Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas moto

after 3 days of working on motorcycles in the same clothes, I'd had enough. Nathan and I put in some serious time on the exhaust shield, his tank, my tank, my RT3 forks, and various other bits and pieces. Had just a little creativity left to do a self-portrait.

As if this were a fashion ad, I'll list my outfit and source.

Jeans - Levi's - bought new, destroyed from actual work
Jacket - vintage, used, abandoned, welding jacket scavenged from McLouth steel mill in Detroit
beanie - can't remember if I found this one, or bought it. I ground score most of my headwear.
shoes - timberland something or others. timbs last a long time.

That's my impression of the evil stare of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II.

It's Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

RT3 new exhaust shield

Just about finished fabbing this new exhaust shield. Made from 5mm 304 stainless round stock and stainless sheet. The outer edge of the shield is a single piece of round stock I bent on my vice.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

RT3 First Start checkup

Compressions at 135psi. Seems too high.

Spark plug is light light brown / tan.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

RT3 - details

Here's some shots I'm putting up for the yamahaenduro forum

Rear lights:
I'm not a huge fan of the side mount license plate but there was nowhere else to mount it if I was to keep my rear clean. Reminds me of choppers too much.

Under the seat:
The Trailtech Vapor mounted up: I shaped the plastic mount piece to slide in and conform perfectly to the top triple clamp. Looks like it was made for this bike.
From the front. Low profile:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

damn tank

More problems with my tank. After much problems getting my new gun to spray very thick paint, I got the epoxy primer on. That allowed me to see this:

Left side: Better overall shape at the top, curve looks good until the bottom third. The concave part goes a little flat and mushy. The curve is not clearly defined. Not sure how to fix this side. More filler will correct the other side, but unless I added too much skim coat in this location, it's not going away.

Right side: All looks good except for that spot on the bottom third of the reverse. It flattens out there and kinda makes a point rather than keeping the sweep of the curve. That's my novice metal shaping at work there.
I think this was a bit ambitious for me, seeing that I've never done any metal shaping before. I cut the tank, then cut more to match the existing curves and flow of the tank. Once I started shaping the side piece, it just evolved into this as I followed the lines that were already there from the stock shape. The concave section wasn't meant to be a knee cutout, its just that the top of the tank skinnied up in that section and I followed along. Keeping it straight at the bottom and waving in and out on the top was super hard for me to execute. The bottom of the sides actually curves in, front and back, and stays dead straight through the middle section. The top goes from skinnier to fatter to skinnier to fatter.

As cool as custom tanks are, I'm not sure I want to do this again. Everything about it has been painfully slow.

Next steps:
Work on the trouble spots with body filler to get general shape
feather out smooth and finish sand
respray epoxy primer in these areas
sand again
spray seal coat
sand again
lay my silver base coat
lay the yellow sections
lay the black sections
and finally clear coat it
I'm guessing it's going to take another month.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Virtual Bodyshop

The latest paint scheme from my virtual bodyshop:

Monday, November 1, 2010

RT3 progress shots

November 1st and progress is slow. Completely re-wiring the bike has taken its toll on me. I'm just about done though. Then it's onto the control cables. After that, I'll start it up.

and in b/w:

Here's the as purchased condition for general reference:


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

back to original idea


Paint level 2

Steppin' it up, make this thing look new-school.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VX paint check

I need feedback on paint scheme. Here's some color testing I did. This evolved from checking my sanding and fill on the tank by painting black so I could get a better read on how smooth things looked. I took it a step further and did some quick mockups.

Photoshop of silver and black:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

RT-3 full bike shots

It's a work in process. Springs are on the way, wiring is half done, and I'm waiting for a few parts. Seat cover to be done in a couple weeks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My custom RT3 wiring diagram

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yamaha '73 RT3 ignition for sale

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

photoshop mockup - tail

Trying to figure out some lines. I'm leaning more towards silver than black paint at this point.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spent the day hanging with Mujo, working on the tank:

He's used to welding large diameter high pressure gas and steam pipe and other commercial and industrial piping. I think I tested his skills a little putting him on a 20ga sheet metal project!

We got the left side done only.

Looks pretty good from the side. From the top, it's kinda ugly! Oh well. I knew the tank would have a polarizing effect on people. I think they'll either love it or hate it. It's not really about what others think, though. It's about my creative process, my vision for the bike, experimentation and the labor of love. It's definitely unique.

I still think the headlight is a little too high...

Monday, June 21, 2010

VX - choke reloc

I did away with the nice stock controls that had the integrated choke pull assembly. Man was that slick. I had already bought a new left hand controls when I realized I should have bought a replacement from an SV or something with stock choke control at the handlebar. Well, I wanted this bike to be different... :)

Spent a few hours on Sunday making this cable up from a choke pull off a Honda model I can't remember.

And it's new location? Close to the radiator cap, tucked in and barely sticking out.
Front view:

I realized why I was having such difficult with my wiring, electronics, coils etc:

Jeez, maybe because I'm trying to slam a bikes worth of crap into a space 2.5 inches tall! From the bottom of the top frame tube to about an inch above the top of the top frame tube is where lives all the crap you don't want to see. I tried damn hard to make this clean and tidy but there are just too many things in too small a place for that. Good thing it's all hidden.

Here's an action shot of my new computer and indicator lights. I turned on as many as I could for the shot.

Finished up my clutch linkage and footpegs:
Now all that's left is welding the tank and rear tail section. I've got to deal with brake lights, signals and plate mount, but I'm not too concerned with this. Should take a day or so. It's the tank that's holding me back right now. It's 85% done and I'm working of fitment of the new side panels.