Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gauging The Difference

I'd been researching for some time now to try and come up with a cleaner set of mini gauges to do away with the grand father dials that reside on the Thruxton from birth, and after much internal debate I decided to install a set of mini 60mm chrome dressed gauges, with black rather than white faces and the idiot lights set within the speedo itself...

It is important that I point out that the original idiot lights are close to useless on a sunny day, and this will be much improved as the new idiot lights will be LED's

Here's what the original Gauges looked like....



The first step was to order both gauges and in doing so I had to source these from different suppliers, as the Speedo is of the mechanical kind, whilst the tacho is of the electronic kind....

5 days later ( don't you just luv the Internet ) the gauges arrived at my door and I must say that they exceeded my expectations with their quality given the relatively little spend.. go the Aussie dollar... 

Now much to eager to wait another moment I went into the garage late that night and started the stripping of the original setup....

This is an extremely simple process as all of the wiring is fed into 1 master plug, feeding cleanly into the rear of the headlight... All in all it only required the unlocking of 1 plug and the removal of a handful of  " Allen key " fixing bolts....

Here's some pictures of the removal process:

          Gauges Removed                                               Wiring within Headlight Assembly



        Original Gauges Removed                                     Wiring connections of Original Gauges


With everything removed it was time to wire up the new gauges... To ensure all went well you must wire 2 new diodes into the blinker wiring given the idiot lights are now an LED's... If you miss this vital step all 4 blinkers will flash regardless of which blinkers were engaged... These diodes should set you back $1 at the most....

      Picture of the diodes                                               How to set up the diodes before wiring them in


With the wiring behind me it was time to install the gauges and hope I had picked the right gauges to set the bike off just right... I wanted them to be classic in their look, but certainly not look like " after market add on's " if that makes sense...

Upon installation I was extremely happy with the look of the new gauges and I am so pleased I went with black faced dials and LED idiot lights... ( I wasn't quite sure about the black faces myself until now )

The lights themselves are now perfect in their function, even on the brightest of days and the clean lines of the gauges look amazing in real life... It is hard to belief this small change has made such a big difference to the bikes look and stance... If I had my time over again, this would be the first change I ever made...

The after pictures... let me know what you think...


 




Monday, December 6, 2010

Falling In Love All Over Again



It's been a while since I have had time to update the growing pains of Thruxy, but never fear, the tinkering has been in full swing...

Energy to Burn

Over the past 2 months I have added a shim to the mid-range needle, along with drilling out the air hole in the diaphragm, from the standard 2.5mm to 3.0mm. In effect the throttle role on from idle, right through the mid range is an enormous improvement over standard and for now the tuning is as good as I would hope for, and perfectly matched to the open air box and predator pipes.

Growing Pains

Picture this... It was a perfect afternoon and I was on Thruxy for the first time in many weeks... The sun was so kindly kissing my shoulders, and the traffic was parting, as if everyone had agreed that I wasn't to be interrupted as I approached bend, after flowing bend. Everything was as it should be.. or was it  ?

Then as was lent over, sweeping through a round-about at a gentleman's pace, I hit a man hole and the suspension bottomed out... Nothing to worry about, I hear you say... Well nothing except that the rear fender eliminator was set to far in and the number plate and rear under guard past me, skidding across the road like a pebble skimming along on top of a pond... Ouch ! they had been ripped off by the rear tyre
With the damage done, I picked up the pieces and set to work when I got home...... This time I fabricated the under tail myself and made it 3cm longer ( just over an inch ), to ensure I didn't-live this nightmare any time soon....

Enjoying The Scenery

For now I am happy with the journey Thruxy has taken me on, and I think it is time to kick back and enjoy the scenery.  For me, it is not so much about the transformation that she has had, but the mere enjoyment she has bought back to my riding time...

Thruxy has me like a 16yr old learner, looking for every opportunity to take a ride, even if it is to the letter box and back. Sure I love my sports bike. Of course I do, but I am no longer looking for the perfect weather, with the smoothest roads, and a rest break every 45 minutes...

Thruxy always takes me through to the next re-fill without an ache insight... never in a rush... enjoying the scenery and always the long way round... with " time " the only spoiler, to the fun at hand...... now the only thing for me to work out is, how do I buy some time..?   

I know what you must be thinking... It sounds like Thruxy has me falling in love with fundamentals of riding all over again.... and you just may be right....

I have posted a few of the latest pictures below................


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Trying to Breath

It was 2 weeks ago when I decided to change my air filter,  for a K&N unit. This would allow the bike to breath a little more, and given it has straight through pipes, this was long overdue..

As much as I thought this would be a 2 minute job and we'd be on our way, I was once again proved wrong...

When the K&N filter went in and the extremely restrictive induction snorkel was removed, I fired her up and took off up the street...

As I twisted the throttle,  the bike initially took off as expected,  but soon fell into an enormous hole between 2000 and 4500rpm and then took off like I did when I thought I was being chased by a snake on my uncles property, when I was 12 years old...

Standard Induction Set-up



Restrictive Induction Snorkel



Snorkel Removed for Much Improved Air Flow





No doubt, there was enough encouragement to know there was a definite performance gain , but clearly the fueling was unable to keep up...

So it was time I hunted around for some 125 main jets (110 standard ) and mid range needle shims, but after much frustration I was unable to find anything but 1 set of 130 mains jets in Australia and no needle shims to speak of... Sure 130's may sound a little rich. but without the shims, they may be there or there abouts.....

So I set myself the task of pulling off the carbs and hoping for the best... Now, I could go on and on about how I am going to spend the next 2 weeks re growing the skin on my knuckles from having to work in such tight spaces,  but lets get on with the results.....

Carbs Removed, with Fuel Bowl Removed to Access Main Jet ( Cables remain attached )




Houston, we have a problem....

Yes that's right, I had it all back together,  but as I begged the engine to kick over,  there wasn't a chance this was going to happen...

As I fought the panic and went through the possible mistakes I could have made, I remembered that I was extremely low on petrol when I rolled into the garage yesterday ... Was it possible that I had run out of petrol at this exact time ?  In desperation, I turned the fuel tap to reserve, waited a few seconds and prompted the start button to answer my every wish... and yes ! there it was, the perfect idle I had been so used to.... ( crisis over ... phew )

So, with my fingers crossed, I rolled on the gas up the street and the flat spot was gone and the top end was stronger than ever.. To ensure it wasn't a one off,  I went for a longer ride and it seems I was in the zone, with response, torque and power all at the top of their game.. 

Knowing that the mid range was more than likely,  still a little lean, I have ordered some needle shims and some 125 main jets from o/seas. On arrival I will install these and with any luck it will only enhance the mid range, but I will be happy for the shims to just richen up the mid range and help keep the engine cooler...

Once again it was only an hours work, but a significant gain... I must say, the effort verse reward on the Thruxton has been second to none and some part of me feels, this story has only just begun....

Short Video : Not Great Sound Quality

video

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sign of The Times

It's been a little while since I have been able to update this blog, but never fear there has been progress, albeit some finishing touches for now.....

This is just a little update I made to assist me with my total lack of time management skills at hand... It all started when I had noticed that I was without the modern digital time piece in front of me when I was out and about on Thruxy, and on a few occassions I found myself arriving home earlier than planned or more importantly expected, which of course meant I had cheated myself of precious two wheeled time.

I soon hit the internet and looked at all the available options to fix this unforgivable mistake and came up with the following, which not only provides me the time, but also neatly dresses up the steering head nut in one

Here's the clock on arrival



Clock installed in all of 2 minutes


Now here's to never arriving home early again  :-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Air Injection Removal

Ok, I know I had promised myself to leave well enough alone for a while, but every time I looked at Thruxy my eyes were distracted by the pretend second spark plug, otherwise known as the air injection system...

With the removal kit in the garage, and the generalised promise that this modification would make the exhaust run much cooler to stop the headers turning blue, the urban myth that this would provide a little extra hp ( not a chance in hell ) and the real chance to rid the clean cafe lines of those numerous hoses and pipes only design to keep some government suit in a job, I set myself  a little garage therapy.....

The first step is to remove all of the panels and petrol tank to open up the air box entry and the cylinder heads....

Removed Cosmetics out of harms way





With all paint removed, I was left with easy access to all components I had to remove....





The first step is to remove the cylinder export tubes, which is relatively simple as long as you have a 13mm ring spanner, given the relatively tight surroundings.... It is vitally important to ensure that upon removal, the exposed hole is protected from any dirt / dust or otherwise, to ensure nothing finds its way into the engine, which can only spell disaster......

Export tube removed






Now is the time to replace the export tube with the bolts supplied in the removal kit.... The most important part of this process is to place anti-seize grease on the bolts thread and cooper washer.

If you rush in and don't apply anti-seize grease,  you will find yourself in the position where the bolt will weld itself to the head given the extreme temperatures... Given the ease that my export tube came undone, I can be sure the factory did not miss this step   :-)





With the engine safe from danger, with the export tubes replaced, it was time to remove the remaining hardware of the system, including a solenoid attached to the framework by 2 x 8mm bolts







With air injection system removed and the bike back together, it was time to cross my fingers, crunch my toes and summons the bike gods, as I gently pulled out the choke lever , massaged the ignition key and prompted the start button, hoping for the instant rumble of  the twin, that had never failed me before....And as though all of my affection for all things 2 wheels was acknowledged, there it was again, first time, every time.. the music that sounds freedom through dual stainless pipes...

Thank you for rewarding the clumsy, but heart felt tinkering,  that is every bit as enjoyable as the blurred scenery leaving my peripheral vision out on the open road... just don't tell my wife, she thinks these garage sessions are a hard slog.... :-)


Much Cleaner Engine Lines From Side on

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Rear Lights / Blinkers / Number Plate

I have been excited for the past few days as my replacement lights and rear fender eliminator had arrived from British-Customs.... and this morning I got up early to take part in one of the most enjoyable male past times....

 " Tinkering in the garage, without a real clue of what I'm doing "

On first inspection, the parts were of excellent quality and as to their word, it looks like these kits are truly a plug in, without any additional wiring to do.... 

The only fiddly part of the alterations was the making of blinker brackets, which in true Thruxton custom, I have attached to the " inside rear shock mounts ".. At the moment I have left these in polished stainless steel, but I may convince myself to paint these black one day. I am not quite sure which I prefer just now...

I have posted the steps below to show the before, during and after... I apologise for so many photo's, but I am trying to remain true to the cause of this blog, which is to document the life and times of Suzie

Before I started,  with the Rear Fender on

























































Various Pictures of Completion








































































All in all, I am extremely happy with the transformation and I can only speak highly of the kit supplied ... It truly makes for a simple job and gives the bike the clean lines that the original cafe' racers were renowned for.

The next piece of the puzzle in the air injection removal kit, which I have, but for now I am to eager to get out for a ride, so it will have to wait for a storm filled day, where I have no choice but to not be out on the open road, looking for the next set of twisties to test the cornering of British engineering at its retro best....

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bar End Mirrors

After much research I have decided to install Halcyon round bar end mirrors....I bought them through a little well known treasure  Motocicilo in St Peters... Sure these arent cheap, but are a high quality item



When I got them home, I expected to slide them in and sit back and admire them..

Unfortunately that wasnt the case.. I had to drill out the clip on bars with an 18mm drill bit as my inside diametre was only 15mm..In the end it was quite the job, but I am happy with the look and they even provide good vision without vibration to speak of....


Returning to Nature

So the time had come... I had found myself for over a year now feeling disconnected on my days out on my modern motorcycle...

I was leaning into corners, relying on modern engineering magic...and  there they were.. traction control.. sticky tyres, 4 way adjustable suspension and more horse power than a mid 90's supercar, all packaged up in 160kgs..

Where had the feeling of good old raw motorcycling gone ?... thin tyres... twin parallel engines...single disc brakes (if you were lucky) and all the fun and enjoyment in the world...

No, of course I wasnt thinking of letting the Ducati I had longed for for 15 years go,  but I have finally given in to the fact that it just isnt the same motorcycling I had fallen in love with,  and runs through my veins.

So 2 weeks ago I took the plunge and bought myself a 2004 Triumph Thruxton...She had just 2300km's on the clock and was owned by an elderly enthusiast.. She has aftermarket Predator pipes, quite loud, but not obscene, with LSL high rise aftermarket bars to save the wrists, just a little....

From here on in I will post updates as they go, which will include bar end mirrors and a fender eliminator kit, all for that authentic cafe' racer look...

Here's how she looked on arrival....after a quick clean up


 I should add , I have named her Suzie... As my first thought that came to mind on the maiden voyage home was how easy and lazy she was to ride compared to the savage power of a modern day superbike...

 The fun factor was through the roof... For the first time in a long time, I was enjoying the ride and nostalgia, rather than trying to tame the beast of modern day engineering... It may not be as quick, but I am quick to remember the days I was bitten by the freedom of riding and it has all come rushing back...