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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
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
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here's a set of original Amal concentric 930 carbs


Scruffy fiberglass Roadster tank, will need lining for use with modern gasoline blends
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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-
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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-
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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I wish I lived near you. Its bad enough i have enablers living near for the jetski hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This photo illustrates the potential of this project...
0green880.jpg

I googled "green 880", I have no idea whose bike this is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
2/28

Got in a good few hours in the shop this morning (finally). Before I could do any work, I had to clean up the mess from the last few projects, put away tools, clear off the parts wash sink lid, etc.


Pulled the loosely assembled rear end and engine apart, took the yokes off the forks and washed everything in solvent.


Rattle-canned the tranny cradle, coil mount & yokes w/ glossy black Rust-O-Leum, my favorite. Whenever I sell basket cases & rolling projects, I ALWAYS mention the fact that some parts are rattle-can painted whenever they are.


Sorted a handful of hardware to bolt the engine into the cradle.


Took an angle grinder and made a better job of cleaning up the vestiges of the electric starter mount hump on the inner primary, then took it to the belt grinder and smoothed it off. Then, I stuffed some foam into the hole, scrounged up my last two partial tubes of 2-part epoxy, and plastered over the opening. I'll grind it down and cover it over with a final layer of JB-Weld silver, then give it a final sanding to match the aluminum as closely as possible. I'm going to have to cut slots either side of the tranny mainshaft hole to allow for belt adjustment; it's spaced for the MkIII e-start primary.


Found a few more nice bits including a good pair of coils and a Tympanium regulator/rectifier.


Pix later...

- - - Updated - - -

2/28

This is the cut off starter lump



Patched with epoxy (enough to support JB Weld)



Painted tranny cradle
 

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Discussion Starter #13
2/28

Painted yoke & coil mount



Coil mount with coils



Typmanium solid state regulator/rectifier
 

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Discussion Starter #14
2/28

Wiring harness from an Atlas, will be revised to accommodate Commando layout.



Monster (literally) headlight & bracket



A simple 1-1/2" length of 1x1 aluminum angle with 4 holes drilled in it was all it took to mount it to the lower yoke.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
2/28

Pretty much ready to slip onto the frame (already on it's way). Just need to change one of the headlight mount bolts for a longer one that will capture the brake light switch bracket.









I'm going down to the local bike salvage yard (Joe Gregory's) and see if I can find a second disc and caliper...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
3/5

There was a nice delivery waiting in my driveway when I got home-





The shipper used U.S.Postal (Parcel rate), claimed it was under $50.





Last frame I shipped, I paid $130 on Grayhound bus. I think I paid $150 for UPS ground before that. I know what I'm going to do next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
3/5

Stripped off the packing, cleaned off all the dust and grime, and took a wire brush to the crusty underside, then spray-bombed it with Rust-O-Leum gloss black





I hadn't had a project on a bike lift since last May!


Had to resort to some ill-fitting, mismatched tapered rollers just to get the forks on temporarily-





The tail hoop is obviously bent downward. Thankfully it's totally cosmetic beyond the shock upper mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
3/5

Rear end loosely in place; I need to find some 1.975" outer x 1.025" inner bearings for the swingarm





Absolutely rough mock-up, just to get a basic idea of the proportions; looks decent...





I think that tiny rear sprocket is going to make the overall gearing very high.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
3/5 - 3/6 (after midninght at the time)

Got in a few hours after putting the kids to bed.


Rearsets & Z-plates installed with makeshift spacers
Clutch quadrant & lever installed (borrowed 2 screws from SL350 project
Mounted kickstand







- - - Updated - - -

Mounted standard intakes & Amal 932 carbs





The CV carbs and custom intakes don't clear the frame web. They'll work on a custom / chopper / LSR bike if the frame is fabricated to allow for the extra space. At least the buyer will still have the option of the single Mikuni with 1-into-2 manifold.


Installed exhaust pipes and located previously cut off upsweep kink sections (will weld them up tomorrow)





 

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Discussion Starter #20
Came up with a plan for rear brake torque arm, will need to do a bit of light fabrication & welding.
Will have to trim the steering stop tab to get full range of steering
Still need to overhaul the brakes, they keeps dragging.








That frame tail loop will get fixed this weekend.

This is pretty much it, although I just had a set of megaphones given to me by a guy that goes by Tune-A-Fish on dotheton.com, and I have a few electrical parts I'm going to bolt on this evening...
 
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