|On Monday the bike is back together so we spend the day sorting out a few other things. It suddenly stopped charging on the way here but when we test it the alternator is still working. This means we either have a break in the wire or a bad connection somewhere. The wiring is simple it just comes out of the alternator up to the ammeter on the dash and then back to the batteries via the isolator switches. We disconnect the wiring to the ammeter as it’s the easiest point to get to, we have continuity from the alternator up to here and also from here to the batteries so we look closer and realise the ring terminals are discoloured. Karen cleans the terminals and brass nuts and washers which does the trick and we are back to full output again. It’s amazing that this barely visible corrosion was enough to totally stop it working especially as it went off like a switch, working one minute and nothing the next. That sorted we turn our attention to the rear left indicator, it is a sealed led unit and we noticed it wasn’t working the other day. It has an easily accessed plug so we test for continuity between here and the next joint back, there is nothing so Karen starts to trace its route while I finish off some other things. It doesn’t take her too long to discover a section of the sub loom that has slipped round and rubbed on the rear tyre. As the sheathing has rubbed through we fix the break with a connector and wrap tape around the sheathing to keep the water out strapping it out of the way of the tyre. This does the trick and we fix Karen’s cigarette socket at the same time.
As we have the opportunity I start moving the oil cooler, we are in the best place to fabricate the necessary brackets. I have been wanting to do this for months but its not the kind of job you can do on the side of the road. A quick hunt through Doug’s metal pile later I find the perfect bit of flat strip steel, strong enough but not too heavy. I take off the bashplate and drop the oil out of the sump. I am changing it anyway for some thicker Penrite stuff that Jared recomended for hot conditions. Whilst the sump is draining I disconnect and drain the oil cooler hoses allowing me free movement of the cooler. It was mounted behind the front mudguard which had a mesh section to allow air through and two air scoops either side to funnel it in. The theory was good as it was quite protected from damage but it just isn’t as effective as it should be. I offer it up to the new position I think will improve its airflow and with a bit of fettling I think it will work. I will have to remove the splash guard the Russians made for me but the cooler will stop any spray getting into the alternator anyway. It takes a few hours to make the brackets as they are all different but I am really pleased with the result. The cooler is now directly in the wind without blocking the airflow to the cylinder and still rubber mounted. Next I have to move its electric fan in front of it as there is not enough clearance behind to fold it out of the way when its not needed. This little 4″ electric fan made by Spal has been a godsend it has compensated for the lack of airflow at slow speeds and have saved the engine overheating in heavy traffic many times. It’s also useful off road when the engine is working hard but you are not actually going that fast.
I manage to reverse the stainless steel hinge I made for it and mount it in front which is a relief.
Now I just need to work out if I can reverse it’s direction, I bought it as a suction fan but obviously now I need it to push air so I try reversing the wires and sure enough it spins the other way-sorted. Next I rummage through Doug’s spring box and find one that’s the right size to hold it in it’s open position. I want to be able to move it into it’s operating position without getting off the bike, I did this before with a cable and a amal choke lever of an old british bike but I can’t make it work this time. In the end I settle for a brass welding rod threaded through to the left hand cylinder with a short 90 deg bend on its end. In the open position in drops into one of the allen bolts of the rocker box and when closed it slides in where the carb manifold clamp is. Its kind of crude but effective. Lastly now I am happy with its new position I need to plumb the oil lines back in, luckily I have a spare metre of hose which gives me a few more options, even so I need to make 2 hose joiners on Doug’s lathe to make them reach. I am happy with the cooler now and this is a good step toward my ultimate goal of driving an oil pump off the fan belt to circulate oil around the cooler. This will require the plumbing altering again so this is just a stop gap. I just get everything back together in time to ride into Hamilton to see a custom screen guy Doug recomends. Rhondda also gave me his details some time ago, They trade as two firms Visual plastics and Godiva screens and are a father and son outfi. Godiva is run by the son and specialises in motorcycle screens. Gary is a really, really helpful guy and nice with it, we show him what we are after and he explains that they don’t keep Lexan Margard in stock and the industry is a bit in the doldrums at the moment so its unlikely that anyone else will either as it’s quite expensive. Never the less he rings around all the plastic companys for us including the ones I researched on the internet to check but to no avail, he suggests an alternative plastic they have in stock it’s not as scratch resistant but it’s a fraction of the price so we decide it will do as a stop gap until we get to Austalia where we should be able to get some more Margard. It will be fine for the side screens anyway it’s just the main screen that needs the extra scratch resistance because of the wiper. He has another appointment this afternoon but if we can pop back tomorrow he will be able to sort it out no problem. We thank him and promise to return tomorrow, in the meantime we have some patterns to make. We have been considering a slight redesign of the side screens for some time as they stick out a little too much and have been damaged in falls. We also want to alter the profile to make them taller so they push the wind around us more keeping us drier in the rain.
Just as we are about to leave a biker pulls up and comes to say hello and have a look at the bike, Greg lives in Hamilton and we have a good chat, before he goes he asks have we got anywhere to stay? We explain we are okay at the moment but we take his details anyway just in case.
That night after another feast from Hilary, Doug finds us a big cardboard box and we make some templates with a marker pen and scissors.
Our last day is spent packing up and finishing things off, we solder a loose wire on the tentlights and get them working again and wire up the oil cooler fan in it’s new position. After lunch we pop back to Godiva plastics and show him our templates in position, Gary cuts the two side screens out for us and with a few minor adjustments on his linisher they fit well, we use the old main screen as a pattern so that’s easily sorted. The original has been supremely scratch resistant but it’s got a big crack in it where I hit it falling off in Mongolia. I fully intended to take the screens back to Dougs to drill the mounting holes etc as I was concious on trying to keep the bill down but Gary did all that as well for the same price and he did us a really good deal, thanks Gary !
The first ride ‘home’ it was a treat not having to peer around the crack and I can set the wiper back to a full sweep again.
Wednesday and it’s time to pack up, we promised Doug and Hilary we would be leaving today and we don’t want to outstay our welcome plus we are not sure if they have someone else staying tonight.
I am really pleased with the results of our efforts but there is just one last thing I want to do whilst we are in Hamilton. Now the cooler is out of the way I can replace the front mudguard with a solid one and get rid of the mesh. This is especially important now that we have stopped the drips coming off the sides of the screen by making the taller sides. I get some spray up from the front wheel on very wet roads and now the cooler is out of the way I can stop this. My ultimate goal is too not need waterproofs at all except in the heaviest rain and we are getting there a step at a time. The day slips away and we don’t set off until around 5pm by the time we have finished everything, I am trying to get into Hamilton to get to a trailer place before they shut. Initially my idea is to buy a cheap plastic trailer mudguard and cut it down to fit. These are about the right width and have nice deep valanced sides. Annoyingly we just miss the shop as they have gone home early so we need somewhere to stay tonight. I give Greg (the local guy we met outside Godiva screens) a call. Fortunately he is happy to have us over to stay so we arrange to meet at his house. It’s a real treat as it turns out, Greg has a fabulous modern batchelor pad in town. He also has four classic motorcycles in his front room, I love the idea of this but have never lived anywhere big enough to do it. This place is huge and they look great, there is something quite special about sitting on a leather couch watching a film on a huge lcd screen on the wall with an immaculate Ducati 450 Desmo parked beneath it. Better still I can look to my left and see our bike in the drive in garage/workshop down the hall,
I could get used to this !
Next day I resume my mission, Hamilton is a great place to get this kind of stuff but after about my 10th shop it becomes obvious they don’t have the cheapy mini wheel size trailers we have at home. Most of their stuff is for big boat trailers and is very expensive, eventually I try a plastics place in desperation, they don’t have anything preformed and it’s too complex to bend a double curve but he has some small offcuts of black polypropylene, better still he says I can have them for nothing. This gives me an idea, when I made the mesh guard in Turkey I cut the original section of Guzzi plastic LeMans guard in half lengthways and bolted it on either side to give the valanced edges. I plan to replace the mesh centre panel with the new polyprop and bolt it all back together again. This will allow me to adjust the width to suit so doesn’t foul the oil cooler as it turns with the wheel. I go back to Gregs and make a start, as usual it takes much longer than I initially thought but by lunchtime I have it all cut out and bolted together. Also as usual by the time its nearly finished I have thought of a better way to do it. Earlier on today I passed a fastener shop that had a good selection of rivets so I get back on the bike and go and buy some 6mm ally ones, not only does this free up all my spare 6mm nuts and bolts but it looks neater too. The next problem is that I can’t find a rivet gun with a big enough mandrel (grippy bit), if I had known I was going to rivet it I would have made the holes 4 or 5mm. Someone in town suggests a coachbuilding firm and they kindly let me use their compressed air rivetting gun which makes it a breeze. Back at Gregs I get it all mounted up and make another flat guard out of the remaining polyprop to fill in the gap up to the front parts tray. I am just about finished when Greg gets back from work. Incredibly it has taken all day by the time I have sourced all the parts. Greg has to go out this evening so we have a quick dinner and then go for a walk along the Waikato river which is not too far away.
Its a nice stroll along a purpose made track both sides of the river, there are several bridges spaced along it’s length so you can make a circular walk as far as you want. We go up to the second bridge which makes it about 4km round trip the return leg brings us back through a nice park with an aviary and a replica Spitfire on a stick which is a war memorial. The rest of the evening is spent uploading photos and blogging, we are way behind as there is so much going on and NZ is so sociable that it’s hard to find time.We say our farewells and thank you to Greg when he gets in as he will be off to work early in the morning. Bike sorted it’s time to go exploring again.