Build Diaries – Part 7

In part 6 I did the final test ride before powder-coat, in Part 7 its time to get everything finalised and make the final steps towards the race.

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6/03/15

I had to finish early to drop the frame off to Colour Tech to get clear powdercoated, Daniel at Colour Tech is great, he really cares about the jobs I bring in and I am always happy with the finished product. He said the frame would be ready to pick up at 11am the next day, that meant that I had the night off and could then pick up the bike and re-assemble it over the weekend, a whole week before we leave.

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So yesterday I got a call from a guy who received my email about his 2014 KTM 350 SXF for sale, up until now I was having a nightmare of a time dealing with people who didn’t seem to want to sell their bikes before the long weekend, we spoke for a bit on the phone and I let him know I was keen to check it out asap, he lived three hours away so I planned on leaving after work.

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But I had to shoot home for an interview with the REVIEW a local magazine who took interest in what I do. After that was done I loaded the tie downs in the van and headed off to the bank followed by a 3 hour trip through Melbourne and down the coast.

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The bike was a 2014, having been only a year old it was bound to be in good condition, finding a motorcross bike that hasn’t been thrashed isn’t as easy as you might think, but when I arrived it was propped up in the drive way and the owner came out to meet me. He was a really nice kid who bought the bike new and couldn’t ride anymore after separating all the muscle off his shoulder after a crash, I could see it was his pride and joy and he was sad to see it go.

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After a ride up the driveway and a little run around I deemed it perfect for the journey, it will act as my registered bike to ride the distance with Dean and a spare should catastrophe occur at the racetrack. It does in fact have about 4 more HP than my 2012 motor in the race bike so I may try changing the throttle body and ECU as I believe the internals are all the same.

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So I drove back home $7,500 lighter but happy in the fact that I have now covered all bases and have everything set for the journey, I now have enough spares to sell a complete bike after the trip to recoup the $$ spent on this bike.

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After I got home I unloaded the bike and sat it up in the garage, the plan on the remake for the journey quickly switched and I thought about a flat track inspired theme, I had a set of Maxxis tyres that would need a new rim laced up to the front hub but apart from that not much else. I don’t want to bastardise this bike as its perfect the way it is, but I do want to put my spin on the perfect adventure bike.

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Alright I am off to pick up the frame and then start the reassembly of the race bike, getting excited now!

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10/03/15

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What a massive weekend, Labour day long weekend, I worked from sun up to sun down and then late into the night, the race bike is all back together, the frame powdercoated up a treat, it looks amazing and it was so good to finally screw it all together for good, I was able to clean the engine, all the components and make sure everything was loctited and ready to race.

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I didn’t spend too much time admiring that though as I had the adventure bike awaiting a heap of work. I didn’t really know where to start so I stripped it down and started from the components that were necessary.

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The plastic tank was never going to look good so I commissioned my old Kawasaki tank that I bought from a wrecker for $50 and started to make it fit.

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I spent the entire day on Sunday retrofitting all the EFI gear inside of it.

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I made a point to do this properly, work cleanly and be a little more precise than I usually am.

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Hole saws are ugly things and if your cutting an angle forget it, this is why I welded the tube on first, then put some tape around the hole saw so it was a neat fit in the tube.

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It paid off and after about 6 hours the tank was nearing completion.

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The factory EFI unit is a pretty simple thing.

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The regulator and wiring feed sits at the front.

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With the pump in the tube that will feed the throttle body.

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Rule #1 you must always have a sharp tungsten.

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Time to make the filler.

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I cut the filler off another tank I was going to use on my Harley.

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Then stole the dust cover off one of my R200 diffs.

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Together they made a neat fit after some trimming.

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Quick test fit to see if it all works.

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Looks neat.

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After final welding I fitted all the gear and tightened the fittings.

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It’s a good feeling when you cut up a tank then once its finished it holds fuel.

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Tick that off the jobs to do list.

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Now onto the rest of the chassis, I made up a new subframe from 1” tube.

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I intergrated the LED tail light into the rear hoop, it was a lot of work but I think the results are worth it.

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The wiring runs through the tube so its a neat setup.

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I couldn’t work out how to fit a radiator neatly on to this bike, its an issue that I always have, but with my new skills in AC welding It opens up my options, a quick search on ebay and I found a radiator with a core size that could be cut down to fit beneath my seat, a long horizontal radiator should do the job. So I made up some lines to make sure it would work, the extra water capacitiy should already improve the cooling capabilities. More on that once I pick up the radiator though.
I had reservations about cutting the factory header to make an exhaust, the fact it had a small ding made the decision an easy one though. I used the muffler I made for my old 250 and then remade the header to suit a new line and layout, I welded it all up and can now focus on making an insulated mount to the subframe.

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So now I am waiting on my Li Ion battery, air filter, chain and sprocket so while I wait I can give Deans bike some attention.

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Deans 640 has been leaking water for a little while, I decided to tear it down and fix it all up for the trip, the tank needed a repair so I drained the fuel and welded up the hole, the radiator on the other hand could not be repaired so I checked out ebay to see if the seller I bought the core for my 350 has one for Deans bike, there’s something close so I’ll pick it up and modify it to suit.

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When I think about it I have learnt so much from the build on Deans bike and my old 250 that the 350 build has been so smooth, just by making sure I work cleanly and precisely makes the world of difference to the finished product. I can wait to ride it, its looking like the first ride will be the day before we leave on our 3,000km adventure, im confident everything will be fine though.

12/03/15

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Im tired, really really tired. After picking up a radiator two days ago I cut it down and made an underseat setup for my 350 adventure bike, the first one didn’t go as planned, somehow I must have earthed the core onto the bench and a pin hole arose in one of the fins, it wasn’t until I had spent all of Tuesday night making it that I pressure tested it and found the hole, I tried to repair it but just made the issue worse. I tossed it down the driveway and was just about in tears, I had wasted a whole night and now I was back to square one. Im glad that the radiator I bought was twice the size than what I actually needed, so I cut the rest up and started work to replace the stuff up. Sometimes I rush things and nearly always ends up costing me more time than actually doing it methodically and correct the first time. So fresh from my lesson the night before I got stuck into my new radiator. Everything went smoothly and it turned out really nice, I was starting to get the hang of switching my welder over to AC.

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Once I pressure tested my radiator it was time for Deans, I used a single core that came off my 350 from factory, I remade the end tanks, mounted the fan, then made a pretty elaborate isolated mount, in no time I was pressure testing this one and the results were leak free, it’s a big relief to have the radiators done.
On the way home from work I picked up the Li Ion batteries and got to work making battery holders for both Deans bike and my adventure bike, I am also working a seat pan and a few other little things so its all happening at the moment.

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Its really hard to stay on top of everything at the moment, I haven’t had a 10 minute break for over a month now, I wont stop until all three bikes and the gear is all packed ready to go.

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