Thursday, December 29, 2016

Painting the Buell headers

The Buell front forks were leaking so as a result I had to rebuild them.  While I was waiting on a few parts to arrive, I thought I take the opportunity to give the headers a bit of a clean up.  With some left over heat resistant paint I coated them a few times before curing them on the bike.

My camera ran out of battery while I was spray painting them so I had to find a substitute video to show the similar process.

Let's see how long the paint lasts for.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Build Diary Video Part III - TW200 Rear Fender Mount

I finally had some free time to edit some footage of making the rear fender mount.  Quality isn't that great as I'm using an old point and shoot.  I also forgot to film some of it including making the threaded bungs.

TW200 Build Diary Part 3

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Experiment - Yamaha SRX250 Cafe Racer

We found this bike on ebay as a stock 1987 Yamaha SRX250.  I was pretty excited to win the bike at a fairly low price even though there wasn’t much information at the time about this particular model.  Which is no surprise as Yamaha had only manufactured this for a couple of years.

We had picked up the bike from an area in Brisbane known for it’s close proximity to a large university and it’s toga parties.  I spoke with the then owner for a while, mainly small talk about the weather, the government and the fact that this might have yamaha’s 80’s experiment gone wrong, he then mentioned that he was in fact a scientist at the nearby university.  Irony aside is was only fitting that we named this “The Experiment”.

Once we removed all of the plastic a neat looking frame begun to reveal itself.  We kept the stock tank and hand shaped the rear seat cowl, with an integrated LED taillight.  We sourced some leather from an old mercedes bendz that we used to cover the seat pan.

Bars are controlled through some mini toggle switches to clean up the recycled clip ons We also added a nice stainless shorty exhaust to give it a throaty note and finished it off by airbrushing a mad scientist on the tank.

It all came under budget by reusing and sourcing some second hand bits and doing everything ourselves, besides the upholstery.

I was fortunate to have this bike on display at a new Maker Space opening and managed to finally take some shots.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Project Tonka - Rear Fender Mount

Things have been progressing pretty well.  With the fibreglassing of the fender complete I finished up with the rear fender mount over the last weekend.  I wanted to make this a single sided affair as on the right side of the bike I wanted the exhaust to be the hero and I felt having a support bracket to the rear fender would have spoilt that.

I made this out of 12mm round bar with 18mm slugs to connect them. This took a little time to get it right with a proper roller but I managed to bend the bar well enough using just a simple jig and a blowtorch.

I then created some bungs to mount the fender.  I had tapped 3 of them but snapped the tap inside one of them and took me the rest of the day to remove it.

I then reinforced the two supports with some steel sheet to stop lateral movement while riding.

Hoping to get the seat glassed this week so I can finally disassemble everything.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Build Diary Video Part II - TW200 Skid Plate

Finished off the custom skid / bash plate for the TW today.

Originally I wanted to give aluminium brazing a go for the first time but the stock that I'd bought ended up being too thick.  Because of this slight oversight, bending it would have given me a hernia.  So I spent a while thinking about the alternatives and I came to the conclusion to make one up with some left over steel sheet.

I first mocked it up with some cardboard and then used it as a template although not 100% accurate it did give me a good base to start.

Once I'd cut and bent it to the correct shape I tacked everything into place, once I was happy with the fit I welded it all up.  I then added some holes to reduce weight using a stepped drill bit.

The edges still need a clean up but will do all that before sending off to sandblasting.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Build Diary Video Part I - How I made the TW200 Custom Fender

I had the original intention of documenting this build on video but as it turns out doing this requires charged batteries and new memory cards.  Two things that I didn't have at the time I started working on the bike.

I did however manage to setup the gopro for the fibreglass process.  Cut down a days job into under a minute.  Excuse the quality of video I'm still working on my editing skills.

I'll try and document most of the process from now on.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Project Tonka - Rear Fender Construction

Have made some good progress on the TW200 over the last couple of weeks.  Originally I was going to use a steel black fender and cut and shape to suit.  However I wasn't happy with the outer radius as most of these off the shelf fenders that would fit the 7" wheel were flat.

Scrap Ply to use for the plug

I decided to shape my own creating a plug out of plywood to replicate the radius of the wheel.  Once that was done I filled the spaces with expanding foam.  I probably should have used the two part expanding foam as the builders foam left too many air pockets after being shaped.

Nailed into place

Expanding foam to fill the voids

Should have used 2 part expanding foam as there were so many air pockets

Then I glassed a female mould with 2 layers of woven cloth and a layer of chop strand.  Because the foam wasn't perfect I had to spend a bit of time sanding and filling the holes left by the foam.

Next I created the final male mould, this time I used a Vinylester Resin for increased flexibility and strength compared to the Polyester.

Vinylester Resin with woven mat
Final result after sanding.  Ready for primer and paint

It came up really well after a trim and a light sand and fits perfectly to the rear tyre and is also super lightweight.  Now to fabricate the mounting hardware.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Honda CBN400 By Ed Turner Motorcycles

I was oblivious to Ed Turner Motorcycles until today when I stumbled across this Honda CBN400. The French workshop has been creating some one off customs for quite some time now, heavily influenced by 70's and 80's culture and the American Hot Rod scene.

 What I like about these builds is the attention to detail and the equal balance between machine and design. A perfect is example is the 1979 Honda CBN400

Pics by © Pierre Le Targat & Loïc Le Moullec

Friday, August 26, 2016

Project Tonka - Yamaha TW200

After a few months sourcing a new project I managed to pick up this 1990 TW200 in relatively good condition... by that I mean it ran.

TW200's a fairly slim pickings now a days since they stopped importing them into Australia a while back, along with being a popular base for custom builds.  The history of this bike as with most AG bikes was that it had sat on a farm until recently.

Unused and hanging with the tractors and other machinery for a number of years.  It was then picked up by "another guy" who had the intention of customising it but never got the chance.

The classic Tonka Truck with it's FAT wheels
The Dubs are recognised by their enormous fat rear tyre, and after hearing of it's history I couldn't help but to associate it with my childhood of playing Tonka Trucks in the sandpit.  For those that don't know anything about Tonka Trucks they were the toys to have in the sandpit.  Die Cast metal trucks that were able to move pales of sand from one side of the playground to the other.

Those were the days, digging around in the sandpit looking for your matchbox car that you'd buried last week, only to discover a nugget that your neighbor's cat had kindly left for you hours earlier. Anyway it seemed like a logical decision to name this build Tonka.
There are a couple of issues that I'll need to sort out.  The clutch drags quite a lot, also sounds like the valves need some adjusting but there are no significant knocks. The electric starter may need replacing at some stage but it's no biggie at the moment since it also runs a kicker.

The electrics have also been hacked into with a few things not running.  I'd love to use one of motogadgets m-units for this build but I don't think the budget will stretch this far.

Other than the obvious cosmetic damage it'll be a neat little build and my first commissioned build. Looking forward to getting stuck into it and learning and trying a few new things with this one.

The spaghetti harness that's already been hacked.  Neutral doesn't actually work

"Breather hole" in the crankcase cover

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Screen Printing the LSG Logo Tee

I still get stoked when I get an order for one of our Tees come through.  It's so cool to be able to hand print these tees for someone that's gone out of their way to purchase one.

Thanks a bunch for the support everyone.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

How to build a motorcycle workbench

There comes a time in every garage dweller's life that they need to at least build themselves a workbench.  After having completed a couple of other woodworking projects I thought it was a good time to use some of the remaining scraps and get the bike off the ground onto a more suitable working height.

The build was super basic and took about half a day.  The cost of materials was around $80 although I did have a majority of the hardware and some lumber.

I spent a large amount of time working out the ideal height for the bench as I wanted something that I could comfortably work on the engine as well do any necessary wiring around the dash etc.  I'm about 6ft so for I figured 500mm was a good height.  I also wanted something that I could easily move around hence the addition of the castor wheels.

As for the width I also wanted to be able to have the side stand down just for ease of rolling the bike up and down off the table.  The length I kept at the default length of the timber it was also enough to cater for a rear wheel stand if I needed to.

3 x 140x34 x 2400 Pine
3 x 70x35 x 2400 Structural Pine
1 x 2400 x 1200 x 15mm Structural Ply
4 x 100kg lockable castors
1 x box of 100mm 8g screws
1 x box of 30mm 8g screws.
2 x Pergola U Bolts

I first drew this up in Sketchup and as you can see it's basically a glue and screw operation. Although for the bottom shelf I checked in 15mm each side to cater for the narrow shelf.  I did this with a router and then cleaned it up with a chisel.

Wheel chock - After looking for one on ebay and the like I decided that I would make my own just from some RHS Steel and flat bar welded together.  After that was done I simply bolted that into the ply.  The thickness of the steel is 3mm and is overkill for this but it was the only type I could get.  

Looking forward to giving this some use over the next few months.  I'll make the sketchup available shortly in case anyone wants to download it.

Mockup in Sketchup

Enough space for the side stand

Enough length for a rear wheel stand

Ubolt and Front wheel chock allow for the tiedown

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Another Day another Seat

The last couple months have been super busy.  Mainly building the CT110 Postie Bratstyle custom seats for the kind folk that have bought one off me.

It takes a little time as it's still a manual process from the glassing to the fabrication of the bracket.  I also double check the alignment after it gets back from the upholsterer to make sure the taillight sits where it's meant to.

I enjoy the process or maybe it's just the fibreglass fumes.

Again thanks everyone for the orders, I've got most of them out of the way so I can move on with a couple of other builds in the pipeline.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yamaha Scrambler

Yamaha are set to release a new model to take on Triumph and Ducati in the scrambler department.

The SCR950 Scrambler will have the following key features

  • Modern Air-Cooled V-Twin
    The 58-cubic-inch (942cc) engine is an air-cooled SOHC 60° V-twin with four valves per cylinder, a pent-roof-shaped combustion chamber, and 9.0:1 compression ratio. 
  • Unique Upswept Exhaust System
    A 2-into-1 exhaust pipe layout on the right side of the engine contributes to the lively performance and styling of the machine, with an upswept muffler for improved ground clearance and a pleasing exhaust note.
  • Inviting, Flexible Ergonomics
    The SCR950 puts the rider in a position of control to handle whatever the road throws at them. A wide and tall crossbar-type handlebar creates light steering feel, while centrally-mounted footpegs and a long, flat seat allow the rider to move easily to adapt to different riding styles.
  • Handling-Focused Chassis
    A double-cradle frame features sporty geometry for nimble, responsive handling in any environment. The front and rear suspension systems are tuned to provide great comfort and handling while contributing to the machine’s stylish low profile.
There will be no doubt that there will be a number of aftermarket parts available too.  Allowing the rider to customise the bike to their liking.

The most notable surprise to me was yamaha opting for a belt drive.  Will obviously provide one less thing to maintain for newer riders.

From these latest pics and the marketing vid it looks the goods and a little cheaper than it's competitors models.  Not sure when it'll hit Australian shores but if you dig this type of look then it could be a great option.

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