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.

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