Happy New Year!

Spent the morning trying to figure out to use Microsoft Expression Studio 4 to update my website. Managed to get as far as making changes to the website pages in the program, but not how to publish them. I was getting a headache from staring at the computer screen, so after lunch I gave up for the time being and went out to the shop.

I didn’t work yesterday, so the shop was cold, a fire in the barrel stove was the first order of business. Started work on the A-Track idler sprockets – removed the bearings and cleaned the sprockets. Pressed one new bearing that I had laying around into the sprocket after applying a little Loctite bearing retainer, cleaned up the spacer and collected all of the pertinent hardware together. Not much progress there, once the rest of the bearings arrive, I can finish the job.

Moved on to mounting the handlebars. It’s taken me quite a while to decide what switches to use, but I think this is the “keeper” setup. I tried to use a K&S on/off-start switch on the right, but no matter how I tried, it interfered with either the Magura throttle, Brembo master cylinder or both. It was just too wide for the space it needed to fit into. So, unless I change my mind (again), I’m using a K&S push-button kill switch as the starter button.

Right-side controls

Right-side controls

On the left, I’m using a Domino lever assembly (from a Moto Guzzi Strada) and a K&S headlight/horn/signal switch. The lever assembly has a choke on top that I’ll modifiy slightly to use as a compression release.

Left-side controls

Left-side controls

I’m getting anxious to see this thing down on it’s tires, so I installed my spare forks on it. Spares forks? Oh yeah. Forgot. A pair of WP forks and a WP rear shock were on eBay cheap ($105 shipped) so I bought them. The shock is actually better than the one I had originally planned to use. The forks are a little scuffed, but don’t leak. However, they’re lacking the external adjusters for damping like the others. Both are off of a 406, so the spring rates are a bit softer, giving me another set of springs to choose from. They went on without a fuss as did the front wheel. I wanted to see how the headlight surround and fenders looked on it too, so I put those on.

Front forks are fully extended

Front forks are fully extended

Stood back and had a look at it from the side. Wondered how close to unladen height (no suspension sack) it was, so I stuck the seat on and grabbed a tape measure. Seat height was exactly 37″, 13″ of ground clearance – right on the money.

Mocking up with the spare set of forks, old fenders and narrow seat

Mocking up with the spare set of forks, old fenders and narrow seat

Once I get the swingarm cleaned, the new bearings installed and the pivot spacers made, I can stick my spare shock and the rear wheel on.

Swingarm awaiting a thorough cleaning before the new bearings and spiral lock rings are installed.

Swingarm awaiting a thorough cleaning before the new bearings and spiral lock rings are installed.

At that point I’ll play around with the spring choices and preload to decide exactly how to proceed suspension-wise. The swingarm shows just how rough of a life this bike had before it was parted out and I bought the rolling chassis. There’s still Florida sand all over it and the chain must have broke at some point as there are scars to prove it. Some of the nickel plating is chipped off in places, so it won’t look quite as nice as the frame. But, I’m not building a show bike here!

Sometime in the bike's past the chain must have been very loose or perhaps broke. Otherwise there couldn't have been damage here.

Sometime in the bike’s past the chain must have been very loose or perhaps broke. Otherwise there couldn’t have been damage here.

More signs that a chain broke at some point.

More signs that a chain broke at some point.

Parts for paying work should be arriving tomorrow, so I’m not sure how much I’ll get done for a while.

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