Week of January 6th, 2014

Week of January 6th, 2014

After returning from Christmas Vacation, I discovered that my POD that was storing the motorcycle was missing.

Missing Pod

After contacting PODS, they said the POD was repossessed because of an outstanding payment. Being a minor, I was unable to pay myself, so my parents were obligated to pay. PODS would not except payment from them, which resulted in the payment being declined, and the balance remaining negative. After failing to notify me that they were going to collect the POD, including its contents, they repossessed it and stored it in a warehouse in Calverton.

On Saturday (January 10th), I went to the warehouse to check on the condition of the bike. The warehouse itself was a very interesting place. It was part of the Naval Weapon Industrial Reserve Plant, which was a research center for naval aircraft, as well as other classified projects. This warehouse in particular was used as the shelter for the TWA Flight 800 reconstruction, as well as a moon surface simulation for the moon rover in the 60’s.

I was expecting the worst when I arrived, as the motorcycle was only on it’s kickstand, and then loaded onto a truck, and hauled almost an hour to the warehouse. Cracked fairings, bent handlebars, and a flooded engine were some of the things I was anticipating. After opening the POD, the motorcycle was lying on its side. I lifted it back onto the kickstand, and discovered the only damage was a few minor scratches! Although I will not have time to repaint them, I am hugely lucky that this is all that happened.

The following Monday (January 12th), the bike was returned safely to Ross in the POD after being securely stood up with ratchet straps and ropes.

After the fact, I am thankful no legal action had to be taken for damages, and the entire thing was relatively painless. Only thing remaining to do is finish the exhibition materials and the presentation!


Week of December 6th, 2014

Week of December 6th, 2014

This week consisted of securely mounting the Peltier to the exhaust, preparing the LabQuest 2 for data collection as well as finding all the proper sensors, and organizing a date with good weather to go riding, and complete the data collection process.

Mounting the Peltier:

Instead of going to original route of fabricating a custom bracket, I found that a hose clamp was much more efficient, as it can be easily tightened and loosened. I bought two large hose clamps, but they were still to small to completely circumference the exhaust. To fix this, I just attached them to each other to double the length. To further ensure a secure grip, I bent two of the heatsink fins back so the hose clamp had more to hold on to.



I began searching for all the appropriate sensors necessary for the data collection. These included a Current sensor (Amperes), Air speed sensor (Meters/second) and Temperature (Fahrenheit). I configured the LabQuest controller to take 2 samples a second for 3 minute intervals. Next objective is fitting them to the exhaust and bike.


On Sunday the 14th, I took the bike out with Aaron Kresberg’s uncle, who generously offered to accompany me on a ride. The data collection went very well, with the only issues, besides getting caught in gravel a few times, involved transferring the data to a computer. That was resolved with the reconfiguring of the LabQuest to accept USB storage.

Week of November 17th, 2014

Week of November 17th, 2014

This week i finished up the cosmetics, and started to organize a riding date to test the thermoelectrics. I also have temporarily fixed the battery issue.

All the bolts that needed to be installed have been put into place, as well as any inner fairings and gaurds. I checked all the cables (throttle, brakes, clutch) for tension and functionality, as well as all the other damage-prone parts like the chain, sprockets, and tires.


I have temporarily resolved the issue of the dead battery by charging it overnight, and it seems to be holding a charge relatively well. Although I will not be surprised if it dies soon again, in which case I will need to replace it entirely.

Thermoelectric Bracket:

I began fabricated a metal strip to hold the Peltier element, along with the heatsink, onto the exhaust. If i am unable to make it fit completely well, I will probably just use a large hose clamp to hold it in place instead.

After Thanksgiving break, the only things that still need to be done are the data collection, and the mounting of the Peltier element to the exhaust. Almost done!

Week of November 10th, 2014

Week of November 10th, 2014

This week involved the installation/diagnostics on the replacement turn signals and brake lights. I also discovered that the battery will need to be charged or replaced. Next week will be completing the cosmetics, (installing whatever bolts are left), and fabricating a bracket for the thermoelectric elements to fit onto the exhaust.

Turn Signals / Brake Lights

The installation of the brake lights, turn signals, and undertail was relatively straight forward, contrary to what I expected. The previous owner’s wiring job did make things more confusing then they had to be, because he used different colored wires than the ones originally used. This made things harder because all of the wiring diagrams, and the instructions for the signals used color coding to describe what wires to connect.



Starting last week, the headlights began acting very weird. The low beams would turn on when the engine was not on, but once the bike was started, only the high beams worked. On Wednesday, the bike would not start. The starter motor would cycle once or twice, then all the electronics went completely dead to the point where the fuel pump didn’t even prime. I borrowed a portable battery jumper from facilities to start the bike, so I could charge the battery enough for the starter motor to cycle. I noticed that the headlights functioned correctly while the battery was connected to the jumper, which leads me to believe there is not sufficient current to correctly run the capacitors for the headlights. I am going to either charge or replace the battery, which should fix the problem.


Week of November 3rd, 2014

Week of November 3rd, 2014

This week i finished up the painting process, and the bike looks much better overall. The only issue that I still need to resolve cosmetically is some particles of dried primer in the final clear coat, causing some blemishes. These should polish out.

The last thing I need to do is install the under-tail, which includes brake lights and turn signals. This may be challenging because it requires the location of all the appropriate wires and connectors, as well as some soldering.


The final clear coating was a pretty long process, especially since I did it the day after the clocks turned back, so It was pitch black. The dried primer on the tarp was kicked up by the paint gun, and some of the particles landed on the wet clear coat, sticking to it. To get rid of this I just need to take some time to buff it out.

Detailed pictures will be uploaded later today

Undertail/Turn Signals

Over the last weekend, the parts that I ordered arrived. They included an undertail with brake lights and turn signals, side turn signals, and mirrors. I will install these this week. The undertail and turn signals may be difficult because of the complex wiring harness, but I was able to find a diagram of the wiring in the bike.






Week of October 27th, 2014

Week of October 27th, 2014

This week i began painting the bike. A few problems arose, such as the paint gun leaking, and clogging, as well as an “orange-peel” texture appearing on one of the fairings.


The painting took a while to begin, because the paint gun is incredibly finicky to use. I had to find the exact fittings to use with the compressor and the hose, as well as ensure there were no leaks. After i figured all of that out, i began priming the first set of parts, which were the two main fairings, and the front cowling. After that, i applied the first base coat to the same parts, and primed the tail fairing and gas tank, as well as the front fender. Base coat was then applied to all parts.

The orange-peel texture on one of the fairings is due to either it being too cold when i applied the coat, too much paint, or too slow of a pass with the paint gun. To solve this, i just sanded off the affected areas and reapplied the color coat.

The only part of the painting remaining is to apply to clear coat enamel.

Week of October 20th, 2014

Week of October 20th, 2014

This week i continued sanding the gas tank, as well as preparing the rest of the parts needing paint. I also began testing the hotplate and Peltiers for testing different temperatures for voltages produced. I also had a pretty substantial experience on Saturday.

The gas tank is about 90% Bare metal at the moment, and the only thing still needing sanding is the outer lip, which i cannot get to with the rotary sander. I will need to find a small sanding but for the pneumatic rotary tool instead. I also started sanding down any imperfections on the plastic fairings, as well as wiping them down, and mending any cracks or holes.

Preparation for Painting:

The only other thing stopping me from beginning the painting process is that the regulator on the paint gun seems to be either stuck, or I am just incompetent. Most likely the latter.


While testing hotplate, I can’t get an accurate reading of the temperature because i don’t know the exact emissivity of the material, so I can’t gather good data just yet. To get around this, I calibrated the emissivity of the Infrared Thermometer to the temperature read by the Vernier sensor. This allowed me to get the exact temperature, and change the emissivity of the Infrared Thermometer to match the exact. I will also need to find a piece of metal, preferably Aluminum or Copper, to get a uniform temperature reading over the entire hotplate surface. This is because I can’t measure the temperature under the Peltier, so I will need to ensure the entire surface being the same temperature to get accurate readings.

Saturday, October 25th

While in East Hampton on Saturday, I noticed a 2010 GSXR-600 Parked outside of the shopping centers, near Waldbaums. I noticed that the owner was having trouble starting it, and i asked him what the issue was. He said that someone drove by, and knocked over the bike, causing some sort of electrical disconnection, as well as physical damage to the fairings. Being that the bike is the same model as mine, I helped him in removing the rear seat and gas tank to check the wiring harnesses, and the fuse box. We ensured that everything was connected properly, especially the starter motor assembly, and the bike promptly started, and he rode away. Best parts of the experience were being able to apply what I’ve learned so far in this project, to real world situations, as well as seeing the owner’s huge smile as he rode past, grateful that his bike was running.

Week of October 13th, 2014

This week consisted of prepping the bike for painting, which mostly involved the removal and sanding of the gas tank. I also solved the gas tank not closing with a rudimentary fix.

Removing the Gas Tank:

The gas tank was relatively annoying to remove, because it involved disconnecting the main fuel line. After this, I had to siphon the gasoline out of the tank, because the main fuel hose had a disconnect sensor, and did not drain.

Sanding the Gas Tank:

Sanding the gas tank is an easy, but very tedious task. I am using a small rotary sander, with medium grit sand paper to strip off the existing paint, to reveal the bare metal underneath. What i found interesting was that there was two entire coats of paint and primer, which means the previous owner painted it directly over the factory livery. When i have the entire tank sanded and cleaned, I will begin painting.

Gas Cap:

I solved the gas cap not closing all the way by taking off the O-ring rubber seal from the old gas cap, and combining it with the current gas cap. This allowed the seal to make full contact with the tank, ensuring no leaks at all.


I also borrowed a compressor from Facilities, which did not fit with the paint gun that i have. Dr. Morgan says he has the quick disconnect fitting that i need.




Week of October 6th, 2014

Week of October 6th, 2014

This week I ordered the paint for my bike, as well as continued testing the thermolectric generators.


The paint ordered was “Colorite” Jet Black paint, as well as primer and clear coat.

The school was able to purchase this, because I will not be using all of it.

Other than ordering the paint, this week has been relatively slow in terms of progress.


Week of September 29th, 2014

Week of September 29th, 2014

This week i installed all of the parts i received,  began testing the Thermoelectric generators, and started the process of polishing the headers. I also discovered an issue with the gas cap.


Oil drain:

The oil drain bolt plug would not torque all the way, and was leaking oil. I replaced it with a “new” one from ebay.

Frame Sliders, Bar Ends, Spools:

The bike only had 1 frame slider, 1 bar end, and the spools were heavily damaged.

I replaced them all.

Coolant Tank:

The coolant tank was damaged in a crash (Previous owner), and was cracked. It was not leaking, but if the bike ever fell over coolant would pour out. I “welded” it back together with JB Weld.

Thermoelectric Generators:

I began to familiarize myself with the functionality of the new TEG’s, and started testing the electrical output at different heat ranges. I found that a heatsink on the back of the TEG facilitates more current, especially when pressed down.

Gas Cap:

The gas cap does not close all the way, which could mean it is leaking fumes. This is obviously the priority to fix, because I don’t want to explode.


This weekend I began polishing the headers, after purchasing some fine grade sandpaper, and metal polish. It is a very laborious process, but I think it will surely pay off in the end.





Week of September 22nd, 2014

Week of September 22nd, 2014

This week I ordered some parts, as well as completed some plans for the next few weeks.


I am now planning to either polish or paint the main headers and exhaust pipes. The rearset also needs to be re-nickelplated, which I will attempt to do myself. Trying to follow this, as well as asking Kirk what he thinks about doing it myself vs. sending it out to be plated.

When i get a chance, I will paint the bike. To do this i need a paint gun, to attach to Mulhern’s compressor. Dr. Morgan said he will order it, as well as the Peltier elements.

Heat Test:

Also, I left the bike to idle for about 45 minutes to see how hot it would get without any load. The engine temperature seemed to top out at about 220F, and started decreasing when the fan came on.

Parts ordered:

  • Rest of the bolts needed
  • New Oil Drain Bolt, (Previous one didn’t fit)
  • Leather for seats
  • JB Weld to fix antifreeze tank
  • Frame Sliders, Bar Ends, Swingarm Spools
  • Gas Cap

Ordered from Revzilla.com, Amazon.com, and a bolt off of Ebay.com.


September 6th, 2014

September 6, 2014

Summary: Noticed leak
Before returning to Ross, I noticed that there was a small oil leak under the bike. This is presumably due to the oil filter being loose. I also noticed that the Oil drain bolt was not properly tightening to 16.5 Foot Pounds, so i will need to replace it. Hopefully all the oil won’t drain out while i am gone.

September 5th, 2014

September 5, 2014

Summary: Helmet and Shift rod arrived, installed shifter. Performed oil change

The shift lever that arrived was a Grade-A Piece of shit, so i just broke off the old shift rod and installed it on the new shift lever. Surprisingly, it wasn’t damaged in the process.
I decided to change the oil on the bike before returning to school, as well as the brake fluid / coolant.
I first drained the old oil, which looked like it hadn’t been changed in years.

After reinstalling the drain plug, I poured 3 bottles of 10w-40 into the oil port.
I then installed a new Oil filter, which will need to be tightened more with an oil filter wrench.

September 2nd, 2014

September 2, 2014

Summary: Ordered some essential parts List of parts ordered:
Brake/Clutch Levers

No further work was done on the bike, but I determined that the shifter rod is permanently stuck in the rearset, so i will have to order a new rod.


September 1st, 2014

September 1, 2014


Began fairing swap, removed front and side cowlings, installed side cowling, and front cowling. Front brake broke off.

I began the initial work of swapping the fairings, from the cracked factory fairings to the new white ones. I discovered that the front fairing will not come off without the disconnecting of the dashboard, so i had to remove that before the fairing would come off. I also discovered that many of the connections within the dashboard electronics were DIY, with electrical tape and twisted together wire. A few of the wires disconnected from their terminals during the removal of the fairing, and I will have to check the wiring diagram to find their correct position.

I had to install the new side fairing first, because of the way the front fairing fits into it.
The left side fairing cannot be installed currently, because all of the clips and bolts for mounting it are missing. I will have to order a bolt set

When trying to move the bike bake into my garage, it tipped to the right side, and the Front brake lever snapped off. It was an aftermarket lever, so it was cheaply made and was very brittle.
I also attempted to replace the damaged shift lever, but the lever is stuck in the shifting rod.
The priority is now the replace the lever, so I can safely move the bike while it is in gear.

Another issue i encountered was the removal of the rear passenger seat, which was essential, in order to remove the tail fairing. The seat was locked, and could only be opened with the key that is broken in the ignition.
I had to take apart the tail, and manually release the lock mechanism to remove the seat.

August 31st, 2014

August 31, 2014

Summary: Purchased 2001 GSXR 600 off craigslist from Jay and Kevin in Centerreach. Inspected bike, began planning. Also, I terrified my poor parents.

Bike was found on craigslist, after sifting through hundreds of listings. I chose to focus on this one listing because it was close to home. The bike was also being sold by two friends, who had another bike listed, which I wanted to check out too.
We arrived at their house, (dad and I), asked them questions about the bike, and decided to move forward with it. Jay and Kevin then came by our house later that day, with Jay riding the bike and Kevin following in his car. They dropped off the bike, as well as an extra set of fairings. After the bike arrived, I polished the exposed frame as well as the exhaust.

Condition of the Bike:
Mechanical: Running, driving, shifts through all gears properly. (As far as I can tell). Shifter is broken, he included a spare. Key is broken in ignition, but the bike cannot be started without the other half. Cosmetic: Needs fairings, the current ones are cracked and scratched all over.


Tomorrow i will begin photographing, and documenting the bike’s current state, as well as the removal/installation of fairings. I will probably need to order a set of bolts/clips for the fairings, as some are missing.
Long term plan:

after installing the fairings/shifter and anything else that arises, is to begin the logistical layout of the thermoelectric systems. A theoretical test will probably come first. (Measure heat output of bike, compare to electricity consumed, both in Watts). The problem with the thermoelectric generation is not that enough heat is produced, (The bike produces MUCH more heat than electricity is consumed), but the efficiency of the thermoelectric generators.


Thanks for checking out my process blog, I hope you find it interesting!

My Project: (Insert clever name here)

The restoration of a 2001 Suzuki GSX-R600 to pristine, dealership condition, followed by trials of a thermoelectric generator system mounted on the exhaust system.

When I got it:

Background Information:

Thermoelectric Generator: A device that converts thermal energy (heat), directly into electrical energy through the use of the Seebeck Effect.

Suzuki GSX-R600: Suzuki’s first iteration at a “Modern” sportbike, their first sportbike with Fuel Injection, and the first of the famous “K” series. Featuring a 1/4 Mile time of 10.8 seconds, and a 0-60mph of almost 3 seconds, it is a very performing machine to say the least.

Work over the summer:

My work over the summer consisted off: Swapping the fairings, changing the shift rod, an oil change, changing air filter, checking valves, and changing the levers.

Swapping the fairings:

Changing shift lever: