whole season. There have been more than a few times I've questioned the sense of calling this bike the Better Devil, and I don't suggest anyone following suit. It definitely came back to haunt me more than once. More than a few times I came close to pouring gas all over it and setting the fucking thing on fire, but in the end I won ugly.
A lot's happened. New OEM floats, float needles and seats finally saw to the overflow problems I was having, but not before ditching the entire rack I had as I discovered there was an air leak through the throttle shaft linkage and replacing it with another. It's a one-in-a-million problem I'm told and took months to figure out. Fuck that anyway. Carb situation sorted, or so I thought. Still had an air leak, but only manifested itself after 40 mins or so of riding. Idle would bog down, oil light start flickering and the bike would stall. So chased that issue around for a couple of months until figuring out it was caused by the bloody carb boot clamps. The heat would cause the boots to enlarge, and the clamps I had weren't up to the job of securing the boots to the head and carbs. Got through at least three sets of boots until I worked that one out.
However, still an engine light flickering after 50 mins of riding, and idle drop and stall. What the hell. A friend asked me when I'd last changed the oil and I couldn't exactly remember (at least, I could not remember if it was after the last carb rebuild or before). So, drained the oil, and - again - it looked iridescent and brown, rather than the usual black. Did it smell like gas? Not overpoweringly, but to be honest I couldn't tell.
Finally, rather than using my go-to Rotella T4 (15W 40) I went with a suggested straight 50W dedicated motorcycle engine oil - now the thing is howling like a banshee with no engine lights in sight.
Problem solved. Turns out the stuck float was flooding the cylinder, dumping gas past the rings into the engine oil. Thinning the oil, buggering up the oil pressure when hot and everything then shitting the bed. With the carbs now correct, that's no longer an issue, but clearly I hadn't changed the oil since the rebuild and the oil was still gas-contaminated.
Quebec is famous for many things but good roads are absolutely not one of them. But down here they're great, and there's a stretch I like to call the Golden Miles for all sorts of reasons but lets just say you can give it the beans without the usual raft of concerns. This thing is f-a-s-t (I don't make a habit of going balls out but I do like to find out what I can wring out from the bikes I build at least once) - at WOT this thing'll get up to 200 without breaking much of a sweat. I on the other hand was sweating bullets but hey. Done the ton and then some.
Couple of flat spots on the torque curve but there's no way in hell I'm pulling the carbs again. I'm going to try shimming the needle and see if that helps - the flat spots seem to be at about 4- 5000rpm at ¾ throttle but I'm kinda ball-parking that as I most definitely had other things to concentrate on at the time, like mortality.
I'll try and stick up a vid of it running. No engine rattle, no clutch rattle, it sounds pretty bloody great. I think I'm calling it done. Only took three years.