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UK Cafe Racer Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Paulrxs650, Oct 8, 2013.

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  1. Hi All,

    Its that time of year again, when my focus turns from riding to building.

    I am starting a new build thread to chart the progress of my Cafe Racer build.

    Many of you may know me from my "UK Bobber Build Thread" http://www.xs650.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22603&highlight=bobber+build+thread so I hope you'll enjoy this build as much as I :)

    As a rough idea to the build, my aim is to build an XS650 Cafe Racer, sympathetic to the original XS, however with a modern twist - USD's, electronic dash, ignition, alluminium spoked wheels, lightweight etc etc. Simple inspiration for this build is what Norton have done with their latest incarnation. To me - a perfect blend of old and new!

    I am collecting the donor bike this weekend, a very nice '81 Special with Mag wheels which will form a perfect base to start from. Ill post pics up ASAP.
     
  2. Johnt3

    Johnt3 Still learning...

    Hey Paul, I'll be here to pester you on this build of yours.:D
    It will be a very well built machine, I can't wait my friend!
     
  3. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic XS650.com Supporter

    Hey Paul, Getting a bit of a chill over there? Looking forward to this build.
    The weather is just getting good for riding here.
    I'm hoping for a startup this afternoon on my build :yikes:
     
  4. Hey John, glad to have yo along :)
    Carbon, its still really warm here actuaslly, quite bizarre!!!
    However, the forecast this week is to go cold :(
     
  5. Well, I got the bike!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Low mileage too! Judging by the carbs still having their little brass mixture screw covers, no one has been playing :)

    [​IMG]

    So the strip down begins. The mag wheels will go as I am definately going for spokes. Now to find an R1 front end and design the tank and seat :)
     
  6. Johnt3

    Johnt3 Still learning...

    Wow, looks like a damn good one to start with!
    Good luck with the build Paul. Can't wait to see how she turns out man.
     
  7. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    And a tribute, since the cafe style originated there. Knowing your talents, will be an interesting build.

    Electronic dash? GPS? Touchscreen? Noseprint technology? This will be fun!

    Does Norton still offer electrical hookups for heated electric socks? Will you?
     
  8. Thanks John, me neither. Looking or forward to this build!
    Hi Two Many, of course, I think hookups for socks are essential ;)
     
  9. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic XS650.com Supporter

    Whats paul?
    I'm also looking forward to this build
     
  10. Hi Carbon, what's Paul? - lost me there :)

    Thanks Airwolfie, I'll check them out, now back in the shed ;)
     
  11. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic XS650.com Supporter

    LOL I guess I did loose You
    What's up Paul!
    I've got a couple rides on my build.
    It is my first low seat bike.
    It's different to ride with my hands up so high :laugh:
    My hard core Harley buddy told me yesterday" You don't know just how cool your bike really is." Now that put a major smile on my face
     
  12. Hi Carbon - In a 90's throw back - " Waaasssuuuppp!!"
    Lol :)
    Pleased you have had some rides out.
    Well, that is praise indeed from a Harley rider!!!

    So, today, I cracked on stripping down the bike. Got pretty much everything off and started the laborious de-tabbing process, cutting off all the unwanted bracketry, etc etc. I was quited surprised after I gathered up all the bits and bos and weighed them, there was a good 3lb in weight!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also dropped the oil and pulled the started motor out. While I was in there, I popped a core plug into the starter motor hole too :)

    [​IMG]

    I was sorting out some of the paperwork that I got with the bike and came across its title for Kearney, Nebraska - not too far from you John!!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Johnt3

    Johnt3 Still learning...

    Oh good lord, there he goes again tearing apart another fine example.:laugh:
    Wow small world isn't it? About 225 miles from me!
     
  14. He he! I had a look on Google Earth! It is isn't it!
     
  15. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic XS650.com Supporter

    He probable has as much in shipping as in the bike.
     
  16. Ah, someone else brought the bike into the UK in '96 so side stepped that one :)
     
  17. So today I started on the exhausts and in turn, where the new rearsets would be able to sit.

    First off the exhausts. I wanted to keep the original headers, as they are in good conditions and I like the sweeping flow they have. However, I didnt want the back end of them so I bought some nice shiney, reverse megaphones. I had read a little on cutting the originals off, so hopefully this might help someone else out.

    So firstly I cut off the old mufflers, leaving as much as possible on the headers (I can always cut a bit more off)

    [​IMG]

    These pipes have an inner and an outer, which you can see in the photo below. There is a chrome plate that you need to grind the welds off to remove. This covers the drain holes to allow water to run out of the cavity between the inner and outer pipes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Because of these drain holes, I didnt want to just clamp the new mufflers to the outer pipe, as that would have exhaust gasses spewing out at the head and every where else! So, I got some reducers - 1 1/2" to 1 3/4". The 1 1/2" end knocks firmly in between the inner and outer pipe, sealing those pesky drain holes up and leaving a nice projecting into the new muffler. I did have to cut some slits up the 1 1/2" section as it was very tight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The outside diameter of the header was just shy of the 1 3/4" mark, so I used the shims that came with the new mufflers to correct that. I did have to grind them down as they were a bit on the big side to start with.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now the new muffler can slide right up to the small step on the original header and be clamped in place with no leaks :) This hides the grinding to remove the drain hole cover.

    I got some rearsets made and I was keen to see how they would fit around the exhausts. I was hoping to use the original footpeg mountings but that quickly became apparent - it wasnt going to happen. So, they all got the chop.

    In order to have something to bolt the new rearsets to, I machined some 1" x 3/4" bosses, to weld onto the frame and tapped them to M8.

    [​IMG]

    I have just tacked them to the frame and mocked them up with the gear linkeage. For that I cut the original gear lever down and machined a small boss which I then welded to the end. The mock up is below. Please forgive the long bolts sticking out :)

    Ill get a better understanding of how it feels when I do the other side tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Hey, Paul, excellent job on the header/muffler joint setup!

    I run a short shift arm linkage on my other XS, about same length as yours. Found very large lateral forces on the shift shaft influencing smooth shifting. I plan to roller-bearing the outer cover to handle those loads, when I get around to reassembling it...
     
  19. Johnt3

    Johnt3 Still learning...

    Great job on those pipes and mufflers Paul.
    Rear sets look good man. Did you machine those yourself?
     

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