"New" Ratty Hack... I hope!

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Leaf, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Hey folks! New member here.....

    I grew up in rural WV with a '68 Trail 90, then later an '80 XR200, which I rode up until 1997 or so and sold for $300 because the engine needed rebuilt a 3rd time. Between then and now, I had a brief hate/hate relationship with a '78 GS1000, which I got rid of in favor of an '05 Rebel 250 that I paid too much for at a dealer (I like them smaller bikes, ya see :3 ). For the past couple years, my main bike has been a '95 Vulcan 500, which I think is an absolutely great bike, maybe the last of the decent not-quite-UJMs, imo...

    Anyway, on Monday I am set to go pick up a used Velorex 562 with all the mounting hardware, for $1000. I think it's the older model with the smaller axle, but I haven't seen it up close yet, so iunno. It looks to be in good shape though. No rust on the frame, only a little bit of pidgeon poop on the tub, and a new-looking tire. I'd thought about building a utility hack myself with an old swingarm and rear wheel, but I'm not sure I want to embark on that adventure until I've learned to ride a rig. :p

    The plan is to mate the Velorex to a $450 CB400T or a $500 XS400, whichever I get running first (or maybe a conglomeration of the two, lol).

    I've already got the CB400T, but it has some carb issues, of course... I've had it running on one cylinder, and the compression is good on the other side, but that other carb is being a real pain....

    The XS400 is on Craigslist since yesterday, and supposedly runs, but the seller hasn't gotten back to me yet. I'd really rather use it (or at least its motor), 'cos it has a kicker...

    I guess in a pinch I could hang the hack on my 500, but I'd really rather keep that bike solo. I think it might be too much bike for a Velorex, anyway. It's not terribly heavy, but the power-to-weight ratio is the highest of any non-sport bike I've ridden. The Rebel is out, as it barely pulls me and my junk, much less a sidehack, up these WV mountains, and I kind of unofficially gave it to a friend anyway.

    Anyway, I'm kind of excited. $1500 plus some elbow grease to weld up a subframe out of scrap metal seems to be a pretty good price for a rig, even if it is a little ratty. At least I'll hopefully be able to get my toes wet before deciding if I want to bite the bullet and plunk down some cash for a Ural.

    I'll try to post some pics when the time comes, if anyone is interested.
    #1
  2. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    Hi Leaf, welcome to the asylum :clap

    Looking forward to some pics.
    #2
  3. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    A pox upon thee, o' belated winter weather.

    :vardy :cry

    Must it snow enough to stick for only the second time this winter upon the very day that I was destined to acquire my hack, forcing the clapped out old 2wd 3-speed pickup into the ditch until I abandoned my quest?

    Woe is me.

    :dllama

    (I really just wanted an excuse to use the llama emote... Rescheduled for tomorrow!)
    #3
  4. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    Same trailer, different park, FL
    Welcome Leaf, keep tilting at those Windmills!
    #4
  5. ruffshod67

    ruffshod67 Been here awhile

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    Liberty,WV
    Welcome fellow Appalachain American.I'm no expert but my first rig was a 700 nighthawk velorex combo that my wife and I put about 6000 miles on our first year hacking.I think any of the bikes would do well.I've always thought the vulcan 500 would make a great tug it has a great motor.
    #5
  6. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    I think the 500 would make a great tug, too. Except for maybe the belt drive on gravel roads. But gosh, I sure do like it as a solo machine, too. :3 Maybe one of the later LTD models with a chain drive, though, so it could be geared down a little bit. I've got one of the old ones that looks like a 6" longer 454 LTD, with the belt drive and mag rims.

    I was trying to pick up a 454 LTD fixer-upper on CL to use for the tug (or maybe for the solo; I hear that the 454 is peakier and faster than the 500 even), but no response from the seller. :/

    I was in Teays Valley just a couple weeks ago. Never been through Liberty, though. I'll have to bug you to clue me in on some nice routes the next time I'm over in that direction. :3
    #6
  7. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    I bought a CB400A 18x2.15 front rim off ebay today, to replace the 19x2.15 front rim that comes stock on the CB400T. The rotor should mount right up, but I may have to space the caliper out just a hair.

    So now I'll have 18s front and back. The back calls for a 4.10-18 and the front calls for a 3.60-18. But according to my calculations, the Metzeler Block-K 4.00-18 tubeless flat profile sidecar tire should mount on both (google says that 2.15 is the minimum rim width for a 4.00 tire), and I'll end up with close enough to same wheel diameter that the speedo shouldn't be off too much.

    The hack has a 16" spoke wheel. Once I have it and know whether it has a 1.5 or 2cm spindle, how the brake drum is hooked up, and how much free space I have under the fender, I will probably see if I can transplant a 4.10-18 hawk rear mag rim and drum brake onto it, so that I can run the same tubeless square-profile tires on all three wheels and only have to carry one spare tire in case of severe sidewall damage.

    Do any of y'all see any gotchas in this plan? :3
    #7
  8. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Yayyyyy, the Velorex is mine.

    I probably paid too much for it.

    Pics tomorrow when there is some light. :3
    #8
  9. MightyChosen1

    MightyChosen1 I wanna be sedated

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    I'm mounting the same car to an XS-650. I nearly have it done but I have the two separated to do some work on the bike. I would guess the frame on the 650 is pretty close to the 400. I could post some pics of the mounts if it would help.


    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    If you feel like taking some pictures, I'd love to see them. But...

    I'm going to have to build a subframe. The engine is a structural component on the CB400T. :cry

    I'll probably make some tabs and weld them onto the frame and subframe, instead of using the clamps that came with the hack. Me thinksie those clamps will slide around... :3

    I may replace one of the arms too, the one that takes the most stress (rear lower, right?) with something more substantial/unadjustable. Maybe those mounting arms are made of unobtanium or something, but they look mighty skinny to me... D:

    And I 'spect I might try adding some lil' drilled-out gussets to the frame. It looks a bit weak, too... >_> Shame to ruin that nice paint on the frame, but I'd rather that than have it crack when I hit a nice big DOT-has-no-money WV pothole... The roads aren't too bad in this neck of the woods, but man in the southern part of the state they have some that you can lose a bus in, lol.

    Nice bike. I was hoping to get an XS400 for this hack, but the seller never responded. :<
    #10
  11. KneeDrachen

    KneeDrachen MORE COWBELL!!!

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    welcome to the group. make sure you have smooth, soft hands and a thick skin.

    looking forward to the build.
    #11
  12. NortwestRider

    NortwestRider TRIPOD ADVENTURER !!

    Joined:
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    3.7 miles North of Hell...SEATTLE....
    Up here in the PNW they use 250's with sputniks for the sidecar class's.I must say that I was suprised at how well they did with 2 adults onboard!!
    #12
  13. SomeMook

    SomeMook Permabland

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    Manassas, VA
    Nighthawk 250 hacks are a blast!
    [​IMG]
    From the sidecar class I attended last year at the local community college. They were pretty clapped out, but a blast nonetheless. A couple other ADVers attended also.

    Good luck getting it all together!
    #13
  14. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Edit: Holy huge pictures.... Brb with resized ones...
    #14
  15. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Here's the ugly thing. 1990 Velorex 562. I probably paid too much for it.... $1000 bux. X_x

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For comparison, my usual ride was $1200 with 6500 miles when I bought it (1995 Vulcan 500). Pay no mind to my redneck fairing. >_> Hey, it was cold this winter, but it works. ;3

    [​IMG]

    And the $300 Wonder Truck. 300 straight 6, 3-speed manual on the column.... Thank you, $300 Wonder Truck, for making it all the way to Staunton go pick up the hack, without breaking down. :3

    [​IMG]

    (That was really just a poor excuse to post mah other vehicles, because I lub them and don't want them to feel left out. >_> )


    But I digress. This thread is supposed to be about the hack, eh? >_>

    The seat is a little rough, but I think salvageable.

    [​IMG]

    The mounting hardware looks like junk. I'll probably make new tabs, welded to the frame....

    [​IMG]

    The electrical has been...... Messed with. It's not even hooked up. But I am ok with electrics (I guess), being an ex-electrician.

    [​IMG]

    Rrrrrrrrust!!! And plier gouge marks on the forward lower adjustment arm. -_-'

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And no brake cable!!! The brake seems to work though, but I have not tested it under load.

    [​IMG]

    Yea.... I paid too much. But desperate men do desperate things. :3

    Link: Here's an album of everything, and the pictures from the next post too.
    #15
  16. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Here's the tug I'll be hanging it on. 1980 Honda Hawk (CB400T) with 9600 miles. $450 on Craigslist last year. The muffler baffles are shot. I'm going to put some $15 tractor mufflers on it whenever I get around to getting them. The compression is good, but like many low mileage bikes of that age, the carbs were varnished up.

    [​IMG]

    The most common thing to put these bikes in the junkyard was the exciter coil going bad. When that happens, the timing does not advance, so it runs like a pig in upper RPMs and won't exceed 40 mph. I've only had it running on one cylinder and haven't tested the impedance of the stator, so I do not yet know if I'll have to re-wind the exciter coil or not. If I do end up having to re-wind it, I might just try to re-wind the entire stator while I'm at it... I certainly don't want to have to pay a stator shop $300 to do the work. >_>

    The exhaust collector had a quarter-sized rust hole in it. By the time I knocked all of the rusty metal out and blew through it a few times trying to patch it, the hole was much bigger, and I ended up patching it with a piece of angle and some scrap sheetmetal.... Welded with a 40 year old AC stick welder and 6011 rod. Messy (yep, I'm a farm welder, not a professional >_>), but it's hard to weld that thin sheet metal, especially when it's rusted out that bad, with a stick. You have to turn the power way way down and strike the arc and go, or you'll blow right through that stuff.... I have a feeling I'll take the collector off and replace it with a crossover pipe when I put mufflers on it....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I took the carbs apart about 6 months ago to rebuild them, and then didn't. I had filmed myself taking them apart, so I could play it in reverse and see how things went back together, but I can't find the video now. -_-' This is going to be a fun puzzle for while I am sitting in the hotel this weekend on my work trip..... I do have both the Clymer and Honda service manuals, and the parts fiche, so hopefully that will be enough diagrams to figure it out...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Random parts that I took off so I could get to all of the frame to POR-15 it. The tank is in remarkably good shape on the inside, despite the scary paint. I think the ratty paint is growing on me, though.... I was going to strip it and paint it OD, but maybe I'll just leave it how it is......

    [​IMG]

    Carb rebuild kit, including new jets, needles, and a/f screws. $23 from Japan.

    [​IMG]

    Aftermarket intake boots. $56. The OE ones were sucking air really badly and had been painted with some kind of liquid rubber stuff. The new ones are pretty poor quality compared to the OE ones, but I couldn't find anything else. I am leery of NOS rubber parts of that age. The rubber deteriorates while they sit on the shelf....

    [​IMG]

    Add in a can of flat black engine paint, to keep the headers and patched collector from rusting back out. $7.

    Total spent on tug so far: $536
    Total spent on hack so far: $1000

    Grand total so far: $1536

    At the very least, I am going to need a chain, a couple more o-rings for the fuel pipe between the carbs, and some mufflers, so I'll have to spend a little more before it's all said and done. Hopefully I can get hold of enough scrap to build the subframe and gusset the hack frame without having to buy anything. I have an 18" front rim from a CB400A on the way, but I'm not going to add it in until it gets here.
    #16
  17. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Weird. My right-hand carb on my tug is a VB22B, the proper model for a 1980 Hawk, but the left one is a VB31A, apparently from a european model Superdream. They're both 32mm, both have the same jets, and both vacuum pistons seem to be rising and falling at the same rate, so here's to hoping I don't hole a piston or something. :3

    Does anyone know what the difference is between these two carbs? They appear to be identical, and all the parts are interchangeable...

    Ironically, it's the proper-model carb that I have been having trouble with, lol.
    #17
  18. KneeDrachen

    KneeDrachen MORE COWBELL!!!

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    You're such a cheap bastard you should have bought a Ural.:rofl

    Looking forward to the build!
    #18
  19. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    The carbs are back together, and the vacuum pistons seem to work right when I do the harmonica test, so I think we're good there. Bench synced with the strips of paper test. I left the 110 secondary jets (mostly because the kit only had 105s and 110s, no 115s) but upped the primary jets from 70 to 75. These bikes were jetted a little too lean from the factory, and I figure that the rusted out baffles will only exacerbate the problem...

    I used some extra o-rings in the rebuild kit for the fuel cross pipe. They were the right diameter, but not quite thick enough, so it remains to be seen if they leak or not.

    I left my camera at home, but everyone has seen the inside of a CV carb anyway, so you're not missing much. :3

    I usually dig these work trips where I get to stay at fancy resorts, because of the awesome food that I am usually too cheap to buy unless work is paying for it. But I couldn't fit the rest of the bike in my luggage, so I am anxious to get home and see if it runs on both cylinders now.... <_<

    Yus, I am a cheap bastard. I was going to buy a Ural to begin with, but I couldn't find one for under $6500. :p And omg the parts are expensive!

    I tell folks that I am so tight that my toes curl when I blink. :p It's a result of working for an NGO, I guess. I have to save every penny so I have something to live on when we are between projects.

    Any advice on setup for this rig? I've been figuring that since the bike and hack are so light, I'll give it a whole 12" of lead to try to make it less likely for me to flip it in a left-hander, and hopefully everything will be light enough that the scrubbing won't make the steering too heavy.
    #19
  20. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    The aftermarket intake boots are complete junk, and don't draw down against the head properly. There's a good 1mm space, and I can see light all the way through. Apparently the flange doesn't have any metal in it.... >_<'

    I guess I shall have to look for NOS parts instead. D: I think the old ones are probably too far gone to do anything with....
    #20