Show and Tell: First Project is Ready for the Road!

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Player B, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Player B

    Player B Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Dallas / Fort Worth
    Hello all. After lurking here for a while, I figure it is finally time that I introduce myself and do some show and tell on my own project. I've been wanting to start something like this for a while now, and back in November I picked up a 1983 R80RT from a fellow inmate not too far from where I live just north of Dallas.



    Bike the night I brought it home
    [​IMG]



    Before I go on, If you're looking for an RT restoration, you will be disappointed. It may look like sacrilege to some purists, but the reality is that this bike was most likely going to be parted out if I didn't take it. This way, I got the perfect base for my first project, and I still have all the parts that I will hopefully make their way to someone who is trying to restore their RT.


    Mechanically, the bike was in very good condition. The engine runs solid, everything on it works and has, in my opinion, minimal corrosion for a bike that is almost 30 years old. So far, I haven't done much to the engine other than changing the fluids and cleaning it up. The bodywork is a different story. It was certainly serviceable, but that picture makes it look in much better shape than it was.



    The goal for now as been to drop weight, and give it a sportier stance without throwing too much cash into it. Still have some little loose ends to tie up, but for now "Stage 1" is complete. The bike is road worthy and I plan on riding the snot out of it.





    On to the good stuff, pictures:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    A coworker snagged a couple of pics of me during a recent morning commute


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Player B

    Player B Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Dallas / Fort Worth
    Work that has been done:
    1. Remove the body work and general clean up. Nothing to crazy here. Bottle of simple green, several rolls of shop towels, and scotchbrite pads got it cleaned up pretty well while still leaving a bit of "patina". I did end up using easy off to clean the wheels of some grime that wouldn't budge.


    2. The headlamp needed new paint. Tore out all the wires, cleaned it up and used some black Rustoleum Textured on it. I like the way it turned out. Redoing the wiring was miserable though. Relocated the Ignition switch to the Headlamp mount and modified some universal style brackets to attach everything to the forks.


    3. Installed some clip-ons from Woodcraft. Required a little reaming of the current controls to get them to fit. Nothing too difficult, I just took a wooden dowel rod and wrapped some sandpaper around it. Took a little bit of elbow grease, but they fit now.


    4. Created some spacers to drop the instrument cluster down. I thought about fabricating a new bracket, but this was simpler and it turned out to work perfectly. Probably going to move to an Acewell unit in the future anyways.


    5. Modified the subframe to accept a motoLana seat unit.


    6. LED Bar end Turn signals up front, and LED brake light and turn signals out back. Made some brackets out back to position everything as I liked. Spent a couple of nights working out kinks in the wiring, but it turned out pretty clean.


    7. The gas cap lock was broken, and at some point one of the POs filled in the gap with what looked like some sort of caulk. Tore it apart to clean it up and machined a black delrin plastic cap for the hole. If somebody really wants to steal my gas they can just cut the lines running down from the tank anyways.


    8. Modified (cut up) both the front and rear fenders.


    9. Replaced the old rotted tires with some Avon Road Riders


    10. the old horns were shot, replaced them with some universal ones from Dime City Cycles


    11. I removed the airbox (don't hate!) and added pods in anticipation of replacing the big heavy battery with a smaller one in that cavity. I ran it for about a week with just a Filter on the crankcase breather and was seeing more oil mist than I would like, so I ended up making a Catchcan out of a Flask I had laying around. The dimensions ended up working perfectly.


    I'm not worried much about the pods. This is only going to be ridden in good weather and I doubt I'll be putting more than 2-3k miles on it in a year.


    12. Installed some reverse cone mufflers. I love the way they sound. Loud, but not obnoxiously so (well... not too obnoxious). Needed to replace the crosspipes as the old ones had oxidized quite a bit and I ruined them trying to take the exhaust apart. Wrapped everything in tan exhaust wrap to hide the mismatching finishes. At some point I may give them a coat of high temp paint, but I don't mind the way they look now.


    13. Stainless Steel Brake lines up front. They made a huge difference from the stock rubber hose that was on there.
    #2
  3. Player B

    Player B Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Dallas / Fort Worth
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    1. Some new rear shocks are high on the priority list right now


    2. I should probably upgrade the front shocks (internals) as well.


    3. I want to change to a smaller battery, and move into old airbox space. Along with changing the rear fender to a hugger mounted on the swingarm, this should create a nice empty space under the seat.


    4. I'm thinking of making a rear cowl cover whenever this whole thing gets a new coat of paint just to break up all the black in the back.


    5. I don't find the stock pegs and clip-ons that uncomfortable, but will eventually install some rearsets


    6. Acewell instrument cluster


    7. cut down the steering damper control knob to something that is flush or close to the top triple tree (plate)


    8. This sounds crazy, but at some point I think I may try to do a rewire on the whole bike. Move all the wiring out of the headlamp, and maybe take a shot at crafting something a little less traditional upfront.
    #3
  4. Hedge36

    Hedge36 My e-penis is huge.

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    48,296
    Location:
    Shelton, WA
    You and I are on very similar paths, I see :lol3
    #4
  5. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,600
    Location:
    portland, or
    everyone is

    :lol3
    #5
  6. Hedge36

    Hedge36 My e-penis is huge.

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    48,296
    Location:
    Shelton, WA
    Ordered red flag terminals for all the re-wiring, plus a fancy-pants ratcheting crimper.

    Received said flag terminals and crimper.

    Realized that one needs a fancy-pants ratcheting crimper with dies <i>specifically for flag terminals</i> :baldy

    Crimper ordered.

    Sigh.
    #6
  7. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,609
    Location:
    Chico, California
    Nice job. How is the low end power with the shorty mufflers?
    #7
  8. Player B

    Player B Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Dallas / Fort Worth
    Thanks,

    Low end power seems fine to me, but then again I don't have much to judge it against. I only took it for a short ride or two with the stock mufflers while it was still in RT form, and at that point significantly heavier. The weight change seems more noticable than anything. If I lost a bit of power, my riding skills aren't refined enough to notice.
    #8
  9. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,600
    Location:
    portland, or
    :lol3

    Step 1. suspend heavy-ish item by wire.
    Step 2. put two layers of paint on item
    Step 3. while putting third layer on, watch in disbelief as wire comes undone and item drops onto ground into dirt and leaf litter.
    Step 4. shake can vigorously and debate just painting over all of it, sticks, bugs, leaves, and all.
    :lol3
    #9
  10. Player B

    Player B Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Dallas / Fort Worth
    Oh I have several of these...

    1. Order cool bar end LED turn signals. Right as I'm about to finish the install, i snagged the wires so hard i pulled them out of the sealed base...order new turn signals

    2. Order headlamp mounts. Take to machine shop at work. Completely missed the dimensions... Order new mounts and do over again.

    3. Order LED turn signals for the rear. Finish wiring. Go to bolt into place. Part was defective and it sheared right off... Get new turn signals sent to replace defective part

    4. Order universal SS brake lines instead of custom lines bc it was half the price. Didn't realize the adapters I had to use would end up making it more expensive than if I had had custom lines made
    #10
  11. Hedge36

    Hedge36 My e-penis is huge.

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    48,296
    Location:
    Shelton, WA
    Ah, so THAT's what happened to my seat cowl :lol3
    #11
  12. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,600
    Location:
    portland, or
    I think that's how I remodeled a house. :lol3

    The bike looks great. :thumb
    #12
  13. Hedge36

    Hedge36 My e-penis is huge.

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    48,296
    Location:
    Shelton, WA
    Crap, that's what I still have to do: order brake lines.
    #13
  14. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,038
    Location:
    Road Island
    :wave






    :D
    #14
  15. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,522
    Location:
    Nor Cal, USA
    Looks good. But lose the horn and the side reflectors. :1drink
    #15
  16. sebastianhammer

    sebastianhammer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    New England
    Yep. Did that to my rear swingarm. :-)
    #16
  17. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,839
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    Well I haven't done quite that before, it seems that whenever I paint something outside the wind picks up immediately afterward coating the fresh paint in dust, bugs, leaves, etc.
    #17
  18. Biebs

    Biebs BMW Airhead

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    608
    Location:
    Cave Creek AZ
    Seriously!!!

    OK ( just kidding) it is your motorcycle so you should not apologise for your saving this from being parted out.
    :freaky
    Enjoy your ride.

    Now for a battery a Odessey PC680 is the one to go with I have had one for 3 years in my R75/6 no problems.
    Does cost a liitle up front but will not let you down and should fit where the airbox was.

    Now with the pods and new exhaust did you do any rejetting of carbs?? I am sure it would run ok with stock jetting but these bikes can be dialed in to run like raped apes!!!!!

    I had a 800cc airhead at one time best running Airhead I have ever owned my current R100 needs a top end rebuild but once that is done I expect that to be best running. The engine design was based around a 750cc displacement so the best balanced bikes are the 750's - 800 are right there. When I say design I mean the crankshaft weighting is best for the 750cc. When you get to 1000cc you get a little more vibration / unbalance due to the higher displacement. An R60 is smoother due to the heavier crankshaft weights.


    But back to your bike - the 800cc is perfect and can be coaxed into makeing Apes afraid!!!!:rofl
    #18
  19. Player B

    Player B Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Dallas / Fort Worth

    I haven't rejetted the carbs yet. All I've done is replace the float bowl gaskets and adjust one of the idle screws which has gotten rid of some sputtering during idle. I may borrow a harmonizer soon and see if I need to make any more adjustments. But for now the bike has been running great. not quite ape scary, but I hope to get it there someday.

    Any recommendations on which way to go with the needles? would the pods and exhaust change make the bike run richer or leaner? I imagine I should check the valve clearances and ignition timing first. Just to get everything into spec before I go and really mess around with the carb settings.

    somehow I've recently lost any ability to use the choke. It seemed to be working fine after I changed to the pods and shorty mufflers. But if i try to use it now the bike just stutters and cuts out. I haven't had the time to take a good look at it yet, but I'm going to check the cables sometime this week or next weekend. Fortunately, I can just give it a little bit of gas for the first 20seconds of riding to keep it from stalling and by then the bike seems to warm up enough where I don't have to worry about it.


    on another note, what is everybody's take on the stock steering dampers? Are they rebuildable? I'm not sure mine is doing much of anything. Hoping to pull it off this weekend to take a closer look.
    #19
  20. fishkens

    fishkens Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,360
    Location:
    Seattle, WA

    :rofl:rofl:rofl

    And I thought this only happened to me.
    #20