Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Kw vs. Nm

I found this interesting article about debaffling exhaust pipes. You see local as well as foreign riders modifying their stock exhaust pipes in favour of straight pipes/straight-through pipes in the hope it will give them a bigger growl. On this point, if you want a bigger thump for your motorcycle, there is no substitute for cc and here I mean at least 500cc. Any less powerful motorcycle modified with straight through pipes may get a louder but sadly HOLLOW note (Maybe they can't distinguish between that). From experience, I tinker with my car's exhaust system therefore agree 100% what the writer stated here. This is because some back pressure in the exhaust pipe is needed to produce torque which helps driveability whereas straight pipes may increase power but lose out badly when it comes to pick-up plus fuel economy. Torque also helps reduce petrol consumption and helps the car/motorcycle roll, roll and roll along. Maybe sellers does not want to elaborate this, after all, their aim is to sell and make money, at the same time, give the customer what he wants. Having being involved in motor clubs, I know there are some who regret their modifications but are too embarrass or have too much ego and pride to admit their mistake. If they really wanted to modify their exhaust system, what they actually need to do is change from stock pipes to specially design/tuned for their particular motorcycle...if there is such in the market.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The theory behind the zebra stripe design

I have been asked a few times if the airbrush artist came up with the design of the zebra stripes. I replied no, it was mine which I found later I was not charged for not asking the artist to come up with a design merely having my design transferred to the motorcycle. So, the next question was usually how I came up with that unique design? I spent about a week surfing the internet looking at pictures of zebras and realized it was difficult because no two zebras have the same stripe design just like the whorls on our finger print, even the stripes on one side do not repeat itself on the other side of the zebra. My first criteria was the width of the stripes and decided 7 stripes be visible on the side of the tank because any more would not make them stand out. I then tried to make each stripe look different. My original design did not work as plan because when the stripes hugged the tank, they crisscross each other so were adjusted on the tank itself. I did not realize until the stripes were completely sprayed that by coincidence, I ended up on the tank with a face of a Zulu warrior with black war stripes over his eyes and cheeks said the artist who thought it was intentional. As for the fenders, because the frame blocked the fenders, I decided to use the inverted triangle stripe design placed where the frame meet the fender based on the same stripe design found at the leg joint of zebras to their body. This meant concave shape stripes would be drawn away from that triangle. I wanted the front fender to have the stripes pointed out like the horn of a unicorn so turned around the stripe design normally found at the back of a zebra whereas the rear fender would have the stripes drawn like a normal zebra. I am no artist but am very pleased with the results. My helmet was also another difficult exercise because I wanted the stripes to 'flow with the wind' and felt it was harder to design that than the stripes on the bobber.

Cleaning the engine, the lazy way

I have successfully been doing this for more than 30 years and is the technique I keep the engine bay of my cars, (previous till current) looking showroom condition. It's also the lazy man's but clever way of maintaining the cable/wire insulators and rubber components from being dry and brittle due to engine heat. It is also because of this, I do not wash nor allow the engine bay to be washed at car wash places for fear water may seep into the spark plug connectors (and has been before). I can but usually do not wipe it. Now, I do it to my bobber. The technique? Just buy an anti-rust spray can. Spray liberally then let it dry. That's all. I tend to do it in the night because I want the spray to permeate into the plastic and rubber components. However, in the case of the motorcycle, I spray water over the whole motorcycle once a while especially after riding on a rainy day then I respray the engine again with the anti rust oil. This photo shows a bit of glare from the chrome parts because they came into contact with anti rust oil. Having said all this, if you regularly ride in dusty areas, this technique may not be so good as it attracts dust and dirt so a thorough wipe is recommended after the spray has dried up.