To my utter amazement, Das Boot fired right up and settled into a pretty decent idle after all. A carb synch and some fiddling with the air bleeds had a nice set-up within a few minutes, so the conversion to 900SS heads was devoid of the expected drama.
What did surprise me though, was the amount of baffling provided by the balance pipe on the exhaust system. I tore out the ample baffle material in the FBF cans and replaced it with a light wrap and still found the damned thing to quiet. So, now the cans are empty and delivering a nice level of music reminiscent of the gutted F-1 cans that were on the Cadillac. Tasty.
With the fenders at Nate’s for paint, I couldn’t plumb the brake lines (they run through the fender and would rub on the wheel without it), I had to sample the new set-up with only a rear brake – but hey; I’m a vintage guy – you just have to plan ahead.
The overall package is fabulous! More power and torque all around (event with 3 teeth dropped off the rear sprocket) and a more agile and balanced ride from the new wheel and tire combo. Speaking of the wheels – I can’t give enough praise to the folks at TCR. Two week turnaround and fabulous quality in every aspect of the job!
Jerry at Got It Covered re-padded a Sargent seat cover that I picked up on e-Bay and it completes the ergos nicely. The bike now feels much more balanced, agile and compliant than before and with the rear-sets, seat contour and 30wt fork oil, it’s a treat to ride.
The F1 heads into a new chapter of its life with the motor off to Kyle Thompson at BCMfor a 5-angle valve job, and a bit of an overhaul ( re-hone cylinders, new rings, re-shim crank) to correct some mistakes made when Guy Martin built the engine 4 years ago. Once it’s done, I’ll head up to New Hampshire with the rolling chassis, put it together and then get it on the dyno to dial-in the cam timing and establish jetting set-ups for the open megga and the baffled (Calabogie) megga. Guy timed the motor as per his recipe for long stroke 900’s (about 106 to 108 degrees at lobe centers) and when I had to retard the intake timing on Shannon’s F1/Allazurra to stop the pistons from whacking the intake valve, I found that the higher number made more power. I had a chat with John Hackett about this at Grattan that summer and found that he timed his short-stroke motors in the teens as well. He felt that we were leaving a bunch of power on the table, but frankly I didn’t have a compelling reason to actually tune the thing ‘till Bill Deitz threatened to freshen-up his F1 (which was awfully quick for something so tired…).
It’s never been on the dyno, so I’m more than a bit curious to see what the current set-up will look like.
The cold weather’s holding up and that’s a good thing ‘cause I’m having too much fun in the shop these days to be tempted by actually riding.
Content: Cagiva Gran Canyon, loudbike, Steve Munro, Ducati, Woody's Wheel Works, TCR Wheel Lacing