26 April 2013

fork alignment

forks were way off on the y-plane, like a good 1.5" or so... figured I'd give the old-timer BMW method of y-plane fork alignment a try

after tightening up the rope every hour for 4 hours, the forks didn't move at all.

What did move the forks was sitting on top of the frame and holding the 2x4 with my own hands and using my own strength to re-align them. After about 2 minutes I got them to within about 1/8" of alignment and will close that gap tomorrow or later since I'm still waiting for fork rebuild parts.I'm amazed with all the force put on the tubes that they're still in perfect alignment on the x plane

20 April 2013

oh those Italian forks

Woke up alone in the house today after coming home from a night shift. Figured I'd take advantage of the "me" time and get the fork sliders off and cleaned while I wait for the seals to arrive (and my wife and daughter to get home).

First issue I ran into was the bolts that go into the damper to hold the sliders on

Sliders are off already, but I put the bolts back in so I don't lose them. The one on the left had a cap head with 6mm allen head on it. No worries, 6mm allen wrench out, bolt out. Couldn't get the wrench into the one on the right. Turns out the head is for a 5.5mm allen wrench. Glad my set came with a 5.5mm one, took it out and voila, both are out. Looked at both bolt heads and it's not like one was rounded out or messed up in any way, they're just two different sizes, weird.

The slider on the right popped off immediately, the one on the left needed some persuading. Found the slider to be slightly seized to the damper rod but enough of a jerk freed it. Even though I drained the forks before disassembly, I found some water at the bottom of the left one so that would explain that, doesn't look like anything was damaged though.

Hey! I finally got to use my circlip pliers I bought years ago. The fork seals have seen better days...

Took a large piece of glass that used to belong to the hard top of my VW Typ 181 and laid it across the forks. Looks to be out of alignment on the y plane, but the x plane is honky dorry. That'll be next on my list of stuff to tackle. They otherwise appear smooth, clean, and unbent.

Figure the realignment will take 3-4 hours, then it's hurry up and wait again. Maybe I'll start getting my handlebar and controls out of the packaging and prepped for mounting

19 April 2013

more problems, more parts

After about 2 weeks of debating, I decided to drop off the gas tank for powdercoating. My rationale was that this way the color would match the fenders and rims 100%, should be a tougher finish, and the cost was well below that of paint. I was mulling around the idea of painting the tank myself, it worked out somewhat ok with the BMW, but I'd like to hold this bike to a higher standard than my daily rider. I also bought some decals from Moto Macchi to decorate it with.

From the beginning I wanted this to be an "Aermacchi," instead of being labelled as an Aermacchi/Harley Davidson. With that in mind I ordered some late 50's macchi decals (pre-H-D acquisition) for the sides of the tank

The guy at Moto Macchi says in reality they are actually a dark navy and silver color instead of the greenish color represented in the gif. Either way they're on backorder from Italy so it'll be awhile before I see them in person.

Also got a neat race sticker for the top of the tank by the gas cap.

That I did receive in the mail, but it was easier to post the gif from the website. I always loved the look of such things on MV Agusta tanks and Aermacchi does have a race pedigree, in fact Harley's only road race victories were on Macchis, even though they pretend that part of their history never existed.

I should be receiving the gas tank back from powdercoat in another week or so, around the same time I should be getting the rear wheel back from truing out in California. You'd think things would be flying with the bike but small issues keep popping up that put things on hold.

I ordered another seat of bearings for the steering head. Apparently unsealed ball bearings are a rare commodity nowadays, so they came from Moto Macchi as well. Decided just to replace all the bearings instead of waiting till a later date and I now have peace of mind in that respect. However on reassembling the forks I found both seals to be leaking pretty badly. Don't know why the leak is just showing up now, but I have a feeling it has to do with the forks moving so much off the bike that the leaks were always there but just finally exposed themselves to a greater degree. Now I have a set of seals on order (going to be attached to the tank decals once they arrive from Italy) and I guess I'll just do a full fork rebuild.

While I had the triple clamp off I figured I'd lose the battered black paint and polish the upper and lower clamp up. I'm happy with the results. Also applied some touch up paint to the frame and cleaned up this and that. She looks pretty in the nude, going to have to attack that engine with some elbow grease and polish in the near future as well...

Also disassembled the instrument pods again and began digging through the electric. So many damaged wires and aged connections. I wound up cutting most of the splices to expose cleaner copper and resoldering everything. Thankfully there aren't too many wires on the bike. I took a look at the NOS CEV model 8042 horn/light switch that I bought to replace the original one on the bike and found a ton of wiring that doesn't match the wiring on the bike. Looks like I'll have to cut and splice again somewhere, but I'm going to hold off until the handlebars and controls are mounted. I don't want to make anything too short or awkward

So once again it's hurry up and wait. In the meantime I'd like to give a shout out to the shop doing the powdercoating. I've been using GSD Coatings in Keyport (http://www.gsdcoatings.com/cmsms/) and I've been really pleased with the work so far. The prices have been more than reasonable and the parts are coming back better than I'd have imagined. It's pretty cool looking at all the Ducati stuff in the shop when you go in as well. Ducati frames, tanks, and even a whole bike are in the offices. I think they have a race team as well.

Caught this outside the building when I was dropping off the tank... You don't ever see anything like this in my corner of NJ

They must belong to Lux Motorwerks next door to the place. My daughter looked at the R8 and said "oh look, Daddy's car!" I wish baby, I wish...

14 April 2013

Sunday Ride / Classic Cycles (ltd) Crawfish Boil

The planets must have aligned as I had a day off, beautiful weather, and a motorcycle event all on the same day. Total riding amounted to 170 miles (273km), haven't had a day of riding like that in probably a year or so. Met up with Chris K in the morning and set off for conquering

It's Nutts... and delicious. Brunch around Trenton

Got to classic cycles early, place was packed by departure time

some motorcycles of interest

killer Norvin

bobber for sale

bultaco racer - only ever seen the enduro looking ones till today

Lucky for me Chris knows a lot of people, so I got to meet a lot of new faces - even finally met the legendary Dick Gambino. Also was introduced to some Gasket Goons and in turn their clubhouse which is fucking awesome. There were some major projects are under construction including a tattoo shop, antique shop, hot rod shop, and flea market to name a few. I'm definitely going to have to head back out there to see how things are going, it'll be a great excuse for another ride too. The guy Josh running things is completely living the dream.

Badass baby seat

And with all this, my nice little break from work is depressingly over. I'll be back on night shifts next weekend so I'll be missing the Gathering of the Nortons and if my schedule holds as is, it looks like I'll be on night shift for this year's Deutsche Classic show in July...

On the upside, I sent out the rear rim for the Aermacchi out to California for truing yesterday, so hopefully I'll have it back by next week and can get the wheels back on the bike. Since the powdercoating is completely done and wrapped in the garage I'm going to have to hustle and finish up stripping (and then painting) the gas tank. After that, it should just be a matter of mounting the new bars/controls, retuning the carb, and a little wiring work and the Aermacchi should be on the road. 

Should be...

12 April 2013

back from powdercoat

Laced and going out for truing. Pretty soon I'll have a rolling frame again.

 Also expecting a box of goodies from MotoMacchi, mainly decals for the gas tank and new bearings

11 April 2013

Coming up short...

In the last post I mentioned that I'd ordered some new bearings for the steering head. Well, I decided instead of waiting to replace everything I'd just do it when the parts arrived - this bike is ultimately going to be for my daughter after all and I'm not going to compromise on anything when it comes to her riding it (even if that is 14 years down the road). The bearings arrived today and I'm a little miffed.

Note that the calipers aren't even fully closed in the above pic. Next is compared to an actual 4mm bearing it's supposed to replace

I guess that's what I get for buying a $7 bag of chrome steel bearings, but I figured a site just for bearings wouldn't let me down. Emailed the guy and we'll see if he's willing to fix this issue. Just pisses me off because it's now holding things up a little. Especially since I just got the last batch back from powdercoating

The hubs and brake assemblies are painted with satin black caliper paint, the stuff in the plastic is the stuff I just got back. Gotta unwrap the rim so I can lace it up just like the front (if the wife and baby could ever give me enough time), but I think I'll leave the rest wrapped for protection as it looks like it might be awhile before those get mounted. They really do look fantastic under the plastic though, really impressed with GSD coatings so far.

Also started stripping the Benelli tank this week to prep it for epoxy sealing and paint (think Max Biaggi's winning Aprilia from last season for a taste of the paint scheme). Wouldn't it be cool if that were alloy? I can pretend at least...

New sneakers arrived today as well. Haven't bought pumas in awhile, but I have no sneakers and am tired of wearing industrial boots all the time. Now all I need is an M3 to go along with these and I'll be golden.

This Sunday is the crawfish boil at Classic Cycles.

 First time I'll be off for one of their events and am looking forward to it. Buddy Chris @Rustisgold is going to have some GoPro action on the ride up, weather is looking perfect, Beemer is looking and riding great, and he has a couple new drive shafts for his magneto on his '77 Triumph. Don't want this to happen again (return trip from mods vs rockers Philly)

and look how cool we were just before leaving, such a shame

That's about it for now. Hopefully next update will have more progress, or at least some nice pics from the meet.

04 April 2013

Steering stem bearings

Since I'm waiting for powder coating to come back + put the wheels on + paint and seal the tank, I figured I'd take advantage of a fairly bare frame and check out the steering head bearings.

Now this bike really wasn't in too bad of shape, but it is 46 years old, so I wasn't sure what to expect

After freeing the top triple clamp and dropping the forks, and dropping the lower bearings all over the garage floor, things were looking pretty bleak, but not damaged... Confirmed by the state of the upper bearings

Dried grease, or a lack thereof, and alot of bare metal, but after a good cleaning both the ball bearings and races looked to be in fine shape. Cleaned, repacked them and reassembled, but ordered a box of new 4mm bearings for the next regrease. The manual says these need a repack every 10K miles and come that time I'll re-inspect and probably just replace them all. Really makes you appreciate the fact that BMW used timken roller bearings.

Speaking of which, I planned on repacking those next winter, this PM got me wondering what state I'll find those in

03 April 2013

Product Review: Dr. Marten's Wonder Balsam

I don't usually write stuff like this, but I've been using this for about 4 years now and I don't think a lot of people have even heard of it or would even think to use it on motorcycle jackets.

Back when I worked in the field, the companies I worked for all provided a stipend for new boots each year, and every year for the past 7 years (well except for half of one), I'd buy a pair of industrial grade Docs. When you buy online, and I've only seen this stuff online, they suggest you also try the Wonder Balsam for cleaning and treatment of leather and I figured what the hell. It's supposed to clean, condition, and provide some mild water proofing for leather and it never let me down as far as boots are concerned.

About 4 years ago I figured I'd try it on my leather jacket (which is only 5 years younger than I am), and now I buy this stuff yearly just to use on my jackets. It cleans and conditions but it also has a restoring effect. Places on the jacket where the color was fading or turning whitish were returned to the original color and places where the leather was cracked or hardened were softened up and returned to the nice worn in condition of the rest of the jacket. As far as waterproofing, it seems to repel the water for only one or two flash rainstorms and then the water proofing effect is mostly gone, but that's my only complaint.

The only place I've ever seen this has been on the Docs online store (www.dmusastore.com) in the accessories section. If you like vintage jackets like I do, you owe it to yourself to try the stuff out.

This is my current riding jacket (from around 1989... I was 5 at the time!) after a treatment tonight.

That's it for the product endorsing. Back to the regularly scheduled program

Powder coating on the fenders and rear rim should be done tomorrow, on the fence about cleaning up the frame or stripping that down for powdercoating too. We'll see how motivated I get. Still waiting on the new tail light for the BMW. I fucking hate Deutsche Post, it completely ruins all German stereotypes about efficiency

01 April 2013

frog hookers

made this homemade frog hook for my brother-in-law... wasn't till I was just about finished that he mentioned he needs two of them

ducatisti eat your heart out