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Friday, August 30, 2013

Brough Superior on the salts at Bonneville

Great to see teams still competing with these vintage classics on the salts at Bonneville. Obviously brings back memories of Burt Munro and his Indian, which is a fantastic story and film about his assault on the world record.
Also shows the rest of us that there are years of tuning, bike riding and building on the way :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

hailwood...what a racer!

The bike most wanted back in the day as it was ridden by the legend and carried his name..

..course nowadays you'd probably be surprised at the weight of the beast, but back in the day I used to marvel at this bike at Better Bikes in Edinburgh...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cams in...fuel pump primed....

Right then...

why did the cams have to come out you ask? Simple...I fucked up...infact, by the end of this I fucked up twice..very frustrating.., first of all, there she was, put together, fuel pump attached to a battery to fuel up the fcr's just to make sure that there would be fuel in the bowls..

turn key..and...nothing..then a couple of huge back fires that would make a dragon proud!

however..on closer inspection I noticed water droplets dripping down the front cylinders...dammit! I realised that I hadn't torqued the head nuts properly and now I was paying the price! came the radiator and plumbing, off came the FCR's and of course the cam cover.
Out came the cams...
..torqued down the heads...but before I put the cams in I checked the timing against the T was at this point I felt the timing wasn't as it should be..
..mistake number two coming soon..
to get the timing where I felt it should be..I unbolted the cam sprocket and moved it a few degrees to ensure (or though it was to ensure) the timing would be more correct.
..cams back in, FCR's back on...radiator and plumbing and of course all electrics..

turn key...wiz wiz CRACK! was at this point the front part of the magnesium cam cover cracked off and spat itself over the floor...the changing of the cam sprocket had caused an ever so slight kink in the cam chain which simply snapped off the front of the cam cover...
...there was nobody to blame but myself however I tried to dismiss the fact that I had fucked up.. came the get the idea..

Obviously by this time I was pretty pissed off at such a basic miss on my behalf. Luckily I had the original cover from the OWl as I had used a yzf750 cover as it had a better gasket.

oh yes..fitting of the rubber gasket to a magnesium cover..1 hour of it falls off when your turning it over to fit it..

Another look at the timing, including putting back the cam sprocket to exactly where it was, getting the TDC on the first cylinder, getting the lobes in the suggested area of O/C and then ensuring the timing marks were set, and it was back on with everything.

This time everything turned over as it kinks...

primed up the carbs again and hit the start button..

..she was struggling to fire up and seemed to only be "making some noise" on the cylinder 4.
Right enough, only pipe 4 was getting warm.
opened the mouths of the FCRs several times and suddenly, on the starter, she fired up!

Obviously the FCR's are extremely temperamental with regards start-up it's gonna take a wee bit work to ensure the settings are correct. The tick-over setting hasn't been set and I'm not currently convinced the fuel pump is actually working, but will soon find out.

Next on the agenda is to get the bike outside and see if I can get her started again and get some idea of where we are with the FCR's. No water appearing anywhere which was the first major issue sorted out. Part II will be sooner than later... put your ex cam in, your inlet out, you do the hokikoki and yourself mad!

Two of the greatest road racers captured in tandem! Hizzy and Joey!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Owl blood transfusion and cover change

Today and the Owl got a blood transfusion. After having discussed the oil requirements I discovered that the Motul 300V fully synthetic oil was NOT the way to go with an Fzr750r Ow01. Now what was useful was the 3 litres of Mobil Super 2000 semi that I bought for the Zxrr before it was stolen...
...And after the discussion with the Ducati mechanic, apparently the best oil for the 748s Ducatis is the Motul win!
This was also a handy time to take the advice from the same person and change the clutch cover to a version with an oil window as the Owls are very sensitive to oil levels and also burn oil quite fast. This was a pleasure as the original looked pretty poor.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Epic And Supercharged :)

748 update

So, first Ducati Desmoquattro and the more you read the more you worry..
First of all, the positives are all there. handling is amazing, looks are the dogs bollox, sound of the twin running open pipes and dry clutch sounds are full race...and basically the 748 was made as a race bike to be used on the road..wrists take the pressure, pillions grow in your back and you realise the pillion setup was an after thought...and it's all worth it until you start reading about flaking rockers...blown up engines...
so, when I bought the bike I was thrown some old receipts from previous owners.
To my surprise was the amount of money people spend on servicing their bikes. The first one was 25,000 kronor! the second included a new crank, rods, camshaft bearings, 3 new tappets..the list went on and on.., I phoned the guy whose shop had been doing the bike. Apparently he had completely rebuild the engine due to an implosion. He said that the engine had been put together previously really badly, with oil seals 5 mm out of position, wrong oil and basically not taken care of.
This was all good info, as all his work had been done at 31,500 km and the bike came in my hands at 34,750 km. The belts had been changed, engine rebuild and the rockers, cams and everything else had been checked. That was good news and I now do not have to worry about flaking rockers and not having a history of the bike.
The fella said the key to keeping the high revvin' 748's in good check, is a 2 minute start-up on the fast throttle setting before giving it any throttle, and also to not go cheap on oil. Good news then :)

Joey in 1988 World Superbike

Here's a pic I found in the attic...taken back in the day after an epic trek down to Donnington Race track in 1988 to watch the first ever World Superbike race.
Obviously, Joey was always our all-time hero as he was king of the Isle of Man which was , to us, proper racing. I'm actually surprised this picture isn't more blurred as this was taken with a rather shitty camera after a very long night at the camping...
Worst news ever when we heard he passed away in Estonia.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

748 Chip

Last week the full exhaust system went on. This week it was the turn of the 965014AAA chip which is apparently the chip used for this exhaust system.
It's a fairly easy operation. Few tips though:Don't try and do the job without removing the ecu from the bike which is basically removing 4 M6's , sliding it from under the frame rail, then removing the harness by unscrewing the small phillips and then removing the block connector which has a snap tag on one end and pulls up and out from it's ECU connectors.
Thens its simply remove the round plug and carefully remove the source chip, using electrical eprom removal tweezers or similar, and then replacing with the upgrade, also ensuring you take your time and don't rush, otherwise you may damage the pins.
Then it's simply to put in the block connector, refit the ecu and press start.
Immediately the idle speed went from around 1000 to around 1800 rpm. Prior to bringing this back down to 1100 rpm, I had a run and you could instantly tell that the bike was running slightly richer than before and seemed to have a better curve compared to the standard eprom with the open pipes.
This could all be a figment of my imagination of course, but the difference is on the overrun which doesn't produce the same amount of bangs due to the leanness of the fuel curve.
Next out of the bag will be the DB killers for the 50mm TM's.
I whipped off the right facing and using an 8mm spanner, brought down the idle speed on the master idle screw. I haven't touched the idle mixture screw which resides in the ECU as I don't think I need to and without an exhaust gas analyzer I'll not really know.
She idles at 1100 and pulls strongly through the box.