So last year I ran the PHBG 21, which was a great carb. I don’t understand anyone’s issue with PHBGs: I didn’t have to rejet constantly for temperature swings, it was pretty easy to tune, and it was easy to work on. That being said, a 21mm carb is good for 10-12 horsepower, so it was time to make the move to the TM24 to see where that took me.
The primary issue with getting the TM24 on there is that I don’t run a chopped frame, custom-built subframe, or a top-tank frame swap ala a Magnit or a Batavit or whatever, so there isn’t a lot of room for 24mm of intake due to where the case opening is and how the frame and subframe come together. Also, the stock Hobbit intake can be bored out to about 20mm (not even 21, really), so I needed to figure out a way to get 24mm of capacity into a low-profile intake. The nice big tall Dio reed setups that some people run on non-top-tank converted Hobbits require either too-tall shocks or metal rods in the place of shocks altogether, and that wasn’t really an option for me due to my being obstinate and also not wanting big stupid euro shocks.
My first plan was to get Julian to weld extra material to an extra stock intake, so I could grind it out to 24mm, and then use that big exhaust header treats sells, cut down to essentially be like a larger version of the 21mm intake I already was running. Before I bought the big header, though, I heard rumors of MLM making 21mm and 24mm intakes for the stock reed block, ones that would be sized to fit on a stock Hobbit. So I was patient for a few months, and the 24mm intake from MLM became a reality, and I snagged one the other week in preparation for this seasons upgrades.
The issue with the MLM 24mm intake is that it technically works with a stock Hobbit, but you pretty much need to run 300mm shocks or you risk hitting it with your frame as your shocks bottom out. Additionally, I didn’t like where the path of the intake made the carb come out - it sits perpendicular to the bike and I couldn’t imagine any way to run an air filter due to pedal clearance issues. And the floor boards wouldn’t really work anymore, which I think looks really ugly on Hobbits. Ryan posted some good photos of the intake on his bike on MA, and I realized that I could cut it down to act like my 21mm solution, then run a big rubber tube out from it to connect to the TM24. So I measured a whole bunch, then took an angle grinder to my brand new $50+ intake.
The first line I marked was what I thought would work, but after mounting it up and checking it more closely, I had to circumcise even more. And no offense to MLM, and maybe mine was messed up, but I had to grind the upper mounting holes on the intake like 2mm down to make it fit correctly - not what I imagined having to do for an expensive, custom-made, intake. Here’s how it looks with the hose:
Man, the bike is getting pretty grungy and some surface rust is forming. Whatever. Then I ate a burger from Kuma’s in my new city of Chicago. It was absurdly good.
I’m also working on a new seat idea to replace the gramma seat, which I have realized looks pretty cornball with the rest of my bike. Chopped up a PA-2 seatpan (thanks, Cap’n) and cut the foam in half. I’m going to have a local guy weld up the back and then I’ll recover it with the stock cover for some OG looks. Hopefully it works out. Right now it looks like meatloaf on a pan, according to Taco.
My TM24 is still in Ann Arbor, so my new local buddy Seb let me bum a TM24 from him while he does his casematch and engine build on his Puch. I went to his garage last night and got it fitted to the hose, got the throttle cable sized up right, put the air filter on, and everything fits better than I could have imagined.
So of course I had to start it…..
I haven’t posted much about Black Butte in a while, but it’s been going well. Devin of Motion Left Mopeds recently provided me with 4 prototype pipes to compare with the St-Ripper, which has proven a little too rev-crazy for my build. I haven’t tested it again with the HPI and lightened weights, so maybe I should soon. I’ll avoid posting a photo of them in order to not reveal too many of Devin’s new designs, but they are all pretty different and give me a lot of options.
A reminder of current setup (the important things at least):
I have been running the prototype pipe with the largest chamber, and it’s a real winner. Lots of torque all over the place, and it revs out nicely to the low 60s. I can get to 50 in about 10 seconds and just cruising around and then throttling on around 30mph is a blast. It’s a real winner and I think it could be finalized and sold as is as a competitor to the MMM Destroyer. Note that I haven’t run the Destroyer in a long time so I am not directly comparing them at the moment. I put about 60 miles on the bike during the Toledo rally and the bike performed perfectly, besides being somewhat tricky to start with the rope starter. The crank spins up incredibly quickly due to the HPI, which is great, as it makes the clutch grab much more firmly and with less slip, which puts power to the wheels more reliably and quickly. It also allows me to cruise around 30 with no big effort, as the clutch can stick at that speed. The torque is great, because I can throttle on to pass slower bikes or just have fun blasting down an open road, or slow down to take a corner and then throttle on through it.
Ryan cooked this rope start up for me. The pull-start setup simply won’t work with the HPI rotor, and I know Julian had been using a similar disc on his bike with good results, so I gave it a try. It does add 5oz of weight to the rotor, but it’s still laughably light compared to the nearly 2lb stock flywheel. I’m still figuring out how to reliably start it; it’s usually a combination of a hard pull and a quick blip of the throttle.
So since coming back from Toledo, I’ve wanted to test out the other 3 prototype pipes, and went down to the shop to do so. One of them seemed similar but not as fast as the pipe I was running, but that isn’t conclusive, as at the end of the night I noticed the freewheel on the rear wheel was rubbing against the pipe and ground a nice big groove into the inside. Slowing me down? Maybe. I pulled the pipe and installed another one, which looked to be designed for higher RPMs. Initial tests seemed interesting, but when riding back to the shop I noticed a strange sound, and when I stopped the bike stalled out and wouldn’t start back up. After checking for blown seals and any obvious leaks, I pulled the frame off the subframe, pulled the carb, and found this:
My bike ate my reed. :( This bike has maybe… 300 miles on it? I guess I blasted too hard… but I can’t be replacing these dual-stagers every few hundred miles, so I’ve ordered the .4mm carbon reeds and will see how those perform. I ran carbons once before on my yellow bike (which is a drastically different setup) and they just didn’t seem right AT ALL, but I’m hoping that they will be a good match for this setup.
Since I had pulled the clutch to check the seal, anyway, I decided to give it a quick sanding to get some fresh pad material against the clutch bell. Check out what strong springs do to a stock clutch:
What you are seeing here is that the arms of the clutch are bending and only the dark parts of the clutch pads are engaging the bell. This isn’t terrible, but I’m interested to see how long this clutch lasts. I should probably get a backup clutch on deck, and remove the black MHR springs from that other clutch I have to avoid premature stress. The real key is to sand down the pads and clean off the inside of the bell every 50-100 miles to avoid slipping. It’s a pain, but it’s the price you pay for running a setup like this. You can honestly do it in under 5 minutes if you are fast, though.
So probably no more pipe tests until this weekend. I’m sending Christian two of the MLM protos for testing on his new build (which I hope he posts about soon), but keeping the torquey pipe and a higher RPM pipe for my own use for now.
Oh, I also opened up my variator to check the weights. After 250-300 miles (estimated) they were beginning to flat spot a bit, but nothing terrible. I ordered 5g Dr. Pulley sliders and tossed 3 of them in there. I also compared the TJT ramp plate to the stock Derbi 6 roller plate. The difference was fairly obvious: the TJT ramp plate features an aggressive flat angled ramp surface that begins in the middle of the plate and continues to the edge. The Derbi plate is a smooth curved surface to the edge. The edges are exactly the same at the end, but I’m not sure if the flat surface would cause the variator to more fully open or not, resulting in a higher final “gear”. It appears to me that the Dr. Pulley sliders would match very well with the shape of the ramps on the TJT ramp plate, while only a small portion of the sliders would be pressing against the Derbi ramp plate. I put the Derbi plate back on, but am going to be testing the TJT plate as soon as the bike is back together and I am able to do some good testing, instead of changing like 4 things at once.
More to come later, of course.
Whatever. Picked up a used HPI and put it on the Hobbit today, finally. I was going to write up a how-to but it was seriously beyond easy. Still dialing it in perfecto, but I hit 65mph on a slight down-slope… my previous highest speed on those same roads was like 61.5.
February 2012 edit for clarity: That 65mph wasn’t GPS’ed and I later realized my bike speedo was off by a few mph.
Will post more later once this thing is done… for now I guess.
I realized I’ve never shown the full intake/hose/carb setup on this. Next steps: Julian is adding some material to the top of a spare intake I have so I can grind it out suuuuuper big and smooth. I’m going to modify a spare reed block to open up the holes a bit, thin the bridge, and cut a carbon reed out of some reed material. Experiments.
HPI. This was so ridiculously easy to get installed and running… I’m not even going to bother talking about it. Flywheel cover doesn’t fit. Going to mod it to make it, though. I have some neat ideas for a pull-start mechanism, involving a thick disc mounted into the threaded puller holes and grinding a negative image of the pull-start cog into it. You’ll see.
Messy but functional, and it hardly matters under a side cover.
Put the light coil on, too, and installed a spider LED headlight from superbrightLEDs that the previous owner included with the setup. I already run a LED taillight, and they definitely light up. We’ll see how they look in the dark. I don’t ride this bike in the dark, really, so as long as I’m visible to cars I’m happy.
So I was borrowing a MMM Destroyer for the Black Butte, which was absolutely a great pipe. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. However, as I mentioned… it wasn’t mine. And then the guy I was borrowing it from needed it back. So I needed a replacement. Then this popped up on buy/sell brand spanking new for a good price, and I got the damn thing in 2 days from the seller.
When I pulled it out of the box I was kind of like… *piffle*. Next to the Destroyer it was absurdly small looking… but I know small chambers can rev higher so I wasn’t doubting it yet. The pipe looked really solid, with what appear to be quality welds and the powdercoating job was fine. I think the new MLM pipes I’ve seen have a higher-quality powdercoating with a better finish, but that’s just me. No big deal, as long as it doesn’t flake off too quickly I’m fine with it. There are fewer chambers than the most recent MLM pipes, as well, this more looks like a N8P or so to me (which isn’t a bad thing, really).
It bolted it up in less than 5 minutes. It was ridiculously easy to mount up and fit perfectly into place. I wish it had more than one hole in the mounting bracket to the subframe, but everything is secure. The pipe is designed by clever guys who like Hobbits, it’s clear. Even with the side-bleed the side cover fit perfectly and the pedals clear by a good inch. A cool benefit of the side-bleed is that you can lift the front wheel up for moving the bike without hitting the stinger really quickly, which can happen with pipes that mount so low like the n8p, st-ripper, etc. Looks great on the bike, too, nice and compact.
The pipe has a nice tone at idle, and it’s not as quiet as I expected after hearing that side-bleed pipes are quieter. It was equally as loud as the MMM and MLM pipes I’ve had on the bike. Which is to say pretty quiet but throaty. I got on the bike and took off on the pipe.
I could immediately tell the pipe was a ripper and a good match for the bike, even without messing with jetting. It’s hard to really talk about the low-end, as I use the malossi MHR springs that spin up to somewhat absurd speeds before engaging. I also have some moderate exhaust duration increase (to about 172 degrees) courtesy of Devin at MLM. I’d say the pipes are about equal, with a good launch but nothing really “hitting” until maybe low 30s. If this sounds bad, bear in mind that a powerful Hobbit build will still beat 90% of the bikes off the line.
The pipe has a moderate but distinct hit in the high 30s, maybe, and pulls really well. I was riding in different traffic conditions than I usually do, so it was hard to tell exact differences between the Destroyer and the W-E, but they were both fairly similar with the W-E having a bit more of a hit. One thing I noticed after the engine was way too hot (400+) and trying to go up a steady grade was that it didn’t want to hit and I was kind of just going in the high 20’s, but I think my crazy clutch springs were causing some engagement issues between the clutch and the bell. I need to sand down some pad material again, and honestly probably run slightly more reasonable springs for city riding.
So you all want to know, how fast is it? Pretty goddamn fast. My previous speed record on this bike was 61.5 on a long flat, and I hit 64 tonight on a totally different road that I couldn’t even get a ton of speed built on. My much lighter friend hit 64.5 on this bike last week, and I’m willing to bet he could hit 67 or so on it now.
Oh yeah… I need to up-jet. Pretty badly. So I might lose a mph or so by jetting this pipe right, but I can’t right now because the aforementioned skinny friend is borrowing my jet case. Still, even routinely hitting 400+, the bike was really ripping hard and I was easily hitting mid 50s just sitting upright on short straightaways. I can’t wait to get some more miles on this thing.
So the Black Butte has been in build stasis since mid-March. It performed admirably in Nashville, besides pretty drastic temperature issues. On the long, hilly, Saturday ride I was having to back off the throttle constantly due to hitting 425F far too often. This was causing serious heat fade as well, which I can tell you is very real and very annoying. My timing was as retarded as I could make it without completely eliminating low-end performance, and my jetting was definitely on the rich end. So my plans are some piston mods and continuing to lust after an ignition with an actual, you know, TIMING CURVE.
Another major issue was the low end, which wasn’t to the point of wretchedness, but certainly sucked for a Hobbit with pretty strong clutch springs. It almost felt like the clutch was slipping like a Puch, which definitely was disheartening, and made me worried about the porting Devin did for me out at MLM. An advanced timing would certainly help out, but would cause even worse heat issues up top, so I didn’t want to mess with it.
I decided to address this issue by getting the absolute strongest clutch springs I could find. A reasonable and well-thought-out approach, yeah? I also purchased a beefy set of circlip/snap ring pliers with a bunch of swappable arms. These give you the ability to stretch out the spring using leverage. The Hobbit clutch doesn’t have a really nice variety of leverage points to work from, but with the right tips you can JUST get the springs to catch on the edge of the hole and then smash it in with some taps from a hammer. I first put the medium springs in one spare clutch, and after I figured out the technique I got the three strongest springs in by myself in 10 minutes or so.
So the initial tests were definitely BETTER, but it was still slipping and not really launching me the way I wanted. I got to thinking and realized maybe the inside of my clutch bell had a bunch of glazed pad material on it, so I pulled it, sanded the inside surface down, sanded the clutch pads, and put it all back together. Holy crap, what a difference. The clutch grabbed hard at some stupid RPM and the front wheel came up a little even with a bunch of my considerable bulk pressing down on the bars. It’s borderline unsafe. I didn’t test much besides a few parking lot revs, due to increasing darkness and my fear of ending up on the side of the dark road due to an unforseen 45mph wheelie.
I think I can now try to use the St-Ripper again, as I might be able to launch right into the pipe, or close to it at least. If it wasn’t raining, and I wasn’t leaving for the weekend, I would do that IMMEDIATELY. Devin also has a few new pipes for me to test and will be giving them to me at the Thunderdrome races at the end of this month.
So current status: hitting 61.5 or so with my 195lb self on it. My much lighter friend Ryan gave it a spin last evening and hit a ridiculous 64.5. I need to lose some weight.
Next steps: weak-ends rear pulley mod and stiff spring installation, pipe experiments, wheelies.
So I got some stuff recently:
Derbi 6-roller variator and a cool clutch bell I’ll get into more later.
Another clutch, shown here with the Malossi springs already installed. Leo Vince springs in the package.
Set of Polini tuning weights. This is the “light” set, but I had ordered the “superlight”. Figured more weights couldn’t hurt, and the 2 lightest overlapped the 2 heaviest in the superlight set. They aren’t meant to be run for the long-term, but offer a cost-effective way of finding the weight you need for your rollers.
So back to that Derbi variator and clutch bell. Last season Terry Dean Cain made a really cool build, a dual-dual variated setup called Black Betty. Unfortunately, it was too much bike for too little racing and he decided to save some of it and sell other parts off. I asked if he was also selling the lightened and lathed clutch bell and Derbi variator from the build, and thankfully he was. Derbi 6 rollers are a pain in the butt to find, and the clutch bell was lightened and the angle was matched to the cheek of the Derbi variator. Custom performance parts for a good price? Some more clutches and clutch springs? Another PA-2 complete variator? Don’t mind if I do, TDC.
So I was really hopeful that these parts would make a big difference over the TJT variator I was trying to tune with. But first I wanted to swap out the points ignition from my 1980 PA-2 for the CDI that came on the 83. Why? Well there has been some discussion on Moped Army about whether or not the stock CDI is rev-limited, or just really sucks at high RPMs, or what. I have been having a really hard time revving out fully, and it felt like there was actual hesitation up top. I knew that some other pro Hobbit tuners had run 60+ with points, so I figured it was easy enough to test out. So I got down to business.
So take your beefy-as-all-hell strap wrench (you DO have a strap wrench right? It’s the #1 tool I use in the shop these days) and wrap up that flywheel. Torque off the nut and slide it off. This reveals the flywheel mount plate with the stator beneath it:
You have to use a 2-arm puller to get that thing off. Trust me, there is no other way. So get that thing in position:
and torque the end nut down. The flywheel mount will literally explode off. Make sure you keep the woodruff key in sight, it’s tiny. For full disclosure: I actually ended up using a different puller we had in the shop, the arms on this one were too big and couldn’t fit between the coils right. Remove the stator mounting bolts, and pull it out, taking the wire bundle along with it. Be sure to disconnect all the wires from the rest of the bike before you do this. Duh.
This stuff makes your bike go vroom. I also removed the HT coils because they are a little different from one another. NO PHOTOS THOUGH!! I repeated this process on the CDI-based ‘83, a bit faster this time because the puller fit around the coils a lot more easily. Thread the wires back through the hole on the cases and connect them up. Because I had simplified the wiring really hardcore on the ‘83, it was extremely simple to swap to points. I just had to make a little jumper to connect the coil to the kill switch. Putting the CDI on the ‘80 might be harder, but it’s no biggie.
To put the flywheel back on, put the woodruff key in the slot on the crank, and slide the flywheel mount on. The 3 holes will fit into the flywheel in only one way, so get it on there and get it seated.
Then use your trusty strap wrench to hold it and torque that flywheel nut down tight. DONE. And it started right up first try, amazing.
So I then tried to see if the CDI had been holding me back. Sadly, that didn’t seem to be the case. Whatever, at least I knew that the CDI probably wasn’t the issue but didn’t have to worry about it anymore. I then started testing things. I quickly wanted to test the new clutch springs and such, so after a few runs I pulled off my old clutch to find this:
GOOD WORK DIO SPRING. You sucked anyway. Nowhere near strong enough for this setup. The new Malossi springs are designed for a different bike and have a nice, fairly moderate engagement zone. Not ridiculous but better than these. Combined with the removed starter clutch the low end was feeling really good.
Unfortunately, things aren’t working out elsewhere. No matter how I change the weights, I’m hitting high 50’s. I spent over 2 hours just going a mile up and down the road, coming back and changing weights. The bike either will rev out pretty well, but not fully variate, or won’t rev out as far and variate farther. The results are still all between 55-58, even with the MLM St-Ripper. Maybe I’m just not making enough engine power?? I just don’t know. I’m going to test more later, using even lighter weights to see what happens. I’m getting concerned that my carburation is the issue, so I’m going to take a good look at my reed plate and intake, open up the reed plate openings and grind out the intake some more. I know people who go 60+ on a 19mm phbg and a stock reed plate, so I have to be doing something wrong…
So yeah, I’m pretty disappointed right now. I still have 2+ weeks of tuning before Nashville, though! I know I can do it, eventually… right?
Oh yeah, I also had this amazing issue where the brass ring inside the Derbi variator decided to grind itself down on the clutch bell mounting rod, resulting in brass dust getting everywhere and it now looking like it won’t mount flush. Hooray! Ruined my brand new (to me) Derbi variator in a few hours!! I think those brass rings are just pressed in, so I will talk to Ryan about a fix. Maybe they are the same size as the stock Hobbit one?
After a little extra waiting, my MLM St-Ripper is finally here. Devin really knocked these out of the park, to be honest. Great looking welds, top-notch powdercoating, nice custom elements… I’m happy to have one in my hands. He was kind enough to send me one with a welded-on logo instead of just the MLM text on the stinger. Cool touch.
Should be getting this bolted up tonight. The weather looks like it might cooperate! HYPED.
So the Hobbit clutch is pretty good, yeah? Dry, seems to handle high speeds well without warping, tunable via replaceable springs, etc. The main issue is that the only springs that seem to work very easily (or at all) are SOME scooter springs, the most commonly employed of which are for the Dio. They come in 1k, 1.5k, and 2k RPM versions which are progressively stronger, for later clutch engagement and making your bike do wheelies and you fall on the ground. Major issue with this is that even the strongest ones aren’t that strong when you are talking about ultra blasty times, which is what my build is shooting for.
So I took apart my clutch last night to see if I could drill some weight off the arms. Less weight = less mass pulling at the springs = later clutch engagement, I hoped. Here’s what I ended up with:
So those 3 holes in the arm weren’t there before. This was a pain in the ass, even with a corded drill and what I believe were metal drilling bits. The arms weighed about 52.5g before modification and 50g after. Hardly worth it. I’m not sure I could safely drill out more weight on the meat of the arm - the majority of the weight seems to be in the clutch pad material, which is very dense.
I’m currently in the hunt for a variety of scooter springs for tests. Maybe some of the Malossi ones will work. Or Leo Vince.
Been doing some stuff with other bikes lately while a friend welded my seatpost forward on the Athena bike. I got the Magnum re-gasketed, fixed up the PHBG intake, put in a lower idle jet, and promptly sold it. It was simply worth more to someone else than it was to me, and I needed to get some cash back from all these moped expenses and buying a kegerator when I shouldn’t have. It was a great looking bike that ran pretty quickly, but ultimately I like variated bikes more and won’t have room for the Mag come spring either way.
I’ve also been working on making my buddy’s ‘78 Hobbit run. We got it when he was hunting one down and knew it wasn’t a runner, but I figured I could make it go. It’s been pretty frustrating. The carb was missing a welch plug, the fuel outlet on the tank was welded on, the wire from the points going out the stator was SEVERED under the flywheel and required soldering together, the crank seal was popped off the variator side… all kinds of little annoying things to diagnose. Popped the proma on that he purchased, checked the variator (amazing condition of weights and plastic weight endcaps), etc etc. I’ve got it to the point where it starts and runs well, but then it gets warm enough and won’t idle right. I have to choke it or else it dies, which to me says air leak. Why only when it’s warm, though, and where is the leak? I’m going to replace the crank seals and hope that fixes it, because if not I’m pretty much clueless. The carb is spotless, it was the one that was on my DR bike until recently and I re-cleaned it for good measure.
I also spent some time with my DR Hobbit. It had been having issues starting when cold and staying idling, even with the choke on, and then it had been super super rich to the point of unrideability until it was very warm. This appears to have been caused from the reeds. The first of the dual-stage Boyesen reeds had slowly bent out and wasn’t sealing by about 1mm. I flipped them over for a quick fix, but I have new dual-stagers designed for a kitted engine on the way. It appears to have worked for now. I also took the stock 12mm that came with the black Hobbit and put that on, and it’s working great.
The exhaust had been getting even louder and was leaking oily goop from around the baffle, so I knew it was time to replace the packing. This was a surprisingly easy job. You just remove the end circlip, slide the baffle off, and remove the old, oil-caked packing. I took the replacement packing and cut what seemed to be a good amount off with a utility knife, and kept cutting more off to be able to wrap around the stinger tube and still fit into the baffle housing. As good as new.
Cap’n had given me a set of slightly rusty Sachs G3 bars to run on the DR bike, and I finally got around to replacing them. The stock bars are absurdly high, which puts very little weight on the front end, which can be somewhat dangerous when rolling on the throttle too hard. The issue with replacing the bars on the older Hobbits is that the wiring from the switches runs THROUGH the bars, out the bottom, and into the headlight. This requires some annoying disassembly and cable routing. Then, if you don’t want to drill a bunch of holes in your new bars, you have to dremel the switch base to provide a channel for the wiring to run through on the outside of the bars. It’s not HARD, it’s just time consuming. The decomp and throttle cables are both a bit long now and look pretty goofy, but this is my fast beater backup bike and I’ve given up caring how it looks, to be honest.
This is a really comfortable height, it’s honestly perfect and still looks OK without moving the headlight. The bike is running well, it’s fast and fun to ride, and I took it back home with me to be my winter ride once again.
So, the only things I’ve really done to the Athena lately are very minor. I got a velocity stack from Motomatic and it’s pretty sweet. Looks cooler than the Malossi filter, but more importantly performs pretty awesomely. My buddy Julian (creator of the absurdly awesome The Internette, which just keeps getting better this winter) can weld, so I cut my seatpost off and he moved it forward on the pan for me. I cut down another half inch or so on the post and frame, and I then sanded it and hit it with a coat of flat black paint, and reassembled it. Looks pretty good and more importantly provides a really good riding position for me.
Yeah, the rack is still yellow. Powdercoating setup isn’t functional yet, if it still isn’t up and running in March I’ll just get it done elsewhere.
I also had this smoke paint stuff that is designed to make your reflective bits on your car not reflect speed laser guns. I got it years and years ago and never used it, but I knew a side “benefit” was that it provided a blue tint that I thought might look rad on the bike. I did a coat, but the fan was going in the workshop and got a bunch of dust on the lens. I kind of didn’t do it right, and just painted a second coat on. I think right now it’s kind of TOO dark, so I’m going to strip it off with rubbing alcohol and do a single clean coat. The light gets plenty bright, don’t stress out.
So that’s really about it. New adjustable rear shocks coming to make the ride less bouncy. Motion Left St-Ripper pipe coming in maybe 2 weeks, if Devin is correct about his ETA. After that it’s all tuning and painting the rear rack. And then blasting the hell out of everyone down in Nashville!
So last time I posted I had hardwired the bike but things were still pretty messy. Since then I trimmed the wiring down and got things a lot cleaner. It’s not 100% perfect yet but it’s good enough for now. Everything routes under the fuel tank or is the right length for where it needs to go. The CDI box is zip tied to one of the little tabs on the subframe and I think it’s pretty secure. I think I might replace the visible wires that go up front to the headlight with black wiring for stealth ninja powers. I’ll tell you what’s a valuable tool - a good wire stripper and crimper. Do your wiring right: spend $10 on a stripper and $5 on some proper connectors (for a hobbit use bullet connectors because you will need to be able to remove the frame from the subframe) and don’t just twist stuff together.
I spent a few hours at the shop the other day simply trimming up and re-routing the brake cables and decomp cable. It’s not that hard of a job. You will need to get some knarps from autozone/etc or from treats, for one. Then basically take your double-ended brake cable and cut off one of the knarp ends. I chose to cut off the control end, because Hobbit brake cables are fancy and weird on their hub ends. I then took the cable and held it up to the control and figured out how much to trim off. Remember that you want your cables to sweep in fluid directions, no hard angles. I erred on the side of caution at first, better too long than too short. You then pull out the cable inner (the metal cable) and use some decent pliers with a cable cutting section (or some proper cable cutters) on the cable housing. Bear down and cut through that stuff. You can also use a dremel with a cutting wheel, but for lined cables the cable lining can melt and gum up the works. So your cable housing is probably a good length now, so run the inner back through it and then figure out where the knarp needs to go. This is a lot less critical than the housing because you have adjusters to work with, usually on both ends, and you can just relocate the knarp if it’s all off. The only one that caused me any issues was the decomp cable, because there are no adjusters on it, and the knarp has to be precisely placed to provide the right amount of tension.
I had also previously trimmed a little bit of housing off of the Motion pro throttle cable, to allow me to run it through a 90-degree bendy and not shoot straight up out of the carb and look absurd. This was a pain in the ass, as I didn’t have a throttle knarp at the time and just decided to cut the housing while the cable inner was running through it. This is dumb and takes forever, and could have potentially cost me a trip to the bike shop for a new throttle cable inner. You have to cut through a bunch of spiraly rings in the cable housing and pull them off one by one with needle nose pliers. I should have just waited for the right knarp that would have fit in the throttle control body. But whatever, it’s done, and looks a ton better.
With the cables resized and routed under the tank where possible, things were looking really good. I then put the side covers and foot panels back on. To get the left-hand foot panel on, I had to trim it to fit around the carb that shoots out from under the frame. I also trimmed a little notch out for the throttle cable to route through on its way under the fuel tank and up to the throttle.
So here’s how things stand now. I’m thinking of trying some other seat options, particularly the PA50-II seat, with the foam cut down and the seat post moved forward. Rear rack will be painted (probably just powdercoated cheaply), and the rear fender will be chopped a little and put back on. I will have to look closely at front fender options, maybe some photoshop will be my friend to see how and where I will chop it. New MLM pipe (the St-Ripper) will come at the end of the month, along with some porting by Devin himself. But for early January I’m pretty pleased where things are.