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paranoid_android UberDork
12/8/19 6:58 p.m.

Also a trailer update.

It's all painted and put back together.  Also wired with working lights.  And new tires!


I built a front wheel chock too (for the trailer).

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/8/19 7:15 p.m.

Bike carbs will leak if you tilt them, but it usually takes more angle than that.  If you're out of adjustment on the float height something must be screwy- maybe the previous owner put something wacky in, like a different float that happened to fit "close enough" or something?

Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
12/8/19 7:32 p.m.

Ah, cool. I'm following.

paranoid_android UberDork
2/8/20 7:37 p.m.

A small update, some of it even motorcycle related.

Progress on the bike pretty much stopped, as my kids came up with the idea of building lightsabers.  And since a prototype ended up showing some promise, we went full on to make a couple that don't suck.




Once android_kid #2 decides how he wants the cross guard one finished we will put the finishing touches on it.

Back to the motorcycle...

The carburetor is now mostly working, and not leaking!  After taking it apart multiple times and replacing several parts, it seems the bowl overfilling problem was being caused by needle seat that was dimensionally not meant for this carb.  Along with missing screen filter.  And a missing o-ring (you get the idea).


So after a new almost everything it starts really well on the choke, and idles probably a little low.  But I'm waiting to make adjustments until I can actually ride it to verify changes I make.

With the bike back in running condition I took up my led lighting project again.  Only to discover the rectifier I ordered has a 6V dc output, not 12.  Oh, Amazon parts.

So I'm trying to decide what to do next.  A different rectifier?  Not sure yet.

But a DR350 headlight (that accepts h4 lamps) and fairing will be going on soon, so I haven't given up yet!

The original setup is on the left:


Im very excited for spring!!!

AngryCorvair MegaDork
2/9/20 11:44 a.m.

Trailer looks sweet!

paranoid_android UberDork
2/16/20 6:25 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

It has decking on it now too!  Hot stuff

paranoid_android UberDork
2/16/20 6:45 p.m.

The headlight is installed, as is the cheap Amazon handlebar switch.  A spdt relay is in place to make the dual beam headlight bulb function.



There is a horn hiding in there too!  I'll get another relay to run that too, local stores didn't seem to have any :-/


The jury is still out on a rectifier to run this stuff.  It's surprisingly difficult to find specs listed by sellers.  But I'm sure there is one out there...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/7/20 7:10 p.m.

So lightsabers and motorcycles is what we're doing?

paranoid_android UberDork
3/8/20 6:33 p.m.

Yasss!  We need to step up our game though!

paranoid_android UberDork
3/8/20 8:01 p.m.

The motorcycle is coming along, but progress has been slow.  Getting things (lights) changed from AC to DC for LED bulbs has been a moving target.

But first, brake light switch is in.


And I changed out the socket in the tail light housing to accept a dual brightness 1157 LED, red in color.


But getting the lights to run off the bike's stator hasn't happened yet.

***WARNING***  Electrical rambling from this point on.

Changing AC to DC isn't complicated.  Insert a rectifier, and you have DC.  This is what I did, and the bike was making DC.  The trouble was it was fluctuating with the AC source, which would likely nuke any LED anything I connected to it.  To be exact my full wave bridge rectifier was making DC at 90% of the AC value.  So RPM increase would cause AC voltage increase, and my DC value would increase as well.

So what I needed at this point was better voltage regulation, either on the AC side or DC side.

A Trail Tech voltage regulator seemed to be the ticket.  They claimed about a 12-14 volt output, and it has a little trim pot on it to adjust it up or down a little.  Purchased, installed and tested yielded a roasted LED headlight on my part.  A meter showed the same fluctuating voltage levels.

Ok.  So let's go for regulation on the DC side.  I found a cool little IC* that promised to deliver very stable adjustable DC voltage at 5 amps, and able to withstand 7 amp peaks.  Bought it, built it and by golly it worked!  For a little while. It ran 5 amps at 12.4 volts like a champ!  Then it overheated and the smoke came out, despite being mounted on a good sized heat sink.  Maybe this won't work on a motorcycle.

*The chip is a TI LM338 linear voltage regulator. Very cool stuff.

This is the setup, rectifier is on the right.  It's running a 60 watt halogen:

Frustratingly, went back to the new regulator and my rectifier.  Why in the holy hell won't this work.  Engine running and meter on the dc side of the rectifier, same results.  12 to 30 vdc.  You know what, berkeley it- let's see if it will run my halogen bulb on dc.  It did.  Hey, I wonder what happens if I connect the bulb on the ac side.  It lit up, and my meter locked in at 12.8 vdc.  Regardless of the rpm.  The regulator needs a load connected to it before it will work!!!  Sheesh.

The experimenting continues, stay tuned...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
3/8/20 8:07 p.m.
paranoid_android said:

\The regulator needs a load connected to it before it will work!!!  Sheesh.

Send this to TrailTech to put in their manual, charge a consulting fee.

EDIT: Oh, also, maybe you have just proven why so many bikes seem to have a useless little 5-10w "running light" on them?  My Buell and Aprilia both have a tiny light that seems to serve no purpose other than occupying a small chunk of the headlight housing, but maybe it's there to keep the charging system working even if all the serious lights burn out?

Run_Away Dork
3/8/20 9:26 p.m.

In for bike-mounted lightsabers.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/8/20 9:48 p.m.

Do you have a battery hooked up in the system? I was getting similar problems until I added a battery (not needed for my bike to run) to the tangle of wires I created. Once I had that life was good. 

paranoid_android UberDork
3/9/20 5:28 p.m.

@Seth- I do not have a battery installed.  Yet.  But I'm trying to get to the point you reached after installing your battery by using resistors.

@Chris- I think you are on to something with that light idea!

***More electronic rambling warning pt. 2***

Todays experiment, add different resistors to the ac side of the circuit to trick the regulator into regulating.  Following the 10 watt bulb idea from Chris, I dug out some 15 ohm resistors to see what happened.  (@12 volts, 10 watts equals 14.4 ohms and .833 amps).  But my 1/2 watt resistors didn't live long enough for me to get a stable reading.  Never send a 1/2 watt resistor to do a 25 watt resistor's job


So I grabbed a 3157 bulb and stuck that in there.  It's a dual filament incandescent rated at 26.9/8.3 watts.  Only trouble is I didn't pay attention to which filament I connected to, so I'll repeat the experiment again to verify.  But it worked.

With no load on the ac side, dc volts ranged from roughly 14 to 30.  With the 8 watt bulb connected, dc volts ranged from 14.5 ish to almost 17.  The regulator be regulating.

So hypothetically putting a high wattage resistor in the circuit that matches the ohmic value of the bulb will trick the regulator into working.  Maybe.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
3/9/20 7:27 p.m.

Is there a reason you don't want to run a small lithium RC battery or something similar? In all honesty, the main reason I'm running one is to avoid the whole bike going dark if I stall on the road at night. I don't want to be at an intersection and then disappear. I do appreciate your experimentation. I've got more than one bike that I'm working electrics on right now so your way will come into play in the future. 

paranoid_android UberDork
3/10/20 9:11 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

My main concern with putting a battery in this circuit is the lack of proper charging protection.  I'd be worried about overcharging the battery and having it blow.

Honestly I hadn't considered the safety aspect of it, that is a most excellent point.  My focus has been on getting just enough done to get the bike plated in case I need to ride on public roads between trails.

paranoid_android (Forum Supporter)
paranoid_android (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/3/20 6:59 p.m.

Rather than typing 10,000 words describing the electrical stuff I did, here is a sketch that should explain it better:

This is all of it under the seat:


I'd be happy to share the exact components I used if anyone is interested.

In other news, a nearly free Garmin Nüvi 255 will serve as my speedometer.


The original plan was to order a Ram mount for it, but that won't happen thanks to all the virus stuff going on.  So I'll figure out a way to make the Garmin windshield mount work.  My bigger concern is being able to read the screen out in daylight. If the weather is nice tomorrow I'll test that on my private proving grounds (back yard).

Adrian's trailer has gotten a little more love too.

The home brew fenders need paint and the sides need a little supporting.

I'm looking forward to riding!

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
4/18/20 7:51 p.m.

Today was a crap-filled day of working cars but not gaining any ground.

So when I was done for the day, I grabbed my helmet and started up the Suzuki for a less-than-legal ride in my neighborhood.


It ran surprisingly well for the almost seven minutes of the trip.  And it was fun.

The only thing I noticed during the ride was my bars aren't perfectly square when riding in a straight line.  They are turned slightly to right.

Maybe when I slid the fork tubes out to install the headlight brackets, they didn't go back in as evenly as they should have?  Not sure on that one yet.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
4/18/20 8:46 p.m.

In reply to paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) :

Loosen the lower fork clamps and the front axle clamp, wedge front wheel between your legs, twist bars until straight, tighten everything back up.  Forks can get twisted surprisingly easily, you'll probably repeat this process every time you dump it off-road at speed.

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
4/18/20 9:51 p.m.

I'll try that tomorrow, thank you sir!

rico750sxi_2 Reader
4/19/20 9:50 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

In reply to paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) :

Loosen the lower fork clamps and the front axle clamp, wedge front wheel between your legs, twist bars until straight, tighten everything back up.  Forks can get twisted surprisingly easily, you'll probably repeat this process every time you dump it off-road at speed.

The other method is to loosen lower triple clamps, axle pinch bolts, then roll the bike a bit and slam on the front brake, repeat a few times and tighten. The front wheel between the legs method is better just because it brings back memories of childhood crashes and bmx  adventures with the neighborhood crew...

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
6/22/20 3:51 p.m.

My first real outing is going to be this Wednesday.  I posted in Adventures looking for a riding buddy, as I have yet to find one.

Pre-trip build thread update coming soon...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
6/22/20 3:58 p.m.

Awesome!  Good luck!  Next time I'm out there for work I should bring a bike.

EDIT maybe I could try to be helpful- some brief advice:

  • Whether you're alone or with somebody, ride at a pace you're comfortable with
  • Look ahead
  • If you drop the bike, and you're OK, don't hurt yourself by picking it up violently (surprisingly easy to hurt yourself this way when you were totally fine from whatever happened in the first place)

The more I ride, the more I think a LOT of it is just winging it until your body learns what it's supposed to do.  Have fun!

paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
6/22/20 7:19 p.m.

Thank you!  All very good advice :-)


paranoid_android (Forum Enabler)
paranoid_android (Forum Enabler) UberDork
6/22/20 7:30 p.m.

Gear, check.  

Well mostly- I'm not convinced the neck brace fits me correctly.  I'll try it, but may take it off soon after.

Bike is ready.  I even farkled a little.


Also important, being legal.

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