Thursday, December 29, 2011

848, 1098 and 1198 air filters wearing on airbox

In addition to the not sealing at the ends issue, I've seen quite a few of these with the air filter worn on the underside by the airbox - the plastic edge is maybe 2mm wide and it cuts into the filter. So now in addition to the rubber at the ends to seal the filter I also add a small piece of stick on foam to the bottom of the air runner flange at the airbox end to lift the filter up a little.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A 400 Monster

I rode into the City on Friday with the intention of buying myself a Christmas present - a 400 Monster Ray Quincey Motorcycles had advertised on bikepoint with an "immobilisor issue". I figured that theoretically my software would allow me to just disable the immobilisor section of the ecu and it'd be fixed and ready for me to onsell, making a few bucks along the way. But, as it turned out, the rest of the bike was a bit too rough for me to buy with the intention to fix and resell as I just can't help myself and want to fix everything and profit goes out the window.

I did go for a short ride once we got it going (it was a lottery as to whether or not it would be immobilised every time we turned the key on, probably more so than not overall) and it was just such a sweet thing to ride. The injected M400 have the APTC clutch and 6 speed gearbox like a 2006 620 or S2R800, along with the 2 piston front brake calipers. The light clutch and injection make them so much easier to get off the mark and ride at low speed in general compared to the carby models. It was a real pity it was so nice to ride, I'd have had no trouble walking away from it (as I did in the end) if it wasn't.

One thing I did notice about M400 ads is that everyone seems to list them as M400 S ie regardless of whether they're carbed or injected. Injected ones are from 2006 onwards and have dual front discs. The earlier carbed models have a single front disc and little plastic pods sitting inbetween the frame rails above the horizontal cylinder. More importantly for riding, they have a heavier clutch lever effort (typical non APTC wet) and flat spot from a closed throttle that can be more disconcerting than an actual issue when riding.

I did check and reset the cam timing on one carbed model - advancing the cams from 119 and 113 to 107 degree inlet centrelines which really made a difference. The carbed 400 have the old 750 cams, which were run at 110 degree inlet centreline in the F1, not the 119 they spec in the post '86 motors (the injected M400 have the 800 cams). We also raised the gearing at the same time from 14/46 to 15/46 and the bike still went better than before. But as most M400 are bought by L platers who generally have no interest in spending money other than what they absolutely have to and certainly not anything that (I say) might make it better to ride, I doubt I'll do many others. Pity.

This bike also got the Exactfit ignition coils, so it's a well set up M400 compared to how some of them (barely) run as they've come into the workshop.

I did get one in that was an early 95 model (94 to 97 have silver engine covers with the clutch slave cylinder in the clutch cover on the RH side of the motor) and i suspect it had the very early 600 primary drive ratio. I replaced chain and sprockets as part of a service with 15/46 from the previous 14/46 and even then it was near 8,000 rpm at 100km/h. No wonder the owner had found it breathless above 110 before - it would have been well over 9,000 rpm. I figured 15/41 would be what it needed, but didn't have the time and the owner seemed quite reluctant anyway. The varying spec can make it hard to set them up as they need to be, it seems the importers just put the same thing on all of them regardless.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy holiday

Once again we find ourselves at the most frantic time of the year. It's the third time I've made this post, marking the end of my third year in business.

A very big thank you to all those who have supported me over the last three years. Your business is much appreciated. Looking forward to next year it'll be more of the same I expect, although I hope to be both more organised and productive. It's amazing how many hours you can lose some days being busy doing nothing of note. But I guess that's probably a pretty accurate descripton of a one person business.

Happy holiday of choice to you all and I look forward to being as helpful as possible next year. I will be open again from January 9th. You can email me prior to that, but I may not be overly prompt in responding.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Photo from the Festival Of Italian Motorcycles

Rob Labuc took a few photos of my little display at the Festival Of Italian Motorcycles. It was a good day overall. I spent all, but about 10 minutes standing under the (successfully deployed) pergola talking. Rob manned the stand while I had a quick wander around to see what was about.

I did get to have a look at the bike that won my award, Markus's 851SP3. I've known Markus virtually for some time on the 851-888 forum, but had never met him in real life. It's a very nice SP3 too, apart from those god awful bloody blue Samco radiator hoses. Really can't stand them.

My 851 had a nice trailer ride and looked very nice too. I was surprised how good it looked with just a wipe over. For a little while there was a very nice little Bultaco Metralla next to it. A bit of a ring in (woka woka woka) perhaps, but some lovely retro none the less.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The joy of motorcycling

Waxing a little lyrical perhaps, but I had to ride home from work tonight due to "my" car being requisitioned by Hunnybunny while her car is being fixed after she got nailed recently. Naturally I had to spend a little time making Minnie go before I was able to proceed, but it was only a flat battery and easily overcome.

A few weeks ago I lavished some attention on Minnie. I realised her belts were (stopping to look at the dyno run dates) about 5 years old, so figured a new pair and some fresh oil and a filter and brake and clutch fluid was in order. And while I was at it I should work out why the throttle was so bloody heavy. I thought it was because the carbs were gummy in the shafts due to her sitting for a couple of years while she was between motors, so took it as a good opportunity to fit the US spec 900 carbs I'd had for some time. My theory was the 900 carbs, being US spec and leaner on the pilot circuits (theoretically anyway), would work better with the 750 than the 600 carbs, which I wanted to make sure I could keep should I sell this motor.

Jets and needles were swapped between carb bodies and the "new" carbs fitted. Turns out the cable heaviness was just cables in need of lube, which surprised me as I thought I'd replaced them for no change at some point in the past. That's the problem with my memory though. But after a thorough lubing (which I generally don't recommend with modern cables due to the linings they use, but who am I to listen to my own advice) the throttle was back to smooth. I'd almost say it's still improving too, given the ride home tonight.

And as I had the oil out it was a good time to pull the clutch cover and replace the collection of second hand plates (I'd added one friction over std, using some thinner steels to stop the hot up induced slipping, but it was god awfully heavy) with a new pack. Yes, new. Oh the horror. Bought cheap on a service parts specials release by NFI, it still pained me no end to be fitting new parts to my own bike. But at least this part was worth doing. Result: lighter clutch, no slippage.

Not such a success was the ignition pick up replacement. Minnie had been idling badly when hot for quite some time, and the few times I had tried to diagnose it resulted in no result. I had convinced myself it was pick up induced, pulling the alternator cover and replacing them with some of the Electrex P8 parts I have in stock. Once reassembled and ridden it was clear I'd failed dismally. So then I moved on to something I should have tried first. Note to self, replace bolt on bits before pulling the engine apart.

As I have the California Cycleworks Exactfit ignition coils on the shelf I fitted a pair of them in place of the green Dyna Minnie has been running for the last 7 or so years. Of course I had to dig out all the original mounting bits removed when the Dyna went on - an appropriately dodgy "just get it going again" job after one of the original coils died. But once I'd found the old stuff the Exactfits went on in no time and the result was indeed a result. Pissing me off no end that I had spent the time replacing the pick ups. But you (well, I) get that. I do have a good pair of second hand original ignition pick ups to sell as some consolation, more so given Ducati no longer supply them as a spare part.

I'd also done the valve clearances and removed the adjustable cam pullies, replacing them with std pullies and offset keys for the desired 107 degree or so (forget now) inlet centreline. All up a lot of work on one's own bike over a day and a half when one has other work to do. And, as it turned out, tonight was the first ride after the coils went on.

I had finished the day with a road test on a typically modded S2R800, and as I arrived back at the workshop I thought to myself "I'd much rather be riding this home than Minnie". But it doesn't belong to me, so after getting Minnie to run and loading her up (I'm not sure of the long term implications of transporting a laptop vertically in a rear sack) I set off. And, I must say, I was impressed.

Apart from, but in no way ruined by the "now lighter, but still a lot heavier than the APTC clutch in the S2R800” clutch the ride was good. Even if only a few km, it was enough to make me smile and I realised when nearly home that I was enjoying riding Minnie like I hadn't for a long time. Previously the heavy throttle really took the edge and some of the middle too off the enjoyment of riding her. But, with the Megacycle mufflers still fitted after the comparison dyno run done a couple of months ago (and shown below in a previous post), she really does run well. And, for a 750 2V motor, go very well too.

Although I'm a bit paranoid to leave the lights in a most sporty fashion for fear of upsetting the laptop. I don't need that sort of aggravation.