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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm almost finished with my cafe racer build so I thought I would throw up a thread now so there won't be massive delays between updates. The bike was an Ebay find with 8k miles. I think it was a midlife crisis thing, then he dropped it and the wife said no mas. I rode it for about 3 months to and from work... and then began the project.

LAME- But Potential


Looking better already


I dropped the forks 2"
cut 1" out of the preload spacer
new seals
new oil
new rear shocks
pod filter
painted the head
rebuilt and rejetted carb
handmade exhaust with Baffle
some cutting of the frame
crappy attempt at a sheetmetal seat
new gauges and clip ons
rearsets and custom made bracket to mount said rearsets

and that got me here:







After a few months of riding I began the quest for a tail that I didn't hate and this began.




This is basically the way I kept the bike for about a year and then dug into it again to do a cast wheel conversion and change up some details. More to come!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The headlight bucket on these bikes is plastic and mounted to the lower triple. Mine broke and fora while had to be duct taped in place to keep getting to work.l Once I tore the bike down this last time I was able to knock out a few things like shaving the top triple and fixing this headlight issue. Here is what I did with the headlight...

The broken area is visable here, this is already fixed at this point. Didn't snap a picture of it in pcs.


Backside



So I basically expoxied the pieces back together and filled the recessed area on the back of the bucket with epoxy to fill it. My thought is that this will make the base much thicker and much stronger. After letting it set up and sanding it I painted it and installed. Looks better than the original fake chrome finish.


Next little project was shaving the top triple of the holes where the risers fit. I don't have a mill, but I do have a mini lathe so I turned some plugs and pressed them in. Some time wit ha flapper disk and a file and here we are primed and ready for paint.



Next I attacked the tank. I originally was going to switch to an XS750 tank I had but ti ended up just being too big.


I switched to modifying the stock tank and the first order of buisness was addressing the hole for the stock speedo....which was kinda handy, but looked less than desirable.


So I made a patch and closed that in. I had a vicious rattle that had developed a week or so before teardown and could not figure it out. I isolated it to the front of the tank and went to the savage forum to see if anyone had cut open a tank and what might be the culprit. After many times being told there was nothing inside the tanks and that I had dropped something in there I decided it was surgery time. And what do we have here!



Turns out that the tank has some vent tubing that had rattled loose and was making all the noise. So after some cleanup and re-welding I buttoned the tank up and started bodywork. I turned attention to fabbing up a seat and tail section, and doing a monoshock conversion...that didn't go well.

First the tail. I thought about going fibergalss but decided to make one from scratch out of sheetmetal. I started with the sides and got a basic curve at teh top and figured it would be easier to have the center section welded in versus trying to do this in one or two pieces.




made a piece for the back



got a top piece made




and ended up with this



I didn't really like the boxy look so I sectioned it in the back for a more sloped look and reworked the sides a little. I ended up here



Now the monoshock...that wasn't to be. I fabbed up some brackets using the bolts and nuts as a little jig to keep everything in place for welding.



Then installed a gs500 shock which is the black one in the pic above. It was perfect...except for being really soft. After trying to figure out what speing rate I needed, trying to consult racetech, and ultimately just going for it I bought a 03 R1 shock I figured had to be stiff enough....it isn't. After getting everything mocked up I ended up here which is basically the exact look I had in my head.



Suspension was still a no go, I think due to the orientation of the shock (?). But any way, I decided I wanted to get riding sooner and I didn't want to mess with it any longer or spend any more money I don't have so I put the twin shock setup back on.

As the pics above show, I converted the bike to cast wheels. What a journey that was. Next post will chronicle that adventure in Ebay misrepresentation and general mayhem. :party-smiley:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I might miss the cupholder a little! Switching to the cast wheels was an aesthetic decision. I just prefer the looks. I was intrigued at just getting it done since it seemed very few savage owners had attempted it. To my knowledge this might be the first time a 16x2.75 was used for the rear instead of a 16x2.50. Not 100% percent on that, but of the few that had done the swap on the savage forum everyone had the 2.50 wide rear wheel. So I wanted a little challenge too, but really, I just thought they would look cooler.

Thanks for the replies guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wheel conversion time! I originally looked into fitting a set of wheels from an XS650/400. I love the look of those wheels but it was going to be quite a task to machine adapters to fit the mismatched axle sizes and get the brakes happening. After doing a bunch of research I came across info that a set of wheels from a gs550 would be a easier fit. Everything said the front involved machining and fitting and the rear was a drop in with no issue. My rear wheel was a a horriblly frustrating time, front was a breeze. I started out with a set of wheels that were supposedly from a 82 GS550 which was exactly what I read was what I needed.



I took the GS450 rotor I got to a machine shop to have the OD taken down to the OD of the stocker. He was busy so he walked me 2 doors down to an old guy that has a shop just for his own projects and he machined it down for me no charge.



not sure what the rotor is made of???

I scuffed the contact area and painted the rotor.



Used some washers to space it out. during mock up I was at .23 and painted I went down to .17 on the spacing.




Modified the stock axle spacers and front was done.



On the rear wheel I didn't mock up since everything I read was about how easy it was and a direct fit. Stupid mistake. It didn't fit the brake drum or the sprocket hub. The top is the wheel and the bottom pic is the part of the hub that is supposed to fit into the wheel. Obviously this was a problem....




After much research I determined the wheel was misrepresented from the buyer. I'm still not sure what bike this wheel came on from the factory. The GS forum guys were zero help. So off I went to Ebay to buy parts based on measurements and not bike year. The sprocket hub and the brake drum are from different model bikes....so not sure where this wheel came from. After lots of swearing and Ebay trolling I finally got things buttoned up.




Went with a 110/90/19 front and a 140/90/16 rear. The best theory I got is that everyone I have seen do this conversion used a rear wheel with this pattern:



I'm not a fan so I wanted a rear wheel with the pattern in my pics, and I wanted a 2.75 wide wheel vs. a 2.50 which I noticed everyone had gone with in their conversions. I'm guessing that there maybe was a GS650 model that had my rear wheel at some point and that is what I ended up with.

Bike rode great with the new wheels, handling is fine, clearances are tight but fine. Other that the wheels I switched the battery to a Lithium mini and made a temporary box by cutting up the stock box and making a hold down attached with thumb screws.




I needed to it some mirrors but since my handlebars are 1" and everyone else used a 7/8 bar I needed to find a way to mount them. Since they all mount with these expandable fittings I set out to devise a way to ditch the fittings and just use the bolt that came with the mirrors.



What I did was machine little adapters that I could attach to the bars with set screws and bolt the mirror into. I started with some scrap aluminium round stock and turned the OD to match the bars. Then I recessed them so the mirror would slip into the adapter and threaded them. Marked some holes for the set screws and tapped everything. Works great, they fit perfectly on the bike.







I got all the bodywork done, primed and blocked 3 times then fired up the ghetto paint booth. Sprayed a metallic grey Grigo Silverstone from a 2009 Ferarri.

After Basecoat:





After clear:




I got the color sanding done last night and hopefully will be able to buff and polish today sometime. Here everything is mocked on the bike:



I made a seat last night so after I get the rubbed out bodywork back on and the seat mounted I need to make a taillight/plate bracket and fire it up. I am going to make some mesh panels between the seat and the top frame tube but want to ride so that is not a priority. I'm going to omit the speedo so I am going to try and machine a cap for the speedo drive too. Almost done....cant wait to ride!
 

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Legit goon
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Last pic looks killer!
Very clean mate
 

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Hack in a barn
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I freaking love this build so much!
Bad ass thumper you built there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys. Can't wait to be riding it.

Shinyribs, I found the color didnt cover well and I had some dark spots where some variation in my primer layer showed through. It definatly my fault but I've painted over similar issues a few times and the paint covered without problem. So maybe it is me, I definately have a ton to learn about painting, but it seemed this color is kinda transparent. I was worried about solvent pop so I let it dry, wet sanded and sprayed 2 more coats for coverage before clear. Just an FYI if you are going to spray it yourself to make sure the primer is even before going to base. That is the way it should be anyway, but it seems this color was not forgiving when I took a shortcut.
 

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Yut-Ughhh
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Great looking bike man. I've been debating about tossing out my CX500 I built and picking up a savage to cruise back and forth to work on and rack up the miles.... this is definitely not helping keep the CX500
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do 23 miles each way to work on it. It is awesome on the street being a 650 single stoplight to stoplight is fun. On the freeway it does vibrate a fair bit but nothing that really bothers me. I can cruise at 75 all day without problems. Anything after 80-85 and the vibration gets more noticeable. They are a cool bike, not many mechanical issues they are known for, and the mileage is good. I have an aggressive rejet and still get about 50mpg. If you look into them I beieve the first year with a 5 speed trans was 95. They are all the same except for the trans though.
 

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Lazy bastard
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Suspension was still a no go, I think due to the orientation of the shock (?). But any way, I decided I wanted to get riding sooner and I didn't want to mess with it any longer or spend any more money I don't have so I put the twin shock setup back on.
The problem was that GS500 and R1 have suspension linkage and the ratios are way off if mounted without. We have a shock off a Ducati 1098 and it seems pretty good. Looking at Truckinduck's Buell, that would probably be perfect. Have you done any headwork on it? The exhaust side in particular looks terrible on these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I did a little porting to clean it up but nothing else on the head. I didn't dig into the motor because I didn't think I would see a big enough difference to justify the time and effort. My motor is stock but I have no issues running around town and keeping up with my buddies. Is is actually really cool light to light. I can do 90mph on the freeway no problem too. I have found the bike is pretty versatile.

Biggest performance gains I have noticed are carb work, and the exhaust. I'm at sea level running a 152/52.5 jet combo. I reduced the thickness of the white plastic spacer on the needle by 3/4 and tuned the TEV to get rid of the popping they have on deceleration. The exhaust is 32 inches overall and has a 8in glasspack baffle welded in the end. I did this all at once so I can't say what made the biggest impact but after riding the stocker and after all these mods it was a completely different bike.
 

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Vtwin
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I'm loving this thread, never been a big fan of cafés but this is awesome!!
 
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