R100RT chop hack and slice without remorse. Looming 56K death

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by digger440, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    Firstly hello this is my first post nice to make your aquintence.

    Now that the salutatory BS is out of the way here is the long and the short of it. I was given an 1981 R100RT that was severely neglected and pretty rough. The layer of of oxidization ad rust were pretty deep so I dont feel sad at all for what I am about to post in this thread. It was given to me by a friend of my parents, at first I just left it to sit in a corner of the garage wondering what I was going to do with it. I could not sell it as that was part of the "gift conditions" so it sat and sat and sat. I rode it once up the driveway after I got it. It ran which is about all I can say that is nice. The brakes were bad, both masters leaked fluid as fast as you could add it. The exhaust was falling apart, it was ugly, and there is a ton of slop in the rear end as the splines are toast.

    So a little about me, I come from a 2 wheeled family my dad puts more miles on his Tiger than I do in my daily cage. My mom on the other side has a Triumph Legend side-hack that she motors about. I think there might have been a very brief time in my late teens that some sort of gyro balanced motor transportation was not in my life (but that time was long ago and is fuzzy to say the least).

    So fast forward a bit I was working managing an automotive shop where I had been for 13 years. I hated my job, I had been hired to change oil and sweep floors but throughout the years I somehow ended up in the office writing work orders and running the shop. I was much happier back in my bay doing diagnosis and building cool stuff, (which I am aggressively mediocre at :evil). The shop fixed your everyday mundane vehicle issues but we also built hotrods, mostly Model A's but there were many others to mix it up. Prior to being the head lackey I had a good gig I was an ASE master with L1, X1, and (the newer) A9 certs. I did all the custom fab work and a few of our cars ended up in magazines (Nov 2004 American Rodder inside cover and a nice write up).

    Did I mention I hated my job? Not just hated it but loathed every minute I spent there. I would come home a ball of stress turning me into a shitty father and a shitty husband. So I decided to drastically change careers, which I did. When I quit I hated working on things with motors just as an extension of of unhappiness in my career. I brought my tools and equipment home and packed them into my garage not even so much as changing oil for quite a while.

    It took months but in May I saw that poor old RT sitting in the corner and a lightbulb went off. I was working nightshift in my new career and I had a ton of time to myself, so rather than drink and watch netflix I put it on the lift and started this journey. I quickly remembered what I loved about building mechanical stuff and I could do it in a leisurely manner and whilst drinking beer.

    I tend to lean toward sportbikes (my elderly Kawi is in some of the pictures) so this hack I am shooting for a cafe-esque look but with some modern influences. If you can picture an Airhead, a Norton Manx, and a Triumph Speed Triple getting wasted and having an inter-species orgy, the illegitimate bastard that came of that union is what I am looking to create.

    So with that said welcome to my therapy.

    So here is where I started
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    More to follow I am uploading 140 pics to imageshack as I type hence the dial up warning in the title





    :D
    #1
  2. walkingbear

    walkingbear Lets Play Chicken!

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,002
    Location:
    Scottsdale AZ..
    love watching cafe builds:clap:1drink:bmwrider
    #2
  3. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    Halfway between Munich and Redditch.
    My 1982 r100rt looked worse than that when I got it, and I paid money for it!
    You can give me whatever you take off that in the process of cafe-izing it, it would probably be an upgrade for me.
    :rofl
    #3
  4. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,676
    Location:
    Bath Uk
    This bike was bought in about 1994 as a very well shagged 1982 RT.

    It now looks and goes very much better and it's funny how many people don't realize that it is not a R90s

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    #4
  5. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    And here is where I am as of this morning :1drink as I said in the first post I uploaded a metric shit-ton of photos to imageshack and I will try and update this tread as time permits

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    This project has snowballed from its beginnings, becuase at first it was just going to be the standard cafe fare. I.E. Clip ons, new exahust, bobbed tail, and some detailing...


    ...I am so not done:wink:
    #5
  6. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,697
    Location:
    Jackson's Bottom Oregon
    I like your style! :wink:

    Riding them is therapy, but so is working on them and customizing them as well.

    Sounds like you've made some good changes and the quality of life has improved drastically. Well done!
    #6
  7. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    So here is where it all started I got the bike up on the lift and started looking. I knew that I wanted to go cafe-ish but I also knew I needed to strip the poor old beast prior to any hacking

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    So now the big pieces start to come off starting at the back and moving forward


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    Once the fairing was off I put the tail back on to look. Now I am old enough to have had Sir Mix-a-Lot on cassette (now on my iPod) and while I agree with his proclamation of love for large round backsides this was too much Ghetto Booty, that ass is huge

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    I knew I was going to bob that tail when I started so I needed to get down to the seatpan


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    After putting the seatpan back on I measured that I could lop 8 inches out of the middle to get the look I desired but because I was bobbing the seat I had to bob the frame too

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    Now that the frame was bobbed I could get to the tail and seatpan. I have to mention that before the big snowball I was going to use the factory seat hinges and mounting so it would still lift and pivot as it was designed to do.

    rusty and dirty

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    needs some patchin

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    Here to being 8 inches short

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    the tail is now ready to be cut to match the seatpan

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    Oh TIG welder how I love thee

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    and here is the tail mounted up looking much better than the ghetto bootied start

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    But I still have the rusty seatpan to deal with, in the below photos I joined the sections, patched the rusty hole, and installed new metric Nutserts to attach the tail

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    Done and painted

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    I wanted the tail to have a cleaner look so I stared at it for a while, had a couple beers and got this bright idea to pinch the subframe supports inward to the battery box mount leaving room on the outside to lay down the shocks I figured I would just make some new shock mounts and leave the subframe pretty much factory (with the exception of the pinched support bars)

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    With this idea the snowball began to roll I ordered a pair of external reservoir off ebay that were just a bit longer than the factory ones. but once I got them I found that my idea of pinching the subframe supports didnt pencil out like I thought,so the cutting and chopping began in earnest. I distinctly remember putting the recip saw to the subframe mounting tab and asking myself if I was making a good decision :1drinkso I had a beer and ignored the stupid naysaying voice.



    To be continued......
    #7
  8. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    As with any project you are going to have some epic fails and while I am good at many things I suck at upholstery. I tried dear lord I tried and I found that I have neither the patience or willingness to learn this skill. Needless to say I will be farming out the upholstery to someone who knows WTF they are doing

    I started with the Ghetto Booty foam that was in the seat and I began to piece it together

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    I shaped the foam to something that looked like I wanted and went to the fabric store and purchased some marine grade vinyl. I tried to make a seat cover in the photo below but it ended looking like I had put pickled eggs and oatmeal in a plastic grocery sack, it was hideous and shameful.

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    Needless to say that is why in the latest photos there is only foam to protect my tender tushy



    More to follow.....
    #8
  9. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,738
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    Good deal on the career change.

    Remember, a motorcycle can get you through times of no money better than money can get you through times of no motorcycle. Or sumptin' like that...

    --Bill
    #9
  10. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    <!--[if !mso]> <style> v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} </style> <![endif]--> This is where the whole project changed, I had purchased the longer shocks and had found they would not work with the pinched subframe support idea. So I got out the recip saw and cut of the subframe mounting tabs. Once the tabs were cut off I had some rather ugly growths that needed to be smoothed

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    Now to build a new subframe, I used threaded rod bolted through the battery box holes in order to be able to adjust the seatpan and tail to the correct height and angle prior to tacking together a subframe. It worked pretty well and I used a 3rd bolt on the tire to get the rear at the correct height.

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    And now the shock mounts need built so I had a beer and l stared for a while. My first thought was to make the shock mounts support the seat. so I mocked up a bracket from card board.

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    And I got ready to make some cuts

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    Flame cutting is ok but I really need a plasma torch

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    Since I had flamecut ala freehand the brackets they needed some work to look respectable so I clamped them together for some judicious grinding and shaping

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    http://imageshack.us/a/img405/6339/dscf0585lr.jpg[/img]



    After shaping them I have 4 brackets that look exactly like each other and match the template I had made

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    Now to drill the holes the shocks will bolt through

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    Everyone has a supervisor and mine says he is not convinced that the shockmounts I am making will look good. He said some other stuff too but it was mostly about Batman and Lightning McQueen.

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    Once I got the hole drilled and the mounts bolted to the shock I had to form the mounts to match the curvature of the frame.


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    And this is where I end up not happy I really should have listened to my supervisor as he has an eye for aesthetics. With the mounts fomed and the tail in place on top of them it looked clunky and like an afterthought. The mounts did not flow with the shape of the tail or the frame. So I sat in my rocking chair, had a beer, and cried while staring at the damn thing. My supervisor would have my ass if I screwed this up, so I continued to cipher until I had a better idea.
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    #10
  11. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    Ok I got done with my man tears and asked myself what kind of look I liked in bikes that I could apply here. And the answer I came up with was a Ducati steel trellis frame. While that is not what I built, I wanted something that would be simple, lithe and strong. I didnt tell the supervisor but I started to build shock mount pockets that I figured I would weld to the frame with triangulated tubes.

    As always I made a pattern and beer helped me get started

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    The old shock mounts were good for something

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    Once I had the rough cut I shaped them the same way I did the old shock mounts and got ready to tack it together

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    I started my tacks at the top of the semi-circle and closed it up with the vice before I finished welding

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    With the shock pockets done I began to build the seat mount, I used M/S tubing, chamfered the edges in the lathe and istalled nutserts in the end to hang..... .....stuff

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    I welded a spreader support onto the frame and tacked together the seat mount in the vise

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    Then I tacked the frame to the spreader

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    I cut two small spacers and clamped the shock pockets to the seat frame and tacked it into place.

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    This looks a little better the Supervisor will be pleased

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    I used pieces of the old subframe to make the triangulated shock pocket braces that will bear the brunt of the working load against the frame. I also added a second set of triangulated braces to the spreader between the two shock pockets. I moved the location of the shock pockets to lower the rear 1.75 inches for the short and wide look (kinda like me).

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    When I finished the seat rested on the factory rubber buttons on top of the seat frame. This look both myself and the supervisor are more pleased with.

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    Because I lowered the rear I also needed to lower the front the same amount to keep the correct geometry and look. So some shiny new parts were ordered. I am really trying to build everything I can on this, but for $120.00 the San Jose triple clamp was well worth the money spent. Besides a machinist I am not :lol3


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    Next up.... exhaust



    To be continued
    #11
  12. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,410
    Location:
    Nor Cal, USA
    This is humbling to watch.... :clap
    #12
  13. Kt-88

    Kt-88 I like everything.

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    SLC area, Utah
    Subscribed.
    #13
  14. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,377
    Location:
    dumfrie scotland
    a cool build and some nice welding you have done but i would not do the welding in rubber gloves as they will melt.
    #14
  15. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA

    You would think they would melt badly but they dont. I started using the blue extra thick gloves probably 10 years ago when I was working as an auto tech. The first reason was women dont like the dirty hands, after I got used to wearing them you could not tell what I did for a living by looking at the stains on my cuticles.

    As far as them melting the only problem I have had in the whole time is big drips of molten slag. It takes quite a bit to melt them actually however if you grab something hot or touch something hot they retain the heat for a long time; but they come off easy. :lol3
    #15
  16. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    What cafe bike is complete without rearsets?

    I love the rearsets Boxermetal (be sure to like on facebook) puts out but they were not the look I wanted, much too clean and too nice. I like the look of rubber and steel pegs which say "when you drag me you will be in huge trouble" so I set about to build my own.

    I unbolted the stock peg and stared at them I looked at where rearsets normally mount and had an idea-rrrrrr, if I take the stock pegs and mount them where rearsets usually bolt up......

    ...so I got to work

    Left peg first as it has the shifter I cut the support and set it to the side

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    I thn mocked it up to the upper hole in the rear peg support

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    Then I had to make a shouldered boss for the shifter to ride so I used a bolt (that was hard as Hades BTW) and put it in the lathe. I turned thread on both ends ad machined a section fo te shift lever to ride

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    After I machined it it threaded into the peg on one side and nutted to the frame on the other and the shift lever pivots in the middle

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    On the passenger side I had to cut the squiggly piece out between the peg and the mount hole to get the correct height then weld it back together



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    now I have to find a way to support them and since they are mounted near the old passnger pegs that seems like a good idea. So I cut up the old passenger pegs to join with the new rearsets.

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    I love molten metal

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    The finished product

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    bolted up and looking like I wanted



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    Got linkage (even if temporary)

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    Das Boot



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    The next chapter is the brake pedal and linkage (I have had too many libations to type much more






    BTW I promised exhaust and it is coming


    To be continued......
    #16
  17. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    Yeah rear brakes since I built the rearsets I needed to move the rear brake controls so they are reachable. You can see how far away from the new location the stock lever is

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    So I removed the arm and cut off the portion of the lever that actuates the master just below the pivot bolt

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    Then I drilled and tapped what was left of the brake lever in order to bolt a "bellcrank" to that will be actuated by the pedal

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    I then found a "splined piece" (I dont dare say what it was) that captures the head of the pivot bolt and formed a bellcrank that would bolt to the stock lever that is drilled and tapped.

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    Ok do you remember the support I cut from the left footpeg behind the shift lever and the squiggly piece I cut from the right footpeg? Well in the interest of recycling and reusing I saw the shape of what I wanted in these two "leftovers". So I did what any self respecting tinkerer would do and I welded them together and bored out the end that attached to the "splined piece", pressed in a 17mm hex and welded that into the arm.


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    I welded the Bellcrank to the "splined piece" and checked to make sure that when the two pieces were put together ther was enough bite on the splines so that it wouldn't round out or break under heavy stomping.


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    I drilled a small hole in the head of the pivot bolt and tapped it with a bottom tap to retain the lever. Seems safe enough as there is no lateral moment with the bolt tightened.



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    The last part I needed a actual pedal piece, so I cut off the factory foot-trap and drill it and tapped the lever so it would bolt on. And Viola, brake pedal with a stock brake light switch and actuating arm.

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    Next is exhaust , really , no joke



    :spam
    #17
  18. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,077
    Location:
    Melbourne, Oz
    Enjoying this. :thumb :super
    :lurk
    #18
  19. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    Hey thanks guys for the word of encuorgement and interest! Any questions, suggestions, comments or criticizims yall might have are always welcomed. :clap

    And let me add a disclaimer: I post at night after work and since I am on the comfort of my couch I usually post after a few libations. So, grammar and punctuation will always be my victim of abuse and neglect :freaky:1drink
    #19
  20. digger440

    digger440 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Very northwest corner of the USA
    I have been putting off posting this because, well, I still have to change some pieces I am not happy with the right side tube and it needs to be raised about an inch where it snakes around the left side tube. But you get my fails along with my successes so here it is.


    I was getting to the point in his project where I needed to drop some cash (that I did not have BTW) because I started pricing DOM tubing and just could not pry it out of my wallet.

    I saw these in the far back reaches of my shop and they had been taking up room forever. I tried to Craigslist them for 50.00 each but there was not even one response, Both were 1 5/8 tubes 1 set was new for small block chevy truck and the other set was used but still in excellent shape for a 2nd gen 455 Pontiac F-body. All those sexy mandrel bends....

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    All those seck-say mandrel bends in a pile I could pick from

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    I cut off the factory pipes 2 inches in front of the nuts and started on the left side first. I routed it to the right side and left room to get the oil filter out.

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    I then took the right side pipe and curled it around the left ( here is the spot I am not happy with)


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    At this point the pipes are within 1/2 inch of each other 26.5 and 27 inches




    Now I start adding on, raising the level as I plan to go under the transmission


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    Now that I am at the "bend in the road" so to speak I get input from my supervisor who confirms my doubts about the right side pipe being too low and not looking just right. However in the spirit of creative influence he says to continue and I can fix the pipe later


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    Now I have to go under the trans and the ultimate goal is to exit under the tail with no mufflers. Would you believe me if I said "loud pipe save lives", I thought not. I cannot even believe I typed that lame ass screaming eagle horse shit. I dont want mufflers because it will efff with the look and flow of the bike. I will lose some ( a lot) of low end but I am not building this for the Iron-Butt or Paris to Dakar.


    Not only do I have to make a 90 degree bend but I have to megre 2 into 1 to balance the system but I also want to have the look of dual pipes. So I start by building a 2 into 2 "X" pipe with a small choked area about 2 1/8 inches ID

    gotta have a merge collector and I had four laying about I cut from the headers. So I put them in the band saw


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    I got 2 90's and expanded the ends so I could use band clamps to seal them and tacked them into the merge I also used a piece of 2 inch stainless as a form so the outlet would be round

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    The finished product looking very merge-y

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    It goes under the transmission or it gets the hose again



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    now it has to go up the other side under the linkage I built to exit under the tail to be continued.....
    #20