woensdag 30 december 2009

Virago update

Been working on the Virago again, despite the weather (it was extremely cold in the bit too well ventilated shed where we build the Virago). Tried to solve the noisy start issues, but the normal remedy (a shim between two of the starter sprockets) only seemed to make it worse. We'll have to see what else we can try. We've done some minor other things that you won't see on the photo's and we rolled the bike outside to make some of those photo's and a short video clip. The bike is reffing very high in the clip because of an air leak in the intake manifold, we've pretty much solved that now.

maandag 28 december 2009

Guess what my girlfriend bought

And guess who's going to have to install it on her bike....

Do cafe fairings get any cooler than this? I hope it'll fit on her CX500.

Also finished the throttle cable of the Suzuki this afternoon.

Bike building in HD

I had a small Olympus photo camera that I used mainly for filming, like the BMW clips that are on this site. I also used it to film the build of the Suzuki, but while doing that I managed to ruin the camera. I found a new one on marktplaats (the dutch equivalent of craiglist) for very little money. It's cheap, a bit flimsy, but it films in HD. I still needed to make a spacer (or however it's called) for the throttle cable for the cable to fit onto the twister (or however thàt is called...).
A good opportunity to test the camera.

I used a bolt:

Drilled a small hole trough it for the inner cable to go through, than a larger hole not all the way through to hold the outer cable. 

zondag 27 december 2009

One of those days...

Some days nothing works, today was one of those days. Tried to make a new bushing for the rear axle, but couldn't get it to fit. Tried to disassemble the two spare sets of forks that I have, finally being able to find them back in the garden after the snow has melted. But the bolts are really, really stuck. I'll need to drill them out. I couldn't find tools I had laid down only seconds before so I called it quits for today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better...

donderdag 24 december 2009

Joe Bar

Found these on Perth Streetbikes. It's the only time ever that I've seen this great strip translated into english (In Holland you can get the Joe bar strip translated to Dutch at several stores). Joe Bar is a French strip, so most of the ones you'll be able to find on the net are in French. I love them and they are caferacer related, all the excuse I need to post them here:

I won't be working on the bikes the next couple of days, so there won't be any updates in that period. Merry Christmas and all that!

woensdag 23 december 2009

Rearsets part deux

Eventhough I liked the rearset I made (and posted on this blog) a while ago, I thought I could do better. I had to buy new threadcutters and I made some steps on the lathe.

and this is the result:

I like this look a bit better, so I'll make another one for the other side of the bike. As soon as the snow's melted I'll be able to roll the bike back outside and weld some mounts for the rearsets on the bike.

dinsdag 22 december 2009

in-between updates

Didn't get much done on the bikes the last couple of days. Can't even find my spare forks anymore, they're somewhere in the garden, burried under the snow. So in the mean time: Check out this very radical CX500 that's being build by a kiwi:


Talking about CX's: as soon as the postal services over here start working again there'll be a very rare update on my CX500 caferacer. 

zondag 20 december 2009


Wanted to work on the Suzuki today, but the weater made that impossible. This much snow is highly unusual these days. It made the city really entertaining though. Lots of snowballfights with strangers :)

zaterdag 19 december 2009

Against the odds

We worked on the Virago again today. After doing some minor modifications we decided to try and start it for the first time. expectations were low because:

The intake is home made

The Intake manifold is home made

The exhausts are home made

The carburator is of a Opel Kadet

And the weather wasn't exactly ideal either.

We would have been happy with any sign of ignition what so ever. This is what we got...

This is with a very cold engine. Later on it started running even better. That's all without any adjustments to the carb.  

woensdag 16 december 2009

rearsets for the Suzuki

One of the things that's still missing on the SP are rearsets. Saw some really nice ones on the swap market last week, but there really is no money for them (student, remember). So there's only one possibility: make 'm myself.

Started off by taking a wheel off of one of my rollerblades. I wanted the bearings. Found a bit of tubing that had exactly the right diameter.

did some cutting

Some welding

and some drilling

It took a long time. It's just too cold outside, so I had to go in and warm back up again a couple of times. I'll have to make some steps on the lathe and the other side, but I'm pretty happy with the look so far.

The BMW story part II

When I'd build de CX500 caferacer for my Girlfriend I was still riding my Yamaha YZF 750R (that I had customized, naturally). The YZF is an absolute fantastic bike, but it was just impossible to ride with both the YZF and the CX at the same time. 

The person on the CX would have to race like an idiot while the person riding the YZF would hardly pass the 2000rpm mark. So that's when I decided to sell the YZF, buy a bike and rebuild it to something special.

I went looking for a god bike to build into a cafe. The first thing that came to mind was a Moto Guzzi. So off I went to a shop with a Le Mans.

I hated the fact that it had a steeringdamper. I just hate those things... but I still liked the bike. However, the guy also had a BMW R100 and he insisted that I would try that bike too. I fell in love within 200 meters. The bike he let me ride was too far gone for me and it had two rear shocks. I prefer the monoshock R80 eventhough it has less power. During my search I came across a crashed R80 monoshock with an R100 engine and Wilbers shocks. Perfect (I thought)

Here's the beauty I bought :). And a few hours later:

More on the BMW next time...

zondag 13 december 2009

And the handlebars finished

The front brake is working now, still need some small parts to finish the throttle and the clutch controls, than that part will be completely finished. There's not going to be any switches on the handlebars, I think. I'll wire the lights in such a way that they'll always be on. There's not going to be a high beam (tried that with this headlight on the BMW, there was hardly a difference between normal and high beam). I've got no plans yet for the indicators.

zaterdag 12 december 2009

Exhaust finished

It's cold, but sunny and dry. Nothing to hold me back from working on the Suzuki. So I finished the exhaust and did some more minor things. It starts looking more and more like a real motorbike :)

vrijdag 11 december 2009

woensdag 9 december 2009

BMW: some more photos

I was making a back up of all the photos on my computer (of witch a lot are of the BMW). Here's a few:

Not very suprisingly, this tank didn't make it in the end.

And this seat set-up didn't make it either, although I still like the idea... I also like the paintjob of the tank on that photo. Shame I had to repair and repaint the tank

tip: don't use too cheap velocity stacks

This guy was at the swapmeet where I bought the tank. Wonder if he sold anything that day, it all looked like it was found in an archaeological dig. 

and a action photo the end this blogentry with. Still plenty of photos on my harddrive, so there's more to come.

maandag 7 december 2009


Rolled the bike out of the living room this morning without a clue about what I was going to do with it. I was thinking about starting on a bellypan/bugspoiler when an old front fender caught my eye. It's not a front fender anymore now ;)

It's only tagged. I'll have to make the bottom part shorter and place it a bit further back, but I like the overall looks of it so it'll probably stay.

zaterdag 5 december 2009

And a Suzuki update again.

I made some spacers on the lathe. This way the sprockets are in line and I also had an issue with the back axle that was solved by these spacers (It's a XL250 rear wheel with an axle diameter of 20 mm's where the axle on my bike is only 15 mm's).

And then the forks issue: I wanted to make them shorter, but when I put them back it looked better than I had expected. So I'll wait with a decision on that until the bike runs so I can see what the effect on the handling is. 

And this happens when you've had more time than you had planned or expected :)