New Clipons!

So this is a pretty exciting day! I’ve always been a fan of how Woodcraft’s clipons. In my opinion they’re just some of the best looking bars. Like most manufacturers, they don’t make bars specifically for BMW controls (22mm). So you’re left having to turn the bars down yourself, either on a lathe or with sandpaper and elbow grease. I don’t have direct access to a lathe, and honestly, the tiny fraction of a difference between 7/8″ and 22mm doesn’t seem like much, but getting it filed down and perfectly round with sandpaper is a bear. I’ll never do it again.

So I contacted Woodcraft about doing some BMW-specific bars. They were happy to do a small run of them and I got the first set! For the most part, garage builders like myself are used to making things “work” when the need arises, but I just wanted to help make these bars a little more accessible to the BMW community.

So they arrived and they look awesome!! I can’t wait to get them on the bike.

I’ll take some better pictures and post them up when I get the front end all back together on the BMW. In the meantime, if you’re interested in BMW-specific (22mm) bars from Woodcraft, feel free to email me using the contact form in the sidebar. I’d like to hear from you as I’m trying to gauge interest in the bars as well. I’m not affiliated with Woodcraft. Just like their product and curious about other people’s interest in these bars.

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Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Goodies From Cone Engineering

The good folks at Cone Engineering have been hard at work on a few different new designs including their Quiet Core mufflers and their new 18″ Straight Cores. I was lucky enough to get ahold of these new 18″ beasts. I think they’re going to look amazing on the BMW! I plan to get them on over the weekend, and will setup a few nice microphones to try and capture the old Cone mufflers and the new ones in all their sonic glory.

These things look great, and I can’t wait to see them on the bike. Be sure to check them out at their website coneeng.com. Talk to Rich and tell him Matty sent ya!!

Also don’t forget to go show them some love on Facebook!

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Thursday, July 11th, 2013 BMW Cafe Racer, Everything Else No Comments

RD400 of Doom – First Rebuild

Well, that didn’t take long…

Kate, a friend, and I were headed downtown to a concert. Easily doing a buck-ten for several miles (on a closed course with professional drivers… duh), our friend, Chris, pulled up next to me and pointed to his gas tank. So we pull off. Kate’s having some problems shifting so she pulls to the side of the road and I follow while Chris runs up to the station. Won’t shift. Not up, not down. I fearfully unscrewed the dipstick to check the oil in the bottom end (as I’d done a few days prior), and only smoke came out. Don’t know where the oil went, but the bottom end was very unhappy.

As far as I could tell the top end was fine, the crank was fine. The clutch was fine. It’s clearly either some gears welded together or a bent shift fork.

And even though I was a little bummed, I was also kind-of excited, because I really wanted to tear into this motor anyway. So come along on this journey with me.

All prepped for surgery, let’s begin.

Motor out with the help of a friend.

So… Something clearly going on here. I’m thinking the right side is / was running lean? Did check the plugs over the weekend, and they read perfect. So this could be remnant of a prior issue.

Now I’m not in any way an expert, and still relatively new to two-strokes, but the transfer port looks really choppy. Almost like someone started to do a port job and realized they’d had too much to drink, but not so much that they didn’t have some sense left to make them stop. I dunno. Maybe that’s normal.

Intake port. Again, it’s hard to see in the picture, but it’s all so rough…

Exhaust port. Same thing.

Piston looking pretty pitted.

And then there’s this guy… It looks like it was about to hole any second. This is the clean (and I’m assuming too lean) cylinder. The thing looks awful. Also, I was told that this bike had fresh Wiseco pistons in it. Obviously not the case. BUT IT WILL SOON.

Piston windows. Just in case you were dying to know what those looked like.

And this is as far as I got last night. Thanks to my lack of a giant socket for the clutch basket. I believe it is a 29mm and I only go up to 27mm except for a few special ones I’ve purchased. I’ll pick it up on the way home from work today and finish the tear down / inspection.

I’ll keep this post updated with my progress. It might get crazy up in here, so just bare with me.

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Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 RD400 Cafe Racer 1 Comment

Icon El Bajo Women’s Boot

It’s time for another ICON boot review! This time it’s for the ladies. Kate’s getting to try out some of ICON’s new El Bajo women’s boots.

The El Bajo boot is a retune of the Icon Elsinore. It shares the same bottom end as the Elsie, with a fresh top-end rebuild. This time, they’ve knocked a few buckles off to give The Little One its low down and dirty attitude.

Obviously I don’t wear women’s boots, so look for a full report from Kate in the near future. Until then, take a gander at these cool little boots and how they stack up against the Elsinore.

We couldn’t resist snapping a cool pic of her wearing them on the RD400 of Doom!

She’ll be putting them through their paces over the coming days for a little review. Stay tuned!

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Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 Everything Else No Comments

RD400 of Doom Updates

Just a few little things going on with the RD400 of Doom…

I made this little plate to mount a few dash-type things to. Came out pretty swell I thinks.

Here’s what it looks like mounted.

Meanwhile, My good friend Junior was hard at work on a little bracket for the rear master cylinder. The PO shaved the bracket off of this frame, so we had to make a new one. Of course he put his own style into it.

I then moved on to working on mounting the slave cylinder I picked up to convert her to a hydraulic clutch. Junior saw what I was up to and was like, “No, no.. you leave this with me… It will be amazing…” – and since he’s an amazing fabricator, it surely is amazing.

I even asked him to scratch his moniker into it. After-all, you have to sign your art.

Stay tuned for the completion of the hydro-clutch.

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Thursday, March 7th, 2013 RD400 Cafe Racer No Comments

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