Friday, September 30, 2016

Looking back at a bad memory

Again, my bobber got vandalised after coming back from the mosque, this time paintwork was undamaged. It does not take a fool to deduce that this was the work of the same person, probably student, who did it before outside my son's secondary school and another time much earlier, at my regular mosque when both rear signal lights bent forward. Who? is a killer question and I won't even bother but a friend advised me that I need to be more careful as it looks like my bobber has been targeted by Mr. Nobody. Another 2 inches torn at the centre pf the rear end and it wouldn't be long before the rear gets torn off as happened before.

The mechanic at HungryGhost Custom Inc. said the signal lights could be salvaged so they were fitted to the rear fender with custom brackets: simple solid metal bars. They even salvaged the original wiring and that saved time in getting the appropriate connectors in the battery box. So was my license plate which the boss came over and said cut it down to size rather than waste money and have a new one fabricated.The original brake light was also salvaged, however, the side licence plate I bought already came attached with its own smart brake light...well, most do. The total job took 3 1/2hrs. It involved taking out the rear tyre, not including another 15mins to trace a loose wire. I observed and got to hand it to the mechanics: hardworking, dedicated and worked non-stop, a job which simply just couldn't be rushed. It was good there happened to be a bobber outside with similar brackets so making a copy was easy. The side licence plate was acquired earlier at their Bandar Baru Puchong branch which concentrates on accessories whereas when I met the boss there, he asked me to have the customization made at their Saujana Puchong HQ. Good job done. 

All I can say is that the rear end now looks how a true bobber should be and it has given the motorcycle a new personality ... that of a bad ass bobber.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rake beauty vs. rake practicality

I have always admired the more beautiful rake of the Spyder against that of the Bobber and the thought of modifying the bobber did cross my mind so sought advice on the Internet but when I got this reply, I changed my mind:

1. 'Rake' is the angle at which the headstock of the motorcycle is inclined when compared against a vertical line drawn perpendicular to the ground. The rake angle effects steering ability, the smaller the rake angle then the easier the bike is to corner but will be less stable in a straight line.
2. 'Trail' is the distance on the ground between a straight line drawn through the center of the front wheel spindle and a line drawn through the center of the headstock axis. The greater the trail distance, then the greater the straight line stability but the harder it is to make the bike corner.
3. Motorcycle 'offset' is the distance between a line drawn through the centre of the steering stem/headstock axis and the centre line of the front fork tubes. Typically, the offset inversely affects trail, if offset increases then the trail will decrease.

- Increase rake, trail increases;
- Increase trail, rake increases;
- Increase offset for both yokes, trail decreases;
- Increase offset for only top yoke/triple tree, trail increase;
- Increase offset for bottom yoke/triple tree, trail decrease.

No wonder the 34 degree rake commonly found in the Bobber is a good compromise between manuerabilty at low speed plus stability at high speed. 

It pays to mail-order.

Mail order from USA arrived today as they scheduled it. My earlier visor got blown away while I was riding without my knowledge. The local agent ran out of visor stock and I have to wait at least 2 months (maybe more) which I don't plan to so I mail order original Bell helmet item, not only that with free shipping total cost is RM85 whereas bought locally cost RM179. Sadly, I lost the FOC zebra stripe airbrush visor, anyway, this all black one gives a more serious personality against the former more chic personality. The lesson learnt here is never rest the helmet on the visor pointed down as it may put pressure and loosen the side press studs without knowing.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Time for battery replacement

After 1 year 4 months, yesterday, the battery lacked enough oomph to start the bobber in the morning but OK the rest of the day. Early this morning, the bobber refused to start but was OK after breakfast then the battery gave up for good at 9am. Even the neutral light went dim when I tried to start it. I dismantled the battery and went to a motorcycle shop. The mechanic upon hearing what I told him said he could charge the battery but did not expect it to last long because local batteries generally die after 1 year so mine given 16 months of electrical supply was considered quite good. He advised and I bought a new battery which was a dry type, of course a bit more expensive than a wet type but now I won't have to worry ever about opening the battery box nor topping up battery water, dismantling as well as fixing back (not that easy for people with fat fingers) the battery leads when topping up is required. The dry battery came with separate nuts and bolts plus sulphuric acid. Upon my request, the mechanic filled up the empty battery case. However, I kept the wet battery's excess battery fluid hose just in case. After a short spin, I agree with the mechanic that the dry battery has noticably more oomph than the wet battery giving a more punchy pick up. Normal wear and tear or maintenance things like changing a new battery after its life expired are non issue for me.

Monday, September 19, 2016

More elbow grease needed!

I wondered why the chrome of the triple tree got blur faster than most chrome parts and was more difficult to polish compared to the rest of the chrome parts. It was brought to my attention when I recently asked HungryGhost Custom Inc's boss the cost to have it re-chromed. He clarified that it was impossible to re-chrome the triple tree because it was not made out of steel/iron but was actually a chromed alloy. The manufacturer had it made that way obviously to cut down on production cost. Only iron or steel not alloy could withstand the job of re-chroming. He said it still could be polished but required more elbow grease but acknowldeged there were some difficult areas to reach because they were partly blocked by the handlebar. Sadly, I went back and began to polish harder than usual as it was more difficult to remove the stains, I suspect, in my case, the triple tree was not thoroughly chromed especially towards the edges. Hopefully sikit sikit, jadi bukit and the yellowish stains will be completely removed. I was told there were in fact other chrome parts of the motorcycle which were not made of steel such as the round chromed alloy on the right side of the engine where 'MOMOS' was embossed just to name a few.