Thoughts, musings, and frustrations in the pursuit of perfection. In short, complicating simplicity.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oil filter and lines...

  This street fighter is finally coming together. Since this bike is running without a battery, I decided to tuck the oil filter behind the motor. Its funny that the oil filter is one of those elements that can make people love or hate my bikes. I think leaving them bright orange is a slightly industrial, utilitarian touch that reminds people that the bike is more than really expensive sculpture, and should be ridden.
That, and the fact that changing them is as simple as getting a different colored filter, getting an oil filter cover, or painting it, which is the option I'm going with this time. The point of tucking it behind the engine is to make it a bit less obtrusive, and play with the shape of the oil lines. 

    Lesson learned from copper prices going up: copper tubing has more grades than it used to. On the right is the cheaper stuff which should not be used for running any sort of line with a bend in it. I picked up a batch by accident, and it was thin, brittle, flattening on bends, and all around junk. On the other hand, it was perfectly serviceable for mocking up a few different options, and cheaper then screwing up on the much better stuff on the left. Good copper tubing should be heavy, soft, and hold its shape well when bending. Apparently it also costs near twice what it used to.

 I use flare fittings. Compression fittings are generally meant for stationary, one time use; and when it comes to a solid oil line, using something that is more reliable when under stress and vibration, and rated for fuel systems is a a good idea. 

Standard mount on the left; current oil lines on the right. A bit cleaner and perhaps graceful?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fixed, Properly

This is a follow up to the earlier post on what happens when you don't install a wrist pin clip properly.  Well, thanks to a friend of mine, Adam, the bike now has a 750cc big bore kit, new pistons and rings.  If you do things properly it should look like this:


Here they are in their new home:

And speaking of doing things properly, this is what a sludge trap should look like when you start to put it back together.  I really just added this picture because I like the dramatic lighting.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Powder coat

Like baking, but with the added bonus of strange chemical smells.       
As long as you clean thoroughly,  sandblast and pre-bake, powder coating is pretty cut and dry.   
That, and the worst that can happen is starting over.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

seat rivet spacing

1: draw up a seat pan-gray (this one ended up being modified from whats pictured)
2: figure out where the leather is going-black
3: figure out how far from the edge your rivets will be, and where the centers are, draw a line that will pass through the centers of all the rivets will be(yellow line)
4: measure the circumference of your your rivet spacing line(use flexible ruler or string)
5: figure out approximately how far apart you want the rivets to be, based on thickness of material, rivet size, and visual effect (the leather we use is over 1/4" thick, and the rivets are something like 1/2" copper). Divide the circumference by this spacing to figure out how many rivets you will have, and adjust the spacing until it divides fairly evenly.
6: using circles with the same radius as your rivet spacing, start with center right point, use the intersection of the circles with the rivet line to figure out where your rivets will go. -green
7: curse as you make small adjustments and redo the circles 2-3 times in order to get spacing perfect. make sure the rivet placement works with the bend in the seat.

-Mocking it up on the computer makes it a bit easier to play with small circle adjustments, but the set up is exactly the same for using a compass and doing it by hand.
-note that this is visually even rivet spacing, which means that the straight line between each rivet is the same. For true even spacing on a curve, use a flexible curve ruler and do it by hand, if you have lots of rivets/tight curves, this may or may not look better.
-your life will be 10 times easier if you drill the holes before you bend the seat pan.

So the latest bike I bought was from  a "Master Machinist", and it was his baby, so you would expect thing to be in fairly good order.  When I picked up the bike it ran well enough, no strange noises, no bangs or chunks, nothing out of the ordinary, which is to be expected since he said he rebuilt the motor 300 miles ago.  So I tear into it the other day and found this:

Evidently Mr. "Master Machinist" could not put a wrist pin clip in properly and destroyed both the cylinders and pistons, to the point that I don't think over boring will save them.  They will probably need to be re-sleeved.  Awesome!
BTW the pictures make it look better than it really is.

This is why I do a complete tear down and rebuild of every motor, and so should you.

water jet parts...2.0

We are on our third or fourth run of water jet parts now, and things have changed slightly. The stock axle plate(black) has been pretty much replaced with the modified, which gives us a little more drop and play in for the OIF frames, for regular Triumph frames, it would rally be a matter or personal preference. In addition, the quality of our parts has gone up, meaning all the cutting lines have been cleaned, the parts have been generally deburred, and the cutting speed itself has been slowed down to avoid drift in the 1/2 inch plates. Which means the price has gone up slightly, but the prep work has gone down significantly. 

As far as the motor mounts go, its been a process of slight adjustments with each pair cut, and at this point they are near perfect. The whole "patented anti-queef" is a bit of a joke, but between the 1/4" thickness and the bottom mount, they are rock solid and well, anti-queef.

The seat pan in the background is for now un-orderable, since its cut from 3/16" steel that makes it rather unwieldy for most people to bend. If you have something else in mind and need a thinner custom blank cut, let us know.