When you did the R1 naked bike, where did you relocate the coolant reservoir to? I want to do my ZX-10R naked but it looks ugly without fairings.
Via the internet
In this case, black paint is your friend. We tried to put the catch tank in an out-of-the-way place, but couldn't find room anywhere. We ended up leaving it in the stock position, but painting it satin black to blend in with the engine and frame. We cleaned up the overall appearance of the naked R1 quite a bit using similar tricks: The brackets holding the lights and instrument panel on were painted black, and exposed wiring was wrapped in black electrical tape. When you glance at the bike, you don't even notice the wiring or coolant tank.
Chains And Bearings
A couple of months ago you answered a question about roller vs. tapered bearings. How do ceramic bearings fit into that? How would ceramic roller bearings compare to metallic taper bearings? Which would be better and stronger? Is there such a thing as ceramic tapered bearings? And this question has really been bothering me for years, and I can't find an answer: When adjusting one's chain, how much pressure do you put on the chain? Obviously one person's push is going to be different from the next person. But more importantly, where and how do you measure for the slack?
Via SR Mail
According to Dave Conforti of Worldwide Bearings (973/857-6464, www.worldwidebearings.com), replacing a properly engineered standard steel roller bearing with a ceramic roller bearing gives lighter weight, more strength and better wear properties, just as replacing a steel ball bearing with ceramic does. Tapered roller bearings in ceramic do exist, but they are almost prohibitively expensive. "The problem is you'd be looking at a bearing that is almost $2000 in full ceramic. Even a hybrid with ceramic rollers would be well over $1000. You would still have less friction over steel but in [for example] a steering head you could achieve the same thing by using Ceramic Balls."
When checking chain tension, measure midway between the front and rear sprockets, the point of maximum slack. The bottom chain run is usually the most accessible, so use that for your measuring. Measure the total slack by holding the end of a ruler against the bottom of the swingarm, pulling the chain in one direction and then the other; measure how much the center of a pin moves from one maximum to the other. Use enough force to take up all the slack, but you don't have to be Popeye; the difference between pulling moderately and as hard as you can is minimal. Don't forget to put your bike in neutral or on its centerstand or a rear stand to measure chain tension, so that the slack is not limited by the transmission or rear wheel, and measure at a few spots in the chain in case it has a tight or loose section.
Got a question? Send a note to Sport Rider, Attention: The Geek, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515, or e-mail email@example.com.