New bike project.

th62

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New project, a bike with a motor this time, I’ve been working on this for a while so done quite a bit so far. It’s been 20 years since I sat or worked on a bike, last one was a Triumph Bonny, they just cost too much these days so I settled for a 74 TX650 wreck and boy did it turn out to be a wreck. I have psoriatic arthritis so I’ve largely lost the use of my hands but I manage a few hours work on it every day. I’ll never be able to ride it thanks to the PsA so this will be a long term project: Every nut, bolt spoke, piece of steel was rusted through. Inspection also revealed the chain had come off at same stage, as well as removing the top section of the crankcase as in the picture, it also tore the top section of the gearbox drum shifter bearing housing off. After tearing the engine apart I sent off for a second hand set of crankcase.

The bike came with an extra set of carbs, mag wheels and a pair of spoked wheels and a box of assorted bits and pieces. While I was waiting for the cases, I cut the rusted spokes off the wheels, stuck the hubs on the lathe, trued up the castings and then polished them using cloth wheels and progressively finer compounds. The rims, which were badly damaged from tyre irons and badly pitted from oxidisation, were repaired, ground and polished. While on a polishing kick I also polished the top triple tree, lower fork sliders, brake backing plate, brake fluid distributor, brake master cylinr and also bead blasted the switches and polished them up. Polishing on the buffer machine really hurts my hands so I have to loop a roop around my neck, tie it to the item to be polished to support it and then polish. It took quite a while to do the polishing as I could only manage an hour or under each day, any more and I’d be laid up recouperating for a few days. A very painful job for me, polishing. Some pics of the journey:
 

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th62

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I’ve done a little frame work while waiting for parts. The bike is going to be a custom so I’ve decided to narrow the seat a couple of inches which also necessitates making new sidecovers and battery holder. The battery case has been bent up using 3mm ally, just have to weld the sides on it to finish. Also had to make up some new rubber mounted brackets to mount it.

Side covers were beat up from 1.5mm ally with a sharp bend to follow the frame tubes. Didn’t like the crease so I beat up another couple with a gradual rounded bend. The top seat frame tube follows a different shape and angle from the lower frame tube so as well as bending the cover I also had to twist it, came out pretty good though. After welding tabs on the frame, rubber grommets with positive stop nuts turned up on the lathe were installed in the sidecovers. Originally the covers were to be painted, but I polished them up to see what they’d look like. Very hard alloy so it took a bit to get all the marks out and polish them up. I’ll wait until the frame and tank are painted and wheels on before I make a D but I think the polished alloy might be a bit too much.
 

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th62

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The cases turned up so I started on the motor, tore it apart and inspected to see the damage. Surprisingly, the motor was in pretty good nick but compression was down so I put the barrel in for a rebore and sent off for a couple of pistons, rings, gudgeons and clips. I also sent off for a gasket set, seal kit and a set of stainless, allen head screws. Chrome platers got the oil tube, points/governor covers and acorn nuts for the cylinder head/rocker cover.

I bead blasted the cases, barrel, head, rocker cover and carbs. Then back to the polishing again for the rocker inspection caps, side covers, dipstick, cam chain adjuster housing, breather housing, carb top and bottoms.

Carbs were CVs so they got a new kit through them and I managed to find two diaphragms that weren’t holed and also a couple of dented but usable floats. The lip on the diaphragms were badly squashed so the slides didn’t act as they were supposed to so I cut some gaskets and installed them on top of the diaphragms, Bingo, all fixed, slides behaved themselves.

Hang the classic sign on a bike and prices go through the roof, a good example were the rocker shaft bungs, $20 each from suppliers. I got four stainless hex head bungs with the same thread for just a few bucks on eBay. Definitely pays to shop around.

After blasting the cases I painted them in engine enamel and started assembling. I made up a wheeled stand for assembling the motor and once assembled I found the points backing plate didn’t allow sufficient adjustment to time it so I had to be opened up the points gap to .25mm to time the engine, bugger, new cam chain required. Anyway I prepped the lube system by turning the motor over with the use of a cordless drill and mounted the electrical components on an ally bracket I made. Rectifier was shot, I was not surprised suppliers wanted an arm and a leg for a replacement so I bough a three phase bridge rectifier on eBay for $4. Coils were also shot, so I found a couple of Bosch units in my electrics box, mounted them and hooked everything up.

Once ready, I switched on and the motor burst into life on the first crank. Next stepwas to sync the carbs. Not a fan of vacuum gauges, or the dollars they cost so I made up a fluid manometer using two lengths of 35mm acrylic tube sandwitched between a wood base, joined them together, cut two lengths of 6mm plastic tube, inserted two delron Jets I made up, joined them to the top of the manometer and put a few ccs of water in each tube. The bike didn’t have any manifold adapters for vacuum gauges so The manifold came off, were drilled and a spigot shrunk into each. Once back together again, I hooked up the manometer, started the bike and syncronised the carbs. The video shows how a manometer works.
The cases turned up so I started on the motor, tore it apart and inspected to see the damage. Surprisingly, the motor was in pretty good nick but compression was down so I put the barrel in for a rebore and sent off for a couple of pistons, rings, gudgeons and clips. I also sent off for a gasket set, seal kit and a set of stainless, allen head screws. Chrome platers got the oil tube, points/governor covers and acorn nuts for the cylinder head/rocker cover.

I bead blasted the cases, barrel, head, rocker cover and carbs. Then back to the polishing again for the rocker inspection caps, side covers, dipstick, cam chain adjuster housing, breather housing, carb top and bottoms.

Carbs were CVs so they got a new kit through them and I managed to find two diaphragms that weren’t holed and also a couple of dented but usable floats. The lip on the diaphragms were badly squashed so the slides didn’t act as they were supposed to so I cut some gaskets and installed them on top of the diaphragms, Bingo, all fixed, slides behaved themselves.

Hang the classic sign on a bike and prices go through the roof, a good example were the rocker shaft bungs, $20 each from suppliers. I got four stainless hex head bungs with the same thread for just a few bucks on eBay. Definitely pays to shop around.

After blasting the cases I painted them in engine enamel and started assembling. I made up a wheeled stand for assembling the motor and once assembled I found the points backing plate didn’t allow sufficient adjustment to time it so I had to be opened up the points gap to .25mm to time the engine, bugger, new cam chain required. Anyway I prepped the lube system by turning the motor over with the use of a cordless drill and mounted the electrical components on an ally bracket I made. Rectifier was shot, I was not surprised suppliers wanted an arm and a leg for a replacement so I bough a three phase bridge rectifier on eBay for $4. Coils were also shot, so I found a couple of Bosch units in my electrics box, mounted them and hooked everything up.

Once ready, I switched on and the motor burst into life on the first crank. Next stepwas to sync the carbs. Not a fan of vacuum gauges, or the dollars they cost so I made up a fluid manometer using two lengths of 35mm acrylic tube sandwitched between a wood base, joined them together, cut two lengths of 6mm plastic tube, inserted two delron Jets I made up, joined them to the top of the manometer and put a few ccs of water in each tube. The bike didn’t have any manifold adapters for vacuum gauges so The manifold came off, were drilled and a spigot shrunk into each. Once back together again, I hooked up the manometer, started the bike and syncronised the carbs. The video shows how a manometer works.

I knew I had to replace the Cam chain, and since I wasn’t happy with the silver colour I painted the engine, I tore the motor down again, blasted the paint off the cases, barrel, head and rocker cover and resprayed, black this time. This second tear down necessitated new gaskets of course so I sent off for a set and laid everything out on the bench ready for reassembly. Cam chain arrived so I assembled the crank and gearbox and sealed the crankcases. Bottom end is now in the stand with clutch and alternator assembled and that’s as far as I’ve got this time, just waiting for the gaskets to arrive. Boredom overtook so I removed the stator and polished it, now the engine internals are nice and shiny.

I knew I had to replace the Cam chain, and since I wasn’t happy with the silver colour I painted the engine, I tore the motor down again, blasted the paint off the cases, barrel, head and rocker cover and resprayed, black this time. This second tear down necessitated new gaskets of course so I sent off for a set and laid everything out on the bench ready for reassembly. Cam chain arrived so I assembled the crank and gearbox and sealed the crankcases. Bottom end is now in the stand with clutch and alternator assembled and that’s as far as I’ve got this time, just waiting for the gaskets to arrive. Boredom overtook so I removed the stator and polished it, now the engine internals are nice and shiny.

The cases turned up so I started on the motor, tore it apart and inspected to see the damage. Surprisingly, the motor was in pretty good nick but compression was down so I put the barrel in for a rebore and sent off for a couple of pistons, rings, gudgeons and clips. I also sent off for a gasket set, seal kit and a set of stainless, allen head screws. Chrome platers got the oil tube, points/governor covers and acorn nuts for the cylinder head/rocker cover.

I bead blasted the cases, barrel, head, rocker cover and carbs. Then back to the polishing again for the rocker inspection caps, side covers, dipstick, cam chain adjuster housing, breather housing, carb top and bottoms.

Carbs were CVs so they got a new kit through them and I managed to find two diaphragms that weren’t holed and also a couple of dented but usable floats. The lip on the diaphragms were badly squashed so the slides didn’t act as they were supposed to so I cut some gaskets and installed them on top of the diaphragms, Bingo, all fixed, slides behaved themselves.

Hang the classic sign on a bike and prices go through the roof, a good example were the rocker shaft bungs, $20 each from suppliers. I got four stainless hex head bungs with the same thread for just a few bucks on eBay. Definitely pays to shop around.

After blasting the cases I painted them in engine enamel and started assembling. I made up a wheeled stand for assembling the motor and once assembled I found the points backing plate didn’t allow sufficient adjustment to time it so I had to be opened up the points gap to .25mm to time the engine, bugger, new cam chain required. Anyway I prepped the lube system by turning the motor over with the use of a cordless drill and mounted the electrical components on an ally bracket I made. Rectifier was shot, I was not surprised suppliers wanted an arm and a leg for a replacement so I bough a three phase bridge rectifier on eBay for $4. Coils were also shot, so I found a couple of Bosch units in my electrics box, mounted them and hooked everything up.

Once ready, I switched on and the motor burst into life on the first crank. Next stepwas to sync the carbs. Not a fan of vacuum gauges, or the dollars they cost so I made up a fluid manometer using two lengths of 35mm acrylic tube sandwitched between a wood base, joined them together, cut two lengths of 6mm plastic tube, inserted two delron Jets I made up, joined them to the top of the manometer and put a few ccs of water in each tube. The bike didn’t have any manifold adapters for vacuum gauges so The manifold came off, were drilled and a spigot shrunk into each. Once back together again, I hooked up the manometer, started the bike and syncronised the carbs. The video shows how a manometer works.

I knew I had to replace the Cam chain, and since I wasn’t happy with the silver colour I painted the engine, I tore the motor down again, blasted the paint off the cases, barrel, head and rocker cover and resprayed, black this time. This second tear down necessitated new gaskets of course so I sent off for a set and laid everything out on the bench ready for reassembly. Cam chain arrived so I assembled the crank and gearbox and sealed the crankcases. Bottom end is now in the stand with clutch and alternator assembled and that’s as far as I’ve got this time, just waiting for the gaskets to arrive. Boredom overtook so I removed the stator and polished it, now the engine internals are nice and shiny.


 

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matthewsx

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Very nice work. I have a Yamaha TT500 I'm customizing as a tracker and also have an XS650 engine that I'd love to find an old Rickman frame for. Some day maybe, all this is 2000 miles away right now so it will have to wait.

John
 

FOMOGO

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Excellent work on the Yam. They are basically a triumph copy, Not as pretty, but more reliable. I have a 1980 low mile version in line for a rebirth as a scrambler. Polishing can get a bit addictive, but it's a messy business. Cheers, Mike
 

pontiac428

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Nice progress on the YamaHarley! I'm looking forward to the next steps.
 

th62

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More work on the seat, after a lot of procrastinating, I finally decided on a front mount design. I also welded on a tank mount hump. I didn't like the original seat pan build as the rear cowl didn't match the slope of the tank, sooo, I cut the cowl off, lowered the angle of the rear section, shortened it a little and re attached the cowl. Of course the cowl didn't match, so I had to cut it in half and re bend to the new shape. The sheet wasn't quite long enough so I ended up with a 3mm gap between the halves I had to fill with weld. All worked out in the end, although the cowl skirt sits a little higher than I'd like.
 

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th62

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Here's a new manometer I made using neoprene gaskets instead of chair stoppers. Works the same, just looks neater. I also finished of the seat by making rear mounts and redoing the front. Looks quite neat and it's only a two bolt job to remove the seat. Front mount is basically the same as the first, just angled down so the seat clears the frame tubes. Rear mounts are two grommets fitted to the cowl, two positive stop, aluminium plugs inserted in them and two 6mm bolts through them to screw into the tapped tabs I welded to the rear seat loop.
 

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NortonDommi

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Very nice work. I have a Yamaha TT500 I'm customizing as a tracker and also have an XS650 engine that I'd love to find an old Rickman frame for. Some day maybe, all this is 2000 miles away right now so it will have to wait.

John
I have the remains of a 1981 TT500 sitting in the shed. Silver and Black tank model. I ran IT 400 front end and piggyback rear shocks, fitted a 17" rear rim, 2" longer swingarm, really radical cam, 36 mm Mikuni, custom exhaust,(power didn't start until 2500),then hang on, Renthal bars, 20 litre plastic tank for long distance enduros. Getting old as I can't remember the brand names.
Was a handful in the tight so used to swap cams for some tracks but on an open run was bloody awesome.
One of the best bikes I ever had for playing Ivan major on. Mindblowing beach bike. Nothing like topping the biggest dune around.
Nothing beats a 500 thumper for pure fun! Make sure you fit a bigger oil feed pipe to the top end as the starve a bit for oil at peak revs. Valves are plenty big enough as is just clean up the ports and abrasive blast when done. A bit of rugosity helps with fuel atomisation. Pay attention to the transition area under the inlet valve as it is a bit not good on the short side.

I actually had three of them but the '81 was the one I really went to town on. Bought new and was having a full on competition with a mate who bought one of those Honda things.
Man, just writing this has bought back some memories!
 

DavidR8

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I’ve always wanted one of those big Yamaha thumpers. I think it’s the Manx vibe that I like.


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th62

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A little more work: Just put the front hub together using sealed bearings, bead blasted the disk holder and drilled a few holes in the disk. Also put the rear hub together with sealed bearings. The Teles are also together, I removed all the casting marks from the sliders and polished them again, they look 100% better without the casting marks. Unfortunately I dropped the left side slider and damaged the seal surround, bugger! I'll try the aluminium brazing rods I have and see i f I can repair it. I'm thinking of doing away with the sidecovers and either making a polished aluminium battery carrienr and making a feature of it, or I'll shorten the sidecovers at the front and attach brackets to the battery carrier for the sidecovers, that way I wont have to mak e splayed manifolds.
All one handed, had the left hand index and second finger fused and the ring and pinky got new PIP joints. Not easy with just one hand all this work, but, this Yamaha is yelling at me!
 

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PHPaul

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I bought a brand new TX650A back in the day. (Were we ever that young?) It was a time in my life (before marriage, obviously) when I was changing bikes roughly as often as I changed my socks. I kept that 650 for almost 10 years and have no idea how many miles I put on it. It followed me from Maine to Japan to Florida. I often regretted selling it.



6 years ago or so, I found a '79 XS650SF Special and relived my youth for a few years with it. Went completely through it and did a "rings and valves" rebuild on it. Eventually found it was to small for my big butt (40 years and 40 pounds will do that...) and sold it to a kid who immediately beat it to death by trying to ride it like a crotch rocket.

My current ride is a '16 Yamaha FJ09 with the 900cc cross-plane triple. What a motor!
 

th62

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Finished off the front hub: I drilled the disk with some lightning holes, installed new sealed bearings, polished the hub and because the left side cover that covers the disk mount holes was rusted, I fabbed a new aluminium one and polished that as well. Bought some stainless fasteners, polished them up and assembled the hub. I want to go with an electronic speedo, if I can find one, so the speedo drive on the left will probably go and I'll turn up a stainless spacer in it's place. For a bit of extra bling, I also polished the edge of the disk. Hub should look nice laced up to a polished ally rim with polished stainless spokes.
 

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th62

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A nice new rotor arrived this morning. A trip out to wingfield in order to find a big lump of aluminium to make a mounting bracket from is in order now. Tell you what though, knock Chinese made products all you like, but both the stator and rotor are excellent quality. Compared to the original Japanese made ones from the 70s, these are superb. I suspect that the kit suppliers in America get theirs from China, for a lot less than I paid, get them to make a mount and sell the kit for $400.
 

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th62

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Finished off the stator mount for the PMA today. I bought a couple of slabs of aluminium, thickest I could get was 25mm, so I settled for that. That meant making a 10mm spacer. After waiting ages for the bandsaw to cut the slab down to a size that would fit in the four jaw I chucked the square slab and made it round, dished the underside to clear the crank bearing mount, bored a 60mm hole through the middle and drilled a couple of holes for mounting.

Next came the spacer: Turned down a 70mm round ally bar to fit inside the stator windings and turned down a couple of locators either side to locate the spacer under the stator and to locate the spacer inside the base, thus making sure the stator is mounted central. Drilled a few more holes and tapped them, then stuck it all together.

Drilling and tapping all these holes scratched the hell out of the ally, so I mounted spacer and base in the lathe again and used some emery to get rid of the marks.

Fits on the engine nicely, just have to file a woodruff down to match the 6mm keyway in the rotor to the 5mm keyway in the crank. After that, solder some terminals on the end of the stator leads, yeah I know, I'm a rebel.

Next job is to turn up a cam for the points. I'm going to convert the twin points system to a single, lots of messing around here trying to get the points firing at the correct intervals.
 

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th62

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Modified the fork legs: Removed the lower mudguard mounts on both legs and the caliper mount on the left leg, ground everything down smooth and polished both legs. I also discarded the speedo drive and replaced it with a stainless bush and ally dust cover I spun up, pressed together and polished.
 

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th62

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Some painting today. Frame is still at the blasters, soon as I get it back, I'll paint that too. Undecided on tank, guards and side covers, probably black, perhaps with a little sparkle. Either that or metalic charcoal.
Attached Files:
 

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th62

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Some nice shiny triple trees. Couldn't get underneath the top triple tree for polishing so that's just a bead blast finish. Top had some difficult sections, but I managed to get in there with nylon fibre wheel and narrows mops. The large chrome washers under the handlebar mounts were rusted, so I spun up some aluminium ones and polished them. Lower triple tree had a rough cast finish, so I sanded the areas I could get to with the belt sander and nylon fibre wheel before painting.. Finally, I bought some stainless fasteners, cut them to length and polished them. When I find a magnetic sensor speedo I'll mount that on a polished aluminium plate and use the stock mounts. Triple trees look good so far. Picked up the frame from the sand blasters this afternoon and bogged up the rough areas, I filed most of the weld joints prior to blasting so that saved a lot of bog. Hard to know when to stop bogging on these Japanese frames, talk about rough. Paint day tomorrow, sand the bog down and apply a few coats of primer before I hit it with a top coat, then float coat it. I also removed the pins from the footrests, bead blasted everything, rammed a 16mm square bar down through the hollow pegs to straighten them, belt sanded the main bodies smooth, removed the casting joins and hit them with gloss black. Instead of Inserting pins, I polished up a couple of allen heads and fixed them with polished stainless nyloc nuts. Rubber peg mounts were buggered, so I bought a couple of rubber bungs from Clarkes. When I've finished the frame I'll shape the rubber bungs and insert them in the pegs.
 

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th62

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First colour coat on the frame today, I'll finish of with a final float coat tomorrow after scrubbing down. Managed to get the front down tubes pretty straight and smooth with a belt sander and bit of bog, but the area where the footpegs mount, what an abortionate mess, bits and pieces tacked on, welding looks like a five year old did it, folder marks all over it. What a bloody mess these frames are, bits and pieces tacked on everywhere, abysmal welding and fit. I'll have another go at flattening the area tomorrow. This abysmal frame is going to ruin this build.
 

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sycle1

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Thats looking sweet !! congrats job well done.
 

th62

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Managed to get the motor in without scratching the frame, now I can fabricate an exhaust and a few other bits and pieces. What a struggle though, I'm sure the Japanese have some sort of robotic device that installs the motor, but surely they realise at some stage the motor may have to be removed and not everybody has access to a a robot, what a stupid design. Next problem is to get it up onto the bench, then after that I'll have to remove the motor again at some stage to fix a leak at the bottom of the barrel. Getting the motor In wasn't the only struggle, the Japs in their wisdom use 10mm bolts, but the holes into which they fit are nearly 11mm, put the two lower bolts in place then you have to jiggle the motor around to get the upper bolts through the upper mounts. Probably easy for an able bodied person, unfortunately, RA has robbed me of my strength and much of the use of my hands, had to get the wife to help. I did make a stand to sit the frame on utilising the centre stand mounts, works well stopping the frame from wobbling around.
 

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th62

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I managed to get the bike up onto the bench using a very technologically advanced method: Around 90 paving stones stacked on top of each other. I lifted one end, While the wife slid a few paving stones in then lifted the other end so she could slide a few more pavers in at the other end. Lifted it up one paver height at a time until we got to the right height then slid it across onto the bench. Wife got a little worried at times, the higher we got, the more wobbly it got. But we got there in the end. Helps if the wife is a good sport. I welded a frame mount together from 32mm tube and fitted that first to save some paint and keep it from rocking around all over the place. It bolts onto the frame using the centre stand mounts. Now I can start on an exhaust.
 

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Boswell

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I managed to get the bike up onto the bench using a very technologically advanced method
Very effective and available tech. Reminds me of when my wife and I were building our first house. We needed to lift 3 24' home made beams (3 x 2x12 with 3/4 plywood in between) from the ground up to the top of the concrete piers. We used a very similar process. Took a long time but was effective.
 

Winegrower

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You guys are pretty amazing. It took me three weeks to oil the forks and rebuild the front calipers. Decided i would never mess with forks again. Honda ST1100.
 

pontiac428

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You guys are pretty amazing. It took me three weeks to oil the forks and rebuild the front calipers. Decided i would never mess with forks again. Honda ST1100.
Fear not the oil nor the shim stack; for it is the key to a good ride. And remember, what seals ye, heals ye.
 
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