Yes I admit it here and now, I’m doing a U-turn – a full 180° – and NOT stopping dashboard repairs at the end of January 2015. Jeez …. You’re thinking, I wish this chap would make his mind up!!
Why the change of heart?
A couple of reasons actually …. Firstly, a few emails over the past couple of weeks that have made me reflect on the initial decision, secondly a Christmas card. Yep – a lowly piece of card with a simple season’s greetings from a Capo owner in Finland.
Risto sent his board over almost 18 months ago and by all accounts is happy with the work done and each Christmas he has sent a card. That connection across the continent would never have happened without the dashboard repair service. This year I opened the card and felt a twinge of regret, uneasiness, a sense that a decision I was making was the wrong one. The bottom line is that I would miss the emails/calls and involvement if I stopped something that I’ve been involved with since the beginning of unravelling the dashboard circuits.
Jan and I sat down and worked out some ways to free up a little more time and I’ve decided to put other projects on the back-burner for now. So I will not stop doing what I’ve done for almost two years ….. Give folks a grain of hope that a piece of their pride and joy can be repaired or upgraded. Sorry for the wobble, but hey, I’m only human.
And Risto ….. If you read this, just remember that opening your Christmas card changed the course of moto-abruzzo as he staggers into 2015. That’s pretty awesome when you think about it! 😀
A double post today ….. the details have just been posted for 2015 – 7th ACIM (Aprilia Caponord International Meeting) and it’s to be held this year in Nafplio, Greece on the 10,11 & 12th July. A lovely bit of news that brings a touch of warmth to a cold and snowy day!
This is a colaboration between apriliacaponordim.blogspot.it, aprilia.mototouronoffroad.it and apriliabikers.gr so visit these sites for more info.
Post updated (21/01/2015)
Weather wise Christmas was pretty good really, 12-15c and sunny most days – but all good things have to come to an end I suppose. Throughout the morning, sunshine had given way to low cloud racing across the heavens pushed by the ever more aggressive wind. As I finished torqueing up the last of the engine protection bar bolts, it was easily up around 15-20mph and gusting a fair bit more as the temperature slowly slid below 10c and kept up its relentless trudge towards zero. Time then to slip on the Halvarssons and head out for a ride!
The truth is I’d seen the forecast. This was going to be the last opportunity of 2014 for a ride on the Capo. The wind and rain were set to get worse overnight (and it did!), then a few hours respite after which the wind would be back …. This time with three days of snow as its best mate.
But strangely all this pales into insignificance against the ride-out. Have you ever had one of those rides where everything seems perfect ….. your road position, your gear selection, every bend you hit right on the nail, every overtake is exquisitely timed and executed – no matter what you do, it’s RIGHT, first time, every time. It’s like someone else is riding the bike, because I sure as hell don’t ride like that normally! Sadly it was only an hour, a run around the block, but I think it left me in a happier frame of mind than I’ve been in for a while.
Now as I write this the Capo is tucked up in the barn, the battery quietly sipping from the Optimate trickle charger while I put the kettle on again and look out the window. The first flakes will be here soon and it’ll be time to batten down the hatches for a while. Time then to reflect on the old year fast fading and the hopes and aspirations of the new year to come ………
……… I hope 2015 is good to you all, your Capo’s are reliable, the adventures are fun, but most of all, that we are all healthy and fit enough to have them – Happy New Year from Abruzzo Italia!
Yes it’s almost that time again – nuts, turkey, sod all on telly and a splash of booze as well! Santa of course came early this year with all my in-laws buying me a lovely mountain of Capo spares ….. absolute Aprilia heaven! 🙂 Thank you all!!!!
Of course the New Year will be tinged with sadness as the dashboard repairs stop at the end of January, but something has to give way so I can concentrate again on Motorcycle Instructing as well as moving on with other projects – the big-bore engine needs finishing, the dashboard isolator needs building and testing, while the new ECU interface loom sits all forlorn until I can afford to buy the M800 ECU, but then each year you have to have something to strive for – maybe they’ll happen, then again maybe they’ll just have to be moved on down the line or put to one side completely, who knows. Sometimes in life the doors just open and sometimes you just can’t find the damn keys!
I’ll end by saying a special thanks to all the folks who have let me loose on their precious dashboards and to the emails and occasional phone calls from Capo owners worldwide – I hope I helped in some small way and look forward to meeting some more of you through 2015. Jan and I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Capotastic New Year! Oh and how could I forget The Andy’s, Manuel, Steve & Andrew (Aus) and StuO …… you guys rock!
Working slowly through the ABS parts, the thought of building a stand-alone test rig to power up the ABS pump and test a working system on the bench crossed my mind ….. that and tinkering with code again to see if I could have a swift chat with the ECU bit. Quite a few of the bits have been cleaned and modelled and that also gave me a chance to try and work out the specific differences between the ABS part numbers (caliper/master cylinder) and the standard bike ones. What little I found is added to the ‘Rear brake’ page.
So now a rig is slowly coming off the drawing board with a trusty Arduino being used to power two motors for the phonic wheels …. the idea being that if I can get the wheels to speed, then apply a brake, the brake light switch will tell the Arduino the brake has been applied which will then make the Arduino retard the speed of that particular phonic wheel by 20% or so – that SHOULD (if everything works!) cause the ABS unit to trigger and begin pulsing the brake ….. that’s the theory anyway! 🙂
All I need now is a front ABS sensor and one more brake line to complete the rig and I think I can power this puppy up and see what happens …. flames, fountains of brake fluid or a big fat nothing at all! 😯 Hmmmmm.
Having chipped away through almost 1/3 of the parts I got last week, I started on the speedo sensor …… unfortunately t’was deader than a Dodo. That presented the perfect opportunity not only to measure it for posterity – but to strip it apart and see exactly how it was constructed. In this case as you can see from the photograph, the sensor (Honeywell 1GP7001) is completely buggered and split at the sensor head …. marks in the body suggest it may have been water damage.
All this leads to the idea of a re-usable speedo sensor, that could be re-orientated for use not only on the Capo, but also the RSV and Tuono. Here’s a MK1 idea using the same Honeywell sensor (about £15/€20) and a few nice stainless screws for that macho-Meccanno look! The idea is that if the sensor subsequently fails, you simply unscrew the case top and solder in a new sensor – bingo! Back in business in 10 minutes flat. 🙂
So is it worthwhile following this up do you think, or should I resign it to – nice idea but ……?
And lastly, the chap in l’Aquila got back to me this week and offered me this pair of little beauties for €50 plus postage. 😀
Apparently the tyre is original and will require removal with dynamite or a thermic lance and the rim has a little scuff damage along the edge (about 5 o’clock in the pic), but I’m sure that can be taken out by someone more competent than I. I’ll have a nosey around the UK over winter and take the wheel back over with me in spring.
When the wheel arrives I’ll model it up, then look at various colour schemes that might (or might not!) complement the fudge/biscuit paint of the Raid. – not that I’ll ever get them done, more just a ‘what if I had dosh’ excercise unfortunately.
We all like a bargain ….. more than ever at this time of year judging by the British press (Black Friday), so I have to admit I had a grin like a Cheshire cat as I rode back home late Saturday in the dwindling light and rain. Why?
Well on Friday, while some folk lost all sense of self-respect fighting over 40″ TV’s and coffee grinders, I’d stumbled across a fresh advert on a small online marketplace. A couple of calls later and I’d arranged a trip over to l’Aquila the following day, to bag myself a lovely load of Caponord spares for the princely sum of ….. well let’s just say we never got out of double-digits! Here’s a breakdown of what I got from a low mileage 2005 ABS model:-
- Throttle body including injectors, TPS and throttle cables
- ABS pump, mounts, sensors and wiring loom
- Rear brake caliper, bracket, pump, pedal and brake light switch – with footrest
- Sidestand and switch – with footrest
- Oil cooler and mounting brackets
- Coolant tank, cover and mounting brackets
- Main wiring loom including relays and diode block
- 4x HT leads
- Drive chain slipper block
- Gear lever
- And last but not least … a box of assorted plastics.
It also transpires that he may well have the swing arm as well – €15 to you guvner and €5 postage …. I’m just waiting for the confirmation and that’s my birthay present sorted! 🙂 Unfortunately, no wheels/discs. They’d been sold along with the forks for (wait for it) €150 ……. 🙁
So after stripping the throttle body and ordering up new seals, I decided to model up the manifold/injectors. Click on the injector picture above to open the fully exploded manifold and below are a couple of views of the whole assembly.