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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Since the first part polished out so well I went over to the used tool store and bought a big polisher. It's working so well that INstead of powder coating the lower fork tubes and the wheel hubs I decided to polish them out. It's tedious but worth it as it's a distinctive look. I've been wrenching on motorcycles for a long time and been in the construction trades almost all of my adult life and there's still a lot of stuff to learn and figure out.
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
When it comes to motorcycles, I spend money like it's a bad habit. I'm getting close to the $3000 mark.....I do have a nice pile of parts. In trying to get the top end cleaned up for paint, I decided to pull it apart and since a set of pistons and rings are only $100, I figured why not. I had an interesting thought yesterday about this 45 year old motor. It's so simple and well designed that it's hard to believe that Harley Davidson has clung to antiquated motor technology for so long.

A bunch of stuff came in from Germany today from Motogadget to go with the M-Unit I already bought from them. This stuff is so cool. Fortunately I've bought everything from them that I could possibly put on this build......and yes this is an actual build versus putting an exhaust and fly screen on and calling it a build ( I had a previous rant about that). Anyway, the quality level of these Motogadget products is right up there with the best I've ever seen for a motorcycle.

Those are the handlebar switches, their digital display and mounting plate, front running lights / turn signal, RFID unit which replaces key and ignition switch and the M-Unit itself. Although it doesn't run the motor and fueling like modern bikes, it does everything else and a lot more then the rest of the electronics on my MT10. It eliminates mechanical tach, speedo, fuses, relays, key, side plate where all the old electronic crap was. The only original parts I'm going to retain are the 2 coils, solenoid and the generator / stater. Everything else goes on Ebay or in the garbage. With an Antigravity battery I'm guessing that this easily eliminates over 30 pounds from the stock bike.

I already posted the new carburetor set I bought for this. I threw the old one on Ebay and pocketed $200 for it after fees. There is a hot market for parts for these old Hondas.

I'm finding that the actual mechanical work on this motorcycle is relatively simple......it's the cleanup, polishing and restoration that takes time. I've got a lot of hours into this already but I'm enjoying it.

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I've already bought an ignition system and a combo rectifier / regulator for a lithium battery.
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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
You gonna do any machining work to it?
Just clean up, light hone and valve lap and new rings. The new Mikuni carbs will add some more HP. It's a 45 year old motorcycle and it's never going to handle or have the motor that a new bike does so not going crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Just clean up, light hone and valve lap and new rings. The new Mikuni carbs will add some more HP. It's a 45 year old motorcycle and it's never going to handle or have the motor that a new bike does so not going crazy.
I'm over $3000 and still have a few major things to buy.
 

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would love to hear your thoughts about the mgaget stuff once it's installed and working. I've looked at their line up a few times but never really had a good project to put any of it on. The one first hand review I did see complained that their 'munit' was short lived and required replacing not long after they got the bike on the road, no one has perfect QA so I'm very interested in a 2nd review.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
You are an inspiration to all those that have dreamed of doing something similar.
It's really been big fun. I've always wanted to do something like this. I've got a lot of experience wrenching on motorcycles but this has pushed me to learn a lot of new things. The biggest obstacle to doing a project like this is that people think clapped out rusting motorcycles are worth thousands and it's almost impossible to find one that makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
would love to hear your thoughts about the mgaget stuff once it's installed and working. I've looked at their line up a few times but never really had a good project to put any of it on. The one first hand review I did see complained that their 'munit' was short lived and required replacing not long after they got the bike on the road, no one has perfect QA so I'm very interested in a 2nd review.
Actually the Motogadget has an excellent reliability record. I did a ton of research before I pulled the trigger. The biggest consistent beef I see is that it's very expensive. After that, it's people that struggle with understanding it and figuring how to put it all together. If you plan on using it with OEM components, it becomes a lot more difficult also. I decided early on to ditch all of the old switches, lights and old electrical parts. The one thing I value more than all others on any motor vehicle is reliability. With a Toyota Tundra and Yamaha motorcycles I've had that covered for a lot of years now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 · (Edited)
I've been putting in a lot of late evening hours on this build. I've watched a million videos on cleaning, prep painting and polishing motors. As I watched them I came to the conclusion that the vast majority of these custom bikes are getting minimal amount of prep and just get painted over. Once in a while they zoom in and you see that a lot of the paint looks like the siding on an old house that's been scraped and repainted. I'm not trying to do show quality but I get no enjoyment or satisfaction out of doing a half ass job.

My progress so far, I've gotten the top end cleaned and painted to my satisfaction. I used aircraft paint strip and Dremmel with little brass wire wheels which don't scratch or mar the surface but they are very fragile and disintegrate quickly and I've gone through about 150 of them. Some only last 2 minutes and others 10 or 15. Using compressor to blow all of the debris off, I started worrying that some of this stuff had to get inside the top end so I took it apart and figured I'd freshen it. As it turns out, this 45 year old motor is in amazing condition and didn't need it ( as predicted by 1216 Bandit and a few others) but I'm still doing it. Why the original owner decided to paint it red is a mystery but it's been an ordeal getting it stripped and cleaned. Occasionally you see one of these motors that are totally polished out......be afraid of those people because you have to be mentally ill to devote as much time to doing that as is necessary. OCD at the very least.

I've gotten all of the side cases polished out. Valves are lapped and cylinders honed. The bottom end is all prepped for paint which I'm doing this evening. In another day or 2, I will be on to putting the motor back together. I've bought almost all new screws and bolts, all new gaskets, radical new carbs, pistons and rings, new clutch plates and springs and electronic ignition to replace points and condensers. It seems like a lot, but assembling a motor is easy versus refinishing one. I'm guessing that most of these projects that end up unfinished, get to the point of being pulled apart and then stall at the motor because the reality of how much work it is sets in.....especially if they're starting with a rust bucket. I feel like most of the rest of the chassis, suspension and wheels is pretty easy. I'm totally looking forward to the challenge of the rewiring job although I might be an idiot for that.

I just love the look of those 70s style Akront and DID alum wheels so I bought aluminum wheels and new spoke set along with modern tires. Now I'll polish out the hubs and put them together. I got new levers, an aluminum rearset, cool headlight / running light brackets, fork cartridge emulators and other odds and ends. Pegasus Jockey really got me thinking about the color scheme which influenced me to go away from blacking everything out which is the trend in new and restored motorcycles. Now everything is a color or mostly polished or natural aluminum with black being used sparingly as an accent.
Here's a few pictures showing my process.
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This was the day I brought it home.
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look'n very nice. I think you're correct about people giving up once they figure out how much elbow grease is needed to 'spruce up' a dingy looking motor. I've got a datsun 240z stripped down to parts and 1/2 done myself because teenage me thought it wouldn't be hard to do it all myself.....maybe when I'm retired I'll have time to finish it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
look'n very nice. I think you're correct about people giving up once they figure out how much elbow grease is needed to 'spruce up' a dingy looking motor. I've got a datsun 240z stripped down to parts and 1/2 done myself because teenage me thought it wouldn't be hard to do it all myself.....maybe when I'm retired I'll have time to finish it.
How long until you retire? They might not be selling gasoline by then. ....and thanks for the encouragement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
I was trying to decide what to do about fork tubes. They are clean up to the triple clamp but some rust above them which was covered by the headlight brackets. I could clean them up but they're just going to rust again. I could get Chinese tubes for around $200 but they would probably rust even faster. I bit the bullet and spent $375 to have Franks Forks in Missouri make me a set. The forks are turning out to be inordinately expensive for ultimately what is still a somewhat mediocre set. Tubes $375, Cartridge emulators $160, Springs $130 and if I get caps with preload adjustment another $130.
I also had a Hagon rear shock assembled. I picked the color, spring weight and got an inch longer than stock which is common practice to get these bikes to steer better. Another $429 but it seems like 99% of these cafe builds end up with super cheap ass suspension.
It's difficult to build this and then say screw it and put crappy parts on it or do stuff half assed. This is already way past being sensible with the money I've spent.....especially when you consider that I probably won't ride that much as I am very addicted to the performance of modern motorcycles. Still, I'm enjoying the journey a lot.
 

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How long until you retire? They might not be selling gasoline by then. ....and thanks for the encouragement.
If I keep on doing what I'm doing 20 more years - although I'm looking for ways to bring that in. I don't mind my day job, sometime I even like it, but I'd rather be spending time with my family or riding my MC. If there is no more gas by then, I guess it'll have to be an electric conversion. I've always been more into 'reto-mod' than full factory restoration, even if I had time and resources to work on such a project today it'd likely get some modern updates. I've always had a desire to 'play with' the megasquirt type DIY ECU's and tunning SU carbs I've been told is more of an art than a science.

I'm sure you'll be happy with the Franks forks - I've heard a lot of good things but never had a need to purchase from them myself.

Once you're all done you'll have to sign up and do a track day on it, out here I've seen 'vintage' track days which seem like they should be a lot more fun than a bike show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Once you're all done you'll have to sign up and do a track day on it, out here I've seen 'vintage' track days which seem like they should be a lot more fun than a bike show.
That's not a bad idea. I feel like I should have a lot better performing motorcycle than most that I'm seeing. I'm not just doing an art project which a lot of these builds are in essence. I've been spending a lot of time on the vintage forums and between them and the forums for modern bikes, you start realizing that most people think that if a motorcycle is bouncy, then the suspension is good. It would be a lot more fun to ride a cool looking cafe racer that performs well on a track versus standing around staring at them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Making some more progress on getting bottom end of motor ready for finish painting. What a time consuming tedious process. it took me 4 or 5 hours just to mask it off then 10 minutes to spray a coat of primer. It's taken 3 months to do the top end and get the bottom to this point. I don't work on it every day but it's still a lot of hours. It's not show quality but it's not a hack job either. It's satisfying to see stuff get completed. Hopefully I can get started on putting this motor back together within the next week.

My tape job is not pretty to look at but it works.
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