Sunday, 15 November 2015

Skorpion project (update 1)

Further to my previous post I've done some more work on my 'project' Skorpion.

As I've started a new job that I can commute by bike to, I've decided to make my white Skorpion my 'commuting bike' and modified it to suit. For the last few weeks I've been using my silver Skorpion and noting what improvements I could make to the white bike to make it better in its commuter role.
First thing I did was buy a new battery. I'd replaced the one in my silver bike earlier this year and had bought a Motobatt based on favourable reviews online. So far it has worked well, so I bought another one for the white bike.

I label batteries with the date I fir them so I know how long they last. I'll report back when the Motobatt fails – hopefully not for a long time!

Next was a voltmeter. I don't really think a Skorpion needs a voltmeter, but I'd bought one some time ago as I saw it cheap on Ebay and thought it would 'come in handy'. To test if it was waterproof I put it in a bucket of water for a day, it worked when I took it out so will probably be OK.

My commute is 15 miles (24 km) each way, almost entirely on motorway or dual carriageway, but during the busiest times, so it tends to be 30 – 45 minutes on nose to tail riding. The white bike has lower Tour gearing, so although I don't have any problem with the silver bike, this should make things a bit easier.
As I'm travelling in busy traffic, a pair of loud horns are handy.

As is a high level brake light on top of the topbox. This should be roughly at a following driver's eye level.

And as I intend to ride through winter, so are a pair of heated grips.

I also fitted a generic LED rear light below the numberplate with the 'normal' light wired to the rear light and the 'brake' function wired as a foglight. I replaced the standard and unreliable rearlight with an LED unit and covered the lower part of the mudguard with reflective tape.

Added switches to the fairing – additional front lights (still to be fitted), hazard lights, rear foglight.

When I posted this picture on Facebook, Terry replied 'you need a white topbox', however I plan on having something brighter than that! 

I'm going to paint it with high visibility paint and attach reflective tape. I've painted the lid so far and it's a lot brighter than it looks in this photo.

At the front there is the alarm plus relays for the additional lights and hazards.

At the back a Scottoiler. (Automatic chain oiler)

So that's where I've got to so far, shouldn't be long until it's on the road.

I've calculated that if I use the bike for commuting 80% of the time (due to holidays and times where the weather is too poor), by the time I retire I'll have ridden 47,000 miles (75,600 km). In the last article I'd mentioned that the bike shows 31,618 miles (50,884 km), however, it has been pointed out that some Skorpions came with a speedo that showed speed in miles but the odometer was in km. So it is possible that my bike has only done 31,618 km (19,646 miles). Either way, I think it's fair to imagine that this bike will last me until I retire – that's a great feeling. Even if things go wrong, I've a spare Skorpion engine although, like an out of favour footballer, it 'on loan' at the moment.
More soon.

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