Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cafe Update

I was recently reminded that this blog has all but died. Sorry. Life's been busy. If this is your first time here, you might be wondering why the hell are there so many posts about motorcycles instead of bicycles? Well...because of the pinched nerve in my neck, I haven't ridden a bicycle since about May. I have always been fascinated with motorcycles (they're still 2 wheeled) and so I decided to buy one and embark on a little project. When I first bought this bike, I did not know what direction the build was going to head in (restoration, stock, scrambler, bobber, or cafe). has evolved into a cafe build. So this is it. Welcome. 

While I was rebuilding the master cylinder and front brake caliper, I kept coming back to the horrible condition of the MC cap. It was scratched from what looked like a minor crash. The theme of this build is, "I have more time than money" so I got to work. I started by hand filing off all the ridges on the edge of the cap and then, finally buffed it out after tons of sanding. This was a tremendous amount of work and probably took me about a week to get done. But it looks good.   

Then I started playing around with the tank. At this point, I had a good picture in my head of where this thing was headed. I knew I wanted knee dents. Some people argue that these are stupid to put into a stock tank. It removes fuel carrying capacity, they don't look good, they aren't functional, etc.'s my build and one of the important things with this is that I wanted to do as much of the work on my own as possible. Anyone can buy a cafe tank and seat. I wanted to make it. I free handed the shape of the dent after sitting on the bike and making some marks. I also changed the sketch of the dent about 5 times over the next 2 weeks. Sometimes I just sat there drinking beer and staring at the lines. I finally settled on this design. Then I took 12 gauge wire and taped it to the outline so that I could then lay poster board over it and make a template to transfer it to the other side.

In the mean time, the carbs were almost ready to go back on the bike. I was waiting for a float for the last carb as mine was cracked. Parts are extremely hard to find for this bike but I was able to locate a good used float in Deleware AND I got it for free. Thanks Matt.

The carbs finally went back together. I did replace all o rings on the t fittings and the small section of fuel line between each pair of carbs. Here I am getting ready to sync the butterfly valves. It's important that they all open up at the same time to allow in equal amounts of air when the choke is operated. This is a pretty simple task involving small adjustment screws for each one.

Next up is to bench sync the carbs. This involves making sure that the slides and needles operate at the same rate. In carbs 1 and 2 you can see the slides (brown cylinders). The needles are contained inside those and they slide into and out of the main jet and control the air/fuel ratio. It's important that all 4 carbs work as closely as possible with each other. What I did was used the idle adjustment screw (which controls the #2 carb slide) and opened it up just enough to slip in a very small drill bit. I can't recall the size but it's smaller than 1/8". Then I used the adjustment screws for each carb to either raise or lower the slide to slip an additional bit of the same size under that carb's slide. You use the bits much like you would a feeler gauge. This should get me about 95% close on the whole bank of carbs. Once they are on the bike then you really need to do a vacuum sync with gauges to get them super close.

I installed new fuel lines and inline filters.

Then I threw the bank back on the bike. The rubber boots on these old bikes get really stiff with age and it can be a bear to reinstall the carb bank. Some guys just install new boots but they are expensive and I didn't see any cracks in mine. Some guys heat up the rubber a bit to make it more pliable. I put a little bit of WD40 on the inside of the boots and then used a ratchet strap to slowly pop the carbs back into the boots. Worked a charm. I also installed new bowl drain lines.

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