Coming together

I got a bit more work done on the bike tonight. I installed the steering head and mocked up the forks, installed the carburetors with new insulators, B bands, and pod filters, installed the foot pegs, side stand, swing arm and new shocks. This is the fun stuff, when you see it coming together quickly. In the second picture, you can see the new stainless steel allen head screws on the clutch, valve and breather covers.

Once it’s back on wheels, I’m going to start making a new wiring harness from scratch. The wiring on the bike is not up to par, and a stock harness won’t work since I’m relocating the battery and electronics under the seat cowl.

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Assembly

Progress! The engine is back in the frame. I finally finished painting and polishing the engine, I put in a new oil pan gasket to fix a small leak, and replaced the external engine bolts with a stainless steel allen head bolt kit I bought from http://www.alloyboltz.com for $25, they look great.

My front wheel has been trued, mounted, and balanced, but I had some issues lacing up the rear wheel that forced me to remove all the spokes and start again. I’ll try and drop it off for the same treatment as the front later this week, hopefully it’s right this time.

Frame and wheels

I got the frame, swing arm, center stand and side stand back from powder coating, and they look great! I laced up the rims with the new stainless steel spokes, and I’m going to try and drop off the wheels and tires tomorrow to be trued, mounted and balanced.

Details

I’m finally getting some of the detail paint work done. I got my powder coated rims back, received my new tires in the mail, and cleaned up the hubs and painted the inside ring black, so I should be able to get the wheels laced up with my new spokes in a few days. My header turned out great after being sand blasted, and painted with a high heat paint. The frame, swing arm, center stand and side stand are all out to be powder coated, I’m getting excited to get the bike back to a rolling chassis.

Seat pan and polishing

I dropped off my rims and header at the sandblaster this morning, I’m having the rims powder coated satin black. If I get them back by the weekend, I’ll probably get them laced up with the new spokes. After work, I started fabricating the seat pan, it’s pretty rough right now, but hopefully I can pound it into submission. I also started polishing my first aluminum engine piece, it’s not finished, but you can see the progress when compared to the untouched valve cover.

Frame mods are done

I finally finished the frame mods today, it took a long time, it wasn’t a ton of work but it required precision and a bit of trial and error. I also did a little more frame clutter removal by cutting off the passenger peg brackets, the right side bracket was also welded to the rear brake lever mount so after I cut it off I welded in a small gusset. I fabricated new seat mounts and bought all the seat mounting bolts I needed, sheet steel, foam and vinyl to make my new seat. The hardest fabrication I did was adding the new rear frame section that sits directly under the seat cowl, getting the bend, length, and angle just right took forever but I think it turned out nice. All I need to do now is prep it and paint it, and I can start putting it back together. As you can see in the image above, I also removed all the old spokes from my wheels so I can polish the hubs, get the rims sandblasted and powder coated, lace the wheels back up with the new spokes, and wrap the finished product in new rubber.

More goodies arrived in the mail last week, stainless steel spokes and nipples, new slightly taller rear shocks, a used side stand that will replace the center stand (center stand is convenient but too big), and my super sexy new OEM Honda badges.

Bigger is better!

I updated all of the photos with higher resolution 1024×768 pixel images. Enjoy!

Cleaning up the frame

Since I have shortened the seat down, I have to move the mounting brackets forward. I’m glad I’m doing it because the makeshift brackets were welded on so shitty that I’m surprised the seat didn’t fall off during one of my evaluation rides. I’m also planning on relocating the battery and electronics to the bump in the seat cowl to get them out of sight, so I spent some time today removing all of the tabs and brackets from the frame to clean up the look. Next week, I’m going to pick up 8 feet of 1″ OD x 0.125″ wall thickness DOM tube steel for my other frame modifications. This is more than I need, but it’s been a long time since I learned how to weld in high school, and I need to practice before I attempt my changes.

Naked

I finished stripping the bike completely down to the frame today. I’m going to try and get it sandblasted tomorrow, and see if I can pickup some tube steel for my frame modifications.

I ordered some more goodies today, new stainless steel spokes and nipples for the front and rear wheel to replace the rusted mess that’s there now. The chrome outer rims are actually in pretty good shape, but I don’t think they fit the cafe style I’m going  for, so I’m going to cut off all the spokes and have the rims sandblasted and powder coated in either satin or gloss black, then re-lace them with the new spokes. I also order my new rear shocks, the picture above with the tank and seat on the bike was just to mock-up the suspension and decide what size shocks I wanted. Additionally, I ordered a 55 piece engine gasket set, a really cool set of subtle vintage badges for the tank, and a side stand to replace the center stand. The center stand is convenient for working on the bike, but it’s just too bulky.

The third picture above shows the mechanical squid that was acting as the wiring harness for the bike. I know it was hacked on a bit by the previous owner, but I’m not sure yet if he did a good job or not. I’m going to at least need to give the entire harness a thorough once over to make sure I don’t sacrifice my completed creation to the fire gods.

The engine has left the building

I got the engine out today, it was a tight fit, but it wasn’t too bad. I also picked up my spray guns and researched, selected, and picked up my paint. I decided on lacquer even though it’s not as tough and doesn’t provide as much UV protection as enamel. It’s supposed to be much more forgiving. Each layer of lacquer you lay down amalgamates with the previous layers so don’t have to worry about layer ghosting. Additionally, if you get a run, it dries to a sand-able finish in minutes versus weeks for enamel. I picked up lacquer primer, brilliant silver, jet black, and clear. I’m planing on painting and clearing the frame, swing arm, and wheels black, and the body and cowl silver with about a 2-3″ black stripe all the way down the center with a small black pin-stripes on either side of the main stripe.