Archive for the ‘Random Facts’ Category

Be specific!

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Being specific is pretty important in my game. I was impressed that the Los Angeles authorities take a similar view…

Worm sex…

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Ever thought of how earthworms make babies? Me neither… but it’s pretty cool.

The worms wriggle alongside each other and stick together with a special goo. They swap sperm between their heads and store it for later (no, really). Later, they produce different goo from that band near their heads and the outer skin of the goo goes hard, forming a kind of egg sack / tube around the worm. As the worm backs out, the egg sack slides off towards the worm’s head. As the egg sack passes the worm’s “sexy parts” near its head, it squirts out some of the sperm it collected earlier and its own egg which stick to the egg sack.

Yep, its a worm cocoon!

The egg sack containing the egg and sperm eventually falls off the worm and seals itself, creating a tiny worm cocoon. Two to three months later, bosh, new worms! It takes them about a year to grow to full size. How cool is that!

It’s true I tell you, it’s on Wikipedia and here.

The great Ducati exhaust experiment…

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Ever wondered what a Ducati sounds like with different exhausts? Probably not, but just in case you’re curious, I’ve put together a quick demo.

This video shows a standard Ducati 748 Biposto with the standard, road legal exhaust, then a carbon Termignoni race exhaust, then with no exhaust at all. The microphone does it’s best to capture the sound of the last one but I think you get the idea how loud it is.

Incidentally, the high-pitched clattering sound is the dry clutch and is part of what makes a Ducati sound so crazy.

Removing the clocks from a Ducati 748 / 916

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

I had a bizarre and irritating discovery waiting for me in my garage a few weeks back. For no reason, the glass from the temperature gauge on my Ducati 748 decided to crack and shatter into several pieces. As I said, pointlessly irritating.

Undeterred, I headed for Ebay and managed to get a new gauge. I looked online for some instructions on how to fit it but they were a bit sketchy. So I’ve documented the process for removing the entire clock / instrument assembly just in case it’s helpful to anyone.

** UPDATE: EVEN the new clock has cracked now. Very strange. But at least I know how to change it!

Step 1: Make room and make sure it’s clean and dry.

You’ll be fiddling with electrics so don’t do this when it’s raining! Basically, it’s a Ducati, so you know the score.

Step 2: Get the stuff you’ll need…

One tip, I find it really handy to have an old screw / washer box handy with loads of compartments. Every time you get to a new step, you can keep the bits in the next compartment. Keeps everything neat and it jogs your memory when you follow the process backwards to reassemble.

Step 3: Get ready to catch the left fairing!

If you have a proper track stand, ignore this step but if you’re using the side stand, it’s good to put something soft on the floor on the left hand side of the bike. The centre stand goes through the fairing so it’s just easier to let it rest on the floor… but without getting scratched.

Step 4: Undo the fairing fasteners

Undo the 4 obvious fairing fasteners on each side and the two under the bellypan. The ones underneath are usually a bit stiff from all the road muck, so sometimes helps to use a screwdriver to gently flip the faster. It’s good to give them a bit of a going over with a wire brush or similar and lubing them up for when you put them back too. Remember the fuel overflow tube too, you’ll need to poke this back through the special hole when you put the fairing back.

Step 5: Remove the fairings

With all the fasteners off, it’s fairly obvious what happens next, just be ready to catch the fairing panels! Remember that the section below the air intakes has a little lip on the inside (circled) so don’t try to pull them at right angles… these panels are expensive!

Step 6: Remove the mirrors

You’ll need to remove the nose fairing and you can’t do that without removing the mirrors first. Undo the small bolt on each mirror and gently work the mirrors free of the clips that are gripping the two pegs. Be careful with this step as the bolts are especially made to shear off so don’t use too much force.

Step 7: Remove the nose fairing

Remove the allen bolt from in front of each air intake to release the nose fairing. Gently pull it forwards and put it somewhere safe. It generally falls over if you put it on a flat surface so either prop it up with something or store it ‘nose up’.

Step 8: Remove the lights

Remove the small headlight adjuster screw located in the middle of the the two headlights. Two things to note… there’s a spring on it so get ready to catch it when it falls and the number of turns affects the headlight beam direction, so take a note of it. When I removed mine, it took 15 full turns to release the bolt, so I did the same when tightening it up later. When the bolt is out, push the entire headlight assembly from the back to release it from the two rectangular rubber grommets above each headlight. May take a few wiggles… and again, get ready to catch it.

When you’re clear, allow the whole unit to gently dangle without removing any of the connectors.

Step 9: Remove the horn

There’s an important bolt behind the horn, so remove the horn. The horn bolt is tucked right underneath the nose. Take note of how the horn and connections sit in the cutout in the headlight housing. It’ll just make it easier to refit it later.

Step 10: Locate the 3 magic bolts

The instrument panel it attached by 3 bolts and they’re hidden pretty well, especially the farthest one (bottom circle in the image). You’ll need a socket set with small extension bar for these bolts. The farthest one is a real 45 degree number, right underneath so take time to locate it.

Step 11: Remove the clocks

I’m just interested in the temperature gauge but it’s the same process for the others, more or less. Remove the single bolt holding the gauge being careful not to lose the small bevelled washer, then draw the whole clock, wires and all through the face plate. The reason I say to leave the wires attached is that on reassembly, it’s easier to reattach the wires with the back of the clock easily accessible than it is to try an attach the wires through the back of the face plate assembly too.

Step 12: Remove the wires

The wires should be pretty much set in their positions but do make a not of which one goes where! They just pull off the spade connectors. The small bulb to illuminate the dials is fed into the dial through the rubber grommet. Gently but firmly pull at the grommet to release it (as shown in the second image).

Step 13: You’re done!

Here’s a pict of the ‘tray of bits’ too, to show you all the fasteners and whatnot in the order they came out.

Step 14: Reassembly

Simply do everything in reverse to put it all back together again remembering these points along the way:

1) Put the connector on the clocks before you bolt the clock back into it’s housing.

2) Don’t over-tighten the three main ‘magic’ bolts. The instrument panel can crack.

3) Make sure the headlight ‘rectangle’ grommets are properly pushed onto the flat pins.

4) Screw the bolt between the headlights the same number of turns as you did to remove it… and don’t forget to to put the spring in there first.

5) When fitting the fairing, remember the tabs on the side panels, to make sure the petrol overflow tube is poking through the hole and lube the bottom two fasteners well.