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Rollin hard in Wiscompton
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3,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes....I went there. I know I haven't finished any of my 3 projects yet (but give me credit, I at least still have the truck lol), but this one I will. I promise that it will not be hacked apart or otherwise fucked with until it's running, and then only when I can complete whatever I am doing the same day/weekend.

With that being said, once it's running, there's actually not a whole lot I'm actually going to do to this thing. I'm not gonna lie, I am already contemplating some parts swaps, I wouldn't be me if I didn't. But for the most part, this will be a pretty simple build. It will primarily be cosmetic, but there will be some other changes as we go along.

Now, starting pictures, courtesy of Mr Ratfighter himself!




It's dirty, it's ugly, but goddamit it's a bike! There is also a video to accompany this of back when it was running. I'll leave it to Ben if he wants to post it. But this bike is definitely a beast.

Now, what do I plan to do with it? Most people that know me closer know I've been looking for a cruiser for a while. I wanted a Goldwing or a Magna, but said I'd settle for a big Shadow, Virago, or Intruder. Well I certainly got what I asked for. I've ridden a 700 Intruder, I expect this thing will run similarly.

Why do I want a cruiser? The answer starts with the Sabre I was building. As I continually rotated through ideas and parts figuring out what I wanted to do, I realized that I was far more comfortable sitting in a more laid back position. I trusted myself to lean the bike further over that way, I felt more in control I guess. Some people can get on a sport bike and drag knee all day long, I cant. I have a phobia (for lack of a better term) of structure. I don't trust structures. I have a hard time climbing ladders, it makes me nervous to climb the bleachers at the Wilmot Raceway, and after breaking my leg as a kid when a rock sent me sideways when I went around a corner dragging pedal, I have a hard time trusting bike tires. I can watch the guy behind me go flying past on a monkey bike dragging knee, I'm hard pressed to follow. But when I had the Sabre setup so I could sit back more, like on a cruiser, I found I could trust it more.

So that settled it. I like leaned back bikes more than sporty styled bikes. Plus my hip is too fucked up to ride a sportbike anyway. Now that I've rambled on incessantly about random shit nobody knew before, time to introduce the goal of this bike.

When I was younger and my dad hadn't completely converted into a Grade A piece of shit, he used to take me on rides on his XS1100. I helped him convert it from a naked standard into a touring bike. It had the complete Vetter package. We had the Windjammer fairing, though I can't remember if it was an SS/4 or a 5, we also had the hardbags and even the trunk. To hold the trunk we used the rack off a Suzuki, and we also had a hitch from some model of BMW, with which we towed a tiny trailer using a Sears esCARGO car top carrier to hold supplies and luggage for long trips (like going from our home near Lake Michigan to gramma's on the far side of Minnysoda). I remember helping install everything, and the bike was certainly comfortable. I'm sure it would have been better with a Bowen seat from TocTuning. Said bike is no longer in existence, but the memories are still there. I like cruising on a comfortable bike. I also like low and slung. To that end, I've found that I like baggers. And by bagger I don't mean the giant chrome washing machine fresh off the Hardley Ableto showroom floor.

I like bikes like this:



and this


and this



But omg I hate Harley's. Why? Because almost every Harley owner I come across thinks that to be a biker you have to buy a Harley, and it must me SO FUCKING LOUD MY HELMET VIBRATES FROM A HALFMILE DOWN THE FUCKING ROAD!!! and everything they own must say Harley, and they all act like owning something other than a Harley makes you a lesser human being, and blah blah blah. Yet half of these pussies wont so much as open the garage door if it even looks like it might rain. When I had the Sabre running, I rode that fucking thing to work until halfway through December when I finally saw ice on the road halfway to work. Rain? Bitch please, free bike wash.

So I like baggers. I also like these:


and these


So then end result is going to be something of a cross between them. I came across a Vetter Rooster in the barn of the local bike repair/part out guy. It got my attention because it's such a small fairing, yet still has a radio and speakers. As much as I love riding, I go nuts without music after a while, so long rides have got to have tunes. So one day while searching for Vetter Rooster's on ebay to see what they look like intact, I found a bike that had one on it. This bike has become a permanent thorn in my grey matter, I just haven't been able to let it go. I have to build something like it.

Here's the bike.


The saddlebags are ugly as fuck, I hate red, and while I hate Harley, I do think that any kind of bike like this looks better with a Vtwin (I'm not gonna lie. I'd happily accept the keys and title to a Victory High Ball as well).


So now the cat is out of the bag. I'm being given the chance to get back on a bike, and on top of that, I'm being given the chance to make my dream bike. I cannot thank the people responsible (Ratfighter and TimzGarage) enough.

The first thing that's going to happen obviously is I'm going to throw some fresh rubber on it, put it back together, and make it run. I'm going to clean it up, finish anything that's not done, fix anything that's broken, replace anything that's bad, etc etc.

After that, I'm going to start tracking down the parts I want. I already know it's going to start with the Vetter Rooster. Last time I was at the barn down the road, the guy had a pair of the Roosters. I'm going to buy both, fix and use the better one, and save the other just in case. I don't yet know what bags I want, as I'm not yet sure what I want the back of the bike to look like. I do know I want the bike to look slung and a little longer. Ryan S (member here and owner of the World Famous Bargain Barn) has massive piles of parts to look through, and undoubtedly I am going to end up outfitting a decent chunk of the bike from his inventory.

I'm going to have TocTuning build the seat for me later. The bike will remain 2up, as I want to take my gf on rides with me. And I suppose my mom might want a ride once in a while too. God knows the last time she was on a bike.

Lighting will be LED and HID. I'm going to convert a round headlight with a bi-xenon projector for the front, and until I have the bags and fender sorted, I'm not sure yet what I'll do for the rear. I just know it'll be LED lighting.

I'm not sure yet what colors the bike will be. There is a strong possibility that it will be black, green, and white, my shop colors. Powdercoat will be handled by GreenMachines, he does excellent work and even lets me come help him out once in a while!.

Things like brake upgrades are a given, there might be a wheel swap in the future, we'll just have to see what happens later on.

So anyway, first step is to get it home and get it running. I can't fucking wait!!
 

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Rollin hard in Wiscompton
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3,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I don't like the huge front wheels, but I like the idea of a bagger. On long cruises I like having some kind of fairing in front of me, and it's nice to have bags to hold rain gear and a few emergency tools..... or to go get some groceries.


The Virago has a VF500F front end on it now, with the matching 16" wheel. Ben tells me the 16/16 combo handles pretty damn good. My initial thought upon hearing "VF500F" was to go steal the Katana front end off my old bike and slap it in, but then I started thinking, 16/16 is a nice small look for a smaller cruiser. Instead what I'll likely do is rebuild the forks later with progressive springs, and just see what I can do for bigger brakes that fit what's already there, though he also says the VF500F brakes stop this thing pretty redicoulous as is.
 

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I bang metal
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2,779 Posts
i have some thoughts on this, so take it or leave it.

I have watched your other projects, and while having big plans is good to an extent.... you need to be realistic about what you take on and when you do it.

To me, it seems like you swing for the fences right away and rip everything apart to the point where its unusable and then run out of money/time/fucks and then it never gets finished. Now i am not trying to insult you with any of this so please keep that in mind. So here are some tips that might help you carry on.

Write out your big plans, make drawings and notes and if you change your mind keep the old drawings and notes around for reference.

Plan out your mods, read and read and read and read and read and read until you have exhausted every source and you can do the mod with your eyes closed.

Gather ALL your parts and supplies before you get started (this goes along with planning) and try to keep the amount of time the bike is unrideable to a minimum or figure out when it wont be a good time to ride and do your mods then. I have found that if you do this, you are more likely to not give up on the project.... it sucks when you do sooooo much work and you cant enjoy it or even test it out.

DONT RUSH IT!!!! with my last virago i decided i was going to completely overhaul it in 2 weeks so i could show up to a charity ride and have a FUCKING SICK!!!!!!!!!!!111!1!11!111 bike. Well, i spent about 1500 on parts and random shit and got it done as fast as possible. When i was done, it looked like shit, ran like shit and just pissed me off. Sadly i ended up selling it to mitch for alot less than i paid for it and for sure alot less than what i had into it.

I had a lot more i wanted to share but i cant think of it now for some reason. These viragos can be alot of fun if you take care of them and remedy its short comings. Be prepared for alot of people to talk shit and insult you, when they ask why you ride such a peice of shit.... ask them how hard they worked making their sick factory heritage flatknucklepanironshovelevo head dark custom glide.
 

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Rollin hard in Wiscompton
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3,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I already planned to keep this together. That's why I said above I'm not doing anything I can't finish in a day or weekend. I'm already putting plans down in a list, and most things on this bike are gonna be cosmetic.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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I bang metal
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2,779 Posts
yeah, you cant really do any "performance" upgrades without spending alot of money. IMO do the super coil upgrade asap
 

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Premium Member
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15,798 Posts
its all over the virago forums.

I have helped dan with his bike, listen to him talk about his bike and now i am the co owner (roommate's bike) of a virago myself.


sign up on the virago forum, they will help you leaps and bounds.
 

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I bang metal
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2,779 Posts

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UnicycleMode
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7,569 Posts
I'm not sure all the liter stuff works on the 750... it only needs a CDI box and some fuel to fire up. I went to a bit of trouble getting proper coils in good condition for that thing, damn things are brand new! The carbs have been sorted, the whole bike has been gone through time and again, truly a well tuned machine.





Getting it running, taking it for a spin, and THEN making a call on what to change might just shorten the list by alot. I'm single handedly responsible for the geometry, Tim responsible for most of the tuning and rebuild on the engine, and alot of drinking brought the rest together. Try it, you might just like what a few back road bangers think a Virago 750 should handle and feel like. ;)
 

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I bang metal
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2,779 Posts
yep, the 750 motor was the same as its bigger brothers. The only thing that might not be plug and play is exhaust from a 750 on a 1000-1100
 

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Rollin hard in Wiscompton
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3,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, so I went over the bike some today to figure out whats here and whats not.

Starting with the bike as it sits:
*VF500F front end, with progressive springs and heavy oil, stock VF500F calipers and rotors with EBC pads. Ben tossed me some nice braided lines to install once I come up with a master cyl.
*Airbox was removed and replaced with a nice K&N filter, the exhaust is an equal length 2-1 with a baffled pipe, and the carbs are jetted and tuned to match. If this thing is tuned as well as Rat's DRZ....OMFG I'm gonna need to be strapped to this thing.
*Wheels/tires are a 16/16 combo, with 110/90 and 130/90 f/r. I'm told this thing handles far more like a sportbike than a cruiser.
*Between the front end and the rear shock, this thing is already setup for a heavier bastard like me.
*The motor has already been gone through, and with the aforementioned tuning runs like a beast.

What does it need?
*New back tire before I can stick any serious miles on it.
*Carbs cleaned
*Throttle, and bracket for the throttle cable down at the carbs
*Brake master for the VF500F front end
*Right side electrics
*Clutch lever and perch
*CDI
*Battery
*Pillow and Hawaiian shirt to cover the seat pan so I can brag about my mad skills(I'm kidding! I'm waiting for Robbo to PM me back lol)
*Headlight. I've got some ideas about what I want, but if you think you have something awesome for this, holler at me.
*Boots for the forks
*Speedo cable to retain the stock gauges
*Right side cover (over battery)
*Probably some other misc small things

After next weekend I should have my loan and parts house debts paid off, see what kind of money I have after that to at least get this thing running. Hopefully get some more work in soon as well, getting boring as hell not having any service calls.
 

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Premium Member
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2,225 Posts
Two sliding calipers probably means a 14mm or 5/8" master.

If the pistons in each caliper are more like 27/30 get a 14mm, if they're more like 30/34 get a 5/8". Fuck what honda teamed the calipers up to in the 80's, it's irrelevant. Tip for 14 would be for example off a xj600 seca2, tip for a 5/8" would be a busa. For example.

I agree with deathmetaldan. Not because I know you but on general principle. Get it roadworthy, then start dicking about, one weekend at a time.
 

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Hack in a barn
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4,409 Posts
I'd recommend the Dunlop GT-501 tire, it was probably the most confidence inspiring tires I had on my bike before I switched to 17" wheels. Great performance and life span, honestly you can't go wrong with them.
 

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Rollin hard in Wiscompton
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3,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I agree with deathmetaldan. Not because I know you but on general principle. Get it roadworthy, then start dicking about, one weekend at a time.


Apparently everyone that has read this thread has completely missed the part where I said it's not getting taken apart for anything until paint, and mods will only happen if they can be completed within the same day or weekend. They apparently also missed the part where I said I'm putting it back together first, before I do anything else.... I know I said it...
 
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