Barber Prep 2013

So we’re gearing up for Barber Vintage Festival 2013!!!

We’ve got kind of a laundry list of things we need to get done before it’s time to roll out. I feel like it’s going to be here before we know it and catch us unprepared.

Kate’s RD400 needs a few cosmetic things. Nothing major. I’m swapping the front end on the BMW with a one from an 87 Yamaha FZ600. My forks got damaged recently when I hit a curb trying to avoid getting rear ended at a turn (OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE!). I had these air assisted forks laying around and realized they were the same diameter (36mm), so I figured, why not!? I’m also working on a cool half fairing for it. Not sure if I’ll be all finished in time for Barber for this part.

The van needs quite a bit of lovin’. We’ve made the last two trips to Barber with no AC in the van. That changes this year. We’ve put a whole new AC system in it. Riding in style. I’m also working on insulating the inside to keep all my fancy new cold air in.

I’ll keep updating this post as I go.

Here’s the progress on the van so far. (9/7)

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Saturday, September 7th, 2013 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

Kate’s New Blog – themotogato.com

So Kate has decided to start blogging about her bikey goodness since she’s realized that she’s way prettier than me, and people on the internet like pretty people a lot. I don’t know what has sparked this competitive spirit (probably the RD400), but I love it. So go follow Kate over at themotogato.com

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Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 Everything Else, RD400 Cafe Racer No Comments

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