Thursday, April 9, 2015

Stuck in neutral

No Sonja, not Black Betty. That would be troublesome.

Although BB is in the operating theatre, undergoing some electro-bionic implants, and the operation is going at a snail's pace, so BB is in no condition to hit the road. Sonja, if you have eagle eyes, you can see that the handlebars are sporting dual outlets, and RAM mounts. Sadly, BB has lost her voice: she is in the middle of a horn transplant, which is no small trifle.
It's really the persistence of winter that has me stuck in neutral.  Witness this morning's view from the kitchen window.
It's true that there are some hardy folks out and about on two wheels, mainly young'uns on small displacement scoots. In my case, I'm thoroughly spoiled, will no longer ride in cold temps without heated grips, and my "/$%?&?%/#!??! Oxford Heaterz failed on the throttle side. Never buy anything where a "Z" stands in for an "S". I have returned the favour a) by posting a warning on my Heaterz project report (click here), and b) by going to certain lengths to get my hands on a pair of Hot Grips. The problem is that I haven't had the time to tackle the task of ripping off the "/$%?&?%/#!??! Oxford Heaterz and installing the Hot Grips™.

This weekend something, something is leaving the garage in tip-top condition. Will it be Black Betty, or the Vespa? Time will tell, time will tell.

22 comments:

  1. Installing accessories on a motorcycle is always challenging to avoid think looking like they are just tacked on. Are you fitting the new horn in the stock location? Or is the horn not really needed until you delete the open pipes? ;-)

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  2. Richard the pipes will be the next victim in the transformation, so the horn must go on.

    My plan is to install it in the stock location. The big challenge for me is that the metal bracket for the stock horn seems permanently fused to the horn, even though there is a screw with threads showing. I would have to damage the horn as near as I can tell to extract the bracket. It's just a plain straight piece of metal. The problem is that I don't know where to find a suitable replacement. I can fashion a replacement and am comfortable drilling holes and grinding edges and so on, but where to I find the piece of metal to begin with?

    As for the wiring, the OEM wire that went to the horn is retreating up to the space in the neck of the frame where the main wiring loom passes by. There the horn wire will be connect to the coil terminals of a new relay that will feed a 20A fused line from the battery to the new horn. Sound trivial but making it all look stock is the challenge. I think that no one will notice, until someone hits the horn button that is.

    Once I have a replacement bracket fashioned and painted, and the new circuit in, the Stebel can just be bolted on and plugged in and the transplant will be complete.

    The dual power outlets will be on another separate circuit fused at 15A and controlled by a relay wired to the rear brake light. That one is a little easier.

    I needed to lift the gas tank to run the new wires along the frame where the existing loom passes.

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    1. Finding metal... I think I'll take a trip to the local renobation centre and cruise the aisles focusing on metal fittings, particularly construction braces, and fence hardware. I should be able to find something in a suitable gauge that I can cut, shape, grind and drill into a suitable support.

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    2. Update: I found a perfect piece of metal at Canadian Tire in the hardware section. It's sold as a 'mending plate'. All I need to do is to drill two holes and spray paint it.

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  3. Well I thought of you and Sonja the other day as I was browsing Used Victoria, there was BB the sequel for sale, same paint job. I think they were asking $5500, it had low mileage. Need a West Coast BB the sequel?

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    1. Hi Dar, Black Betty was $2,500. She's an old gal (2003) but hasn't been around much (34K kms). That and then there are those tattoos, thankfully they're on metal, so not prone to s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g over time :)

      Our little experiment has me thinking of a Euro Betty, to be honest. But Sonja says she needs a garage first :)

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  4. You will be quite the savvy mechanic when done with her, David. My next home will certainly have a big garage where I can finally start tinkering around as well...

    The Hot Grips™ aren't pretty but I fully agree on installing them in for riding your neck of the woods. There are times when I missed that feature on my Sportster but I am not yet ready to have the handlebars spoiled by it...

    No leftovers please, when putting Betty back together again.

    Windshield order is in the works. As per email exchange with National Cycle the mounting kit are back in stock (not showing up "stock" on their website yet, though.) I will keep an eye on it...

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    1. It is possible to order the Hot Grips with a shiny end cap. Unlike the Vespa, the Shadow doesn't have bar ends.

      The Vespa has 7/8" bars but the Shadow has 1" bars. I still need to measure to make absolutely sure before ordering. Then I have to figure out how to get the Hot Grips because they won't ship to Canada.

      I'm sure that my sister-in-law will receive and re-mail though.

      Promising news on the windshield.

      This weekend I want to get the Shadow wired and buttoned back up. Wish me luck.

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  5. You're getting right into this whole wrenching thing and it sounds like you're having fun doing it. Can't wait to see the final result. No riding here yet either, but that's okay as this weekend I have to change a tire and flush fork oil - probably a day-long job. :(

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    1. Dave I do enjoy the challenge.

      Flushing fork oil... The closest I've come to that is washing cutlery after dinner :)

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  6. Hang in there - Spring must be just around the corner!

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    1. Apparently it's tomorrow. Strong winds today blowing in temps in the mid-teens tomorrow, and Sunday, with low 20's (!!!!!!) in Monday's forecast.

      Yippee Kayay Buckeroos!!!

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  7. Quick note for you. I've fabricated two brackets "T"'s for hanging my helmet and one given to Captain Gary as a gift and I made them from shelving brackets you can get at any hardware or similar store. These are the type that attach to the stripes that have the slots in them in a row. The metal was stainless and for $2.75, and a hacksaw you should be on your way with the horn medication. If this isn't clear, give me a holler.

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    1. So smart Jim. That's where I'm headed for sure!

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  8. Had heated grips fail me on the V-Strom, now carry a spare set of wrap-around heater grips....just in case. Methodical approach is best with electrics, rush now, you'll be re-doing it later....

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    1. I couldn't agree more Dom.

      Each time I do this I get smarter. I'm using 12 gauge automotive wire with crimp connectors, shrink wrap over the top, and finishing with electrical tape. Nice solid connections well protected from corrosion with excellent conductivity.

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  9. That's what happens David, once you start with this sort of thing, modifications beget modifications....looks and sounds like you're accomplishing a lot and doing well.

    Here's wishing some warm and safe riding soon!

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    1. Thanks Doug. I return the same wishes your way :)

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  10. Enjoy the snow. I'm commuting on my stock Vespa. No wait, it has a luggage rack with a milk crate.

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    1. Michael, Vespas are the station wagons of the motorbike set. A milk crate makes yours a veritable delivery van :)

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  11. David - that is so why I have my 'guy' do it ... I just say what day I will pick it up (cost me under $200 to have the grips installed and they've never failed me.) Worth every penny.

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    1. Karen, that is certainly worth every penny, trust me. Wrestling the needed wiring into the Shadow's very tight places, and dealing with a nice shiny dual outlet that went up in smoke as soon as the ignition was switched on, has been an exercise in patience.

      The good news is that once I button up the bike I know that I will have left it better than when I found it, for instance, installing a missing screw on the battery cover that whoever installed the SAE outlet had left off because they hadn't bothered to cut a space to let the new connection out. Sheesh!

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