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July 6th, 2008

The brakes, they work.

gordonmessmer came over again today and we finished up the brakes and replaced the ignition cover slide. It's amazing how much work was involved in both of those jobs, but the results were worth it. The brakes seem to work pretty well (haven't road tested them yet) and the ignition switch both looks and works better now.

We also replaced the air cleaner and the rubber o-rings that were supposed to be around it (one was missing and the other was more of an almost-o-ring) as well as the rubber rings that the air intakes fit into. When I finally fired the engine up I think that it was running a lot stronger than before. The old air filter was probably a bit clogged and I think contributed to the rich running of the engine.

When we got into the headlight bucket to work on the switch I discovered more non-original features of the bike. I know that the speedo is not right for the bike, but I didn't know about the ring around it that raises it up... turns out that the speedo was too deep for the bracket that holds it in place so at some point in the past someone took a piece of plastic pipe, cut it about 1/4" thick and covered it in electrical tape. This then went around the speedo setting it up and out of the bucket. Also the wiring needs serious work involving a soldering iron. There's one piece of wire that appears to have shorted in the past burning off all the insulation.

Tomorrow my parents are coming up so I think that my dad and I will see if we can't tune in the carbs. Should be fun.

Before and after pics of the front brake mechanismCollapse )
My parents came up today and while here my dad took a look at the R50. When we had it running he asks for a long screwdriver. I asked "why?" and he replied "I want to listen to the engine." I looked at him like he was nuts and fetched a screw driver. He pressed the tip against the valve cover near the rocker and put his ear to the handle. Mechanic's stethoscope, neat! I then talked him into taking it for a spin (this wasn't hard) and fitted him with all my safety gear, which caused some grumbling until I pointed out that not only was he riding the bike for the first time, but it had new as yet untested brakes. He took it up and down the street a couple of times and came back with a huge grin.

Later I took the bike out myself so I could go visit my nephew who has grown so much in just a couple of weeks. He's just figured out how to use his eye brows and it's seriously cute.

Anyway, the bike definitely runs better with the new air cleaner and the plugs show that the engine is burning a lot cleaner. Now I just need to fix the timing and maybe adjust the valves.

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