Saturday, June 9, 2012

Toe up

Tore her up a bit last night.

I want to at least start with the same length as the original forks, so some measurements are in order. I took the measurements I wanted, but as a precaution also spray painted the interface area with some cheapie spray bomb in case I needed to find this dimension after removing the forks. It will wipe of with most solvents when I decide I don't need it anymore.

 Original is about 2 inches longer than the new R6r parts. Which is a bit of a relief because the R6 head tube is a lot longer than the VFR tube and I was worried about the lower clamp landing too high on the R6 forks... if that makes any sense.

 So pretty. The lower bearing might fit right up, sure felt like it did, but the upper isn't even close, in this picture the ball bearings are just sitting on the top rim of the tube. So there's still a ways to go. Looks good though.
 Now I need to see if I can find some bearings that have a 22mm ID and an OD to match the VFR wheel. If not I'm going to have to have an axle made and I'm not looking forward to that.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Are you mocking me?

This is nothing but a mockup, but man is it exciting to see it wrapped up.

Clearly the fairing needs to move up 3 or 4 inches, and the bars need to come way down, and the lights need to be bumped up a touch. Most of the interference I think is caused by the massive flange on the exhaust joint just behind the oil pan. I'll probably have to start from scratch for the exhaust design.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Product development...

...on my own dime, and time

I'm now on my third revision of the subframe.

This time I've erred on the complete other side of the spectrum and made it far too skinny and spindly for me to feel safe sitting on it at any kind of speed. So it's back to the drawing board. I have been able to iron out most of the fitment of the components though, and I've still got to figure out some more of it. So, going may be slow but it gets better each time. I am getting mighty sick of scrapping aluminum though.

Pistons & Pavement

What follows is basically a repost of a thread I created on DTT

There's something about being in the city, the glass, the marble... the echo of an air cooled twin down Main Street. I've wanted to get a ride together to hang around down town Dallas for a long time now, so when my wife told me that her and my daughter would be going to Houston for the mothers day weekend things started to fall into place. There was already talk of a spring time DTT DFW (Dallas - Fort Worth is what they call this place) so everyone was itching to get together, all I had to do is pick a time and place.

I live about 45 minutes north of down town so I got started early. The meetup was at 8 in the morning, so at five past six I was topped up, Redbulled up, and listening for the burble of an SOHC 750 to announce the arrival of the first riding buddy of the day.

Eddie told me that we managed a pretty decent 80mph most of way down into the city. I was pretty impressed what the old girl could do. Eddie was probably only using half his throttle the whole time, but I guess that's why I was in front. Rolling into the city at what I would have to guess was about 7 o clock we found the roads still pretty sparse, some early risers, and lots of valets and people starting their day. With a little crooked navigation I managed to find us the farmers market. Figuring they would be some of the earliest risers we could kick back and kill a little time there. I couldn't help but blip the throttle a couple of times under those big metal awnings and add a little bass to everyone's morning, welcome or not. Eddie and I took the opportunity to sit on the curb, munch some fresh oranges and watch the early sunlight slowly find the city.

Eventually 7:45 came around and it was time to find the spot. A five minute ride back through downtown and we were the first to arrive at Jonathans (technically the second, but RJ didn't hang out long enough) A little more BSing and listening for distant burbling and eventually there were 9 of us sitting down to one of the best breakfasts that Dallas has to offer.

They aren't pulling our plates off the table until about 10:30, we're about an hour and a half behind schedule. Which is how every Saturday should be. Now that everyone's stomach is full we make another stop to make sure all the tanks are too. We pick up a photographer and head north into Dallas. A sweeping uphill right brings us all onto Commerce and over the Trinity river basin. Out dating every one of our bikes I can't help but wish that Matt was here because this bridge makes a beautiful backdrop. This part of the city's always busy with people, waiting in line on one side to get into the federal prison and on the other for the state prison... who knew prison was so tough to get into.

Crossing under I35 we are officially in the city, if you've seen the Zapruder films you know this part of town. It's the real Dallas gateway. A couple more blocks in and we're taking another right onto Lavon, and I'm getting a little excited. I'm in the lead this is my favorite part, the convention center is coming up. The Dallas convention center outgrew it's city block a long time ago, now it's spilled over to the next block north. This means that Lavon goes straight through it, under it, and the echo under there is fantastic. I roll in a little under the speed limit (guessing here as I've got no speedo) quickly scan for anything black and white and buzz killing. I roll on the throttle hard, fourth, fifth, people are looking but no one's close enough to the road for any concern, commuter tracks coming up, I roll left a little to hit them perpendicular and grab sixth. I probably never got over 60 but with the ceiling 10ft above the street below and the pillars on either side it feels like 150. Sunlight explodes on me and I'm a back in the open hoping that the GoPro that Skyler has on his fender caught some of that sound. I roll back off and glance over my shoulder to make sure everyone's still there. Next Stop L&L, home of everything that you ever wanted.

That's their gauge aisle, I would have taken a pic of their main spaces but they were really dark and the iPhone doesn't handle dark well. Might have to go back to pick up a VFR motor and wheel that I saw in there.

After a little BS exchanging with the old timer that runs the place he sends us on our way and it's back through the convention center. This time I'm following Skyler's lead which subdues my antics a bit. Back on commerce three wide on the one way street, the city flows from marble, glass and steel at the bottom, to wood, asphalt and liquor at the top, Deep Ellum. The two Triumphs are in the lead now, this is their part of town, the cool part. A little farther north and we're in the country clubs, I love the speed humps, stand up and let the bike roll over them like a wave. They prove to be too much for one of the Triumphs which munches it's primary ground cable and rolls to a stop. Eddies 750's idle has gotten a little crazy in the last couple of miles too, so I'm sure he welcomes the stop. The 750 adjusted and the Triumph spliced we're back on the road and I'm sure the locals are relieved.

Skyler declared that if two bikes break at the same time, pulling over counts as scheduled maintenance.

North on Garland road past the arboretum and White Rock lake, it's a good thing we're on this side of the road because everyone's piling into the arboretum for mothers day weekend. The first half of Garland is the kind of place you'd like to spend the day, quirky shops, historic homes and tree lined streets. The last half is not where you want to find yourself in the dark, shady used car lots, convenience stores and some seriously nasty streets. We fit in on both ends. Two miles of the former and two miles of the latter and Skyler manages to find us Kennys shop.

A little bit of fiddling with my own bike and a little bit more with Skylers before I realize that most of the present conversation has moved onto food. Lunch time, I thought we'd be all the way back in the city before now, but you never know what's going to happen when you get a bunch of old metal together. Back down Garland Rd before a right on Northwest Highway. It's an old highway, more trees, bridges. This time we're following Kenny in his bug (Audi TT) because I promise I'd get lost here. The group starts to spread long and I know we're dragging some of the tail through some really stale yellow lights, so I pull up next to Kenny while I still know the streets and give him a little run to bring the stragglers back up. Bike is starting to stutter ever so slightly, maybe it's just in my head, but I know that I've been meaning to stop for gas for a little bit now. I flip the switch to reserve and tap the top of the gas cap at the next light to let everyone know we'll be stopping soon. I know there's a little gas station on Lower Greenville that I stop at every once in a while and every time I do something cool rolls up while I'm there, an old air head Beamer, slammed rat '32, always something. We pull in and I pop the cap off, it's full... on the right side, crossover's plugged again. I top it up, two or three others follow suit, and we're out again. I guess this time [i]we[/i] were the cool thing. Kenny's in the lead again in the bug, and now I'm pretty lost. All the streets we're on I've been on before but I've never known where they went or came from until now. That is until we hit maple, Maple and Motor must be here.

This place is legendary in Dallas, and this is the first time I've been here. It's one of the Dallas "Diners, Driveins and Dives". Chopped brisket burgers on crispy toasted buns with whatever you can imagine inside, and a fountain full of Dublin Texas soda. Skyler lets me know what I should order and I give it a shot, Great meat, great bread, toppings could have used a little more zing though. We chat with the owner for a bit who's wearing his AMS Ducati shirt and showing us pictures of his bikes.

Most of the group takes off at this point, must be around 1 or 2 o clock. The last three of us make a quick run through the design district to stop by AMS, to see if they've got anything cool out. New bikes in the front, but some real vintage Ducati gems in the back. We chat a bit over a couple of them until the girl from the front tells us that we aren't supposed to be back there. Then everyone's on their own route home.

Something like 4 o clock and she's back in the shed till next time. I've got a garage to clean.