Japan Meets Britain...

So many new developments today, not the least of which was that my speedo broke (tach still works). It started acting wildly - showed I was doing 90mph down Main St. in Reisterstown! An NOS replacement is already on the way....

I did about 150 miles today, and it seems like I awoke a sleeping giant (or so the tach showed!). Earlier in the week I cleaned and re-oiled the K&N filters, as that was really the only part of the equation I hadn't thought to address. So this morning while heading to a breakfast meetup with two friends, the bike hit 9000rpms in 5th gear -- this was just before the speedo went kerflooee, and it was lazily drifting around 100-110-120, but of course when I slowed down to 35mph it was still showing 80! As well, on the way home, I was heading down Interstate 95 and was doing over 8000rpms on an uphill in 5th. The tach was rock-steady, and it sure sounded like I was up there in the revs. I can't really say whether the cleaning of the K&N's affected this, but I can't think of anything else that changed in that regard (it was also odd that the filters looked okay to me prior to cleaning them). The temperature today was in the low 60's. Additionally, I discovered that the 30 rear sprocket is perfect - great on the highway, and perfect on the backroads. Don't think I'd want to be revving any more than I am, so the 30 will stay.

A roadside break

A roadside plug check (this is from overall riding today). A bit darker than earlier plugs. The porcelain was brown, and the outer threads near the top were very dark. All looked dry.
Emailed the photo to John (mechanic), and he was thrilled!
Joe that's not sad, I want to ride it too. I think that Vince would take that as a compliment. It is a sweet bike for sure!
Absolutely I take that a compliment - many thanks!

I just need t get a few little kinks worked out - like the chain guard that always wants to fracture (just did it again). Would love to get one made out of titanium, if that would solve it!
Photoshopped out the chain guard, just to see what it might look like without it.


My thinking is that it probably looks better with the chain guard, but there's so much other stuff going on with the bike, that I more than likely wouldn't miss it.
Disclaimer: Chain guards serve a valuable purpose, and riders should remove at their own risk.

Alright, now that I have that out of the way. I like it more without it. Ha.

My cafe didn't have one, and the chop will not either.
I don't have one on mine either, but I am contimplating putting it back on because even the no fling lube has been flinging all over the place, I ride way to much to wash the bike every day so I think I might put a guard to help with keeping things clean.
I've seen pics of this bike floating around the web. I've saved them and gone back to them multiple times for inspiration on my own project. Beautiful build.
I spoke with my mechanic today regarding the chain guard situation, and he definitely does NOT like the idea of riding without a chain guard. So I think what we're going to do is ride it as is, and hopefully it won't fracture any further (ha!). Then over the next winter I'll get a metal furniture-design friend of mine design and fabricate a new chain guard from scratch. We'll remove the swingarm and really design and fit it properly so that this doesn't happen again.
Had to do a bit of jetting adjustment on Friday -- the plugs were coming out too dark, so I brought bike back to John for a bit of tweaking. Moved the needle to its lowest position, and went from 250 mains to 240 mains. Tested it and it seemed much smoother.

Yesterday I led 15 other riders on an 85-mile ride, and when I got home I had logged a total of about 200 miles for the whole day. Pulled the plugs to check -- perfect and matched left/right. I think we got it this time!


And to think that a little SuperHawk led them all.
Did a rather 'spirited' 130 mile ride this morning (amazing how far you have to ride on Easter Sunday to get a coffee and donut!), and finally hit a true 'ton'. Don't know if the bike can offer much more than that, but I was pretty happy to hit that mark with the new speedo indicating as such.

The bike rides so smooth and is so effortless throughout the entire spectrum. I discovered that the fuel range is about 102 miles to reserve, which is pretty close to what I'd gotten before all the engine work was done, so that's encouraging.
Been a while since I've posted any updates on the beast....

Bike's running great now (after a few minor road bumps), but the latest project has been to build a better chain guard. It seems that most of the chain guards for SuperHawks are either fractured at their mounting points, or have not yet fractured. I've been through this process three times, but on this fourth occasion I decided it was time for a change of approach. So I enlisted the help of my good friend Lee Hulteng (he did the '1966' banner on my side covers), and I think he built a better mousetrap.

I liked the shape of the chain guard from a Norton Domi 88, and I think this one has elements of it. This guard was actually sitting in Lee's box of spare parts (doesn't even know what it's from!), and this is the result.....

The guard:

The project begins:

The process:


I'll try to post a few shots of the bike in its entirety soon.

I'm done with chroming chain guards, so black with a hand-painted white pinstripe is the way it's gonna stay.

Thanks Lee!!!!!
Went for a short ride this morning before the threatening skies unloaded the rain.

The silver coachline on the chain guard is gone (much better I think!), and the bike runs much better since it had a bit of recent reworking. It seems that the right camshaft was loose -- the nut that tightened it was in fact tight, but obviously not tight enough. As well, the old tank is temporarily back on the bike -- the new tank has some issues, namely a nagging pinhole. Next winter project, I suspect!
Another creative project -- just can't leave things alone!

So the idea began with this vintage water transfer decal that I saw on eBay:

I thought it was really cool, and would likely look neat on my chain guard in that blank spot at the back of it. But, I wanted it to face the other way (facing forward, being that the chain guard is on the right side of the bike) and being that this was a water transfer decal, I'd surely screw it up. I emailed the photo to my good friend Lee Hulteng (he did the chain guard, the red coachlines on my wheels, the '1966' banner on my sidecovers, and painted my tank), and asked "Think you can paint this?". I printed a copy of the image, reversed it, and brought it to Lee. This is the result.....

The master at work

Taking shape


On the bike

If you want to see more of Lee's work, have a look here: http://www.leesarts.com/
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