Sorry I haven’t been up to much recently, after Ixion at Cadwell and work I haven’t spent a lot of time in the shed.
Oh, I did make use of the Land Rover to collect a fellow internet users (young lad from Reddit) bike that he had crashed into an innocent hedge while avoiding a badger.
The past two weekends I did end up on an epic sort out of a shelving unit just to find some cable ties, I really need a bigger shed.
Lots of it is random bits that Dad has kept for other projects and some is the bits we took off that aren’t best but they might be handy for spares for other things.
But after getting that all back on the shelf I was happy to say I now know where the cable ties are and the pullers, levers, and even chain splitters are.
This was followed by a short trip (300miles 6hrs) to collect a bike for my Dad. A low mileage, Yellow Ducati Monster M600 as he likes my bikes but he wanted something a little smaller and he has wanted another Ducati since he sold his 750 Paso.
But enough of that, time for the fettling. Today I managed to get a few bits sorted, one was to fit a new charger for the bike, one unit, two charging leads. Its from NoCo which though its American they seem to make nice kit.
With that fitted I thought about sorting out the USB cable on the BMW, then I noticed a job on the KLR that I have meant to do for ages.
That is a rather chewed up screw, this tends to happen to Jap bikes as most people use Phillips screw drivers on them when the Japanese use their own JIS style of screw driver. That will be anther post another day.
I had tried to remove it a year or two ago and that is when it ended up like that. So armed with an LH Drill bit I set to it. Then I thought that rather than drill it out I might get away with using an Allen key to undo it. So with some luck, I found an impact Allen key that was just right and I hammered it down in there.
It then came out, which was nice.
Now replaced with a new Allen bolt, with grease to prevent galling.
Later this will allow me to bleed the brakes again as the KLR is well known for crap brakes.
Now back to the BMW, where I then thought oh I might as well do this while I am here.
Never understood why they just didn’t give me an extra few litres of fuel…its only 35ltr tank as it is. I had a bit of an issue with glues as the RTV just wouldn’t stick so I ended up using some superglue which has worked. Though if it fails then some sort of contact adhesive such as copydex is recommended.
Tomorrow I might actually get some stuff done on the bike that means I can go for a ride.
Hit a bump in the road while braking and then I lost steering. I thought I had a flat tyre. Eek.
Thankfully a chap heading to the local MX track stopped and had tools.
I had only fitted the lower mudguard the other weekend as I thought it would be nice to have both fitted to the bike for neatness. Clearly its not a good thing to do.
Later that day the clutch would stop working, but after sitting at the side of the road for 20mins there was a click and it worked again so rode home gently. Now in a sulk. I have other bikes but I just get a feeling I might break another one.
So the parts are taking their time to get to me so I took the opportunity to do some work on some of the bits that I can’t normally get to. Now this isn’t going to be a concourse bike this for now is just to slow the deterioration and to tidy a few bits up.
Just a coat of primer, black paint and a self-etching lacquer to finish it off. This is mostly hidden, I just wanted it to sparkle a little. I also painted the airbox and the airbox cover while I was at it.
Another job was to clean the gearbox and the clutch housing. It took quite a bit of time to get it this tidy. Next stage would to get it vapour blasted but I just don’t want to spend that kind of money yet.
While I have the rear shaft assembly out I gave that a damned good clean and then sealed with some more self-etching lacquer from the people at Buzzweld.
Now to await the parts so I can get this thing back together.
As lockdown is easing a little I had to drop some stuff off at my sisters in Wiltshire so I took the bike. That went well, the bike was going well so I thought I might as well take the shortcut home and wave at a friend that keeps offering me money for the bike.
Just outside of Cirencester while in the outside lane doing 70mph on a dual cabbageway I lost drive, but I could rev. The first thought was oh dear the chain has snapped but being a BMW shaft-driven bike I wasn’t so lucky. I pulled over and there was little or no drive. I noticed a sign ahead for parking so with some luck I was able to ease the bike to a safe place under the trees. I rang home to say what had happened and Dad though happy to come to get me wasn’t going to be able to make it for a quite a few hours. This is when I made a mistake, I thought I would just get the RAC out. They have been good to me in the past.
I rang, told them what was wrong and I needed recovery. They said they would send a van. The van driver rang, he agreed that he doubts he could repair it at the road side so called the office to get them to recover it.
So 45mins later, he turned up. Looked at the bike and listed to the clanking etc. Said “yup, its broken alright”. So told the office and a recovery lorry would come out soon. I rang at 5pm, it was now 6pm. I waited, I crossed the road to keep in the sun as I had a feeling I might get cold.
Had a call at 8 from a chap in Frome saying he would be 1.5hrs, oh someone else local has the job now, they will call you shortly. Just after 9pm a chap turns up.
The bike is strapped down, I never like the way bikes get strapped down to flatbeds. On the centre stand, straps to pull it forwards and down. Straps on the rear to pull it down. Just the centre stand keeping it on the ground. At one point both front and rear wheels touched the deck…I whelped and we changed the straps about. Eventually home for midnight. It was a long day.
The next day filled with ideas of what had failed we started to strip the bike down. Its amazing how quickly these things go from big bike to half a bike.
As you can see we were tempted to make it into a some sort of BikeExif custom thing, but as I don’t own any exhaust wrap we didn’t bother. After the removal of the gearbox it was easy to see what the problem was.
That would be a rather broken clutch. So a new one has been ordered. I decided to go for a nice Sachs one as that is what BMW fitted. I was tempted to go for a Heavy Duty one that is happy to get oily etc but I wanted to go with tested an proven.
I had a birthday recently, I spent that weekend painting the BMW. At the end of the day, my Dad’s only disappointment was the hacked up rear mudguard and how rubbish it looked. So as a present he offered to buy me a good second hand one. So moments later I ordered the BMW brake light from Motorworks and a more paint from Craig at Buzzweld because the mudguard we found was, of course, the wrong colour.
The guard eventually turned up and as I had to take some Holiday during this COVID-19 stuff I thought oh well might as well do something with the time.
A quick scrub down and I masked off the stickers and the BMW logo. Then out with the paint. I chose to go red again as it covers well compared to the white. and I thought I like to be different.
Then came time to fit, oh how much of a pain that was. It decided to interfere with the Metal Mule Pannier kit, and so, therefore, got a few scuffs in the new paint. I will touch that up another day. I took the opportunity while the mudguard was off to paint some Coo-Var Rust Converter as I do plan to repaint the frame one day but not just now, but I would like to prevent it getting any worse anytime soon.
Looks a lot nicer with the proper guard in place and I have got rid of the horrible bracket for the numberplate. Decided to fit the new brake light so the LED one I made had to be removed.
The indicator bracket I made up one afternoon looks like it needs to be removed and something else made. The Resistors for the Indicators also needs to move now. I am thinking under the seat on a new mount.
One of the other things I have been meaning to do is sort the Screen mounting points but I can’t seem to get the BMW bolts which are M6 with a 10mm spigot on top with an M5 tapped into that. I asked a friend if he could have a go so “This Old Hoddy” made up a few, they are interesting as he is still learning his lathe and Mill. I needed 4 but he had only made 2 that could be used.
But he told be he had ordered some hexagonal bar stock and would be having another go. A week later and he had done them, I collected on the way home from work kept distancing rules etc I even left them on a bag for a few more days before taking them out for a clean etc.
Technically they should look like this,
With a 17mm spanner head on them etc etc. But they fit and look right and they are mostly hidden. As the ones Hoddy made for me were plain steel I had to treat them. The idea of Cold Bluing them sounded like a good idea. Its a technique used on Guns to give them a layer of dark blue rust that can be oiled and precents the red rust we are all used to. Ordered a bottle and gave it a go, as I did this I asked some of the Ixies on Ixion and they were strongly against it but it was too late I had done it.
Doesn’t look too bad, if it doesn’t work I will take them off and either spray them or get them treated. I am trying to avoid buy a DIY Zinc plating kit but I am getting weaker by the day.
Fitting the screen etc was rather easier than before as I now had the right sized bolts and wasn’t faffing about.
You might also noticed I fitted the head light surround, using some more of the 3M double sided tape. With the evening starting to draw in I decided to give the headlight grill I found at the bike show a bit of a spruce up.
I went for white to go against the red. Now she has pretty white teeth to smile at others as she goes by. Maybe then people wont stare at her saggy pistons (she isn’t a MV).
The Easter Bank Holiday weekend loomed and that would give me 4 days of OK weather to try and get the bike into a tidier condition. I started Friday morning and started to strip her down.
There was some rather crappy looking bolts in there top part of the tank, even a self taping screw stuffed in for good measure. The knee pads were stuck on with some silicone and needed to be refitted.
That also meant I had to drain the fuel out of the bike. I had run out of fuel a few days earlier and had put some 15ltrs in and rode it to work and back etc. (with COVID-19 this is how I get any chance to ride). I attached a bit of pipe to the taps and let it drain.
I got most of the fuel out but the condition of the fuel at the bottom of the tank wasn’t great. I have cleaned the taps etc once before.
Now with the bike totally naked, I did contemplate sending the picture into Bike Exif but I have been informed the lack of exhaust wrap, the correct sized tyres, and I had handlebars meant I lost enough points and they wouldn’t use it.
After emptying all the fuel out I took a good look at the tank and paid more attention to some of the repairs done to the underside of the tank. I think its been repaired with fibreglass and as much as I wanted to pick at the stuff and see how bad it is I left it alone. I will keep an eye out for a replacement tank I see HPN do a 45ltr version, 10 extra than the standard BMW so that would be tempting.
Now the ahem “Fun” part. Prepping the stuff ready to paint. This took the rest of the day and most of the second day. Not helped by the condition of the paint especially the white, now I believe the tank has been re-sprayed at some point and that paint had a nasty reaction to something and had developed a texture akin to elephant skin. This is mostly the reason why I wanted to paint the bike as the texture meant I could never get it clean.
It had been suggested to me that I would be the best idea to paint the white bits first so I masked it off and set about it using a paint I purchased from Buzzweld called PIO (Plastics in One) which is a self-etching paint for going onto plastic materials. I hope it has enough flex to cope with the plastic tank. Craig (the owner) had mixed me up a can of Traffic Red and Traffic White which are RAL colours so has less of a mixture of tints so a stronger final colour. I will admit my prep work wasn’t the best and there was plenty of bits I missed but I was starting to get really tired of sanding stuff by now.
The white isn’t very good at coverage so it requires quite a few layers, this lead to the inevitable impatient me and runs. So some parts might need looking at in the future but for now, it looks OK from a distance. I left everything to cure for the evening, so that I could get to work on the red bits on Sunday morning.
Sunday was a special day for it was Easter and my Birthday. But the forecast was for Thunder and rain by the afternoon so work had to start early.
Thankfully the red is better at covering than the white and it went down nicely. This red is more of an orange-red than a blood-red but it is still nice. Due to a little mess up, I ended up with Satin Smooth for the Red paint so its a bit more of a matt finish but it still looks nice and I like it.
While I was at it I thought I would give the knee pads a spruce up with the Plastics in One paint.
Then I looked at the seat,
So I painted it as well. According to Buzzweld it should be fine for vinyl etc so its worth a shot just to get it looking tidier.
Took only two or 3 coats but a improvement.
Now to begin reassembling. I had removed a lot of the sticky crap that was holding the knee pads on and had masked the area so that I had a good surface the get into. Being a snob I had opted for 3M products to stick stuff back on as I know the stuff they have works.
As you can see from the tail edge there is a little bit showing. This will be touched up at a later date once I get some more red paint. I then looked at where the BMW badge goes, much to my annoyance its silicone and not many glues like to stick to that, I am not sure that is original fit but I can’t seem to get it off the bike, I have tried some RTV silicone stuff to stick the roundels on and will see if that holds.
Starting to look more like it now. I am pleased how a bit of fresh paint on the knee pads just gives it a new shine. At this point I gave up for it was my Birthday and there was a BBQ in my honor and I am not the kind of man to miss that.
Monday morning arrives and I start Re-assembling the bike.
First the Side Panels went on,
Then the Bra and Front Mudguard,
I am taking the opportunity to replace some of the bolts and nuts etc. mostly because I can. Now the Tank goes on.
Followed by the seat and the top storage box cover.
While fitting the cover I again replaced quite a few nuts and bolts, because I disliked some of the self tappers, scrivets etc.
I plan to make some sort of tray to go at the bottom to prevent stuff from getting wet at the bottom. Even maybe adding a liner of sorts in there. I have ordered a new seal for the lid as I do have a bit of rubber that came off but it looks tired.
Now comes a bit that I wasn’t really looking forward to but I know it needed to be done. Stickers. The bike didn’t have any other than a bit of faded pinstripe tape to hide the seam. I bought a kit from heritagestickers.eu for the ’91 bikes as I preferred the Paris-Dakar before the lawyers got there and stopped BMW from using the words and they went to PD.
Sadly no real instructions of how to fit these, but I did find a OK picture of a bike on the net. I promtly went outside and stuck on the first one,
I just wetted the back of the sticker with some soapy water to allow for placement. The wind was very keen today so no point in getting the hair dryer out to get them warmed up.
I then did the pin stripes. That was a pain to get right, it is a very curvy tank. I used a small gas powered soldering iron with its end used for heating heat shrink to get it to bend to the angles and to get it to dry enough to stick.
Now for the big stickers, oh my what a swear inducing effort that can be, thankfully I managed to just drink lots of tea while attempting to ignore the wind that wanted to help me with this part. Much like the paint job its not perfect, but hopefully its Fit From Far Away.
I have got some tape to go over the top of the tank but I am reluctant to do it as I will have to cut it to go around the hold for the covers lock. Fuel taps etc to be refitted after they have been cleaned. Oh, and a new rear mudguard has been ordered so that it can be finished and looks pretty. The screen will go back on once my friend “This Old Hoddy” finishes making some bolts as I can’t seem to find any place that has the BMW ones. Sorry for the long length of this post but it’s been a busy weekend where I have managed to tick off one of those little jobs I have wanted to do since I got the bike. Below the difference a year makes.
Well, I am still working for the moment so I only have weekends to work on the bike. But with this nice weather, I need to get out on the bike. So it will go to work with me. So I started to reassemble the front end.
I had ordered the parts for mounting this all nice a neatly but not all the bits are available even though many websites still list them. But the spacers I do have I have now fitted and it does make for a neater fitting. I also got rid of the LED bulb and fitted a nice Osram Night Breaker. Though it will need some adjustment, which I can do thanks to my previous efforts.
I have a shield thinggy for the headlight but no idea of how it fits. But I have ordered some 3M double-sided tape to give it a try.
Once back in home I finally got my roundtoit and looked at cutting the bits for mounting the indicators.
It took a bit of trial and error getting them to be just big enough to cover the outer hole diameter. Then the cutting was a bit of a pain as the bed on the laser isn’t quite aligned and therefore it has areas that cut better than others. But I got it in the end. Tomorrow evenings task is to fit them back on the bike.
Hopefully the bank holiday weekend is nice and I can try and get the tank and side panels painted.
I have ordered parts to put the dash back together but after 2 firms failed to have them in stock even though the listed them as in stock on their websites I have ended up ordering some of the bits from America so it may take some time.
In the meantime, I am mostly plodding along with bits to do. One of which was to swap out the bulbs in the clocks to LED. Its a theme with me. The pictures where taken with fixed exposure mode so they should so comparable brightness.
Now I had ordered Green LED bulbs as that is quite good for your night vision but being a dumbass I ordered 1 rather than 2, it took over a month to arrive so I wasn’t too worried about ordering another. I then bought some Osram LED ones in white and they do look nice. The power-saving is again quite a bit, yes my Desk is a mess.
Btw in case you didn’t see it, I managed to find the original grill for the headlight for the bike at the Classic Bike Autojumble near home for £3.
Back to fettling, on removing the clocks some of the wires for the Rev Counter got damaged and until I figure out the connectors BMW used back then I just went for the cheap option of a 3 way Delphi Superseal Connector, they are cheap and fairly waterproof.
With that done I turned my eyes to an irritation I have had for a while. namely the seat bracket. When I got the bike the seat was loose but there was a bracket there. I looked to see if I could buy the genuine BMW parts but it seems I am missing bits from the seat so therefore no locking seat for me. The bracket on there annoys me as the two screws don’t actually bite into the plastic so are going to fall out at some point. I, therefore, ordered some of these,
I do like to collect lots of random stuff, as my boss says “you are a magpie”. These are more for the 3D printing fans but I thought I could press them into the plastic and then use the thread as a way to prevent it from getting chewed up by self-tapping screws.
It was a simple task of cleaning the hole up with a drill, then tapping in with a hammer, using the bolt to make it a little easier. I did try to heat the insert up with a solder gun but that didn’t work. But the hammer them in trick did ok. I then tried to use an old cable tie and the solder gun to weld it in, didn’t do much other than move plastic about. So I used some glue to give some strength and some washers to help spread the load. Some M5 bolts were then used to hold it in place, I took a few extra mins to give it a quick dusting with paint to finish it off. It isn’t a stressed part of the bike but I would like to stay in place. Time will tell if my bodge of a bodge will hold.
The BMW headlight I found is at a strange angle and it needs adjustment. I suspect in a previous life it is been crashed. Now as I have the head in bits this a good time to try and fix a few things. Now I did try and order replacement parts online but a company offering the parts and having them available on their website for ordering turned around and said sorry we don’t have the bits. The left me the option of refit and ignore the headlight that is pointing the wrong way or try and fix it myself.
Headlight removed after a bit of hacksawing and you can see the two bolts, they are meant to rotate, but they don’t. Placing the bolt in the vice and twisting just twisted the bolts. This meant I had to drill them out, I tried the pillar drill but drill bit would wander so I got the hand drill out and did it myself.
It is not pretty but I meant it could rotate the bolt out. To prevent this happening again I decided that I could use an M5 wire insert (yeah I like them) with a A2 stainless bolt.
Then I turned to the headlight and the plastic cups at that end, it was a pain to get out but good use of pliers and it worked.
Only for me to see the next problem, the bolt heads,
Yup they are rounded, grr. A quick measure suggested about 7mm. This meant I had to take off quite a bit of material from A2 Stainless.
With the aid of the bench grinder, I started to do it by hand, that was too slow so I fitted the bolt to the drill and set to it. The first bolt was nice and easy.
Did the second, and got overexcited,
But I tried another bolt, I had spares. Got it to work fine. Though I suspect I will be in trouble with the proper engineers at my abuse to the stone on the grinder.
With a bit of faffing, I soon refitted the bolts. The BMW used a thumbwheel that sat on two flats ground into the bolt. This often means the thumbwheel falls off. I had purchased some nylon wing nuts as at the time of buying bits I wasn’t sure how the headlight adjustment worked as everything was rusted in place. With the extra know-how after taking it apart, I need to find a way to lock the wing nut in place so I can use it to adjust the light. So a Flange Nut (with serrated edge) and a nylock nut have been used to lock it into place.
Another small task that kept my happy in the shed for a few hours.
With the wet weather at the weekends making it less enjoyable to be outside in the shed working I haven’t done much.
But Saturday morning some T5 LED bulbs I ordered from China turned up. The idea is to replace the 12V 3W filament bulbs with LED in the instrument panels of the bike. They are brighter and require less power to light up the dash, but I wanted to do some tests to prove this.
12V 1.5W LED
LED in Holder
12V 5W Filament
Filament in Holder
% Of power
If all 6 illuminate
This was gathered with my benchtop power supply, which I checked against my multimeter. I know I ought to do some proper calibration stuff on my kit. I found it interesting that The Amps went up with the LED in the holder vs the Filament in Holder going down. I Suspect a bit of resistance along the wires and connector giving me a slight voltage drop etc. I could go into this deeper and do some actual measurements but not really worth it.
This then starts on the next issue, brightness. The LEDs are rated at 100 lumens and that should be bright enough but the risk is that its too bright.
The camera lies a little as the left icon actually displays quite nicely. But the issue is will it be too bright at night, well indicators I don’t really worry about but the High Beam, well that is another issue. For this test, I locked the camera down to 2000ths of a sec and an iso of 80.
A fix was needed, thankfully I have a pen, a marker pen.
So I test again, LED vs LED with some maker, oh and the Filament bulb just for comparison.
I have never been a fan of really bright main beam indication lights, it kind of ruins the night vision. I will test it to see how it fairs once on the bike. The AMPS/WATTS (75%) saved isn’t suddenly going to transform the bike but I would like to save as many WATTS of power I can so the can be used for other things, like the phone charger and more power to the headlights. Reducing those moments where the bulbs dim as the revs drop especially when you get near a junction. Don’t know what I mean, well lucky you.
EDIT: I still have the B9ES bulbs in the speedo and rev counter to replace and now I can’t remember what colour I ordered. I might do the same experiments with those just as a guide.
The stuff I painted last week are nice and dry but still hanging up as the weather is crap and only a small sighting of blue sky just before darkness descended has left me little enthusiasm to get the next bit done. Though I have had a shipment of Raptor Paint and Tint of red which I plan to use on the crash bars, more on that later.