Thursday, June 26, 2008


I was taking these notes elsewhere, but then I thought, why not lay it all on the table?

So I was showing Matt these cool fairings I’ve been considering for the project. I know that it makes the end result more “SS” and less “Café” but I dig that 1970’s SS look and if I’m going to "do the ton" on a 350cc bike any aerodynamic advantage that can be had is worthwhile, right? Of course adding $250+ to the budget isn’t going to get this bike on the road sooner so I see this as “phase 2” of the project, but that got me thinking about what exactly are the phases of this project?

Phase 1:
A running, rideable bike that has a chance of making it to, riding in, and making it home from, the fall Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run.

Phase 2:
Making the bike capable of 100MPH, addressing aesthetics, tuning and overall reliability.

Phase 3:
More power, better handling

So for the moment we’ll focus on Phase 1 and relegate Phase 2 as daydream fodder for all the time we can’t be making progress on Phase 1.

To get ready for the day of work we’re lining up I started thinking about what we’d like to do first, and what parts/tools/etc. we’ll need to get around so we don’t have any (easily avoided) hang-ups on that day. Here’s my current task list, in approximate order of priority:

  1. Remove the airbox, replace with K&N pod filters (I’m giving up on velocity stacks for the moment)
  2. Get the carbs put back together (done)
  3. Install the carbs
  4. Install the modified “exhaust”
  5. Actually clean the oil filter (not just replace the engine oil)

…This should be enough to see if we can get the engine to start. Once that happens…

  1. Kreem & re-install the fuel tank (I'm re-considering this)
  2. Adjust carb jetting (we’ve made some major changes to the intake/exhaust)
  3. Tune-up the ignition (gap the “new” plugs, clean/replace the points, maybe new condenser/coils/plug wires)
  4. Check/adjust the timing
  5. Check/adjust the valves

…And then a few aesthetic adjustments

  1. Swap the stock bars for clubmans
  2. Fix/patch the seat
  3. Clean everything

That should be it for phase 1, and depending on how many snags we run into I dont' think there is any reason we can't get through it by this fall's run...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

All-carb diet

I spent some quality time with the carbs in the basement tonight.

At first I was a bit worried to see that there were more parts in the "carb kits" that I bought than I could find a place for in my carburetors, however consulting my handy service manual indicated that my CL came with two different types of carb, and these extra pieces were for the "other" kind.

Other than that things went very smoothly and I had both carbs back together in about 90 minutes. I still need to adjust them (as much as you can before mounting them) but I was just happy to have all the pieces together that I called it a night.

I'm working on a longer post to outline everything I have planned for the bike at this point, I'll post it soon once I've updated the list.


(BTW, I took a few pictures but my damn VQ1000 threw an error and I wasn't able to pull them off the camera...I think I'm going back to film...)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


It seems like I go through this every month or so, but again the bike languishes in the garage while a million other projects suck up my time.

It doesn’t help that it takes about 20 minutes to dig the bike out from behind everything else in the garage before I can work on it, but enough excuses right?

So talking with Matt, we’re going to dedicate a day in July to get together and try and make some serious progress on this thing. Once again I find myself evaluating the priorities of the project and trying to decide what to work on first. I think my biggest problem is keeping focus on small, attainable steps. Instead I keep thinking “if I can just get a weekend to work on the thing, I’ll get it on the road in one fell swoop!”.

Instead I should set the goal of putting a carb back together, just one, and go from there.

…I just found out that I might have an hour or two tonight…

On the up side, the rest of the project (the film that is) is progressing nicely. We have another interview in the can, this one with the President For Life of the gang, and from my preliminary viewing of the footage it looks pretty good. It sounds like Matt has a few more interviews lining up soon so for the moment things on that side of the film project are on-schedule.

Now if I can just hold up my end of the bargain…