8Ball's winter project
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8Ball's winter project

This is a discussion on 8Ball's winter project within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'm new here, but have been working on and riding bikes for 30 years. My first street bike was a 73 CB500F that was mildly ...

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Thread: 8Ball's winter project

  1. #1
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    8Ball's winter project

    I'm new here, but have been working on and riding bikes for 30 years. My first street bike was a 73 CB500F that was mildly cafed, 24 years ago. Back then I didn't have the means or the facilities to really do it right. Since then I did a bit of road racing, built all of my race bikes and have been mostly in the sport bike scene. I've own a couple dozen bikes, but most of them were just "fix them, ride them and sell them" projects.

    This week I picked up a winter project, and I intend to do a proper cafe project with it. I might be looking for some tips and suggestions, here.

    Enough of the background....a few months ago, a friend of mine bought this 1979 GS550 with the intent of turning it into a budget cafe:


    He started stripping it down and buying parts and doing several things to it, but ran out of time and space for it. Long story short (too late) I picked it up from him for $600, with all the parts:




    The bike actually ran, but the carbs are pretty messed up. I have a set of 2mm larger KZ carbs that I plan to re-rack on the GS rack. (Yes I am capable of extensive carburetor work). Other parts that came in the pile:
    -Clubman bars
    -new Dyna ignition system (with coils)
    -New N.O.S. Jardine exhaust, but the collector is for a KZ, so I may be doing some custom exhaust work
    -KFY Chinese knock-off shocks (cheap I know, but I will see how they work)
    -A dual cat-eye tail light assembly
    -New Progressive fork springs (already installed)
    -All Balls tapered steering stem bearings (I need to do some machining to finish the installation per the instructions)
    -GSX-R master cylinder and clutch lever (with new clutch cable)
    There is probably more, but tomorrow I have to catalog all the parts.

    Things that my friend already did include drilling the front rotor, painting the forks, headlight, triple trees, and engine.


    This is gonna be fun!
    I always find a soap box useful to get on my high horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by roccitycafe View Post
    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

    My GS550 Build Thread

  2. #2
    Senior Member dirkchecken's Avatar
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    please dont cut the frame up

  3. #3
    Junior Member Captain_Trips's Avatar
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    When you finish cataloging the parts, mind sending me a message with a list of any extras you're willing to sell? I've got a '78 GS400, and I think most of the stock parts are interchangable.

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    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by Captain_Trips

    When you finish cataloging the parts, mind sending me a message with a list of any extras you're willing to sell? I've got a '78 GS400, and I think most of the stock parts are interchangable.
    I'd be thinking the only things that will fit your bike off this one are the indicators.

  6. #5
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    Today was focused on the two highest priorities - exhaust and carbs

    The stock carbs are in HORRIBLE shape, and the previous owner had a set of KZ650 carbs that he put in the parts pile.

    GS550 stock carbs:


    KZ650 carbs:


    The starter plungers (choke) were stuck in both sets of carbs:


    So I soaked them am got them cleaned up and freed:


    I disassembled both sets and installed the KZ carbs on the GS rack:


    I need to find one emulsion tube for the starter jet on the #1 carb 'cuz it was broken. The GS tubes are the same size, but the height of the cross drilled hoes are different, so I will see if I can find a junk carb for the part before trying the GS one. However it would only effect the operation while choked, so it wouldn't be that big of a deal to use one from the GS carb.

    And I need to get a gasket set.

    Next was the exhaust. My friend said he thought that the collector/muffler that came with the Jardine system he bought were for a different bike. After I test fit the system I don't think that this is the case. It seems to be correct, except that the hanger bracket is welded in the wrong location:





    I will just cut it off and weld it in the right place.


    I always find a soap box useful to get on my high horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by roccitycafe View Post
    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

    My GS550 Build Thread

  7. #6
    Senior Member kerosene's Avatar
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    pipe looks good.
    Welcome to the forum. Nice to see someone not tearing the whole thing apart as fast as possible like so many new guys seem to do.

    You should read about those chinese shocks. They are considered junk. Someone fixed a pair (crazypj maybe) but it was a fair bit of work. Hagon or progressive are considered to be decent semi-budget choices.



    -

  8. #7
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    Thanks kerosene. As far as tearing it apart, most of the bike was just loosely thrown together for transport. This thing will need to be completely disassembled before it is ready to go. The whole front end is just snugged together and a set of tapered bearings set in the stem, but some machining needs to be done to complete the install. That's just one example....
    I always find a soap box useful to get on my high horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by roccitycafe View Post
    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

    My GS550 Build Thread

  9. #8
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    So, today I worked a bit more on the exhaust:

    I cut off the mis-located bracket:



    Did some grinding:



    A little Hi-temp paint, and it almost disappears:


    A little more work, and it'll be barely visible.

    I set it up in the correct position to be welded...


    ...I just have to see how the new welder I bought works. Practice welds start tomorrow...Gonna learn myself ta weld!! It's been a loooong time.
    I always find a soap box useful to get on my high horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by roccitycafe View Post
    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

    My GS550 Build Thread

  10. #9
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    Just a little progress, today. I spent most of my time learning to use my new welder and doing practice welds. Then I had to put on my big boy pants, and actually weld the bracket on the exhaust!

    Not perfect, but not HORRIBLE:


    A little paint... (still glossy 'cuz it's wet):



    Exhaust issue solved!! I will re-install the system when I get some new header gaskets.



    I also made the decision to buy a set of GS550 carbs rather than try to venture down the tuning nightmare that the KZ650 carbs would present. I will likely attempt that later, but not until I have a running workable bike and get all the other work done that I want to do.
    I always find a soap box useful to get on my high horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by roccitycafe View Post
    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

    My GS550 Build Thread

  11. #10
    Senior Member TheGreg's Avatar
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    Hobart makes an anti splatter aerosol spray that works good with the cheap welder that i have. spray it where you are gonna weld, and hardly any splatter sticks. also seems to make the weld lay down flatter and not build up so much. i like it.
    Stephen J likes this.
    ask me about my ADD or pie or my cat. a dog. i have a bike. Do you like TV? i saw a rock. hi.

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