Friday, August 15, 2014

Results You Can See...

Finally, something that looks like a real motorcycle that you can least that's my hope. I spent a couple of hours today...between thunderstorms...assembling the chassis. I would call it a huge improvement from what I started with a couple of months ago. See that dirty beast below.

Above, obviously, is the "before" picture. I wonder if Sammy Miller could be persuaded to offer his seat/tank units in the yellow bumble bee style rather that the white gel coat. I know that you Euros are used to the white/red color (colour?) combination on your TY bikes, but I have to say that this is an improvement. Who doesn't like the Kenny Roberts North American color combination??

Above is a detail shot of the rear fender mount. Again, this is not the sort of thing that you might see at the SSDT. At least not on a Yamaha. If you have been following this blog, you know that the welding was done by a good friend who has essentially no experience with motorcycle frames, but a lifetime of experience with metalwork. I am lucky to know Chuy.

Above is a detail of the triple tree..or steering stem...or yoke..I guess that there are a lot of different terms to describe this part of the motorcycle anatomy. As you can see, I am free with my use of drilled, oversize, alloy washers. I like them. I like the look and I am perfectly aware that they are not necessarily the first choice of "serious" trials enthusiasts. Well, truth be told, I am not one of those guys. This particular motorcycle will not have to be pulled out of a freezing Scottish stream or pulled off of me after we have tumbled down a slippery slope. The intended use of this bike is to simply cruise the beaches and river beds of Baja California.

More to come, probably this week. The engine cases are together and I simply have to add (and re-check) the clutch, ignition, kick starter, and the shifting shafts. Again, so many, many ways to screw this up. Pray for me! See you soon!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Paint on the TY is Done!!!

Yesterday I put two more clear coats on the seat/tank unit. About a week ago I finished the yellow paint and I was able to look at my choices for the decals. These decals, which are actually for a YZ from the 70's, looked best. They are similar to the decals that came on the unit from Sammy Miller…only a little more aggressive. Later today or tomorrow I should be able to put the entire chassis together and see what it looks like with the alloy fenders.

As you can see in the background, work is moving forward on the TLR. It now has several coats of primer and paint on the seat/tank unit, but the frame is untouched. The frame needs to be comprehensively cleaned and then some primer on the parts of the frame that have been rubbed down to bare metal.

I also get to chase around to the autoparts stores and/or the radiator shops to find some radiator hose for the WES exhaust. There are two joints that I want to cover with hose….and I get to have my old seat reupholstered by a local shop. In this part of the project I am lucky. Reupholstery shops are plentiful, cheap and the work is excellect. Adios for now, the next pictures will be of a complete chassis.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The TLR Comes Apart...

Over the past couple of days, weather permitting, I have been working on the TLR to get it to a point where I can give it a good cleaning, re-paint the frame and bodywork, and replace the more vulnerable fasteners with stainless. The humidity and the salty soil is causing a great deal of corrosion on the fasteners associated with the frame. Work has been slowed by the extreme humidity and heat. The temperature in my garage was 102 degrees when I shot the above picture.

Today the engine came out...but not without a fight. The engine is a tight fit in this chassis. I have no idea how I am going to get the clean engine back into the newly painted chassis without tearing up a lot of the new paintwork.

Now, I have a new problem. I need to take the chassis apart...wheels, forks, shocks, and swingarm all need to come off for cleaning and paint. How am I going to support the frame in order to remove these components? I woulod like to put it on a simple aluminum stand, but that's not an option. I am open to suggestions. Hanging it from the rafters seems like a good idea, but I do not have any rafters. The roof of the garage is cememnt. What do you TLR guys do???

The TLR...

May be it is a good idea to begin the TLR before the TY is done, may be not. What I am trying to do is complete both bikes before the first week of September when my son is coming down for a few days. It seems doable if I can stay focused. If I can not keep up, neither bike will be done. So, let's see what happens.

The TLR 200 is more than just a TLR. It is a  Reflex which was originally imported into the United States. As you Honda guys know, this means that the engine was virtually unusable because of the strangled carburation and the chassis was burdened with a battery which was actually carried like a saddlebag on the right hand side of the bike. Excess weight was everywhere. After I bought the bike I did the basics to turn it into a useful trail bike. The very first thing that I did was to re-wire the thing to eliminate the lighting system, turn signals, battery, and instruments. Secondly, I mounted a seat/tank unit from B & J Racing a supplier in the United States. Next, I got some new shocks and handlebars and a WES exhaust from the same supplier. These changes helped, but the bike was not really transformed until  I mounted a Chinese copy Keihin carburetor. The Chinese Keihin made all the difference...actually the carburetor made more difference than anything else that I did to the bike.

This time the TLR is just going to get a cosmetic overhaul. All of the mechanical bits are working as well as can be expected for a trail bike. But being used constantly in the salty environment of the beaches here in La Paz has taken its toll. There is an unacceptable amount of rust around the lower frame and the swing arm, and the paint is disappearing at an alarming rate. As you can see in the photo above, the seat/tank unit has never been painted, and it has a nice crack on the rearmost edge from me sitting there when I got too tired to keep up the trials posture. I hope to mount alloy fenders front and rear, but mounting a rear alloy fender has its challenges. We will see.

As of this moment, the seat/tank unit is on the work bench being cleaned-up after the repairs to the rear lip. Later today, I expect to apply the first coat of primer.