Friday, May 29, 2009


Joel, I'm just posting this superfluous bodywork fab entry to irritate you!

I haven't been able to get a batt yet...It's an unusual battery, 12V, 3Amps. Prolly not getting one till Monday so I've got some time to do some more work that I hadn't intended on doing before gassing 'er up. SIDEPANELS!

I thought I'd just do something simple with a direct layup but it's so much easier to sand and wax a plug than fair out a final layup. So I did a quick foam plug for the left and right sides. Right side will extend outwards a bit more to accommodate the muffler.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

plumbing fuel tank, revisit

OK, finally got the moto specific fuel line from J&P. It's much more flexible than the automotive kind while still having some substance. With the elbow filter, and a Tee connection, I'm able to get both sides of the tank connected to the carb without any kinking. It's draped across the rubber carb/intake manifold adapter there so hopefully not too hot! 8 hoseclamps later:

By the way, is my filter oriented with the flow of fuel correctly? I couldn't find any indicator arrows on the body of the filter saying which direction the flow went. This is a screen type filter so not sure it matters as long as you don't switch after in use

Friday, May 22, 2009

seat base construction

While I wait for fuel plumbing to arrive in the mail, I'm attempting a saddle from a few layers of neoprene rubber glued down to a fiberglass substrate which will then in turn velcro to seatpan that nests onto the frame. Some rainy day I'll upholster the assembly but for now it'll just be raw foam.

I'll form the 'glass substrate directly off the seatpan using my usual processes. Begins with a layup formed around the contours of the seatpan. I'll then attach foam rubber to the resulting part. Here I've prepped added some cardboard reliefs for the seatpan's mountpoints and prepped with tape&PVA.

After layup

Before gluing up the foam, I epoxied a bunch of 1/8" ID washers and drilled out their interior holes so that I have some support for pop-riveting the seat cover in place. Not sure I will need this or not but figured it was an easy enough thing to do, might as well.

I used a glue called "Barge Cement". It's a wonderful glue that I use whenever I need a really strong, yet pliable glue for soft/porous materials like foam (or bicycle handlebar tape, or shoe repair). Its process is much like contact cements where you apply to both faces, allow to dry for some minutes, then press together.

Here's teh second layer. Looks kind of rough but If I'm going to cover it, then it will be okay. One noteworthy item is how quickly the foam dulled the Exacto blades I used to cut it. Really amazing.

Another gratuitous profile :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

wiring tacho

Well at some point I'm gonna want to wire in this nice tach I have. It will also function as my speedo/odo. For now, lots of brushing up on motorcycle electrical stuff. My wiring harness has seen better days and all the reading I've done indicates I'd be well served to do it all up proper with MIL spec wire and sealed connectors. All, and I mean ALL the connectors had little spider nests and spider poop. But somehow, it ran before I began this epic process, so let's see If I can get it limping along with the dusty old stuff first.

Anyway, let's roll out some diagrams. Here's the bike's wiring I copied from a Clymer Manual:

The SPA tach that I have came with a few directions; I found their manual PDF on line and show the schematics contained therein below. Since my bike had no tach originally, I guess this means I am left to wire the new one into the ignition coil:

This is just a table of the various connections to the meter's body. SPA provides a wiring harness that plugs into the 10 prong port atop; the shiftlights are left as an exercise for the user who wants to dragrace

The tach also comes with a speedo pickup. I'll run the sensor wire for this thing along the hydraulic line for the front disc brake, I think:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tail Light Assy

Waiting for some better fuel plumbing gear to arrive in the mail, so here's a first attempt at a plate/light holder I did out of a two piece construction using fiberglass layups. Clearance is going to be pretty tight but this will hopefully work for now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

plumbing fuel tank

OK, got back to some progress on the bike. Used the Caswell snot to seal the interior, hope it holds. Been off line because I've got a bit of a conundrum with fuel plumbing here, and it's probably, well, important to get it right to make sure I don't get a lap full of gasoline while straddling this home made beast.

Recall I've got petcocks on both sides of the tank here and I need to run an inline fuel filter. Clearance is going to be tough and my first parts sourcing for the application is a total failure. Here, you see a petcock and the filter attached to the carb. In between these two needs to be a "TEE" connector to receive the fuel line from the other side of the tank, joining this petcock to then lead to the filter:

I got the petcocks from Clarke Mfg (they make the big plastic tanks for motorbikes, primarily). They're pretty large and I did myself no good by attaching them so far aft on the tank. Anyway, the Automotive 1/4" fuel line is way too stiff for bending and the fuel filter I bought from J&P Cycles is too long.

I found some more flexible (tho reinforced) moto-specific fuel line in their catalog with some help from an actual human on their end. Plus a shorter fuel filter that should only take up about 1/2" of length, barbs aside. Hopefully that will work

I'll also need a better "Tee" connector for joining the two sides of the tank first before leading to the fuel filter and then the carb. I'm on the lookout for a sort of 3 dimentional Tee, I think: where the barbs are all oriented 90 degrees off of a central origin, each pointing along the X, Y, Z axes...That might help keep the fuel line from making such a tight bend.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

dad the exemplar

Dad flew down from Seattle area to visit people in so-cal. Spent some time with Sarah and I in Oakland. Looked over his plane on his way out and co-piloted one go-round in the pattern before he left for sunnier weather. Very shiny. He built this rv-7 by hand in his basement. putting the MAN in Manual!

Stock foto from up North:

Took a few vids of the plane, awesome picture quality, I know! Weather was crap so we weren't even sure he would fly out until ten minutes before takeoff. All worked, tho. Not much talking, but "chit-chat" is not appropriate in this moment; we're concentrating on all the little things you have to think about before takeoff, so silence, please!

readying for santa inez

plotting trip; ignition

taxi, queue


more idling