After checking that the engine runs and most of the mechanical bits do what they should its time to move to the frame and suspension.

Xmas has come and gone and while the relatives were sleeping off their turkey dinners and the enormous quantity of alcohol that my lovely wife provided I found myself itching to head for the shed. I cant say that I wasnt a little disappointed that my presents did not include such xmas essentials as: “a pair of betor shocks”, “a cam sprocket”, “a mig welder”, “a years subscription to trials and motocross weekly”, “a cudly toy”, ” a fondue set”, ” a holiday for two in barbados”……. (yes well it was wearing a little thin at that point so i will stop so you can read on) I will however take this opportunity to publicly thank those responsible for giving me a number of lovely presents and once more getting time to spend with the family…. so its a big thank you to Marbles (the dog) for the lovely socks… I am sure you will have a great time hiding them for me at every opportunity and a big thank you to wifey for the chain lube and Valentino Rossi auto biography.. super.
So as the frantic excitement died down I soon found myself thumping around in the shed much to the amusement of Marbles who has taken to sitting next to me in the rather small shed and watching my every move in the hope that some form of food will magically appear after each task…. he’s still waiting..

Before I could remove the engine for cleaning/serviceing and polishing I thought it would be a good idea to take stock of the nuts and bolts. Focusing on the longevity of the bike and the environment in which I want to run it, I thought it would be wise to replace the often missing nuts and bolts with quality steel items. This job required carefull measurement and analysis of the nuts and bolts taking into account their thread pitch and metric size. As I removed each of the rather worn nuts and bolts from around the engine and various ancilliaries such as the coil mounts and triple clamps I noted the size and thread pitch. I found a great supplier and ordered replacements for each of the nuts and bolts in high tensile steel. This should remove the unsightly gnarled nuts and bolts and complement the soon to be shot blasted frame and engine mount.

The bolts have now arrived and I will post the sizes and thread pitch on the site as it may be usefull to some, though I cannot guarantee that these were the original size and pitch so compare them to the bolts you remove just in case. I am almost down to a naked frame. The engine was very easy to remove and now sits on the workshop bench (well actually.. the small shed! we can all dream) The only trouble was a seized swing arm mounting bolt, it runs through the swing arm bushes and through the center of the pressed steel frame downtube, it had seized in a spectacular fashion and required a lot of soaking with plus gas and gentle pursuasion with a drift in order to extract it… the tired swing arm bushes are now on the new parts list. On removal the swingarm appears to be very badly fractured underneath and is holed as well. This will be addressed with the mig welder when all the items come back from the shot blast shop (and I can lay my hands on a MIG welder). I will post the links to the sites of the suppliers I have used so far at the end of the articles.

I am actually not far from the stage of sending the frame to be blasted and the engine crank case covers as well…. I have gathered some other bits to be sent including front engine mount, coil mount, air box and gear/rear brake levers. pictures to follow of the engine work and frame strip preparation.

I finished taking the last parts off the frame and have taken all the parts to the blasters I decided to take the tank as well… This may or may not turn out well.

Ok I have the parts back… great news.. and they have done a great job. After blasting they have coated the bare metal with a rust inhibitor/anti oxidisation agent, this also has the added benefit of improving paint adhesion… nice! the tanks was a wee bit disappointing as it has a few pin holes in the base.. the jury is still out on what to do about these though the rest of the tank is very solid.. I have a family friend who may be able to work some magic with the tank so I will hand it to him and add an update about it here when I see it again. The main tasks will be to straighten bent parts such as the gear change and brake levers/pushrods and generally prepare for the warmer weather and an opportunity to paint the frame.

So off we go again, well thats what Marbles seems to think he is in the shed peering out as if to say “come on theres work to be done!” I however am standing at the back door looking at the snow! typical…. I was hoping for the warm weather to hold out .. I rekon that I need about 10 degrees to spray… come on Marbs lets go for a walk today instead!

Ok so the snow has gone and I have spent the weekend spraying the frame and some of the anciliaries… I chose black smoothrite.. I have used it before and got great results.. the key here is to apply a number of coats and watch for drips. I applied 6 coats of paint from the 3 cans of smooth black. I have to say its come out better than I hoped and with the front engine mount painted, rear brake lever, airbox, lower triple clamp and sidestand done as well I can step back and take a few snaps of the finished article.

While the paint hardens I am going to focus on the front forks. Stripping them was easy I modified a 6mm long reach allen head socket as I needed a nice strong allen head socket (5mm) would have done the trick however it was not strong enough for the impact wrench. This was used to break the allen head bolt that secures the damper assembly into the fork leg. It is accessed by first draining the fork leg of oil (remove the 10mm drain screw at the back of the fork leg at the base carefull you dont lose the little copper sealing washer in the process) invert the fork leg and then after cleaning out the gunk insert the modified tool and use the impact wrench to undo the allen bolt deep in the fork base. DO NOT remove the fork top yet, the pressure of the compressed spring will hold the allen head bolt securing the damping rod… DO NOT remove the allen head bolt completely though as it could prove very dangerous as the compressed spring unloads, ince you have the allen head screw loose remove the top cap and remove the pressure, then you can remove the allen head bolt in the base of the fork completely. Once that is done the whole fork tube and damper assembly will slide out. The selas are a little trickier as I found. My bike has the original seals fitted and they do not pop out as the fork stanchion is removed as on most modern bikes. They have to be carefully prised out.. even with some heat they would not budge… back to the drawing board. In a flash of inspiration and determined to carry out most tasks on my own I borrowed a friends dremel multi tool, well in actual fact it was a skill multi tool with an extendible head. With the cutting disk attached I used the skil tool to carefully cut the seal and prise the seal away from the aluminium seat. TAKE GREAT CARE… it is all too easy to get carried away and ruin the alluminium seal seat. Once done I was left with a lot of fork parts! next clean and check the fork tubes. Mine are a little pitted higher up but actually are serviceable. So after polishing they are as good as new.. so its back together for the forks….

Time to

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