Archives Blog 2013

January - February

Here we go again for yet another exiting years of bikes building and modifications.  Well at least, I'll try my best.  My skills are still close to zero but strangely enough I still enjoy dismantling nuts, and trying to build stuff.  So, the year started with good resolutions.  I was with my family in the big apple and was planning to pay a tribute to Indian Larry, Keino, and Paul Cox's shops but the day of the visit, my wife got sick and I wasn't able to make it over the bridge.  Damn it.... 

Anyway, as I got back from Christmas with my inlaws in Corsica I tood few days in the "Repair" to finish the Lambretta, and work a bit on the mock up of the beamer. 

I am quite happy with the Lambretta, although this is the first and the last lambretta I lay my hands on.  It does look great but what a piece of shit.  If I ever get my hand on one again, I will change the engine to something more modern and less painfull to work on.   Anyway, this is the last pics I took of the scooter before I got it to startlambret2-008.jpg









when this was done, I move over to something a lot more attrative to work on.  The Beamer...

The idea was to build a scrambler with this former police bike.  So, as a start, total dismantling... img-0678.jpgI purchased some old East european Heidenau tyres.  I wanted to put 2 identical tyres both ends some 120/90-80.      img-0631-1.jpgSo I mounted them on just to see if it would do it.  img-0692-1.jpgNot bad......

Then I started working on a steel metal sheet 4mm that I cut and moded with a sand bag. iphonepics-007.jpg


iphonepics-016.jpgPNext phase was to put a light protection fence.  Couldn't find any in the right dimension so found some that belong to a Volkwagen beetle.  I drilled some holes on the side and mounted the fence accordingly.   img-0729.jpg



img-0734.jpgThen I started working on the back fender.  I cut to make it look as a motocross fender.  img-0741.jpg

img-0742.jpgBut it just did not look as expected, it wasn't long enough, so I extended it with some fiber and resin.  img-0865.jpgAThen it was time to start working on the exhaust.  Like any scrambler both exhaust neeed to come out on the same side.  So I took the air filter out and started cutting pieces accordingly so I could get the final look.  I just migged the pieces together before taking them out and weld them accordingly.   img-0860.jpg



img-0861.jpgFor the front fender I cut it from an old XS 500 that was lying around my garage.    iphonepics-038.jpgEThen I started working on the rim, which I grind, primed and then painted in black.  iphonepics-043.jpgAll was going well but I stille wasn't sure of the colour.  So I bought a few spray can and painted the bike in various colour.  Blue looked to be the best.    iphonepics-048.jpgASo after cleaning the engine with some special product that make the engine looked like it had been grinded.  Once this was done, I started welding the exhaust all together.    iphonepics-065.jpgThen the usual bad welding hide...  exhaust.jpgJeThen the heat protection.  To do this I stole the ashtray fence from my work with I molded and welded some fixing pieces.   phot20o.jpg

photo12.jpgjI took out the indicator from the headlight (I will fix them on the handle bar) I move the headlight inward and install the ignition key on the side.  phot18o.jpgAfter that I fabricated a piece to hide the hole made by the air filter, and made sure to leave a hole for the breather.   air-filter.jpgWhich I painted black and install a breather taken from a honda 70CC  phot217o.jpgVuConsidering I was happy with the light blue, I surfed the net to find the color coding.  The one from Porsche was the best one, so I went to my favorite shop to have it made.   phot17o.jpgMBut before painting anything I had to fix some small dent and apply primer everywhere.  iphonepics-039.jpgtank.jpgRdv then I had access to a painting cabin for 2 days so no mistake allowed. I started with the dark blue.  photo216.jpg.phot39o-1.jpgthen the orange.  photo47.jpgThen we reverse order.  photo36.jpgThen the side plates.  photo214.jpgAnd painting in light blue before clear coating everything.  phot34o.jpg Then I painted some other parts before getting some the fenders from clear coating and the tyres on the rim. phot218o.jpgThen I started mounting everything back together.   photo31.jpg

And finally the final touch.





Couple more days to the month, I'll use the spare time to finish the ZB and do some minor work on the Redneck.  See you next month.

 March 2013

After hectic first two months of the year,  and while I was still  contemplating my BMW, it was time to do some serious workshop clean up. phot3467357o.jpg

Then I went to pick up the ZB where ignition coil and gear shift disk had been changed.  But issues related to front fork stability and back break still needed attention. 


Then I move on to the Redneck where I did a bit of electricity work and cabling hi, and then installed this security gas Mooneye tank.   


Now, it is time to move on to the CB 750 Four.  latest-004-2.jpg

But before that I seized the opportunity of a short travel to the US to buy some tools at a prices 3 times cheaper then in France.    pasadenatop.jpg

Then I went to a swap meet to get rid of many parts that are laying in my garage and managed to get some 300 euros which will help me on the CB.

So I started dismantling the Honda.  The first issue came with the tank, where 2 big and deep dents.  I took the tank to a specialist who confirm the tank was more or less dead.  So it looks like I will have to purchase one.   photo2.jpg

So I started surfing the net for restauration parts and it looks like it will cost approx 1000 usd to get the parts.   

So I decided to do everything myself.  To start with the front fork which had been badly painted by the former owner.  The idiot had painted the tubes on the triple tree, so it was a nightmare to pull them out.  070.jpg

When this was done, I gave both tubes a second chance in life.071.jpg


Then I painted the frame, the triple tree and everything else.  067.jpg

For the exhaust, it was also a nightmare but after days of work, I managed. The rust was so strong that I had to use a heavy work grinder.  059.jpg It felt like Karaté Kid with Mr. Miagi. Wax on Wax off  086.jpg

Same for the front brake caliper.  I wasn't sure of the original colour but I settled on sparking gold.  058.jpg 


same for the brake disk. 001.jpg

and finally the exhaust which was taken apart and put back together. 004.jpg

005.jpgEMeanwhile, I had received the part that I had order such as the seats, the footped, the headlight cover, and Fab my neighboors had given me the passenger pegs of his honda 350 CB.  008.jpg

II am still missing some parts but it's getting there.


Picking up where I left off, I looked on to find the colour coding for the side cover.  But the more I thought about it the more I knew it would not work.  As such, the tank original paint was 35 years old already and although in real good shape, the colour would never be the same.  It would probably be smarter to find some at a swap meet or simply over the net.  So I decided to paint them in black and clear coat them instead.  It would still look nice on the bike I thought.  But first I had to fix one side which was cracked.  I used some "reparex" glue and powder and started sanding the covers. 02042013-003.jpg



Then I put everything back together to see what it could look like and I was satisfied.


Considering I had the bike on the bench and nothing to do until I got the missing spare part, I decided to work on the damage tank with the idea of doing an hybrid bike, meaning changing the tank and the seat in less then 5 minutes to have a stock bike on one hand and a brat style on the other 

02042013-013.jpg Not only did I have to fix the tank, I also have to find a way to fix the gas tank cap. This would be for later  02042013-018.jpg

In light of the deep dent I used some SintoFer to fill in and some regular fill before sanding and putting the primer.  02042013-027.jpg


Once it was done, I painted a small golden strip on the tank to separate the white and the candy red colour.      



While I waited to dry, I also gave a second life to the spokes which were pretty devastated. 02042013-031.jpgThen after few research on the net I finally found the colour code of Honda Motor Red Candy (C151ru) which I had it made at my favorite paint shop.  24h later I was using my new spray gun to spread first and second coat.  432013-001.jpg


Then we take everything of to see the final result before clear coat.  Not bad...  432013-004.jpg

It was now time to prepare the evening at the "Repair of Elvis" for the presentation of the Beamer and the Redneck.  I did a small mock up of the CB for the guest to see but I was still missiong some parts.  542013-009.jpgEI finished the cleaning earlier than expected so I put a final touch to the side cover by painting it with high temperature black paint. yyy-002.jpgPThe party at the workshop went really well and some member of the Ail Racer Café participated.  We finished ard 2am with the usual suspects drinking at the bar.    yyy-005.jpgAfter a short night and a thorought cleaning, it was time to regroup with the member fo the Ail Racer Café Motor Club to attend the inauguration of the Cocoloco bar, where a fake Elvis sang the most popular song of the king.  It wasn't Memphis but who cared.     yyy-010.jpgEMeanwhile I had received a phone call fm Nabil complaining that his Dax has shifting issues.  The 3rd gear kept dropping into 2nd.  So after he dropped it off, I took it apart and started looking closely into the problem.   16413-006-1.jpg


16413-007.jpgAIt looked ok to me, so after going thru so I figured it has something to do with the gear pressure.  Maybe a bolt got loose and gear kept dropping.  I tighten everything back up, and after some trouble to get it started, it worked like a breeze.  While I was at it, I sand it a bit and spread painted it to give it a fresher look.  29413-004.jpg

VAnd this is it for the month of April.  Next month, will be spent on finishing the CB, doing the service to all bikes, fixing the electrical problem on the Vespa, the Redneck and the Beamer.  and finally changing the front spring on the Vespa.  A tall order considering the nice weather is back and I rather be on the road riding.  We'll see what I am able to accomplish.   


As indicated on the last month blog, the good days are here and it become harder to stay in the garage rather than be on the road.  So as planned, beginning of may was used on service and maintenance on all bikes. latest-005-1.jpglatest-006.jpgBut considering the first week-end of may was cold and rainy, I also took the opportunity to dismantle the XT and look at the reason of the carburation problems I experienced lately.  I suspected the rust inside of the tank to be the issue so I dismantle everything to check it out.  latest-002.jpgEAnd as supected, when I emptied the tank the couleur of the gasoline was as brown as the Gange river after the pilgrim bath.   latest-003.jpgPNot really encouraging.  I let it dry and inspected the inside which confirmed my fear.  Rust has seriously deteriorated.  I took the carb apart and it was also very dirty.     

Considering it was sunday and I could not get to the shop to buy some tank cleaning kit, I bought some coca cola and let it do its job for 5 days.   latest-007.jpgOne week later, I empty the coke, clean it with water, dry it, and mount everything back together.  The bike start on the first kick and has been running smoothly since.  So it really was the rust inside


To start this month of June, I needed to finish the Honda.  I had found on the net the clip for the gas cap, so after mounting it up, I completed the build.  latest-001.jpg

Then I did all the servicing and normal oil change, and it was time to hit the road.  She start on the first kick and has been riding without any issue since then.  latest-005-3.jpg

Now I needed a new project.  I had just return fm a biz trip to Bali where I stopped at Deus Ex Machina when a nice Huskvarna built had caught my eyes.  So I started looking for a trail bike which was easily found on the net.  The bike is an aprilia 1991 modele 600 non running and left outside for the last 4 years.  The guy also had some other bike for sales so make an offer for a Montesa Trial bike as well and got both at decent price.  Of course none of them were working.    


Once home, I took a closer look but it wasn't pretty.   


So first, take off the useless and get a clean before putting it on the ramp.   


Same for the montesa although she'll go into storage until I can lay my hands on it.  latest-019-1.jpg July - August

Although I had not planned to work on bikes this summer, the weather was so shitty that I spent bit of time in the garage. latest-018-1.jpgFirst the carb which was a nightmare to take out.  I realised later that the carb was mounted with the engine inside the frame as the bottom of the frame.latest-001-1.jpgThen my plan was to short the back of the frame so I cut it off as well as the seat.  latest-004-3.jpgThen I need all the oil change and I was pleasantly surprised to notice the oil was fairly clean.  latest-006-3.jpgThanks to a guy named Frederic Goueffon who had translated the owners manual from italian to french I had all the info to check the engine.  Firstly the main belt.  All ok.  latest-008-2.jpgAnd then the carb. latest-010-1.jpgSo after taking everything apart, looks like everything is functionning, hence before taking everyting apart, time to work on the mock up.  For the first time in my life I decided to draw.  Not good, I give you that.  We'll see how it will turn up at the end. paint3-1.jpgIn order to make the tank, I took the bottom of the original one that I cut into pieces.  latest-016.jpg

latest-020.jpglatest-019-2.jpg and used foam to do the molding  latest-022.jpgSince I ran out of foam and it wasn't gonna do it this time, I chop the rear of a chinese minibike to put in the frame to give it the wanted look.   latest-004-2-1.jpgThen I grind every left over   latest-005-2-1.jpgAnd chop off some of the frame which wasn't needed.   latest-023-1.jpgI put the bike on stand, and explore all the possibilities.  Just could not come with any inspiration.  Only a matter of time... latestzzz-005.jpgEDuring that time, I finally got the chance to go the "Sud Side Garage".  Sud Side is a non profit workshop where kool people hang out to build bike, drinks, listen to music, etc...  A place where I belong...  They had a concert that night so it was really kool.   latest-015.jpgI took a small professional trip to Bali where I took the opportunity to check out the guys at Deus Ex Machina.  They also build kool bikes and I did like their concept store : motorcycle, cofee, clothes.   They had a really kool Husqvarna on stand.   latest-11-034.jpgAs soon as I reached France, I jump on my dyna to go to Nimes where Green Day was playing.  I was secretly dreaming that I would get close enought to the stage where they could recognise me and take me back stage.  But as usual, I showed up totally unprepared, late and without ticket.  I scalp one ticket but found myself sitting on the top of the arena.  Well, no worries, it was still nice to see them play.      latest1-003.jpgEAnd as planned I left for Portland Oregon to see some old friends and hopefully meet Thor at See See Motorcycle Coffee Co.  This guy and his staff are really cool and welcoming.  I spent few hours in the shop and we chatted about numerous things.  I really had a good time and this really kool place.  I simply love Portland.  "Keep Portland Weird".   latestzzz-083.jpgOn the wall of his shop, some really kool Helmet.  latestzzz-077-1.jpgThen it was time to head to Longview to see some old pals.  But prior to that I had planned to stop in Vancouver to say hello to the Nash's.  Those guys really build kool bikes.  There was no signs on NE highway 99 indicating their shop so I stopped at a nearby offroad shop where some guys told me they had relocated to Hollywood.  Dammn, fame had gotten into them...  So I carried on to Longview where I met one of the guys we see on french television.  A true american.  In love with his guns and cars.  Jason is the husband of my host sister.  He is simply exceptional.  He built his own garage and fixes car.  So after shootings some of his guns, we walked into his astonishing garage.   latestzzz-091.jpgJason is an artist who build everything.  Discovery should do a show on him.       latestzzz-086.jpgAnyway, after all this travelling I was back home finally and back on the Aprilia.  First I needed to stop at local motocycle wreck yard to look for 2nd hand tank that might fit the bike, some old fender and a suspension.  After 45 min I was set.  I had found a honda shadow 125 tank, a Kawasaki suspension and a suzuki fender.  I was ready for some mocking up.   latestzzz-035.jpgThe idea here was to lower the back by approx 2 inch, so I choose a suspension from a Kawasaki Z750 which will keep the bike on the ground at all time considering I will not do any off road.  Well, we'll see for that....  latestzzz-058.jpgI chopped the back fender which I installed on the frame.   latestzzz-060.jpg'I put everything back with a small handle bar but still not good.  Need to sleep on it. latestzzz-063.jpgDSo I lower the fork by about 2 inc and position the gas tank straighter, such as it lay parralell to the floor.  Still no happy though.   latestzzz-100.jpgPobably due to the gas tank ?  So I decided to replace it by one of an XS 650.  Better but still have some isssue with the front end.  I am actually thinking of putting an identical wheel in front as the one I have in the back.  Just need to find one on ebay.   latest1-015.jpgThere was still a big hole to fill between the tank and the seat.  So I fabricated a steel box which will be used to hide the battery.  I will weld it to the frame before painting.  I was still unsure about the fork lenght so I brought it back to its stock position and installed a CB 350 headlight and a small offroad handle bar that was laying around in the shop.  i-yughkhg.jpg

photo111.jpgNot bad but still lots of work to be done... So, to start I work on doing the steel plate for the sear which started with a cardboard. latezzzzzzt-001.jpgThen I need to find some steel minimum 1mm thick.  So I asked my friend Olivier if he had some left over from car and we found an old Renault Kangoo door hanging around his garage.  So I pen the outside of the cardboard and cut the door accordingly.    latezzzzzzt-003.jpgJThen I just grinded until it fitted at perfection.  I cut a hole in the middle so the back fender could fit in and drilled 2 holes to fix it to the frame.  latezzzzzzt-010.jpg I proceeded in similar fashion to hide the hole under the tank where electrical wire will be hiden.   latezzzzzzt-006.jpg

September to December

Back into the samo samo routine of putting the kids to school, going back to work, and weather getting crappy.  Anyway back into the Aprilia.  Primo, I took off the electricity.   laatesst-014.jpgI continue tearing the Kangoo door apart and cut some steel piece to be welded on the tank and be screwed to the frame. latezzzzzzt-013.jpgThat's when I realise there was a f... big hole which will need some welding at later stage. latezzzzzzt-012.jpgThen I continued with the door cutting some piece which I plan to weld on the frame to hide the battery.  I am not yet decided on that one but the presently the plan.   laatesst-021.jpgThis is how it might look


And since I was already on hard stuff, I decided to do the exaust.  The idea was to do a 2 in 1 which will go under the frame and come back up on the side.  laatesst-023.jpgSo 2 tubes had to go from the cylinder and under where it will be fixed onto the frame.  .laatesst-022.jpgAnd all of this done with a mig welder in hand to link everything.  Once this is done, it would have to be done properly.laatesst-025.jpgI will just have to weld it properly and fix a mount to the frame and it should be fine. laatesst-026.jpgAnd before dismantling everything I welded the front mounting piece for the tank I have fabricated.   laatesst-001.jpgAnd I took everything apart.  laatesst-008.jpg...laatesst-007.jpg...laatesst-009.jpg

Ni start the 2nd week of september with bad news.  I sold my XT 500 to a young chaps.  I wish I could have kept it, but lack of time, lack of space got the best of me.  After all, it's better for her that she is well taken care of as opposed of been taken out for a short spin once per month.  I wish her good life.  laattteest-001.jpgAnd I went back to my work on the Aprilia.   laattteest-008.jpglaattteest-009.jpg. laattteest-010.jpgAfter having spent hours trying to get the rusted screw out, I went on working on the muffler.  The idea was to shorten it.   laattteest-012.jpg


 Hi you all (yole)  have just relocated to the US.  I will give some news soon

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