Thursday, 26 March 2015

New HQ

It's only a week now till the Festival of Power at Santa Pod, and it's been a bit of a rush getting the bike back together and new parts tested. But it's very nearly done - the gearbox and clutch now seem ok, the engine is back in, new nitrous parts fitted, tested - found faulty, thrown away and replaced and finally flow tested, now all that's left really is to hope it all works.
After minimal deliberation we've changed our Pit lane HQ for 2015, we've sold the Gala marquee that has served us well for the last 6 years and acquired a Gala Pop up gazebo instead. The problem with the Marquee was the hassle putting it up - especially for just a 2 day event. Dead sturdy and leak proof but a 2 hour mission to assemble. In fact the only thing worse was having to take it down again!
The pop up should take some of the misery out of HQ assembly and hopefully will be just as strong.

The funnybike class has a great entry for this event, 14 bikes in total which is healthiest it's been for a long time. Even Comp bike has a 8 bike field which is unusual for the first round.
1     Gary Jones    Suzuki Hayabusa    1427cc
2     Stuart Crane     Suzuki GSX    1640cc
3     David Peters     Suzuki GSX     1327cc
4     Robert Brooks     Yellow Metal     1700cc
5     Dale Leeks     Suzuki GSX      1640cc
7     Harold Wolfenden Suzuki Hayabusa 1299cc
9     Thomas Joswig     Kosman Suzuki    1327cc
16     Dave Buttery     Suzuki GSX     1428cc
17     Pete Le Gros     Nitro Derringer 120ci
22     Phil Crossley     Suzuki GSX     1500cc
23     Nick Daniels     Suzuki GSX     1500cc
34     Eric Richard     Suzuki Hayabusa 1300cc
42     Allan Davies     Suzuki GSX     1500cc
50     Filippos Papafilippou     Suzuki  1570cc

3     Kevin Osman     Suzuki Hayabusa 1300cc
4     Tony Clark     Suzuki GSX     1500cc
5     Paul Hambidge     Kawasaki ZX12R     1200cc
6     Dave Batcheler     Suzuki Bandit     1340cc
11     Eddy Smiley     Suzuki Hayabusa 1300cc
12     Sean Mills     Suzuki Hayabusa 1550cc
14     Mark Hope     Suzuki Hayabusa 1300cc
24     Mick Winyard     Suzuki GSXR1100    1216cc

Qualifying starts on Good Friday and will continue on Saturday, with eliminations on Sunday.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Easter is imminent

Posted my entry forms yesterday for the Festival of Power and the first entry lists are already out. Bit of a change this year too as we will not be running in Competition bike. It seems daft to start the season in comp bike only to have to move to funnybike partway through the season once i have the new bike done, so I've entered funnybike - it's a no brainer anyway, the entry's will be better, I'll probably do ok and the prize money is better.

For now though things have gone a bit backwards. I was almost ready to refit the engine on Wednesday, but after fitting the clutch basket and hub i discovered the wobbly clutch issue i though i'd fixed was not actually fixed - just as bad as ever i'd say. However - i think i've now got it sussed and it explains why the bearing surface on the clutch was worn oddly.  I tried fitting the whole clutch, the gear, the spacers, the hub, all the same parts onto an input shaft in another set of cases and suddenly the wobble was gone. It only shows itself when you tighten the hub nut too, but even with that tight in the other cases it was fine.
The culprit then? well i'd never have imagined it but the big bearing behind the clutch is garbage, it's not broken, damaged or worn, it's like new but one side of that bearing isn't flat, and the whole clutch bolts up against it, which explains everything.

Some parts have arrived recently, 48mm Lectron carbs to go with the V&H head and a set of titanium valves for it arrived today too. I've since made a wide open throttle switch for the lectrons as my current setup won't work with them. Basically i made a replacement carb top with plunger and microswitch. Works great.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Rewind 12 months

It's actually more than 12 months ago now that work began on this new bike project. This time last year all i had was this headstock tube and a bottom yoke.

It doesn't feel like much progress has been made recently but I've spent a lot of hours working on it, there's just not a lot visually to show for it.
I have now patched up the bodyshell after cutting it into 3 pieces, and the seat is a lot better- i can at last sit on it, sort of comfortably!

The front fairing was a bit of a gamble as i wasn't sure i could make it fit and look right, but it seems to sit ok on the bike and doesn't foul the steering, or suspension etc. The next nice day i get I'll finish the last batch of brazing jobs, all the small brackets, footpeg mounts, chainguard stays etc. They're all made and ready, just need fixing on.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Very offsetting

Got another step closer this weekend with the arrival of an billet offset front sprocket, and a blank rear sprocket.  The front needs a bigger offset and a shorter nose than my current one, as the back wheel is wider necessitating the chain being further out to one side. The rear sprocket is also larger than the one i use at the moment to make up for the increase in tyre diameter from 26" to 28".
Same as the last time i bought a blank sprocket as it's a lot cheaper than having one machined to suit, and it only takes a bit of working out and an hour or so on the mill to do myself. And besides the mill needs to start earning it's keep!
A fuel tank is next on my list of things to make, I've been experimenting with large bore fuel taps and made up a 4 way splitter to feed the carbs. It'll need 2 taps altogether, one for the nitrous side and one for the carbs. It's not as nice as a pingel tap but probably flows the same and cost 10x less.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Body work

The bodyshell i bought has gone through a slight - cut it into pieces stage, mostly because it didn't fit right good! The seat rails on the frame are so low the seat of the shell was miles off, it was also too long by a few inches oh and my ass was too fat to actually fit in the gap where the seat was.
So, the seat hump had been chopped out and the tank separated to allow things to sit better.
The front fairing is not a drag race item, i just liked the look of it and now trying to make it fit. Today i made the front subframe to hold it and added the mounts for the electronics which will live up there too. Small side panels are yet to be added to the front fairing and lots of the body shell is still to be cut round the engine and frame rails.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Problem solved

Quick recap.....
The last race of 2014 - the extreme bike weekend, we qualified first but after the last round of qualifying i found a problem with the clutch and decided not to run it in eliminations in case it got worse and damaged something.
3 months later and after a lot of head scratching, it seems i have found the problem. At first it seemed the clutch primary gear was bent, I'd measured the runout of the gear by setting it up on an input shaft in a set of cases and using a dial gauge, and by laying it on a flat surface, and it did seem to be simply bent.
Then i decided, to be more accurate i'd put a bit of large diameter bar in the lathe and machine a shoulder into it and butt the gear up against that and bolt it to it, guaranteeing a true surface. This corroborated the theory that it was bent as it had nearly 0.5mm of runout. 
However, in my attempt to mark it up with a view to straightening it i turned the gear around and bolted it down again. Suddenly, the gear isn't bent anymore - no wobble!
I'd never even imagined the thrust surface of the gear wouldn't be straight... after all why wouldn't it? I still don't know. But anyway it was miles off, as you can see in one of the pictures where I've started to cut it flat again.
The surface was tough but with a carbide cutter and light cuts it turned up just great, and i finished it by lapping on a flat plate till it looked consistent.
Total runout now is less than 0.1mm. So i made up some new rivets to hold the basket and gear back together and used a large glamp to hold it all whilst i welded the ends of the rivets to the backing plate.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

What's 2015 got in store?

Lots of small things happening in the background at the minute. I've been tidying and rearranging things in the cellar, making new shelves to store some of the rubbish i keep collecting, and generally trying to make it a nicer place to work. Plus i've been freeing up some space by selling quite a few surplus GSX bits on eBay, Barrels and pistons, and a few smaller bits. Cylinder heads might be next. I have 9 of them!

With the proceeds of the eBay purge I've managed to save up enough to upgrade my DC arc welder with scratch tig torch to a proper TIG set with High frequency start gas flow control and Pulse welding mode. Disappointingly it hasn't improved my TIG skills, i still need some practice.
Also managed to find a 30 ton hydraulic ram at a good price on that site, it arrived today. It's massive,  and a decent frame to mount it on is on the agenda now too. It'll also need a hand pump and some significant steel slabs to finish it off, but it's a useful thing to have is a small press - steering stems, gearbox parts, cranks etc.
Bodywork is due to arrive via courier tomorrow. The courier is bound to have something to say about the size, but at least it won't be heavy. Once i have it i can make a start on mounting it, getting the seat position right, and related parts like footpegs. Plus I'll have my first job for the new welder - making a stainless fuel tank.