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Discussion Starter #4
:cool: are those recent photos or are you actually covered in snow right now like me?
October pics. We got snow last week one day and the week before one day. That's the best part of Denver, the weather. Snow in the mountains and 55 in the city. It'll be in the 60's this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Welcome from Georgia......darn good looking collection.
Thank you. Motorcycles are cheap here in CO. Toughest part is finding ones with a title. In April my son bought the CX and built it in about 5 weeks, so I went out and bought a old 1000 and 1100, then he found a old K100 he's going to modify.
 

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Thank you. Motorcycles are cheap here in CO. Toughest part is finding ones with a title. In April my son bought the CX and built it in about 5 weeks, so I went out and bought a old 1000 and 1100, then he found a old K100 he's going to modify.
That CX, I really like the best
 

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Kraftrad :cool: K100 is good, is like riding a layed down flat 4 cylinder BMW car motor attached to a back wheel.
Brakes are limited, don't over ride them, they thrive on fast long highways no matter what you end up doing to it.
Requires a centre stand, or the side stand to be on the opposite side of the bike.
 

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That CX, I really like the best
Really? it's kinda of a mess from what I can see, but they are new to it so I guess they are going to learn by trial and error.

I don't see one single mechanical improvement on it being a better motorcycle. It's just a lot of cheap aesthetically pleasing parts laid over the top of a mediocre but reliable motorcycle.

Nice van and beemer in the background though.
 

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lol ya there is significant room for improvement.

Fact is winmag you have fallen into a bunch of gear heads and motorcycle racer types, the eyes go to different places and the priorities are fairly simple,
you do it to make the bike work better, perform outstanding would be nice! and that is the beauty in the motorcycle
:I this place is inhabited by people who have been addicted to riding the **** out of motorcycles, for decades.

... hint move your license plate to give yourself a little bit of fender
because as your bikes are now, they would not pass tech inspection to even ride in an off road event :|
 

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I am just going to go ahead and give feedback upon which action can be taken so the OP can move in the right direction:

- The bike is a cx500c "custom" which is honda speak for factory chopper. That means a leading link front fork and 16" rear wheel because that was what was popular with choppers at the time. The better setup would be to find the stock forks and 18" rear wheel of an cx500 standard which would reduce rear sidewall flex and improve handling at the rear and reduce the freeway friendly only large amount of fork trail the cx500 chopper has.

- Lowering the bike in the rear was unwise, not only does it increase trail and thus straight line stability at the cost of maneuverability, I can almost god damn guarantee that that hipster tail chop will come in contact with that tailight at full suspension compression. I just don't see enough room there for that tire not to hit anything. No motorcycle company would like a bike go out the door where something can touch a spinning tire, every customizer should strive for the same from a safety standpoint.

- those RFY shocks are cheap ebay garbage meant for scooters. I have never seen a pair with consistent oil or gas in them. The basic bones of the shock are ok, it's just the quality control is poor. I strongly adivse you rebuild the shocks, putting fresh quality shock oil and nitrogen in them. there are many tutorials on the web and youtube concerning how to do this because it is such a well documented issue.

- Any motorcycle you ride in traffic should have at a minimum: 2 mirrors, visible signals from all 4 corners, a working horn, a visible taillight. Right now you have 1 mirror, a tiny taillight, and turnsignals in the rear that may be too close together. One of the hallmarks of a good customizer is to be able to cover their bases from a safety standpoint while still making it look good.

- there is no inner fender between the tire and the engine. right now as the bike is ridden, all sorts of crap and road debris is being thrown at your engine, specifically the carbs and the valley between the cylinders. groce. reinstall the rear inner fender.

- you have a bar wide enough to give proper leverage, but rider comfort would be vastly improved by a bar with a little rise and pullback. you don't need much and something like a "superbike" bar would make a huge difference.


Future upgrades:
- the cx500 uses 33mm forks and marginal front brakes. 1981 and 82 used a dual piston caliper that is a direct bolt on upgrade, however, you should consider a fork swap from a cb750F which would give you 35mm forks and dual front discs.


All of these suggestions would significantly transform the riding experience for the better, without changing the look at all. most of them can be done for peanuts too and mean the difference between a great motorcycle and just more unrideable Instagram fodder.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I honestly enjoy the feedback, but on the other hand, I didn’t make any claims that what my son and I are doing is better than anyone else, and to be fair, I’ve seen expensive shops here in Denver kick out some seriously sub par work at astronomical prices.
Many of the parts are fleabay specials. When we’ve been asked about them (shocks, headlight, controls) our honest response is “it’s cheap shit”. Again, to be fair, I don’t see a lot of kids going out and using their own money to buy a $600 bike, dump another $600 building it and then going for a ride. Locally he’s gotten nothing but praise for his builds, even hardcore guys give him props for doing his own work and offer the same advice as you guys have here on the forum.
We’re going to keep playing with motorcycles between car builds. When we get the 1100 and K100 done we’ll post some pics.
 

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I honestly enjoy the feedback, but on the other hand, I didn’t make any claims that what my son and I are doing is better than anyone else,
It isn't about who you are in competition with or whether you are doing something "better" than anyone else. It's about doing an objectively good job building a safe and well built custom motorcycle that has actual improvements. Every genre of motorcycle has an ethos, an underlying purpose that should be held in mind. For this end of the hobby and these motorcycles objective value is garnered not just by how cool it looks, but how well it functions. If you fail at function then all you built is another chopper, regardless of how it looks.

to very loosely paraphrase Hemingway: there is no nobility in being superior as compared to others - nobility comes in being superior to your former self through education and self improvement. this applies as much to motorcycles as it does to anything else in life.

and to be fair, I’ve seen expensive shops here in Denver kick out some seriously sub par work at astronomical prices.
I have no argument with that. The internet and social media has made everyone with a dream and the willingness to assemble a half ass custom motorcycle think they are gods gift to customizing.

Many of the parts are fleabay specials. When we’ve been asked about them (shocks, headlight, controls) our honest response is “it’s cheap shit”.
Cheap =/= Shit. Shit = shit. The great part about old motorcycles is that there are plenty who have figured out how to work parts cross reference tables and to be resourceful when the green resource is in short supply. For instance that brake upgrade I mentioned - you can pull that off for less than $50 if you are cunning, and it is meaningful and adds value to your riding experience. Buying shitty parts just because they are cheap an look cool, well I'm sorry to say that's just lazy, esp when there are tutorials on how to make those parts less shitty. here is a tutorial on how to take the shit out of your shitty shocks, and it even shows you how to make the tools you need:

https://www.caferacer.net/forum/tips-tricks/24204-rebuilding-rfy-cheap-shocks.html

Again, to be fair, I don’t see a lot of kids going out and using their own money to buy a $600 bike, dump another $600 building it and then going for a ride.
It's happening all across the country, and to be fair it's good that kids learn to do this stuff. the idea though is to not stop learning. It's not to "call it done" just because it looks like every other bike on instagram, it's to push to learn new skills and keep evolving with the bike. ok he made it to step one, he's got a mildly custom bike with a lot of shortcomings, time to learn how to address those shortcomings. It's great he bought another bike and all, but finish your dinner before getting a second helping.

Locally he’s gotten nothing but praise for his builds, even hardcore guys give him props for doing his own work and offer the same advice as you guys have here on the forum.
Praise is very narrow in it's value and almost worthless in a broad sense. It's a great motivator, but you don't learn from praise, and honestly, praise from people who are just like the way it looks is empty. I don't know who these "hardcore" people are and frankly, sure if he can use that to stay motivated to keep learning then great, but you learn from criticism. You learn from overcoming failure, and right now I see a lot of opportunities to improve the motorcycle and learn skills for very little amount of money and a medium investment in time.


We’re going to keep playing with motorcycles between car builds. When we get the 1100 and K100 done we’ll post some pics.
Just don't fall into the trap of thinking what applies to cars applies to motorcycles. It isn't and motorcycles are way less forgiving than cars. Rub a tire in a car and it costs you money, some time, maybe makes a loud noise, rub a tire on a bike and it's your ass sliding down the pavement. Lower a car and you have the option to take it to an alignment shop and have them correct the caster/camber/toe, etc....lower a bike and well you had better have sat down and done all the rake, trail, and lean angle calculations before hand because it doubles your cost to fix it if you screw up and you can't just take it to a shop and have someone "adjust" it. Do real research too, and that doesn't mean just look at pretty pictures on the interweb. That CX500 you have? that's a stressed member frame - that means that EVERYTHING that bolts to that bike contributes to the rigidity of the frame. That means you have to put more thought into parts selection and modification than most double cradle frame bikes. There are some absolutely stunning death trap cx500s out there on the net, and people keep building them because they saw it on the internet so it must be ok.

anyway, best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It isn't about who you are in competition with or whether you are doing something "better" than anyone else. It's about doing an objectively good job building a safe and well built custom motorcycle that has actual improvements. Every genre of motorcycle has an ethos, an underlying purpose that should be held in mind. For this end of the hobby and these motorcycles objective value is garnered not just by how cool it looks, but how well it functions. If you fail at function then all you built is another chopper, regardless of how it looks.

to very loosely paraphrase Hemingway: there is no nobility in being superior as compared to others - nobility comes in being superior to your former self through education and self improvement. this applies as much to motorcycles as it does to anything else in life.


I have no argument with that. The internet and social media has made everyone with a dream and the willingness to assemble a half ass custom motorcycle think they are gods gift to customizing.

Cheap =/= Shit. Shit = shit. The great part about old motorcycles is that there are plenty who have figured out how to work parts cross reference tables and to be resourceful when the green resource is in short supply. For instance that brake upgrade I mentioned - you can pull that off for less than $50 if you are cunning, and it is meaningful and adds value to your riding experience. Buying shitty parts just because they are cheap an look cool, well I'm sorry to say that's just lazy, esp when there are tutorials on how to make those parts less shitty. here is a tutorial on how to take the shit out of your shitty shocks, and it even shows you how to make the tools you need:

https://www.caferacer.net/forum/tips-tricks/24204-rebuilding-rfy-cheap-shocks.html



It's happening all across the country, and to be fair it's good that kids learn to do this stuff. the idea though is to not stop learning. It's not to "call it done" just because it looks like every other bike on instagram, it's to push to learn new skills and keep evolving with the bike. ok he made it to step one, he's got a mildly custom bike with a lot of shortcomings, time to learn how to address those shortcomings. It's great he bought another bike and all, but finish your dinner before getting a second helping.

Praise is very narrow in it's value and almost worthless in a broad sense. It's a great motivator, but you don't learn from praise, and honestly, praise from people who are just like the way it looks is empty. I don't know who these "hardcore" people are and frankly, sure if he can use that to stay motivated to keep learning then great, but you learn from criticism. You learn from overcoming failure, and right now I see a lot of opportunities to improve the motorcycle and learn skills for very little amount of money and a medium investment in time.




Just don't fall into the trap of thinking what applies to cars applies to motorcycles. It isn't and motorcycles are way less forgiving than cars. Rub a tire in a car and it costs you money, some time, maybe makes a loud noise, rub a tire on a bike and it's your ass sliding down the pavement. Lower a car and you have the option to take it to an alignment shop and have them correct the caster/camber/toe, etc....lower a bike and well you had better have sat down and done all the rake, trail, and lean angle calculations before hand because it doubles your cost to fix it if you screw up and you can't just take it to a shop and have someone "adjust" it. Do real research too, and that doesn't mean just look at pretty pictures on the interweb. That CX500 you have? that's a stressed member frame - that means that EVERYTHING that bolts to that bike contributes to the rigidity of the frame. That means you have to put more thought into parts selection and modification than most double cradle frame bikes. There are some absolutely stunning death trap cx500s out there on the net, and people keep building them because they saw it on the internet so it must be ok.

anyway, best of luck.
Appreciate the opinion. :rolleyes:
 
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