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The Four Fifty - Items filtered by date: September 2013

Stubborn Soldering

Today was one of those days where things started out badly, but then ended in an okay place. I could have stopped and taken a day off, but I stubbornly didn't want to end my work at a place of failure. What went wrong? Soldering the ends of the throttle cable is what went wrong; specifically the inability of the solder to flow into the barrel and create a nice strong joint. I had the right flux, the right kind of solder, but I found out that using the mini-blow torch was just too fierce a heat for good soldering. The flux burns off too quickly and then the intense heat of the flame contaminates the braided cable with soot, then the solder just will not 'flow'. After a couple of failed attempts I got the flame just right and had something close to a satisfactory end soldered in place; but when I installed it in the body of the throttle assembly I discovered I had set the end at the wrong place, AND when I twisted the grip to see if it held firm... it didn't. :( So I spent a couple of hours driving around town trying to find a motorcycle parts store that had the right diameter braided wire to replace the piece I had cut too short. I finally found a bicycle store that had the items I needed: more wire and another barrel 'end'.

Rather than ruin another end, I practiced five times with some scrap wire. I tried different types of solder, with/without flux, using the blow torch or using the soldering iron. Finally after some experimentation the best way to do this is with the soldering iron, water soluble flux, and acid core silver solder. After the solder has flowed into the barrel I cleaned up the excess with the Dremel and flap wheel; I would always find a little bump of solder on the low side of the barrel that needed removing.

I probably have been too exact in my measuring and cutting of the ends going to the carbs. A little bit of excess might have been preferable than being absolutely exact. I can hear both carb slides closing at the nearly the exact same time as I close the throttle shut, so maybe I got things perfect on the first go. But life is rarely perfect, and I haven't left much room on the other side for corrections: I can take up slack, but have none to let out. Oh well, we will see what happens when I start Natasha up. Worst comes to the worst, I can do this process over, now that I have figured out the right way to do it.

Current hours on build: 173.0 

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Chain & Wrapping

So it's been a few days since my last build entry. Basically I took some time away from Natasha to do two things: 1) Sleep, and 2) Find and purchase Chevy Express Cargo Van. Both objectives were taken care of. I feel a whole lot better now that I've caught up on my sleep, and I'm now the proud owner of Christine; a 2002 Chevy Express 3/4 Ton Van. Why did I trade the lovely Toyota Tacoma in for this? Well there are a number of reasons: I need something to haul back both bikes and all my stuff to WA, when I take time off to build my house/studio/workshop next year. I looked at renting a U-Haul truck and trailer, but it was going to cost me close to $3000 to do that. Trading Ivan the Unterrible in for the Chevy cost nothing, as I've build up some equity in the Toyota, so no money actually changed hands. It's pretty nice to own a vehicle outright and have no car payments when I'm trying to save every penny right now. I also have always wanted to have a van. This desire probably stems from my childhood when my parents owned a fairly large grocery store, and for fifty pence you could have your groceries delivered to your home. I have vivid memories of riding around my home town delivering groceries when I was maybe eight or nine in a cargo type van. Good times. And the van will also be very handy when building the house next year. I'm going to weld up a nice rack for it, so hauling supplies from the mainland won't be a problem.

But it's white! And the last time I owned a white vehicle Ms. Cameron came along unexpectedly. :) So I did buy enough Rust-Oleum Flat Black to respray it this weekend, but I just couldn't do it. The bodywork on this van is in such good condition it would be foolish to put a less than perfect rattle-can spray job on top. So I am being smart, and will purchase some flat black vinyl and teach myself how to wrap the van this week. That way if I do have to sell the truck at some point, I can just peel off the vinyl and have a good looking white van for someone to purchase.

I have resprayed the front grill as that was looking rather shabby, replaced the turn signal lamps which were no longer orange, and will be upgrading the stereo so I can run Pandora and my XFM satellite radio. The interior is spotless, but it will need some D-rings and a wheel chock for transporting Natasha to her first shoot location. Oh, and the reason she is called Christine is becuase the first time I drove her the radio came on spontaneously and was tuned to a classic rock station. So, of course, she had to be named after the Stephen King novel/John Carpenter film

The Motion Pro 08-0058 Chain Breaker and Riveting Tool arrived and using it was a total breeze. Basically it's a two stage process; you squeeze the new link and o-rings together, then spread the rivets open. Depending on the type of chain you have bought the size of the rivet spread varies from manufacturer to manufacturer; it can be anything from 0.006" to 0.025". In this case I spread the rivets to 0.015"

The exhaust has been sitting in the same spot in Misha for the last eight months, and today I finally moved them so that they could be put on the bike. Before that could happen I removed the heat shielding and chopped off the old muffler. I was going to chop the exhaust a little closer to the balance pipe but at the last moment decided to give myself some extra room and chopped the exhaust right at the muffler joint. This actually was a good idea, as it gives the new mufflers a little bit of angle and doesn't have them totally parallel with the ground. 

From Dime City Cycles I had ordered some exhaust reducers as I knew the new slip-on mufflers had a much bigger opening that the diameter of the OEM exhaust. As it turns out they were still a little big and I had to shim the exhaust out using some 0.006" aluminum flat bar, left over from doing the same with the handlebar switch gear. I also had to cut two slots in the exhaust so that the pipe clamps could tighten down more effectively. Once everything was securely held in place, I cleaned up the exhausts of surface rust and resprayed them with the same high temperature paint I used on the engine. I knew I was going to wrap them in black exhaust wrap but I wanted to see how they would come up just being painted. If need be I could have stopped there, as they turned out pretty good, but I am really happy with how the exhaust wrap looks now that is on.

Wrapping definitely takes some practice; I think I did the first exhaust at least three times until I got the tension and spacing right of each wrap. Both ends are secured using some safety wire, and to cover both exhausts took exactly 50ft of wrap. I was really quite lucky there. After the first exhaust was done I was pretty sure I didn't have enough left for the second one, but as the diameter of the roll kept going down, I got closer and closer to the end and finished with nothing to spare.

Current hours on build: 168.0 

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Feet First

Paint dries pretty fast, but paint takes days/weeks/months to fully harden. I'm always very cautious when working with parts I've just recently painted, and even though I've added the baking process to my workflow, it still doesn't make items less susceptible to being damaged during installation. I was particularly careful when putting on the freshly painted foot-pegs and gear/brake levers. They are so perfect straight out of the oven but it only takes a careless wrench/spanner to ruin that. Natasha isn't perfect; how can a thirty-one year old bike be? But with so much restoration going on it's always nice to aim for perfection even though attaining it is unlikely. I think it would be better to say I am aiming for flawlessness, rather than perfection. Which is just one shade of crazy less.

Because I have removed the passenger foot pegs and their associated mounting plates, the brackets for the rider's foot-pegs needed some spacer washers to position them as they were before. This didn't matter on the rear brake foot-peg, but the gear change one would have not worked without them: you wouldn't have been able to downshift as the lever would collide with the gear change shaft. I always buy stainless steel parts where I can; the additional cost is justified with the knowledge that they are not going to rust for the next thirty years.

I had to review my original photos to remember exactly how the rear brake parts all fit together, so I am very glad I fully documented Natasha in her 'before' stage. I have one small issue where I need to figure out how to make the brake lever return to it's original position after being pressed. There was a hefty spring doing that before, but now I have nowhere to attach the end to what with the passenger foot-peg mounting plates being absent. The lever does return to zero just now, using the force of the internal springs in the brake drum, but I rather wonder those will not be enough when actually out riding. 

The final position of everything will be determined once Natasha is back on the floor again and I can see where my feet are when sitting on her in a regular riding position. I think my toes will be closer to the road than before so both levers will probably need to move down a few degrees. 

Current hours on build: 164.0 

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Ya Beauty!

So after yesterday's less than stellar day I was keen to get back in the saddle so-to-speak. Something I learned from my ex-wife, who trains horses to do amazing things, is that always finish on a good note; even if it's something you've done a million times before, don't end the training session on a bad note. Even if I had just tidied up the workshop I might have felt better than going to bed in a funk. And speaking about that, I usually do tidy things up so that the next day it's a nice space to start work in again. I didn't this time, and potentially that could have been a disastrous error. Why? I left my soldering iron on. Worse than that I left my soldering iron on underneath Natasha. I got lucky. Natasha/Misha didn't burn to the ground, and my iron is fine, if perhaps a little tired for being on a solid 24 hours. I ground down the tip and re-tinned the end.

The problem was a grounding issue. I thought I could save some space and wire all the LED earths/grounds/negatives, whatever you want to call them, together and have only five wires exiting the turn signal stalk instead of eight. But that screwed up the relay circuits, so had to rewire the stalk for four pairs of independent wires. I also repaired the LED circuit board by dumping a gob of solder over the broken wire; not very pretty but it works. I did try to tidy up the superglue/white plastic mess, but it still doesn't look so good. The Dremel took a bunch of the plastic away but couldn't really get into the corners between the body and the LED mounts. I went a little crazy and ground too much, and took the tops of the LEDs off, which is good to know I can do I guess: they still work fine. I'll be ordering another set of turn signals and LEDs to make a new one, but not right now. Everything works as it should and I'm happy to leave it at that.

The inside of the headlamp isn't super tidy but it's functional. I tie-wrapped some of the larger cables together and stuck them to the inside of the shell, creating a donut ring of cabling. Everything is Velcro'd in place and the body of the headlamp fits on without any force. The RFID triggers once the key-fob is about 1/4" away from the very top of the headlamp, and the alert 'beep' is loud but not annoyingly so. Enough to be heard with a helmet on. And all the LEDs light up as they should. Ya beauty! :)

Current hours on build: 161.0 

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Set Backs

It's not often I leave from an evening's work on Natasha somewhat despondent. I have been working on her every night for the past ten days, and surviving on 4-5 hours sleep, so I guess it's only natural I hit a bit of a energy low when confronted with a problem. Two things happened this evening to knock the wind from my sails:

1) The surperglue I used to secure the LED's in the turn signal reacted oddly with the black plastic and now I'm left with a milky white turn signal. I've tried using the same black restorer I used on the OEM switch gear but to no success. I'll just have to see if I can carefully polish it out with the Dremel, without changing the texture too much. But I rather think I am going to have to start again. Poo.

2) The LED relay circuit board didn't work when I reconnected it to all the right wires. I spent forever checking and rechecking my wiring diagram to make sure I had not made any mistakes, but the LEDs don't light up as they should. Only in the last few minutes before giving up and going inside to bed did I discover one of the relay wires to be broken on the board, hidden from view by the spray on insulation. I really should have used stranded wire for those instead of solid core; too much flexing during installation caused that break. Trouble is it is covered in the insulation so it's going to be a pain fixing it. Boohoo.

Minor stuff really, but combined with my constant tiredness, made for a less than successful evening.

Aside from those set backs I did accomplished some things: I installed the new chain, but first I wiped off the excess grease that it came covered in. OMG, I know they want to protect their product from rust in case it sits for years on some shelf in an auto-part's store, but I think this was excessive. I actually used a degreaser to get it off; it stubbornly refused to be removed easily. (And I guess that was another issue that bummed me out: I ordered a chain that should have came with a split clip for easy installation, but this one requires a chain riveting tool, so I'm ordering another new tool today from Amazon. Only $60 and I'll definitely use it again somewhere down the line, but I would rather not have purchased it to begin with.) Once the chain was installed I could put back on the clutch cover and fix the cable into position with some tie wraps. And then I added both clutch and brake brackets to the handlebars. (I still have to polish the levers.) Then the lefthand grip could be installed using some hairspray as both lubricant and adhesive. Really, hairspray works a treat. I was fortunate to find a travel sized version so don't have a huge can loitering in my cupboard for the next year or so until I next need it.

Current hours on build: 158.0 

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Slow & Steady

Today's build entry isn't very exciting. I was repainting the clutch/brake levers/foot-pegs as they were seriously covered in rust. That came off pretty easily using the Dremel and flap wheel but what with the various convex contours made it near impossible to get totally rust free, so I made the decision to spray them flat black. 

Painting isn't something you can really write much about. You clean, prepare, prime, and then paint. But then again if you start to think about the process and what you can do to improve your method you can get started down a rabbit hole of investigation. The internet is a scary place; you can get lost for days in various forums. I was just looking for an answer on whether or not I can/should bake my small parts after spraying with a Rustoleum product. And the resounding answer seems to be a yes. I read about painting AR15s, restoring Coleman gas stoves, as well as lots of classic/vintage car restoration forums. The trouble is always finding the right answer, as opposed to a million similar yet slightly inconsistent answers. So you do your best and make your own mind up.

What I need is a small toaster oven. Well, I actually have one but it's 2543 miles away in my storage unit on the island, so perhaps a trip to a local Goodwill store, or I'll just invest $18 at Walmart and get something like this. I've already put the primer and top coats on the clutch/brake levers/foot-pegs (although I haven't done the rear foot brake pedal; I totally spaced on doing that part as it is still in the storage box and out of plain sight.) so I'll just put the parts in for 30 minutes at 150F and see what happens, then let them cool slowly as the oven cools. A lot of the forums suggest baking between coats, so we'll see how this works. Perhaps I'll harden just the outer coat and everything else underneath will still be soft. Testing for hardness is subjective at this level; using your fingernail on somewhere unobtrusive. It certainly would be nice to be capable of powder coating these parts, but that's another process altogether.

Prior to painting I chopped off where the mirror would have screwed into the brake bracket; it was just too tall to leave in place. A few seconds with the reciprocating saw, then the bench top grinder to give it some nice curves, finishing off with a flap wheel on a Dremel and some 400 grit paper. Any imperfections at this stage would be taken care of by the layers of paint I put on. The opposite mirror mounting point on the clutch bracket is fairly small and I will just top it off with the appropriately sized bolt to cap the hole.

Current hours on build: 152.0 

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Clubman Bars

So I was looking for an origin of the term 'Clubman Bars', but couldn't find one. We'll just have to make up our own history for them I guess. Regardless of their naming origin they are de rigueur for cafe racers. And so I started to put back on the controls this evening. The OEM throttle grip core had to be modified so that I could mount the lovely aluminum bars ends I bought from Dime City Cycles.

From Wikipedia:

The café racer is a light and lightly powered motorcycle that has been modified for speed and handling rather than comfort. The bodywork and control layout of a café racer typically mimicked the style of a contemporary Grand Prix roadracer, featuring an elongated fuel tank, often with dents to allow the rider's knees to grip the tank, low slung racing handlebars, and a single-person, elongated, humped seat.

One signature trait were low, narrow handlebars that allowed the rider to "tuck in" — a posture with reduced wind resistance and better control. These handlebars, known as "clip-ons" (two-piece bars that bolt directly to each fork tube), "clubmans" or "ace bars" (one piece bars that attach to the standard mounting location but drop down and forward). The ergonomics resulting from low bars and the rearward seat often required "rearsets", or rear-set footrests and foot controls, again typical of racing motorcycles of the era. Distinctive half or full race-style fairings were sometimes mounted to the forks or frame.

The bikes had a utilitarian, stripped-down appearance, engines tuned for maximum speed and lean, light road handling. The well-known example was "The Triton", a homemade combination of Norton Featherbed frame and Triumph Bonneville engine. It used a common and fast racing engine combined with a well-handling frame, the Featherbed frame by Norton Motorcycles. Those with less money could opt for a "Tribsa"—the Triumph engine in a BSA frame. Other combinations such as the "Norvin" (a Vincent V-Twin engine in a Featherbed frame) and racing frames by Rickman or Seeley were also adopted for road use.

A 7/8" hole saw fits perfectly, as it should, since the diameter of these bars are 7/8". Once that was drilled out, the plastic could be cleaned up a bit with a craft knife, then it rotated very easily once back on the bar. Getting the new handlebar grip on was easier than I thought, but still required some serious effort. With a little dash of WD40, things progressed a lot easier. It's really just a question of slowly working the rubber over the tube, moving from top to bottom, in a caterpillar type movement. The replacement grip does not quite match the profile of the OEM grip, so there is a little piece of the throttle body still showing. I will most likely peel back the rubber grip and spray this flat back.

The repainted kill switch looks pretty good. I was concerned that I had layered the paint on too heavily, but it dried out okay. The kill/starter switch assembly has a small metal tab that internally locates in a hole in the OEM handlebars, so I had to measure and drill a new set of those. I angled the switches towards the rider so that they are more comfortable than the OEM position. The clubman bars do put you in an aggressive riding position so whatever you can do to make the ergonomics easier on the wrists is always a good idea.

Before I mounted the switchgear permanently I had to install the new mirrors. These are machined to fit 1" diameter bars but come with hard plastic spacers to increase the diameter of your 7/8" bars. I found the spacers to be slightly on the small size and even with tightening the mirrors as much as I could they weren't snug enough. With some thin gauge (0.016") aluminum flat bar from Lowes I could shim them out to a super tight fit. In an ideal world (like this time next year in my new workshop) I would be able to turn down a piece of aluminum in a lathe and make the exactly right diameter spacer, but this solution will do.

Technically these are bar end mirrors, so they should be mounted on the extremities of the bars, but both myself and the bike's intended rider are skinny as rails, so I can position them where they are now and still be effective: A larger rider would have a good view of only their sides while riding. 

I still have to mount the left hand grip, but that requires some frictionless assistance, and a common product used to mount grips is actually hair spray. It allows the grip to slide on but then turns to a sticky goo after a few days and the grip is pretty much on forever. So a trip to Walgreens is in order tonight.

Current hours on build: 149.0 

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Tank Girl

So I picked up the tank from Ron at North Hill Cycles today. It is quite amazing; the red we picked is perfect for Natasha. It has that classic deep red hue to it. I love that it has the classic knee scallops that are so part of the cafe racer look, but it's slightly angular lines make it a little modern. And then Ron took my original design and made it better: he enlarged the squares and did a nice edit around the tank opening. Plus he drew a thin grey pinstripe around the whole design which just sets it off nicely.

Putting it on Natasha completely changed my opinion of the bike. I have to be honest and say that I think something is off with the way things are looking right now. I can't pinpoint what is wrong, but something is amiss. Maybe I've just been used to the bike a certain way for so long, and now with this huge splash of red in front of me my perspective is skewed slightly. It's a little hard to get a proper read on the bike in such a confined space and raised off the ground. I have to put these negative thoughts aside until everything is finished and I'll look at the bike as a whole. What can I say? I know I fight being a perfectionist, but I have to trust my instincts; they are what make my work exceptional. It's just a question of not letting them rule me in a negatively obsessive and overtly critical way.

It was really nice to be able to fit the loom finally. I bought some tie-wraps that lie flat, instead of the more usual ones that have a protruding square head, to replace the OEM wire straps that held everything together previously. The tank covers much more of the frame than I remembered so I didn't have to worry about being super tidy, but everything is in it's place now and out of the way.

With the wiring in place I could install the new Mukini carbs and air-pods, first of course replacing the cam chain tensioner that I took off to respray black some time ago. I also switched out the pink 1/4" gas tubing that comes as standard with the carbs with some longer colorless/transparent tubing and routed them so that any gas excess from the carbs runs past the engine and away from anything nice.

Even though I have kept track of the hours on Natasha, there are probably at least the same again that goes into thinking, researching, and exploring her design and construction. Late the previous night I started thinking about the RFID ignition switch I have built, and it occurred to me I didn't really know what the little tags look like. So I broke into a one of the keys today and found surprisingly a thin circle of PCB type plastic with a circular wrap of flat wire imbedded inside. What I am thinking of doing is taking this piece and stitching it into a little pocket on the back of my motorcycle gloves. Wouldn't that be cool to be totally keyless? 

I picked up some Valspar Paint for Plastic spray paint to give the kill switch a fresh coat of red. It went on a little thicker than I would have wanted, so we'll see how it sets when dry. Technically the OEM color of the kill switch was orange, but red fits with the whole scheme of the bike.

(Note: the post processing I use on the blog photos has a little desaturation in it, so the red you see isn't quite the red you would see.)

Current hours on build: 147.0 

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Devious Details

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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Liquid Insulation

Just a quick entry today. I successfully drilled and tapped the hole in the rear sprocket for the hall effect sensor magnet. I didn't quite have the right sized drill bit for cutting a 6mm x 1.00 hole; I should have used a 5mm, but Lowes in their infinite wisdom do not stock metric drill bits. So I used a 13/64 bit, which is about 5.15mm. Positioning the hole was a little tricky as I couldn't drill all the way through the sprocket without hitting the mounting plate behind it: I needed some space for the tap to exit enough to cut the right sized thread all the way through. As it was I got lucky and hit the right spot where there was some void in the mounting plate. I love tapping holes by the way; something about turning the tap 1/2 a turn, then a 1/4 turn back, back and forth, back and forth, feeling the threads being cut in a raw hole. It's pretty cool. What can I say, I'm a tool geek.

The new speedo/tachometer has a built in clock, but I didn't connect the constant positive wire to it as there wasn't one close by in the loom. I didn't see a need for the clock to be on all the time and had thought there would be a battery backup for when the ignition is off so that it remembers the time. Well, there isn't. So rather than see the time continually be reset back to 12:00 I ran a line back down the loom until I knew where there was a constant voltage available. I then spliced open the loom at this point and adding the speedo wire, then wrapped everything back up including the speedo sensor wire that I had extended yesterday. Once everything was back together I took the magnet and moved it in front of the hall effect sensor to simulate the rear wheel turning. My movements got us up to 25mph, and we traveled 0.3 miles while standing still! Oh, and the clock is on all the time now. Sweet.

I shortened the antenna line on the RFID receiver, and replaced the LED with an audio alarm (as explained in the previous post I shorted out the first RFID board), then sprayed it completely with Spray Liquid Tape. The manufacturer recommends doing multiple light coats but it really comes out quite thick, so I think we'll end up with multiple thick coats, which is probably okay. It takes a while to dry so I'll be doing this over a few days to get enough coverage frontside and back. I did the custom relay board I made too. 

I noticed online yesterday that the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride is in thirteen days, on the 29th of September. Can I get Natasha finished and running for that? It is certainly something to aim for. 

Current hours on build: 141.0 

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