Devious Details

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  • Build: Natasha
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J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC Dang, these LEDs are bright!

I'm running on about five hours sleep a night just now. Between working twelve hours at my day job, putting in about four hours a night on Natasha, and commuting/eating/cleansing, that leaves only so much time for recharging/sleeping. Not sure how much longer I can sustain this level of activity without something failing. I just closed my eyes for a few seconds while I waited for today's photos to be exported from Lightroom and woke up thirty minutes later. Hmmm, I think tonight I HAVE TO GO TO BED EARLY. I've said that for the past few nights and then I'll get into a groovy work flow/zone.... suddenly it's eleven o'clock! Oh well.

I made some significant progress on lots of small things today. I picked up some 1" x 1/16" aluminum bar to make some small brackets for the electronics to fit securely inside of the headlamp. These are attached with high strength double sided sticky pads, the kind you would use to mount a mirror on the wall. Then the electronics will be mounted to them using Velcro tape, for easy removal if need be. I provisionally mounted the latching relay and tiding up some of the wiring; I used small pieces of Velcro to hold the fuses neatly against the headlamp body. Once the RFID board and LED relay board have completely finished their liquid insulation coating I will mount those and finalize the internal wiring. I realized that I should have put a couple of quick connects to make things a little easier for disassembly, but in reality I hope never to take this apart again, so hard soldering is the way it is going to be.

The existing OEM switches are pretty sun bleached and ratty looking. I removed what was left of the labels, and cleaned them with GooGone and then used Pledge to see if they could be restored back to a decent black color. I wasn't too impressed with the results so used a product from Bondo called Restore Black. It is basically a black gel that you apply to the plastic and it darkens everything back to an original black. With three coats on the switches I think they look much better. I am not sure about replacing the labels, even if there is such a thing as replacement decals for OEM specific switch gear. I might do some research to see if I can come up with a solution. It's not a huge deal if they remain blank; anyone getting on a motorcycle should know exactly what every switch does anyway. I'm going to pick up some red plastic paint from Lowes today to restore the kill switch back to a bright orange/red.

I looked at the brake and clutch lever assemblies and took them apart for cleaning. The levers have this two tone black/dark aluminum clear coat type finish to them that I don't particularly like. I started to polish them with the buffing wheel but the coating applied is pretty stubborn. So I covered everything in Aircraft Cleaner and left it overnight to do it's magic. (Normally 10-15 minutes is enough, but I really want this coating gone!) I will respray the other components flat black to match the triple clamp/frame.

The turn signal assembly for the RFID/Ignition status LED's was a little challenging: I am trying to squeeze a lot into a small space. The existing lamp had a normal incandescent bulb, so I removed that so that I could have more room is run the six LED wires though the body. Fortunately I had some larger LED bulbs left over from another project which fit perfectly in the space left. I soldered some wires directly onto it, which eliminates the bulb holder, and allows me to run the extra LED RFID/Ignition status wires through the turn signal mounting stalk. Again, finding the right sized drill bit to fit the tiny 3mm LED plastic mounts was challenging, but I found something that worked, and just let the drill run on for a few seconds to make the hole fractionally larger. I will secure the LEDs with some superglue once I am totally happy with the wiring setup, this will also serve as some form of waterproofing. I still have to modify the reflector so that it fits back into that space. Given how bright the LED is in comparison to the original incandescent bulb I don't think it will matter if I cut away some of it to make room for the other LEDs.

Current hours on build: 145.0 

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Rebuilding, restoring, and recycling classic bikes into unique custom-made cafe racers.


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