So this took all day. I had to choose between painting the front black, and re-painting the rear black (because it looked faded) or stripping the rear to bare metal and match the front. The latter sounded easier…Maybe not the case! But there were several reasons for this. The bike doesn’t have much black on it, which is not something I do often, and I love that about it. I don’t want to go blackening up! The only black on this bike will be the frame. All else is raw metal except for the blue tank. Also, bare metal is more durable than paint! And easy to clean. So here we go.
I was just starting to clean it here. Once I cleaned it I painted it with some HARD FU**ING CORE paint stripper. And then scrubbed with a firm tooth brush. Then power washed it. Rinse repeat about 5 times and vuala!
There is a little shield for the final drive gear (you can see in the un-stripped picture) that I still have to paint and re-install. So it will look better when that’s done, and it is mounted so you won’t see that center part.
But it came out looking like new! Here they are together.
If you look close you can tell they aren’t matching spoke patterns. The one flat on the ground is the stock rear. The one leaning up with the front disk is from a Yamaha 600 Radian. It was the only front wheel I could find that had similar spoke pattern AND was the same dimensions as the rear wheel. Since I want matching tires. Now I just have to fab spacers and a caliper bracket and I’ll have a rolling and stopping machine!
Bearings came in for the steering today! So begins the mounting and shortening of the forks.
Well that was easy!…really, it was. I just tapped the races into the neck, greased the bearings and tightened it all together.
Something looks weird…right? Yup! Those forks are way to long! So lets do something about that.
Is this a sub-machine gun with suppressor attached? Or a B**A** electric impact with a huge socket!? You be the judge…
The poor end caps were so beat up from some previous owner trying to pull these apart clearly using vice grips…If you’re going to DIY a project…have the right tools! Or else pay someone else who does. Don’t ruin your bike trying to tear it apart…sheeeeesh #rantover
above are the guts of this particular, outdated inverted fork. I say outdated only because it is from a 90-95 RM125 so it is some of the first inverted forks made. They’re still great forks, just not so much to work on! Below are just some of the annoying things I had to be sure to put back properly. Of course this was only necessary because I am shortening them, I wouldn’t have to do so much if I were just replacing the seals.
So I got some 1/2″ PVC and cut it down, pulled the spring and cartridge apart and popped the PVC spacer onto the main rod inside the cartridge. Essentially I made the forks unable to fully extend. So they’re now utilizing the last 5″ of their original travel instead of the full 11″ or so. As long as this virago doesn’t do any hard core trail riding the travel I left will be MORE than enough. Reassembly was painless. Fresh oil in them, and mounted up with the new length!
This picture can be deceiving. The front wheel is sitting about 8″ off the concrete, being supported by a 2×4 and a stacked motorcycle ramp. The rear wheel is hovering just over an inch off the ground. So the bike looks tall and with an odd stance in the pic. I just ordered a set of matching fat enduro tires which should help complete the look, once I mount the front tire, I can roll it around and see how it will really look/ feel. But for now…starting to look like a motorbike again!
Well thanks for all the crossed fingers everyone. I managed to get the seat ready for upholstery. Lots of trimming and welding! It was VERY tricky to get that perforated metal welded in place…so thin…Then I got the seat pan shaped and cut out. I’ll wait to upholster it until the tank is mounted and finished, so I can ensure a good mating of the two parts.
Misty gave me the idea to just put the metal there on the under side. I’ll use it somehow to mount the tail light…maybe individual LED’s in the perforated holes? hmmmmm
So far so good! Not sure what to get onto next. I’ll probably try to make the new 2-1 intake manifold tomorrow for the VM34 round slide carb. Then I can do the underside of the tank, then upholster and get the tail section powder coated, by then the bearings will be in for the front end, then I’ll have to relocate the brake caliper, shorten the forks, and make spacers for the new wheel, order/ mount new tires, wire it, and come up with some exhaust situation…then…done! Phew…
Hack weld hack weld hack weld. Repeat.
I’m getting sick of waiting for all the new bearings to come in for the front end swap on this dude so I got a tank out and started to whack it down to fit. Here is a rough up.
Next of course is to come up with a tail piece so the tank doesn’t look like it is floating there. And to have a place to sit…I suppose. Hack weld hack weld hack weld. I went and got some re-bar to make the tail piece from. I think it will create a unique, rough-cut look while being very sturdy and functional. So far I’ve only got a piece of it chopped up…
I know, it doesn’t look like much at all. But I have something cooking in the ole noggin and I hope it will materialize half as well as it looks in my head! Gotta start thinking colors…Or leave it raw? hmmmmm I think this bike may be a “rat V”
I recently went on a shopping spree for parts for some bikes I’ve got in store (and some I don’t yet have). I picked up a Hayabusa front and rear end to swap onto the CBX I have. I also picked up a CBR600rr front end just for having it. I don’t have a bike worthy of it right now. Lastly I grabbed a KTM 250xs front end, a RM125 front end, and a little KX65 front end for a small bike that I have yet to find…(CB125 or 200 perhaps?) Anyway…the point is I need more room! Luckily the new shop should be cleared for building by the 14th of July…So, that’s less than a month away!
It has been a waiting game for parts to arrive. The big bore kit came in, then the new intake valve, so I went to get the head done and the exhaust valve was worn out too so I ordered one and it finally got here. Dropped it all off at the shop to do a valve job including new valves, HD springs, and new valve seal (yes only one…for some reason they designed it that way). Still waiting to get the head back. Then I’ll put it all back together and finish up the motor mounts. In the mean time I polished up the case and will eventually remove the clutch side cover to polish it too. The whole motor will be polished aluminum. Not great pictures and I didn’t get it to be like a perfect mirror, but you can definitely see your reflection in it. Good enough for me 🙂
The rotor puller came in the mail too finally so I’ll pop that off to clean up and inspect the points and advance unit etc.
I know I’ve been slow here the past few weeks. Mostly waiting on parts. I got the new 17″ rim, sent off for the custom spokes and they just arrived yesterday. I immediately assembled the front end. First I loosely lace the wheel, then put it on the truing stand to square it up.
Big difference from the 12″ rim!
With the front end all assembled we have this!
Super excited to be running inverted forks on this bike. Also to have the disk front brake and soon-to-be clipons. Next step is to get really creative to make the steering stem on the new triple fit the original neck and bearings…I will post what I do, it may get a little hairy!