Somewhat of a short update this time, but don't despair - the next one will be much more significant (it will include tire removal, and wheel disassembly)...

So, I got the rear turn signals installed. No big deal - found a good spot on the rear fender where I could fit 'em. I also threw on a solid state flasher I picked up from Dennis Kirk. After a little wiring magic, my turn signals all work now. Amazing! All I need now is that darn brake light that has been on backorder for 3 months.

I managed to get a decent tach/speedo off eBay. Though I plan to restore mine soon, I needed something in the meantime that wouldn't fall apart while I ride down the road. My originals were Nippon Seiki's, the new ones are Nippon Denso's. I'm not really sure why some bikes use NS and others use ND's. Regardless, it turns out that the new tach was not indicating accurately. So I'm currently running the ND speedo (which is accurate per the GPS on my phone), and the NS tach. I also routed a new set of cables to them. These will hold me over until I get around to restoring the gages.

I finally got tired enough of the oil drips on my driveway to do something about the leak. I was certain it was the oil seal around the shift lever. I managed to get out the old one without tearing the engine apart, and installed a new one thanks to a custom tool I made (a piece of the old handle bar I chop-sawed). Unfortunately, that's not where the leak originated. Turns out the plug just above the oil seal I replaced for no reason was the culprit. At some point the chain rubbed the plug, causing the leak. The only way I can see to replace the plug is to split the case, which I don't plan to do until rebuild. So I did what any  professional repair person would do: I smeared RTV all over it. Its ugly, but it solved the problem for now. I'll fix it the right way when I rebuild the engine.

You will recall from a previous blog posting that I tore out the original petcock screen because it was nasty, and threw in a couple cheap in-line filters between the tank and carbs. I never really liked them. There is barely any room for them, they are fugly, and I'm pretty sure they were screwing up the fuel flow, so I trashed them. Instead I hatched a genius plan to make my own filter screen. I picked up a 12" x 12" sheet of stainless wire cloth from McMaster. Part #: 85385T115, which has a .0017" opening (31% open area). This is roughly equivalent to about a 50 micron filter. See the pictures below to see how I integrated the mesh into the petcock: There is a plastic assembly which holds the "tubes" and just pushes in the "D" shaped bore of the petcock, so I simply cut out a matching "D" shape piece of screen and put it between the housing of the petcock and the plastic portion. Now any fuel that flows down through the "tubes" and out the body of the petcock must flow through the filtering screen. The downside here is that the total surface area of this screen is much smaller than that of the original screen (likewise in comparison to the in-line filters), which potentially means some restriction of fuel flow and/or faster clogging. This could all be calculated, but rather than perform these administrative jumping jacks, I opted to just give it a try. So far so good!

The new rims and spokes also arrived (very quickly I might add) from Buchanan's. They look great. I went with their own Sun Rims brand, aluminum, black anodized, 19" X 2.75" front, and 18" X 2.75" rear. Also got a full set of stainless nipples and spokes in the OEM 10 gauge diameter. I can't wait to get these laced up, they are going to look good.

Finally, I threw in a quick video (below) of a portion of the "last ride" before new rims/tires. I've been keeping the speed and RPM's down, as I don't quite trust the old tires, engine, brakes, or bearings (for good reason as you will see in the next blog). And yes, I realize the video is super shaky and all you can hear is wind noise - I'm working on that.

Spent some time this weekend bolting on some new parts. I started with the new rear shocks and progressive springs. I'm really happy I went with the black springs - they look good. I also opted not to install the dust caps, as it just looks a lot cleaner. The ride height increased a fair amount with the new springs, so there is now a nice air gap between the fender and tire, but I think the new tires will help with that.

While I was in there, I also installed a new rear brake strap. Its a nice aluminum piece from Joker Machine that replaces the boring looking OEM steel tube.

I finally decided on Mirrors! It took 4 sets before I made up my mind. In the end I went with a set of Ken Sean bar ends, only I modified them so they are not bar ends anymore. I had to cut off the boss (bar end mount) and drill out the holes for M10's so I could bolt them to the controls. I went through all that trouble because they are the right size, and they have an old school look that will fit in with the build.

The tires and tubes are in, though I still need to order the rims and spokes. Both tires are Metzeler Lasertec's. 110/90-19 front, and 130/80-18 rear should really change the look of the bike. The tubes are Bridgestone ultra heavy duty, and by the looks of them, will not be real fun to install; I'm not completely convinced they even need air in them.

The OEM horn sounded like half dead cat being mauled by a coyote 10 miles away, so I replaced it. The new one is a PIAA sport 500hz, and it is pretty loud. I removed all the stupid looking stickers they put on it, so it blends in better. I may end up relocating it at a future date.

The forks needed to come out, so I was finally able to use my shiny new harbor freight motorcycle lift. I had to make some innovative spacers (2X4's bolted together) to get around the exhaust which somewhat detracts from the awesomeness of the made in China aluminum lift, but I digress. While the bike felt pretty sturdy on the lift, I opted to rig up some more supports just in case, as I wasnt sure what the CG was going to do once I yanked the front end. I pulled the forks complete with tire, and brake. The fork gators were removed, and so were the OEM headlight brackets. I also replaced the old fork springs with new progressive ones. I'm sure the fork oil needs to be changed, but I plan to install new fork seals before I bother with that. The upper portion of the forks were a bit rusty. I cleaned them up best I could for now. Eventually the upper portion will be painted black.

I put in a new H4 headlight with a new bucket. Overall it is a slightly more compact unit (7" dia), which makes wiring a little tricky, but looks nice when finished. I also got the new front turn signals installed. Turns out the new signals have the same thread as the headlight bucket, which makes things go together real clean. I'm not completely fond of how I routed the main harness into the bucket (around the frame head and behind the brake joint), so I will probably wind up re-routing it in the near future. The headlight works, but the turn signals stay on solid rather than flash. The flasher is good, so I suspect they stay on solid due to the current draw. I had planned to install a solid state flasher relay anyway, so its just one more excuse to buy some more parts.