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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Triumph of Hope over Experience (or Building a Bike in a Month)

Well hello there!

It's been some time since I've checked in here, but announcing my arrival and then promptly disappearing is kind of my M.O. Anyway, fast-forward a few months since my last post, and here I sit, finishing my breakfast this lovely Sunday morning, and strongly considering going back out to the mosquito-infested hellhole that is my back yard to do some work on some motorcycles. Kind of a lot of work.

I now find myself unemployed and without a lot going on in September. I'd really like to ride my project bike, which is currently as taken-apart as a motorcycle can be, at the beginning of October. Hmm...



(That's not actually what it looks like at the moment. It's currently a little more taken apart.)

Smells like a challenge to me. It's September first. On October first, I want to ride a fully-functioning motorcycle. Moreover, the Brit chopper section here has a miserable four posts, and since I guess this would be considered a Brit chopper, I might as well rectify that too.

Not being new to this whole project bike thing, I consider it basically impossible to complete a project- especially one this taken-apart- in a month, but I'm going to try anyway. I'm barely funded, marginally talented, and poorly equipped, so I expect huge frustration and massive failures every step of the way.

In other words, it should be hilarious.

... for you.

You just need to sit back, get out your beverage of choice, and- if absolutely nothing else- laugh at my misery in these coming few weeks while I plow headlong into massive setbacks and watch my chances of successfully completing this undertaking dwindle with every passing day. The up-side is, when I finally do finish it, I get to ride it.

State of the Build Address to follow tonight. (Be there or be square.)
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sometimes, there comes a time in a bike build when you just have to step back, look at the whole thing, and realize that you're essentially fucking it up. Overthinking, underthinking, overplanning, underplanning, taking too much time or too little, not giving it the money it needs or just throwing cash at it needlessly... often all of those at different points, and the build just keeps getting worse and worse, slower, and slower.

This project has reached that point.

... three times. Over a year and a half.

So yeah... maybe it's time for a proper re-think and a concerted attempt to actually finish the thing.

I'll skip the story, but I have most of a Scrambler motor, a fork, a set of nice wheels, some cool pipes, the beginnings of a frame, part of a tank, and a few odds and ends. The motor needs to be assembled, the wheels and fork rebuilt. The tank needs a tunnel and a bottom. The frame needs, well... a lot. There are myriad other small projects too, like making a headlight bucket and building a seat, but we'll take those as they come.

Most of today was spent sorting, organizing, and planning. Shopping for parts and scheming on what direction to take this thing is fun, but the first order of business was to clear out the shed, clean up the back yard, and take stock of what I have and what I might need.



After a few hours, I had the shed organized. There's storage under the floor, so I threw everything that wasn't related to this project (and would fit) down there. Working out of a 6' x 8' shed isn't really ideal, but it's what I have at the moment, so it'll have to do.



... and this is the bike as it sits right now. As you can see, it's practically done.

Realizing that I was thoroughly short on pictures, I decided that I'd better do some actual work, so I stripped most of the paint off the wheels and engine covers.



The bad news is, I had to use paint stripper, which I totally hate. The good news is, from here I should be able to easily finish everything off with a palm sander. It was painless enough that I'm not considering just sanding the fork lowers down.



Now that I have pictures, I can go back to ordering parts, which is kind of a lot of fun, and get to work on this, which will prove important later.



More tomorrow.
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Today got off to a slow start. I sat down and made some lists, ordered some parts, and burned a bunch of daylight doing other things that I could also do after dark. Problem being, by the time it gets dark, I've been working all day, so my decision making is perhaps not at its finest. I suspect that's actually contributed quite a bit to the previous times this build has ended up on the rocks. Sacrificing a morning might ensure that three weeks from now, I don't discover that I'm missing some parts that I need, because that would kill the build.

Aside from the engine (which is its own issue), I should have most of what I need headed this way.

Around noon, I finally dragged my ass outside and got to it. First up was cleaning up after yesterday's paint stripper fiasco. I hate the stuff, but it is quick. No pictures, because I didn't want paint stripper dust on the camera.



Finished with that, I removed the frame from the engine, tore the engine down, and threw most of it into the parts washer.



Not pictured is the pot of boiling water and hose I used to fill the parts washer. It's... not the best, but it was free. Me, the engine, and some brake cleaner still have a date, but most of the gunk is gone.



First real setback: The old head gasket has a hangnail. I'd hoped to reuse it, since it's for an overbore, and a new one runs about a hundred bucks. Boo. All the shiny stuff to the left of it is where the top layer of the gasket is missing. If it wasn't so bad, I might trim it up and take a chance. The top end isn't exactly in the best shape otherwise, but slivers of head gasket would probably crap up the ring seal or valves past what's acceptable pretty quickly.



Moving on, I've decided to peen all the covers, so I got out the shot bag and a hammer to see what I'm in for. It's plenty loud but goes quick enough.



After taking a break to chat with the neighbor, I broke out the palm sander and took most of the remaining paint off of the wheels and covers.

By that point, it was dark, so I went inside.

Tonight's project is to get together the last of the parts orders so that I can make some phone calls in the morning, and hopefully have the makings of an engine coming this way.
 

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I bang metal
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2,779 Posts
sounds like a tall order. Just try not to get burned out.... i would of probably sold the thing already haha. Try and get it into a roller of sorts and maybe seeing the possibility of what it could be will re freshen your spirit
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sounds like a tall order. Just try not to get burned out.... i would of probably sold the thing already haha. Try and get it into a roller of sorts and maybe seeing the possibility of what it could be will re freshen your spirit
Dude, I should have sold this stupid thing years ago, and I honestly have no idea whether I'll be able to finish it on schedule. This whole thing is kind of an experiment to see...

Burnout and me have an interesting relationship. I need a certain amount of burnout to keep me working on things. It grounds me. When I'm not sufficiently burned-out on a project, I don't get any actual work done, and instead dream about all the great things it could be. When I am sufficiently burned out, I look at the thing, hate its very existence, swear a lot, and then get some work done, because I'm sick of looking at it half-finished. When I'm too burned out, I swear more, make coffee, drink too much of it, get the shakes, take a nap, play some video games, waste the rest of the day, then come back the next with an appropriate level of burnout to get things done.

It's surprisingly productive for how dysfunctional it is, so my plan is to keep the burnout level just under critical mass for as much of the month as possible.

Today was a prime example of that. Everything went wrong. I had to meet a friend, which meant we discussed some work he needs done on a GL1000 project that's currently languishing. That may actually turn into a good bit of part-time work, which I definitely need, but I also definitely needed to spend about two hours less telling him to shit or get off the pot about getting his bike done before winter. That put me back late. I almost missed the UPS man. I didn't get my one major task for the afternoon- building a frame table- done. I did empty a can of whoop-ass on the cases (and by "whoop-ass", of course I mean brake cleaner, and by "a can", I mean "four"), which did an admirable job of getting all of the remaining gunk out of the cracks and crevices and depositing it in a perfectly even, completely impenetrable layer of haze over the entirety of said cases. Our next date is with a pressure washer. Things are getting serious.

I also started on a number of smaller projects, which will be detailed once I get enough of them done for a write up.

On the up-side, I did retrieve my handlebar. I'd loaned it to said friend so he could mock up his bike, but I now need it back so that I can soon mock up mine. It's nothing special, but it's been with this bike for the last 30k miles, so it's going to stay with it. It fits the project. It fits the ergos. It has a sticker that carries fading personal significance. None of that really matters though. What does matter is that it has the matching grip for my throttle, which is extremely important, for reasons that I shall now make clear...

Blue metalflake Granturismo grips are the absolute shit. I've used a lot of grips on a lot of bikes. Most of them are perfectly adequate. Very few suck. Still, none can approach the excellence of metalflake Gran Turismo grips on an old (or wannabe old) bike.

This isn't just my opinion, either. I've never (ever) put anything on any motorcycle that gets as many comments as these grips. I'm pretty sure that I could weld on a six-foot-high exhaust stack with a tip shaped like a vagina, and then hang a flag from the tip depicting a unicorn buttfucking a dolphin that was giving head to both Elvis and Hitler at the same time, and that would still be the second thing people commented on after the grips.

Also critical: They're comfortable, even with the... shall we say "substantial"... throttle pull from two independent Mikuni HSRs, and they seem to last forever.

The problem is, they're not the easiest to come by. They were made in Italy in the '70s, so occasionally caches of them show up in various places. There are some on eBay right now for $20 a set, but they're the more-common 130mm variety. (I have a couple sets of those stashed if the day comes...) The one on my throttle is 120mm, which I prefer, and which are damn-near-impossible to find, and its twin is on that handlebar.

... Thus it was critical that I retrieve my handlebar, which I did, so I guess that makes today a success.

Hopefully tomorrow will be an awesome failure. (I can guarantee that it will have pictures, but my camera's battery is dead at the moment, so none tonight.)
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm going to keep trying to do the daily update thing. It's actually becoming a pretty good motivator in its own right, because at, say, five o'clock, if I haven't done anything interesting yet, I know I'd better get on it.

Since yesterday involved so many words, today will be mostly pictures, starting with a few I took yesterday.

First date:


Frame table backbone:


Quick rough level on flimsy feet. I think I have a line on some free hardwood lumber to make this more solid.



Moving on to today, I finally opened the packages that contained this, which will be important soon...


Since I didn't wake up wanting to kill myself, I decided to fix that, so I spent most of the day collecting, photographing, making notes on and writing copy for things I'm going to throw on eBay or the Triumph forums or maybe even here soon if I get enough posts up.


To lift my spirits, I orchestrated the reunion of this particular set of blue metalflake Gran Turismo grips. It's a beautiful thing.


Seeing as I wasn't already miserable enough, the next major task was to go through all hte engine parts and make sure everything was there, down to the last screw...


... which of course it wasn't. I was missing the clutch hub, lifter, and all the plates. Mercifully, I found them in a box of scooter parts after only about a half-hour of searching.


Miraculously, despite being moved around a lot, almost nothing had disappeared. A few small odds and ends seem to be missing, but I'm fairly sure I've seen them recently, so I'll try to find them soon, and (again miraculously) of the stuff that is missing, nothing costs over five bucks, so even if I don't find them, it won't ruin me.


(Yes, that's ramen. I'll be eating a lot of it this month.)

... Mostly due to things like this:


With some luck (and if the damn wheel bearings ever come in), I'll get the other bike running right soon, which will make parts runs for this one immensely easier.

I ended the day by stealing a page out of the case modders' book and started working on the new wiring harness.




I've just done a couple of the circuits, but I really like the result. They'll be a lot better once I get heat shrink on the ends, too.

Alright. At this point, I'm literally falling asleep as I type this. It's been a busy day. I'll catch you all on the flip side.
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Today saw very little get done. I went to the dermatologist. She cut a small chunk out of my face, and then told me that I was not to play with power tools until at least tomorrow. Something about me not covering it yet and her not wanting to have to laser off an accidental facial tattoo.

I came home and sold a bunch of bike parts in protest.

Then I went to Mack's, picked up a pile of wood, and dragged that home.

Then, a couple of **** showed up at my house, so I spent some time hanging out with them.







(I cannot not make *** jokes about bearings, oil seals, clutch parts, all sorts of things. It's a major weakness.)

Perhaps I should explain. In the rush to pack everything before leaving Seattle a year ago, I threw the bearings in the rear wheel without the spacers. The Honda spacers were too big for the axle, and the Triumph spacers were too short for the wheel, and the bike needed to roll onto the truck. Fast forward a few months, and in my haste to get the bike on the road, I forgot that. They made it about a hundred miles before this happened...



So I ordered some bearings, and in a rare moment of genius, cut part of the old Triumph spacer down to sleeve the inside of the Honda spacer.



You may be horrified that that looks like it was cut on a lathe, and indeed it was... It was cut on a small wood-turning lathe. With a chisel. That's about as high-tech as it gets around here. I cut them off, filed them down, and glued them into the bigger spacer with RTV, then slapped the whole thing in the wheel and called it cool.

With the rear wheel back on my daily, I decided it was also time to install the O2 sensor. This did not go as smoothly as intended.

The first task was to remove the seat to access the fun stuff underneath.



Everything fits, but it's tight.

That part was no problem. What came next was a minor nightmare.

Triumphs, like most bikes, take 12mm O2 sensors. Standard wideband O2 sensors, as available in practically every gauge kit, are much bigger. Innovate makes an adapter, which in a moment of weakness I opted for rather than welding up my own, since I already have enough on my plate.



That was a mistake.

It looks innocent enough here, but it took an hour and a half to get that son of a bitch in there. I had to pull the pipe, clean the threads on the adapter (Innovate threaded a whole bunch of these wrong for some reason), and repeatedly install, test-fit, remove, and tweak the damn thing until it fell in the 3 degree arc that allows it to clear everything.

I got the sensor calibrated, but at that point, I was cranky, covered with mosquito bites, coated in wheel gunk, and not at all in the mood to figure out how to mount the gauge and where to put the wire. It was also dark, which didn't help. I packed up the tools and went inside.

All of the downtime and frustration today got me scheming, and now I have some more fun plans. Since I finally have some cash to spend, I can order parts and finally get this project moving...
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Braided wire looms from cheap bungie chords... brilliant.

Being a fan of :triumph: ... I'll watch your misery ;)
Excellent. Glad to hear you're getting into the spirit of this build.

Just so's y' knows, that's cheap knockoff paracord. Ten feet for three bucks on fleabay. Just make sure you get the nylon stuff, and not the polyester. Three thin-ish wires scavenged from my harness will just fit through it. I like it, because it fits a lot tighter than woven wire loom and covers the wires completely. It also looks kind of like old fabric covered wire, which will be perfect on a bike like this. Years ago, I came across a video on YouTube about doing it to hard drive cables on a computer, and I've been looking for an excuse to do it since.

So, true to form, I managed to get locked out of my Flickr account until tomorrow, so no pictures today. Hopefully I can remember the password. If not, I may be in the market for more picture hosting.

There wasn't much to take pictures of anyway. Most of the day went to organizing, packing, and shipping various stuff.

I took the cases to the car wash, where I hosed them down with wheel cleaner and then hit them with the pressure washer, which did absolutely nothing to get the last of the dirt film off of the powdercoat. The machined surfaces are spotless, which is nice, but the dirty powdercoat looks pretty gnarly. They're back in the parts washer now, and I'll hose them off in a bit. May have to repaint if I can't fix this, which I really don't want to do, since between prep, masking, and painting, I'll burn at least half a day on that.

I rebuilt my frame table (actually, I think I'll call it a "frame rail") with a hardwood base and leveled it to within 1/10th of a degree. That's close enough for now. I'll lock it down once I get some weight on it.

The next-to-last engine parts order went in, so I have a hundred bucks' worth of gaskets, seals, odds, and ends on the way. I did have to replace one $10 shaft, but everything else is under five bucks, so that's good. I still need to order the pistons and related crap, but I'm waiting 'til I sell some more stuff before I pull the trigger on that. As long as I get the bottom end built, I can button up the top end in an afternoon, easy.

Tonight goes to redesigning the wiring harness from scratch, because last night's crazy idea is now prompting me to do an 11th hour rethink of a few things. (If this shit goes down, I may not sleep much for the next few weeks, but I am totally okay with that.)

Tomorrow should be fun. The frame goes on the rail, and then we'll see...
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As I may have said previously, there have been a few iterations of this project. A few chopper plans, some fighter-ish things... one total mongrel that incorporated pretty much every crackpot idea and harebrained scheme that I've ever had for one of these bikes (I affectionately refer to this as "Plan B"). I've started a couple of frames, but scrapped the first and the second- a lightweight, big-backbone street-freak frame- really isn't ideal for a hardtail, which is the direction I now want to go. The one I liked best was the original: build a hardtail frame to the proportions of the T100RR, set it up accordingly (left side shift, though), throw on a headlight and tail light to get it legal, and then ride the piss out of it.

Not a bad plan, really, so that's the one I decided to run with. Still, I haven't been happy with the way the project was headed, and it was barely started. It's too tame. Too safe. Too easy, really. I can rebuild a motor in a day or two at most, and putting together a frame in a weekend is no big deal. From there, it's just a matter of managing all the minutiae; my cool chopper project was being reduced to a logistics management exercise.

Bullshit.

It's time for "Plan B".

Welcome to the nut house, bitches.

The first order of business is to get the frame together. Fortunately, Plan B plays nice with the way-too-light frame from the street freak, so let's look at that...



That backbone is aluminized 16ga exhaust tube.



You can't weld aluminized exhaust tube and expect it to stand up to any amount of stress, because the aluminum causes deposits in the welds, which then fail under shock loads. You have to remove the aluminum. For that, I used lye, which in this case comes in the form of cheap drain cleaner.

Lye will dissolve the aluminum, but leave the steel. A half hour did it here.



From there, it was just a matter of welding it to the neck and the brace tube, which went swimmingly, and then welding some gussets to fill the triangle, which is maybe the worst welding I've done since moving over to TIG. I was out of practice, and the gussets are super-thin, so I holed them constantly. (Insert other excuses here.) This proved to be a major problem since they aren't there for strength; they're there to provide a little extra volume when I fill the frame with gasoline.



After spending about an hour going back and forth between my high-tech pressure tester and the welding bench, I had an ugly but airtight frame. I have since ground down the ugly welds a little, just because I was so sick of looking at them, and it's not worth throwing down a pile of cheater weave.

Last night, I finished and leveled the frame table too.





Thus-equipped, I headed into today, ready to put some hurt on the rest of it.

There are a lot of ways to jig up a frame at home, and most of them are massive overkill. You just have to keep the axles parallel so the wheels stay in line. Since my fork is straight, I can just square the yokes in it, throw the axle in, center it on the beam, and go from there. I use a chunk of aluminum angle to do all of that. The only issue is, to get the angle straight and exactly centered, I need to make a lot of adjustments. Here, I'm using a piece of scrap as a rail to allow easier adjustment.



I moved the chain line in 5mm, so the engine had to go left that much, meaning I had to cut and re-set the mounts. (These pictures may not correlate exactly to the description.)



That done, I had to measure the space I'd need between axle plates. It's easiest to just throw everything on an axle, bottom the head against one side, compress from the other side, mark the axle, then remove it and measure.



Ignoring about 1/64th inch for not being able to get the pencil tight enough to the last spacer, this one came out to just over 9 1/2", but I'll round down to 9 1/2" for the rear spacing. I prefer to have a little bit of pinch there, because it seems to make installing things easier.



I'll skip all of the mockup shots. Here, the rear triangle is fully tacked in:



Can you spot the problem...?






I actually had to knock one of the ends off the rail support to get it free.

Once there, I could test fit the lower case half as well. Looks alright so far.



Tomorrow, I get myself even deeper into this mess...
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have made a command decision. This will be the last of the daily updates. There are two reasons for this:

1.) Plan B has left me crazy-busy. There is a whole lot to be done, and very little time to do it. Updating daily takes away from time I need to be building if I want to have any chance of finishing this damn thing.

2.) Looking back, the updates are really scatter-shot and pretty boring.

From now on, I will be updating as I get things done. For example, I finished the major tacking on the frame today:



It looks almost the same as it did yesterday, only now, if you grab the rear triangle and tug on it, the whole frame comes along, not just that side of the triangle. Had I not updated yesterday, I would have just waited 'til today and showed it from start to finish, which makes more sense.

All that's left are tank and seat mounts, a handful of bungs for fuel delivery, the battery tray, and the bolt-on aluminum brackets that will connect the remaining two motor mounts to the frame.

I threw the top of the tank on it, just to get a sense...



And that's really it. That ate most of the day. I hadn't planned this frame too extensively, so I'm kind of winging it, and that takes a lot of time. Plus, without a drill press, I have no way to cope tubes quickly, so there's a lot of grinding and filing to get every tube to fit. Fortunately, aside from a bracket for the seat and whatever the hell I end up doing to hang the pipe, I'm pretty well done with tube work.

I get started on the tank tomorrow, and I'm also going to dive into the various aluminum brackets that need to start happening.

Now, I'm off to fleabay to try to track down all the remaining parts I need without spending a kilobuck. I've also decided that I think I'm going to file off the hangnail on that gasket and just run it, because that frees up a hundred bucks that I would have spent on a gasket kit, which I could instead use to have the flywheel lightened.

Wish me luck.
 

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Is my bike ok?
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15,025 Posts
Re: Triumph of Hope over Experience (or Building a Bike in a Month)

Nothing boring about your updates bud. I've really been enjoying watching your build. I refrained from commenting to keep my mindless drivel out of your well articulated thread :D

I'm not sure what to think about the exhaust tubing backbone, but since you seem to know what you're doing, I'm just gonna kickback and wait for the updates. Good luck. Definitely Sub'd

Sent from my SCH-R720 using Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Triumph of Hope over Experience (or Building a Bike in a Month)

Nothing boring about your updates bud. I've really been enjoying watching your build. I refrained from commenting to keep my mindless drivel out of your well articulated thread :D

I'm not sure what to think about the exhaust tubing backbone, but since you seem to know what you're doing, I'm just gonna kickback and wait for the updates. Good luck. Definitely Sub'd

Sent from my SCH-R720 using Motorcycle.com Free App
Thanks!

I really have no idea what to think about the backbone either, other than that I hope it works. With normal frames, I pretty well know what I'm doing, but this is definitely pushing it. It would work if there was suspension back there. Plenty strong in that application. I'm just not sure how the welds will hold long term with the vibes from the hardtail. Definitely considering some substantial gussetting, and perhaps even scabbing over a big part of the joint with the rear triangle to spread the load.

This is a non-update. I went for a ride to dial in the low throttle map on the other bike, and somewhere along the way, my wallet fell out of my pocket. I spent about three hours riding around looking for it, because I had this month's rent in there, but it's all long gone. Looks like rent is coming out of the project budget, which means... well... I'm not sure what, exactly.

Instead of sorting out whether I'll have some way to finish this thing on schedule- or at all anytime soon- I'm taking the night off to go drink beer with a woman. I have my passport (they card everybody around here) and a bunch of quarters, which is all I need for that. Tomorrow, I'll figure out the rest.
 

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Is my bike ok?
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15,025 Posts
Re: Triumph of Hope over Experience (or Building a Bike in a Month)

Man, losing your wallet is the worst! I lost mine for about an hour once. Found it at home, but that was the most anxious hour.of my life. Sorry to hear that man.

Didn't meant to criticize the back bone. It looks right on there. It just brought back bad memories of guys at the drag strip with exhaust tubing roll cages :doh: Too late to slug it now, but some bracing of some sort should do the trick, Im sure. BTW, what is this engine you are using? I'm not up on my Triumphs as much as I'd like to be.
 

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Feckin Eejit!
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6,961 Posts
Engine looks like one of the newer 865cc bonnie lumps. I'd like to know some specs on it since he mentioned an over bore... Theres kits to take these "little bonnies" up to 1087cc. And they've got just about every performance mod you can think of available from cam's to ignitions. I keep forgetting about Bonnies, but for a minute they were what I was looking at as a modern "UJM" style standard.
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

It is, in fact, a newer Triumph twin. The silver cases are from an '04 790 Bonneville. The black are from my '07 865 Scrambler (which are what I'll be using). There are a lot of little differences in the cases, because there were a number of changes made over the run, but they're effectively the same thing.

Not too much excitement going on with this engine build. I will say that it'll be a 904, probably running Wiseco 10.5:1s. Beyond that, you'll just have to stay tuned...
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For once, you should be glad that a post doesn't feature pictures. (Don't read this if you don't like vivid descriptions of minor injuries.)

I discovered something terrible yesterday. Being without a belt sander, I was using an angle grinder with a flap wheel to shape some wood. Once everything is nice and smooth, I typically ditch the gloves to feel the surface as I take it down. I bumped the flap wheel into my bare thumb.

I have done this many times with metal. The hard metal pretty quickly smoothes the flap wheel out, so it stings, but it doesn't really do much damage.

Instead of taking the flap wheel down, wood loads it up with resin. And then slivers of wood. The sharp edges, stiffened by the resin, cut right into my thumb, and then DROVE FUCKING SPLINTERS INTO THE WOUND. Using a needle and tweezers to get those out sucked worse that picking specks of asphalt out of road rash.

It has also slowed me down a lot, which sucks.

Anyway, full report tonight, including some bike parts.
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This week has sucked.

Between losing my wallet, having my bike break down, tearing the shit out of my fingers with a flap wheel, and having to completely re-think this build, I'm drained, and I got disgustingly little work done. I made some progress on the wiring...







(The pile on the right is what stays... for now...)

I also got a few things cleaned up and put together...



But the best news of the week is what's in that box... ALL THE BOTTOM END PARTS I NEED! Gaskets, clips, dowel pins... all the little stuff that either got roached or disappeared. It actually showed up with the mail today. That means I'd better get my ass in gear and get the bottom end back together, huh? It also means I'd better clean the fucking house, if I want to have any hope of assembling the thing indoors.

Okay, maybe it's the second best news. The best news is really that I finally figured out the weird fueling issues on my other bike. It's been running crazy-rich. I started with the most aggressive aftermarket fuel map I could find, and it ran terribly. Figuring that I'd cut the pipes too short and my stacks may be too long, I dialed it down, which improved idle but lost the top end. I kept dialing it down until, pride be damned, I was spraying less fuel than the wimpiest stock map. Still rich, especially at low throttle. Something is wrong, clearly.

Only yesterday did I realize that the fuel pump I'm using is regulated to 50 PSI, and the Triumph maps are calibrated for 3 bar. I can't see that causing any problems, can you...?

(SMDH.)

Also good, I sold enough stuff to order the next big batch of parts, which includes pistons and all the sensors I need for the EFI conversion. It's a little-known secret (like, extremely little-known), but almost every sensor Triumph has ever used was used by another manufacturer first. I picked up everything (MAP x 2, IAP, IAT, oil temp, and tip) for $48, which isn't bad, considering Triumph MAP sensors alone usually bring $30 apiece, and there are three of them. I'll have less than $500 parked in the FI conversion by the time I'm done, and I've already sold the old ignition box for $300 (and I have some spendy carbs just waiting...)

Now, there are just a few more odds and ends to order, and I should have everything.

There's a lot more than just what's above in the works. Lots of little items fall off the list every day, and I'm starting to feel a little bit in control of the situation again, so hopefully things will start happening even quicker. Two weeks in, I'm definitely not as far along as I'd like to be, but I'm not completely weeded either.

... yet.
 

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The Glistening Turd
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2,983 Posts
Very cool, looking forward to seeing one of the newer Triumph engines used in something like this.
 

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moron with a hammer
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119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I did not finish the headlight bucket today. I suck at fiberglass even more than I suck at woodworking, and I am pretty bad at woodworking. Hopefully tomorrow.

I did finish a couple of things.

First, I finally got the wiring diagram sorted.



With the EFI stuff, there's no point in trying to keep it too simple, so I'm doing an RFID ignition and a cool speedometer (if they ever send it), but beyond that, it's bare bones. I like the EFI error light, and I won't run without an oil pressure light, but beyond that, it's just lights and a horn. I'll use toggles for kill and start, then pushbuttons for high beam and horn, and the usual brake switches. I'll cover everything else when I get the FI stuff in. (I also just realized one wire is missing.)

The other project for the day was finally finishing this:



First time I've ever made a leather seat, and the first time I've ever made a seat completely from scratch.

I started with a cheap, kind-of busted shoulder, cut out a chunk, broke out some tools, and did this:



That was about a year ago. It sat like that 'til last Friday, when I finally formed it and cut out a pan from some diamond stainless (like the kind you find on the wall of a diner). By yesterday, it had dried, so I cut some foam and gel to fit, then hammered some rivets to attach it to the pan. Leather is somewhat acidic when wet, and that plus iron stains leather black, so the hammer left black marks around some of the rivets. Today, I blended that in using some vinegar and a steel tube, and then toned the whole seat a little more by boiling down some coffee and using it as stain.

Let this be testament that anyone can do leatherwork. I had zero experience tooling, working, or dying leather going into this. I won't say that it's great, but I don't think it's half-bad.

If you look close, you may even notice that it's cocked about a half inch to the left. That's actually intentional. For some reason, I sit crooked on motorcycles, so I always have to slightly correct the steering. This is an attempt to fix that, since I don't think I'll be selling this one anytime soon. It should look straight when it's installed on the bike, though obviously if you measured it, it'd be off.

Otherwise, I'm still grinding away at things. I now have a big stack of stuff to work on, which is nice, but I'm starting to worry about the weather. If I don't catch a break on the humidity, I won't be able to paint. I also really need to sell some more parts, or I'm'na be out of budget before I get this thing done.
 
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