Saturday, December 26, 2015

Wheel bearings tool

Fitting wheel bearings the good old way (and cheaply).

What you need : 
- a long enough threaded shaft
- washers and nuts
- spanners
- a pair of sockets with the correct size (covering enough of the outer race of the bearings, that is). 

When assembled, this is how the "tool" will look like

The sprocket carrier is easier to move around than a wheel and often comes equipped with only one bearing, which makes it a better case to try your new tool.
Fit the threaded shaft in the sprocket carrier's hole and slip on the sockets, one on each side, then washers and finally nuts. Screw until everything looks tight and aligned (the sockets should be secured straight on the bearing's race), then use the spanners on the nuts to have them to push the sockets further and make the bearing move forward in the slot. Unbolt everything the other way round when the bearing is not moving any further.

Your tool should now also work the same way on wheels ;)

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Triumph Thruxton

June 2015 - While we are all (yeah all, don't you know ?) waiting for the new model coming up at the very beginning of 2016, I had the opportunity to swing a leg over a Thruxton demo bike and take it for a 1H spin. There's something with bike. It's not fast, a tad heavy and wavy and certainly unpractical, but still I enjoy looking at it and riding its spokes wheels and polished cases, burbling engine.

And while at the Triumph dealer, I discovered the New Church incarnation of the Bonneville. Thruxton optional seat, black painted wheels, bars, mudguards and headlight cover make it a rather appealing version of the now already replaced Bonnie.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Side panels

August 2015 - There has been a bit of time spent scratching heads about what to do with the side panels. As every single part off this bike, they looked scratched and dull and came with unmatching bolts. From the start, the main option has been to replace them with cleaner, less aged siblings. But an umpteenth storage cardboard inspection revealed there was still some 3M vinyl films left from another project, both in carbon look and matt black. The carbon's been chosen for evident appearance reasons and because there was enough left to cover both sides ... another cheap repair.

The left side cover was easier to start with as it was only dirty and required very little sanding. Below are one before and two after pictures of the covering job.

The film had long been stored in rather wet conditions, so unfortunately it didn't stick to the panel's surface as expected. Add to this that I had not practiced my covering skills for a long time and the panel ends up looking only almost as planned. It looks good from a distance, but it's a bit rough on the edges.

The right one was another story though ... It had deep scratches and holes where the alarm key and warming LED were mounted. What was left of the alarm system has to be removed first, the consequent holes filled and the whole sanded more heavily. Then the panel has been painted black using spray can not only to ready the surface to receive the film, but initially also to reveal the remaining repair defects.

Apart from the holes and repaired cracks, the paint looks surprisingly good. Maybe my paint skills are better than my covering ones now ... And that could be a fall back plan if ever the vinyl film flies off the bike too quickly.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Painting session 1

June 2015 - Preparing pitted fork lowers and brush-painted lower clamp.
What springs to some people's mind when it comes to motorcycle and home-made paint is anyone's guess ... and that's often a call for a disaster. This bike is no exception with its numerous nasty painted parts brushed by someone who certainly thought it would look cooler with unmatched color and without even trying with parts off the bike. The result is a thick sticky dull blueish layer of a job with paint overflowing on innocent surrounding ancillaries (like fork tubes, frame, ...). I'm convinced now that you can be a criminal armed with a paintbrush.

Several layers of part thinner didn't quite managed to start removing that blue paint on the lower triple clamp ...

On the forks front, the silver paint is just totally pitted, which is bad, but at least far from being ruined in blue. So the forks have been removed and split so they could be wire-brushed, then ground to bare metal before painting.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cleaning calipers

May 2015 - How I like cleaning stuffs ... now wait ! ... No I hate it !
You wouldn't believe how dirty those calipers were prior the long and detailed clean they went through. The pads were shot to the point one could see the steel frame holding the brake garnish. Someone was apparently still trying to apply some brake with these pads on ... No wonder the bike's been crashed, but what comes next is : how much worse the suffering discs are ? The pistons were marked several times each and required thinning with 1000 sand paper.

The pistons now look saved, let just hope they'll hold their fluid, but the calipers would have done with a quick rattle can finish.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Filth and grime

It's amazing how much of that shit you can get when thoroughly cleaning around the front sprocket and swingarm mounts. And it's not even half of it. Maybe the weight dropped half a kilo of dried chain lube mixed with road filth and grime.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Swingarm, clean

Teleporting back in March 2015 - The swingarm is reacting rather well to a thorough clean. Look at that shiny result. It's good to see it back to this form. Even with its rusted areas, it's beyond expectations.

What comes unexpected from this cleaning session though lays in how my vision has changed on this very part. Back when I had my first Hornet, I always considered the swingarm as a basic, poorly-engineered part, but time spent removing the filth out of it changed this consideration from bland to mostly overlooked. Okay, it's still a box-section, direct shock mount swingarm (which, with experience, is not that much of a bad choice with a good shock), but it's lightweight and the front section looks neatly CNC-machined.