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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first bike has been a constant project since I got it. I borrowed my buddy's truck to drive an hour north of the city and pick up this sorry bike destined for the scrapheap. The transmission was broken and it wouldnt run because it needed the carbs cleaned. At least it came with a spare set of gears and all I needed was to put some elbow grease in to make myself a good bike...RIIIGHT.

I dont have pics of when I first got it uploaded right now, but I could find them when I get home.



I do have some pics of about the first month after two months of fixing it:



Appearance wise, the seat isnt the same one that came on it and the headers were the color rust instead of the free white header paint thats on there but in order to get it on the road I:
-Replaced the transmission and a ton of oil seals
-Replaced the shifter with a stock unit, it was damn near impossible to shift the one without the stock linkage
-Replaced the rear rotor
-Replaced the seat
-Cleaned carbs
-Soldered the ignition switch back together on one of the first rides using borrowed tools in the parking lot of a small engine repair shop
-Replaced the rear tire using manstrength

Wasnt too bad to begin with but this bike has been a lesson in maintenance with the engine having some sort of failure that causes me to rip it apart at the beginning and end of every season whether its gaskets or some sort of metal on metal cringeworthy failure. I've reshimmed the valve buckets and replaced alot of wiring, and some gaskets. Along the way I've made a whole lot of appearance mods and it doesnt look a whole lot like when ive got it.

Some sort of progression:






I've refinished the tank and cowl and will have pictures tonight.

Plans are:

-R6 Front Calipers with FJ1200 rotors (ATTENTION: I am looking for rotors off of a FJ1200 with ABS. They are impossible to find or crackhead priced

-Remove rear section of the frame weld new one with new tail, tidy up unused frame brackets. Not sure where I wanna go with the tail, but I'm thinking this:


-Incorporate rearsets either purchased or of my own design

-Improve lighting (Clear lens housing + bright H4 bulb)

-Rewire entire bike

-Do something about the handlebars

-Bar end mirrors
 

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Bitches love Fighters
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5,325 Posts
get this thing as light as possible. i bet its a blast in the twisties.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Work on this has been slow. Any time in the garage has been going to the CBR. I did get the fender ready for paint. This fender is actually a Sportster fender.





Just an updated picture:




Swingarm paint is next then onto the Airtech tail.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My battery is toast, so i started taking more stuff off. My vision is beginning to take shape: I mocked up the Airtech tail I want to get with posterboard:



Disregard the dirty towel in the back, it was there to give contrast against my white wall. My buddy says it looks too tall. What do you think?

In addition to this, I would need a new taillight, lots of tube, and a set of rearsets.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been busy:







F3 Front end with F3 calipers, F3 clip ons. I actually have a slightly stiffer spring from the VFR800 forks in my F3 Tubes. The wheel is off a Kawasaki ZG1000 and the rotors are from a ZX7. Lots of nights spent in the machine shop to get it all to fit together, but it came together nicely

I'll have a marzocchi shock soon to drop into the rear. The cowl is one used on a couple early 80s sport-ish bikes and I think it fits what I was going for quite well. I do have to do something with that seat, and I'm not sure if I'm shortening it up.

Got some nice meaty dual sport tires. Other stuff includes basic maintenance I've done, but obviously shes far from complete. I've got the wiring harness to do, but I think I have everything, save for a few terminals, connectors, and a battery, which will likely be a lifepo to fit into some out of the way spot.
 

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Pinstriper4fun
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763 Posts
looks good, I like the tires, Got me thinkin about mine now and what to do. keep up the good work.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Time to backfill the work ive done. I'll make a few update posts in the coming days/weeks to catch up with progress:

Bling new shock vs old beat one:



Does anyone know about the pulsar 3 shocks? Info on these is scarce. Its non-adjustable, but the preload adjustment is nice.


I also cut the seat down in the following process:









I finished shaping the seat a little later and added latching features. The seat has been shortened a good 5 inches with the amount i took off the back and the middle. Looks stock, but definitely isnt.

I obtained material and thread to make my own seat cover when the quotes i got were kinda insane. After buying material I found a dude that would do it for a reasonable price, but if covering it goes well, I'll have that skill and enough material left over for future bikes.


I hand cut some vinyl lettering for the tank and fit the seat:



Thats all for now. More to come...
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I cut the rear of the frame and welded it back together so it would fit inside the tail. I also shaped the seat down:



I made a test cover out of material that I had laying around. THIS IS NOT WHATS GOING TO END UP ON THE BIKE!







The next move was the hardest to make. I cut the weirdo subframe supports that had no possibility of looking good and frankly I question how stiff they were and they certainly werent light. I also test fit the ZZR 600 rearsets I got for the bike.

 

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Just so you know some one is watching... (also I just picked up an 83 gpz550 this weekend, so I'm watching intently!)

Let me know if you figure out a small stashable battery option. I only have one side cover, so if I can hide the battery in the tail, I'm going to ditch the side cover and clean it all up
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just as I was going to post another update. What I ended up doing for the battery was a smaller agm battery. I have not yet installed this one yet, but it should fit under the KZ550 tail I have. I was considering getting something like a ballistic battery, but this is cheaper, more plentiful and I think I am going to meet my weight goal even with a battery that weighs an extra 5 lbs. Look on batterymart in the agm section. All the outside dimensions are listed. You can probably get something that takes the place of the stock toolbox cubby if you are keeping the GPz tail. I think the one I have would probably fit the GPz tail, you might just have to add extra supports to the frame so the battery stays put.

Check out the GPz 550 forum if you have not already: nwsca.com/scripts/gpz_forum_2005/default.asp


Next installment:
I purchased a new wheel for the rear as the funky mismatch of rim widths made me uncomfortable. I'm still sticking with the 5 spoke. Physically, the wheel fit into the swingarm with the 140/70-18 tire...just barely. The tire installed measures at 146 width, so its on the edge.





I also picked up the sprocket carrier and caliper and caliper bracket to go with it. They all fit between the swingarm, but alignment requires custom axle spacers, custom rear caliper torque arm, and chain alignment required careful consideration.

The spacers were a breeze on the lathe, I ended up cutting down and angling the torque arm instead of making the bling one I designed:




The chain alignement was out about 11mm. Instead of getting a custom offset sprocket, I wanted to get something that didnt require custom parts to replace a wear part. I decided to turn down the sprocket carrier 8mm and flip the front sprocket around. This way it looks pretty stock too.

VIDEO:



Rolled 'er outside for a few pics:





 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I also forgot to mention the new front tire in the above post. I wanted to get my tire sizes to compliment the suspension geometry I was going for. Front tire is a ContiGO! I'll see how that works.

I did a little sheet metal work. I made the tray for the electrics under the seat and the plate on the rear of the bike that ties everything (tail, tail light, license plate, turn signals) together.














I'm not sold on the turn signals. Good news is that the tail light has integrated turn signals, so I dont need them. I just wasnt planning on using an LED light originally.


I also welded in the support tubes for the tail. I still need to finish weld them, but it really does alot to make the bike look and feel more finished.

 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just got my old computer setup in the garage, so maybe I can make updates on a more regular basis.

I purchased one of the danmoto acewell copy gauges:

http://www.dan-moto.com/DM_INT/lcd-digital-speedometer-tachometer-product-137.html

I'll have to see if the fuel sender in my kawasaki matches the style of the fuel gauge on that.

I've been working on the harness as well. Its slow going. I'm redoing the whole thing with new components (gauge, hand switches, headlight relays, additional accessory circuits) and removing some of the old components integrated into the harness originally, like the funky ass headlight module, lcd gauge, ignition interlock safeties.

I also rolled 'er out for some additional pics. Its looking real good, methinks.






I also got the black braided stainless brake lines sorted out front. Doesnt look too blingy. Time to DW on the harness, then its onto the seat cover.
 

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So what do you figure to be the requirements (minimum) for a battery? I believe the stock I'd something like 12v 12ah and about 165 cca. I saw some decently small agm batteries of batterymart but I wasn't sure how small I could go and still have a good running and starting bike. I'm switching over to leds front and rear since I was missing the rear turns anyways but otherwise it's electrically stock. Sorry if I'm derailing your thread, still learning.

I am on the gpz site and kzriders as well, I know I've seen your bike on both of those.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So what do you figure to be the requirements (minimum) for a battery? I believe the stock I'd something like 12v 12ah and about 165 cca. I saw some decently small agm batteries of batterymart but I wasn't sure how small I could go and still have a good running and starting bike. I'm switching over to leds front and rear since I was missing the rear turns anyways but otherwise it's electrically stock. Sorry if I'm derailing your thread, still learning.

I am on the gpz site and kzriders as well, I know I've seen your bike on both of those.
My biggest concern with the size of the battery would be the battery's ability to turn the bike over for starting. The 12ah battery is overkill IMO. My CBR is an inline 4 with higher compression ratio, but likely lower weight rotating parts, and it has a 8ah agm battery from batterymart and it turns over great. I run the same oil in both, so I wouldnt expect to see bad performance from the 7ah one.

The lights on the bike I would say are less consequential to how much battery you need. I tend to try to conserve power as much as possible on bikes. I'm not one to have the key on if the bike isnt running basically, so when the bike is running, the generator is producing power. Now, you can argue that the generator is not producing as much power as the bike is using until somewhere around 4k rpm, but I only let the bike idle for startup too. Lights that take less power like LEDs would help that situation, but there is another side to that coin. The regulator/rectifier on bikes tend to get rid of excess power generated in the form of waste heat. By changing to LED lights, or doing anything else to reduce total power consumption will effectively make your R/R have more waste heat to get rid of. Imagine that on a 95 degree day doing 80 down the highway...

Having said that, I have much less power draw from the electrical system than when the bike came stock. I may end up reversing that with a higher wattage headlight bulb (i've put the relays into the elctrical system to deal with this) and get more light while trying to maintain or get close to the same power generation/dissipation balance the bike had stock. The R/R's on these bikes arent known for going bad in particular, but I also suspect that this is due to the fact that the bikes are also not known for producing much power from the generators. I think compared to modern bikes, the generators have a much lower power output. Maybe under 200 watts.

You can see where you stand by taking voltage readings of the batter while the bike is off, at idle and like at 1000 rpm increments. You should see it start at like 12.5 and go up to around 14.5 or so. The RPM at which it gets to the peak voltage will tell you at what RPM the generator is producing enough power to power all your systems and whatever accessories you have attached. Above that, extra heat is being put into the R/R. Obviously, the longer your bike is below that RPM and still powering all those systems, the more the battery will be drained. Again, obviously, the smaller the battery is, the less time you bike has to operate below that threshold RPM before your voltage drops down to a point where funky shit happens, like the ignition not working properly, lights not working and you will probably not be able to turn the bike over if its shut off for whatever reason. All is not lost if this happens every now and again, you can just pop start it and run it around at a high-ish rpm for a while, but if this is a regular occurance, you may want to take a gander into how much charging capacity you have and whether thats enough for your needs.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Pretty much finished the wiring harness and tested everything out. Its a great feeling wiring everything up off the top of your head, then finally turning the key and having it all work.



I'm using the mini blade fuses instead of the old glass tube ones. This is my main fuse. I may end up changing the configuration of the circuits on the bike, but I've allowed for 6 independent key switched circuits. By changing out the Kawasaki key switch through which all the bike power ran through to a more simple honda and coupled that with a relay I was able to use way less wires.

The battery turns the bike over great

In other news, the gauge powers up perfectly and the gas gauge even works right. I will have to tone down the brightness of the led bulbs. They are crazy bright and make the gauge hard to see.

I've got to weld up the mounts for the battery yet and I discovered that the O-Rings in the tees of the carb fuel pipe have given up the ghost so I'll be taking the carbs apart.
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did a little welding. The battery is properly mounted and I have the front end sorted and did a little finish welding on the rear brake arm.


The bike seem so close to riding at this point, but there is alot of stuff still standing in my way:
-O-Rings Between the Carbs on the fuel pipe
-Clean Tank
-Threads for rearsets
-Fill Brake lines & bleed

Cosmetic things:
-Sew Seat cover & install
-Paint
 

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Chief Breakshit Engineer
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223 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just cut the seat foam for the 10th time. What do you think of the shape?





I did it mainly for comfort, but i may add an extra 1/4" to 1/2" of foam to the sharp corner at the top to make it sharper, or i could kinda blend it like it was before.

I also may cut it back a little more or deeper a little more or both. Thoughts?

I'm glad i decided to do this before i got around to covering it. It seems to be alot more comfortable
 
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