Saturday, April 19, 2014

SU - Skinner's Union

I'm sure pine is an appropriate choice for a carb spacer. I just hope the varnish doesn't catch fire. Man this thing is huge but I'm kind of digging it. More later.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Nailed it

Somebody else completely nailed the look (or a version of it) that I was shooting for with the Sporty.

More pictures of this at El Corra Motors (where I got the photo)
They link to the site where they got it.

The pipes - yep, that answers all my questions. I don't know how well they would work but  I'll bet they'd be fine and they look sexy. The bars have a really nice bend. Not all choppery and not too dirt-tracky. The stock peanut tanks are small so they don't hold much gas and they leave the frame all nekkid. That's fine for some but this one has been stretched juuuuust enough. The proportions of this thing are perfect. I think that's hard to do with customs in general and even harder with a Sportster. Looks like a Betor fork from a Sprint; nice choice. If this was mine I'd throw an air filter of some sort on it and ride it with a big fucking grin on my face. Which no one would see under my new Shoei GT-Air helmet. Oh yeah, did I mention I bought a new helmet? It's great. More on that later. As for the air filter, when I was a kid The Old Man built a KZ900 custom with a sidecar. On a shakedown run a nut and washer fell off the bottom of the seat pan. One of those little pieces of hardware got into the low pressure area near the velocity stack and rather than falling toward the rear it got sucked into the carb, down the intake, and found a new home somewhere near a valve and seat fucking up a perfectly good valve with a fresh valve job if memory serves. 
Bernoulli beats Newton 1-0.  That, my friends, is why you always want to run some sort of filtering device between the outside air and the inside air. On the old Linkerts they used to run little cast caps called bird catchers. This has got to be in my top 5 of favorite bike pics I've found. Gotta go, Rock on. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rode the VFR to work today.

Exactly why did I not put the grip heaters on over the winter? Oh yeah, it was too cold out there.
Bike thermometer said 32F. It's supposed to get up to the mid 60's today. While I'm inside...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bike Stands - Last One

So after doing a little research and discussing my particular stand I've come a conclusion. If I were to recommend a stand design to a friend I'd go with some 4 x 4's and plywood.
Photo by Jeff Wright click for link to Church of Choppers
These appear to be 4 x 6's which are even better, but you get the idea. Google motorcycle stand and you find a million different answers. Red left a comment about building a stand that lifts with a jack. I've seen plans around for those as well. When it comes to design I find the most simple solution to usually be the best. That said, most times there is a trade-off. Submarines do pretty well under water but they are tough to park at Wal-Mart. Uh, yeah...where was I going with this? Oh, yeah. If you build the simple platform like above you'll need a ramp and a friend. Like I said before, if you own a bike - you have a ramp. But if you have some behemoth bike like an Ultra Classic or even my VFR it might be safer to have a lift. If you live in the middle of nowhere and don't have anyone to help you push the bike up, a lift might be your option. Or maybe you are 6' 3" and 160#'s. In that case you'd want the scoot way up high and that would be difficult to balance even with your buddy on the other side. There are plenty of companies selling lifts of all different styles. Of course, Harbor Freight sells a cheap steel lift if you want to support the Chinese prisoners making twelve cents a day building them.
Oh, I found a wheel stop at my local dealer on the shelf and it was eighty fucking dollars! A wheel stop is a good idea. Eighty bucks for a piece of bent tubing is highway robbery. Go to the local weld shop and have them make you one for half that.

This is the original drawing I based mine on. Taken from Eurospares

Here's another one from Uncle Sam. The Armored Force School Fort Knox,Kentucky - Lubrication and Inspection Guide-Motorcycle Department,1943. Just in case you want to lube your WLA. I can find pictures of this but not all in one place. I don't know how well it works but I think it would work better than the one I built as far as the tilting feature. Mine doesn't have enough support when unloading. 






So here's my bottom line on bike stands: 
1) Use the info here at your own risk. I'm just a dullard on the internet with a free blog. I've only built one and if you build it just like mine, it's dangerous when using the tilt feature. So don't bother with the tilt feature. 
2) Simple is better.
3) The height of the stand should suit you and the bike(s) you will be working on. 
4) Forget the paint. It just makes it slippery. 
5) If you build something out of wood - use wood glue, in addition to, your fasteners.
5) Be careful. Use a helper. Tie the bike down once it's up there. 
6) Wheel stop - you don't want to roll off the end, and make it wide enough for whatever tire you may have in there in the future. Mine's fine for vintage bikes with a 3.50 - 19 but I'm not sure the front on the Viffer will fit. 
O.K. I'm done on stands unless I build another one. That may happen but not until many other projects are finished. 
Rock on. 



Thursday, March 13, 2014

The bike stand Redux

Since Lucky asked, I figured it's time to do a Cycle World style long term test update. O.K., not really like that but for anyone wanting info I do have some suggestions. First, don't build this stand.


More on that later.
I built the stand back in 2006 according to the blog archives. I found the plans, such as they are, on the Eurospares website. It's a decent design, but unnecessarily complicated. I built mine pretty much to the letter with one exception. I cut the top too short. It's been just fine without the extra length but measure three or four times and cut once. You can search my blog for "stand" and get the few posts on mine. Here is the one that matters, I suppose: Stand. I used the stand at the old house and for the 550 Honda it was great. The idea with this particular stand is the stand pivots to allow you forgo using a ramp. That idea is a bit flawed. Most importantly, when you flip the rear panel that supports the bike out, the bulk of the bike's weight is resting on a single piece of plywood. I did that once. You own a motorcycle so chances are good you also own a ramp. Forget the pivot, there is really no benefit. That also makes it more simple to build. Simple is better. Trust me on that one. Also, when you push the bike up at some point that you probably can't anticipate, the bike kind of slams down. You don't want that while you are standing on the floor, arms extended, and supporting the weight of your scooter. Have someone help you get the bike up and down. Seriously. I have a treated 2 X 8 with an aluminum lip thru bolted on the end that used to live in the back of my truck. If you don't have a ramp but are building a stand, budget the extra ten bucks for the ramp parts and just store it under the stand. That brings me to the next point; it's too short. I didn't actually realize this at first. I sent the stand away for a while.y garage was getting very full and it was in the way so I gave it to one of my friends to use. He put it up on a riser he made from 4 X4's. When I brought the stand home he insisted I take the riser. As usual, he was right. The extra 3 1/2 inches brings the bike up to a better height for working. I'm 5'11" and he's maybe an inch shorter. Your mileage may vary. So, I like having the stand. I recommend building one if you're handy. Here's what you do. Build it out of 3/4 plywood like this one. But don't worry about the pivot, that's like tits on a boar. 
Another thing that might be helpful is some clearance for your toes. It's not a deal breaker but if you are building one from scratch you might as we'll make it right. As you can see in the first picture, I added wheels. They are just slightly above the floor and there is a handle on the opposite end. The handle bent the first time I picked up the stand to roll it. The updated design should just have a cut out at the bottom to allow your hands to get under for lifting. Simple is better. If you need to move the stand around the shop once in a while, add the wheels. Of course mine is up a few inches so you'll want them about a half inch off the floor. That way when you lift the other end they pivot down and roll but not support any weight or move around when sitting flat. If you will never move the stand don't bother with the wheels, but still add the cut-outs for lifting. You need some eyes for tie downs, and a wheel stop. I made mine but I had the resources at the time. It's 4 inch channel iron with a v notch, bent, and welded. I should have gone wider. Most sport bike tires are not going to fit in there real well. I don't think my stand has ever had a modern bike on it. If you don't have a local weld shop to make you one, you can buy them for trailers through your favorite bike dealer, Dennis Kirk, etc...
The bike can sit-up there on its own with a center stand but use tie downs. 

The Sporty's frame is propped on some screwed together dimensional lumber but I put the tie downs on just in case. The little storage nook is handy for my oil drain pan. Otherwise it's just another complication in the construction. I suppose the "floor" of the nook adds some structural integrity so I shouldn't discount the idea.  The whole thing is painted with oil based machine paint. I'm glad I painted it but the top gets slippery if you have to stand up there for some reason. Especially with the inevitable oil drips from working on it. Now that I've explained this in detail I suppose I should draw up a fresh plan. I think I'll do that as I know some one who could use a stand so I'll have the plan when the time comes. I'll post that when I get it drawn up. Oh and Lucky...you commented on the post from 06', your memory must be as good as mine. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Long way to go but I know where I'm going finally


I got the tank on Saturday. I started a remodel on my living room so all I could do was take it out of the box and plop it on the frame but I'm quite pleased. The tank has a lot of wear and tear but is very clean on the inside. The word patina is so overused these days but basically the condition of the tank is on par with the condition of the rest of the bike. The rear fender has been bead blasted to remove the paint (I did this years ago) but it will get a polish of some sort. Probably a little better than what Scotch-Brite will yield. It has a few dings and some pitting. I found that on an unknown chassis out in the woods somewhere about twenty years ago and have been saving it for just such a project. I was concerned about the p-pad being too tall but after tweaking the seat I think it's going to work fine. I've got a board propping it up presently. having the seat nice and high also lets me use the stock ignition switch location which happens to be under the seat. I don't want to change what I don't have to change, you know? I would not have considered painting this bike this color blue, by the way. I like blue but I was leaning toward green or black or a combo of the two. I like the blue very much. I've got some things to fab but not much to hold me up. The wiring is really going to be the big issue right now. With the changes I've made combined with some decisions of the previous owner it's going to pretty much be a complete rewire. I guess it will give me something to do since we had our obligatory March fucking blizzard this morning. I really hope that shit ends soon.
Rock on.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I'm diggin' it

Got my bars today. It's the exact bend I've been looking for. Very much like a BSA M-bend but just a little wider and one inch. Mocked up the alloy fender too. I like the way it looks but I need a different P-pad. Mounting will be a challenge but I like a challenge.
I need a different tank as this still looks choppery but I have a plan for that. I'm pretty fastener light in the shop so I need to make a list of hardware I need. Not real happy with the current bar mount situation but maybe with the proper bolts and some black paint it will be presentable. I can't feel my fingers, better go inside. Rock on.