Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gettin' There

Cleared up most of the mysteries with the horn, coil and gas tank mounting yesterday. I had taken the tank off so I wouldn't get it screwed up and like a dumbass assumed the threaded holes by the neck were for the tank. That's the place most gas tanks mount but with the Sportster, maybe yes, maybe no. Because there are a couple of different tanks available for these things, some use the holes by the neck but the peanut tank uses the hole through the neck gusset. I got a large tank with this rig when I bought it and it uses the hole in the neck. That was the tank that was on the bike when the previous owner got it and that explains why there was no stock coil mount and why the coil was mounted to the top engine bracket and the ignition switch was mounted someplace other than the stock location and who in the hell knows where the horn was at or if it was even on the bike. 

Now the tank and the coil mount are where they should be. The spacers I machined up to go between the coil mount were a little long to fit between the mounting ears on the tank but it was no trouble to shave off about an 1/8" on both of them. The new horn came in the mail yesterday and I stuck that on the bike - just one bolt into the crash bar boss on the frame down tubes and that's all that took. It sticks out just a little far so I might bend an offset in the bracket to make it a little less obtrusive. It looks like it belongs there, though, and many motorcycles do in fact have the horn mounted in this location. I stuck it on a battery to hear it and it seems plenty loud enough. It's supposed to be 130 decibels but I've got some kind of infection in one ear and can't hear much of anything out of it now. Of course even on a good day I don't hear things like I used to. As long as the cars move out of my lane when they try to pinch me off, it'll be loud enough.

I stuck the clutch cover on the bike as long as most everything else was in place to get a feel for how the finished product was going to look. And as long as all the major bits were where they were supposed to be, I climbed into the saddle to get a feel for it. It's been more than twenty years since I've ridden one of these things. Saddle height is low and the pegs are up relatively high for my long legs. Likewise the handlebars are up in the air a bit but at least they are more cowhorn than buckhorn. Most everything I've owned and ridden since the 70's has been some type of cafe or drag bike set-up with a flat bar at least and a couple with rearsets. Surly installed a pair of aftermarket bars that are a little higher than stock on the SV I'm riding now but it's still a fairly "sporty" riding position. I'll definitely be "in the wind" with this thing.

I machined up the lower motor mount spacers as well. They fit like a glove but I need to get some black paint on them before I call them done. I should probably take the headlight apart and paint that as well. The rest of the sheet metal has fresh paint on it and if I don't paint the headlight bucket and this thing actually starts and runs when I get it back together, I'll wish I'd painted it. Same thing goes for the generator. Besides, I still haven't tried out the new sandblasting cabinet yet. Be a good reason to put that into operation. 

Looks like I'll be close to having it all together before vacation's over. If nothing else, I'd like to have the motor all buttoned up before Monday. Stay tuned.

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