Long-term Texas hack project

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by sprale, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. sprale

    sprale Tu ne cede malis...

    Aug 22, 2007
    Republic of Texas
    This year, the tax return is going to my wife's home studio. Next year, I've been give the okay for another bike, as long as I can get a sidecar for it. Time to start planning for a long-term project.

    I'm looking for an older (80-90s) bike to hack, preferably Japanese. I'll probably try to pick something up for $1-3k locally on Craigslist. I'll keep my newer Ninjette for commuting for now, so the hack will be for riding with my girls (daughter and wife) on weekends or when I need extra space on the commute.

    I'll start looking for an electric welder this year, learning a bit before I get another bike. I've got an old Subaru and a few things I'd like to try on it for practice.

    I think I want a standard or dual sport, minimal or no bodywork. I'd like to find a bike that would be easy to access and maintain with a sub-frame mount. I'd like to find a bike that I can swap out flat profile car-type tires. I'll probably match the car's tire/wheel to the bike's rear, keeping a third as a spare. I might try to build a leading-link front end, but probably not as an early step.

    I'm thinking that the extra load will put enough load on the bike that I'll want to change the gearing a bit. I'll probably never top 60mph, slow is good for me. I'll also be riding this hack much more lightly than my Ninja, given the precious cargo. Any opinions on air-cooled vs. water-cooled? If I go with an air-cooled, I may at least put an oil cooler on, adding oil volume as well.

    For the body, I'm not set on any style. I like the Ural-type cars, but minimal is best. I doubt I'll find one easily on eBay/Craigslist, but I'll keep an eye out for one used. There are a few companies that make new ones at a low enough cost for me, one here in Texas.

    I like classic Honda's the most, like the CB750. I dig the Triumph Scrambler and Bonnie. The Wee-Strom is cool, but too much plastic. A KLR or DR650 is nice, and as a hack would be the only way I could mount one. I thought about building a hack out of my old KZ650, but it was too much a basket-case. A light-weight rig would be the best in my opinion. Ugly bikes are fine, functionality is more important. It may even end up a bit rat-ish...

    Any suggestions on a starting point? This will be a bit of an ugly home-built hack. No Dauntless-quality work here.