Saturday, June 27, 2015

Going for a Ride, Working out Bugs, & Final Thoughts

After the Hornet was timed and the carb idle adjusted I took it for a ride. The rear brake works great and the front brake needs to be seated in. If this does not occur on its own I will take it apart and tune it. The bike ran great up to 3000 RPM and then missed a bit. A few jetting tweaks and it is running well. I also had a small leak from the head gasket which disappeared after torquing it down again. A bit of a job but worth the effort. A small oil leak at the cylinder base was also fixed by tightening down the base nuts. I was a bit conservative on torquing these as I did not want to strip the threads. The only leak left is a small one coming from the right fork seal holder which was sealed with Teflon tape in the threads. It will come apart and I will reseal it with silicone.

The Hornet is a blast to ride. The open pipes, small tank and large front tire provide a feel which is different than my Lightning. The wheels run true and are balanced well and the bike runs straight down the road. These were areas of concern as I had not laced wheels before and had to straighten the swing arm to get it back in spec.

I am very pleased with the electrical system I put together. The bike starts easily and idles nice. The LED lights have held up well and add a higher degree of visibility. The horn is very under powered and can barely be heard over the exhaust - one electrical miss. The hidden toggle switch is nice while the horn and kill switch relays work fine. I set the Hornet up for a lithium ion battery but don’t think I need it as it starts easy "battery free" and light output of the tail light is acceptable at idle. I thought the electrical system had the greatest potential for rework but it turned out oil and gas leaks would be more problematic.

The old pipes didn't seal and leaked carbon from rich jetting. 
Jetting is fixed & ports are sealed. 

The tapered roller bearing steering head is smooth and I will go this route again. The aluminum tank and new push-pull taps work well and add a level of usability missing from the fiberglass tank. The 21 tooth sprocket gives a 400 - 500 RPM reduction at 50 MPH which was measured against my 20 tooth Lightning sprocket. This equates to 4 - 5 MPH increase at 3000 RPM. This puts me in at a good speed and RPM for cruising scenic back-roads. Another change worth repeating on future builds. I was also steered the right direction when I purchased cork clutch plates as they do not hang up each time it sits overnight like my Barnett plates do. Thanks go to Bob Goodpaster at Expert Motorcycle Works for that wisdom. 

One last point of business is to fit mufflers to my “old” street pipes. I purchased a set of mini’s but needed to figure out how to mount and support them. The baffles did not let the pipe enter as far as I needed to cover up holes the last guy left me, or to mount soundly for that matter. I did not want to use the chrome support bar provided but will leave the mount in case I need to add it later.

Slotting the muffler so it will clamp the pipe. 
Baffles were cut off so the ends fit inside of the exhaust pipe.  

Mufflers added...just need clamps to arrive. 

My daughter & I taking the Beezers out for a ride. 

Now it’s time to log a couple of hundred miles on the Hornet and see what happens. 
Nothing but fun I hope. Now its on to the 1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor II

End of July & everything seated in and running fine.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Starting it Up

So after 3 years of work it’s time to start it up. I found the bike laying in the front of a semi-trailer on a pile of old clothes and couch cushions where its owner said it had been since 1982. It was too far gone to get running when purchased, although I contemplated it.

Adding fluids & getting it ready to start. LED headlight not installed at this point. 

Before starting the bike I put on my old pipes. My plan is to tune the bike and put some miles on it before the new ones go back on. I will also coat the inside of the new pipes with high temperature header paint to keep them from bluing. I am told this will work and it seems logical but I have not tried it. After I filled up all of the oils I pushed it up and down the driveway while in gear to check oil flow through the engine. Oil returned properly to the tank telling me it was good to go from a lubrication standpoint. I added gas and no leaks appeared from the tank but when I turned on the taps gas shot out the ticklers. Oops, you are not supposed to put the needle valve holder gasket on original Monoblocs or the needle seat will not close. Lesson learned, gaskets removed and leaks gone for the most part. There was also a small oil drip coming from under the engine which I traced an oil line clamp. It was replaced with a smaller one and the drip was gone. 

The bike started on the third kick and ran quite well. I hooked it up to a battery for the initial attempt but found out it was not necessary even for cold starting. It must be kicked over with the key off to charge the capacitor in the Sparx box before attempting to start it. The timing was set close to the mark and was adjusted with a strobe light to be a couple of degrees retarded to help with spark knock. This will be adjusted once I take it on the road. The slide stops were raised about a turn to make it idle properly.

It is amazing how loud the bike is with no mufflers. I will add a pair of shorty mufflers to my road pipes to quiet it down a bit. Next step is to take it out for a spin once my registration papers arrive and work on the details that need attention. Check out the video via the link below.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Gilmore Car Museum Antique Motorcycle Show

The Gilmore show is one of the biggest in Michigan and attended by enthusiast from all over the mid west. I have been going to this show for many years and have entered my BSA & Norton "riders" in the the general class which is peer reviewed. My plan was to do the same with the Hornet this year and pick up feedback on what should be improved before entering the Masters class which is a preregistered and judged section of the show. Due to the horrible weather there were a few no-shows in the Masters class. One of the judges asked me to enter my bike in it, which I did. It was a great experience and I think the restoration bug has firmly set in. I enjoyed meeting the other people who restored bikes, sharing restoration tips, and trading parts sources. The feedback from the judges was also beneficial as I now have a better idea for how to best show a bike and what they are looking for. Although I did not win any trophies, the bike received great reviews and will do better next year after minor corrections.

Staying somewhat dry in a torrential down pore under my "sunshade". 

One of the more interesting bikes. A parallel twin Indian scout racer replica. Some great workmanship and ideas went into this bike. It looks like it would be fun to ride.

A Rocket 3 won 3rd place in the Masters class. A gorgeous bike that  is on my wish list. The first two spots were won by a Bonneville and a Trophy 500 which were very well done.