Showing posts with label motorcycle restoration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label motorcycle restoration. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sense of Satisfaction!

After all the Maker talk this week at a conference I attended, I was keen to spend some quality time in the garage working on the 35 year old XS1100 basket case.  It's easier to walk the walk than talk the talk when it comes to Making.  Unlike the education approach infused with collaboration for your own good, I did it the way I always do: alone in a garage.  It's wonderfully cathartic to get something broken working again, and meditative when I don't have to explain everything I'm doing.

How do you get a 35 year old motorcycle left outside for several years unattended working again?  Very carefully!

The front brakes were seized, the throttle body was seized, the rear brake is still seized, as are other things I haven't found yet.  Motorcycles aren't like cars, when they're left in the world they don't have a shell protecting the mechanicals from the weather.  Restoring a car tends to be more mechanically salvageable as a result.



I ended up having to take the end carburetor off the rack of four Mikunis that line the back of the Yamaha engine.  It was the most carboned up and filthy one, and the grit had seized the throttle body rod.  A complete dismantle, cleaning and reinstall has the carb working again (before this you couldn't move the throttle body without great effort and a nasty creaking sound...



It took a couple of hours to break it down, find the problem and rebuild it.


It was pretty before, but the Mikunis are even prettier now that they work!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

XS1100: Steps Toward Resuscitation

Snow last night, the XS got some mechanical
attention today as a result.
After looking over some internet advice (sic) on how to start a long dormant motorcycle engine (and ignoring never ending discussions on it), I got the XS1100 to the point where it would crank over (with spark plugs removed).  The plugs look brand new, but sooty.  Cleaning them up and regapping should be all that's needed.  It's nice to know it isn't seized, the electrics aren't pooched and the starter motor sounded solid.

I also have the airbox off and the carbs cleaned (though they look pretty clean before I did them).

The gas tank is a rusty mess, it was left outside and empty for a length of time.  I'm thinking about doing some instructables chemistry on it, just to try it.  Failing that, I think I'm going to try Evapo-Rust.

Here's what it looked like today:



Makes you wonder how many motorcycle tires don't get worn out before they need a change.

With the airbox removed, the wall-o-carbs is easy to get at.

Carb internals look to be in good shape.  Only the throttle cable is suspect.


The air box has cleaned up nicely

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Concours d'Elegance

After a couple of weeks of cleanup and repair, the Concours is back together.  I'm going to take it in for a safety this week and then see about getting it on the road.  I'm waiting on some replacement master cylinder covers and some clutch lever bits.  They should be in mid-week.  I hope to have the safety done by the end of the week.









































Monday, 25 August 2014

Sense of Accomplishment!

It's alive.... ALIVE!!!
After fiddling with the speedometer gear housing I was told to make sure I have the line on the back of the suspension and the housing lined up.  I put it back together that way and still didn't get anything, so I took it apart again and tried putting it on 180° from before and bingo, the speedo began to spin.  If you're having trouble with speedo gear housings, try putting it on the other way and turning it to line up with the fork housing mark.

Love that red - the Connie will be getting panels refinished
over the cold months...
All the gauges on the Connie work now, so I'm going to begin to reassemble it after changing out the oil and filter.  I'm hoping to have it back together in the next week or so and then I can take an honest run at a safety and see how it does.  Everything else seems to be in good form.  It starts at a touch of the button and idles steadily after a moment on choke.  The throttle is clear, sharp and very responsive now.  The
brakes feel strong and sure.  After reassembly and a final cleanup, hopefully it'll fly through safety and then I'll have to make some hard decisions about the Ninja.  

It would be nice to get some miles on the Connie before the snows fall.

New speedo cable runs in behind the bottom of the front shock from the right.  It reads accurately and runs quietly.

Hard not to love that big one litre engine... it burst to life with a growl and revs with surprising eagerness.  Smooth as butter too...

Everything comes to life and reads accurately now...

Monday, 17 February 2014

Dream Project Motorbikes

Some dream project bike builds...


Stock (before)

1970s Honda CB750 Cafe Racer Mod


I'd take the standard CB750, strip it down, refinish it and modify it into a cafe racer along the lines of this Dime City Cycle build.

I'd modernize the pieces that need modernizing.  This isn't a period remake, it's about creating something new with old bones.

A cafe racer build (after)
The CB750 that Dime City put together gives you an idea of what could be done in customizing an old CB750, but I'd do something different.

I'd hope to be able to pick up the bike for less than a couple of grand and then put at least that much into it again as I stripped it and put together a personally customized cafe racer.  The CB is a big bike, which would turn into a bike cafe racer for a big guy.



Being Austin - build my own Mondo Enduro Machine


Austin on his mighty Suzuki DR350
Find a Suzuki DR-350 or DR-400, hopefully one that's been sleeping in a barn somewhere, clean off the straw and strip it down to nuts and bolts.  

In rebuilding it I'll not only end up with a dependable long distance off roader, but I'll also have laid hands on the entire thing before it inevitably breaks somewhere far from anywhere, meaning I'll know how to get it going again.

Long distance and modernizing modifications would include a long range tank, updated suspension and an engine rebuild with performance carbs and a re-bored engine. 
Find a 1990s DR350 Suzuki dual sport
bike and prep it for long distance off
road work, Mondo Enduro-ize it!

The goal would be a minimalist go-anywhere machine that isn't all about branding.  So many adventure bikes are all about the BMW-ness or whatever.  This bike would be a capable, light-weight all rounder that isn't about advertising but all about going anywhere.





Anime Dreams: taking the bike I loved as a kid and building an anime custom


The bike that was on my wall when I was younger was the Honda Interceptor.  With a complex, powerful v-4 engine and the sharp edged eighties styling, this bike was the bomb.

I'd want to do a rebuilt / customization that keeps the feel of the bike but also feeds into the Japanese animation fixation I've had forever.

Influencing the build would be Akira and Robotech.  BBB-Bike has already done a Cyclone customization, which is a bit more comicon than I'd be aiming for.  

My Interceptor would still be an Interceptor, but with little tech-touches that bring out the anime in it.  LED lights, a customized, anime inspired seat/rear cowling and mirrors, that sort of thing.




Real Restoration: a Triumph Bonneville the same age I am


an new old Triumph Bonneville
Henry Cole did a restoration on a '70 Triumph Bonneville in the last season of The Motorbike Show on ITV (not sure why ITV isn't offering a webpage for that show, they should be).

What they started with

Henry and Peter Thorne (the restorer), of Aspire Restorations, take what can only be described as a complete wreck (a frame and fairly useless lump of engine) and completely rebuilt it.  It ends up pretty much being a new 1970 Triumph Bonneville.

I'd like to find a British bike built on the same day I was born (in the UK) and do a restoration on it, then we could both age gracefully together.