Sunday, February 28, 2010

Header wrap is done!

Header warp is done!, originally uploaded by achung_123.

Finally it is done! After days of work and waiting, it is finally done. Wrapping the header sound easy; but it actually needs a lot of work and skill to make it looks nice and right... Love the look! And hopefully will reduce header heat during the hot day ride!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Exhaust wrap

Wrap after thermo spray paint
Raw warp
Exhaust warp, originally uploaded by achung_123.

Like most Ducati Sport 1000 owners, I have experienced excessive heat on the left thigh during the hot day - it got much worse at the traffic light. In the beginning I thought it was the voltage regulator under my seat; but the heat problem didn't go away after I relocate the regulator. The next thing I could try is header wrap. I personally really liked the old-school look; and I may gain a few HPs if I do it right. The main goal is hopefully the additional insulation will keep the temperature down to a reasonable level during the hot months - it is not fun to slow cook my left thigh!

I have to thank Mike passing down the left-over the wrap from his project. I believe I use about 100' of 1" width Thermo-Tech Wrap for both of my headers and 2-to-1 connector, and 4 cans of Thermo-Tec Hi-Heat Coating. The project is still going on since it take time to dry between each layer of coat, and I ran out of wrap and spray can after finish the long header...

Stay tune to the final result! Two things are going on right now - first is the exhaust wrap, second is the new tank insulation. I will post both picts of the headers and video of the exhaust sound after I done!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ducati spreading plastic tank problem

From 2006 onward Ducati has been using plastic tank in their models, and since then there been a lot of complains about tank spreading issues - specifically on Monster and Classic, and few cases of Superbikes. Tank problem varies case by case - from spreading as much as 2" per side, to uneven deformation and anything in between. The odd thing is it only happens in the US models. Like most riders suspect, it is the ethanol added in the fuel reacts with the plastic tank and causes the deformation. Most tanks, like mine, will 'settle' in time and it won't spread any further. In my case, the spread continues since I bought the bike used back in June 2008 with 4.2k miles on it, and finally stop some time last year. No one would notice the problem unless study it closely; but the spreading could possibly cause deadly accident if the tank comes loss from the brackets during the high speed ride.

There are few solutions out there - the cheapest way is adding washer between the frame and the tank brackets to make up the spread space (which is what I did - 1/4" added per side). Just make sure you use a longer bolts and the tank brackets are secure.

The best and the most expensive way to resolve this problem is replacing the tank. But just like another motorcycle, tank probably is the third most expensive parts beside the engine and the frame. In this case, a new Sport Classic tanks costs $1900 USD. Spread tank problem will be taken care of if your bike is under still warranty. In California, gas tank is part of the emission system, which the State requires all manufacture offers 5 years warranty - that's how I got a replacement. In fact, I have just received a call from Ace Motorsports telling me my new tank has arrived for replacement! As for other states, DNA (Ducati North America) may replace it at "good will" - meaning that it is a case by case situation depend on how bad it spread...

For general info of the tank spread issue, check out this Ducati MS forums post. For out of warranty tank issue, check out this post.

Will post picture once the new tank is installed! Can't wait!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to my world - my new baby girl

Baby Alison Chung, originally uploaded by achung_123.

Even-though this is not the first time for me (she is my second one), the feeling of holding a new born is still pretty shocking and touching.... especially I can actually find a trace of myself from her face... that feeling is wonderful. I feel like I am one the luckiest man in the world...

But of cause, I don't mind to "adopt" another kid like a new a Ducati 848 or Hypermotard S too... =)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

BBQ oysters over Tomales Bay

Today weather is surprisingly warm and sunny. Compare with the last 3 weeks of rain, today ride is like riding in heaven. The best part is because of Superbowl Sunday, the roads are all empty!

Lunch was great - we had BBQ oyster over The Masrshall Store over Tomales bay. One of the 'most stop' along HW1. The store is small; but the BBQ oyster probably one of the best in the area! The store has all of their oysters suppled locally, and it is always fresh and tasty.

Here is the route for the bay area riders as reference - have fun and ride safe!

Friday, February 5, 2010

New chain and sprockets installed - nicely done!

All done!, originally uploaded by achung_123.

All the correct parts arrive on time and undamaged - well done JC Pak bikes! I got a super deal BTW... very good buying experience with JC!

Finally the sky is clear a bit, and I only have a about 4 hrs window to get it installed since the next rain storm is lining up over pacific - this is a very typical winter weather in North Cal. This is the first time I replace sprockets and chain; and there is no way I want to do it at home - so I leave to the pro to take care of it. I bought my bike to a small local shop for the installation, and only took them 1 hour to get everything done - it was a nice job. Took it to a spin - man, it was quite a difference! The bike felt alive, and I broke the speed limit while still in 2nd gear... this is not good... hahaha...

Here is what I done:

Gear ratio from Ducati factory: Front 15, Rear 38, ratio @ 2.5
Gear ration when I got my bike: Front 14, Rear 38, ration @ 2.7
Newly installed sprockets: Front 15. Rear 42, ratio @ 2.8

As you can see, it is a big jump from the factory setting - but since I got the bike with 14/38, there isn't too big of the jump for me at 15/42. However, I'm for sure can feel the different - the bike feels alive, and a lot quicker at the same amount of twist.

Can't wait to bring it to the twisties - it will be fun! :D