With only two weeks left in 2016 I have been reflecting on this year and all the achievements within it.
The desire to start new projects is always knocking on my door, the achievements I speak of are not from taking on new projects its completing the ones I had.
I had a lot of good times on two wheels this year, the stand out for me was the trip up the east coast to debut the Flats Movie with Dean, I look back on that trip with fond memories, a good mate, a backpack, a few thousand km’s through the most magical countryside Australia has to offer.
The one bike that started it all was still sitting at home motionless, I bought this 2008 KTM 250 EXCF brand new in 2007, I got my licence on it and it was my ticket to two wheeled freedom, from Enduro bike, to Supermoto, to Cafe Racer, to Flat Track racer its been through so many changes and adventures.
In a post from last year I detailed all the changes that I made to the bike for my Flat Track Fundays events, the wide open nature of flat track signaled the end for the aging 250 engine and for over a year now it hasn’t ran since.
Our track got turned into a supercross track and the Fundays were done, I put the bike up on the bench and refused to look at it for many many months.
I was lucky enough to sign a one year contract for a lend of a 2016 KTM 350 SXF, unfortunately that only lasted 5 months and I was left with a massive hole that was widened by the pure class of the 2016 KTM 350 SXF, it set a new benchmark for motorcycle construction and ever since that bike left my garage I had longed for another.
It wasn’t until the Geelong Revival that I started to feel up to the task of reinventing the bike, the Hilux was working perfectly, the PS13 was nearing completion, summer holidays were coming up and I had started the troubleshooting process before even getting the bike off the bench.
The bike had a number of issues from the build I performed last year, after fitting the 350 XCF engine it had never ran, I bought the motor cheap as it had few major issues, you see it had a snapped starter dowel in the case (so there was no electric start) oh and the exhaust cam was seized!
I had fixed most things last year but it still wouldn’t run, after the Geelong Revival I decided to get the Flats Race bike running and then transfer the carby and CDI setup onto it to see if it would run, effectively ticking off each system as I went along.
With the carby and CDI on the Flats bike motor it still wouldnt run, horribly out of time and firing back through the carby I knew it was timing, I swapped two wires out of the crank pickup and it ran like a dream, now to transfer everything back over onto the Flat Track bike.
With it now running I wanted to fix the other issues, one was the $100 BMW front end I made for it, it performed like a $100 front end and I quickly swapped it out for a 43mm 2001 model Yamaha R6 fork setup that I shaved and made a new top triple clamp for.
With our flat track now gone I decided to hit the streets, this bike was going to be light and fast so I wanted to fit up a front brake aswell, I left the lower tab on the LH fork leg and made a 6mm alloy brake bracket to hang the factory 2012 350 SXF caliper off.
With the rego all paid I needed a headlight and some indicators, I made them fold out from the number plate that houses a small LED strip that dosnt do much other than show that there is in fact a headlight.
I wired the bike from scratch, drawing up my wiring diagrams and then using the factory indicator switch and a small Antigravity battery that is switched via one switch that gives power to the CDI, power to the headlight and taillight, its as simple as that.
I also made a new radiator with three times the capacity than the one I had, the temps are verified with a digital temperature gauge mounted on the top triple clamp, this AN8 line is an ex Nascar item, I buy a bunch of them whenever the USD $$ is good and always find a use for them, I would never be able to afford this quality otherwise. I like to cover my braid in heatshrink as it stops any chaffing that usually occurs from these engines vibration.
Under the fibreglass seat pan sits a tail light with integrated brake light and indicators, underneath this is a quick release number plate that I can fit and refit if I head into town.
I really pushed myself to finish this bike, its been a dark shadow in my garage all year, I refused to look at it, but when I did I admired its direction and what it could be.
I have ten days of holidays coming up, crisp cool summer mornings in the Alpine High Country Pine Forrests and a bike that will take me anywhere I want to go and look bloody good doing so.
I am excited for 2017, the work I put into this year means I am in the best possible position to really execute some long term plans for next year.
Thanks for reading and have a great christmas everyone!