Here are some tips for the tree shade motorcycle mechanics among us. I must say that this kind of down and dirty engineering solutions have a special place in my heart. Another day we'll tell you about the thumb(or any finger of preference)-in-spark-plug-hole compression testing.
A washer on a 90 degree mini bracket attached with a screw and a wing nut an inch or so before the end of the exhaust pipe turns a straight pipe into a muffler. The washer angle versus the interior of the pipe adjusts flow through area in the pipe, adding of decreasing resistance. The savage seems to want a bit of resistance so the washer to wall angle is probably 45ish degrees right now.
The Tin Can exhaust weld
The next one I'm even more proud of: a cut open tin can, hose-clamped over the union between the header pipe and the exhaust pipe to seal it. Can be used instead of a weld (it hasn't come apart on us yet). We put a piece of that make-a-gasket sheet inside the tin can but we're not sure if it is really necessary. MacGyver kind of stuff for those of us who don't have a welder (yet).
The 10 peso skid plate / headlight guard fix
10 peso (0.75 USD) skid plate and headlight guard. I bought a piece of this, umm, net or whatever it is from the guy who sells left over metal junk (my new favourite store here in Guanajuato). It was 10 pesos for a foot wide and yard or so long piece which was about enough for a skid plate (more like skid net, but it will take a firm blow) and a headlight guard. For coolness and offroadness alike. I attached the skid plate with some wire and the headlight guard with a screw and a couple of zip-ties.
The 10 peso luggage rail
Another 10 peso junk yard fix; the luggage rail. I bought a piece of iron that I was able to bend by hand and bent a rail that keeps my saddle bag out of the rear wheel. The rail was bolted onto the rear mud guard. You can't see the rail in this picture because of the bag, but imagine a u-shaped thingy. Well, actually you can see part of it, it's the brownish thing behind the rear shock. The saddle bag itself is from work. Despite the hideous mirrors, she already looks meaner than just about any stock Harley, don't you think?
I took her and wifey out for a ride today and she ran fine. The regulator / rectifier change a couple of weeks ago seems to have fixed the charging issue and changing the starter solenoid seems to have fixed the voltage drop issue on startup as well as the current drain that left the battery dead. She started up fine, as soon as I found a loose cable on the solenoid. Before that, it was all cursing.
She did die on us a couple of times on the way back. For some time, I've been thinking about re-jetting the carburetor and the dying adds to that idea. Possibly, she's running lean, which makes her run hot. And there was a bit of back firing going on before she died out, another indicator of a lean condition. I'll try to find bigger jets this week.
Not for Pussies!