Just bagged a nice little Aprilia spare off eBay ….. an RST1000 Futura motor! Not the lowest mileage, but complete and still sporting the starter motor. Overall in nice condition with only age related external wear and no corrosion at all, but of course it’s the condition of the internals that count! Either way, use it or break it for spares, I think it’s well worth what I paid for it – can’t wait to pick it up later this week. 😀
I’ve noticed that engine prices seem to be on the increase in the UK …. Capo/Futura motors seemed to go for £350-£500 a year or two ago – now they seem to be commanding £450 – £700 plus!
If all goes to plan, later this year the second Rally-Raid that’s currently being rebuilt, will finally get a motor installed. The plan is to use a big-bore motor …. an 1,103cc in place of the standard 998cc. The compression and valve timing will remain bog-standard Caponord (10.5/1 Inlet timing – 25°BTDC/37°ABDC and Exhaust timing – 57°BBDC/5°ATDC). However to accommodate the increase in air-flow, I’ve decided to use Futura 51mm throttle bodies instead of the Caponord 47mm items.
Meanwhile on top of this chunky aluminium marvel sits a pair of velocity stacks. These stacks vary in height (and diameter) depending on the intended tune of the engine. The RSV Mille of course is designed as a race-rep and as such wants high horsepower at high RPM – hence 57mm throttle bodies and very short velocity stacks. On the other hand the Caponord was tuned for improved low-end grunt and so has small throttle bodies (47mm) and tall velocity stacks to maintain good gas flow speed at low RPM. The Futura seems to sit firmly between the two!
Now of course I could simply use the medium height velocity stacks straight off a Futura, but I decided to go a different route and print a new pair of hybrid stacks – Caponord height BUT 51mm diameter to fit the Futura throttle bodies. Unlike ABS, Colorfabb Ngen (Co-Polyester) can’t be vapour polished with Acetone, so I’ll have to sand the venturi down with a variety of grades of wet-and-dry up to 2,000 grit and maybe finish it off with something like Quixx plastic polish – if it works on this stuff! Here’s a couple of pics comparing the original and new version – straight out of the printer!
Unfortunately 3D parts (unless made on high-end machines) don’t typically have the same strength as injection molded or machined parts – but they do make great ‘proof-of-concept’ parts! If these stacks prove to be a positive step forward, but not durable enough for the working environment, I can at least get the drawings to the machine shop and have them made in aluminium … but that’ll be a tad more expensive than 85p each off the printer! 🙁
Just had a spare half-hour to rub some 100/400 & 1200 grit paper down one of the stacks and all I can say is – WOW! This material rubs up lovely and probably a couple more sessions will see it through. All the print-ridges have gone and I can’t feel anything but a nice smooth surface that retains a print pattern that makes it look quite distinctive. 🙂
On 4th February Jan came back home with a suitcase fair groaning with all manner of goodies. The most eagerly awaited though, was the pair of new inlays from Lockwood International Ltd. So first impressions?
Excellent! From the textured material to the bleed-free printing, from the fit to the light-transmission …. everything was exactly as I’d hoped. The first thing I did was pop one onto a waiting chassis/board and turn on the lighting – did the text and colour match the light channels? Again, perfectly. Now I could relax, prepare the new chassis and get ready to fit one permanently to the dashboard. To fix it in place I decided to use a general-purpose spray adhesive and did a trial run on an old chassis/inlay to make sure it would be suitable. Everything seemed fine and it was certainly good experience to do a dummy run.
Making sure the chassis was grease and dust free was essential, then masking off the light-channels, mounting pegs and anywhere else I didn’t want spray glue to go! A couple of thin coats of adhesive were applied and the inlay fitted 10 minutes later to allow time for the solvents to evaporate. Perfect! It was now ready to be fitted to the circuit board, but first a couple of modifications to the board/processor circuits.
First the eeprom file needed to be updated for the Futura speedo/tacho, then the code in the microcontroller needed updating for the different (voltmeter) needle calibration. At the same time a couple of modifications were made to the circuits based on insights I’d picked up about Arduino boards from the Internet, also the auto-dimming circuit was finally added for the variable back-lighting, a bit of tweaking with the code – and it was all ready to be refitted to the Capo.
So there I was …. on a wind-swept but warm Sunday morning, dashboard in hand and about to see the fruits of a few months work finally come together on the bike. No doubt the code for the auto-dimming will need fine-tuning, but that can be done without removing the dashboard again – and that’s the line in the sand, right there. Once fitted, I shouldn’t have to remove them again anytime soon …. and that’s a great feeling!
I think that about now would be a great time to pause and say thanks to a few folks who have helped me keep the momentum in this little project. Firstly Jan for her patience and for lugging stuff across the continent for me, to Andy (beasthonda) for bouncing ideas around with me and his interest in the project, to Arvdee in the USA without who’s generous donation of a Futura inlay I wouldn’t have had a template. Last but not least, Clive from Lockwood International for putting the proverbial icing on the cake – thank you all!!!! 😀