Bike of the Month April 2018

2 strokes… the smell, the noise, the power band, the teenage memories, your first (indicated) 100mph. Some of us grew up around them and personally I still have a hankering for one. A lovely X7 would make an excellent choice.

Speaking of excellent and X7 in the same sentence, it was time to choose this month’s BOTM and when I saw alfiestorm’s finished bike it had to be it.  When did we last have a bike of the month without cams?

As many projects start, it was bought originally to simply do up a little and get it MOT’d and on the road. Upon investigation however it soon transpired that there more work to do and indeed an opportunity to make it really nice.

The bike was dismantled, the engine was stripped, rebored and rebuilt. Lots of powdercoating and paintwork.

The tank was found to be really nasty and full of filler. Lots of work done and oh… those spannies! The result is a bike that looks ‘period right’ yet isn’t pretending to be standard… much like the one I’d have loved to have had back in the day.

So alfiestorm, your lovely little X7 is this months BOTM.

Read the project thread here.

Discuss this article here.

New OSS Trader – Lucky7moto

We are pleased to welcome Lucky7moto as an OSS Trader, with a discount available for OSS as well as a fantastic prize to give away too!

Lucky7moto are well known for building cool bikes, several of which have featured in magazines around the world. Their ‘no fucks given’ approach has always been fun to see, take a look at their T-shirts! They do it because they want to, not because they have to.

As well as building cool bikes for themselves and others with deep pockets (check out the Katana or ET they built), Lucky7moto also sell specialist parts.

New bike builds in the making include a GSXR1100 Slabside for a customer and a GSXR Slingshot that will become something endurance based. All builds result in some bespoke specialist parts being made and these are then offered for sale to you.

Today their most commonly requested item is the seat re-covering service. Steve the founding member, is a time served upholsterer by trade spending years in the Aston Martin interiors factory. Using only the best materials like high-grade leather or the latest waterproof Alcantara to the best textured vinyl, Lucky7moto seats can be found on some of the best builds on the planet. Racefit can attest to that. Lucky7 seats are on all of their builds. Steve has partnered with Jay who is an active member here on OSS.

Whether it’s a GSX1100 Katana, Bandit, GSXR (or any other bike including one off specials) these guys can (re)cover it transforming the look of the bike. Just don’t ask them for embossing or bright blue stitched logos, that’s not what they do.

Current bike parts on offer are GSX1100 and Katana oil catch tanks, under trays, swing arm spacers to allow later model swing arms to be used and shock mounts to allow newer style mono shock arms to run twin shocks. Lucky7moto will also supply you with a Racefit Legend system if you ask nicely 🙂

The newest product to come out of the workshop is a stunning hand beaten aluminium tank for the GSXR750 Slabside. It’s internally baffled, much lighter than stock and a real thing of beauty. These are a limited run so be quick to get some exotica. Other limited run, hand made aluminium tanks are on the horizon with GSXR Slingshot and Katana tanks being talked about.

If you can’t stretch to a fuel tank then Lucky7moto offer some very cool T-shirts and stickers for sale too. OSS members will receive a 10% discount.

To celebrate their new OSS Trader status, they are offering as a competition prize a re-cover for your bike seat OR if you are lucky enough to be a Katana or GSX1100 owner – an oil catch tank OR undertray set. Basically one winner, one prize.

For details of how get your OSS discount and to enter the competition, see the article in our Traders section here. Please note that you need a 50+ post count on the OSS forum to take part.

You can find Lucky7moto on the interwebs here:
http://facebook.com/luckyseven.motorcycles
http://lucky7moto.com (currently under construction)

New OSS Trader – MK-Components

We are pleased to welcome MK-Components as an OSS Trader, with a discount available for OSS as well as some very nice Yoshimura goodies to give away too!

Some of you may know our friend Mar71n and his rather nice engine covers. Well, good news as he’s started producing the R engine covers again! They fit the 1127cc oil cooled motor & its later versions.

He’s also looking at producing covers for some other motors too.

(Thanks to Duckndive for the loan of the EFE engine cases.)

The R covers are now for sale on a certain well known auction site.  However, if you buy through OSS, you get 10% off! To qualify, you need to contact Mar71n via OSS for that discount.

With the next batch of R covers he’ll be machining some for the 750/1052cc motor as well. So that should get most of you oil cooled boys and girls covered… terrible pun intentional!

To celebrate his launch, MK-Components are kindly offering the following goodies up for grabs in an easy to enter competition…

1st prize: A Yoshimura garage sign 24” X 17” ( 609.6 X 431.8 to be precise!)
2nd prize: A Yoshimura T shirt, it has an image of Pops himself on
3rd prize: A Yoshimura sticker set, it has approx 24 Yoshi stickers on the sheet

For details of how get your OSS discount and to enter the competition, see the article in our Traders section here. Please note that you need a 50+ post count on the OSS forum to take part.

 

You can find MK-Components on the interwebs here:

http://www.mk-components.co.uk

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/mk-components/m.html

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

OK, so maybe not quite as wonderful as that first start up after a long engine rebuild! Or eagerly awaited trick bits turning up in the post. Or lining up for the 1/4 mile or a track day. Or finally getting your jetting spot on… I could go on.

Anyway, it’s that time of year again soon. You know, the time to sneak off from family/sprouts/other responsibilities into the shed to ‘get some more beers’ whilst secretly spending ages looking at your bike / pile of bike parts. The time to make plans for the new year to finish or maybe start that project. Oh, and of course the time for us to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and an Oldskool New Year.

No matter what your views or beliefs about Christmas you are always welcome here at the church of OSS for our carol service played on instruments of flatslide chatter, mulled turbo whine and barely silenced heavy engines. You can stick your gold, frankincense and myrrh up your exhaust outlet though, bring us unobtanium Suzuki and Yoshimura parts instead.

Last and by no means least though, thank you to everyone for your contribution to and support for OSS this year, including our moderator and event moderator team. Best of luck and every success to our winged hammers racing next year too.

Merry Christmas and an Oldskool New Year from the OSS admin team*.

*except for Viz.

Discuss this article / eat / drink / be merry here.

We Love Projects

Projects, we fucking love them here on OSS! We can’t get enough of them… sharing build progress, inspiring others, building great OSS bikes, solving problems, unique solutions, riding the finished article etc is what OSS is all about. Or are they ever really finished? Just like when you were at skool, the end result will only get you so many marks… we like to see your working out too!

Fact is, the Projects section of the OSS forum is by far the most posted in section of them all and for good reason too. At the time of writing there are over 15,000 posts! Air cooled, oil cooled, water cooled, trick framed, forced induction and various combinations of those mixed up. Serious OSS porn-in-progress is just a click away and often the inspiration for your next build or even just the solution for that head-scratching problem for your current build you’ve had for a while can be found in there.

We keep a close eye on this section and as well as inspiring all of us and providing great interest it’s also where we primarily look for potential BOTMs (Bikes Of The Month) too. So, we urge you to do the decent thing and have a browse through the project section if you haven’t done so recently and if you are building something, no matter how humble or how trick… as long as it’s OSS we’d love to see your project thread up there. Who knows, it could be BOTM one day soon…

You can find the Projects section here.

Bike of the Month August 2017

Bandits, they crop up for discussion from time to time on OSS. Are they interesting? Are they not? They get referred to as ‘blandits’ unless they’re decent and have always been seen as a good source of parts, particularly the engine for our beloved OSS bikes.

So, when we set about rebooting OSS into what it is today we had a think about how to word which bandits we’d like to see on here… specifically no blandits! However that needed a tad more definition so we ended up with the following as part of the rules: “Standard bandits just aren’t that interesting. Trick ones are another thing though, there are indeed some out there and we’re not talking bolt-on tat. GSXR running gear, 1216, flatslides, turbos etc, that makes them interesting!”

When it was time to choose this month’s BOTM, I saw Colinworth79’s Bandit Evo thread and re-read that definition. My thought was that maybe it’s time for a ‘non-blandit bandit that’s still somehow a bandit’ BOTM. I also like well-executed tasteful trick details and I like shiny… so here we are.

Trick frame? Tick. Upgraded running gear? Tick. Turbo? Fucking tick! There are so many upgrades and details on this bike. GIA frame (11kgs lighter than the stock), Ohlins suspension, Harris/custom yokes, that swingarm, lightweight wheels, big bore, turbo, the list goes on with some amazing details and one-off parts along the way. Recognisable as a bandit however very trick and lacking in renthal bars and twin dominator headlights too!

The bike has competed at the Brighton Speed Trials and has since been seriously crashed and rebuilt along with further upgrades. It doesn’t stop there though, a 1340 motor is now being prepared for it too.

So, here we have it – we’ve got a bandit as BOTM. Yet it’s not a blandit. It’s the opposite of bland yet it’s still got the recognisable silhouette of a bandit. Is it still a bandit? Who cares, it’s our BOTM.

Colinworth79, your Bandit Evo is this months BOTM.

Read the project thread here.

Discuss this article here.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Hygiene

Bike cleaning. Some people hate it and some people love it. I personally love the end result and have made a living out of this for a few years with very happy customers. Here’s how I do it, there are of course more / alternative methods however this works for me as an overall approach:

Get the bike up on a bench so you can work comfortably. Maybe stick some tunes on and take your time. Take the fairing sides and belly pan off if you want to a proper job. Clean up the fasteners and put somewhere safe in a logical order.

Dirty stainless exhaust downpipes? Do that first as you’ll make a mess if you do it energetically enough… coat them in WD40 or similar and let them soak while you fuck about getting everything else ready. Green Scotchbrite pad with that following the grain if you want to maintain it or no worries if you are going to go all the way to polish them. Then red Scotchbrite with autosol or similar then grey Scotchbrite then cloth. For really bad ones alloy wheel cleaner (careful not to get on any other part of the bike) and rinse first and/or wet and dry used with the WD40.

Chain cleaner on the chain and clean it.

Get the bike outside and on a suitable stand or stands so you can clean the wheels properly. Remember, bike washing is best done in the shade, not direct sunshine if you want to avoid even more work from water spots etc.

Degreaser on the chain run fling area / other greasy bits. Allow to soak. Rub to see if broken the goo down enough. Break it down if needs be with more degreaser and suitable brush. Leave it to do it’s thing, don’t rinse it off just yet. Have you thought about taking off the front sprocket cover and chain guard?

Snow foam (I like the cherry smelling one) the whole bike. Set your lance to apply it thick. Use loads, it’s fun. Let it drip off. It congeals and takes dirt with it onto the floor. Marvel at how it’s taking horrible black crap off your bike, especially where you used the degreaser. Allow it to do it’s work for a few minutes.

Jet wash it off (don’t point it directly at sensitive areas e.g. radiators, electrics, unlacquered stickers, bearings etc, you know that right?). An adjustable lance that goes around corners is awesome for bikes and allows you to select the appropriate strength so you don’t go too mad. Check for any loose paint / crumbling finishes etc beforehand and adjust your approach accordingly if you find any as jet washing with likely damage those.

Have another look at the areas that were properly greasy. Either use more degreaser or spot clean with brake cleaner. Check under the bike, yes use your knees. Behind the number plate etc.

Use a decent wash and wax mixed warm in a bucket with a grit guard. You’ve already removed the vast majority of the dirt above, haven’t you? Check again. Now, wash the bike top down with a decent microfibre mitt thingy regularly rinsing it clean in a second bucket of clean water with a grit guard in it too. Use a soft brush last on the wheels etc and always check if the ‘tool’ you are using gets greasy/gritty etc after every use. Do the fairing panels you may have removed earlier.

Jet wash it off (as above).

Double check it’s clean. Repeat steps as necessary.

Use a proprietary warm air dryer from top to bottom doing nooks and crannies e.g. petrol cap flaps, seat straps etc first. Do the rad before the engine. Dry the fairing panels. If you don’t have a lovely warm air dryer use soft clean cloths or compressed air, ideally oil-free.

Get the bike back up on the bench.

Spot remove any remaining grease / chain shite with brake cleaner.

Dry any remaining water with a clean microfibre cloth.

Clean and lube the chain. I like to use WD40 ‘Chain Lube’ on shiny chains and WD40 ‘Chain Wax’ on rustier ones. Wipe off excess from wheels etc. You know to spray lube on the inside run of the chain not the outside, don’t you? I find a piece of cardboard folded up helps to prevent getting any elsewhere on the bike or your bench.

Final polish the exhaust with cloth and Autosol if you want it really shiny.

Apply something that works on black frames, engine cases, black plastics etc. I like Muc-Off ‘Bike Spray’ and a product called ‘Dash Dandy’ too. Leave it for a while then gently work it in with a clean microfibre cloth. After a while the cloth becomes impregnated and you can then do switchgear etc with it. I don’t need to tell you to avoid the seat, grips, tyres, brakes etc do I?

Put the fairing etc back on. Use copper grease on those cleaned up fastener threads.

Check the bodywork for any scratches that you want to polish out. Use a suitable product if you feel you want to go there and do that. I like something I source locally called ‘Used Car Polish’, it smells fantastic.

If there are any stone chips you want to address then touch them in and wait to dry then cut them in later using your polishing product above. I find a pen nib applicator to be more accurate than a brush.

Apply a fine detailing wax on the bodywork and screen then buff with a clean microfibre cloth. I fucking love microfibre cloths.

Walk round the whole bike and wipe anything you’ve not yet wiped over with a clean soft cloth. Using nothing but the cloth clean over things like calipers etc.

When you’re eventually done and happy, clean the brake discs with brake cleaner and fresh blue roll or similar.

Time to put the kettle on / get a beer out of the fridge / have a smoke and a pancake according to your personal preference and admire your handiwork.

 

Discuss this article here, maybe share your bike cleaning tips or even be one of those people that comments “I never clean my bikes” if you like.