cam chain tensioner while I was in there – at about £1.50 it was pointless not to really. With all that done, the head went back together, everything was torqued down to the proper settings (as opposed to the 12000Nm that the head bolts were originally tightened down to), the cams were timed, and the motor was span over by hand to check there was no unexpected piston/valve shenanigans going on. There wasn’t, so I moved onto the rear cylinder.

This was really a repeat of the front cylinder. No surprises during the stripdown, but there was a lot of oil in the inlet tract, so I suspect that was where the bulk of the smoke was coming from. Again, new gaskets, and a jolly good clean, and everything was ready for reassembly. Timing the cams was again a simple job, so I span the motor over by hand, and, it jammed solid… Eh? I checked and double checked the timing marks, and everything looked fine. Just to be on the safe side I popped all four cams out, and started again. And again, the front cylinder was just tickety-boo, but as soon as I fitted the rear cams, everything bound up when the inlet cam was opening the valve. In an effort to see what the piston was doing at this point, I put a stick in the spark plug hole while I turned the motor, and noticed that the piston was nowhere near TDC – so it wasn’t the descending valve meeting the ascending piston that was causing the binding. Nothing for it, but to strip the lot and have a good look around. It was immediately apparent what the problem was – somehow I’d managed to put two spring seats under one valve spring – which was causing it to go coilbound under compression. I’ve no idea how this happened, as I was pretty meticulous in keeping all the bits separated and identified as not to get them confused. Anyway, with that problem fixed, it all went back together for the last (hopefully) time, and this time, all turned over perfectly. As a last check before buttoning up the cam covers I measured the valve clearances, and all were perfectly within spec.

To quote the sadly lamented Mr. Haynes, reassembly was the reverse of removal, so the engine went back in the frame easily enough, and once more fuel, exhaust and electrics were thrown back together. With fingers firmly crossed I hit the starter button and after a few seconds turning over, it fired up, and although still slightly smoky (which I think was down to the oil that I put in the bores when reassembling things) it was running cleanly, and more importantly, there’s no obvious signs of water in the oil this time.

So, I think we’re back on track, despite this small deviation from the plan. The clock mount is on the way from France now (I had confirmation of shipping a couple of days back), and I just ordered up a bunch of connectors, wire and loom tape to make the necessary changes to the loom to mount the clocks – more of that in a future exciting installment no doubt. I enjoy wiring, and am looking forward to getting stuck into this.

 

Running total

  • Bike: £250
  • Starter solenoid: £11
  • Resistors: £1 (for 20)
  • Frame, yokes, swingarm: £11.50
  • Fork lower (bent): £15 (wasted)
  • Scrap forks for spares: £22
  • Air filter: £0
  • GSX-R shock: £0
  • V5: £25
  • Fork seals: £12
  • Tie-rods: £0
  • Rear brake hose: £0
  • Various carb screws: £0
  • Assorted allen headed fasteners: £4
  • Front wheel spindle: £10
  • Fork oil: £11
  • Alternator cover gasket: £3 (yes, really. Genuine Suzuki gasket for three quid).
  • CR8E spark plugs: £0 (found an old pair of CR9E in the garage. These will do for now).
  • Oil filter: £6
  • Sold fork leg: -£17
  • Clocks: £10
  • Sold frame: £-1 🙂
  • 41mm Clipons: £0
  • Oil: £0 (taken from spare)
  • Exhaust gaskets: £0 (had them for the TRX rebuild)
  • Exhaust studs (42 x 8mm): £6
  • Rear caliper, footrest, m/cyl: £28 (bit of a risk)
  • Disk bolts: £0 (bodged with stuff found in the garage)
  • Clock & top fairing mount: £97. Faaark. Exchange rate disaster.
  • Clutch pushrod seal: £5
  • Sold ZXR750 bodywork: £-38
  • Head and base gaskets: £40
  • Valve oil seals and camchain tensioner gaskets: £20
  • Connectors, cables, loom tape: £80

(Note – not included delivery charges where I’ve bought stuff online, as I’d have paid petrol money to go and pick stuff up anyway).

 

Shopping list

  • Battery
  • Clutch actuator
  • Brake pads
  • Brake hoses
  • Brake rebuild kit
  • Brake fluid
  • Exhaust clamps
  • Chain
  • Sprockets
  • Switchgear
  • Clutch lever
  • Brake lever
  • Tyres
  • Bodywork
  • Paint
  • Number plate
  • Plugs for bar ends

That shopping list is getting a lot shorter now, but sadly, the most expensive bits are still on there – bodywork, tyres chain and sprockets etc.

 

New Dawn Fades 11 February, 2019

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 10:24 am

Over the past couple of weeks project SV650 had made some good progress, and generally speaking I was feeling good and confident. I had a plan, a shopping list, and a head full of ideas. Top of the list was still the wiring, and fortuitously I had the chance to spend a couple of hours up at Rupe’s Rewires the other day. This was brilliant, as I picked up a couple of little tricks that I could use on the SV when tidying up the loom. And more to the point, chatting with Rupe was a marvellous way to spend an hour – he’s a genuinely lovely chap, with a real passion for his work – if you have any electrical gubbins that needs doing on a bike, I’d highly recommend dropping him a line. Anyway, as previously mentioned, I need to locate the components before I can modify the loom, so that means things like the clock mount and subframe need to go on – I was feeling so good that I even put my hand in my pocket to order the clock mount to be built. I’d also managed to blag Sol’s old footpegs from his gorgeous Katana, and they fitted the SV first time. They’re lovely. In fact, they’re so nice that I may well transfer them to the TRX, as that’s my daily ride to work.

Last thing to do really was just a quick run up to temperature. An oil leak from the alternator side of the engine had been found where one of the previous owners had been a catastrophic pillock, and I’d attempted to make at least a temporary fix and at the same time I replaced the clutch pushrod seal. And this time, I was confident enough that I didn’t even bother jump starting it from a running car – I just took the battery out of my TRX, and fitted it. A splash of fuel, some fresh oil, and this time, I remembered to check the coolant drain plug was more than finger tight. I bolted the recently polished exhaust on, and it fitted perfectly, first time. A bit of choke, and within about 4 seconds of pushing the starter button, it was burbling away beautifully, sitting at about 2000rpm, sounding lovely. There was no coolant or oil dripping anywhere, and all was very well in my pink and fluffy world.

After a couple of minutes I knocked the choke off, and gave it a little tweak on the throttle. hmmmm… was that a puff of oily smoke out the back? Well, yes, quite possibly, as the bike *has* sat for a long time. So I did it again. And this time, there definitely was a big puff of smoke, and the acrid smell of burned oil. Still, things sounded OK, so I thought it would be safe just to run it a bit longer to see what happened. And sure enough, every time I gave it a few revs, at anything other than minuscule throttle openings, there was definitely oil being burned. Despondently, I shut down the engine, and went to check the oil level. In my heart, I already knew what I’d find:

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Although it’s not showing that well in the picture (but doesn’t that exhaust look shiny and lovely?) that’s water in the oil. So, that’s probably a head gasket gone, or one of the infamous SV650 freeze plugs gone walkabout. And the amount of oily smoke in the exhaust has me worried about the valve stem seals, and possibly the piston rings. I’m cautiously hopeful on this front though, as the engine sounded solid and quiet when it was ticking over with no obvious piston clatter. While I can service the top ends with the engine in the frame, it’s going to be a lot easier to drop it out again. And that’s where we are really. Progress has been put on hold while I sort out mechanical gremlins, and the engine will shortly be on my bench with the top ends off. I was initially worried about the potential costs of this – but seeing as I just ordered both head and base gaskets for 40 quid, this could well be the cheapest bike to work on I’ve yet found. Heck, those valve stem seals I mentioned? £1.50 each.

While this is a bit of a setback in the schedule, I’m not unduly upset. Really, I was surprised that it ran so well in the first place given the horrors inflicted on it by previous owners. And anyway, I like messing around with engines. What it does mean though, is that it’s now unlikely to be ready for the summer. I dunno. If the engine carnage isn’t too great, and I get my skates on, it may all be back together before that clock mount arrives from France.

 

Running total

  • Bike: £250
  • Starter solenoid: £11
  • Resistors: £1 (for 20)
  • Frame, yokes, swingarm: £11.50
  • Fork lower (bent): £15 (wasted)
  • Scrap forks for spares: £22
  • Air filter: £0
  • GSX-R shock: £0
  • V5: £25
  • Fork seals: £12
  • Tie-rods: £0
  • Rear brake hose: £0
  • Various carb screws: £0
  • Assorted allen headed fasteners: £4
  • Front wheel spindle: £10
  • Fork oil: £11
  • Alternator cover gasket: £3 (yes, really. Genuine Suzuki gasket for three quid).
  • CR8E spark plugs: £0 (found an old pair of CR9E in the garage. These will do for now).
  • Oil filter: £6
  • Sold fork leg: -£17
  • Clocks: £10
  • Sold frame: £-1 🙂
  • 41mm Clipons: £0
  • Oil: £0 (taken from spare)
  • Exhaust gaskets: £0 (had them for the TRX rebuild)
  • Exhaust studs (42 x 8mm): £6
  • Rear caliper, footrest, m/cyl: £28 (bit of a risk)
  • Disk bolts: £0 (bodged with stuff found in the garage. It’s only brakes.)
  • Clock & top fairing mount: £97. Faaark. Exchange rate disaster.
  • Clutch pushrod seal: £5
  • Sold ZXR750 bodywork: £-38
  • Head and base gaskets: £40 (That’s ridonkulously cheap)

(Note – not included delivery charges where I’ve bought stuff online, as I’d have paid petrol money to go and pick stuff up anyway).

 

Shopping list

  • Battery
  • Carb heater (optional)
  • Choke cable (optional)
  • Clutch actuator
  • Brake pads
  • Brake hoses
  • Brake rebuild kit
  • Brake fluid
  • Exhaust clamps
  • Chain
  • Sprockets
  • Switchgear
  • Clutch lever
  • Brake lever
  • Tyres
  • Bodywork
  • Paint
  • Number plate
  • Plugs for bar ends
  • Valve stem seals
  • Various connectors and cables for loom

 

 

 

Dazzle! 24 January, 2019

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 7:46 pm

Very quick one this evening. I’m normally pretty sceptical about miracle treatments, but compare and contrast. Before:

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After:

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That was about five minutes of effort, with no harsh abrasives. I was thinking that the pipes were going to be on the edge of recovery, but I now reckon that another 15 minutes of elbow grease will have them looking a whole lot better than they did before.

The miracle treatment is nothing more than a bottle of Harpic 10x. I’ve heard a few people recently say that this stuff is good for everything from rust to limescale to reversing the effects of global climate change. I’m a lot more inclined to believe these claims now.

 

 

All the Small Things 21 January, 2019

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 10:49 am

Time for a kind of interim update on Project SV650. As we left things, the bike was back up on its wheels, with the suspension sorted out, and engine back in the frame. Since then, a lot of little bits have happened, while I’ve been deciding what to do next. The good news is that I think I have a plan of action. I got all agile, had a scrum with myself, and have had several really good stand-ups. And, I’m just about to start sprinting, which I’m sure you’ll agree is not dignified for a man of my age.

First up then, the plan: I want to finalise the electrics. I know they work (more on that in a moment). However, I need to shorten the loom in a couple of places to suit the new locations of the components. This won’t present a problem, as I can get the connectors online, to cut off and remake the loom properly, rather than bodge it with Halfords bullet connectors. (If it was just a wire or two, that’s probably what I’d do – but, I need to relocate the CDI, and that has an 18 pin connector. Bodging 18 wires with bullet connectors just isn’t a valid option). What is a bit of a problem though, is that I don’t know exactly where these components are going yet. For that, I’ll need to build the new subframe and clock mount, so I can finalise the location. However, I can’t do *that* until I’ve got the new bodywork, so I can make these to suit. So, the next major course of action becomes bodywork and mounting, so I can work back from there to sort out the electrics.

At this point, I’m starting to understand why, if something this simple can become so convoluted and involved, Project Binky is taking so bloody long.

While it seems then, that I’ve been procrastinating over the bodywork for the past month, well, yes. Yes, I have. Lots of weapons-grade procrastination, accompanied by a suitable amount of tea. But I’ve also been getting on with other stuff, some of which will need to be undone again and done properly, but that’s all part of the fun. So, in no particular order:

Clocks: I’ve been pondering a while what to do here, as I’ll need to make up a new mounting point for the clocks anyway, and I’m monkeying with the loom. For the time being, I’ve decided to stick with the stock clockset – they’re clear and easy to read, and importantly, if I’m bodging the loom and something stops working, I know that it’s something I’ve done in the loom, rather than a problem with the clocks themselves. The clocks that I had worked OK, but in keeping with the rest of the bike had been comprehensively bodged. The backplate had lost the grommets preventing water ingress, had three of the four mounting points hacked off, and been (badly) plastic welded at some point. I resigned myself to having to un-bodge this lot somehow, when a set of clocks with smashed lenses but a good backplate and internals came up on eBay for a tenner. I smashed the Buy-It-Now button as quickly as I could. A parts-swapping frenzy ensued when they arrived, as I stripped both sets and bolted all the good bits together, and now I have a nice set of clocks which all seem to work perfectly, for a tenner. As an added bonus, the bodywork that I think I’ve chosen comes with a front mount that includes mounting points for the standard clocks anyway. So that kills two birds with one stone, as I can order the mount, get the clocks fixed on, and then sort out the front end of the loom. Nice.

Exhaust: I really didn’t want to get into this yet, as there’s still a few odds and sods that I need to sort out before I can really go anywhere with it. the main problem is that it needs welding up on the mid section, where it joins the front downpipe. I don’t have a TIG welder (or the skills to use it) so it’ll be going off to Cambridge Motorcycles for the marvellous Spike to apply the necessary genius. But, I did want to check that it at least fitted properly before I went too far down this route. And, I’m pleased to say, that it does. Obviously, it all needs to come off again to be cleaned up, and I need to fit some new studs into the front head (it’s just bodged in with a couple of bolts of the right size for now), and new clamps all around, and eventually a new can. But that’s all detail work that I can get to in due course (I need to have a word with my Scrum Master to line this up in a future sprint, no doubt). For now, the pipes are good, they fit, and with a little bit of welding and a lot of elbow grease, they’ll be fine for a few more years.

Loom: OK, I know I said I had yet to work on this. But I at least wanted to make sure that what I had worked, before I started hacking it around. And yes, it does. I needed to do some immediate de-bodgery (like the neutral indicator light connector being in about five pieces) but I can now stuff 12V into the bike, all the circuits that I’ve tested light up at the right time, and no smoke was forthcoming.

Cooling: Not much to report here, other than bolting the radiator back on, and connecting up the various hoses and leads. Applying 12V in the right place had the fan running (backwards, due to my electrical ineptitude), so that appears to have survived the previous owners attentions. I filled it up with coolant, and although not pressurised, there were no leaks from anywhere, which is promising.

Fuel system: Yeah, the carbs. If you have a look here, you’ll see what I had to contend with. At that point, all I could do really was to prove that they were at least capable of passing some fuel, but not to check anything else. However, I wanted to check the fuel system all the way through this time, so with the aid of some new fuel hoses, I connected up the carbs (including choke cable this time), air filter, tank, and various vacuum hoses. And after throwing some unleaded in there, and standing back for a few minutes nothing was leaking.

No doubt you’re ahead of me here. I now had an exhaust, working electrics, cooling, and fuel system. So I did the only decent thing, and pressed the start button. There was a lot of churning and a couple of pops, but it’s nice to report that it runs. Properly runs, and after a minute of two, I could knock the choke off, and it sits nicely at idle, so I guess the carbs aren’t too bad. It’s not all sunshine and flowers though. There was quite a large coolant leak, and a small oil leak. The coolant leak seems to have been because the drain plug was only finger tight (pillock), while the oil leak was from the alternator cover gasket. I’ve already replaced this, so I whipped it off again, cleaned up both mating surfaces once more, and re-installed it. We’ll see if that’s fixed it next time it gets run. That will have to wait though, as we go back to the first paragraph – before it runs again I want to properly sort the electrics, and for that to happen, well, it all starts with the bodywork.

Here’s where we are now. The tank and mudguard are up for sale if anyone is interested in preserving some genuine 1980s custom paintwork. Otherwise they’re getting resprayed. Oh, and also, thanks to the lovely Sol of GSX-R1100 Katana fame, I have some new footpegs too. Super.

20190113_124349

 

Running total

  • Bike: £250
  • Starter solenoid: £11
  • Resistors: £1 (for 20)
  • Frame, yokes, swingarm: £11.50
  • Fork lower (bent): £15 (wasted)
  • Scrap forks for spares: £22
  • Air filter: £0
  • GSX-R shock: £0
  • V5: £25
  • Fork seals: £12
  • Tie-rods: £0
  • Rear brake hose: £0
  • Various carb screws: £0
  • Assorted allen headed fasteners: £3.50
  • Front wheel spindle: £10
  • Fork oil: £11.25
  • Alternator cover gasket: £3 (yes, really. Genuine Suzuki gasket for three quid).
  • CR8E spark plugs: £0 (found an old pair of CR9E in the garage. These will do for now).
  • Oil filter: £6.50
  • Sold fork leg: -£17
  • Clocks: £10
  • Sold frame: £-1 🙂
  • 41mm Clipons: £0
  • Oil: £0 (taken from spare – otherwise, say, £20 for semi-synth 10W-40)
  • Exhaust gaskets: £0 (had them for the TRX rebuild)

(Note – not included delivery charges where I’ve bought stuff online, as I’d have paid petrol money to go and pick stuff up anyway).

 

Shopping list

  • Battery
  • Carb heater (optional)
  • Choke cable (optional)
  • Clutch actuator
  • Brake pads
  • Brake hoses
  • Brake rebuild kit
  • Brake fluid
  • Rear caliper
  • Rear master cylinder
  • Exhaust studs (42 x 8mm)
  • Exhaust clamps
  • Chain
  • Sprockets
  • Rearsets
  • Switchgear
  • Clutch lever
  • Brake lever
  • Tyres
  • Bodywork
  • Paint
  • Disc bolts
  • Number plate
  • Plugs for bar ends

 

Plan of action

  • *Initial stripdown
  • *Prove viability of engine
  • *Complete strip and inspection of chassis
  • *New frame registration/SORN
  • *Engine checkover as far as possible
  • *Install engine in frame
  • *Clean, and install shock and swingarm
  • *New alternator gasket
  • *Overhaul wheels
  • *Fork rebuild
  • *Install forks
  • *Install wheels
  • *Install plugs
  • *Install cooling system
  • *Sort out ignition switch
  • *Install loom
  • *Install carbs/fuel lines
  • *Fill coolant
  • *Oil/filter
  • *Test run
  • Bodywork
  • ..New subframe and battery/tank/CDI/fusebox mountings
  • ….Modify loom to suit new CDI/battery/clocks/controls
  • Clocks
  • Switchgear
  • Overhaul brakes
  • ..Install brakes
  • Fit chain
  • Replace studs
  • Rebuild pipes (May need to have them test fitted first).
  • ..Install pipes
  • ..Paint
  • Tyres
  • MOT/Tax
  • Gravel trap
 

A Suspension of Disbelief 26 December, 2018

Filed under: Motorcycling — nr @ 1:48 pm

After the last exciting installment where I started work on the wheels, things have moved on a bit. Originally, I’d planned to sort out the engine and electrics before worrying about wheels and suspension. And in an ideal world, that’s exactly what I would have done, as obviously there’s no point spending money on fork seals if the thing runs a big-end as soon as I start it up. However, the world is not ideal. Actually, let me caveat that. I’m exceedingly happy with my lot in life. I have a beautiful, happy family, a roof over my head, and can put food on the table every day. This makes me very contented indeed. However, if I was to choose one part of my pink and fluffy world that isn’t ideal, it’s my garage. It’s too small. Because of this, when I have one bike up on stands, it makes it a bit of a pain to get the other one in/out, so I can go to work to keep that roof over my head and food on the table.

Admittedly, this is a very small fly in a very large jar of ointment.

But, it does explain why I decided to sort out the suspension on the SV, rather than dive into the engine and electrics. I needed to be able to wheel the bike around the place. I think we left things last time with the wheels all cleaned up, and it was a simple matter then to clean up the brake discs and refit them. I was planning to replace all the disc bolts with something new and shiny, but in the end the old ones polished up OK, so they went back in. One thing to note if you’re doing this yourself: don’t put copper grease on the disc bolts… normally I’ll put a small smear of the stuff on just about any fastener that gets installed, but on the disc bolts you don’t want them to loosen accidentally. With the discs refitted, and all the wheel bearings checked, cleaned, and regreased, it was time to look at the suspension.

Rear suspension first then. As previously mentioned, I have some incredibly generous friends, to the point where a lovely GSX-R750 shock was donated to the project, thanks to my mate Druid. This is a large improvement over stock in terms of build quality, and also adjustability. It is slightly longer than the stock shock, but this is actually OK, as a slight increase in ride height is not necessarily a bad thing. Well, it’s not a bad thing if you have stock suspension tie-rods anyway. Of course, one of the previous owners of this bike had made some shorter ones out of a lump of pig iron using a tin opener. So, when I fitted the GSX-R shock, it fouled on the swingarm at first. This was sorted out incredibly easily, when the lovely Alex at Darvill Racing sent me a stock pair from his spares box. With these fitted, the rocker arm bearings cleaned and regreased, everything bolted up nice and easily. That was suspiciously easy…

The front was altogether more involved. As already ascertained, a new fork leg was going to be needed. eBay to the rescue for this one, as one turned up reasonably local, for fifteen quid. Well, that was easy, and when it turned up the very next day, it was lovely. Beautifully polished, and spotlessly clean. Which was a lovely surprise, but did mean that I’d need to clean the other one to match. However, things were about to take a bit of an unexpected turn… I drained, and stripped the forks to replace the seals (they were both leaking anyway, so this needed doing) and gave everything a good clean up. The bottom bolts came out reasonably easily by the simple act of leaving the springs and caps in place when initially loosening them. This helps to stop the damper rods rotating in the fork legs. It’s always a messy job replacing fork seals, but it’s one of those jobs that’s pretty straightforward, and quite satisfying when everything goes back together. Surprise #1 bit me on the arse when I pulled the caps off the forks to drop the springs out – the spacers were different lengths, badly cut out of a crappy old bit of poly tube, and about 200mm shorter than they should have been. The springs then came out, and were about 250mm longer than they should be. hmmm. No idea what bike they came out of, but for sure it wasn’t an SV. Now, one of the rules of messing with suspension is only to change one thing at a time – obviously I’ve replaced the rear shock, so having completely non-standard fork internals wasn’t in the plan at all at this point. No matter, funds are tight, so I just cleaned everything up, installed the new seals, and fitted it all back together into the new fork leg. Surprise #2 then stood up, and delivered a massive boot to the gentlemans veg area at this point. The new fork leg was bent. It was a beautifully polished bent-ness, but it was very much bent. So that got thrown in the corner along with the one that I’d hacked up with the angle grinder. Safe to say, that if I had a cat, I would have kicked it at this point. But, rather than sulk about the whole affair, I devised a cunning plan – I’d pick up a set of bent forks from a breakers, reuse what bits I could, and throw the rest away. And within 10 minutes, I’d found a set of very lightly bent forks on eBay for 20 quid, and hit the buy it now button. When they turned up a couple of days later, I couldn’t have been happier. The lowers (which is what I really needed) were in perfect condition, and black, rather than silver. The uppers were only slightly bent, so, with very little trouble at all, they came apart, and a complete, undamaged, and totally stock set of fork internals fell out. This made me very happy indeed, as it was then a simple matter to rebuild them using my straight stanchions to give me a very tidy set of forks with new seals, and stock internals. So, with the wheels bolted in, things are looking good now:

20181224_125737

And more importantly, I can now move the thing around the garage again. I will, probably, fit cartridge emulators at some point in the future, as they worked so well on the TRX. But remember what I said about only changing one thing at a time? Yeah, that still holds. It’s not *all* beer and skittles though. To use the GSX-R shock I need to modify the tank fitting brackety-wotsit. This isn’t a real problem though, as I’ll be relocating the battery when I install a new subframe at some point in the future. The subframe on there at the moment is only there to make it easier to move around. It’s not staying.

All in all, it’s a bit of a milestone really. The bike is back up on its wheels. Admittedly, it’s turned into a bit of a Triggers Broom to get to this point, with new frame, forks, swingarm, shock, tie-rods and yokes. But given the biggest single expenditure so far is the replacement V5 for the new frame, I’m not worried by that. Still a long way to go, but I think this is a nice place to end the year. Current thinking for the next step is to sort out the loom and refit the electrics – but right now, I’m going to go and pop the kettle on rather than stand in a cold garage any longer.

Running total

  • Bike: £250
  • Starter solenoid: £11
  • Resistors: £1 (for 20)
  • Frame, yokes, swingarm: £11.50
  • Fork lower (bent): £15 (wasted)
  • Scrap forks for spares: £22
  • Air filter: £0
  • GSX-R shock: £0
  • V5: £25
  • Fork seals: £12
  • Tie-rods: £0
  • Rear brake hose: £0
  • Various carb screws: £0
  • Assorted allen headed fasteners: £3.50
  • Front wheel spindle: £10
  • Fork oil: £11.25

(Note – not included delivery charges where I’ve bought stuff online, as I’d have paid petrol money to go and pick stuff up anyway).
Shopping list

  • CR8E spark plugs
  • Battery
  • Carb heater (optional)
  • Choke cable (optional)
  • Clutch actuator
  • Brake pads
  • Brake hoses
  • Brake fluid
  • Rear caliper
  • Oil
  • Oil filter
  • Exhaust gaskets
  • Exhaust clamps
  • Chain
  • Sprockets
  • Rearsets
  • 41mm Clipons
  • Controls
  • Clutch lever
  • Brake lever
  • Tyres
  • Bodywork
  • Paint
  • Exhaust studs (42 x 8mm)
  • Alternator cover gasket
  • Disc bolts
  • Number plate

 

Plan of action

  • *Initial stripdown
  • *Prove viability of engine
  • *Complete strip and inspection of chassis
  • *New frame registration/SORN
  • *Engine checkover as far as possible
  • *Install engine in frame
  • *Clean, and install shock and swingarm
  • Install carbs/fuel lines
  • Sort out ignition switch
  • Install loom
  • Rebuild pipes (May need to have them test fitted first).
  • Install pipes
  • Install cooling system
  • New subframe and battery mount/tank mount
  • New alternator gasket
  • Oil/filter/coolant/plugs (basic service stuff)
  • Test run
  • *Overhaul wheels
  • Overhaul brakes
  • *Fork rebuild
  • *Install forks
  • *Install wheels
  • Install brakes
  • Fit chain
  • Controls
  • Clocks
  • Bodywork
  • Paint
  • Tyres
  • MOT/Tax
  • Gravel trap

 

 

 
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