Thursday, February 26, 2015

S&S super E

     I must admit that I bought an S&S for this bike because they are a traditional carburetor, and they look good.  I think the biggest problem people have with a super E is adjusting them when they don't know what they are doing.  Returning them to a factory baseline will usually make a bike run so you can fine tune it.

     I didn't want to unfuck a used carb so I bought mine brand new.  I've had several kick start bikes in the past and I've always been able to tune them to the point they were easy to start reliably. Even my 1967 Kawasaki 350 Avenger two stroke twin with 2 carbs was a 1 kick hot 2 kick cold motorcycle.

     I modified my idle speed adjustment screw to be easily adjusted without tools.  I cut the head off a machine screw, green Loctited a lamp shade knob to it, and used an appropriate length spring for tension so I could turn up the idle speed when cold.  My experience with S&S super E carbs is they start pretty easy but if you leave them on the enrichener for very long they foul out the plugs.  I will now be able to figure out if the bike likes an extra 3/4 turn of idle screw when kick starting and warm it up with a high idle instead of using the enrichener to keep it running when cold.

I scratched a line into the knob with my hacksaw to keep track of how far I have turned it.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Forkin' around

     My new fork tubes arrived today.  I decided to spend the extra money and get the "hard chrome" set. They are similar to OEM quality parts.  I can remember seeing bikes that had scratches running up and down the fork tubes from the seals and I think they were "show chrome" tubes.  I don't want that to happen to my bike.

     The tubes are made by Custom Cycle Engineering.  I bought them on Amazon for $364.  The online ad stated they were Custom Cycle Engineering, but also stated they were made by Dew manufacturing.  I don't know if Dew bought the company after Randy Smith died or what exactly the story is.

     They are made in USA and they seem to be nice quality.  I haven't finished installation yet.  I ran into a problem that prevented me from finishing the job tonight.

     The fork slider bushing that is pressed into the lower leg just below the seal is in good condition.  See how nice and gray it is on the inside.  That is the part that slides against the fork tube as the suspension moves up and down.  The gray is a Teflon coating to reduce friction.

     This is the bushing that snaps into the groove at the bottom of the fork tube.  Its job is to slide against the inside of the fork slider.  The outside surface is supposed to be gray just like the top bushing.  It is almost completely worn off.  I bought this fork used back in 2003 as a complete assembly with a 19 inch wheel For $275.

     Then I bought a new stock lower triple tree because one of the fork stops was broken off of the original lower.

     Then I sold the 19" wheel/tire combo when I got my 21"  Here's a picture with that old front wheel.  Picture is from 2008 I think.  I didn't have a garage at my old trailer house so the bike was in the porch.

     The fork sliders in that picture were the next to go.  I had my 21" wheel, a 2005 seal wheel bearing version.  I couldn't get the 83-99 front brake and slider to cooperate with the sealed wheel bearings so I got a set of 00-03 Sportster sliders and a Drag Specialties 4 piston 00-07 style caliper.

     To make a long story even longer.  The only parts of that original fork that I'm actually going to use on the finished bike are the damper rods, the springs, and slider bushings.  Everything else has been replaced along the way.

     I'm going to call Apol's in the morning and see if they have the tube bushings in stock.  We are having a family get together at Mom's house tomorrow night.  Robyn could bring them to me if they are available.  I don't want to install those worn out bushings.  If I do it right the first time it will last a long time.  If you want to have a nice bike you have to use nice parts.

Ménage à pneus

     Here's a threesome I think everyone will like.  Nothing makes a bike feel new again like fresh tires.  On the left is a Dunlop Elite 3 rear for my Electraglide.  On the right is a Dunlop K591 rear for my 1200.  The bottom is a IRC Volcanduro VE-33 rear for my dirt bike.  Unless I get a flat I should be set with tires for the year on all seven bikes.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Time to get back to the important stuff.

     I started this blog 5 years ago to keep track of my chopper.  Things were so slow moving with the build I started adding content from all of my motorcycles.  It's been nearly 3 years since I did much work to the chopper, but I've made some progress.  Here is what it looks like most recently.

     My garage was kinda hazy because I over choked the Wheel Horse when I moved it belching out a bunch of raw gas and exhaust smoke in protest of my error.

     The stock length 39mm narrow glide was causing two major problems.  It was too short.  The bike was so low that if I turned the handlebars to the right the bike would tip over.  The lower frame rails were running down hill from the rear axle.  I have the shortest jiffy stand I could find and I had an angled lowering wedge installed. The bike still wouldn't lean over far enough.

     The second problem was the steering geometry.  The bike had 6 7/8" inches of trail.  When I did turn the wheel left to right the neck would rise up in the center and flop down side to side.  Even pushing the bike around the garage required a noticeable steering effort compared to my other bikes.

     Longer fork tubes in the stock triple trees would have cured the to low problem but it would have made the steering geometry even worse.

     The answer is raked triple trees.

     Raked triple trees are expensive.  Really expensive.  I knew I needed them years ago but I finally got the cash together and ordered them in January 2015.

     With the newly acquired Paughco 5 degree triple trees installed my trail is now at 4 1/2" inches.  The steering effort feels wonderful and they look great.  There are several well made parts from American suppliers on this bike.  Baker, Primo-Rivera, S&S, and now Paughco.  The quality is great and I couldn't be happier with the decision I made to go with Paughco for my raked triple trees.

     The picture above shows the fork tubes clamped in place simulating 4 inches longer than stock.  That seems to be the perfect stretch to bring the bike up to a reasonable ride height.  I was able to remove the angle wedge plate from the jiffy stand (I like calling it a jiffy stand Indians have kick stands).

     The bike leans over at a normal angle now and I won't have to worry about tipping it over to the right side when I am kick starting it.

     I removed one of the sliders so I could measure the tube length.  There are several lengths of "stock" 39mm narrow glide forks and I didn't want to order the wrong length.

     Mine are the common 24 1/4" inch tubes.  I have found several aftermarket tubes that are the desired 28 1/4" inch length but I haven't ordered them yet.  I'm trying to decide if hard chrome is worth the extra $150 or If I should order show chrome.

A new bike is always exciting

     I finally bought a dirt bike for myself.  It's a 1988 Honda XR250R.  Don't get me wrong I love Harleys but I've been riding red for way longer.  I started out on grandpa Vernon's 1983 Honda Big Red 200 three wheeler when I was 10 and I was allowed to ride it by myself at 13.  The thing I remember most about that trike it always started and never let me down.  I think that's why I like Honda dirt machines to this day.

     Bradley's XR80 can be seen parked next to the new bike.  I bought DNR trail stickers for both bikes and the XR250 is dual registered so I can ride it in town.  I have to add a few more parts to it to make it (mostly) street legal but I do have a plate for it already.

     Bradley has been growing so fast, he's pretty much already to big for his XR80.  That's a CRF125 he's sitting on at the Minneapolis motorcycle show.  I'm going to keep him on the 80 until he is better with a clutch.  The 80 is so easy for him to ride and learn how to use a clutch with I don't want him to get frustrated.  The XR80 is a really clean bike and can be sold easily enough when it's time to move him up to the next one.

     Look how big the XR250R is parked next to the Sportsters.  The seat height sags about 4 inches when I sit on it.