Wednesday 25 September 2013

Superlight Project

The Superlight in now officially a Work-In-Progress. 

This is good 'cos it's always exciting to start a new project. But it's bad 'cos the Africa Twin (seen languishing in the background here) is also a work-in-progress... It's a bit like fighting a war on two fronts and it's generally not a good idea to have two projects on the go, competing for time, space and resources.

I'm rationalising this this away by telling myself that the AT is a long-term thing (it's a pretty big and expensive endevour) while the Superlight will be finished in time to ride it on NewYear's Day.*

It's actually not that big a project because I'm starting with a reasonably well-sorted and fully functional motorcycle that's already had quite a bit of work and money thrown at it - Marvic wheels & Ohlins shock, I'm looking at you!

The motor is basically sound although it needs a service - Having said that, if a 1000DS unit showed up at an affordable price, I'd bodge that in in a heartbeat. It's a 100 bolt-in horsepower and I believe it's about 3kg lighter!

The main objectives are to...

  • Tidy the bike up: On more than one occasion, punters have come up to chastise me about the disgraceful condition of the rare and beautiful Mk 1 Superlight of which I am fortunate enough to be custodian (What these people are going to do when they realise that I've taken an angle grinder to it is open for speculation).

  • Make it lighter: It was pretty light when it left the factory. Since then, I've removed a lot of unnecessary stuff. A lighter battery saved about 4kg, the flywheel saved 1.5kg, the clutch was about the same I think. The magnesium wheels are maybe 5kg lighter than the original composites. It's easily 15 kg lighter now. Removing all the gubbins around the headlight should save another 6kg. I'm guessing when it's done, it'll be in the region of 150kg dry. Which is pretty light for a torquey bike that makes about 75bhp

  • Personalise it: I don't really consider myself to be a typical Ducati driver, I still see myself as a courier. And I always felt a bit of an impostor on the thing in my dirty jeans and open-face helmet whereas I always felt pretty comfortable on the Buell. I realise this is my own issue but I'd still like the bike to reflect my personality a bit more.

So, the plan so far is to relocate the battery, fusebox and all the electrics to a tray under the seat-hump. This will allow me to remove the airbox and fit individual air filters (unless I can find a 60mm diameter dual-flange @ 100 centers K&N). 

I'm going to fabricate a very lightweight bracket to fit the VFR 400 headlamp to the bottom yoke and fabricate another lightweight aluminium bracket to hold the tiny LED stop and taillight and the equally tiny number plate. And fabricate some stuff to fit the bikini fairing off Evan's GPZ.

I'm going to fit a tiny bicycle speedo to the top yoke, mostly as a nod towards being road-legal. I haven't decided about idiot lights yet. I'm happy to drive without them generally except that the Ducati fuel tank doesn't have a reserve, just an orange idiot light. And if I'm going to fit a petrol light, then I might as well fit oil, neutral and high-beam lights as well...

Other than that it's mostly a case of taking it apart, cleaning it and painting it. Simples!

Mercenary Garage Ducati Superlight 900 SL #474

Mercenary Garage Ducati Superlight 900 SL #474

Mercenary Garage Ducati Superlight 900 SL #474

Mercenary Garage Ducati Superlight 900 SL #474

Mercenary Garage Ducati Superlight 900 SL #474

*I just made that deadline up without any particular consideration...

#Ducati #DucatiSuperlight #Ducati900SL #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage

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