ACIM VII 2015 update

ACIM VII 2015 Aprilia Caponord International Meeting - Nafplio (Greece)A quick ACIM VII 2015 update – In my original post I said it will be held at Argos (Greece). Well Trikkas (Iania) kindly pointed out my mistake – it is actually being held in Nafplio Argolida about 12Km south from Argos. Yes folks bring yer buckets and spades ….. we’re going to be by the seaside!! :-D

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Stuff …. 6 months and 12 months on

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid dashboard - new right-hand indicator repeater!A couple of anniversaries this week ….. firstly the dashboard. Yes a full 12 months since it was finished and put back into the Capo for the last time, resplendent with its new inlay to complement the electronic changes. The auto-dimming back lighting and split indicator repeaters have been absolute winners – I couldn’t go back to a standard board again without missing them. Moving the side-stand and low-fuel lights toAprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid Voltmeter and re-located side-stand light on dashboard accommodate the twin indicator repeaters has had no impact, positive or negative. The voltmeter has been a different kettle of fish …. generally unused as the Sparkbight battery monitor handles voltage feedback when riding around – however it has proved a real benefit during start-up when the dashboard goes through its self-test phase. Now it’s become second nature to eye-ball the tacho needle to see what the battery voltage is pre-start. >12.6v and I know I should get a good kick from the battery!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid MCCruise controlThe second anniversary, although shorter at 6 months and a tad over 11K miles, is the MCCruise cruise control. After a rushed install (not clever) I knew I had a heavier throttle than pre-installation ….. this was purely down to throttle cable routing and nothing to do with the cruise control itself. It simply didn’t like being re-routed behind the radiator, so I gave up and relocated the CIU (cable interface unit) to a new location by the throttle bodies. Now everything works fine – a light throttle and a happy cruise control. It’s been 100% Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid New MCCruise CIU locationreliable and functional. As a demonstration of its finesse I ran the bike in 1st gear at 25mph and let the cruise control take over the (100 horsepower!) throttle – all I can say is WOW! I would never have believed that the system could have the sensitivity to operate the throttle with such precision, but it did – up hill, down dale – never an ounce of jerkiness. Ok I admit no one wants to ride around in 1st gear …. but as an experiment, it proved to me that MCCruise have indeed developed an absolutely fantastic piece of kit.

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A pivotal moment

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid rear brake lever pivot and grease nipple CAD graphicSometime last year I decided that 2015 was going to be the year that a whole bunch of parts were going to get cleaned up and recoated – engine/sump protection bars (especially the mounting brackets), headlamp guard and passenger foot peg hangers for a start.

The accessory parts seem to be made substantially cheaper than the bike parts themselves – stamped, pressed, bent and welded with a flash of cheap paint to top it off. All well and good for a couple of years, but the elements soon work their magic and the stuff begins to look jaded and rusty. No, if you want it to look good and last, you’ve got to pick up where the Aprilia contractor left off ….. Debur, remove weld spatter and radius any and all sharp edges you can find, THEN get a quality finish applied. That’s the plan anyway!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid rear brake pedal and grease nippleSo to kick off I took the spare rear brake lever and began to radius the sharp edges and smooth the lumpy stamped (or laser cut) edge … I have to say it was looking (and feeling) rather nice when I downed tools and wandered indoors for a brew.

It was while standing there aimlessly waiting for the kettle to boil that I thought about adding a grease nipple to the pivot – Aprilia have done a good job in making the bolt grooved to hold a reservoir of grease AND fitting two ‘O’-rings (OR114 – 1.78mm section / 11.11mm ID) to keep the grease in …… but a grease nipple would make packing the grease in and replacing it soooooo much easier!

In the end it only took 30 minutes ….. grinding a flat on the underside, drilling and tapping a 6mm hole and screwing in a 90° fitting. What do you think?

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Dashboard repairs

Risto's Christmas cardYes 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 Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 & Rally-Raid dashboard repairs and upgrades, backlighting and voltmeterhappened 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! :-D

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ACIM VII – Nafplio (Greece)

ACIM VII 2015 Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 International Meeting - Nafplio (Greece)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)

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Happy New Year Caponauts!

Engine protection/sump guard mounts & radiator bottom mountsWeather 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.

Easy in ..... fast out!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.

Abruzzo snowNow 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!

Drifts on the ridge

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Happy Christmas!

Christmas Eve as the sun sets behind the Gran SassoYes 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!

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Give me a brake will ya!

12mmø rear master cylinder in sectionWorking 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.

ABS pump and ECUSo 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! 8-O Hmmmmm.

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Speedo sensor thoughts

Speedometer sensor Honeywell 1GP7001Having 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. :-)

2005 rear wheel & swing armSo 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. :-D

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.

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The Eagle has landed ……

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
  • Fuel injectorABS 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
  • chainguard
  • 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.

 

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