Thursday, December 17, 2015

Few loose ends

Ya, I'm back. I finally finished the wiring after a long hot summer. Took about 3 hours to complete and you'd think I could find at least that somewhere in the long, hot FL summers, but alas, no.

I completed a few loose ends while I procrastinate the rear fender completion. (I do have all the materials I need except for a few screws, but I'm just starting a possibly long medical scenario for myself, but that's not important now).

First thing I did after the wiring was to swap out the T-handlebars. I purchased an original set of Road Star bars and I already had the mounts from spare parts that came with the bike. This really helps the bobber look:

The ride is a bit more comfortable also.

Next I needed to eliminate the huge Kuryakyn Hypercharger air cleaner setup. And I can't stress the "hyper" part enough as in "Don't believe the hype!". I found a generic K&N air cleaner that nestles nicely under the tank between the cylinders that mounts directly to the carb. This is the second nicest mod after eliminating the fuel pump.

This first picture is the trial fitting of the K&N with the Kuryakyn just hanging below.

This is the final installation. The entire area is cleaned up and nothing bulges out from under the tank. I was constantly bumping my knee into the Hypercharger.

The only downside is the K&N embossed into the chrome cover of the K&N is upside down. That's the only way to fit it since the "hole" is offset on the back side. Got some ideas on how to best handle this, but I'll deal with this on the  repainting/powder coating phase.

What do you think?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fender Prelim

I ordered a 6.5" wide round fender blank off eBay. I found a vendor that had a 14 Gauge steel (heavy) fender that won't need rear brackets to hold it if I keep cut back to covering around half of the rear tire. The tire arrived quickly from vendor in California (4 days) and was well packed.

I positioned the fender on the tire and it's not quite fully radiused to this tire size, but it's close enough. I'm not going to pie cut it and bend it around the tire.

I then strapped it to the tire and took several pictures of the fender as I adjusted the rear tire coverage.

The picture just below shows the fender fully applied to the rear presenting a conventional appearance. This position would require some kind of mid-fender brackets.

Next picture below is slightly up from previous.

And again, a little more. This is about 3/4 fender over the tire.

In the next picture, the position was recommended to me by a fabricator. This is slightly past center. He told me that this provides significant protection over half coverage and still presents classic bobber look.

This is half coverage and is typical of what you see in a bobber fender.

This is less than half just to show some contrasts.

I will likely go with the just past center coverage. I will prune the excess fender off the bottom (left hand side) to make the "front" of the fender line up appropriately.

I already have a mounting method in mind. Fender will be mounted at the top and bottom of the softtail swing arm. More later.

Also, I contacted Michelin and asked them about how much growth this tire gets at 70MPH and it works out to less than 1/2", so I will make sure I have at least that when I measure the brackets that I will have to fashion.

What do you think?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finally, seat's done

Boy a lot of water under this damn. Got the seat hinge applied as per the previous post and ordered seat and seat spring bungs. I found that the seat sat too far back and the springs would not rest on the bar as intended so had to have the seat hinge modified to allow the seat to move another inch forward. That took a long while as my fabricator does this work in his off hours and was gone on a week long conference, plus I was rebuilding and painting my horse barn so the bobber was a back burner project. Ok, enough excuses.

Seat hinge modified. Seat installed. 4" seat springs purchased. Then had my son weld the seat bungs.  Cleaned up everything and painted the bungs and rail. Done!

Next will be ordering a fender and fabricating the mounts for that.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Off with their heads, off with their heads, er, seat

Just an aside, I picked up a 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R from a friend who was returning to his native country in short order and needed a quick sale. This created an opportunity for me to tear the bobber down and leave it down for couple of days. This helped immensely in this stage of the project. I no longer have to abide by one of the project goals of one down day at a time.  Anyway....

I installed the Fab Kevin seat hinge. This is one fine piece of engineering and fabrication. I swear he even made the hinge bolts himself. It's just a thing of beauty. First steps was to cut off the horns of the existing seat and fender mount.

I had to make multiple cuts to be able to get down to the platform and level it out.

Once cut, I then painted the new edges black.

I relocated the DynaJet Rev Master from below the seat to on top of the backbone in the front of the gas tank and tidied up the area that will be exposed.

Next steps, measure for seat.  Thinking wider than narrow, like 16" wide by 15" or so long.  I want to find a more tractor like seat with a bigger rear that bends up and keeps the rider in the seat.  Seat springs should be in the 4-5" range, again will be measured. And I'll have to install some kind of seat spring posts to keep everything in place.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Seat Hinge

I order a Fabricator Kevin stainless steel seat hinge for the solo seat. It arrived today. This is the finest, most precise, stable seat hinge available on the market and is hand made in the USA by Kevin. Once the cold snap breaks here in FL, I'll start mounting it and measuring for a solo seat. I'm thinking of going bigger than smaller to match the fat tank look. More on the seat later after I mount the hinge.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Turns as Stop Lights Magic

Did some research on the web last year to find out how to turn turn signals into stop lights. I found this page How to Make a 2-wire Bulb Display Brake and Turn Signals. His page sometimes doesn't come up readily so I will replicate his info here, but give him all the credit.

The idea is to use 3 single pole double throw relays to feed power to the turns at the appropriate times. Normally they are off, but if the brake switch (light) is on, then power is fed to both the turns. Then if a signal is on at the same time as the brake, the signal feed alternates the appropriate turn relay causing the flash. And if the brake switch is off, then the signal feed alternates the appropriate turn relay providing power. Smoke and mirrors.

First the schematic.

Then, the pictorial of the relays.

The schematic shows diodes, but apparently with the brand of relay shown, it's not required.

Note, you WILL need to replace your turn signal flasher with one for LED lamps since the relays draw so little power.

Friday, February 6, 2015

New turns, tail and stop

Moving into the next phase of the project, I removed the rear fender and installed the new combo turns, tail and stop lights. I reused the electronic mod I had created with the previous setup that had used red turns with integrated tail light functionality and eliminated the single stop lamp. The mod uses the turns for stop lights, but retains the flashing of the turn signal. This is similar to the old 3-way car lights.

Now some pics.

I ordered the same turns as used in the first iteration. They include red lenses to provide stop and tail functionality. I extended the lamp wiring to snake them through the frame. They mount through a M8x1.25 threaded hole. And as it turns out, the passenger pegs mounted with that same bolt size so that's where they will go.

Jacked up and ready to go!

And of course my pit crew was there to help.

Just lucked out with the mounting location and already threaded hole.

The secret to the proper stop/turn functioning with two lamps is the series of three solenoids to flash the turns appropriately, left and right, and also switch the turns on for stop light. If stop and turn flashing at the same time, the flashing side works appropriately and the non-flashing side is still a stop light. I'll post the plans in the next blog post.

Light up and the right hand was flashing. Caught it while bright.

Very clean. Next step will be to replace the monster seat with a proper bobber spring seat. The fender will be next after that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bobber Project Part Deux

Long winter quarter, end of the year lack of funds, but all now resolved with the new (tax) year, so am now planning on moving on to the end of the bobber project. This post represents the end game plan. First, recent picture.

I pulled the pillion pad and the sissy bar to get a look at the rear fender. As I expected, it's got to go. This will replaced by a swing arm mounted close fit fender. I will have to fashion mounting brackets and such, but first things first.

This project was started with the intention of never tearing the bike down completely for more than a day or two. I want/need two-wheeled transportation so I have to plan the end game carefully.  So here is the plan going forward.
  1. New rear facing lighting and license plate relocation. The plan here is to use just two red bullet signals wired as running lights and stop/turn lights similar to my custom tail/stop/turn. My electrical mod that makes the rear turns into stop lights will work just fine with just two rear red turns. I already ordered the exact same bullet shaped turns. I will retain the custom tail/stop/turn for future project. I am still exploring plate relocation. I'm thinking something like a rear axle mount. I already have lighted mounting screws. 
  2. Once the rear lights/plate are relocated, pull the rear fender off completely and run sans fender for the time being.
  3. Next will replace the seat with a true bobber style pan seat. I will cut off the existing fender mount rabbit ears thus presenting true bobber line.
  4. After the seat, then new bars need to be installed correct for the seating position. Current bars are too high and too far back. With higher bobber style seat, this problem will be exacerbated. 
  5. I will purchase an appropriately sized rear fender and build mounting brackets for the fender and likely some fender struts. This will take some fabrication and welding. I will outsource the welding. I'll primer the fender for the interim.
  6. Finally, when everything is done, will have the tank and fender painted. I'm contemplating removing the bulbous center covers (under the seat) and tidying up that area (wires and such). I want to have the chrome dash power coated black, also, along with perhaps the primary drive cover.
That's it. What do you think? This will take a few months which will keep me busy.

UPDATED: added step for bars after the new seat installed.