February 23, 2015

Sunmaster 14:....on hold...again

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse...it did get worse.

I got the frame back from the powder coating shop today after they messed it up the first time by not cleaning it properly so that the frame developed what looked like a bad tumor.

While the color itself looked pretty good, upon closer inspection I saw that they didn't bother closing and covering all the holes and threads. But it was only when I got home that I found out just how big the problem was!

They completely stripped the thread on the frame oil out lets on top and bottom, making it impossible to connect the pipes that go to the engine.

Of course I went straight back to the middleman shop, armed with my fierce wife. The guy recognized the problem, but his only help was to direct me to another shop who could put new threads so that I would be able to use a brass adaptor.

What a nightmare....

Next step....cool down and check my options.

Whatever you do, avoid this shop at any cost! https://www.facebook.com/see.phoonn

February 12, 2015

New Project Bike: SUNMASTER 14

This is the very first post of what will be a pretty long thread. This is the beginning of a new adventure.
Please allow me to introduce my new project: SUNMASTER 14.

Sunmaster 14 is the name of my new SR love child. The name comes from a character from the Isaac Asimov science fiction series "Foundation". Ironically, in juxtaposition to his grandiose name, Sunmaster 14 is a person of rather understated qualities. I immediately loved the name and the stark contrast it highlighted and I made a mental note to use that name some time in the future. Skip 5 years forward to the present.

I won't give away all the details of my new bike for 2 reasons. First of all, it is still mainly in my head, so things can change pretty fast once you try to put your ideas into practice. Secondly, I believe the project should be a step-by-step discovery for you as it is for me.

This will be the first time I single handedly build a bike from scratch. That means stripping my beloved street tracker to the bare bones and rebuilding it following a completely new concept. I will share my frustrations as well as my little triumphs, so as to give an insight to other novice builders like me, to what it means building a bike. The more expert builders among you will probably face-palm themselves pretty often. Please forgive my ignorance, I'm still learning.

Sunmaster 14 will follow a short list of guidelines:
- sleek, essential design
- form follows function, but form is still important
- SM14 will be inspired by the past, with small and unintrusive hints to the present
- most importantly: SM14 will not be a CAFE Racer! Verily I say unto you, Sunmaster 14 will take out the 'cafe' from the 'Cafe Racer'!

Starting point is my 1998 Yamaha SR400, which I continuously customized over the course of 5 years.

First step is to strip down the bike completely.

Taking off the seat and tank doesn't require any special skills. When it comes to the wiring loom however, the hair on my neck stand up to attention. Carefully labeling every plug and wire is a must.

After a fierce battle, the beast has been killed!

Quick jump forward...
Removed all electrical components, handlebar and top yoke, fenders, rear tire and the engine of course. Extracting the motor was actually much easier than I anticipated. With one simple movement it came out sideways. Piece of cake!

I had a broken bolt on the lower triple tree. Drilled it. Extracted it. Boom. Problem solved.

Next, slide the front forks out of the triple tree. When you remove the triple tree, the old ball bearings will fall out. Don't worry, they are meant to be like that. Best thing is to change them with new conical tapered bearings!

The bearing housing is stuck tightly inside the neck. Here's my special ball bearing remover tool...

After removing the swingarm and once the frame is bare, I got rid of that ugly helmet lock bracket and the original exhaust bracket.

The engine went off to a shop in Bangkok to get cleaned up, a new cam chain installed, valves cleaned, cylinder powder coated black and brushed side covers + sprocket cover.

Mine is on the right.


and after....

The frame came back last week. At first it looked alright, but once I unwrapped it completely, this is what I discovered...

Needless to say that I was pretty pissed of, but this being Thailand, I had to adhere to the Thai custom of not showing my true feelings. So, armed with a copious amount of self control, I went back to the shop. My Thai is basic at best, but by continuously pointing at the hard evidence, I got the message across. Now the frame is back at the powder coating shop and should be back next week. Fingers crossed!

Update will follow soon!

February 11, 2015

New Facebook group!! Everyone invited!

Hi all

Due to my passion for the SR (and for work), I navigate the net a lot and I'm a member of a long list of forums (or fora) as well as many Facebook groups. There are a dozen Thai groups, a handful German ones and a few English ones that I know of, mostly catering for riders of a specific country or small area.

What I missed so far, was a truly international group, where SR lovers could quickly interact with other FB users, asking for help, giving advise, inquiring about parts, sharing pictures and videos and generally having a good time among like minded people. In short, a global community of people, bound together by love for the little thumper.

For exactly this reason I decided to start a new group called

Feel free to join me in this new adventure!

February 10, 2015

SR Thailand 3rd Meeting

Once more the biggest Yamaha SR meeting in Thailand has been a huge success with over 500 bikers and bikes attending. Young hotheads, the old and wise wrenchheads, males and females alike, have enjoyed the party at the 3rd annual "SR Thailand" meeting.

This year we saw some amazing new builds, one of which was made by our friend and custom builder Tee from "The Sports". We enjoyed excellent live music by Gorealla and feasted our eyes on stunning models, who had the courtesy of performing a sexy bike wash for the enjoyment of all involved.

The only problem I had this year was that I didn't turn up with an SR. Oh no, my SR is in a thousand little pieces, getting ready to be reborn in a brand new body: The Sunmaster 14. But that's another story.
No, this year I attended with my Kawasaki ER6n, which I cleverly parked far far away, so as not to incur in the wrath of the SR purists.

But lets stop with the banter and move on to what you've all been waiting for: PICTURES!!!


Sexy SR wash here ;-) ====>>>
Post by Ter Tracker.