So, here’s a writeup of what I did to the bike and why, and if there were any surprises along the way.
1: The Vision.
I wanted to update the bike with lower forks, a sportier stance and a strong engine. I thought that a Cafe bike would be correct, but after thinking about my back and shoulders constantly giving me grief, I decided a more upright riding position would be better for my aching bones. That’s around the same time the Monstercraftsman brat kit came out. I chopped up the frame, and detabbed the other bits, neck gusset, and … the frame sat for a while. Eventually, I found a welder and got the kit installed.
1. The Frame
The MC Brat kit was installed, and I wanted a heavy, low stance, since I think those kits look better with a low visual height. A low Wassell repop and big tires (4.5 and 4.0 Firestone ANS knobbies). I also wanted to use an M-Unit, so I decided to set up an electrics box between the frame supports behind the carbs… why the hell hasn’t anyone else done this? I hope I don’t find out. I got a new head tube gusset welded on, a few mounting bungs for the electrics box, and got to painting. I knew there would be more welding eventually, (there was…. stay tuned), so I decided a good strong paint was in order and powder coating wasn’t. I met a hotrodder who turned me on to Eastwood rattle can frame primer and paint. Gas, oil and fluid resistant, strong (almost as strong as powder coat) matte black primer and paint. Not perfect, but close enough for me.
2. The Stance
I wanted the bike a bit lower, so I went with a HBB fork lowering kit. It was installed by Hugh himself to the guts (he wanted them sent to him to make sure they were right since the ‘75s had a few variations on the fork hardware. I used appliance enamel on the lowers (This stuff scratches fairly easily, but fuck it.) I got some new springs and cut them down with a bit extra spring to add a bit more stiffness), and heavier oil for more stiffness. This took a bit to get used to because the forks are FIRM.
The rear springs are stock, and need to be updated, but I’m out of cash at the moment. Progressive rate springs eventually - stock length. A few heavy dips have shown me how close to my ass the rear tire is… I ended up buying a 206 link chain (from a 204), to give me a bit more room.
3. The Electronics…
Here’s where I knew enough to be dangerous, and not enough to do it easily. I hate fuses and relays. And the M-Unit v2 would help with that. It was going into the Electrics tray and the space was big enough to add a few buttons and a keyless switch. The wiring was with a Motogadget wiring kit. I wanted to use small connectors to eliminate the chunky white connectors we all hate/love. I spent a fortune on shipping parts and reordering parts when I didn’t have enough the connectors. A word of advice: the combo crimp/solder/shrink connectors aren’t worth it. Do it the old fashioned way with a soldering gun, a good crimp tool, and separate shrink tube. It looks and works way better than the new school stuff.
I wired a 3-button switch in the bars for the turns and horn. There is a button at the nose of the saddle for the headlight/highbeam. There is a kill switch/program button in the electrics box next to the M-Lock.
I got it all wired up, but did it without reading the Motogadget manual and had a short in the bars… it was crushing…. but my wife yelled at me and I got back to rewiring the whole thing a second time using the Revival Cycles wiring kit. It’s better than the Motogadget kit. Btw.
I needed a small coil that could fit under the tank and the only one that fit was the Dyna Mini double coil. It’s the tits and it fits. I used a light bar mount for the coil mount. It’s rad, but you can’t see it, so fuck it.
I wanted bright lights, so I went with the Motogadget Pins for front turns, and the X-Axis 2 color lights for the amber turns and brake/running lights. And a new headlight and bucket because I needed to tuck a few wires inside. The only indicator light is the high beam light in the bucket.
I wrapped everything in split loom and tiny loom. The wiring in the front is a bit like spaghetti, but fuck it.
I also wanted to protect the battery (8-Cell Antigrav battery if I ever decide to hook up the starter) from overcharging and exploding under my bike (it’s mounted under the swing arm to the rear engine mounts) so I got a tidy reg/rec from Oregon Cycle Parts. It's mounted under the subframe.
5: the Engine: I had Limey Bikes rebuild the top end because I want it to not break down.
6. The mistakes: I ignorantly removed the flimsy tab that held the rear brake sensor. Oops. Got a super thick one welded on. There was a short in the handlebar button that would have been prevented had I READ THE MANUAL. Oops. I rewired the bike with a new wiring kit. It looks better now. It will be rewired again eventually. Fuck it. I had to weld on a kickstand after we figured out the stance. Not a mistake, but I'm really glad I didn't powdercoat. I had 2 element brake and running and thought I could use a bit of German engineering to rig up some turns too. Wrong. I replaced them with the 3 element units we see here. My tach (behind the top tree ) needed a 90 degree turn to read correctly. Got that made by a buddy. Easy peasy. Btw, those tiny LEDs in the tach make a lot of smoke if they are overjuiced.
7. Other stuff. I used redcote on the tank. Easy Peasy. I used steel wool and Eastwood Extra Glossy Clear coat on the tank. Wet look for
Days. Stainless bolts where I could find them on everything. Dime City bucket. Looks nice. Not fun to reassemble.
Advice: get a MUnit. They are slick. Read the Manual. Don't cut off the rear brake sensors tab or the adjustment nut tab. Either put your batteries on a tender or wait to buy them until you need them. Not two years out. Support your local dealers and mechanics. Ask for help. Write down a budget. Then double it. Buy from Hugh's Handbuilt. Buy from Dime City. Don't buy from Del City.
BUY A GOOD SET OF DOUBLE BARREL CRIMPS.
Listen to Slayer.
(I had a whole lot of help from my buddy Alex whose 75 is killer. And a lot of patient folks on this forum helping me keep it between the ditches.)