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Stray last won the day on October 6

Stray had the most liked content!

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About Stray

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    VFR800 1998
  1. M1962, we are in many respects kindred spirits. Your story has a beautiful additional twist: you've rediscovered an old flame that fell on hard times and are lovingly nurturing her back to her former glory. I've got lots of time for that sort of thing. Will keep an eye out for your posts. Stray
  2. M1962, we are in many respects kindred spirits. Your story has a beautiful additional twist: you've rediscovered an old flame that fell on hard times and are lovingly nurturing her back to her former glory. I've got lots of time for that sort of thing. Will keep an eye out for your posts. Stray
  3. Wow - I read the wrhile thing! Youve done really well to bring your yellow '99 back to such great condition. Left you a comment on VFRW. There are 3 important differences between your rebuild and mine: 1. Intention. You intend to have a nice bike whereas I intend to abuse mine through winter and occasionally on track. Mine will be treated like an unwanted ginger step-child so I'm not too concerned about how it looks. Just need it to function safely 2. Budget: I'm rebuilding mine with leftovers from the garage and bits of old string. Deliberately trying to keep this low cost. I already have a pampered garage queen that siphons more money than an Italian diva mistress - the VFR's role is to suffer my wrath and do the donkey work (winter salt, track days and ironing) so the garage queen remains pristine 3. Starting Point: Your yellow '99 has low mileage and was in reasonable condition to begin with. My '97 has high mileage, led a hard life, been neglected and spent most of her years living by the coast (MOTs say Bournemouth) so she is as corroded as a politician's moral compass This means you and I probably have different ideas about where our rebuilds will take us. Yours is a nice bike given lots of TLC by her new owner. The results are epic - well done! Mine is a shed being held together by a modest budget and elbow grease. I wish I had your bike in my garage but I don't. You can't polish a turd and my bike will never be as good as yours. But you can roll a turd in glitter so it will be better than when she came to me. Again, congratulations on your refurb. I am very jealous of your bike! Greg Denver has also done a fantastic job on his red 5th gen (I saw your comments on his thread). I am jealous of that one too. I hope you both enjoy the fruits of your labour for many, many years. Stray
  4. Bit of a ghetto (USA)/bodge (UK) update. A worn-out woman's boot... ...finds new life as a left-hand mirror mounting rubber! Funny old world, eh? Stray
  5. RS850 Replica

    That looks bloody amazing - will be watching with interest. Huge respect for anyone tackling projects with a limited budget. It means you have to think a bit more and be creative. Godspeed! Stray
  6. This update is about fitting a vacuum operated automatic chain oiler. Had a 15 year old unit lying in a box and decided to fit on the 5th gen for winter. These really make chain maintenance a doddle. I like a clean look so got thinking the bottom chain guard (shark fin) would be a good mounting point. This is what the unit will look like when installed: When installed you can barely see it is there. Nozzle needs to be around 6-7 o'clock position with slash facing outwards. I wanted the feed tube to be invisible so ran it very close to the bottom chain run with a home-made plastic sheath to help it navigate tight turns and stay clear of chain slap. I measured by eye and punched holes with a hook screw. This is where it fits using original chain guard bolts. I've left it slightly unbolted to give you a better idea. Superglue helps keep the hose and guard in situ - belt and braces. This is is how the feed tube is routed on the inside. What you can't see is I applied 7 rounds of degreaser, 5 rounds of rubbing alcohol, 2 rounds of panel wipe, half a kitchen roll, 5 shop rags, sanded the spots where the glue would go and applied Loctite superglue. Should be secure for many years. Hose is clamped loosely at top to allow for swingarm movement. That swingarm went from greasy black to shiny silver...for now! Scottoiler will soon have it all caked in grease again. This is where I took the vacuum power from - cylinder 3. Instead of cutting the hose and installing a T piece, I just put an extra bit of hose on the end. You can see it is a slightly different colour. That way bike can easily be returned to stock and OEM hose remains intact. If you're wondering about the wrapping, that is silicone self-amalgamating tape. Like electrical tape on steroids for a permanent fix. The old part had cracked from heat and age so I applied some superglue to the cracks and wrapped it in the tape. Works like a charm! EDIT: This is how I mounted the chain oil reservoir (Scottoiler call it an RMV: remote metering valve). Used a heat gun to mould the battery lid to the reservoir shape and applied some adhesive neoprene foam to keep it secure. You can see the neoprene strips located on the battery lid and along the sides of the undertray. Another step closer to getting this bike winter-ready. Stray
  7. You're spot on JZH, the 2014 - onwards VStrom has it. Apparently some snowmobiles and RVs also have it but I couldn't say. All that work on the lights and I wasn't comfortable they would remain watertight because of all the cracks. So I sanded them, buffed them and coated them with 2K clear. Hopefully that will keep them from yellowing (sanding removed the OEM protective coat) and fill in some of those scratches/cracks. Sanding a a light is nerve racking! It looks like you've destroyed it at one point. The headlight had an annoyingly tenacious sticker residue that resisted alcohol, thinner, 2K thinner, carb cleaner, acetone, vinegar, ACF50, WD40 and even sandpaper! It just laughed at everything I threw at it. In the end I just had to grind it off with coarse sandpaper (250grt) and work my way back up to 2000grt. That was a fun three hours! I damn near went through the lens to get it all off. Must have penetrated the plastic with headlight heat over the years. Anyway, here's the two lights with a fresh coat of 2K clear (adhesion promoter sprayed first). Hopefully it will cure fast and I can just mount them to the bike. Tired of messing about now. Stray
  8. Another update showing how to clean inside headlight and tail light housing. I didn't like how my tail light and headlight lenses were covered with a milky spooge from years of neglect and baked on road salt. Made the bike look old and tired. So I decided to clean out the muck and brighten her up a bit. That meant removing the lift clusters from the fairings. This post follows the tail light resto but same was done to headlight. First, I tried soaking it in dish soap and washing it out. But the stains refused to budge no matter how long I soaked them. So I tried a floor cleaner instead. It leaves a streak-free surface that doesn't need wiping which is great because the light unit is sealed and I cannot get a cloth in there. Rinsed out with de-ionised water to avoid water spotting (because I can't wipe it). Well that didn't work either despite multiple soakings. Getting desperate now so I tried a spectacles cloth pushed around through one of the bulb openings with a wooden spoon. Again, that didn't work. So I bust out some lense wipes with a strong cleaning solution, again pushed around with a wooden spoon. That didn't work either. Time me to break out the big guns - rubbing alcohol! I filled the light cluster with rubbing alcohol and soaked it for about 30 minutes with occasional swishing about over the bath tub. The smell was potent and I got to thinking about pouring some into my coffee but... Alcohol is great because it evaporates quickly and takes water with it, leaving a dry streak-free surface. Nevertheless I helped things dry off a bit faster with my wife's hairdryer (I'm not that brave so waited for her to leave). Unfortunately the alcohol had absolutely no effect on the white stains which meant only one thing: the light cluster would have to be split to clean the inside. Looking on the web some people had achieved this by heating the glue and prising the unit apart. Most were using ovens but I opted for a heat gun instead as it targets the glue better. First step is to unclip the plastic catches holding the unit together. Flat screwdriver works but it just clips back closed the moment to pull it out because the glue is solid. So I grabbed a few butter knives and wedged them into the catches. This way I could heat the glue and pry at the housing without worrying the clips will be working against me. Here you can see four butter knives prying on one edge to spread the load and keep the housing from splitting. Slowly the glue began to give and I was able to pry the two halves apart. My recommendation is to apply 60% heat and 40% prying force. Too much heat and you'll deform your plastic: too much prying and you might break something. Anyway, it parted eventually and was easier than I thought it would be. Surprising how much heat and prying the plastic withstood, especially as the lenses is badly cracked from a few accidents in the past by PO. I got some fine rubbing compound (Farecla G10) and gave the transparent lenses a good scrubbing. Also cleaned the rear reflector. Couldn't believe how much filth was still in there after all the washing stages above. The microfibre cloth was really dirty. The stains had been baked in by repeated hot-cold cycles and it really took some rubbing to get them out but eventually the lenses looked brand new (aside from the cracks). In fact the cracks were now more visible as the lense is clean! I ran a flat screwdriver inside the adhesive channel to smooth it out for reassembly. This helps avoid air pockets and adhesive leak. Last step is to re-heat the butyl adhesive and press both halves back together. Some patience with the heat gun is required to ensure the adhesive is hot enough. Also, some serious heaving required to get both parts fully seated and clips re-fastened. I leaned my whole weight on the corners. No pics of that because I had to work fast and needed both hands but here's one showing how I tied the two halves tightly together to let the adhesive set. Used the wife's hairdryer cable (of course, when she was still out of the house)! Finally a close-up of the lense showing how clean it is. Without the cracks (I've not shown you those) it would look brand new. Some superglue applied to the cracks just to keep water out. Another job done! Stray
  9. Today's update is about bleeding linked braking system - what a bl00dy ball-ache! Fillowed the service vice manual and used my trusty syringe to do it all. First job is to open brake master cylinder and suck out the old stuff in there. Clearly the fluid has been around since the Ark touched down on dry land. With master cylinder empty this is a good chance to wipe it down and remove all the black gunk that settles there. Then fill it to the brim with fresh Dot5.1 brake fluid. Next job is to attach a syringe and hose to the outer bleed nipple so we can suck that fresh fluid down through the system. Best to pull the plunger back a bit to create a vacuum when you crack open the nipple as you don't want air being sucked in to the calliper. With every cycle the fluid was getting cleaner-and-cleaner. Make sure the master cylinder is always topped up so you don't suck air into the system. After about 3 full syringes the fluid came through clean. Do the same on both forks. Next was to bleed the middle nipple. I have no idea what purpose the middle nipple serves but faithfully followed the manual. I couldnt believe how much brake fluid this system holds! It took about 2 hours to get it all flushed (my first time on a VFR). Then do the same on the rear calliper, which is really awkward to remove from the disk as the centre mounting bolt requires the dexterity of a Romanian pickpocket. That will explain why the previous owner never serviced it. Only the outer bolt had been removed before - the inner one was almost welded in. Pads down to the backing. Service manual says to remove the calliper from the disc, attach vacuum hose are reattach it to disc for bleeding. I had a better idea: jam a spanner between the pads to keep them apart when bleeding and raise the calliper above the master so bubbles trapped in the system can rise. The crud that came came out of it was crazy. The raised calliper idea worked beautifully and I soon had a nice solid pedal with fresh brake fluid. Same procedure was applied to the clutch but that is much simpler and was finished in minutes. Very happy that job is done as it has been weighing on my mind for some time. Stray
  10. Another update to show some plastic welding on front cowl. The delicate little tabs used to hold the cowl inner "ears" together were snapped off from overtightening. In fact just about every plastic tab/mounting point on the bike is cracked/broken. You'd think the PO would have learned how delicate the are after breaking the first one but... The threaded metal insert was lost and plastic broken. So I cut off what was left of the plastic tab and broke out the soldering iron. Softened the plastic and pressed a cut-down rivnut (that silver thing in my hand) into the soft plastic. Then I built up the area around it with an acetone + abs plastic goop I'd made earlier. Came out OK. You can see what a rivnut looks like in my hand. The bolt shows where one was mounted to the bike. You can't see that one as it is completely covered in black goop. Acetone + abs goop works great! Stray
  11. Back to Black only lasts about a week whereas linseed lasts a year. It is designed for convenience rather than longevity. Plus, it sounds like a website your boss wouldn't want you surfing on company equipment...
  12. A quick update to show how I refreshed my tired grey plastic trim panels. Used an old gypsy formula: 60/40 mix lacquer thinner and boiled linseed oil. I only had white spirit in the shed so used that (and an old pair of socks!). Application is a doodle. Stir the mixture well (it separates), dip a rough cloth in it and rub across the surface of your trim parts. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and rub off with another cloth. This this is what it looked like before: Here's what it looks like after: Hard to tell from the pics but it is a darker black and shinier. Took years off this part. Not perfect but much better. The Jeep guys do this to their black wheel arches and it lasts about a year. Gets a bit better every time you do it. I've been using it on white garden furniture for years. Observations: 1. A stronger solvent may have worked better in my case. 2. Scratches show up more on shinier surfaces so sand them out if you have bad ones. 3. If you could include some UV stabiliser in the mixture you may have longer-lasting results. 4. Some guys have had luck doing this with ATF oil but I've never tried it myself. 5. Rough cloth works well with thinner to rub away old damaged plastic on surface and penetrate plastic so linseed oil can infuse properly. The thinner therefore acts as cleaner and penetrant. Cloth acts like abrasive. You may want to try a scourer on a hidden bit to see if it improves results. 6. Some guys use a heat gun and the results look great BUT that draws oils out of the plastic and makes it brittle over the long term. This ADDS oil and can be used indefinitely for years. Linseed is also much faster than heat gun. Best bit is it costs virtually nothing so have at it! Stray
  13. Got it balanced beautifully thanks to your help, Terry. I was amazed how much that one-way valve had thrown off cylinder 2. Thanks again, Stray
  14. Yoshi Style Velocity Stacks

    Just thinking out loud but can the dual-stack setup not be replicated by just "floating" the OEM velocity stacks off the bottom of the airbox with spacers? OK, there will be no bell mouth on the bottom stack (there is no bottom stack at all) but it does create a dual setup with a gap. It also lengthens each stack by the size of its gap. Just curious...
  15. Terry, you're a bl00dy GENIUS - you've nailed it again! And you were also spot on about it connecting to cylinder 2. It's been driving me mad. Cant thank you enough, mate. Ebay hose here I come... Stray