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Old 05-05-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
sakurama OP
on an endless build
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: NYC & PDX
Oddometer: 1,491
My 950 Refresh or Mission Creep...

NOTE: So instead of starting a new thread every time I rebuild my bike or make some sort of change I've decided to just keep updating this one. It keeps it all more contained but also makes it a bit long. It is essentially a diary of my 950 Adventure and the changes I've made along the way.

- First teardown to the frame - 12
- Reassembly after powdercoat - 29-52
- New Brembo front master cylinder -post 60-74
- Beginning of second rebuild with 990 "Flanny Killer" engine - post 104
- Port comparison between 950 and 990 - post 130
- EFI timing gear install and 950 post mortum - post 149
- factory host crimp tool and second fan - post 159
- FCR inlet spigot tapering and TPS bracket - post 173
- beginning of exhaust fabrication - post 185
- screwing up exhaust flanges and subsequent welding - post 193
- exhaust spring anchor making tool - post 197
- stripping and prepping bodywork for paint - post 211
- fabrication of "X-crossover" - post 228
- first welding success - post 259
- resealing newly rebuilt wheels and exhaust layout - post 278
- more exhaust layout and tacking - 289 and 297
- final exhaust tacking - 332
- final welding of exhaust - 342
- fitting and first (disappointing) dyno runs - 352
- beginning of the bellmouth project - 433, 445, 452
- new exhaust mid pipes - 462
- first ride with the new pipe and the stock FCR's - 492
- first dyno test of custom billet velocity stacks for the FCR - 502
- the choke conundrum - can it be added to the FCR? - 596-?
- yes, we finally create a choke for the FCR - 655
- dyno testing the 41 FCR against the 39 -
- exploring the idea of a big bore kit for the 950/990
- the beginning of the two wheel drive Christini conversion - 771
- first test of the 2WD - 1027
- video of the worlds first two wheeled smoking burnout - 1125!

So I've got just over 33,000 miles on my bike and have enjoyed it thoroughly but it's started looking tired. With this economy I can't afford to buy a new bike and really, I don't think I'd want to as I love this one. But I just can't get past the fact that cleaning it doesn't do the trick anymore. I've worn through paint and I've worn through metal. I like a clean bike or at least one that has the potential to be clean and this one doesn't.

Last year I did a big trip with my girlfriend (her first) back from Colorado and then in the fall I rode the Pine Barrons 300 and crashed pretty good breaking my nose. I didn't touch the bike until a month ago.

The good part:

The not so good part:

And that is how my bike was left all winter - not even washed. It's a shame but that crash was so bad I was dizzy for well over a month and I had no interest in even seeing the bike. That and I had to move both my studio and my apartment so it wasn't until now that I decided to pull the 950 out.

I cleaned it but it was just beat. I thought about how I've always wanted to powdercoat the swingarm black and since it was still cold a few weeks ago I thought, "Why not?" and started pulling things off in a haphazard manner.

I actually regret the way that I started this as I didn't really anticipate pulling it down quite this much.

Normally I'd put every group into ziplocks and only use muffin tins for quick projects. I mentioned this to Chris, our shop whiz kid/engineer and he chirped, "It all only goes one place..." and while I got what he was saying in my head I was thinking "the garbage?"

Which brings us to "Mission Creep". In our shop Mission Creep is a serious disease which is costly, time consuming and sometimes rewarding. I'm hoping this case will be more of the last and less of the previous. The onset of Mission Creep is often recognized by the famous and damning phrase, "While it's apart..."

Here's the Mission Creep part:

Once the subframe and swingarm were off the shock was out. If the shock was out I might as well get that rebuilt but if I do the shock I should do the forks. If I pull the forks then I should have the RTT steering damper rebuilt and since that will take a week or two I'll go ahead and send the suspension off to James of Super Plush who did such an amazing job on my 525 race bike. Well, if the suspension is gone for a few weeks I should have Woody rebuild my old faded 17" rear wheel with a shiney new wider 5" rim. And if I do all that I've got time for James (Renazco) to make me a new seat since mine is now faded to brown with a lovely patina that just wouldn't look right on a clean new bike. See how this works?

Which brings us to here:

The problem here is that the frame is pretty tired looking and the paint is oxidized and if it's down to this I might just as well pull the frame and have it done as well right?

So my thought in starting this thread is to create the impetus to keep this moving. I have to keep this moving - it's getting warm and these projects are to be done in the dead of winter (what kind of idiot am I?). The problem is that seeing the bike down this far has me thinking of lots of things like repainting the whole bike or making my own custom stainless exhaust - I mean while it's apart...

sakurama screwed with this post 11-21-2013 at 07:43 PM
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:23 PM   #2
Mookish Mook
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Either UK or Australia ...
Oddometer: 4,396

Youre screwed.

You may as well do the frame.
Some new, ceramic-coated headers.

Perhaps you can buy some nice (used) plastics

And send me your motomaster brake & disc .... update to some new stockers...
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:30 PM   #3
***** dweller
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Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Oddometer: 4,341
it hurts more to crash a pretty bike. yours is already broken in
I'd leave it as is, refresh & grease the bearings, give it all a check over and slap it back together. IMO!
Or go for a paintjob for something different.
"And some guy said, let there be filtering, and we filtered and we saw that it was good, and hours became minutes..."
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
Mmmm....Orange Kool-aid
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Knoxville, TN
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Chuck the frame in with the swingarm to be powdercoated. Seriously, you're already 95% there it'd kind of be silly not to.
Those who dance are considered crazy by those who do not hear the music.
I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. - Radmacher

5 Cylinders vs. Moab..........My East Tennessee.........Internships may go to Hell and I will go to Alaska
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:40 PM   #5
Mookish Mook
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Either UK or Australia ...
Oddometer: 4,396
Originally Posted by Katoom119
Chuck the frame in with the swingarm to be powdercoated. Seriously, you're already 95% there it'd kind of be silly not to.
Paint it Orange
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Magic City in the Heart of Dixie
Oddometer: 691
Not a real hijack, but...

...did I see a Honda 400 SuperSport, dressed in red, in the background of one of your shop pix? Or was I just spacing out.... ?

I don't know whether I'd be inclined to pretty up the exterior of a 950, up there in the Bad Apple. I could see the frame re-do, but do you really want to make it any more appealing to bike-jackers?

Admittedly, I don't know your situation to speculate. I like the look of your shop, though... get that bike back to running condition ASAP. Summer's not gonna wait for you. Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking... into the future.
You must be the change you wish to see in this world.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:43 PM   #7
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Joined: Apr 2008
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Send the frame with the Swingarm!
Topes never seem to make me go any faster.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:03 PM   #8
sakurama OP
on an endless build
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: NYC & PDX
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Originally Posted by Sadlsor
...did I see a Honda 400 SuperSport, dressed in red, in the background of one of your shop pix? Or was I just spacing out.... ?
I think there might be a CB200 somewhere. Bikes in the background were my Rickman Triumph project (apart), a Bonnie, my ex TZ250, an XR100 and my friend Todd's BSA project (his Mission Creep was, "I need a new crank for the BSA and now that I found one why don't I build another engine, and if I'm going to build another engine it should be a race engine and if I build a race engine I should build a replica Seeley frame..." You can see how we're a dangerous group to be around.

Yes, I think the frame needs to come off and get done with the rest of it. I'm going to do both engine side cases, subframe, passenger pegs and... I'm making a list and checking it twice.

The paint is a worry. I haven't painted in a few years but we have a nice booth and I've got a flake gun that I typically can't help using. The last bike I painted was for my brother - a smaller Adventure in House of Kolor Sunset Candy with ghosted pearl flames:

The shot does not do it justice - it positively glowed. I've always loved deep metal flake but it's really hard to do, at least for me. But it might be cool.

sakurama screwed with this post 09-19-2012 at 10:20 AM
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:13 PM   #9
big bore fan
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: elephant island
Oddometer: 211
Bluhduh leave it alone

rumor has it that there wll be a blackwater 300 in davis on fathers day for only bigbore adventure bikes 900cc or bigger. you may wish to wait on the new plastic.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:29 PM   #10
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: The Great West
Oddometer: 10

You know Gregor, I remember when I was replacing the clutch in my Guzzi. Everything from the tach, you remember I only have a tach right, was off, and the tranny had to be split from the bell housing. I buttoned her up at 1AM in the morning. You know what I was doing 6 hours later? Riding to daytona and the Keys.
Now don't get me wrong, I realize that Italian agricultural machinery is a bit less spohisticated that your adventure, but only a bit, I mean, a Guzzi doesn't carry water right? I am firm in my conviction though, that you could sew up that bike in a weekend if you wanted to. But the real question is, how long will your tolerate not riding your bike while the sun shines and the roads are clear and there are Epic rides and I do mean Epic rides, hot springs and all other measures of God's good will here in Idaho?
It might be possible and I'm thinking to do the Labrador run. Do you know how many years ago I planned that ride?

Back in the saddle,


p.s. Love the bike
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:31 PM   #11
sakurama OP
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Location: NYC & PDX
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Hot damn, brother, welcome to the fold. Nice to see you here. Yeah, you can bust my chops to get this thing together well before the big Labrador trip.

Karma is being good to me and Woody is done with the wheel already, the damper is going to be done this week and I think it's going to rain Saturday which means a full day at the shop. I might even sneak out for a bit tomorrow to see what I can do.

I knew you'd love the bike - it's the modern extension of the idea of your amazing Guzzi (waylaid like my boxer sadly but not forgotten). It's partly why I am putting the love back into this bike - it's been soooo good to me and it deserves some love. Besides, I love improving a good thing.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:51 PM   #12
sakurama OP
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I got a few hours today to work on it and impart some small bit of organization to the whole process:

I didn't quite get the frame off but I'm close:

But this rats nest has me a bit worried:

I remember once being at Loudon for a week when I raced a national 250 race and I watched the Erion team break a bike completely down to nothing. It was impressive how fast a bike became parts and they cleaned each and every single part and when the bike went back together is was better than new. After that I used to break my 125 and 250 down every few months or after a rain race and clean them like that. It was a great way to catch problems before they became problems but it's harder to do on a street bike.

There's so much dirt ground into every nook and cranny. It's going to take a week to clean once it's all apart. I'm still thinking about paint though...

sakurama screwed with this post 09-19-2012 at 10:22 AM
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:17 PM   #13
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Joined: Feb 2005
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How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

Onya mate - go get 'im. Effing Cool.
Be yourself
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:04 PM   #14
sakurama OP
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So it's been hard to find time to work on this but I knew that would happen so that's why I sent the parts off that would take time - I knew I'd have it whether I liked it or not.

So two weeks ago I got the frame off the engine:

This just looks pathetic - like the sorry sort of project that shows up in the classifieds - "complete bike - ran when last together":

Such a filthy mess. This was once a new bike - what have I done? Once the frame was off I was basically screwed so I gathered everything that looked scratched or sad and loaded it into a box and took it up to Perfection Powdercoating in Pearl River NY - they've done my stuff for 10 years now and they always do a fantastic job.

While the parts were away I tried to do some cleaning of the engine which sucked since the outside covers were gone (being powdercoated black) meaning it was hard to keep dirt out of the engine. I've resigned myself to several immediate oil changes once it's together to make sure that I've flushed it all out but for the most part I was able to keep it clean.

I haven't cleaned the hoses yet but it's much cleaner, trust me:

I got the stuff back from powder and it looks fantastic and now starts the process of "Oh, crap, I forgot to order xxxxx and I can't put xxxxx back until I get this bearing/spacer/bolt/cover whatever". I've done this enough to know this will happen but not enough, I guess, to prevent it from happening. So I can't put the engine on the frame because I didn't catch the notched steering head bearings (while it's apart...) and I lost the bushings for the center stand so now I'll have to wait for them to arrive from Munn.

So today I sat down and started cleaning - it's time to face the disaster on the floor. It reminds me of the dishes after a party - the size of the task seems overwhelming but you just have to sit down and start with some small and manageable part and once you get some momentum going it's not so bad. That's what today was: cleaning dirty parts in the sink with a brush and then again with plastic cleaner. I didn't get to the wiring harness yet but I did get a lot cleaned and organized. This side of the lift is clean and that side is left to do:

Woody got my wheel back in nothing flat with a new wider 17"x5" rear rim, SuperPlush got the suspension back and RTT got the damper back. The only thing I don't have is the seat and it's only because James sent me his sample collection and I'm overwhelmed at the choices. I gotta do that soon or I'll have a new bike with no seat!

I'm still on the fence about paint. Seems a shame to do all this work to just have it look the same as 4 years ago (but more black) but then again summer is rapidly vanishing and I'm down to one bike that runs. Chris thought I should paint it black and Todd added, "with orange flames..." and now the gears are turning...

sakurama screwed with this post 09-19-2012 at 10:25 AM
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:01 PM   #15
Bill English
Joined: May 2008
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Oddometer: 247
Thumb Best KTM paint

As far as stock,...
I was always thought the silver-blue Adventure paint scheme with black trim and frame was very cool.
However, I get lots of complements on my 06' KTM orange with lemon metal fleck. It's definitely a nice legacy factory paint.

All black is not my bag,... I like visibility.
But once and a while there's a nice fit.

I saw a Duke R with orange frame, orange rear shock spring, orange wheels,... and lots of black everywhere else... really sweet.
There's a similar trick color combo here on a Duke II:
Absolutely Killer...

Good luck, its' a piece of cake!
"If you build it,... they will come"
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