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A A A A Author Topic: Wayne's cafe racer project  (Read 14163 times)

Excalibre

Wayne's cafe racer project
« Started on: 16-Aug-10, 12:00 »
Hi all,

I purchased a 1980 CX500 shadow a few months ago with a view to giving it a cafe racer makeover. Here's the story thus far:

I bought it from Whyalla sight-unseen and (not surprisingly) it wasn't in as good condition as the seller led had me to believe. He was selling it on behalf of his father in law who was away travelling. Unfortunately the seller didn't know a lot about the bike other than "it's been completely rebuilt". When pressed for details he really didn't know what had or hadn't been done to it.

Anyway, I wasn't about to tow a trailer all the way to Whyalla and come back without a bike, so I bought it anyway.

It hasn't been registered or ridden for at least 12 years. My plan is to tidy it up and sort out any issues, then get it inspected and registered in it's original form.
Then over time I'll modify it into a cafe racer as time, parts and finances permit.



Here it as purchased (after a thorough wash and a bit of TLC). It looks better in the photos than in the flesh

It was apparently rebuilt recently and I suspect (hope) that it may have had the triple bypass as part of that process.
I also hope that whoever did the rebuild wasn't the same person who put the front end back together!
A lot of bits and pieces weren't assembled correctly and the wiring was a mess. Also a lot of nuts and bolts were only finger tight and in some cases not even that! This included things like the fork pinch bolts, steering head stem nut, axle nuts etc. and I'd taken it for a test ride! It was during the test ride that I learnt that the brakes didn't work too.

There were quite a few other issues too but I won't bore you with the details



Valve clearances adjusted, front end dismantled and a quick polish of rocker covers, carby tops and radiator surrounds




I managed to find a complete set of front brakes on eBay and was able to make one good set out of two dodgy ones.




Forks were stripped, cleaned and the stanchions polished. New oil and dust seals. From memory I think I used 15W fork oil at the recommended volume.




Front end re-assembled. Surprisingly the head stem bearings were in good condition, so I just cleaned and re-greased them. Everything tightened to the correct torque settings.




Crash bars (thanks Thirsty) and more polishing adds some bling!




Repainted the engine 'Honda' badges.




Fitted a set of retro-cool Dunlop TT-100 tyres, styled on the TT racers of the 50s and 60s. I think they really complement the old school cafe racer look that I'm after




Here it is parked between it's stable-mates.
A friend let me have a spare set of handle bars from a Cagiva. They're a bit lower than the original bars but still comfortable.




Passed inspection and is now registered! There was no record of it's VIN or engine numbers, which means it was last registered before the records were computerised - more than 12 years ago.
This is me about to head out on the first ride (OK, the first ride that I'll admit to)




So now the cafe racer mods can begin. This mini speedo and tacho have just arrived in the mail so time to start pulling things apart again




I've also acquired a pair of side overs from a custom. I prefer their rounder style and think they'll be more suited to the look I'm after.

Also, the same seat that I was about to order from the US popped up on eBay. It was bought for a project but never used, so I was able to buy it for $99 including postage. It hasn't arrived yet but I'll put up a photo when it does.

I'm currently looking for a suitable headlight and brackets.

So that's the story thus far, sorry for the huge post.

rickmanrider

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #1 on: 16-Aug-10, 12:38 »
I'm a bit of a cafe racer nut my self! it will be good to keep an eye on this build up! happy0158

Steve F

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #2 on: 16-Aug-10, 12:38 »
I'll be following this one, looks like a good tidy bike to start from :)

Cheers
Steve

Onetrack

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #3 on: 16-Aug-10, 13:59 »
Don't apologise for "the huge post" anyone can see it represents a huge amount of work.  Waiting anxiously for the remaining work to the posted.

"Young" Les F

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #4 on: 16-Aug-10, 14:20 »
I'll be following this one, looks like a good tidy bike to start from :)

Cheers
Steve
Thanks Steve,

My seat just arrived a few minutes ago, coincidentally I think it's the same as yours!
If you don't mind I might borrow a few of your ideas for fitting it.

You did an inspirational job with your build, I'll be rapt if mine turns out half as good.

Steve F

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #5 on: 16-Aug-10, 14:32 »
Thanks Steve,

My seat just arrived a few minutes ago, coincidentally I think it's the same as yours!
If you don't mind I might borrow a few of your ideas for fitting it.

You did an inspirational job with your build, I'll be rapt if mine turns out half as good.

No problem, borrow away.  There's only a few ways it can really mount anway :)

Cheers
Steve

Arty0012

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #6 on: 16-Aug-10, 16:44 »
 2knuckle 2knuckle 2knuckle
tidy shed, shiney bikes and no beer fridge to be seen
nice work Wayne

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #7 on: 16-Aug-10, 17:50 »
Don't panic! The beer fridge is in the garage  happy0061

Seagrass

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #8 on: 16-Aug-10, 19:31 »
Well done and thatnks for letting us all see what you are doing happy0159

Seagrass

rat_ cx

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #9 on: 17-Aug-10, 18:26 »
cool! another cx cafe

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #10 on: 25-Aug-10, 11:11 »
Well there's been much rejoicing as a few parts have arrived and the makeover has begun!

The seat arrived and turned out to be exactly the same as Steve's, so I'll be shamelessly stealing a lot of his ideas for fitting it  NotWorthy




Also the gauges arrived and to my relief they match each other perfectly! I was a bit nervous as I'd ordered them from different places and despite looking the same, the dimensions in the descriptions were slightly different.
I've temporarily fitted them just to see how they look and to make sure the cables fitted etc. As you can see in the photos, they are angled inwards at the moment but eventually I'll make up a bracket so that they'll sit where I want them and be nice and straight.




The carby's have also been stripped, cleaned and rebuilt, with a lot of guidance from Larry's excellent book on the subject. They actually weren't as bad as I was expecting. There wasn't much corrosion or calcification, but there was a lot of silt and blockages. Also the synchronisation was way out. No wonder it didn't run well in the low-mid range.
One of the idle bleed screws was seized and the screw head had been twisted off. After a lot of soaking in WD40 I was able to unscrew it with some small multigrips. When I reassembled it I cut a new screw slot with a hacksaw and put a little grease on the threads to stop it seizing again.
This is part way through the disassembly process.




In this photo you can see a stainless steel allen-bolt kit that I bought through eBay.




And here's the finished product. Not quite up to Larry's standard but I like to think of it as having a stylish distressed look  2wink




Next step is to re-seal the inlet stubs.

Meanwhile the headlight quest continues.

Cheers,
Wayne

Seagrass

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #11 on: 25-Aug-10, 11:27 »
Great work Wayne and thanks for the excellent photos happy0159

Seagrass

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #12 on: 29-Aug-10, 17:39 »
The inlet stubs have now been sorted out.

Another clue as to why it wasn't running too well was revealed when I removed the stubs, check out the gap in the O-ring  2shocked

Luckily my local mechanic had a couple of o-rings in stock


I picked up some 'self-fusing butyl rubber tape' from Jaycar Electronics for the job. It's supposed to be water and chemical resistant and seemed to do a good job of sealing up the cracks. It's not the most elegant repair, but the 'tape look' isn't that noticeable once everything is back in place.



Having gone to the trouble of rebuilding the carbies I added a huge in-line filter to hopefully put a stop to any more sediment issues.

It's not very subtle, so I may try some longer sections of fuel hose to see if it can be tucked out of the way somewhere.

After all that, I'm delighted to report that the beast within has been unleashed party0024
It's running great! I'm yet to take it on the road but it starts easily and idles smoothly straight away without choke. It revs freely through the rev range and has a great intake and exhaust snarl.

Can't wait for the next ride  happy0159

rickmanrider

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #13 on: 29-Aug-10, 18:11 »
well done lucky you didn't do something nasty to an exhaust valve with a vacum leak like that!

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #14 on: 30-Aug-10, 18:49 »
You're right about that! I hadn't ridden it much and presumably neither had the previous owner so I hope that no damage has been done.

Some spectacular success today

I had a day off, so I thought I'd check out a few bike wreckers to see what headlights were around.
By the end of my outing I'd acquired a new 7" headlight with chrome shell, a pair of stainless steel rubber bushed brackets to mount it and a set of clubman bars.  rolleye0012

Did a quick fit-up of the new stuff and I'm delighted with the results. I still have to sort out the cabling and wiring but it's nice to have the cafe-racer look starting to happen.



I think I'll finish off the front end so that I can ride it around for awhile, then I'll tackle the seat etc.

Next stage is bar-end mirrors and front indicators (and the wiring of course)

Cheers,
Wayne

rickmanrider

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #15 on: 30-Aug-10, 20:14 »
Bar ends look good but boy they make your bike really wide!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CX PHREAK

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #16 on: 31-Aug-10, 23:21 »
Cool,- keep it up. party0024

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #17 on: 04-Sep-10, 21:56 »
The gauges and headlight are now all wired up and working properly.
I'm no electrician so it took a little bit of nutting out. Thank goodness for wiring diagrams and multi-meters.

Here's the operating theatre



I did the run around of a few electronics shops and auto electrical places trying to find some weather proof connectors and eventually got these at a specialist motorcycle auto-electrician. I didn't think they'd be so hard to find.
All the connectors have been soldered.



I managed to get a lot of the wiring inside the headlight shell, but the large multi pin connectors won't fit.
I still need to neaten things up a bit. I think I'll cut some lengths of bicycle tube to slip over the large connectors and tie them off with cable ties. That should make them less visible, give some cushioning and provide a degree of weather proofing.

Check out the quality indicator job. rolleye0012 I haven't quite figured out what to do with them yet so I've temporarily cable-tied the originals in place to make sure I wired everything correctly and to make it rideable.


Here's the gauges fully operational. Unfortunately one is backlit with a bright white LED and the other has a conventional light globe. I may look into making them both the same one of these days.



Some gratuitous pics from other angles. I was able to adjust the headlight so it fits nicely in between the throttle cables (below) and the clutch cable (above) without rubbing on either.



Sadly, there is no temperature gauge for the time being.

Hopefully it'll stop raining soon and I can take it for a ride.  2smiley

Cheers,
Wayne

Onetrack

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #18 on: 05-Sep-10, 06:29 »
Don't bother with a temp gauge and fit an electric fan instead. when the fan comes on you know it is hot.  Electric fan must reduce the load on the cam chain and tensioner as well.  Just a suggestion from the house of 650.  The work so far is amazing and the crome head light and gauges look just right..

"Young" Les F

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #19 on: 05-Sep-10, 10:42 »
Don't bother with a temp gauge and fit an electric fan instead. when the fan comes on you know it is hot.  Electric fan must reduce the load on the cam chain and tensioner as well.  Just a suggestion from the house of 650.  The work so far is amazing and the crome head light and gauges look just right..

"Young" Les F

Thanks "Young" Les,

That's a good idea regarding the fan, I'll look into that. It's nice to be part of a supportive forum that's full of good ideas.

Cheers,
Wayne

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #20 on: 09-Sep-10, 21:57 »
Finally had some nice weather and was able to head out for a ride  happy0158

The bike went great! The new bars took a bit of getting used to and it felt a bit like I was steering by hanging onto the front axle.

I've also fitted some bar-end mirrors and tidied up the wiring a bit more. I did end up using some sections of bicycle tube to cover the large coloured connectors and that seems to have worked well.



As this project is as much about form as function, I thought I better get to work on myself as well  2cool
I grabbed a matt black open face helmet that happened to be on sale at my local bike shop for $40.
A while ago my dad gave me some 'new in box' goggles that he bought in the 60's and they've never been worn. They need some new elastic and padding but I reckon they look the business.

My only concern is that the glass may shatter the first time a big bug hits them, shooting shards of retro glass into my eyes! Oh well, it'll be a small price to pay for looking cool.


Cheers,
Wayne

Mins Man

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #21 on: 13-Sep-10, 20:21 »
My only concern is that the glass may shatter the first time a big bug hits them, shooting shards of retro glass into my eyes! Oh well, it'll be a small price to pay for looking cool.
With that attitude, you should be riding a Harley!   happy0062

Excalibre

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #22 on: 16-Nov-10, 22:02 »
Well it's been a couple of months since any progress has been made. A sad combination of not enough time or pocket money.
I have been able to get out on the bike a few times though and have had a great time riding it.

There's been a few recent modification though:

Firstly, some braided brake lines have been installed. I had them made up locally, they are ADR compliant and cost about $190. In hindsight, I would have ordered some HEL lines which would have been a bit cheaper and come with new banjo bolts and washers (which mine didn't). I am happy with the look and fit though. I installed some new brake pads too and the brakes are working a treat.

I've also fitted some reproduction Lucas styled front indicators which I think compliment the retro-classic look I'm trying to achieve. Up until now I've been riding around with the original indicator bar cable-tied to the front of the forks  2rolleyes

Also, a new mini-horn has been added which tucked in neatly below/behind the headlight.



I think the next stage will be to get stuck into the seat and rear end. I've been putting that stage off as once I've made a start it'll be off the road for awhile  2cry

Cheers,
Wayne

CX PHREAK

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #23 on: 16-Nov-10, 22:37 »
 happy0159

Onetrack

Re: Wayne's cafe racer project
« Reply #24 on: 17-Nov-10, 07:21 »
 sign0173 keep up the good work

"Young" Les F

 


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