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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I picked up a 1986 Radian 600... Basically, saw it on Craigslist for $200 with no carbs and no clutch cable, read that it was air-cooled and could do a 3.4 second 0-60 and was pretty low to the ground and was pretty easy to maintain, and went and picked it up.
Strapped it in the back of my Jeep.... Getting good at putting bikes in there. It fit better than the SV650 did.

So now I have an ugly old Radian 600, and I'm brainstorming, so I figured I'd make a build thread to get some input. Might be a while before I start building/buying parts, as I'm focused on the SV650 right now, but that's okay.
I don't have pictures as my phone was dead last time I was over there (it's at my uncle's/cousin's house... Probably a bad idea but what can you do when an SV is taking up your half of the garage?), so it looks something like this, only more faded and ugly. Same paint scheme though.


So... I'm thinking first the headlight's gotta' go... Maybe a 7" round headlight?
And then the giant-hunk-of-chrome fender extender needs to go, too... But maybe just do a tail swap. A Monster seat/tail would look nice on it... Especially nestled behind a BMW K75 tank.
Something like this seat/tail: http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUCATI-OEM-...Parts_Accessories&hash=item3cebc5db3d&vxp=mtr
Nestled behind this tank: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181572519706?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

I'd probably go to dirt bars with bar-end mirrors, too... Stock bars are too ugly, and the monster seat would put you lower than the stock tail and seat would anyway, so going from stock bars to dirt bars wouldn't feel odd or strained.

Headers are ugly and covered with surface rust... Some titanium wrap would do a good job of hiding it.
I'd probably go with shorty reverse cone mufflers on it (trumpets) because they're an easy fit... I saw z1000 mufflers fitted to it on youtube, but there's no explanation as to how, plus they're really fucking expensive.
Gotta' be black... I'm gonna' try to reduce the amount of chrome on this thing, so two of these:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/19-Hooligan...Parts_Accessories&hash=item2335518a51&vxp=mtr

But for now, it needs mechanical things... Carbs, clutch cable, new front brake assembly (whole thing is full of foam, apparently brake fluid turns to foam after 13 years; piston in the MC's shot, too), and a new ignition... I guess I should address those, too.
So little time, so little money, so many ideas.

Thoughts...?
Ohh... And "Crusty" because of the shit in the front brake lines and the leaves that were UNDER the upholstery.
 

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hate us cuz they ainus
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1,827 Posts
I have a buddy that's been working on one of these. Maby I was grossly underestimating it but it did surprised me when I took it out. He tried to put a 7" headlight on his too but it was just too big. I kinda like the square headlight, I'm thinking I may put it on my bandit if he winds up not using it.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a buddy that's been working on one of these. Maby I was grossly underestimating it but it did surprised me when I took it out. He tried to put a 7" headlight on his too but it was just too big. I kinda like the square headlight, I'm thinking I may put it on my bandit if he winds up not using it.
Maybe I'll go 5.75", then... But I think my SV has a 7", so I can test fit it with that.

If he uses the square headlight and you still want one, though, let me know... You can have mine for a couple bucks plus shipping. I don't like it.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why the beemer tank?
Kinda' in between the modern sportbike tanks and the older plain tanks... I like the shape.
Plus it's aluminum, so it's lighter and won't rust.
Might be kinda' cool to strip it and polish it... I'm toying with that idea, instead of painting the bike.

My heart's definitely not set on one, though... So do you have any ideas?

EDIT: After some lucky googling, I managed to find this picture... Heart's now kinda' set on the K75 tank.
 

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Remi's Dad
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17,593 Posts
That may be something to look into but perimeter style frames can limit the choice of tanks. Have someone measure the tank width the depth and tunnel dimensions.

Aluminum tanks still corrode and are more of a hassle to repair. You could get a very clean tank for 1/2 the cost of a barely use-able beamer tank. Not trying to dampen your fire but other options are out there.

The z1000, cb919, zrx, xjr1300,

This guy used a cb1000 tank. Modern styling with a center tunnel.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That may be something to look into but perimeter style frames can limit the choice of tanks. Have someone measure the tank width the depth and tunnel dimensions.
Definitely will... Bottom line is the bike was $200 and I know a bunch of people who can weld, so I wouldn't really mind cutting the bike up a bit to get a different tank to fit.

This guy used a cb1000 tank. Modern styling with a center tunnel.
Yeah, I looked around for a CB1000 tank but couldn't find one on eBay or Craigslist.
I'm not in a hurry though, as I'd like to get it rideable first (so front brakes, carbs, ignition, clutch cable), so I'll wait and pounce if I see something cheap.
I'll look around for the other tanks you mentioned... I assume they have center tunnels too?

EDIT:
To add, that build with the CB1000 tank is what got me to read other builds which is what got me to join.
 

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Hack in a barn
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4,409 Posts
I have a strange soft spot for these bike :D
Really think they have a ton of potential... I've always seen them as a good base for an open pipe street-tracker from hell type of thing. But I think that had a lot to do with the shape of the stock tank.

Subscribed...
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finally snapped some pictures of it when I was at my cousin's house. It's in his garage, next to his friend's '67 Cougar (that's what the shorty header was from -- it just got long tubes).



Pretty soon I'll get my financial aid refund and I'll be able to start buying parts for this bike.
It's not really as high on my priority list as the SV650, so that's why it's been neglected and lonely in someone else's garage.
After much thinking, I've decided I want to keep the stock tank... It really gives the bike its' whole look, and I want to keep a little of that look.
I'm still gonna' go with a Monster seat, though.
And then low-rise dirtbike/superbike bars with bar end mirrors... But I think it's a 1" bar, so I'm severely limited by that.
Ohhh... And of course a round headlight. Probably an eBay one with a ring of LEDs around the main light.
Might end up with a (well hidden) push-button start and a no-key cap, because I'm too cheap to spend $100 on a used cap and ignition and key.

But first it obviously needs carbs... Gotta' wait on that, $245 doesn't come easily now that I have no job.
If I have to end up pulling the engine to put the carbs on (it's looking like that' might be the case), then the engine's getting painted black and the headers are coming off to be wrapped with titanium wrap.
I really don't want to have to pull the engine, but painting it black will be nice -- I really like how clean the air-cooled engines are, and it would look awesome black.
Kinda' crazy though -- the bike was $200, so the carbs will cost more than the bike was.

So... No real updates, except the update that there'll be real updates in the next month.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
True to the name I've given the bike in the title... I was over there (I keep this one in my cousin's garage) earlier to grab a jack to put a new shock on my SV650, and decided to finally take a gander inside the tank, since I had my tools with me, and look what I found.

It started with having to do this... (Not just unscrew it, but pry it off and break it in the process... And two people to pry it off, going around it with screwdrivers like tire levers.)


Because of this...


And when trying to remove the petcock, the same rust led to this...


So I whacked it with a BFH (Jeep talk for big fuckin' hammer) after I thought I'd sufficiently drilled out both sides, and pulled out the broken off drillbit... But nope, the top half of the petcock cracked right off and the bottom half is still attached to the tank.
And yes, in theory when the tank is on the bike, the bottom half broke and the top half is still on there... But the tank wasn't on there so ehhh.

So this tank is so fucked I'm not sure I'm going to use it. You should see how bad the rust is... It's about as bad as it can get before it rusts through.
The gas that came out was bright yellow and foamy and putrid and... Awful.
So I may start looking around for a CB919 tank... I might do the whole "BBs and nuts and bolts and gasoline and coke and vinegar and then coat it with POR" thing, but I'm not sure yet. Depends how badly drilling the other half of the petcock out goes, I suppose.

Also pulled the old tail plastics off, and the ugly chrome fender, the tail light, the grab bar, and the "acquired taste" square headlight...
Ohhh, and that one mirror... Which was a Kawasaki one.
And the speedometer, which was completely fucked and missing both the glass and the needle. Shame, as those are going for $100 on eBay... Could've had some money to fund this thing.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Guess what this guy just ordered?




If it runs, it'll be the first time it's ran in 16 years.
Should be fun... Will definitely take a video.

Still not sure what I'm gonna' do about the tank though, haha.
There's a CB919 tank on eBay with 1 large dent/scrape but in otherwise good shape. If it's still cheap at the end of the auction, I might buy that and try to pop the dent and then bondo it and plastidip it (this project's low-budget; I'll make sure to do it a different color than my SV, though), but if the bid goes up a ton, I'll coat the old tank... Which I'm sure will be loads of fun, lmao.
As far as the front brakes, I've decided that instead of spending $100 on a master cylinder and brake lines from 1986, I'm gonna' get a different MC with the same piston diameter (a pain to figure out without having it on hand... Had to find the part number and see what else it was used on and then look up the piston diameter of that) and have some stainless lines made, or get a kit to make them myself. Should cost roughly the same amount as the used 1986 setup would!
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Premium Member
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A quick google tells me your calipers have 43mm pistons. Going from that, you should look for eg. a 14mm Nissin front master cylinder such as from a 92-97 CBR900RR or triumph street triple (non-R), blue-spot caliper R1 or R6 amongst others.

A 5/8" MC will be too big.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A quick google tells me your calipers have 43mm pistons. Going from that, you should look for eg. a 14mm Nissin front master cylinder such as from a 92-97 CBR900RR or triumph street triple (non-R), blue-spot caliper R1 or R6 amongst others.

A 5/8" MC will be too big.
Everything I've read said that it comes equipped with a 5/8" MC.

Lots of people do go to R1 blue dot calipers and then swap to an FJR or a 14mm MC, but unless someone here wants to give me a set of R1 calipers, I can't afford them, so I'll have to stick with the stock MC size if I don't want a wooden feel.
I'm not really trying to upgrade, though it'd be nice; I'm trying to replace, as the fluid in the stock MC had literally turned to Great Stuff-like foam.
I will however be going to braided stainless lines (custom made for this application), though, so that'll be somewhat of an upgrade I guess.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I looked around for the length of the stroke, but sadly all I could find was diameter... And even that was a bitch.
It involved running the part number and then looking on forums for other bikes it was used on and sorting through a lot of irrelevant crud that was for the wrong model years and stuff.

But it seems like the more I read the less I understand... But I guess 14mm is only okay because it's not drastically different than 5/8"?
I know it'll be less wooden, but I'm worried it might be too spongey.
This is why I was just going to stick with 5/8".

Also, morti, how did you find the piston size for my calipers...? I searched high and low for that a few days ago, to no avail.
 

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Isn't as dumb as he seems
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549 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: 1986 Radian 600 cafeish build... "Crusty."

My '76 CB 750F had a 42mm piston. Felt great with a 14mm zx6 master. Tried to run an additional 42mm caliper on that same mc and it was a joke. I dont like spongy levers either. I like stiff brake levers. My 42-14mm combo had a nice feel. $0.02
Alright, I see a 14mm on eBay for like $15... I'll grab it and if it feels weird then no big loss to me.
Thanks for the input haha... Hard to find any information on this bike, so that makes it hard to know what's best.
There are only like 3 other "build threads" of this bike on the entire internet.

On another note, ordered some airbox boots (with the proceeds of my SV650 side-cover sale), but they don't make new ones so I guess these used (but without cracks) ones will be getting a wintergreen treatment to keep them soft.
Read up on that and supposedly it works really well, but stinks to high heaven.
Should be... Interesting.

Also bought these (with the rest of the money from selling my SV's left side-cover, which'll be replaced with a carbon fiber one) for $6 or so... They look nice, but if they're crappy then hey, no great loss. This one's a budget project, for now; just needed SOME grips, as there are currently none. Went with red to match the stitching on the Monster seat... Guess I'll paint or plasti-dip whatever tank I end up using red.


Can't wait for everything to start getting here.
 

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Premium Member
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2,225 Posts
Yeah, I looked around for the length of the stroke, but sadly all I could find was diameter... And even that was a bitch.
It involved running the part number and then looking on forums for other bikes it was used on and sorting through a lot of irrelevant crud that was for the wrong model years and stuff.

But it seems like the more I read the less I understand... But I guess 14mm is only okay because it's not drastically different than 5/8"?
I know it'll be less wooden, but I'm worried it might be too spongey.
This is why I was just going to stick with 5/8".

Also, morti, how did you find the piston size for my calipers...? I searched high and low for that a few days ago, to no avail.
A third-party spares site I use called wemoto lists a lot of such specs for the parts they sell.

14mm will have a slightly longer throw, give more power, but perhaps be spongier at the lever than a modern bike. 5/8" would probably be a bit shorter throw, harder at the lever and require more squeeze at the lever.

Considering the small discs and low tech calipers with single pistons/small pads, I would think you will be glad of the extra power from a 14mm master cylinder. A 5/8" will tend to be wooden I would think.

Also, don't think that the OEM knew everything, this bike is from a relatively early age of hydraulic brakes and Yamaha certainly didn't know everything. EG they used the same 14mm master cylinder on a single disc XJ600s as they did on the updated model a few years later with twin discs. The early one was wooden as you like, the later one was much better!
 
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