Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stopped Dreamin' - Started Workin'

Finally getting up off my arse and getting serious about the 900 project. I ordered some tubing so I can make a Superbike style swingarm bridge. The one in the top photo is bracing applied to a stock swingarm - pretty discrete but yet effectively trusses the swingarm. The bottom one is a whole new swingarm with bottom bracing that is much more noticeable but since it's made out of aluminum, it's probably not any more effective than the top one. That didn't stop Eddie Lawson from riding the wheels off the thing, however. I got a chance to see him race on several occasions. That dude was a real racer. And a gentleman, too. Surly and I were at Road America and we wanted to get his autograph. Surly was pretty young but Lawson took the time to not only thank us for coming out but thanked Surly for asking for the autograph. 

When racers started making structural components out of aluminum, they mostly just duplicated the steel designs in an effort to shed weight. However, aluminum is lighter but the modulus of elasticity is such that you have to use almost three times as much to keep the stiffness  If you look at a current big displacement motorcycle with an aluminum swingarm, they're big. Likewise the aluminum wraparound frame spars. I'm planning on running a bigger tire than stock in the rear on mine but the bridge will be more for looks than performance. The swingarm is already made from 4130 rectangular tubing but some more chrome-moly hanging off the bottom will make it mo' better still.

I also ordered up some rod ends for a rear brake stay and some exhaust tubing. I made up a pipe for it out of aluminum but I'm not real happy with it. The new one will just be 2-1/2" straight pipe. That is, it'll be bent to get where it needs to be but no tapered cone. I'll rig up some type of silencing insert for it so it's not too obnoxious. The web site says the cheap shipping takes close to two weeks, so it'll probably show up about the time vacation's over but that's OK. I'm moving forward here anyway. 

In the meantime, I'm starting to work on the front end, as well as knocking around on some other miscellaneous jobs around the shack. I started some pepper seeds the other day. I'm going to do a little indoor vegetable gardening. Nothing fancy. A little shelf by a window with some supplemental lighting. I'd like to have a greenhouse but can't see that happening - too many irons in the fire as it is.

Have a good weekend.

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