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Color-Coordinating the FZ

Decided to clean up a few areas ‘missed’ by Yamaha while the rest of the bike is apart. Pulled a few parts that will get dropped off with the powder coater on Monday.

For one, that damn shock linkage. They did so well on the overall color scheme of the bike compared to many others…but this thing glares at me everytime I look at it.

After carefully pulling the seals, I noticed this:

So, if you’re doing a shock, it’s a good idea to check this out.

Pressed out the bearings (and was greeted by one of the most awful smells I can remember):

Since the rearsets were off and the bike was hanging, decided it was a good idea to send this out, as well:

The only other thing that sticks out is the rear brake caliper carrier…so, yup, that’s going, too. The handlebars and steering stem yoke are going to be addressed when I do the bars.

Small pile, but will give me one less thing to catch my gaze.

Gave some thought to doing a different color wheel, but still torn on what color. So, that will wait…

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GP Suspension 25 mm Cartridge Kit Overview

She’s got new legs!

Figured you guys would appreciate some photos, so I took a few before cleaning and installing the parts. Here is the top cap and spring retainer. Note that the damping rod lock nut can be accessed through the spring retainer (no spring compressor needed to swap springs)!

Nicely machined aluminum spring spacers (with press fit flanges). Here is a shot of the internals (rebound leg on top, compression on bottom). Note the long top-out springs and extra bleed ports (the holes in the holders leading to/from the needles):

Close up shot of the compression piston:

And a close up of the rebound piston:

Check valve:

The rebound shim stack:

A view of the brass 7.5 degree needle on the compression leg:

A close up of the spring buffer (large OD black spacer on the left) and the bump stop (rubber sandwiched between the buffer and the bearing cap in this view):

A side by side shot of the bump stops:

One of the things to note here is the absence of a hydraulic lock out. On the stock cartridge, that rubber bump stop and the machined aluminum rod above it slide down into the top of the bearing cap. Naturally, the cavity is filled with oil. So, as the fork reaches the bottom of its stroke, the oil is displaced by the bump stop and aluminum rod. Given the small gap between the OD of the bump stop / lock out and the ID of the bearing cap, the damping force ramps up very quickly. Under high speed compression, this lock out feels like bottoming out. It’s possible to bottom the cartridge (bump stop to bearing cap), but you’d either need a long, slow input or a very fast/high force input. The GP 25 mm kit maintains a bump stop (to prevent metal/metal contact), but effectively does away with the hydraulic lock out. The intent here is to increase feel/compliance at the bottom of the fork travel. Think very heavy braking…

To put the fork travel in perspective, here is approximately how much slider you’ll see when the bump stops are contacting the cartridge bearing cap:

So the good news is that the kit installs easily enough and shouldn’t give you guys any trouble. The only question is on the performance. No one’s ridden this configuration yet, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon out here. Winter appears to have finally made itself at home. I hope it moves out. But fear not, we’re already working on getting some real-world results ASAP. You’ll hear details here first…

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FZ-09 Projector HID Retrofit

The reworked headlight also came back from Chad @ AHR:

Went with a 35w Mini H1 in 4300K. The 4300K was selected for two reasons: 1) It’s a tinge more yellow than the 5000K, which is easier on the eyes during extended periods of night driving, and 2) Just about all factory automotive HID’s are 4300K, so this won’t attract undue attention or piss off other motorists. Tried to keep it simple and clean with no angel eyes, pod lighting, etc. All in all, I enjoy the Cyclops look. But most importantly, the extra light and better beam pattern will be welcome.

Now that said, this whole Cree LED headlight kit movement crept up on the industry very quickly. The product launched after I committed to this job with Chad. I’m thinking I might pick up another headlight this summer and do a side by side if time allows. The LED kit draws less power (more juice for my heated pants) and doesn’t add the weight of the glass projector, solenoid, etc. In the interim, I might try a set in the car to get a feel for them. More good intentions…

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Yamaha FZ-09 Case Sliders – Development Starts Here

I fear I’ve been a bad host. I’ve been so busy around here that the pictures and status reports stopped flowing. I hope you guys will forgive the lapse, so here we go.

Some of these pictures were taken with my Droid, which conveniently updated to a new OS. As a result, I took these crappy photos before realizing how to use the new camera settings. Sometimes I wonder…

Both Eric @ Woodcraft and I made some time and decided to tackle the engine case savers. Off the bike and ready for transport to MA where both sides will be scanned:

The water pump mounts externally to the LH engine case, so that had to be removed. Plastic drive gear and impeller, otherwise nothing remarkable going on in here:

A view at the engine’s innards from the LH side:

By comparison, the RH case comes off in jiffy. Drain the oil, disconnect the clutch and remove the bolts:

A better look at the oil pump drive:

No matter how many engines I open up, it never gets old. An interesting point I read somewhere has been dispelled: the timing cover is aluminum. I read somewhere (and can’t find it now) that the timing cover were magnesium. I thought it was too good to be true on a bike with this price point, and it was. No matter…

I was moderately shocked at the prices for the side covers when I went to insure the shipment. Less than $80 per side! If all you’re worried about is a simple tip-over or light rash, it’s really hard to argue with the pricing on the factory parts. Now, if the case covers crack, you spew oil onto the road/track, and ingest filth into the engine, that is another situation that requires a different solution…Woodcraft or T-Rex.

Not shown in the pictures, but the rearsets are accompanying the covers. I’m still not 100% if more ground clearance is needed or if I want a more aggressive riding position, but they might complement the clubmans nicely (not installed yet). This will have to be filed under “we’ll wait and see”.

Lastly, no pictures at the moment, but axle sliders (front and rear) are in the works.  More information will be provided as soon as it’s available.

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Stoltec Moto in the News: Electric KoolAid for the Road!

Recently, Lloyd Horton and I crossed paths.  Lloyd, an avid motorcyclist and owner of a Triumph Tiger 1050, puts out a pretty cool weekly web broadcast:  Electric KoolAid for the Road.  Not only did the Yamaha FZ-09 pique Lloyd’s curiousity, but he was interested in hearing more about what Stoltec Moto is, how we operate, and what some of our plans are.  Take some time and listen to Electric KoolAid for the Road.

The segment in question can be found here:  Stoltec Moto. Historic Moto Gran Prix. Yamaha FZ09

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GP Suspension 25 mm Cartridge Teaser

No pictures to show yet, but production was kicked off on the rear brake reservoir relocation kit. From the laser, to the bender, to the powder coater, and back here. Hoping to have these kits in stock and ready for shipping in about 6 weeks – just in time for spring (can’t wait for winter to die).

The headlight is off to Chad @ Affordable HID Retrofitting. I’m going with simple/clean, no nonsense 35W 4300K retrofit to match what I did on the Tiger 1050. No halos or fancy LED strips…can’t wait to see how it looks. While the stock low-beam was ‘ok’, the high beam was aimed too high. Aiming it lower put the low beam entirely too low for back road riding. Such is life with a dual filament hi/lo setup, so I’m confident this is the right approach.

While the FZ is blind, a host of other projects are taking shape. More information in due time, but here are some pictures to whet your appetites:

More information to follow soon.

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FZ-09 Fork Service NOW AVAILABLE!

FZ-09 Fork Piston KitStoltec Moto is excited to offer a one-stop shopping approach for your FZ-09.  We put together a GP Suspension piston kit (rebound piston w/ shims, compression valve w/ shims, and rebound needle), drop-in Sonic Springs, and fork oil to provide customers with all they need to give the FZ-09 the forks it deserved from the factory.

Customers have several options on how the service is performed; see here for additional product details.  Forks are typically turned around within 1 week (exclusive of shipping).

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Welcome to the new site!

Its been a long time coming – 2.5 years and a few failed attempts at finding a web developer who could handle the needs of Stoltec Moto.  Luckily, both my best friend and my brother came together and convinced me to take over the site development.  The learning curve has been steeper than expected, but at least we’re live.  So stay tuned, updates will be added regularly – both products and blog content.

Enjoy your stay, share your thoughts, and as always, ride safe!