Thursday, June 27, 2013

Suzuki back to MotoGP

Suzuki will be back in MotoGP ... but not before the 2015 season. The team will be racing a bike that should be similar to the one below, which is the current development bike that appeared during the Aragon test sessions last week.

It really costs me to say this, but let's hope it will hold another number than Randy's 14. Or else the only places this bike will race are the first turns' gravels ...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

News from the front

So the front of the Speed Triple feels bad ? Let's put it back on the bench for a complete check up then. To be honest, I had planned a complete rebuild but definitely not that early. The last terrible ride has made to rush the key decision to closely inspect the front suspension.

The one thing that has mainly led the Triumph back on the bench is the much too soft fork setup, something a simple oil drain wouldn't solve. So to cure that, the decision was made to upgrade the fork springs to some with a more suitable spring rate. The standard springs are rated 0.7 kg/mm and I opted for K-Tech's road/race springs rated 0.95 kg/mm. This setup is clearly closer to what's required given the type of usage for the bike (and also my weight). 0.25 kg/mm is a huge difference, but the 955i Speed Triple is known for its harsh rear suspension. Let's hope this change will make both front and rear up again.

But as soon as the front wheel had been removed, I noticed a big play in the steering stem. A quick look in the service manual revealed that this play can be 'adjusted'. This is the first time I heard about such a thing. Either there should be a play and it can be adjusted, or there shouldn't be one and it shouldn't be allowed to adjust it ... Anyway, it motivated a second decision : the steering bearings had to be changed. If that play has been there for a bit of time, then the bearing have been knocked out on every bumps. So on to the World of Triumph shopping list.

Yes ... I know it's a Fag bearing ...

And since there was a growing part list to order from the UK, why not add a left engine bolt and its spacer. They will allow to remove those ugly crash bungs that gets in my knees' way on every corner.

Coming next : these parts are being fitted.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Zundapp KS750

Came across this old WW2 Zundapp KS750 Saturday. It drew a lot of interest with always 2 or 3 people around it. Maybe it's the army color, maybe the bulky rigid frame, the flat engine or the fact it was the lightest  form - though now abandonned form - of armed vehicle.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Random from the archive

While wandering from bike to bike on the 2004 edition of the Brussels motor show, I stumbled across this Michelin promotional BMW R1100S. I had still not had my first at the time, but had already tried one and really loved the experience. Even though this one comes with a fun Michelin paint job, you had to look beyond its (glass fiber) clothes to see it lacks most of the Boxercup special parts. Despite the sparky twin exhaust - which in fact is a Remus - and the lower fairing -which is not 'cup spec'ed - it misses the carbon rocker covers and it seems like the rear shock is still the stock Showa. Ok then it was simply a stock version with a sporty disguise, but the bike was fun to look anyway and deserved a picture.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The road version

I took the roughly finished product for a test ride the other day. The only thing I can tell is there's definitely room for improvement, to say the least. The Triple did run a bit last winter and there were already a couple of things to cure back then, but I thought the spring rebuild would have ironed some issues out. Well it did, but not as much as expected, so the main feeling about this 'first' run is a big disappointment. Let me explain that.

The roughly finished product
First thing, not everything is bad on this bike. The brakes are strong and the new EBC HH pads really bite the rotors hard. Also, the engine is pulling really hard and now sounds good with its new - even though baffled - Mivv exhaust. The latter seems to have cured the surging issues felt last winter when equipped with the standard Triumph exhaust. It might be that the ECU was mapped for the use of an aftermarket can already. Finally the throttle cables were fixed during the winter and now move more freely, which gives proper control on the gas.

But then, the whole experience is wasted by dodgy suspensions. Touch the brake lever and the front literally dives literally locking the steering. It feels too soft and completely uncomfortable at the same time. Plus, there's a rather worrying clacking noise when riding over big bumps. It feels so bad, you have to concentrate and pay extra attention to what you do when approaching a simple roundabout. And that's just for the front suspension ... I can't even tell about the rear because of how bad the front felt ...

I need some time to rethink the project as a whole and either sort things that were let down for too long or ditch the bike. It seems to me that the forks haven't been touched for a long time and could do with good servicing.

More parts, more work, more time required to make it the sharp bike I intended it to be. Maybe it's worth  it after all.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Reworked windscreen

Time for the big S to get a new windshield. It still had its scuffed and cracked one from when I bought it from the salvage more than 3 years ago. Lots have been done since on this project but not much in the aesthetic department. 

This light tinted Pyramid Plastics screen was waiting on eBay for an affordable price. The main issue is, compared to the standard BMW screen, it won't hide the dashboard as mush.

I initially thought about making the lower part darker by painting it black, but that meant taping, sanding with 600 sand paper, spraying and waiting for paint to dry. And then, there still was some black 3M vinyl on the shelve from the Triumph rear seat unit project and so popped the idea of covering the screen instead of painting it.

The holes still need to be cleared, but the result is not bad at all. One of the good points about having it covered rather than painted is that the black part can still be reshaped. I'm not too sure about the straight line design.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Color blind paint

That ain't funny at all ... Could anyone tell me what's written on those ? :D
See more at Death Spray Custom.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mivv titanium exhaust

With the wrapped rear end in place, it's about time to fit the dusty Mivv exhaust on the triple. It's a rather nice addition and it shaves a bit more than 3kg out on the overall weight.

Although certainly a little loud ...
... it's a rather tempting configuration
A more reasonable option : the Mivv titanium exhaust in place
The bike's almost ready for a spin.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bar ends

Putting some new bar ends is just one required step in the process of turning the Speed Triple into a rolling road bike again. Now equipped with clip-ons, standard mirrors couldn't be simply fitted back on the bars for obvious aesthetic reasons (even though these have never guided the project). R&G bar ends will help bolting new bar end mirrors and since the right clip-on couldn't be saved, another one has been sourced from the Bay.

The sourced Daytona clip-on with its standard conical bar end
R&G bar ends for Daytona this time ...
Installed bar end ready for mirror to be clamped