Cafe Racer Forum banner

1 - 20 of 108 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello good people...

This is where I'm at. I live in NYC. After a crazy shift in my personal life (a mean woman, lol) about 2 years ago I dove head first into getting back to working with my hands. Great guy down the street from me (for some God given reason) has spent the last maybe 20yrs gathering. Jaguars, Aston Martins, Porsches, Mercedes, Alpha Romeos about 28 cars in all AND about 5 gold wings > maybe more. Various years but all of them the big ones, with lots of fairings, covers, lights bells, electrics, whistles. Yup, 5 of them and he basically gives me what I want. Im stoked. Now, I have a 2002 XK8, a 1986 Porsche 928, and a 1990 Jag XJS Convertible - and greasy crusty hands - thank God! They ALL needed real work and attention and beside FT work and FT school, its all I been doing. Happy to send some photos.

Yesterday I was dropping my 1990 Jaguar XJS Convertible off to a local welder to have the LH floor welded in. I've done a lot of work on her over the last 8-9 months or so. Anyways, what I saw blew my hair back. It was a (I think) 1993 gl1200 something or other (i could be very wrong) that had been and still was being modified to a Cafe Racer style! Completely brought down to the bones... It had never occured to me, nor had I ever imagined it. I fell in love with the idea!!!!!!

So, I'm a careful guy and I NEVER want to offend folks. I know places like this, FORUMS, have a culture all there own and I don't know the culture here,,, yet.

So - a couple of questions... I've already removed the front fairing and windshield...

1... If I commit, and take one of these amazing machines >>> will you all HELP me, direct me, guide me into building a cafe racer out of one of these amazing bikes? At least in the troubleshooting and testing, learning curve and all? Is this the right group to offer support for this kind of project?

2. The "Poor" in jaypoorjay isn't just a funny name I chose. I don't have a huge wallet - at all. I do have time and abay! Will this break the bank? Does it have to? I plan on asking my welder, he is well known and the best on Staten Island, if he will let me work for free for him (apprentice) which should help down the line. Im mechanical, good with my hands - my dad was a welder.

3. Well there is NO three other than me saying - are ya gunna make me BEG? lol

Before I go in this direction and dive in - I want to know what you think, if this makes sense, and with the support of this group,,, what are my chances of having a good time with one of these things if I pick one up? They all need love and real attention - of this Im sure. But they are free.

What say you?
20181110_101240.jpg
20181111_144043.jpg
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
welcome. Where in NY are you?

did you get a title? if not, forget it.

Does it turn over?

To answer your questions:


1... If I commit, and take one of these amazing machines >>> will you all HELP me, direct me, guide me into building a cafe racer out of one of these amazing bikes? At least in the troubleshooting and testing, learning curve and all? Is this the right group to offer support for this kind of project?
1. No. You can't make anything custom out of any bike without a solid foundation and you do not have a solid foundation with that pile. Yes we can offer tech advice and answer questions but you might not like to hear the answer to some of those questions. Such as "can I make a cafe racer out of that bike?" the answer is straight up NO you can't because the amount of work and money needed to turn something like that into something remotely racy is beyond your grasp. That doesn't mean you couldn't make a cool function custom motorcycle but making a performance bike out of it is a bit much.

2. The "Poor" in jaypoorjay isn't just a funny name I chose. I don't have a huge wallet - at all. I do have time and abay! Will this break the bank? Does it have to? I plan on asking my welder, he is well known and the best on Staten Island, if he will let me work for free for him (apprentice) which should help down the line. Im mechanical, good with my hands - my dad was a welder.
The more complex a motorcycle and the more dilapidated it is the more expensive it will be. The less skill you have, tack on even more. I don't think this bike is a good value proposition for you. It's a water cooled, OHC, flat six for which there is no performance aftermarket, just a lot of touring stuff. It's been sitting outside, uncovered for god knows how long. It's pretty much junk, or at best a parts bike. These are tough old bikes when kept running but when left to sit they degrade fast. Off the top of my head, just looking at what it needs I figure it's $1500 in parts alone just to get back to running and riding safe before you mod a single thing, and let me tell you - you can buy sooooo many good other, simplier, aircooled, old performance motorcycles for that $1500. Also, and take it from me who rode into manhattan from brooklyn and queens nearly every day - riding a GL in the city sucks donkey dick. It's all the bad parts of a car and all the bad parts of a bike in one vehicle. It's an awesome, cross the bridge to Long Island or Jersey at 6 am, and go riding in the country all day bike but it sucks to park, sucks in traffic, and you can't lane split with it.


By the way, your 3 cars are cars I have on my list to own one day, so at least you have some good taste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
what needs welding ? if the frame is needing welding the engine and drivetrain may be timed out as well
besides it being a motorcycle that cannot be further from ever being a cafe racer you need to get it running and riding first
any used bike is going to need to be a running riding safe motorcycle before you tear it apart and ruin it
walk away from the wing just walk and be gratefull you dfid
now tell us how much riding excperience do you have ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
As the owner of a 1981, now morphed into a 1982, GL1100 standard for the last 19 years I may be able to help you out.
First off, forget the cafe crap. The bike you own is worth maybe $2500 if it is like..perfect, okay?
If you have the ability to rebuild the carbs it is going to cost you about $250 just for the rebuild kits.
Timing belts will cost another $60 to $70.
The suspension is mushy so rebuilding the forks with just new seals and progressive springs will run another $150.
The rear shocks are another $250.
So you've got $700 in it and you haven't bought tires yet. Avon has some good ones, another $300.
We're up to a grand and you haven't "modified" anything. If you have to pay someone to rebuild the carbs you can add another $300.
The 1200's were notorious for burning up stators, so good luck with that.
If the previous owner ('s) added things like radio, cb, lights etc. your wiring harness could be a nightmare. There isn't alot of cost
in fixing it but mountains of frustration if it is a hack job.


So, where do you go from here. If you are still interested you can make it a good bike.
I love my wing but I've got it down to about 560 lbs but you will be doing good if you see 600.

There were a multitude of changes to the body work on the 1200's. There are so many in the marketplace that
the parts have very little value so don't count on seeing much in return for yours.
Turning it into a standard naked wing means headlight and brackets, turn signals, rear brake light & turn signal assembly,
mirrors, handlebars. The costs for these items can be high if you decide to go with led's. If you do don't forget to get a new electronic flasher relay.
The bike is a very smooth running motorcycle with a low center of gravity and is a joy to ride. I can push mine through
the twisties but it will never be a sport bike. I can however ride all day long in comfort.

You can fit some GL1100 parts to your bike with minor modifications. A rear fender from a standard model will fit.
The shelter can be made to fit. Front fender is more difficult. My front is from a 1982 cb900.
The seat will be more challenging because of all the changes to the 1200 frame.

So if you want a "cafe wing" all you're getting is and overly expensive showpiece that will be uncomfortable to ride.
If you want a good handling, comfortable, reliable, long range motorcycle then strip it down, tune it up and go.

gl1100.JPG
My wing.
cb900 front end
cycle innovations single carb
progressive shocks and springs
jardine exhaust
valkyrie solo seat
1976 cb750f handlebars
since this photo was taken I've also mounted a tombstone tailight turn signal assembly and mini stalk front signals
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
7d9c3519fb7267bff8f52f7b1d52745a.jpg


034_G_001.jpg

6253553167_6b3a3e76c6_b.jpg

Anything is possible with a vision and enough determination. She will still be a big girl and not exactly petite or easy to throw around, but that's what you are staring with. The last pic was Dresda Chassis IIRC. The first one has what I believe is a modified stock frame. They may not be your particular year/model, but they give you some ideas to start with. Unless you are thinking about a skateboard seat and balloon tires, in which case no one here is interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Those all look like GL1000's, before Honda went straight tourer with the line. I have a '75 waiting in the wings to be built, and I consider it a perfect muscle bike. They have changed so much since then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
I like the 1000's. They looked good.
But the standard 1100 has more hp, more torque, a tad more fuel capacity, and came in 13 lbs. lighter.
Granted the differences were small.

The 1200 came in at 94 hp, 77 torque and almost 6 gals of fuel. Big drawback in my opinion is the
15" rear wheel and 16"front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
I always felt the 1000 lender themselves better for this type of modification. .......like Randakks 1000.

Since the condition (mechanically) is unknown and they can beasily purchased all day long for 2K running/titled/certified/etc... I personally would be hesitant of a non running pile. I bet in the right hands a GL1200 could be made better..more sportier......but by the time the 1200 was out it was pure touring and Honda never looked back.

They are great motors. I think s10hornet has like 200K on his. Mine has around 93K.


20170730 Palomar Mountain C1 299-4K.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Ran into a guy a couple of years back that had a 78 gl1000. Original owner, really old guy.
Had over 350k on the clock. He only added a windshield and saddlebags.
Said he had never done anything but routine maintenance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,303 Posts
All the bikes I have ever seen with over 100K miles were:
- touring bmws (esp old airheads)
- goldwings
- Harley electra glides and other big twin tourers
- 1 vincent (I think the guy has 700,000 miles on it now).
- kawasaki concours.

anyway, I guess the new guy didn't like what he read.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
the original goldwing was not even promoted as a comfort tourer ,when it first came to usa
a friend bought one and it was an awesome bike
beautiful with those wire spoked alloy rims and candy apple red body panels
they were not particularly overweight and handled quite nicely considering how physically large they were
but the 1200 is a different animal entirely
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,979 Posts
the original goldwing was not even promoted as a comfort tourer ....
Yes it was. Read the magazine quotes on that advert you posted.

"Honda's ultimate touring masterpiece.."

"..one of the ultimates in long distance touring.."

And so on. It may have progressed since then but it was always a big heavy machine designed to cover long distance. Now it's bigger and heavier and has more widgets and gadgets, but still true to the original design intent.

BTW, the OP seems to have left the building.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,510 Posts
Yes it was. Read the magazine quotes on that advert you posted.

"Honda's ultimate touring masterpiece.."

"..one of the ultimates in long distance touring.."

And so on. It may have progressed since then but it was always a big heavy machine designed to cover long distance. Now it's bigger and heavier and has more widgets and gadgets, but still true to the original design intent.

BTW, the OP seems to have left the building.
yes the magazines saw the potential but a quote from a former editor of cycle guide magazine on the new then goldwing
"At Cycle Guide magazine, where I was editor at the time, we praised the bike’s smoothness and powerband but stopped short of predicting its eventual dominance as a long-ride partner. And although the GL’s promotional materials occasionally mentioned touring, Honda offered no optional saddlebags, fairing, or even a windshield".
i think vetter first fit a fairing to the wing fairing and bags
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
HellO ALL!!!

All these responses are SUPER encouraging (I'll be generous, lol)... Ill have to check my "settings". I was feeling VERY alone in the universe, lol... I received no notifications (emails) telling of replies to the thread... Anywho

I ran some tests at the battery both before and after removing the fairing that first day... Before, I was getting something just over 12-somthing-V or less when running,,, after,,, something closer to an 11V,,, and a V DROP situation was going on - and it wouldn't run without a jumper. Its all good. I think the battery was completely fried and was no longer even working as a bridge to complete a circuit (if that's even how it works?).

No matter... Yesterday I dropped in a new battery,,, and BAM,,,, started right up and 14.25-14.5 - something V... It was good and she ran differently as well. Better.

Now I have some real questions about backfiring. It seems to be happening on the cylinder bank on the right-hand side (when sitting on the bike). Also, a gurgling hesitation during early throttle turn (especially when cold) and YES,,,, Overheating - the electric fan doesn't kick on. The overheating (bubbling into the reserve tank) scares me. More, I have to restore brakes. I've looked online for NEW calipers but I also noticed a lot of restoration kits with a new O-Ring and cylinder and I'm wondering which is the best way to go? Should I pull the calipers, pull the cylinders and replace the cylinder and ring - or do I have to see just how bad it is inside the caliper to know? Please understand I am seeking the CHEAPEST options where possible. The Poor in Jay"Poor"Jay aint just in jest, lol...

Question - is it convention on 'CAFERACER.NET' Forum to keep everything in the same thread OR, can ONE start a NEW thread for each issue ONE is dealing with and trying to sort out?

Thanks to everyone for your time and attention. I really mean it. The prospect of doing this alone with out the guidance, help and support of the folks who have come before me is at LEAST daunting...

Jason

ps. ill add a recent photo from yesterday HERE... Getting it down to bear bones. Got a ways to go - and time to get there - https://imgur.com/9ABh5yP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hi Teazer... Thank you. I'm 6'4 220 and fit... Sitting on the bike,,, actually,,, it feels small. I will need to lengthen the bike (have to learn how to deal with the drive shaft and swing arm)... Ill post a couple of pictures of designs I'm aiming at below.

I dont plan on riding to work, into the city (I live in Staten Island) or this thing being my daily driver - EVER. Doesn't even sound right.

Honestly, I am very VERY surprised at the 'pessimism' of some of the others here - but I am an activist organizer, I work mainly in impoverished communities, been doing what I do for 25+ years so I am used to pessimism and discouragement at offering ideas, thinking about whats possible and facing challenges - and stuff. No big deal.

Believe me, I have searched, and I have seen hundreds of pictures of racer projects made off the gl1200 and other GL bases.

I remain excited. As for the list of costs below - I pray, PRAY, to get to get off as cheaply - and the 560lb weight I think would be great for me...

First off, forget the cafe crap. The bike you own is worth maybe $2500 if it is like..perfect, okay?
If you have the ability to rebuild the carbs it is going to cost you about $250 just for the rebuild kits.
Timing belts will cost another $60 to $70.
The suspension is mushy so rebuilding the forks with just new seals and progressive springs will run another $150.
The rear shocks are another $250.
So you've got $700 in it and you haven't bought tires yet. Avon has some good ones, another $300.
We're up to a grand and you haven't "modified" anything. If you have to pay someone to rebuild the carbs you can add another $300.
The 1200's were notorious for burning up stators, so good luck with that.
If the previous owner ('s) added things like radio, cb, lights etc. your wiring harness could be a nightmare. There isn't alot of cost
in fixing it but mountains of frustration if it is a hack job.

20181116_144605.jpg
Honda-Goldwing-Gold-Wing-Cafe-Bobber-Cafe-Racer-GL1200-Street-Fighter.jpg
001.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
Hi Teazer... Thank you. I'm 6'4 220... Sitting on the bike,,, actually,,, it feels small. I will need to lengthen the bike... Ill post a couple of pictures of designs I'm aiming at.


View attachment 95911
View attachment 95913

Both of those are horrible bikes that do not get ridden. They are show queens. They look pretty, but I guarantee they haven't turned a wheel in anger. First clue is the absence of lights, second clue is the absence of any tire wear. Finally nothing has been done to alleviate the flex that will be induced into the swing arm by the relocation of the shock mounting points. And in a swing arm that doubles as a drive shaft housing (or, torque tube)

Swingarm Forces.jpg


Oh, and BTW, I don't think EITHER of those bikes has been lengthened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,148 Posts
Ya, you can't relocate the suspension points like that on a hub that was never designed to withstand those forces :|
your rear wheel is in serious likely danger of catastrophic failure,
seen a bunch of BMW's tarted like that too, the shock mounting point is the shock mounting point, deal with that part or be prepared to experience catastrophic failure.
 
1 - 20 of 108 Posts
Top