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'90 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21- Highside update

Discussion in 'My Bike' started by MIZ, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Jessa
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    Jessa Member Supporter

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    She can't change the scheme now it's her signature paint scheme! I always look for the pink paint when I'm looking at Rays pics or when I'm at Wakefield... it would be a sin to change it now! :p

    Glad your up and about if the bruising is anything like mine it will get way worse before it gets better... At least yours won't creep up to your boob... Hopefully haha
     
  2. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Plus we made up about 5 sets of stickers for it when we printed the first set of Lucky Stace rondels etc. We still have a few left, so we're set for redoing it :).
     
  3. RobotJebus
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    Can't go around diluting the brand.
     
  4. Gosling1
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    Gosling1 Forum Whore of Death Veteran Member Supporter

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    Get well soon eh ;)
     
  5. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    My CF carbon-kevlar cover did its job. Learnt from experience a slide down the RHS on an RGV (even with fairings) eats into the area of the clutch actuator, this time it didn't. Ate through 1 of 5 layers in this cover. I'll make a couple more up I think!

    May also need a new filler plug, fortunately we have a heap of spares.

    That's sikaflexed and lockwired to the cover, and it worked pretty well. The sikaflex isn't hard to remove, just some squirts of air filter oil down the back of it and it is enough to stop it holding. Takes about 10 mins to clean up the cover to adhere a new one on there.
     
  6. Binksy
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    Looks like it worked well Supa. May have to have a go at making some of them. Had a read through making them on the other thread but was kinda interested in how it well it works. Obviously pretty well.
     
  7. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I'm surprised. Though the next one I will do will be carbon kevlar all the way down (better abrasion resistance than CF alone). Since the kit I bought was designed for decorative purposes mainly, it only had enough carbon kevlar to do the top layer. ACT fibreglass can supply (almost) all the bits, no need to buy a kit. Modelling clay can be bought from places like Eckerlsey in bulk, and carnuba wax is relatively easy to get a hold of in car detailing aisles.

    Ultimately I really need a 3D scanner and a 3D printer so I can make up a plug without removing the case, then lay it up on that plug to make covers. It's definitely easier with the cover off the bike.
     
  8. Jdeks
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    Jdeks Gone into the West

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    Carbon/Kevlar shields are fantastic. I use a 6-layer one on each of my tanks. Better than crashbars IMO.
     
  9. Binksy
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    Sounds good I'll have to give it a crack. Probably wont have time to do it before the next track day but we shall see :). Should be due for a filter and oil change soon anyway so ill have the bike empty already.

    Really want to make something that works well, not as sure about how effective the current form of case saver that I have on the bike would be. Not an awful lot supporting it would have thought it could sheer reasonably easily. Want to try and aviod having to find new cases for this as its about the only thing I dont have spares of.

    Edit: and the fact that is only have a saver on one side at the moment :)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  10. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    I'd say this experience convinces me that they're pretty useful. I haven't got around to modifying the alternator side one on the Monster to fit it properly but I should do that. In hindsight I should have just drained the fuel and tipped the bike on its side and moulded my own; it's not hard and I personally find it rewarding to make some pretty awesome parts fairly quickly. It's actually amazing how well it works.
     
  11. MIZ
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    Not a mark on it, and I don't remember hitting my head at any point, thank god!

    If I wasn't in so much pain I might have given them a piece of my mind! Hehe
     
  12. Trumpcard
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    previous:Ducati 1098s, XR600,TS200, zxr750, zx7,
    Let me know when you do and we can cast up 2 lots and we cak split the cost
     
  13. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    The materials aren't so much the drama as the time it takes & all that sort of crap. Sent a PM to you and Binksy though.
     
  14. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    Rescued the one bit of fairings that somewhat survived the crash:
    [​IMG]

    Took about 15 secs with a thin blade on my angle grinder to turn the 1 piece bellypan back into several pieces. I'll mount this in a deep frame when I get around to building said frame (justifies me buying a really sweet compound saw I think).

    Oh, and it's nice to be spoilt for choice thanks to an extensive collection of spares in stock.

    [​IMG]
    High tail.

    [​IMG]
    Low tail.

    Low tail is the same height as before with the pillion seat on the standard tail. High tail is the same height as most of the cowls available for the VJ21s, though they're rarer than dried unicorn excreta these days. Will be sticking with oil injection still for the foreseeable future, so whatever one we go with I'll make an access panel that's removed with dzus quick-release fasteners.
     
  15. RS Addict
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    FYI.....Have some experience with carbon/Kevlar fairings when we replicated an ex-Nial Mackenzie 250 Armstrong some years ago. We replicated the original bike faithfully right down to the CF fairings.

    Problem was that during testing, the rider pitched it down the straight and due to the strength and non-abrasive qualities of the CF/Kevlar....we stood dumb-found watching it slide for over a 150 metres without even looking like slowing down until it slid off the track and hit the Armco.
    Worse case scenario was to watch it hook up and then end-for-end destroying months of work.

    While CF can seem exotic and a 'must-have' it does have it's downside!

    Lesson learnt - we reverted back to beefed up glass-fibre so next time down the track, the higher coefficient of friction in the 'glass would stop it sliding like a hockey puck on ice :)
     
  16. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    It works well for auxiliary covers though (rather than being used for the whole bike). That sounds like it would have been entertaining other from the point of view of all of the work being destroyed :).
     
  17. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    The rebuild continues. Tonight, the adventures of removing head stem bearings. Someone asked the other day about tightening theirs, well, here's how you pull them down completely.

    Disclaimer: mostly, I get someone else to do this. While it's not difficult, there are a couple of steps where the frustration exceeds my tolerance and sometimes it's just worth paying someone. I did these bearings cause it's a good way to show Stace the right ways to do things.

    Before I start on the post: how did I know I needed to do the bearings? Well, the steering was just a shade notchy. I'm pretty religious about keeping the bearings properly tensioned but [MENTION=133]MickLC[/MENTION] noticed a tiny notch in the steering up at the first PCRA round at the start of May. I didn't really notice it, but it was just noticeable up on stands. When I lifted the front off completely, it was very noticeable.

    Note that these bearings were meant to have been replaced just before we bought the bike... I'm not so sure they were; we've had it 2 and a half years and ok, done lots of track time with it but not really enough to make it this notchy I don't think. You'll see they're pretty rusty. That said, the steering stem had a couple of little chips where someone has already replaced the bearings. Who knows how long ago that was.

    ---------------------

    Getting the head stem bearings out and then replacing them pretty much means pulling the front end off.

    [​IMG]
    We start by undoing the bolt that holds the clipon to the fork and also to the top triple clamp. 6mm allen key from a flat pack furniture thing was just an easy pointer - they're torqued up a bit tighter than that.

    [​IMG]
    Also good to take the front wheel off. While you can slide the forks and wheel assembly out as a whole in the bottom triple clamp, in this case I need to re-align the front end anyway. Calipers come off to make this possible in either case.

    [​IMG]
    Front guard comes off, too. On the RGV this is pretty easy, 4 outer bolts are what attaches the fork brace to the forks and it all comes out as one. Grey tape in foreground is covering up some old wiring (off the old, defunct temperature gauge). Grey tape on brake hose is because I noticed the brake hose was rubbing on the fork brace and didn't want to wear through the outer of the hose.

    [​IMG]
    Remember to undo the pinch bolts before undoing the axle. I've previously broken a socket forgetting this point.

    [​IMG]
    Forks pretty much ready to drop. Just a case of undoing the two pinch bolts on each side of the bottom triple clamp and the forks will come out nice and easily.

    [​IMG]
    Probably figured I should show how I am holding up the front end. Head stem lifting stands are no good for this job and fork lifting stands would be even more useless. I lifted the bike with a headstem stand and slid the jack stands underneath (am protecting engine cradle too). Depends on your bike as to how you hold it up.

    [​IMG]
    Forks and wheels out. No point taking pictures of forks sliding out of triple clamps, it's that simple to do.

    [​IMG]
    Big-arsed nut goes on top of the top triple, clamping it to the steering stem. Lots of different designs; some bikes have pinch bolts and different things going on here.

    [​IMG]
    Nut undoes with a big breaker bar and some effort. Or that could just be the result of the rust underneath ;). (This bike did come from beside the sea... maybe once it was parked in it?).

    [​IMG]
    Top triple removed, showing the bolt that tensions the head stem bearings and the seal beneath it. Again, lots of different designs on different bikes. This one is the classic 4 cutout one; some have two (with one acting as a locknut), some have funky designs that use massive sockets etc etc.

    [​IMG]
    For ease of access to the nut, I removed the fairing holding bracket with the instruments. 2 bolts and then hang it off to the side makes this an easy job to do. Beats bashing your hands against the bracket every time you turn the nut.

    [​IMG]
    Nut undoes with a C spanner or an appropriately pointy socket. I could have made one up with 4 pegs but I didn't. I'll come to why making one up is a good idea tomorrow when I reinstall the bearings, but rat cunning will get around this issue anyway.

    [​IMG]
    Rusty, rusty steering stem. These are also pretty normal bearings which don't last quite as long under abusive situations like lots of track work - they're just ball bearings on a retainer that run between two races: an inner, attached to the steering stem, and an outer, pressed into the frame.

    [​IMG]
    Upper bearing, with the steering stem and the bottom triple dropped out of the bottom.

    [​IMG]
    The bottom inner race, still firmly on the steering stem.

    Here is where I point out why I hate doing steering stems. The outer races are maddeningly frustrating to knock out of the frame and the bottom inner race is also an absolute freaking donkey raping shit eater of a thing to remove from the stem. There's no clearance at the bottom and there's no way to pull it. Plus, you're pushing the proverbial up hill with the fact that you need to heat just the race and not the steering stem to use some expansion to get it off. It's really, really annoying. I'll show you the trick I use in a moment.

    [​IMG]
    Top and bottom outer races removed from the frame. Again, these guys are a bit annoying. You have the tiniest lip of each race to tap on. You also need to tap them out almost completely straight. If you get them a bit cocked, you risk taking out aluminium from the frame and then the new bearings just won't fit right and the steering will forever be crap. In the worst case, they'll never stay seated, they'll knock back and forth in the frame and they'll oval the headstock, rendering your frame useless. There are tools to make removing them easier, but I don't own one. The tool that is most commonly used is a bit of pipe with one end cut into 4 and then spread out. This lets you knock on the edges of the races pretty easily... as I said above, generally, I pay someone to do this job because I find it frustrating and I don't like tools that only have 1 use (in this case, doing headstem bearings).

    Oh yeah, outer races: HEAT THE BLOODY FRAME (in the vicinity of the headstock... don't heat the whole frame). Seriously. So many people do this job without adding any heat at all and they almost always ruin the new headstem bearings quickly. This is, again, because they take off a tiny bit of aluminium as they drive the races out. Heat is good. Heat makes the head stock expand faster than the races (aluminium expands quicker than steel), giving you extra clearance. Now, you don't want it too hot because aluminium also goes a bit mushy if you do, but, it's not hard. Add some heat.

    [​IMG]
    Here's how I do the bottom inner race. I provide some relief to the race through careful and considered cutting using a dremel. Note none of the cuts go all the way through... you're taking out about 75% of the material so the race is weaker, which means it exerts slightly less pressure on the head stem, again giving you clearance. Heat here helps; concentrated heat on the race using a nice nozzle for your heat gun is perfect imho. Then you drive a thin but strong wedgey thing underneath the race to open it up a bit then drive it off with a cold chisel. Doesn't take long at all once the race is relieved and there is some heat added. I find starting the race off is frustrating because you can only open up the clearance between the race and the triple clamp a tiny bit at a time. Again, you have to try to drive it off as square as possible lest you remove material from the head stem.

    [​IMG]
    Bare head stem and bottom triple clamp. Note no marks on the stem... this is because I have the virtue of patience. Rushing in and trying to cut too much relief into the race will just cause you to cut the steering stem. Don't do that.

    Another trick people suggest is welding a thin bead onto the race. This adds some heat just to the race and also gives you more of a lip to start the race moving... also a good strategy, but without a welder nor the skills to do it precisely, I resort to the slightly less elegant method of wailing on it with a dremel then a hammer.

    Your other option is an engineering shop or... just paying your mechanic in the first place because sometimes these bottom races can be an absolute nightmare to remove.
     
  18. supamodel
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    supamodel Secret Aaaaaagent Man Staff Member Moderator Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    Top new (left) and old (right) bearings for comparison. These are sitting the right way up, i.e. how they'll sit on the stem.

    I'm using tapered roller bearings as my replacements. They cost more than the ones that were in it but seem to last longer - so long as you keep them sealed and tensioned. They have more play unless they're tensioned so you need to keep on top of them. They do contact over a larger area making them theoretically stronger and thus stand up to abuse a bit more with heavy braking etc.

    [​IMG]
    Comparison with the bearings flipped out. This is exactly how the outer races sit in the frame: upper ones open upwards and lower ones open downwards. You can also see the much larger contact area that a tapered roller bearing has to work with compared to the ball bearing and race setup of the stock bearings.

    [​IMG]
    As for the notchiness, here's the upper outer race. The small black dot is where the balls have made a tiny indentation. This indentation is what causes the notchiness. The balls don't actually roll very much as you steer, and noting you don't actually steer motorbikes that far most of the time. Lots of the wear is actually from braking forces which tries to force the lower bearing backwards and the upper bearing forwards. This back and forwards stress rocks the balls a miniscule amount, wearing the races and the balls.

    [​IMG]
    Same goes for the lower outer race. Same wear, same cause, same result.

    ---
    We end with a prelude to tomorrow:
    [​IMG]
    Headstem and bottom triple in shopping bag plus races.

    Thermal expansion and contraction is your friend with reinstalling bearings. Races in the freezer overnight makes them easier to get into the frame; head stem into the freezer also helps gain clearance with the bottom bearing (which if you also heat is a much easier proposition to put on).

    EDIT: Here's the video of just how notchy they were. Not nearly this bad with the front wheel on the ground and some extra load, mind you. Look for the slightly extra effort I need to make it steer further than the first few degrees either side of centre:
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  19. RobotJebus
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    Another wonderfully detailed write up, thanks :)
     
  20. Charlie
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    Charlie Member

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    Once again, great write up.