1971 Honda SL100 build

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Kanook, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    408
    One day I received a call from my oldest brother. He called to let me know that a good friend/neighbor was moving and had an old Honda he wanted to get rid of. When I asked what it was my brother said that he thought it was a Scrambler and even though it was sitting beside a garage for the past 10 years it was in fair shape. Of course I was interested and asked how much he wanted for it. "Nothing, it's yours if you want it" awesome!
    The next weekend I met my brother at his friends house and saw this old Honda in the driveway. Not a Scrambler and honestly I was a little bummed out. But after closer inspection I thought this could be a cool little bike and the price is right. I figured a little elbow grease and a tune up I could flip it for a few bills. After getting it home and looking it over closer I found that it would not kick over and was frozen. Along with all the cables. So much for a quick flip.
    Never having dealt with a frozen motor before I decided to try to free up the top end. I pulled the plug and gave the cylinder a good dose of PB blaster and let it sit. A few days later I went back to the garage, pulled out the kick start lever, and gave a good firm kick. And wow it turned over.
    Now came the rebuilding and cleaning of the carb. It surprisingly wasn't that bad and didn't take too much work to get clear. The gas tank however was a bit more work. I've had pretty good luck with a product I found at Home Depot called surface prep. It's basically an acid etch and combined with some nuts, bolts, screws, and vigorous shaking the tank looked really good. Now with fuel I still needed spark so a new battery was installed. I gave the bike a few kicks to check that I had a spark and I did so I installed the plug, put some fresh gas in the tank and gave the bike a couple kicks and it started up. It ran but not great and I'm sure it had to do with the air/fuel screw. With the bike running I figured it was time to check the tranny to see if that would determine what direction I go with this bike. I was able to get the clutch cable moving enough to activate the clutch so I started it back up and took off out of the garage tires flat and bars bent, but it ran and shifted through all the gears. All of a sudden I decided I like this bike a lot.
    Now to the drawing board.
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    #1
  2. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    408
    I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with this bike. Leave as is as a barn find and just ride it, tear it completely down and do a full resto, or tear it down and do a customized cafe style bike.
    After a bit of thought I decided to go with a slightly modified cafe racer style.
    With that figured out it was time to start tearing the bike down.
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    And start the long list of parts needed.
    #2
  3. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    The goal of this bike was to make a fun, safe, and cheap build. With the bike stripped down and inventory taken of what was salvageable I started envisioning what I wanted this thing to look like. Of course drop bars and possibly a pair of rear sets. Also a chopped exhaust and a single seat common on cafe racers.
    Paint or no paint? I still wasn't sure if I wanted to reshoot the entire bike or leave it a more ratty look. Being lazy and wanting to stay cheap I decided to not repaint. Until.....
    After a few weeks of deciding what I needed to buy and what I wanted the bike to look like it hit me. Steampunk. I love the style and thought it would be a fun challenge.
    So much for cheap and lazy.
    #3
  4. Joz

    Joz What could go wrong?

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,906
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ohhh! A steampunk SL...... There's something awesome about that idea!!

    Subscribed.
    #4
  5. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
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    408
    Thanks. I agree.


    Steampunk for those that don't know is based on a genre of science fiction based on steam powered machinery or how people of a retro-futuristic 19 th century might have envisioned it. It generally incorporates a lot of brass, wood, leather, pipes, gears, cogs, etc


    The stock tank did not fit the design so a custom tank was needed. I've never built a gas tank but I've watched enough American west coast chopper shows. How hard could it be? Well without a fully decked out shop, it's a lot of work. I do have a basic welding set up but no rollers or shaping tools. With the theme in mind I knew I wanted a tank that resembled a cylinder or cylinders. 4" exhaust tubing will do the trick. I had some 6" wide plate steel laying around that was just under 1/8" that I figured I could use for the cylinders ends. With an oxy/acetylene torch I cut four 6x6 squares. I then took the squares and laid them on the end of a scrap of the 4" tubing, heat them glowing red and hammered the squares into the tube. Once a nice little bowl was formed I was able to torch cut a rough 4" circle and then bench grind to fit the pipe perfectly. Weld grind repeat.[​IMG]
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  6. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    408
    With the twin cylinders made it was now time to figure out how to attach them to the bike. I taped the two tanks together with a scrap 2x4 between them. That was about the spacing I wanted. Because of the tank design and spacing the stock coil location was not going to work but the bracket that the coil bolts to would. I welded a piece of steel on the bottom between the tanks that would work for the front mount bolted to the stock coil mount. For the rear or closest to the seat I welded another piece of steel between the tanks. This piece would have a hole that will slide onto a bolt that I welded to the top tube of the frame.
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    Off to Ace for more supplies. For the tank petcocks I found these really nice brass valves. [​IMG]
    I figured I would have one on each tank. That way I could run one tank and when that one was dry I could open the second one. Kind of a reserve. For the petcock bungs I used a 1/8 galvanized threaded coupler cut in half to produce two bungs. For the filler neck I bought a piece of 1" steel pipe about 3" long and threaded at both ends. This cut in half would make the two filler necks. I found two brass threaded caps for gas caps. I love Ace.
    Because I wanted a clean look on the bars I wanted to relocate all the switches and just go with perches and levers. The gears began turning. I knew I wanted to relocate the electrics between the tanks so I did this. I picked up a 6 volt light switch for a 50's-60's GMC at NAPA. With a bit of rewiring and modding this switch would become headlight control and kill switch. To make the switch look right I added a red faucet knob like used on an outside hose bib.
    Pull the switch one position and headlight/taillight comes on. Second position is high beam. Turn the knob for kill switch.
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    I also added two LEDs green for neutral and red for high beam. The toggle switch serves a purpose. When I tore into the stock switch assembly I noticed there were two more wires than just the headlight/taillight wires. These two wires complete a circuit when the lights are on. From the looks of the wiring diagram when the lights are on it adds in an extra coil from the stator to give the battery extra juice to compensate the power drain. So when the lights are on so is the toggle switch. The pressure gauge is just a dummy for looks.
    Next up paint.
    But first bed. I'll continue this thread tomorrow.
    #6
  7. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
  8. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    408
    For the paint I wanted to use as few colors as possible. I chose satin black, cast iron, and brass. The frame got a light scuffing and was shot with the satin black.
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    The engine was cleaned and painted with a high temp cast iron color. I was expecting a powdery charcoal grey but the color has a bit of green in it. Not what I expected but I like it.
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    The tank was going to be painted with a brass paint but after a thorough scotch bright cleaning I really liked the look of the brushed steel. I wasn't going to have any silver or chrome but the tank fit the look and it solved the problem of what color to paint the wheels and fork lowers. Instead I used 80 grit paper and some wd-40 and knocked down the shine of the chrome wheels. The spokes, hubs, and fork lowers were scuffed with a green scotch brite pad.
    Time for reassembly.
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    The rear shocks were taken apart and cleaned and scuffed and the springs got a satin black finish.
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    #8
  9. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    408
    When I wasn't cleaning, scuffing, and painting I was on the computer getting ideas for a headlight. I knew I wanted something vintage and could easily be converted to electric. I was thinking an old miners lamp or a railroad light. I then started seeing vintage kerosene lamps that were used on buggies and even some first motorcycles and bicycles. I found this one on eBay and had to have it. I ended up getting for less than I planned and it works perfectly.
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    I was able to get the glass lens of my original light and the bulb and reflector fit perfectly behind the glass of the lantern. The original wick is still intact and behind the reflector.
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    I was able to fabricate mounts for the lantern using the upper and lower triple clamps.
    #9
  10. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    For the electrics I didn't want the clutter of the stock air box and battery holder so I got a 6 volt sealed lead acid battery and fabricated a mount to locate the battery under the seat. The stock rectifier worked but I wanted something smaller and cleaner. I was going to go with the radio shack rectifier mod but I had this one left over from when I upgraded the stator/rec on my crf 450 x. Three of the four wires matched in color so I figured what the hell. I'll give it a try.
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    #10
  11. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    408
    Next on the build list was a taillight. I couldn't find anything off the shelf that fit the bill so it was back to the drawing board and laboratory.
    For my job I'm a truck driver for UPS and while out on the road I love looking at all the rusty crap and junk that litters the freeways. I often drive past old sheep herder camps and see all the rusty old cans. That's what I wanted for a taillight housing, an old rusty can. But, not usually being able to stop on the side of the road and scavenge through abandoned camps I decided to make my own housing. I took a short piece of left over exhaust tubing from the tank and welded a end on and beat it up. For the actual lamps i rolled over a few ideas but decided to take advantage of the box of vacuum tubes i have. I made a mount for the tubes that slides into and bolts to the housing. I used 3volt red LEDs for the lights. The larger center RCA tube has two LEDs that i was able to hot glue into the bottom. This will work as the running light. The two smaller Zenith tubes are back lit with two LEDs each. Each pair was wired in series and those two pairs were wired in parallel and give a nice bright red glow for the brake.
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    Just the running light
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    Brake light
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    And both
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    I then took a piece of brass and made a visor for the taillight. Next was a patina. I came up with a solution that seems to work well. I use a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar, salt, water, and little pieces of torched brass. I spray the metal and let it air dry. Once dry I would hit it with a propane torch and it would immediately start turning a rusty copper color. After a few spraying and heating's I got the desired look and clear coated the whole thing with a satin clear.
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    #11
  12. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
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    I got a little complacent about taking photos of the next few items but next in store was the exhaust. I wanted the look of a straight pipe so I cut off the stock muffler. Worried that it may be to loud I decided to add an older VW bug tailpipe. After welding on the tailpipe I added a bracket to mount the exhaust in the stock location, wrapped the entire thing in fiberglass wrap and added a rolled and soldered brass cone on the end
    The sound is really nice and not to obnoxious while on the throttle.
    #12
  13. JonW

    JonW Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    159
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I like this, tis very cool and different.

    I did an SL125 a while ago and it was a fun project and a keen little bike. Info on mine is on my 2smoked.com website link in my sig if you want to look.
    #13
  14. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
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    I'll check it out. Thanks
    #14
  15. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    I ended up buying a new carb for the bike. I was having a hard time getting it clean and the float had so many little pin holes it would keep taking on gas. Plus while painting if it slipped off the wire I had it hanging on and I bent one of the posts that the float pin slides through. Of course it broke when I tried to straighten it. Oh well. The bike runs like a top now.
    #15
  16. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    The last two things I needed was tires and something for a seat cover. The only tired I could find were either full on dirt tires or dual sport. I think think with the style of the bike a little more aggressive tire works well. For the seat I knew I wanted leather but for leather at my local Tandy was going to be expensive. At least $150 because I couldn't just buy what I needed. I had to buy a whole side of a cow. This would have to wait a couple weeks. In the mean time I hit a couple thrift stores and bought a couple leather coats to cut up. One black and one red. When I laid both on the bike I liked the red so that's what I cut up and wrapped the seat with. It was ok and would do for a temporary fix. It's impossible to wrap a seat with one piece of material and make it smooth. All that was left was a few decorations. I wrapped the air cleaner in brass and painted a few nuts and bolts brass.
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    #16
  17. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    And of course the key needed to be modified.
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    One more from the riders perspective.
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    #17
  18. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
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    12,971
    Location:
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    Yeah I see those creations on CL pretty regular,I think the novelty goes away once all the paraphanelia is bolted on.

    Those bikes like most are always worth more $ bone stock,looks like your having fun though.
    #18
  19. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    408
    It only took about a week until I was sick of the red crappy seat cover. I went and bought the leather and lacing I wanted to use. I spent an afternoon cutting and punching holes.
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    And finally got the seat I wanted all along. The leather had branding marks so I made sure to incorporate those into the seat.
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    #19
  20. Kanook

    Kanook Adventure zymologist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    The last piece to the build. A brand new original plate. And coincidentally it came from the same person that hooked me u with the bike. My brother.
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    #20