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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up the OTB Chain Tensioners w/ spools from MNNTHBX last night. Only had to adjust the chain once to say "eff that" to the factory set-up.

Our Z is black and I'm sorta diggin on keeping things as visually clean and murdered out as possible. I've dropped the passenger pegs (after an obligatory 2-up ride with the wife) in favor of the clean black MNNTHBX sliders (not sure if they will touch the ground on a slide, but they sure look nice!) and I'm already thinking that the OTB parts look so nice but the retainer and spools will stick out like a sore thumb from all the other black around the bike.

-so-

Do I paint the bright Al components (including spools) black for stealth or will the spool stand damage the paint too quickly?

I had blue anodized spools on my Suzuki and they stayed pretty clean looking, but rattle cans aren't quite in the same league as hard coat anodization... =/

Right now I'm leaning towards painting the non-contact surfaces of the spools black and leaving the contact "V" bright. Thoughts?
 

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I wouldn't spray bomb it. If I REALLY wanted black, I would have them powdercoated or anodized. I've got aftermarket adjusters with spools (not OTB), and the silver really hasn't bothered me... considering PC/anodizing will run 50% what I paid for the adjusters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been leaning the same way on it. Looking at the swing arm there's always going to be stuff that sticks out visually. I know people do stuff like swap all their bolts with color coded hardware, but hey, it's a cheap ride, keep it cheap.
 

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Why not just get some black anodized spools? Between ebay and Amazon you should be able to find some reasonably priced spools that will work with the adjusters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was going to buy the adjusters either way and adding $30 to the adjusters seemed cheaper/easier/cleaner than sourcing separate spools. Just would have preferred them black anodized. I'll try them out and I'm sure I won't care that they are bright after a week.

I do like the universal spools someone linked that riv-nut into the bottom of the swingarm, they look very clean. Making new holes in structural members makes me cringe though, even if it's over-engineered for a mini bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ooooh, that's bad4$$. I think I'd have to have a bigger project to invest in a set-up (or a better equipped garage) but it's cool to know that it IS DIY-able.
 

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You need a $3 power supply (+12 to +15 volt 2 amp), plastic tub or two, aluminum wire, aluminum plate, and pool chemicals to anodize at home. With a packet of RIT dye, you are looking at about $25-$30 total. Should use distilled water (de-ionized) from the grocery store.

Anodizing and dyeing aluminum without battery acid... - Observations


I've been using drain cleaner (pure lye) to clean the aluminum and "Clorox pH down" (pH-) which is a pool chemical to buffer the pH of the water. Seems to work pretty well on 15 volts right now on smaller parts. When I redo my clipon adapter I'll probably have to step up to a higher current power supply, maybe 3 or 4 amps output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey! That's you! =P

The embedded player worked for me so I didn't realize it was your video the first time around. Those are some really good results, no wonder you are such an advocate.

Currently the learning curve / time investment means more to me than the actual financial impact. I'll queue this up for a fun winter project. What effect does temperature have on the process? I would guess just a bit more time as low temps will slow down the reaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dangnabit, just barely ran out of edit time, would be nice if you got an error instead of just hanging the GUI... owell.

Got a chance to watch the linked video over lunch. Sounds like cold is actually good for the process, the larger you go the more voltage you need, which causes more heat, which slows the process. Opposite of what I thought, but makes perfect sense when you give it more than a second of thought, derp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Funny story. My OTB Tensioners arrived yesterday. They aren't the gen 1 pictured on MNNTHBX's site, they are the gen 2. You guessed it, gen 2 comes with black anodized spools. (Spools are also physically lower profile in addition to being black, very happy.)

>.<

You still have me thinking about what else in my life I could anodize though. =]
 

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Ando, with all this talk about "spools', I figure you must be using a rear stand with your Z125. As I have said in another thread, I have a Pitbull stand but am concerned that its minimum adjusted height puts the coated plates that catch the bottom of the swingarm about 15 inches above the garage floor, and using the spool adaptors instead makes them even higher! With the short wheelbase of the Z125, I am concerned that the bike will be sloped radically forward with the front wheel still on the floor, and perhaps too unstable to be safe.

So, are you using a rear stand? If so, what height does it hold the spools above the floor? And, is it stable enough to do stuff like adjusting the chain and washing the bike?

Jim G
 

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I have been using the cheap aluminum spool stand from harbor freight, it's OK and I never once felt like the bike was going to fall off. Might be lower, most full size wheels are barely off the ground. They might still sell paddle adapters to go with it for spool-less use.
My Pitbull, when adjusted to its lowest position, and used on my Yamaha R3, barely gets the rear tire above the stand's crossbar, so I can rotate it but with only about 1/8" gap between the tire tread and the crossbar.

So, it sounds like your harbour Freight stand is about the same height.

And despite my misgivings, you appear to be saying that Z125 is stable even with the rear end jacked up that high. That is reassuring. I'll try it.

Jim G
 

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Stable enough on spools, no idea on paddles. I do sit on it once in a while when on the stand, but the angle makes it hard to judge seat and hand controls. The HF stand puts it several inches in the air.
Thank-you, Greg! Discussing this on another thread here on the forum, where another member posted a photo of his Z125 on a rear stand using spools, I saw because of the photo, that the swingarm still slopes downward towards the rear of the bike, so the "paddles" should be safe as well since any "sliding" along the axis of the bike would simply push the paddles upward towards the front of the swingarm where if the paddles actually went far enough, they'd be stopped by the frame and transmssion and other obstructions.

The ANGLE is steep, but workable by the looks of it.

The biggest risk is tipping the bike sideways while working on it, because with EITHER spools or paddles, the whole setup is very narrow because the swingarm is narrow.

Thanks for your help!

Jim G
 

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Stable enough on spools, no idea on paddles. I do sit on it once in a while when on the stand, but the angle makes it hard to judge seat and hand controls. The HF stand puts it several inches in the air.
Def not stable getting on the bike with paddles. Also don't even try to use a front stand with the paddle type. Here is a pic at a race day with me using that setup and the rear stand started at the back of the swingarm, but as soon as I used the front stand it slid like you see in the pic. The bike ended up falling over several times thru out the day. Thats when I decided to never use the paddle type on the rear again. Scratched my swingarm and exhaust pretty good.
IMG_9324 by Colt Anderson, on Flickr


Spools are much safer and you can actually work on the bike without fear of it sliding or falling over.
IMG_6782 by Colt Anderson, on Flickr



I just pulled my engine off while using the spool stand. Wouldn't even try that with the paddle type unless I liked picking the bike off the floor.
 

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Colticus: Thanks for the very detailed postings and photos. I see what you mean now. Since the Z125 has no apaprent OEM provisions for spools, what aftermarket kit do you buy to enable mounting spools?

Or, is there a set of rear axle sliders that can fit into the spool supports on a rear stand? I'm thinking 2 advantages to this approach IF it could work:

1. You get the "2 in 1" advantage of protection of sliders plus "spool" capability

2. The sliders should provide more width which should translate to a little more stability

Is that possible?

Jim G
 
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