Café Build 14 – Test Assembly

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Frame with Suspension
Frame with Suspension

After many months of tinkering I finally arrived at the test assembly. This my friends, is where you you get to see the fruits of your labor for the first time. Not only that, you get to finish the many little items that you need to be completed before the bike can really truly be complete. What is great, is that all of the bits that were fussed over for many hours before are all of a sudden building something better than just a small sub-system. What really sucks is that you have to visit all of the little bits that were ignored up until that point.

Rear Sub and Swingarm
Rear Sub and Swingarm

To start assembly, I got the front suspension out. Luckily, this was almost complete from my previous work. All that remains is a mount for the front brake rotor that will accommodate the FZR600 rotor and caliper. That will come in the future. After I did front suspension, I went to the rear and did that suspension. It was a simple bolt up. I didn’t build anything special as far as the swing arm was concerned. The rear axle, brake, brake components, and wheel all went together fast. Bikes are easy.

On to the engine. Yep, that’s about a 5 minute project. I have one oddly long motor mount bolt. I need to do some research on that. I moved onto the carburetors. They mated up quickly, though I need to machine some adapter rings to mate the slightly small outside diameter to the inside of the reed block adapters. The throttle cables I had hooked up quickly, and the throttle tube and controls all worked together as well. The FZR600 clip-on bars look great, though the right side is bent a bit. I’ll have to use some heat and straighten it out later. For now, it works fine.

Up On WheelsAt this point, it only made sense to get it up on the wheels. My local bike shop mounted new Bridgestone Battalax tires front and rear on my recently spoked wheels. I hate to say it, but mounting and balancing tires is the only service I’ve paid for on this bike. Every other thing task I’ve done myself or conned a friend into helping with. That said, I hate mounting motorcycle tires. It’s just no fun.

I had worked on the gas tank some time back. Lots of body work had to be done as the tank was rather dinged up. To finish that off it went to my father’s place for painting. It just so happens that he has a paint booth and the proper tools that go along with that. He reports that he had to do a fair amount of bodywork beyond what I had done, but he got it painted nonetheless. I decided on silver, as it goes along with natural understated colors I am going for. The tank paint turned out very nice (see below). I may do a stripe or some feature to add to the monotone on the tank, but I’ll likely do that in vinyl.

Up next, I need to finish one of the rear shock mounts. One side is done, the other I messed it up in two ways. Firstly, the custom bolt I made on the lathe came out a little wonky. A fourth try is needed… Secondly, I got a little carried away when I had the sub frame in the mill. I need to heli-coil the threads. From there I will finish the subframe brace, tail light mounts, and come up with a plan for the license plate. I will also be concentrating on the rear-sets, wiring, and front brake. The list of things to do is getting short, but there is still plenty of work left to do.

Gas tank, expansion chambers, and a kickstand all mounted for mock-up.
Gas tank, expansion chambers, and a kickstand all mounted for mock-up.

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