YADBS - Stage 7
Digital CDI figures first on the list and we waste no time. in fact rons been pushing for quite some time for the upgrade. so soon we are over at rons place and collect the CDI box and detailed verbal instructions on installation. which in fact is quite easy and everything is clear cut and marked.
so its more or less a plug-in affair and what with the bike stored comfortably in the living room, it gets done in record time. we start up the bike and take it out, but only to find it stalling. we are a bit worried now - did we connect it all wrong and blow something? we double check the wiring, and no nothings wrong. so another call to ron, and he informs us that we should be running proper 5k ohm plugcaps. ok fine, so we go and get 2 plugcaps and put them in. before that i remember to measure the resistance and yes its around 4.9k or so. well and good and we try starting the bike, and she does start. but same problem repeats soon and the bike stalls and dies. remove the plugcaps and measure the resistance and surprise - it has gone down to zero. so thats local plugcaps for you. lesson 11 then - if you are using proper ignition systems, then use proper accessories as well. every thing right from the plug to the plugcaps to the wiring kit.
anyway soon we make our way to the TVS showroom and get a pair of fiero plugs and they save the day. as we start up the bike and warm it up, the first thing we notice is how stable the idling is. revv it up and it sounds sweet and the topend has become smoother as well. thats the digital CDI for you and it makes a difference enough to call this stage 7.
NGK caps and 8HS plugs
i have a good friend working in japan, and he happened to be coming down soon. i shoot a mail asking him to pick up a pair of NGK plugcaps and some BP8HS plugs and soon he lands in bangalore with what we wanted. i dont know if its my imagination but the plugs and caps look smashing and the bike actually feels smoother with them on.
14 teeth front sprocket
im still trying to remember why we went ahead with this. there are some points which stand out in memory though. one, it was my idea. and two, those days i was playing with a nice simulator available in the net and i used to spend hours changing the gear ratios, torque values, weight etc and would check how all those affected ET, TS etc. three, i had a vague, intermittent, feeling that we dont have that much of a power advantage. so an itch slowly started growing, an itch to maximise the bikes acceleration. my idea was (and still is) that the bike should hit the topspeed right at the finish line. anything less (not reaching the topspeed at the finish) or more (hitting the topspeed earlier) would mean that the bike is not set up perfect for a quarter mile run.
anyway, in short, disturbed by various (chaotic?) thought trains, i push and prod and finally tom and jaggu agree for the sprocket change. i ask my mech to make us a 14 teeth sprocket and it arrives soon.
Rear brake setup
so we have better sparks now and we are setup for quicker runs so we need better braking. actually toms been complaining for quite sometime that the rear brake is pretty ineffective. and i jumped in with the idea of going for a cable arrangement in the rear. jaggu warns that it might not work - the RD is a big bike and makes much more power than those RXes; we might just end up stretching the cable, and so it might be just as ineffective as the drum setup.
sometimes (most times in fact) im an expert at ignoring reason. so i find it easy to go ahead and waste a few days installing a cable driven braking system. i basically copy the RX design which i saw during the last drag - so i take out the rear hub plate and get a hole drilled into it. and thats used for fixing an L shaped bar which stops the cable cover but lets the cable through - and the cable goes on and fixes onto the lever on the hub. of course, the other end of the cable latches onto the brake lever. easy to explain but took a while to get it right.
well it wasnt right enough and jaggus prediction came true. there wasnt much of an improvement in braking. the main issue was that the L shaped thingie didnt sit tight on the hub - it started twisting and that screwed up everything. anyway we managed to live with it, and so it stayed.
then we were using a single piece handle which fits onto the stock handle mounts, but which does not rise from that horizontal plane. we really needed something lower and so off to JC road for some shopping. looking back, i really hate that place now. we pay 800 bucks for a pair of clipons, only to find that they were too tight by an mm or so. the RD forks are 34mm and those shit closed around 33mm. so we are back to the machine shop and get it drilled out. we come back and find that its larger now, by half an mm or so. i dont know whom to blame - us, or that original shopkeeper, or the machine shop guy. but this is india. come and get cheated. lesson 12 - always import clipons. or pay good money and get those completely adjustable ones and always take a goddamned fork along. and always ensure that the clipons can be connected together - they need to have a slot for the same. keep the fork hidden behind you and once the shopkeeper finishes his assurances on the stuff being a straight fit, bring it out, check if it matches, and if it doesnt, bang the fork hard on the hardest object nearby - which will be the shopkeepers skull.
this one didnt work out quite, though. i had a spare tank with me, from an old kawasaki, an imported one. we decide to copy it, and first make a cardboard mould of the tank. its slightly longer than the RD one, and looks more stylish. tom sends off the mould to his father, who had some contacts in fibre glass fabrication. meanwhile i go and buy a suzuki shogun 2T oil tank, a small plastic one. idea is to hide it under the fake tank. anyway the plans hit a wall as the finished fibre tank arrives - for one thing its too heavy, almost as heavy (or more) as the original tank. and moreover, fixing the thing onto the bike is very tricky, we find. we would need a array of clamps etc, and that would further add to the weight. so we drop the plan, or rather, postpone it.
Powder coating the pipes
this one turned out to be easier that we thought. we originally planned to hand pipes over to a local mechanic who agreed to get them powercoated. but then the guy kept postponing and in the end, we decide to do it ourselves. problem was the chrome - i had no idea how the matt black would stick on top of it. jaggu suggests to go for a varnish coating first and then matt black. so i reach this place called ulsoor, where i buy the matt black as well as varnish. soon the pipes are off and hanging in my kitchen and its a two hour job. and they turned out well.
ok so now onto more important things.