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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So I recently had a bit of a run in with the law for speeding, and ended up having to take a bit of a "holiday" from riding (stupid I know, my speeding finally caught up with me 😱😭)

Anyway, to keep me occupied while I was unable to ride, I picked up a cheap arse ratty Yamaha TDM 850 Twin.
Bike was pretty rough and in bits, lots missing, lots of rust, rotten electrics, solid engine and running gear though! Good starting point for a Rat or Survivor build right?

There were some cracked fairings and a torn seat also with the bike, but here's the base of the project.......

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Super rotten wiring and burnt out relays......
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Rotten rusted exhaust and cracked header clamps......
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Plenty of work to keep me busy! 😏😬
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So, as the project was actually started several months ago, I'll be digging through the pic's I had the forethought to take along the way. At the moment, the bike is probably around 2/3rds of the way there at present, so I'll try and catch up to where we are now, and fill you in on what work was done along the way.

So first thing I attacked the electrics, to see if we could get the bike to a point where it should fire up. All the relays were replaced, and a new battery and spark plugs went in. Also replaced all the fuel hoses and jubilee clips, trick CNC aluminium and glass fuel filter, and quick release fuel line connectors (bollocks to arseing about with those pipe clips under the tank more than once :LOL:)

Unfortunately there was a fault somewhere in the wiring (the original relay being burnt out should have given this away in hindsight), but just to be super unlucky the new relays survive, and the CDI unit blew 🤦‍♂️

Luckily it's the same model ECU as the XTZ 750, so relatively easy to come by courtesy of EBAY).

So replaced the ECU, full replacement wiring loom, regulator rectifier, ignition coils and leads. While I was there, I noticed someone had chopped the sidestand sensor wire off where it attaches to the sensor, soldered the wires together, and left them hanging. So I chopped out the badly done solder and stuck a plug on it, and replaced the plug for the alternator with a higher rated plug (as these are commonly known to fail).

Sidenote.........that wiring for the sidestand sensor would make a pretty cool shut off switch under the seat......maybe I'll stick a little rocker switch under there.........
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Discussion Starter #3
All the electrics sorted out, and with the help of my lovely girlfriend we set up a remote fuel supply (aka a funnel :LOL:) and got the old girl running. 🙌 Not too badly either all things considered, engine sounds pretty good!

Next thing, we cleaned off all the rattle can matt black from the frame with a rag and some thinners, to see what's underneath....
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At this point I'm wondering whether to strip right down and paint the frame, hand polish the outside of the frame with everything in situ, or leave it as is for the ratty/survivor look 🤔
 

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Polish? All depends on how much time you want to be cleaning and re-polishing it instead of riding it, we are in the UK ;)
 

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Polish? All depends on how much time you want to be cleaning and re-polishing it instead of riding it, we are in the UK ;)
My experience with polished parts is that they need almost no special care. Just wash the bike as normal. Once a year, rub on something like TR3 Resin Glaze, and wipe off with a soft, dry cloth.

Some guys never clean their bike. A dirty polished bike still looks better than a dirty unpolished bike.
 

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Do my kat at least twice a year, once at the start of the summer and at the end of summer but will quite often give it a buff up once or twice between depending on the weather. Don't forget here in the UK a good summer it only rains half the week :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bare in mind the old TDM's had a Steel frame, not Aluminium, so It'll start to rust pretty quickly.

Anyone had any experience with a bare polished steel frame before? Any tricks to oiling or DIY coating?

I'll be honest, I'd prefer the bare metal rather than a clear coat laquer over the top......
 

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BLACK BELT
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Bare in mind the old TDM's had a Steel frame, not Aluminium, so It'll start to rust pretty quickly.

Anyone had any experience with a bare polished steel frame before? Any tricks to oiling or DIY coating?

I'll be honest, I'd prefer the bare metal rather than a clear coat laquer over the top......
STEEL FRAME??? Oh, now you tell me.

Bare polished steel frame will look like shit real fast, no matter where you live.

I have seen polished steel (tube) frames and fuel tanks that look great, but all had clear coat to protect the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
STEEL FRAME??? Oh, now you tell me.

Bare polished steel frame will look like shit real fast, no matter where you live.

I have seen polished steel (tube) frames and fuel tanks that look great, but all had clear coat to protect the finish.
Yep, I thought it was Alu until I started to polish it up, and quickly realised we were working with steel.....MOST upset 🤬

Whilst pondering where to go with the frame, I got to work on replacing the fuel tank, which had some pretty gnarly surface rust, and 3 or 4 pretty bad dents. Quick browse on good old fleabay and £90 later, and a second hand tank arrives. All good I thought........

Luckily I had the forethought to clean out the inside of the tank before filling it with fuel, because as soon as I filled it up with tank cleaner, I saw a nice constant leak from underneath the tank 🤦‍♂️ Turns out there was a small rust patch under the paint which had eaten through. Time for a refund!

With that, I decided to go with refurbing the old tank, which was actually in pretty good condition inside, from what I could see. Cleaned out with degreaser, POR-15 tank cleaner, and sealed with POR-15 tank sealer.

Outside was another matter, it looked like someone had recently ground the tank down to bare metal, and then lost interest in it and left it for nature to take it's course 😂

With it being a bit of a ratty/survivor style build, I decided to leave the dents in the tank (plus I couldn't be arsed to fill and sand them all haha), and added a few more with a ball pane hammer. Not sure if it was necessary, but it was pretty therapeutic 🤣

Luckily the Mrs took pity on me and took over grinding the rust off the outside of the tank with some paint removing pads, while I rubbed down and repaired the front mudguard and plastic sprocket cover.

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Discussion Starter #14
Tank cleaned up and ready for paint, I started looking at repairing the cracked tail plastics and getting them painted. I had a tube of 2 part structural adhesive knocking about, so bonded the tail up with that and sanded it down.

At this point I'm toying with the idea of chopping up the plastic fairings to get the shape/look that I want, and using them as a template to knock up some aluminium fairings. Keeping with the ratty/survivor look I'll likely hammer the hell out of them and keep them looking battered, perhaps use checker plate for the odd panel here and there to mix it up...........

Anyway, plenty of rattle can matt black paint laying around, so I went with spraying everything up roughly for the time being. I also looked at the monstrosity of a grab rail at the back, which is dying to be chopped up!

If you haven't ever used this, it's top stuff, and sands really well.
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Tail plastics before sanding and paint
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Rear grab rail and bracket....
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🤢🤮
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fuel tank given a coat of primer, 2 coats of matt black, and a matt laquer. Tail given a quick coat of matt black to tart it up for the time being.

Polished up the section of the frame which will be seen with the fairings on, to see how it looked. Still undecided on that.....
I also hand polished the cast alu engine brackets, footpeg brackets, exhaust hanger brackets. At this point everything was shut down with the first U.K lockdown (last summer), so the plan was to send them off to powder coat once things opened up again.

Picked up a cheap second hand can on fleabay which I reckon went along with the look I was after. Pretty straight through, removable baffle, cheap as chips! Plan is to get rid of the twin exhaust system (which weights a ton 😂), and fit some 2 to 1 header pipes.
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Starting to look like a bike now 😈
 

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Discussion Starter #16
2 into 1 header pipes and link pipe. Not a bloody idea what bike these came off originally, as the link pipe had a Fazer 600 can welded to it (FZR 600 is an inline 4, so not sure where the headers came from?)
Polished up lovely with a grinder and a paint removal disc, then finished off with Scotchbrite and Autosol 💎

Cleaned up the exhaust header studs, new header gasket rings, bolts, exhaust clamps, and sealed off the can with some sealing paste for good measure 💪

Before.....
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After....
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Discussion Starter #17
Polished up top yoke and handlebar risers, and fitted an old pair of handlebars, mirrors and a speedo I had knocking about.


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From here I stuck the old fairing plastics on, looked at chopping em up. After a bit of searching online, I found a couple pics of fightered TDM's with the plastics cut following the line of the forks. Looks pretty rad, so I decided to use these lines as a rough guide for the metal fairings I plan on making later on.

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Looking at the front view that regulator/rectifier is probably going to need moving somewhere dryer :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I know it's supposed to be a ratty/survivor project, but that rusted old radiator was really bugging me :cautious: I kind of wanted to go for the well engineered/industrial look, rather than the rotten look. More bare metal than rust and grime🤣

Unfortunately it was near impossible to find an OEM rad for this bike that was worth fitting to it, so I started looking at TDM 900 radiators, and found a half decent "race" radiator (chinese made probably) for £100 (140 Dollars for you guys over the pond). Not a straight fit, couple of coolant pipes needed cutting down, and a couple of brackets made to get it to fit, but she went on in the end.

Old radiator off, and found an old socket extension that someone had lost down there 🤣 Fuck knows how the cooling fan had not smashed up??
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Thermostat housing off, checked the thermostat still worked with some hot water out of the kettle ;)
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I did polish up the Thermostat housing, but forgot to take a pic....doh 🤦‍♂️

New Rad.....some of those sharp edges needed grinding off first......
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Brackets and orientation.....
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Discussion Starter #19
Found a pair of old cast aluminium motocross foot pegs that I had knocking about, so decided to get them on there.
Ground em down to get them to fit, ground down the cast marks on the sides, polished em up and clear coated em and......boom! Damn they look aggressive 😈

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Discussion Starter #20
Powder coaters was now open, so time to get those engine covers off and get em painted. Toyed with the idea of polishing them up and having a clear powder coat, but I wasn't sure if we could match the finish/colour with the frame, so went for trusty matt black in the end. 3 weeks wait time from the powder coaters though..... 😬

In the meantime I'll check the camshaft is in tolerance, valve clearances, cam chain etc........

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Valve clearances were pretty good, 2 needed shim replacements, followers looked smooth, cam shaft lobes were smooth and in tolerance.

It's worth mentioning that I put some new plugs in and ran the engine a little, and then had them out and checked them for any signs of issues before going into the top end. As the engine is running well, and everything is looking fine, I didn't bother going further into the engine for now.
 
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