Category Archives: DIY

Muffler dent repair

During last road trip I dented the muffler in one of the big long pot hole at high speed. Suspension got compressed and clearance got reduced. There was a bit of noise but I didn’t even notice the dint until few days later. So my speculation is it was the pothole.
I thought I would need a new muffler or need to take it to a specialist to fix but after talking to one of the guys at bike shop he said that you can do it yourself. So I decided to try it.
First I have drilled out all the rivets from the muffler. You need a corded drill to make it easier. Cordless drill battery will die after one rivet and it takes a lot longer to drill one, so save time and borrow corded drill from someone. Then removed all the internals, the cone shaped mesh pipe and  insulator thing which I think is similar to pink bats insulator and has some sort of crushed glass or something similar, makes your skin and eyes itchy. So beware and wear the gloves probably tough rubber gloves which you could through away later. I had to wash the leather gloves in soap to get rid of the itchy dust.

Also try not to inhale that dust either might not be very healthy.

You need to open the can from both ends to make working on it easier. You don’t have to cut it in the middle. I was using thicker pipes and small heavy items to roll and bang it into the proper shape.

After it was more or less of a desired shape. I sanded it with the coarse sandpaper first longwise not across and finished with the finer sandpaper in the end. It worked out to be even better color then it was before. I prefer the brushed aluminum color more then shiny reflective stainless steel.

When assembling it back try to distribute the insulator evenly around the mesh pipe.

After you put both caps on both ends of the muffler on you can rivet it back. I have ran out of the correct size rivets half way. I  was at the Bunnings Warehouse today and didn’t know that the other rivets I had were too small. Now I have to install it so that I can ride it to work in the morning and then take it off again tomorrow and finish riveting.
I have assembled everything late in the evening and decided to test it. Sounds a little different , it’s leaking air in connection to the main pipe, not sitting all the way in,  sounds more like Harley now :). Wellwill fix it tommorrow after I get more rivets .

Next day I removed it again, installed the missing rivets and reinstalled it back on the bike. Made sure all the connections to the main pipe were tight so that it didn’t leak any exhaust. As during  the morning ride I have noticed its not that its making more noise but also stinks when you sit at the intersection. So that was in my best interest to make it proper.

Next day test rode again and all was good.

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Luggage pannier rack

Worked for 2 weekends on these pannier racks with my dad. Its taken about 10 hours of welding and grinding in total  and 4 hours of priming and painting.

On first attempt we used the tube bender from Bunnings. We spent couple of hours bending the pipes to match the Ventura rack but the handles of the tool were bending before the pipes would. So i have returned it to Bunnings after an hour of use, with both handles fallen off, bolts and nuts come of too. That pipe bender is only capable of bending garden hoses i think.While it would be nice to have a pipe bender at home hydraulic or similar, we still had to go and make rack just by bending all the pipes around the knees.
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On the night before the long trip ,not perfectly shaped but close enough we got the rack ready. We tried to follow the shape of the Ventura rack, but It came out bit wider near the seat and the brackets that we welded on to go under the seat into the same spot where Ventura racks were appeared to have a lot more flex then original Ventura. so we decided to add another set of brackets as there was another set of holes  we could use on both ends of the pillion grab handles. 
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That gave it a lot more stability and rack was flexing a lot less. we then added side pannier frames ,rectangular loops, it was now getting more solid. Tested with the heavy rear bag and tried to shake it. It could still flex a little bit, I didnt want to have a tired metal in those places where we bent the brackets so we welded little plates to the side of the brackets to stop them from flexing. Now its very solid.
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I sanded it and used a round file at place where joints were.
It was already around 8-9pm when i started applying the first layers of prime coat and being in a hurry and having to leave around lunch time next day I had little time to spare so I was applying more layers of primer every 20-30 mins as soon as it touch dry.
Then started sparying with black paint and primer started to float above the paint in multiple places. I guess it wasnt set yet.
I have applied probably 2-3 layers of paint on top and started installing the rack around midnight.

even next day when we left to horsham when i taken the bag off the rack the paint still wasnt set properly in some places as touching the bottom of the bag was leaving stain marks.

After the trip a lot of the paint got stripped at the places where bags were rubbing it and playwood that supported the bags also was like abrasive to the paint.
now i might take it of again and do it properly this time spray and dry for few days before recoating and leave to set for few days idealy in the sun

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Trying the rack on the bike

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Wiring electrical chargers etc

On the trip I need to charge few devices: CB Radio Uniden UH076 – cigarette lighter plug, GPS Garmin car type- USB/Cigarette lighter, IPhone – USB,
GoPro battery chargers -cigarette lighter x 2 ,plus I got a portable USB battery bank- charged via USB and Scala Rider Intercom – USB)
Total : 4 USBs and 3 cigarette lighter plugs at the most with most likely 2 USBs and 2 cigarette plugs at the same time.
1st plan was to create a circuit-board/distributor box with one incoming wire and multiple outgoing wires with bullet connectors. Then cut and convert all cigarette lighter plugs to bullet plugs.
including the cigarette to USB adapter.
Then I thought doing the same distributor box with multiple connectors but using Anderson connectors.
when I realised it would still take a while to wire all that,I decided to run a cable from battery to the handlebars and have an Anderson plug on the end. I bought 1 splitter box which has cigarette lighter plug on one end and
3 cigarette sockets and 2 USB sockets on the other end. so I will replace plug with Anderson connector and will connect to the main wire with the same anderson plug which dangles
near handlebars
all the devices when connected will be sitting in the tank bag, where it will keep it away from the dust and rain if any happens.
Main wire at the battery end I crimped using eyelets and added in-line fuse holder, Connecting eyelets to the bike battery was a !#%!$%$ nightmare.
the nut on the terminals which fell into the bike intestines few times is hard to keep in place, and bolt is too short to reach it even if nut sits on the battery.
so the nut needs to be in the air for the bolt to reach it especially after you add few extra eyelets to the terminals, I have now 3 extras( 1 for the LED lights,1 for the under-seat plug and now the front connection)
to make it work you need to jam something into the battery terminals first like a bit of cardboard or I used wire rubber insulator ,
then jam the pesky nut there, only then you will have some luck of getting them hooked together.
who ever dealt with that probably understands me now how frustrating it can get.
So if you gonna project manage the trip preparation process, this battery connection should be done as a task of its own, after accomplishing which you can have a beer!
Also next time I might try using a longer bolt.
It was quite fiddly to route the cable so I had to remove all the fairing and fuel tank to make this work easier, and that way I could place them into the same spots as other cables and tie them properly

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