Saturday, 2 April 2011

Bye Bye Monster...

My Black Monster has gone to a new home, to my good friend Stevie to be precise for services rendered landscaping at the Ranch. The good news is that the two of us will be riding out together on Monsters as I've still got my S4!

Saturday, 16 January 2010


The Duck House is finally emerging from the snow which means I will finally be able to stop nail biting and see if my fix has worked...

El Monstro has been worrying me on the last two outings as the oil pressure warning light has been coming on after the engine has got up to temperature. Topping up the oil and pressure testing the system hasn't really proved conclusive so having done some reading I replaced the oil pressure sensor (apparently these are notorious for failing) and now need to check out whether this fix has worked. The good news is that the Bike is a very sweet ride, quite different from the sheer animal experience that is my S4.

New on the beast is a used seat cowl together with a black Baglux tank cover and carbon side panels, all of which suit the overall look of black grunginess which the "Dark" imparts - not a long term colour scheme by any means but the cocoon from which the eventual butterfly will emerge (OK, killer wasp).

Friday, 11 December 2009

...and she passed!

So the Monster sailed through the MOT today, no reason to believe it wouldn't but a relief all the same. Slightly concerned that the oil pressure warning light came on as I was on my way to the test but Ian at Beakey's thought it might just be low oil level and topped it up for me - fingers crossed.

Although in its interim winter-hack/mechnical proving state the Monster ain't looking to bad:

Bits of bling are helping it along:

The Remus can's are slightly scruffy but sound nice, not as nice as the Termi's on my S4 though:

Just got to pluck up the courage to tackle the bucket shims on the valves...or shall I let the Dealer do it...Hmmm....

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Extra goodies for the Duck House

A Bike Lift is a wonderful thing, however it's only part of the story when it comes to true Bike fettling bliss. Having tipped my Monster S4 off the Bike Lift a couple of years ago by trying to lift the rear wheel using a paddock stand I went straight out and did what I should have done to start with: bought an ABBA Bike Jack. This is a safe and secure means of lifting the back wheel of the ground and is seemingly foolproof, however if you need to do work to the swing arm it does pose a problem as the ABBA uses the swing arm pivot tube to attach to the bike:

The answer therefore is to use a little Scissor Jack on the Bike Lift so that you can raise the Bike from beneath the engine. I picked up one of these at the NEC Bike Show a few days ago and gave it a tryout today - so far so good.

As you can see from the next photo the Duck House also boasts a fine collection of Tilley lamps and the like, mostly donated by my chum Allan Ford who seems to pick them up at Car Boot sales:

Unlike Cutter, I have exhibited true cowardice by putting aside most thoughts on customisation until the beast has proved it's MOT credentials...won't have an excuse for much longer though...

Friday, 27 November 2009

Inspired by The Chicken House Ducati Project...

So not to be outdone by The Chicken House Ducati Project, created by my good chum Cutter I have decided to leap into the fray and inflict a pale imitation on the world. A tribute site if you like...

My own Ducati Monster project bike is a year 2000 M900ie Dark, a basic air-cooled model designed for aftermarket customisation (handy).

This is the second Monster in the Roly stable, the first being a 2001 Monster S4 which is a water-cooled beastie, ministered to by the excellent Snells rather than myself.

I picked up the Dark for a relative snip although it looked like it needed some TLC. My plan of action so far has been to get it up to a level where it is mechanically sound enough to put through the MOT test before embarking on any serious customisation, but I've fallen at the first post by administering bling already (see below). "Mechanically sound" has meant a full service: all filters (air, oil and fuel), plugs, belt changes, new chain and sprockets, various works to the swingarm, front and rear brake overhaul and replacement clutch slave cylinder + operating rod. Oh, and I've used about a gallon of hydraulic fluid in the process - excellent for removing paint from my Bike lift. Also had to remove the alarm/immobiliser and fit a new battery. And whilst I was at it, I just had to fit a billet clutch pressure plate and ventilated cover. And now I've just bought Baglux tank cover off ebay. I'm out of control really...

Latest news is that I've been for a blast down the road and back and all seems tolerably good so I'm off to Beakey's for the MOT if it ever stops raining...