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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here it is, my '05 Ducati 749 dark. I looked at a couple bikes before getting this one, an R1 and an Aprilia RSV. When I saw this bike in person and heard it fire up though there was no doubt in my mind I wasn't leaving without it. I rode it home that night and got stuck in a traffic jam and figured out the clutch lever slave or whatever it's called needs rebuilt, because if you don't let the clutch out completely every few cycles it fades and won't release the clutch. With that tiny rear sprocket and 5MPH traffic that turned into a bit of a challenge. I got really good at finding the minimum speed necessary to pop it into neutral. Almost ran out of fuel because it pretty much had fumes when I bought it. It got cold really fast that night and what started as a 60 something degree sunny day quickly dropped into the 30s. My gear is mostly summer stuff and my gloves are perforated leather, luckily I had my jacket liner in. I had to stop once and get in the car (my wife was following me home) to warm back up because I couldn't feel my hands anymore. Luckily it was late enough I just tucked in and stayed in the left lane and bombed home.

I've had to adjust some stuff, the rearsets are adjustable which is good because my knees didn't hit the right spot in the tank until I moved them up. I need a factory seat because there is a gel aftermarket thing on the bike that pushes you forward. Also need to do belts so I have a baseline. I pulled the pins out of the clip ons that locate the clutch and brake levers because they were way too high and really hurt my wrists. Bled the clutch to make sure that wasn't an issue. The suspension is already just about perfect but the rear needs a little more preload. The forks are already lowered to about 4 rings showing. I can't remember everything else since it's been a couple months.

I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, my wife wants me to use it as a track bike but I'm thinking about how to make it more street-friendly. The clip ons are WAY low and make my GSXR feel like it has dirt bars. And that rear sprocket...
I haven't seen very many fightered 749/999s I like though.

There will probably be lots of pictures because I like pictures.









Here we go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So the first thing I wanted to do was fix the tailight. It's a cheap aftermarket thing that is really hard to see, one of the segments was already burned out, and it sits inbetween the tail and the exhaust which pushes the exhaust down and looks dumb. There's pretty much nothing out there to buy for the 749 so I decided to make one like my GSXR has.

I started with 1/4" acrylic and cut it to match the profile of the tail, and made cutouts for where the exhaust will tuck in around it. The exhaust cans will pretty much sit up against the subframe now, can't get any closer. I'm a little worried it might melt the acrylic but the old piece was plastic and it wasn't melted. Acrylic is supposed to start softening around 200F I think so I will have to monitor it.

I machined the acrylic so a PCB could fit flush since I found some nice edge lighting LEDs I wanted to try.





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't make anything simple for some reason. I wanted to be able to fine tune the brightness of the LEDs so I found a 16 channel I2C LED controller to drive the LED array. This lets me run the 60 total LEDs in arrays of 5 each, for a total of 12 channels that are each PWM controlled. By doing this I also eliminate the need for a boost controller power supply since each array can be driven directly from +12V. With this setup I can run the turn signals brighter if I want, or dim all channels if it seems too bright, etc. I set up the whole thing in quarters so there is effectively 4 "segments" and then the side segments will be the turn signals. The signals are 10 orange LEDs each.

Next I made the PCBs for the controller and each side of the taillight.





 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So originally all of the wiring and electronics was going to be tucked into the tail and protected but I figured out I mounted the LEDs too close to the exit of the light pipe so the radiation pattern is wrong and most of the light exits between parallel and below which won't work. So I'll have to mount it upside down. Now I have to figure out how to pot it or seal it somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the controller done.



However it took me forever to get it all working, had a couple stupid things I had to figure out. My I2C bus pull-ups were too weak and there is a gain register that the datasheet says nothing about that has to be written before the outputs will work. So after much staring at this:



And this:



And this:



I finally have light!!!



Now I can finish the controller programming and try mounting it on the bike for a test.
 

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Way to way over think a tail light but you know what, its pretty freaking cool. Ive always loved the tubular frame on the Duc's Ive acually been longing for one for quite some time my RC is taking all of my attention right now though.

Opinions are like assholes and there's a lot of both of those around here lol. My opinion on your Duc would be to strip every bit of plastic except the tail off her and lemme see all the goodies. I'd throw a round headlight up front to compliment the tubular frame and drill the triples and slap some Fatbars up there. Id sell the plastics probably get a chunk for them powdercoat the frame black and rock that bitch. Doesnt sound like your cup of tea but it would be cool, and it will be cool judging from that tail light!!!

But I wanna turbo my RVT so don't listen to me... small quick spinner
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I remember now why I made it so complicated. There's a thread on here about people getting rear ended, and I've noticed that led tail lights that are pulse width modulated have just a touch of flicker to them and are really eye catching. So that's one reason to have a PWM controller. My other idea was to have the taillight flash really bright for just a few milliseconds when the brake first comes on before dimming down to the "normal" brake light brightness level. I was thinking this might be almost imperceptible but it should really get your attention. Just a short bright pulse when you put the brakes on but you wouldn't be sure you saw it if you weren't looking right at it.
 

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good ideas, I added a LED bar cause the stockers weren't bright at all, I also manually "flash" it a few times before I actually hit the brakes I feel its more noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Excuse my ignorance, but what are these plates you're machining ( laser etching?) made of? Kinda looks like copper plate over plastic? What are they called?

Again, super nice work.
Thanks. It's copper clad FR4, either 1/16" or 1/32". Most of my boards have copper on both sides unless they are really simple. I use an engraving bit to remove copper and create traces for the electrical signals. It was my inspiration for building a CNC, because normally you have to use an etch resist (sharpie) and ferric chloride to remove the copper. Drawing boards by hand sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
bpw, yeah first thing is to get all the fairings off and see if I get any inspiration. I'll probably ride it as is until my GSXR is finished enough for me for a while and then get serious about it. I probably won't go with a round headlight though, if you've seen my GSXR then you know I like a more modern look and I like angular stuff. I would really like to do an LED headlight so I can get a cool shape, I'd love to have two vertical lines or something really different but I haven't been able to find the right kind of lenses for it. Maybe a single line about a foot long offset to one side, like mounted to one fork. I am still trying to think of something.

What I want to try is a 3D printed lens, maybe vapor polish and then nickel plate. I actually bought a non-conductive nickel plating kit a while back but couldn't get it to work. Or maybe I'll start digging for the right kind of lens since LED headlights are in production now.
 

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Thanks. It's copper clad FR4, either 1/16" or 1/32". Most of my boards have copper on both sides unless they are really simple. I use an engraving bit to remove copper and create traces for the electrical signals. It was my inspiration for building a CNC, because normally you have to use an etch resist (sharpie) and ferric chloride to remove the copper. Drawing boards by hand sucks.
Thank you for this info. That's the start I needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for this info. That's the start I needed.
Yeah no problem. I've been making boards for about 20 years. I've written a lot about cnc machining boards on my website. I can probably answer any questions you have about it.

I remembered what makes the 749 tough, the electronics are mounted in the stacked headlight assembly which isn't terribly good looking by itself.
 
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