Born Again Bikes Norton 880 Special "have it your way" project
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Born Again Bikes Norton 880 Special "have it your way" project

This is a discussion on Born Again Bikes Norton 880 Special "have it your way" project within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Okay, back to actual cafe racer stuff. I've been buying Kenny Dreer's leftover VR880 stuff for years, since I started building my blue monshock bike. ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    Born Again Bikes Norton 880 Special "have it your way" project

    Okay, back to actual cafe racer stuff.

    I've been buying Kenny Dreer's leftover VR880 stuff for years, since I started building my blue monshock bike. As he was nearing the end of his parts stash, he made me a couple of parts lots deals; I sold off some, and still have some.

    A couple of years ago, I did a front end restoration on a client's Triumph Bonneville that had a complete Yamaha (650?) front end on it, so that's been sitting in a corner.

    I got to thinking it's time to buy a frame and put together a big pile of parts to sell as a rolling project, and work up some play money to finish a few other projects I intend to keep.

    Within 10 minutes of posting on a couple of forums, I made a deal to buy a frame, so that's the key to this basically being a done deal. I'll post the progress, and eventually a link to the e-bay sale (unless somebody makes me an offer along the way).

    Since I have multiple options for many of the components (swingarm, bodywork, carbs, etc), I'll let the eventual buyer decide what they want from whatever stuff I have on the shelves. "Have it Your Way"

    Starting with the engine power unit:

    Norton RH4 850 head, bare in great shape
    850 cylinders, bored to 880 in great shape
    J&E 880 pistons w/ gapless rings (new)
    Dreer VR880 cases (used, need minor repair)

    I have a few of the internals (not much); main costs on this will be the crank & rods.



    Those are Kehin CV carbs on custom intakes. The velocity stacks will need to be shortened to fit in the frame ahead of the main web.

    That's a MarkIII primary chaincase; it is getting the e-start lump chopped off, then the hole welded up.

    The primary case is empty, no clutch or alternator on hand at the moment.

    There is no tranny whatsoever.

    RH4 stamping on the head. All the threads re good, including the exhaust holes (not typical)
    Last edited by grandpaul; 02-21-2015 at 03:04 PM.
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  2. #2
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    J&E 880 piston & ring set




    850 cylinders, bored to 880




    They'll need a good honing, and of course a set of cam followers
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  3. #3
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    This is the Yamaha front end that I'm going to use-


    The tire is in great shape, brakes work. I'd probably have the disc drilled and blanchard ground, but I'll let the eventual buyer do that.

    Dreer VR880 tranny cradle with "big bearing" swingarm mount (instead of bushings), and provision for e-starter; also the box-section swingarm-


    I do have a good used rear isolastic unit already mounted, with the vernier adjusters.

    I'll post pix of the frame as soon as the seller sends them to me.
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

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  5. #4
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    KD/VR880 "Boat-tail" seat-


    The upholstery is really nice-


    Built-in tail light made from a trailer side marker; I use a 2-bulb base and it's totally out of sight
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  6. #5
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    VR880 bladder tank, needs petcocks & filler cap assembly, easy to get from any UJM catalog


    Tank cover needs to be painted to match. I'll probably spray bomb it...
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  7. #6
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    Here's a set of original Amal concentric 930 carbs


    Scruffy fiberglass Roadster tank, will need lining for use with modern gasoline blends
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  8. #7
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    Found a bunch more stuff after digging around the shop all afternoon:

    Complete set of rearsets with Z-plates (totally forgot about those!)
    Very good Cheng Shin 4.50 x 18 rear tire
    Nice UJM clutch quadrant with dogleg lever and good switchgear
    Alloy brake torque arm
    Set of simple clip-on handlebars
    Useable set of rear shocks
    Ducati monster headlight with brackets
    Lucas Rita electronic ignition
    Very good set of valves with springs & collets, just need keepers
    Set of shorty header pipes, pair of upswept header sections, and a nice length of pipe to fab up some headers

    Put together the rear end parts; will need to weld on a pair of tabs to anchor the rear brake torque arm, and need a pair of bearings for the swingarm spindle



    This is one of the reed valve crankcase breathers I make from modern Triumph exhaust air injectors that are the first thing to come off a modern Triumph.
    Just a simple mod to drill a few holes and bolt it to the back side of the timing chest.


    In case the client wants a single carb manifold, I found one of those, too-
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  9. #8
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    Rearsets with Z-plates (I'll have to fabricate a rear brake cable anchor, probably on the torque arm)


    Pair of OEM intakes


    Scruffy shocks to make it a roller as soon as the frame gets here-
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  10. #9
    Senior Member grandpaul's Avatar
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    Lucas RITA ignition


    Clip-on handlebars


    That's it for today, and probably not much more 'till the frame gets here. Maybe I'll overhaul the front disc brake caliper & master cylinder, that's always a good idea.
    GrandPaul
    Author, \"Old Bikes\"

  11. #10
    Senior Member raven's Avatar
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    I wish I lived near you. Its bad enough i have enablers living near for the jetski hobby.
    Bike:
    Buell X1
    Honda S90 (box of parts)
    Honda CB750C (runs)
    The Others (mostly rolling wounded)

    My collar may be a little frayed, and maybe I need a shoeshine. But nobody\'s got a mortgage on my soul. I own it. Free and clear. -Phil Lovecraft

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