Well, as requested by a few people, here is my post-build story. Using the magic of non-linear editing and digital production, I shall create an entire build thread at about 90x speed, covering a year and a half period of time in just a few days. INTRO First, let me introduce myself. I am a novice rider who got his first bike 4 years ago by inheriting it from his father. Yes, you have seen the youtube slideshow, with the Pearl Jam song. Maybe you shed a tear. I'm that guy. (If you haven't seen it then just google "A BMW story" or click the link in my signature) That bike took me a year to restore, with all the knowledge and skills coming from my now good friend Peter Nettesheim, famous BMW collector. Peter guided me to create an excellent specimen out of my father's old 1958 R50, which used to be his daily ride until he had a bad crash back in 1969, the year I was born. I was raised in a home with a BMW in the garage that I never saw run, nor did I ever see my father ride a motorcycle my entire life. But the bike was always there, waiting. It turned out that it was waiting for me, as a plan my father had hatched long before he died, and this made for such a captivating story that when I shared it to the world, it spread literally across the globe via the magic of a non-planned viral youtube video. I was always decent with a wrench, but I was always better with a pen or a keyboard. I enjoy telling stories, and this one was my best ever story to tell. The story opened doors for me. I was able to get my R50 onto the cover of Motorcycle Classics magazine, and also on the cover of the Vintage Org's BMW magazine. But most of all I was noticed by the BMW Rider's Association's magazine, On The Level. (OTL) When the editor found out I have been a photo retoucher for the last 20 years, specializing in printed magazines, he offered me a job. For $0 an hour. I accepted. This magazine is non-profit and we all work for free. I immediately redesigned the logo and I design every cover, and I brought a professional color specialist's eye to the magazine. Around this time BMW Corporate noticed my Youtube slideshow and offered to fly me to Germany to meet all the big suits that run the company and they gave me the VIP treatment having their Curator of the BMW museum give me a personal all day tour of their wonderful museum and also their Archive, which is a building closed to the public where all the really important historical documents and machines are kept. They also loaned me 4 new bikes to tour the Alps in 5 countries with. (I brought 3 friends with me to Germany) OK this has nothing to do with the story but I am telling you about it just to point out how cool a company BMW can be. Anyway now you have my background. I work for OTL mag as a BMW fan during my spare time. I found I enjoyed writing about my adventures surrounding my R50 story, but after that was over with, what was next? When restoring the R50 I often dreamed about swapping out the small 26HP motor for a 42HP R69S. Or I would fantasize about doing a custom paint job, like maybe flat black instead of the standard gloss. But Peter Nettesheim would always steer me back on track by explaining, rightfully so, that one does not do these things to a classic Slash 2. I knew that one day I wanted to build a custom BMW motorcycle, that was an expression of my unique self. I also wanted a faster bike that I could ride with friends who have modern bikes and not have them bored out of their minds waiting for me to reach 40mph all the time. I also wanted a bike that I won't care if it gets scratched or dirty, that I can beat around in and not have to polish after. It dawned on me that being a volunteer staff member of OTL suddenly offered a great opportunity! I could build my custom bike, and write about it along the way via a monthly column, which I like to do as a storyteller, and I could also approach vendors to ask for discounted parts and in return I would be giving them free advertising with nice big photos too. It is super easy to meet the owners of companies or the experts who design products when you tell them you work for a magazine. Suddenly I am not some novice, but a knowledgeable staff writer for a BMW magazine. Why? Because I decided to be one! This was cool. So, if any of you read this far, now you have the complete set-up. I am a novice, been riding for only 3 years, I only owned one bike which is from 1958, and i wanted to build a faster, customized one. What a good time to start building an Airhead Café, right? For the first time in history, there is a huge growing after market specializing just in airhead café parts. I realized I had a unique opportunity here: While I don't have any real bike building skills, I do have a good sense of design, and I also am very good at research via the internet. I have a job that allows me to surf the internet for hours a day. I am very jealous of the many people on this forum that have extremely talented skills like welding and machining. I don't have any of those skills. But, I have passion, and a novice's optimistically foolish sense that I can do anything. I figured that was enough. Maybe not enough to build a really custom bike with a cool welded airbox or an intricate tubular single swingarm, but I figured I would be able to build a world-class looking café bike fit for a cover of a magazine, not using my own skills, but the the skills of the new BMW custom parts vendors that have recently surfaced all over the world. You be the judge if I have succeeded in my goal. And if you are a newbie like me, know that you too can build something like what I have done, but in your own personal style. The Project First, I needed a donor bike. Right now today, there are at least 3 other build threads that all started with RT airheads. Why is this? I can tell you why. RT's are not as desirable as any other model airhead. I have a theory as to why: They are the ugliest airheads, at least to people 45 and younger. They are not as fun to ride as any other airhead. And naked bikes are in. You can find an RT on craigslist for at least a thousand less than a comparable naked model or S model. A year and a half ago, I found an '81 R100RT for $2800. The owner had done a decent restore to it himself. Here are some photos of how it looked when he bought it. It must have had well over 100,000 miles on it. as you can see, I did not pick a valuable piece of history to chop up into a project bike... Yuck! That being said, the PO did fix it up nice and purdy. He put new rings on, rebuilt one head, and bought a ton of new parts, and painted the bike himself: I decided to start off my monthly magazine article by putting the stock RT on the cover and making it look real pretty, with this caption included to stir up some controversy: However, not many people cared at all. About 5 years ago I would have received a mailbox of hate mail, but I am happy to report that the BMW community has mostly lost that reputation of being intolerant and close-minded when it comes to modifying airheads. I think that the internet has made everyone more open to new ideas. Taking off the huge fairing is no easy task. Especially if you don't read any manuals about where the hidden screws are located! RT parts removed, I begin to see there is a naked bike under all that plastic... SInce the PO did such a nice job, I wanted someone else to be able to enjoy the entire painted set of RT parts. The only part I really needed was the tank. Instead of using the nice shiny red/orange tank, I decided to buy another tank off ebay. That way, I could sell the entire painted set to someone else who wanted a new look for their faded RT. I found a buyer who was thrilled. But the shipping cost me $375. I could have made back a lot more money parting out each part, but that takes more time and also I really wanted these nice parts to go to one lucky BMW owner. Works Shocks were chosen for the rear. Race Tech donated a complete set of fork internals with gold valve emulators for the front! I also took them up on their offer to install all these gizmos into my forks, as this is rocket science to me. They shipped my forks back to me all rebuilt and ready to bolt up! Well, how is that for a start of a thread? Did anyone get this far? I will wait until tonight or tomorrow before I continue.