Frijole 833 NORRA Mexican 1000 Project Update 1-10-18

  So we missed our deadline of January 1st by a bit, but it wasn't for a lack of trying! Some things have to be done out-of-house and took a little longer than expected. We plan on testing next Tuesday, the 16th out in Barstow, CA where it is rough as hell and a good approximation of Baja terrain. The bike runs and rides and we've only got a few things to do between now and Tuesday: • Longer, custom-wound springs for the front forks are supposed to be here tomorrow afternoon. We are building one high set and one lower and going to see which we prefer. Most likely it'll be the tall set up. The rear Elka shocks are adjustable, so we can tune those to match. • Detailed prep still needs to happen once we are done taking things on and off a million times. Every fastener is getting Loc-Tite, safety wire, external gob of RTV and a witness mark or some variation of these secondary failsafes. • Stainless rack for an Exfil-7 bag is built, just needs to be reinstalled. • The rear brake hanger shown is just a steel mock-up. There is a billet machined aluminum one on the way from Gigacycle Garage. Fingers crossed that our drawing was accurate enough on this essential piece. Below are some detail photos and we'll have some more full bike shots after testing next week.

The Loaf.

Our buddy Duane Ballard shaped this hideous seat and we love it! It looks crazy off the bike but once it's on, you can appreciate why it's shaped the way it is and I think our tired asses will be stoked to have such a deep and wide cushion after a few hours of abuse in the desert. We got it covered in gripper vinyl by Moto Seats right down the street.

Bits & Pieces.

Rob has a ton of hours into this bike and it shows. He's such a detail-oriented mechanic and has been a pleasure to work with on this project. I've done most of the welding and dabbled in some of the other details, but Rouser built this motorcycle, and he should be proud. The daily grind.. XR250F Forks with Gigacycle Garage custom top tree. Note XR400 oil cooler mounted on head tube.  Westy and Rouser getting to work. The Baja Designs headlight facia got carved up to allow a little more airflow to the cooler. Super trap can got shortened substantially and still sounds great. Notes on the blue tape was for Hot Dog to hand-paint some "co-sponsors" names on the bike. Lots more of this to do... Tyrone has a terrible work ethic, but he helps keep morale high. Tomorrow we are cutting off that brake pedal and mating up an Alloy Art folding peg. Foot controls are one of the most vulnerable elements of a Sportster in the dirt so we're hoping these will last 1,000 miles or so. Gigacycle made up these bitchin' axle adjusters and a mandrel to pound into the swingarm to ensure proper fitment. Tim has been a massive help with his engineering and manufacturing knowledge. GP-style shifter made from a stock Honda XR400 unit welded to a Harley one. This tucks it up into a less delicate position and we'll have a bag full of spares.   Utilitarian dash is nice and tidy. Navigation is going to be a iPad mini running Leadnav in our tank bag, the Exfil-11. GPR stabilizer is a must. We clearance the tank with a hammer and Hot Dog cleaned it up. Dual coils, dual Anti-Gravity batteries. Everything we can make redundant will be in duplicate. Note Buell rocker boxes with the PVC valves instead of breathing outside the heads. These breathers lead to a puke can that is filtered so no chance of sucking silt back into the engine. World-renowned fabricator and suspension guru Doug Roll reinforced the stock swingarms (two of them actually so we have a spare). He thinks we're idiots for racing a Harley in Baja but he still helped engineer and build the new lower shock mounts and built the Elka shocks for us. Thanks, Doug! This brake plate is just a mock-up that will be replaced tomorrow.  We don't make a dual cable 7/8" throttle so we went to the best in the business for one. Motion Pro also supplied custom clutch and throttle cables to work with the dirt bike controls.   

The Paint.

Pete Finlan, AKA Hot Dog killed the livery for this bike. We may be heavy and slow, but damn it we're gonna look great. The "Angry Bean" was drawn by our in-house graphic designer Luis Aguirre and then Pete replicated it four times on two tanks, plus hand-lettered everything and painted the Baja peninsula on the top. We've got two tanks in case one gets damaged along the way. This bike would never have happened without the help of our good friends, so huge thanks to everyone who pitched in! We have a couple more days of work and then it'll be time to take this thing to the desert and see what's up. The van is already loaded with suspension-tuning stuff, a stack of sprockets, different tires and a bunch of beer so we're really looking forward to getting out there and getting it on. Stay tuned... -Bill