Monday, December 14, 2009

Straight to the welder

While the strip off has begun by drilling the seat lock (see picture), there are some good and bad news already. Let's start with the good ones : the bike comes with a couple of welcome options such as the genuine 5.5" rear rim that can be mounted with a 180 rear tire or the straight pipes that replace the huge standard emission box. It not only removes weight, it also brings a tasty rattling noise. I had one like that on my 98 and the engine felt rather ... liberated.

Now for the bad ... As I was stripping the bike off of its seat unit panels, I found whole seat unit was strangely moving from up and downwards like something was losely tightened. Then I noticed the oddly wide distance between the front of the saddle and the tank fairing. That wasn't suppose to look like that. Looking underneath the rear unit gave an immediate answer to what is wrong ...

The frame happens to be cracked. Damn ! Not really what I had expected as a start. I'm only owning the bike for 3 days and already having serious problems. Wandering the internet to see what others said about this, the frame's disease appears to be fairly common : the back of the frame has 4 tiny casted ears to support the subframe mounts. The problem mostly comes from the fact that the subframe is pretty long and has to support a lot of weight on its far end (the exhaust canisters hang there). Having said that, the casted ears look a bit weak.
So I guess I'm gonna be heading to the welder pretty soon to have those ears TIGged back on the frame.
5 engines, 2 electrics ... which one is taking more rounds ?

Back in the garage

Here are some additional pics I shot when I got back in the garage. The bike definitely looks clean for a damaged repairable, but I can't be 100% sure unless I strip it off completely. This is what comes next.

Well since no key came along with the bike, I'm certainly in for a little drilling session straight into the locks ... not my favorite job indeed, but that's probably the only solution to get to remove the saddle. Once removed, the fairing panels can finally be laid off.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The sanctuary

The Sanctuary is a web site that really deserves its name as this truly is a place of its own kind. This japanese speaking pages are a real show off of what these people have directed their motorcycle love to. For a couple of years now Japan have been a place where naked 80's (the only way they were designed back then) and 90's superbikes are elevated to the art status.

The great thing about these guys is how they succeed in making an old forgotten motocycle look cool. Who wouldn't crave to have a GPZ900 looking like this one ?

New projekt

Since I sold the SV prototype this summer, I don't have a track bike in the garage any more. It's been months now that I've more or less been trying to find a new project bike. Not that the bikes are not easy to find. In fact, from the moment I decided I needed a new project, I've been proposed all sort of sportbikes, most of them being japanese supersports from R6s to GSXRs. The problem is : do I really want to prepare yet another japanese sportbike for track purpose only ? Isn't that too easy ? Let's grow up a bit.

7 months ago I spotted a bike that's usually not an easy find among the damaged repairable motorcycles. I was pretty happy since it was located in the UK and didn't come too expensive, but I wasn't sure at the moment and decided I would pass on it and try too find something else, since the BMW R1100S isn't the easiest motorcycle to put on the track.

Last month I had a quick look on the website were the R11S was first spotted. And it was still there waiting but the price tag had been reviewed to clear. I could not believe the bike couldn't find a new owner in over 6 months. Come on anybody, that's a BMW ! Part it and become a wealthy man ! There are finally two good news with the credit crunch and the way it affects the UK more than France :
- the pound has been pretty low since last year compared to euro
- people do not buy project bikes as times are hard
This is probably why this bike stayed available for so long. So I started looking around the internet to find out if the R1100S could make a good track bike and what could be the distance between a standard version and a completely pimped up version that was used a couple of years ago in the Boxer Cup rounds.

I ended up with a whole list of possible modifications to improve every aspects of the bike's performance. Now that's a challenging enough project ! This is exactly what I was looking for. So I just bought the bike last week and brought it home from Dover.

What's a story without pics ? Well I don't know ... 'cause this one has ...

Typical british weather and superb landscape from Dover's port waiting zone ...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Caiman show part 2

How time's fleeing sometimes ... I remember promising to post the second part of my picture coverage of the last Caiman show in Croix like it was yesterday. But it's been more than a month now and it's not online yet. Hopefully, there are still some highly motivated guys that will always remind me to post pictures. So here they are :

The last two ones are a great opportunity to push my own special reminder to a friend. Yvan do you remember you're having a KR1S rusting in your garage ? Don't waste too much time in your home's improvement ... and go back to a real project !! :D
Having said that, I may add a little more pressure by expecting you're getting close to this result with your bike ;)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another credit crunch victim

Erik Buell has announced on thursday that Buell Motorcycles has both knees down. Yet another credit crunch aftermath victim. What Buell Motorcycles brought to the market since 1983 has always been debatable. Erik Buell and his team have certainly produced some of the most oddly designed motorcycles, but they undoubtly tried to pull the technology up with these, providing inovative solutions to mass production like in-frame reservoirs or perimetrical brake discs.
Harley Davidson is having one of the worst years in history and that probably lead them to drop partnership with Buell. If you're looking for a definition for the "sad man" expression, then you probably should look at this video.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yamaha racing videos

These videos have been around for a couple of weeks now, but there are unlucky guys that haven't spoted them yet. For those one, here are 2 videos made by Yamaha Racing (including the MotoGP and Superbike programs) that will undoubtly make you laugh ... Well it worked for me ...
My favorite one is without a doubt the one that pictures Ben Spies, because :
- first, you get to learn the man out of track and he looks like a good bloke
- second, it' not every one that would mock himself, especially if he's great champion
- third, it's definitly well made and funny

Check out the second one too, because Colin Edwards' actor talent is an absolute must see.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It smells oil and it's a bit rusty but ...

... damn how good it is. Back in mid september I went to the Croix-en-ternois circuit to attend to the anual CAIMAN meeting with a mate of mine. It's nothing far from a conventional trackday but one only sees old riders on sometimes even older bikes. The bike range was great as it's always nice to see all of these old motorcycles in one place. And for once in Croix, the weather was sunny-not-windy, which is rather rare down there.

Here are a couple of pics from the event (this is only part 1). Enjoy !