Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all

Well, it's that time of the year again when people have a reason to want everything finished and I get to have an empty workshop. Kind of nice really. I did have to go in today for one last job, arguably the most important job of the year for a particularly special customer. The photo shows the finished job. Although I'm not totally convinced of the low cost Chinese quality, I'm sure he'll get plenty of miles out of it. The change from his current 12" to these new 16" wheels (and lack of training wheels) will speed him up too, so I expect the odd injury or two in the near future. But you get that. I look at him as a little man and just see myself at his age and that in itself worries me stupid.
I'll be back open from the 11th of Jan, but will be receiving emails for the time in between so email me for any booking enquiries and I'll get back to you.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it and happy reason to have time off work for those who don't. My thanks to those who have supported me over the past year. It's been an interesting ride with lots of expected unexpectedness and things learnt and a few forgotten. Hopefully I've lived up to expectations.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


When I started out Dave Ward at Moto Italia told me to take it slowly and not worry because before too long I'd be a little overrun. He was right. Compounding this is the fact that since I opened one of the Ducati dealers (Ducati Melbourne / Zagame) and a non authorsied shop (Bob Brown's Melbourne Desmo Centre) have closed. So I'm getting quite a bit of Ducati work and a surprising amount of Guzzi work (compared to what we used to get at Moto One). Which is good, but it's putting my skills at things other than working on bikes to the test. It's amazing how some days you can lose a few hours doing seemingly nothing, even though you don't stop.

Nothing new to report playing wise, as much of the work I've been doing lately has been service based. Which is good. Turnover is the word many would use. I'm hopefully heading to the dyno tomorrow morning for a little play with a 955'd 916SP, as long as I can get there before it gets too hot. First time I've been there for a while, and still no closer to getting my own dyno going - too busy it seems. It's hard to complain about not having time to do that sort of thing, but is frustrating just the same.

I do have one new report set to be up soon - a 996SPS with heads by CJS in the UK. Running 748R inlet cams and a Akropovic 45 - 60mm tapered system (I think they call it that) it went rather nicely. 142hp, with a std SPS making 124 or so on this dyno as the comparitor. Certainly looks nice from 7,000 rpm upward, although being a track bike I didn't get to ride it so don't know how it felt.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

MV Agusta 312R dyno chart

I tuned a MV 312R recently, mapping a PCIII over the RG3 ecu. It was fitted with Arrow header and cat eliminator pipes, RG3 mufflers and a BMC air filter. Certainly more power than the previous (all std) F4 1000 I'd dynod. I ran another 312R on this dyno recently, which was the spare bike of the team that raced last year in the Australian Superbike Championship. Between these two runs though the dyno roller surface was reconditioned, so I'm not sure if the comparison is totally accurate - the race 312R may be a bit low. The race bike had a factory head and cams with std bottom end and was also remapped using a PCIII. Red is this 312R, green the race 312R, blue a Tambo with RG3 mufflers and header fitted and yellow an all std F4 1000. The Tambo looks a little flat on the graph, but on the road between 8 and 10 I'm sure it felt faster than any of the others - it was quite intense in that rev range.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Closed for next week

We'll be closed for this coming week, Sept 14th to 18th. I'll attend to any emails or phone messages when I return on Monday 21st.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ultimap U59 ECU available

I have a customer who has an Ultimap U59 ECU to sell, so if anyone is interested I'll put you in touch.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A New Report!

Yes, finally, a new report. It's taken me some time to get to this point, being the one who does everything. Well, except from Hunnybunny sorting my bookkeeping mess. Actually it has more to do with the work I've been doing over the last 7 months not really being report suitable as it's all stuff I've done before or stuff that doesn't really show much in a report fashion.

Anyway, the new report is about 748s being turned into 853 - a Strada and an R, plus another with an 890 kit. It's report number 30 in the Ducai 4 Valve section. Happy reading.

The Products page has been expanded also.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Booking lead time, parts and a Laverda

Even though it's the middle of winter here I'm getting about a 2 week lead time for bookings. So please keep this in mind if planning some work. I can often fit in a small job (ie, 1 hour or so), but precedence always goes to booked in work.

I'll have an expanded products page up very soon, with mostly Ducati parts - lightweight steel clutch baskets, Barnett clutch packs, changeover 4V opening rockers - and the generic efi fuel filter that suits most BMW, Ducati and MV and some Guzzi and Aprilias. While I'm not trying to start a large parts business, it does help to move more of the regulars where possible. Especially when I can offer bits at better prices.

I've got something different in at the moment - a Laverda Formula 650. I think that's what it is, it hasn't got any bodywork at this point. I haven't worked on one before, but it seems pretty straight forward, if a little unusual. Apparently an excellent handling bike, it's cetainly specced up chassis wise with WP at both ends and Brembo floating cast iron discs. And a big fabricated aluminium fuel tank under the seat, which looks surprisingly 'one off' for a production bike. Hopefully I'll get to go for a ride on it when it's all back in one piece.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Offset Keys for Ducati Cam Dialling Now In Stock

My order of offset keys arrived today, so if you want any let me know. Sizes ranging from 3 degrees to 16 degrees (crank) in most increments.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Ducati 851/853 dyno chart


I dynod an 853 kitted 748 a few weeks ago and thought I'd compare it to my old 851 just to have a look and then figured I'd put it up to show you all. It's the first 853 Strada I've dynod, with the conversion done by the owner. It's running 108/108 cam timing, 45mm slip ons and Doug Lofgren's UM097DL eprom, apart from that it's std. My 851 runs the same cam timing, open airbox lid, ST4 headers and slip ons and remapped eprom to suit. Compared to the 748 it has 1mm smaller valves and is longer stroke and smaller bore (2.5 and 2mm respectively). I also put the 853R I did late last year on for a bit more of a "this is what you can get from an 850cc 4v" sort of thing, although this run was an early one so it's a bit rough fuelling wise in places. red is 851, green is 853 and blue is 853R. As a comparison the 848's seem to be dynoing in the 115 - 120hp range, which would have seen them outpowering most 851 race bikes of 20 years ago I'd think.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some more photos


Some people have asked for more photos of what it looks like, so here we go. First up is a look at the work area - I have the 3 benches lined up side by side now with one under a roof beam for those occaisions when there's some separation involved. My 851 is sitting around waiting for some attention, but that might have to wait until the dyno is up and running - so I can use it for development without having to leave the premises, being unregistered and all.

Next is a view from the same-ish position as the
photo from 30/12/2008. Certainly a bit more
filled in now (some may say organised), with a
shelving unit partly blocking the view. It's
certainly starting to look the part.

Finally, a look at the dyno room. Or, as it stands,
a 2m by 4m contained mess area. All it's waiting for is some
walls, roof, ducting and software. Not sure where the mess will go when it's dyno time, but I'm slowly purging myself of the collected crap.
I'm really keen to get this running, but as usual the affairs of state must take precedence over the affairs of state.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Minnie lives!

Minnie, our 600/750M, has been languishing for about 4 months now, ever since the day she intermittantly failed to proceed on my trip to register a business name. But I had a bit of spare time yesterday due to a bike not coming in so after I'd done as much office work as I could find I had a play and fixed her. Not what I was expecting as it turned out either, but intruging, ultimately easy and expenditure free. I went for a quick blast to remind myself of what a nice bike she is to ride.

I've had a fair variation of work in, everything from checking valve clearances on a K1200S (hadn't done that before) to reminding myself how a Multistrada comes apart. Fiddly. But it's all been good fun so far.

Last week I did manage to reset the high bar on my "wtf do I do that for" index by turning on the tap on a 20 litre drum of oil with a measuring jug under said tap then walking away, intending to come back within a short enough time frame to get the required amount of oil in the jug. As expected, the next time I thought about the oil running into the jug was about 6 litres after it had its 5 litre capacity in it. Luckily it was the cheap stuff, as it's also the thick stuff and had covered an area about 1m square. Had it been a hot day and the synthetic Ultra 6 litres would have just about covered the whole 118 square metres of factory floor. So I raced around to the cabinet makers behind me and grabbed a big bucket of sawdust to soak up the mess and left it at that for a couple of days as I had quite a bit of stuff to finish. Not surprisingly my motivation for cleaning up stuff like that can be rather low at times. Rather. I think it was the oil smell that got to me in the end.

Sensational purchase of the week award (for a couple of weeks ago) would be the Samsung 943BW computer monitor for the workshop computer. This monitor allows you to rotate the screen 90 degrees (in my case) so that it's tall and narrow, allowing me to see a full page of a pdf workshop manual. Very, very useful. Quite popular for doctors reading X-rays as well I'm told. Although the software that comes with it is as cryptic as it gets, and I really have no idea how I finally got it to do what I wanted it to. And my screen saver is now the back half of Raymond Roche's 1990 title winning 851.

I will get to putting up another photo of the factory soon. I have it much more organised now. I just keep forgetting to take the camera into work.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ultimap - Fuel Injected Motorcycles

As some of you will know, Ultimap (formerly Fuel Injected Motorcycles) has closed down. This means there are no more new U59 ECU, Ultimap diagnostics or eproms apart from those dealers around the world have in stock. None. Nada. Ziparooni. I know of one person in the USA with a new U59 to sell if anyone wants one - I will forward details to him if you are serious.

A few people have rung or emailed me and told me that I'm apparently the new Ultimap person. This is not true. While Duane Mitchell and I have had a close working relationship over the last 14 or so years and became good friends through it, I haven't bought his business. Nor do I have a hot line to Duane should you have an issue with a U59 you need fixed. To get service on the U59 you need to follow the directions on the U59 web site.

Nor can I tell you how to contact Duane apart from his website, suffice to say he is now doing something else.

I can supply eproms to suit quite a few applications, and will be updating my eprom listing very soon. But I cannot and will not be selling Ultimap brand eproms, as I don't own them.

I hope that clarifies things a little.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Into the second month

The second month of operation! I'm getting myself much more sorted, although the factory is still lacking the finishing touches. My plan to be 100% set up and done before I started had to give way to "Oh my, where's all the money gone?" But you get that. Now I'm looking forward to the quiet times to get some more setting up done. Being on your own does have some limitations too - you look around and think "Hmmm, how am I going to do that?"

I have eftpos and credit card facilities now too, which is how I would guess is nearly all payments will be made. Certainly makes it a lot easier than carrying lots of cash around.

Some reading this may have found a business card on their bike at the Phillip Island WSBK meeting - myself and currently non monster owner Rohan (Spider) walked around the pit side of the track and put out as many cards as we could on anything applicable with VIC rego. We had to drive down due to neither of us having a bike to ride - mine not running, his stolen a few months ago. Unfortunately Rohan didn't get to see much of his first race meeting, being too busy dropping cards. Maybe next year we'll get down there for fun.

I had a rather odd experience today - deciding not to go out on a bike because it was raining (it doesn't rain too much in Melbourne these days!) . I didn't fancy piloting someone else's 175Hp on a wet road.

Apart from that it's been the usual work - so far I've had a fairly even mix of brands and jobs, with probably Aprilia SXV's being the most represented at this point. At some point I might even get around to fixing Minnie. I'm picking up a shop trailer tomorrow so will be able to get her in and park her in a corner. Actually, there's no corners for parking in I don't think. Perhaps I need to clean one out for her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Contact details, etc

Well, I'm open for business this week. Although I'm still hunting through boxes for various tools, etc, as I need them for the first time. There's been a few "hmmm, I wonder where that is?" moments. And a few things found after they've been replaced, but you always get that.

The address is 2B King Street, Oakleigh. There's no signage as yet, so the photo to the right is what the front looks like. I might stick a big "2B" on the front door to make it more obvious. Or just look for next door's overflowing big steel wheelie bin. It's the second door in King Street off Connell. Phone number is (03) 9563 2004 and fax (03) 9563 3004.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

3 Weeks since the last entry?

I really can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I last posted. Makes me wonder what I've been doing. Oh yeah, now I remember. Stressing out over all the stuff I have to do. Some idiot rather close to management decided a couple of weeks ago that he'd be ready for work by Monday 19th and booked in a job for then. Goose.

The new office and clean room are finished, and I put the first coat of paint on the floors this evening. Second coat goes on tomorrow and then come Monday we can move everything in. So I'm a little behind schedule, but the schedule keeps filling itself with stuff I hadn't even known to consider.

Sensational pucrhase of the week award for the last week would go to the Maktek cut off saw. The cheap badge of Makita, it'll do more work before the end of January than the following five years I expect. But I have always wanted a cut off saw. I've been cutting down some long span shelving into work benches and the like, and it's starting to look good layed out sort of where it will all be. Sort of.

I'll put up another photo when the mess has been sorted somewhat - It's still disorganisation central.