Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The engine!

     Today is the day the engine arrived.  How do I know, because the dog always looks this smug after trying to eat the Fex Ex lady.

     But of course the sight of the box made Jason quite happy, if not a bit derp and speechless as you can see.

     Enough of all this, how bout we just get down to the good stuff.  Like the box, and the engine it's self.

     Now I have to tell you what it is.  Well it is a Lifan 125cc with a full blown 4 speed gearbox in the traditional 1 down 3 up configuration.  Full real clutch, no automatic clutch here.  Of course we had to test fit things.

     Now she looks mean huh.  But the thing is, I am having problems getting EPA/CARB certs for this engine, even though it is used in other bikes that happen to be sold in the US and even in California.  But I am sure we will persevere, because once I have those documents it can be registered.  Not sure how we are going to do that, but it is on the list.

     I have done some calculations as for gear ratios, with the sprockets we have now the thing will do 38.2 MPH at 7500 RPM's.  But that is boring, I want these ratios.

17 tooth front, 26 tooth rear ..


7500 RPM's  to primary gears  2015 RPM's

2015 RPM's  to final drive.   Sprocket speed is  2103

1.529  sprocket ratio  really  ... remember it is not over drive...

1375 RPM's at the wheel.  one rotation of tire is 4 feet....

5500 feet per minute.. =   62.4 MPH...

1st gear..

2015 to primary 

1st gear is 2.833 = 711 RPM at front sprocket

465 RPM's at rear wheel

1860 feet per minute  = 21 MPH


1.706 ratio..  =  1181 RPM front sprocket

772 real wheel RPM's 

3088 feet per minute = 35 MPH

3rd gear

1.238 ratio = 1627 at front sprocket

1064 rear wheel RPM's

4256 feet per second =  48 mph

     Enough said on that right.  And really the thing will wind out to about 9000 RPM's so I have heard on the net.  So that is just that much faster.  Right now the decision has been made to stick with our old sprockets since we happen to have them on hand and we really do not want to order more.

     Cash for us both is getting a touch tight, I mean I dropped cash on getting real Internet here.  (But I have a 15 gig a month cap, bastards)  And we happen to both be out of work as well.  So we are on a no cash budget, but not like that has stopped us so far.  Just made things a bit slow.  If you want to see my Resume, please just leave a comment.  I could use the work.   Ok that is it for this week, see you all next week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Global warming, and filler...with things to come.

You know, we have not had a winter here in Benton.  I mean there should be lots of snow on the Whites right now.  And there is basically nothing, and there has not been anything all winter long.  Therefore who ever says global warming is a myth needs to be drug behind my SP-500 all the way up the rockiest trail there is here!

     There is a good thing about all of this however.  We have acquired some things, and I have acquired some things.  Now I am not going to let the cat out of the bag, but I will give some hints.

     I bet you all are chomping at the bit now.   Lets just say that is going to be one hell of a set of posts, and they are coming soon.

     In other news, the seals are here for the Kodiak.  But I have been a bit busy to get it buttoned up, so perhaps next week on that.  The pot belly has been stalled as well.  But to keep you all on the edge of your seat.  The engine HAS BEEN CHOSEN.  But I am not going to tell you what just yet!   In other news the SP-500 has eaten it's swing arm bearings, so I have to get to that too.  Great things are coming, check this space next week!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The blasted Kodiak...

     Well I have been pulled aside again because of the Kodiak.  You know that quad is just a pain in my rear.  Well lets get some background here first.  I am dealing with a 2001 YMF400 Kodiak quad, and it has been just a problem child.   It was running fine and then one day it would just not start.  That is why it got dropped off to me.  So I started looking into it, and first thing is first.  No spark, well that can be pretty bad with these more modern quads.  So I started testing components, first the coil was way way out of spec and basically shorted out so that got changed.

     We still had no spark after that, so I tested everything else and it was all with in spec.  Well with some of these machines that means a hill of beans ya know.  So I changed out the CDI unit because that is what the trouble tree in the factory service manual said to do.  STILL no spark.  By now I am getting cranky, so I stripped it down to nothing and checked every wire in the harness.  Things tested well, so on a lark I hit the magic button and the blasted thing started.

     I warmed it up a bit and suddenly out of the blue, it dies.  So I check the stator and the pick up coil.  Out of spec, but to be sure I let it cool down and things were within spec again.  And she fired right up.  But this time with AC voltage going to the battery.  Oh joy, the can of worms.   So I tore into the side case to get things ripped out, and to check the woodruff key since those have been known to shear.

      Really have to dig in there to get at the blasted stator and pick up coil huh.

 It did clean up nice and all, and I did a nice job of re wrapping the wiring loom.

     And there is all the parts replaced so far.  The Stator with the pick up coil, the CDI unit and the Rectifier.  I do hope this gets the blasted thing going.  I will know here soon, waiting on some seals.  You guys will know when it is running, there will be a sudden post, with pictures of me riding it the way it should be.  Hard and dirty!   Then I will send it back to it's owner after I see if my mom can ride it.  More on that latter....

     See you all next Monday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It is better then christmass round here!

     And today, well today we got presents.  Well what sort of presents do you think would make us hop up and down for joy.  Well lets just say more Z50 stuff, and even better than that...   How about three Z50 FRAMES!   WOO HOO is all I can say.  We managed to acquire a pair of K1 hard tail frames, and a very very early K0.  They even came with some extra parts, but dammit no tanks.

     Tanks for the poor, tanks for the poor.  If you have a K0, K1 tank please get with me, we are short tanks like really bad.  They are pricey to say the least online, and I have not been able to find a reliable source for replica tanks yet.  So please please if you have a tank, or any other 50 parts please keep us building by shipping them to us!

    Of course I cant leave you hanging with out pictures, that would be rude.  So this is what we got!

     As you can see we did not take our time waiting around for things to happen, we got to stripping the frames.  So far the K0 looks really good, and the blue K1 that I am going to build looks good too.  Now as for the yellow K1 as you can see, it has been scabbed a bit.  Someone rode that one hard and put it away broken, then got some gorilla to attempt to weld things back together.  Not a good situation, I am going to have to do some serious work on that frame to get it back to the way it should be.  More on that frame latter.

     Things on the pot belly have sort of stalled, I have been a bit busy doing some things.  Jason has been having life pop out at him as well.  But we will get back to her I assure you.  Now for me to get back to this dam Kodiak.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh boy, we are starting to mock things up!

     Monday again, and things have been coming togther pretty quickly.  Jason saw the tank and was ready to rock and roll with things to get the pot belly mocked up.  So well I left him the tank and a few days latter he called me up and said.  'You just have to come see for yourself'.  Well it was a few days latter since I was dealing with stuff on a Kodiak 400 (More on that thing latter).  Well I came down the hill and low and behold, look at what I saw!

     Things are starting to come together now.  She looks really good even with the coating of dust.  As you can see Jason has been working on polishing things up and getting a rear tire sourced and not to mention rims acquired and such.  The rear tire is a Kenda for one of those toy trailers, he happened to have a spare and since it was a 4.80/4.00 -8 we were like what the hell.  It is a nice big fatty to give it a nice stance.  Traction, well I guess we will see on that.

     I was going to strip and then paint the tank badges back to original colors, red, white and black.  But when I was stripping them down, I decided just to polish them up and paint the wing openings black.  I think it gives it a bit more class than the stock badges. 

     The seat is just set on there for now, we have no idea how we are going to mount it yet, we also have not decided what to run as a front tire.  I am leaning to something scooterish.  Jason is leaning more fat street bike front tire.  So that is still up in the air.  And notice, we are still short a engine.  We have been bantering back and forth about what to run.  I was leaning to the stock 50cc engine, or perhaps a 70cc out of a CT70.  He wants something much much larger.  Hate to keep you all in suspense, but we dun know what direction to go!

     So many things left to do, so many questions about parts and what to use.  Time will tell and see you all next Monday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The tank, the tank!

     Well with all that has been going on around here, I do hope you do not mind some filler once in a while.  But in this weeks post we are back to the pot belly pig, namely the tank this time.  As Jason was polishing parts, prepping some bars, and doing some general fabrication things.   I went to town on the tank.  Since I was smart and let the primer set up for a few days, I gave it a nice guide coat and began to block it down with some nice wet 400.

     Now I am not a perfect body man, but I am decent when it comes to doing such things.  I mean my second job was working as mechanic in a body shop back in the early 90's and I did learn allot.  But on to the tank, a good blocking down and some tack cloth and extra liquid courage.  I did it.  4 coats of color, and 5 coats of clear.  Now I did have a fish eye pop out at me, but it is not that bad.  The main thing is.. it looks like this....

     I think it came out quite nice.  I am not sure if I am going to have to color sand and buff it, since I am not really seeing any orange peel.  But I might latter on down the road once we are at the final assembly stage.  We are getting close to mocking her up now, I can't wait.   But enough for today, more next week when good things begin to come together.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Filler, and sceenery...

     Today is filler day here on the Benton bike blog.  Figure I would post some nice pictures of the back yard, and then what happens when I go to these places often times.   First off, I was on the Suzuki SP-500 this time.  A older vintage duel sport bike that does rather well rock crawling considering the antiquated suspension and the lovely oil leaks.

     As you can see, she is no spring chicken.  But she is one hell of a mountain goat to say the least.  She has taken me many places in the back country to get views like this!

That is taken from the tree line at the start of the whites.   The next one is taken back in the whites a ways, but not up that high.  Figure 7000, to 7300 ft elevation.

     Of course getting to places like that, is a bit rough on the body.  Not to mention the bike.  Needless to say over the rocks I did have a bit of a issue when I was going down the trail.

     Well lets just say tires are not cheap, so I had to drop 108 on a new tire and tube for the old goat so that I can continue going places.  Not a bad deal, and it is even a Dunlop.

     To say she is a trencher is a understatement.  Nothing like new boots ya know? She is much more stable over the rocks than with the old rubber, it is like night and day.  Now I suppose it is time to do something bout the old worn out suspension.   We will get to that in some other post.  Enjoy the views folks.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tanks and Frames.....

     Well I guess it is time for the Monday post.    Things have been progressing nicely back in the back yard.  First thing is first you all know that a bunch of aircraft stripper was involved after busting the little thing down into it's component pieces.  Once that was was done, I took the tank and Jason took the frame and we went off on our separate ways for a few days.  I think I got the short end of the stick on this deal since the tank was really hammered.

     So after about three days of stripping paint, checking for holes and pulling dents I finally started getting the thing skim coated with filler.  Now those of you that have done allot of body work know that the lighter the skim the less the problems.  I of course was playing by these rules, so lots of using a dowel and a body hammer to get the thing to resemble straight commenced.

     Here is what it looked like after about 3 skimmed and sanded down coats, still not there but getting closer.

     Yes that looks like allot of filler, well really it is not it is barely 1/16th of a inch thick and it is mostly there to get rid of small ripples.  I really took my time on this tank because I wanted it to be right.  Well Jason did the same thing with the frame.  After stripping and inspection things looked really good.  Most of these old hard tail Z50 K0, K1, and K2's pre 1972 have a real problem with cracking there frames.  Jason got lucky so it got primed and painted while I was working on the tank.  I shot down the hill to check the progress and found the frame looking really nice.

     Of course after seeing the frame looking so sweet I felt like I was lagging behind.   I jumped back on the tank and worked my fingers till they were a bit dried out and sore.  Finally after another few days I had the sucker in three coats of primer and looking dam fine.

     So feeling accomplished I moved onto other things, like collecting parts.  There are many things that are going to be needed for this build.  Tires, rims a engine.  We have not decided what we are going to run in it yet, but we will figure something out.  We have the old CT100 50cc case with gears and stuff.  But no jug, piston, head, or rocker cover.  Granted that old push rod engine will not make it fast or quick, I rather like the idea of using it.  But of course parts are a bit scarce.  Not sure yet, I will update on what we decide next week, or two weeks.   Perhaps keep you all in suspense till the last moment!

     But there is your update for the week, see you all next Monday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The welcome, and who and where we are....

     Well I guess this is welcome to Benton Backyard Bikes.  I guess I should start with who we are.   Well that is pretty simple, I am Sean.  The author of this blog and the insane mechanic of this dynamic duo of misfit build anything backyard bikers.  The other half would be Jason, a long time friend of mine who had a idea that started oh, bout sixteen years ago out of necessity, but more or less grew to what it is today.  He is a mechanic as well, and a idea man.  Me I am more the fabricator and the, no no THIS WAY man.  It is a odd thing, and a odd combination.  I would have pictures of us, but we are a couple of scruffy ones.

     Now where we are is, well lovely Benton California.  Right smack dab between the Sierras and the Whites, here is a nice picture over looking Benton CA.

     It is such a lovely place to live, and face it there is mass win with being able to walk out the back door, jump on any bike of your choosing and ride off into the distance with out so much as a care in the world.  Well, if you are on the proper trails.  We DO NOT condone just going anywhere you please.  Some folks do not take kindly to such things, such as folks coming up here to rip up the area.   Want to see some nice areas, well ask first please so you don't wind up on someones property and get your rear end full of buck shot.

     If you need a guide, you can even ask one of the folks at Benton Station to track down one of us to take you on a little tour, or a massive adventure.  We take beer, preferably Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or Arrogant Bastard Ale.  No cash, no checks, no credit cards.  Now if you have a wire feed welder you cant stand to look at because you never used it once, or some other equipment, please look us up.  Our rates are very reasonable.

     But enough about the area, why you are here is bikes right?  Well, and here to see us build bikes, ride bikes, and do other assorted bike related things.  There may be food involved but you can find the stuff we cook on the road trial tested by our great friend Libby, over at http://feedmelibby.wordpress.com/  she has a tendency to share food stuff with us after all. 

      OK, enough of the intro stuff, lets get down to bikes shall we.  All of this started sixteen years ago when I got given a 1971 Honda Z50 K2.  Well it ran, just, but it has burnt valves and some other issues.  Well some where along the way the timing chain snapped and I got fed up and just gave the bike to Jason and got a Suzuki MT50 2 stroke trail bike.  A good little runner, but lets face it.  There is no fun in riding alone.

     So I gave the broken Honda to Jason and we went to the dump and found a motor.  A CT100 Honda motor that bolted right in.  Sure it was push rod and not over head cam.  But what the hell, it bolted in and ran.   If I knew then what I know now that motor would be in a sealed bag somewhere.  But lets get back to the bike.  It ran and we rode it allot until the font forks hit a rock, and well that was the end of the front end.  So Jason with his back yard 20 something 'I want to ride' attitude pulled the front forks off a Honda 80 and managed to get them in there with little more than messing with some triple tree races and bearings.  

     We rode for years after that, and then the piston and rings went to the point that it lost compression really bad and would not run.  The head and jug got pulled and wound up who knows where and I went off to work 2700 miles away in Georgia.   Well the bike got scrapped and he moved to the Bay Area and then almost 10 years to the day we both end up in Benton once more and said, 'Hey you remember that Pot Belly Pig?'  And we had a few beers and yapped about it and such.

     Well about a month after that, we were down at another friends house that has quite a collection of infernal combustion stuff and we were getting pretty good and sloshed on the Ol Ale.  Well on the nickel tour.. there she was.  The Pot Belly in all her used and abused glory.  But the guy would not let us take her right then and there.  No no, we had to wait.   So another month goes by.

     Jason goes down there looking for a part for something else and the guy tries to give him a Kawasaki 90 that has a broken kick start but runs.  Jason shakes his head and says oh no no no.   I want my Pot Belly back.  He says ok, and Jason comes to me jumping up and down.  We saddle the truck up and bring her home, and this is the state she was in when we got her back to his place...

     Now I am sure you are going.   What a hunk of rubbish, it is not worth it's weight in scrap and should be left to rot away behind some barn.   Well even if it looks like one of those backyard restoration nightmares.  To us, she is not.  She is a labor of love.  One that has allot of sentimental value to us both.  This is the first post of her story and perhaps many more.   You will just have to read and find out.  Figured folks might get a kick out of it, and well here is genesis if you will.

     Posts will be on Monday nights unless otherwise noted, and things are going to take some time to get going.  But one thing I know, if you have a heart you want to see what happens to this little Pot Belly Pig in time.  For now, I must call it a night.  See you all next Monday.