Grease Monkey Project Monkeying with a motorbike – what could go wrong?!


…and you thought we’d never finish it!

Well, we finally got there...

I'm still not sure if this is the end of the story - you know, it could just be the start of a new one...

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A busy weekend…

Quite a bit of progress this weekend.... While this monkey carefully tagged all the wiring and removed the loom, the other monkey was busy pannel-beating the under-belly of our pre-loved 250Z tank into a shape that will fit onto the Honda frame. With the wiring loom removed, we were also able to lower the front shocks through the tripple-clamp about 5cm. Enough to fit those (disappointingly cheap and nasty) clip-ons that I'd bought for $50 on eBay. You get what you pay for - even on eBay, and there's no escaping the fact that we're going to have to shell out for some better quality bars some time down the track, but these'll do for now and it certainly changes the bikes profile for the better.

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To chrome or not to chrome…

The topic of conversation this week revolves around whether we should re-chrome the pipes - or not. There's currently a big patch of surface rust where the chrome's peeled on one pipe, so we have to do something. Of course, we could have them re-chromed, but there are also other treatments available like the ones offered by Jet Hot. Bearing in mind the goal of "doing it on a shoestring" though, we must also consider simply painting the pipes with some flavour of heat-resistant paint. I'm starting to think this is probably the best way to move forwards - after all, we can always strip and chrome - or just splash out on shiny new pipes - some time later down the track.

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They say the first cut is the deepest…

We found a potential new tank for the project at Sydney Motorcycle Wreckers with assistance from the ever-enthusiastic Jay. As you can see it's pretty rusty and dinged up, but the basic shape and size seem to fit well with our (admittedly vague) notions of building some kind of bobber. (Yes, I know last week it was going to be a cafe racer! What can I say - it might even turn out to be a chopper yet.)

After some beer (and plenty of  "shall we/shan't we") we just could't resist the urge to see some sparks so we fired up the angle-grinder and chopped the poor beast's tail off! Ahh... that's MUCH better - now we're getting somewhere! The other monkey is keen to try his hand at building a custom seat for it - that's just a rough card template in the last pic. Doesn't look too comfortable does it - maybe it's just a bit too thin!

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The task begins…

We'd spent many days now, just looking at the CB250 and trying to imagine what it might become, but we were also itching to get our hands dirty - so we've agreed that the first task has to be stripping away anything not bolted down - even some things that ARE bolted down... like seat, tank, lights and body-panels. Even a couple of monkeys should manage that - right? Hmmm... you know it'd be pretty cool too if we can remove that air-box and relocate the battery to free up that nice triangular void described by the frame just behind the motor.

Ok, so its off with the saddle. Off with the side-panels. Tear off the headlamp, indicators and tail light.... This is exciting stuff. Now for the first time, we can really start to get a feel for the 'bones' of our humble donor. It seems we're really starting to enjoy dismantling stuff  - perhaps a bit too much though ...  so I guess this means we need to step back, grab a beer and spend some more time cogitating - or at least thinking about it. Cheers!

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A Sneak Preview of the Donor Bike…

And here she is ... waiting quietly in the rain outside SMW for Jay to get around to servicing her.

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Once upon a time there were two monkeys…

SMW Alexandria

SMW Alexandria

A couple of days ago these two monkeys wandered in to Sydney Motorcycle Wreckers and introduced ourselves to Jay - the boss-man over there. We were prepared for a fairly cool welcome - I could imagine him thinking "Lord, not ANOTHER pair of totaly inexperienced wannabe grease monkeys!".

As it turned out, we were both blown away by Jay's surprisingly genuine enthusiasm and support. He must have spent at least half an hour showing us round his wonderful store of second-hand parts. It's a regular Aladin's Cave over-brimming with bike-parts just waiting and begging to be re-cycled. [Baboom! I've been waiting for an opportunity to insert a bad pun like that!]

As luck would have it, they'd just received an old Honda CB250 that would make an ideal donor bike for our project. Jay offered to get it working and to help by giving us free access to his huge stock of parts - "Mate, just take a few tanks and try them out to see what works for you - bring back what you don't need. Oh, and we'll only stay friends as long as you don't thieve from me!". Cool!

At this stage we've only a vague idea of where this project is going, and this monkey is quite happy to allow a certain level of organic development. However our project bike ultimately evolves, we're agreed that it's got to be done on shoestring budget - but we're also determined to end up with a very cool and (dare I say it) an elegant bike.

Will our twin goals of low-cost & beautiful bike, combined with our complete lack of experience lead to complete disaster? There's only one way to find out....

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