Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fun fact:

"The character of a motorcycle is inversely proportional to its number of cylinders."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just a sneak peek.

This is for the Honda, though fitting it would require modifying the seat, which I just don't want to do right now. It's a very cool fuel tank... it would make the bike look really skinny.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The blue Honda.

Long before my Sportster was stolen, I had started writing up about the Honda, a bit of the model's history, where my particular bike came from, etc. It quickly turned into a massive write-up, so much so that I've decided it will be a separate page, just as I did for the Norton and the Matchless. I'll put it up soon I think.

Without going into too much detail, I had plans to modify the Honda in a way that would have required keeping it in the garage for at least three or four months while I sent parts out to be sandblasted and powder-coated (for example the steering yokes and the footrest plates, which need it badly), and while I figured how to fit new mudguards, side panels, fuel tank, modify the seat to fit, and clean up the headlamp / gauges area.

However, now that I need the Honda as a daily driver, I can no longer do that, at least not right away. At the most I can take it to the garage and work on it, but I must be done and able to ride home by sundown, which these days comes all too early. So, I'll focus on a few things at a time and document it as I go, it might still be interesting.

For starters, here's a hint:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.

Alright, so the Sportster is gone, and that's too bad. For the time being my trusty Honda has been pressed into service once again. It started right up after a 6-month slumber in the shed. Amazing. Let no one ever belittle this true gem of a workhorse:

I had mentioned in a previous post that I've been getting some new parts for it, so maybe I'll get to it now and give it a bit of a makeover, nothing extravagant mind you.

As for the Sportster, who knows, maybe in the future it will materialise again as a new restoration project, and I'll make it into a proper one-off special, no qualms about doing away with indicators, superfluous frame tabs, etc. We'll see.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Goodbye, daily driver : (

Bad news folks, some bastard stole my Sportster.

Looked out the window to where I normally park it and it was just gone. I reported it to the cops, but I know I'll never see my bike again. It's probably in Naples or somewhere in eastern europe by now anyway.

Joke's on you though you a**hole, the bike is in pretty rough shape! The brakes are shot, so is the gearbox, suspension, etc.

I don't quite know what to do now, I feel a bit numb... I guess it's one less bike to take care of? not much of a consolation.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gathering momentum?

I'm hoping the two small things I managed to do the other day are prelude to more substantial and pressing matters that need attending in the garage.
The exhausts are back on the Rising Star, as is the carburetter. The latter is a bit of a long story, but suffice to say that the bike should either be fitted with a 1" Monobloc, or a 626 Concentric. I had fitted a 930 Concentric that I had built up from assorted Amal parts I had lying around, but it was replaced with a 32mm item, far too large for a standard engine, and not my choice (but we won't get into that...).
I gave that 32mm to Gianluca for his Dominator, and have refitted "my" 30mm one back, which I'm sure will work just fine.

There is one more job left on the bike, and it's a fairly big one: the fuel tank mounting tab at the rear of the tank broke off because of vibration. That is itself due to the fact that the fixing point on the frame was not done in the smartest possible way and needs to be redone. In the photo below you can see the fuel tank has simply collapsed at the back, and the tab is only held on by that brass nut.
As it is now, there is a bolt that was welded into the frame, which is crude and just sticks out like a sore thumb. Yes, there is a thick rubber washer to absorb some vibration, but only vertically, which was clearly not enough.
The proper way to do it will be to cut off the bolt, drill into the frame again and weld a threaded bung, like this, which is what we should have done in the first place. I'll do you one better actually, and fit a rubber silent block, so vibration is dampened both vertically and laterally. Of course it could be years before I get around to it, but in the meantime I'm excited about my chopper all over again, and that's good. Look how cool it is:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

!!! DAKAR 2015 !!!

Hey! I hope you all didn't let the new year festivities (if you subscribe to the Gregorian calendar, which I personally do not) distract you from the fact that the Dakar rally starts TOMORROW!
Head on over to the official website for all the updates and GO HONDA!

(the trucks are also hella cool)