Sunday, 13 June 2010

It's a wrap. Or is it?

I spent a few good hours yesterday wrapping my exhaust. A pretty fiddly job, even with the coolers off. The headers turn and twist and the clearance is marginal at best. Now, I know that exhaust wrap isn't strictly in keeping with the flat tracker-style, but the Husky exhaust isn't the prettiest in the world and I like the way a wrapped exhaust looks. So sue me.

It looks like a piece of cake, but it is actually pretty difficult to get the wrap to fit perfectly. After having finished with the light coloured wrap (picture #1) I took a step back to admire my handiwork. And quickly realised that it looked too retro. And that the light wrap clashed with the colour theme of the rest of the bike. Damn!

30 minutes later I had purchased a new wrap (another 50 Euros) and started over again. This time, with the darker wrap (picture #2), I think I got the look I was after.

A word to the wise: use a long sleeved sweater and maybe even latex gloves when you wrap your own exhaust. Those little fibre glass strands itch like a son of a *****. I washed my arms three times and still couldn't stop the itching. In the end I had to resort to using my wife's body lotion. Yuk.

BTW: the new Öhlins spring is now in place (after having been powder coated black). It's 60 Nm instead of the 110 Nm standard spring. Hopefully this will smoothen out the super stiff ride.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Under cover.

The traditional flat track frame (and trust me: I've studied quite a few) uses a turned up metal loop as a connection point for the rear bodywork. Or in the case of a Woods frame, the rear frame loops around the bodywork. The loop makes the rear frame stiff and light.

I knew however that I needed an easy way to fix the rear light, reg plate and indicators on my street tracker, so I opted for a slightly different rear frame with a small "shelf" at the back. Not quite as light but it makes for a convenient place to put some of the electric gubbins that are not needed on a race tracker. None of these components are visible once the rear bodywork is fixed in place and the "shelf" protects them from rear wheel spray. As you can see from the image, the horn was relocated backwards as well.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Vive la resistance!

First of all: I'm no electrician. Despite having read many books on the subject, I still can't differentiate between my watts and my amperes. So when I couldn't get my indicators to work properly I had to consult a friend (thanks Erik).

The problem was that when I had replaced my standard indicators, which used a 23 W light bulb, with my new mini indicators, which contain LEDs instead of bulbs, the current would "creep" (lay mans term) around the system and make all four indicators light up at once. A bit confusing for the people behind my bike. I had changed the indicator relay for one suited for LED indicators, so the blink frequency was correct, but the "Christmas tree" effect persisted.

It turns out that LED indicators use as little as 1 W and thus the current would go through them almost without noticing the LEDs (again: lay mans terms). So to make it work we had to install a couple of resistors to "fool" the system that the 23 w bulbs where still there. Two resistors from "Biltema" did the trick once they were installed together with the rear indicators. Just remember to install them "in parallel" with the indicators. Now everything works and its time to shrink hose the whole loom to make it reasonably waterproof. Not that I'm ever going to ride in rain, but still.