Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So, in the interest of updating, here is what I've been up to for the last week.

I've ordered my rear sets, clip-ons, and some stock CB360 headers (just in case my ideal exhaust situation doesn't pan out). I picked up the last of my needed polishing supplies, and have also purchased an air compressor, some air hose, and some attachments, and will be rigging up a home soda blasting setup.

I STILL have not gotten my swingarm bushings out. I've cut the relief sections in the bushings, but can't seem to get them out to compress the plastic. I'm certain that if I saw any deeper, I'll be going into the swingarm. But, alas, I also picked up a punch, the end of which I will wrap with a bit of electrical tape (so as not to gouge the swingarm) that I hope will get them out.

When I get home today, I'm going to get my new compressor set up and start gearing up to do some soda blasting. And some polishing. Lots of polishing. Exciting times ahead for me.

In the mean time, here is a very rough mock up (I don't have Photoshop) of some of the changes I hope to make on the bike. This shows what a shortened seat pan, clip-ons and battery relocation could look like.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Update: Unfortunately there's not a lot to tell. A lot of my spare time recently has been spent organizing my garage, getting my work space set up, and cleaning/polishing nuts, bolts and etc.

In order to fully break down the swingarm, I had to buy a hacksaw, to cut a section out of each of the swingarm bushings. With any luck, this will make them easier to remove. I'm still trying to work out how to remove the rear suspension bushings. Plus side - At least I got the swingarm collar out.

I'll be ordering my clip-ons and rear sets in just a couple of days. Their arrival will presumably bring more and better updates.

I was also able to get the covering off my seat, and the foam removed from the seat pan. What I found was fairly disappointing.

First, it's fairly rusted. Also, it appears that the previous owner affixed the old cover by snagging it over metal spikes that were poked out using an old can opener. It could be factory, but I have a hard time believing that.

The question for the seat pan has become, as asked by the Clash, should it stay or should it go now? That rust seems problematic.

Next on the plate:
  1. Get bushings out of swingarm.
  2. Order Clip-ons and rear sets.
  3. Make seat pan decision.
  4. Mock up.
  5. Get triple tree disassembled.
  6. Chop and grind frame down.
  7. Sandblast frame, wheels, swingarm, rotors, triple tree.
  8. Get crank case covers off the engine.
  9. Learn how to use all this polishing shit.
  10. Get a new, smaller battery and build a box.
  11. Rebuild front forks.
  12. Get a space heater for the garage.
That should just about cover it until I get some more scratch.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Down time

Not much going on with the bike at the moment. I can't pick up any new parts for about another week, so I've just been picking up things I need for cleaning and polishing. I bought an angle grinder, but then had to return it when I read in the manual that it wasn't rated to cut metal. Might have been cool for the employee to tell me that when I bought it - along with ten cutting discs. I'll pick up a replacement for it today.

HD Theater began airing Cafe Racer last night. I was only able to get the first of two episodes watched last night, but it was great. Awesome to see the pics and footage from the old Ace Cafe.

Met a cool guy on a BSA Lightning Bolt last night after work. He ran out of gas alongside the highway, so I hooked him up with a gallon of super to get him home. I could see that he was wearing an Ace Cafe jacket, and he was about to start pushing his bike along the highway. Turns out he's a member of Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists, a group I've had lunch with and am thinking of joining. Hell of a guy. Hope to talk to him again in the future.

Anyways, to add some beauty to the page, this is similar to what he was riding.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Everything is disassembled. Well, as much as it can be right now. I have to mock up the tank, clip-ons, seat pan and (separately) the rear cowl, before going any further.

In the ten days or so before I can order my clip-ons and rear sets, I should be able to get some cleaning in on some of the bits, but I'm going to hold off on rebuilding the forks or wheels or anything until after the mock-up. Plenty of time.

I also have to give my father-in-law some warning that his welding, fab and paint services will be needed soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

More disassembly

I got some more taken off the bike last night. The rear axle was a pain in the ass. I used a hammer to get the left side out enough to wrap a cloth around the head of the axle and tugged while twisting. It probably took close to a half hour just to pull the rear wheel axle.

Still to go is the triple tree and steering stem parts, the kickstand, swingarm, rear shocks, footpegs and chain. Not looking forward to the chain, but maybe the third time is the charm.

It will be a couple weeks before I can get my clip-ons and rear sets, so in the mean time I'm going to rebuild the front forks, start on the front wheel and get polishing on some bits and pieces.

I'm trying to figure out if I want to powdercoat the wheels and hubs, or paint them. I've heard powder can make relacing the spokes a pain in the ass, but I know it's more durable. An alternative would be to find a durable paint and use that. I'm also trying to figure out the best paint to use for the cylinder head.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trying to avoid a lack of posts

Just a slight bit of progress. I put the bike back down on the wheel chalk and drained the oil. I tried to get the chain off, but was unable. I'll reference the shop manual today on how to do that, and of course how to pull the motor.

At first, I was a little intimidated at the thought of pulling the motor, but I now feel confident I can do it without assistance (once I get the chain off). I told Emily I'd be spending tonight in the garage, so hopefully I'll be able to get it done.

Today, on my lunch, I'm picking up an angle grinder, some cutting discs, and some sanding/polishing/cleaning supplies.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A quick mock-up

Some progress has been made on the tear-down.

First, a quick mock-up to wet the palette. The rear cowl has been moved forward, which will require modification to the seat pan. This is also using the stock tank, which is kind of a worst case scenario. I'd really like to find a GS 450E tank from an '80 or '81.

I managed to forget to drain the oil up to this point, so that's next on the list.

Once the oil is drained, it will be time to pull the motor, then the wheels and suspension.

Then, it's a lot of cleaning, cutting, grinding and polishing.

Here she is after day two. I have shit tons of questions, but very few answers. Thank God for forums. As no one is actually reading this blog, I'm going to state my questions here for organizational purposes.

  1. In how many places does the wiring harness/electrical system ground to the frame? During dismantling I found a random green (ground) wire that looks like it grounded somewhere, and I believe it was in the gauge bracket, but I'm not sure.
  2. Can I create a custom bracket for the ignition lock cylinder and get rid of the ugly stock bracket (will be integrating the speedo into the headlight bucket and eliminating the tach)?
  3. What does the random bolt on the underside of the frame, just under the crankcase, do?
  4. How do I remove the speedo cable from the front rotor?
  5. How do I remove the tach cable from the engine?
  6. Is there a smaller, sealed, compatible replacement for my battery (that will still allow me to use lights & blinkers)?

Trying to stay organized.

Not sure if that fender is worth saving or not. One of the mounting tabs was broken and fell apart in my hands when I removed it from the forks. There are aftermarket fenders available, but I may be able to salvage this one.