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Blood Sweat Tears and Grease => Projects => Cafe Racers => Topic started by: DBrevit on Oct 11, 2017, 00:27:30

Title: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 11, 2017, 00:27:30
Hi All,
New to this forum, started my Sportster build about 2 1/2 months ago. Picked up the 2002 Sportster about 3 months ago, has just over 2,000 miles on it.
Work so far, lace a 19x2.50 rim on the original rear hub, fab seat sub frame, make seat base/cowl, made rear aluminum fender, install rear sets, put speedo mount under top tree, tubes and tires, new exhaust, velocity stack, grips, cables and brake lines, put new bushing in Girling shocks and install, clip on's, tail and headlight, painted fenders, seat base and fuse cover couple of weeks ago,etc,etc. Aluminum LYTA tank should be here at the end of the week or next week from Legendary. Used to build cafe's about 35 years ago, now starting again, still fun.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: irk miller on Oct 11, 2017, 07:50:18
Awesome skills on that tank.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Ryan Stecken on Oct 11, 2017, 09:48:38
Wow!these welds!!!amazing!iīm in sir!
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 11, 2017, 10:28:32
The tank work is by David Ashenbrener, the man knows his craft. Tank should be in my hands in a couple of hours, will post a picture or two .
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: doc_rot on Oct 12, 2017, 13:08:15
Nice work! that tank is outstanding
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: killerx on Oct 13, 2017, 11:14:03
C'mon, let's see the tank o the bike!
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 13, 2017, 20:16:16
Tank came in, it was/is 2" shorter than I thought it was going to be (product of hand made), I spent yesterday moving seat base forward and making tank mounts, today I started the prime and paint job I'm trying to do the job with no skim coat or filler (as per the rest of the bike). Just put the 4th coat of paint on after 1 etch and 4 coats of primer, will post some pictures tomorrow, if it don't look like dirt (black is a pain).
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 14, 2017, 12:07:29
Tank is just sitting on the bike not mounted (as I just painted it), has to be wet sanded (when ready), then stripes and tank badges.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: jpmobius on Oct 14, 2017, 15:12:29
Looking nice!  Good to see a bike with proper fenders.  Is the seat base notched for the tail light?  Can't tell from the pics - looks good though.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 14, 2017, 17:33:35
Yes the seat base is cut for the tail light.

I'm trying for a 1960's cafe look, I see so many bikes called cafe racer that are nothing more (to me) than a bobber with a cowl seat, no fenders, high tank, etc, etc.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Luugo86 on Oct 14, 2017, 19:51:05
 I love this bike. Well done man.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: killerx on Oct 16, 2017, 13:26:53
Looking real good.
Can't wait to see it finished.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: JadusMotorcycleParts on Oct 19, 2017, 15:38:54
This is gorgeous! Got any pics of the subframe and how the seat fits etc?
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: coyote13 on Oct 20, 2017, 13:38:51
Very elegant solution!
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 20, 2017, 15:08:24
Last few days, did the stripe on the tank, have to compound it one more time, made a couple of seat base extensions (at front) to fill the gap better and lengthened the seat.
On one of the first pictures you can see a red rag rolled up under the cardboard gas tank, this gave me the rough height of the gap but had to have the tank in hand and mounts done before I could make something, seat is not fixed down in the pictures and the gussets (extensions) are only held on with tape but will be permanently attached late today.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: canyoncarver on Oct 20, 2017, 15:11:09
Nice stripes.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 20, 2017, 15:31:01
Also changed my mind on tank badge, after dry fitting the 1960 badge I did not like it (scale was off), going with this 1965 one.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Luugo86 on Oct 20, 2017, 18:16:47
The method you used to mount the seat base and create the rear hoop is genius, well done man. This is one of my favorite cafe builds and by far the best Harley cafe I've seen.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: JadusMotorcycleParts on Oct 21, 2017, 11:45:26
Thanks for the pics!  Awesome solution.  Nice job.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 21, 2017, 19:01:30
Small job today, tank decals, I'm glad I changed my mind as this fits the tank better, the other (1960 style) ones were 5 3/4" long as apposed to 7 1/4" for this type (1965). 
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 22, 2017, 17:37:19
The bike is far from finished but thought I would post a before and after picture (not exactly pro pictures but an attempt to get rid of background clutter).
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Luugo86 on Oct 22, 2017, 22:17:53
Very clean bike to start with.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: brad black on Oct 23, 2017, 08:14:40
almost makes it look like a normal bike.

why the 19" rear wheel?
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 23, 2017, 11:07:06
Luugo86, Sorry the before picture is just a file picture but the bike was a clean bike only having 2,045 miles on her, bike was in a shed unused for 6 years and covered in dust, it had a windshield, forward controls, high bars. Can't find the pictures when I picked it up.

Brad Black,
                19" rear wheel, first reason was style of the bike, as in period, most bikes of the 1960's had larger back wheels as compared to today. The Sportster had 19" front with 18" on the rear, HRD Vincent Black Shadow ran 20" front with 19" on the rear, the list could go on and on with Triumph, BSA, Norton etc, etc. Tires are slim also (as in the past) 19 x 3.50 Dunlop K70 front and rear on this bike. Flat Tracker's do the 19" wheel change all the time.
The stock 16" wheel just looks out of place on this style bike, to me.

Moving on from aesthetics (kind of) by using a 19" rear wheel the back of the bike is raised 2" (1.9) without having to go to 14 or 15 inch rear shock, this in combination with me using a 1" shorter front fork tube set makes the bike have a flatter line, ground clearance is also more than the stock Sportster and rake is 28 1/2 as apposed to 30 deg. Wheel/tire weight, the combination of wheel and tire that I'm using is 9lbs lighter than the stock 16" rim and factory tire(big fat heavy side wall).
Not sure if the answer is what you were looking for.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: brad black on Oct 25, 2017, 02:52:44
i would have expected an 18 - better range of tyres, etc.  that's all.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 26, 2017, 10:53:35
 Today's work, tank would not fit properly with coils in factory position so it's time to make a mount and put them on the left side,  extent a couple of wires, make new plug wires, install fuel tap using Loctite 565 or Permatex 59214 thread sealant (no PTFE tape).
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 29, 2017, 17:33:29
Got the few things done, next week will rebuild front wheel with new spokes and Excel rim as per rear rim, new rear brake line. Rolled her outside for some pictures today, nothing like real light to show you any flaws.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Luugo86 on Oct 30, 2017, 16:28:44
Looking good man. You didn't do any cutting on the frame, correct?
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 30, 2017, 16:36:35
Thanks, I only cut off the original rear fender mounts (from just behind top shock mount), that lost 3 1/2 lbs as a bonus. Bike is just at 60 lbs lighter than it started (start weight was 490 lbs)
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: CrabsAndCylinders on Oct 30, 2017, 17:14:45
Your bike looks great.  I think it has a early/mid 60's Cafe look to it, very classy, like a Triton, solid and powerful looking.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 30, 2017, 17:32:52
CrabsAndCylinders,
                             Thanks for the complements on the bike, more so as my intent from the start (before starting even) was a 1960's classic cafe look.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Alex jb on Oct 30, 2017, 17:39:56
Dude that is silk purse from a sowís ear!
Very well done.

The equal wheel size is great, there is a feature posted of a CB450 with crazy large (21 I think) wheels front and back, they look very odd and Iím sure donít handle in that bike, your 19ís look spot on with the size of the HD motor.


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Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Oct 30, 2017, 18:37:09
Alex jb,
            Thanks,
                       Has been a long time since I've heard the the term "silk purse from a sows ear", my grandmother would also use the term "mutton dressed as lamb" in reference to an older woman with to much makeup and young woman's cloths.

The 19" rear works out great to balance the bike, it's not much of a stretch from early Sportsters that had an 18" rear, the iconic HRD Vincent Black Shadow ran 19" rear with a 20" front and the scale of the Sportster and Vincent are very close.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 07, 2017, 01:13:07
Second Sportster build, Thanks to a friend, I have another project, was dropped off yesterday (most of it) and the price was right .
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 07, 2017, 20:06:33
Was thinking of going this direction with the above basket case, but with fenders.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Alex jb on Nov 08, 2017, 05:57:10
That is pretty sweet, Iím a sucker for a bit of skewed symmetry with that headlight


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Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 08, 2017, 17:47:03
Started Sportster #2 build, not much done, pulled front end off and wheels, cleaned frame and paint touch up were needed, laced, trued, put tube and tire on and balanced (front wheel). 
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: hooligan998 on Nov 09, 2017, 02:43:50
You gonna find a matching strut and make a pseudo-hardtail?
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 09, 2017, 10:52:11
Yes, but was thinking Hickory for day to day use and Ebony or Zebra Wood for show day.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: djmaynard on Nov 09, 2017, 23:32:56
Love this thread and that wheel on the 2nd build


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Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 09, 2017, 23:56:37
Thanks, more updates tomorrow. Should have the front end on
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 11, 2017, 00:15:08
Front end is on, brake rotor is on, fender is just sitting on tire (with a rubber spacer between tire and fender), fender mount will be interesting to do, rear hub came in but spokes will be a couple of weeks. No, the blue will not be the final color.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 15, 2017, 17:00:04
Still not much done, check hub fit before lace, cut a little off rear of frame,
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 16, 2017, 23:31:53
Spokes came in so I laced the 19" rear wheel, looks small without tire.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: 1fasgsxr on Nov 17, 2017, 13:36:18
I actually like the blue.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 18, 2017, 23:04:28
Waiting on tire, tube , rotor etc so started cleaning up some engine parts. Rocker covers before and after, I went with gloss black on cylinders , heads will be soda blasted and left raw.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 19, 2017, 18:32:02
I went ahead and did the heads black today, the proportions looked all wrong with short barrels and aluminum heads and rocker covers.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: stroker crazy on Nov 19, 2017, 18:41:17
No, the blue will not be the final color.

Not disappointed!

Crazy
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 19, 2017, 18:49:04
Color will be one of the following, British Racing Green, Gray or Dark Blue.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Luugo86 on Nov 20, 2017, 01:07:44
I like it man. I kinda dig the idea of a midnight blue.. Where did u pick up that front end?
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 21, 2017, 17:23:32
Rear wheel done, cleaned and painted rear pulley (looked bad before), same tire etc as the front along with new rotor.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 30, 2017, 00:17:43
Dry fit shocks along with risers and bars, risers will be black, also started the wiring.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: hooligan998 on Nov 30, 2017, 00:48:05
Well, the wood struts had a certain "I don't give two shits what you think" appeal, but I guess the shocks will work too!   :P
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Alex jb on Nov 30, 2017, 16:49:02
I have to admit, I have never taken HD that seriously, the couple I rode while I lived in Chicago were 100% style over function and I didnít like the style either.
Your build(s) is/are really opening my eyes back up!

Do you have a pic sat on holding the new bars showing your riding position?


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Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: The Limey on Nov 30, 2017, 17:13:50
That's a lovely old school cafe look.  Fantastic stuff  8)
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: CrabsAndCylinders on Nov 30, 2017, 17:29:00
Looks even pre-cafe, old time Harley racer.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Nov 30, 2017, 22:18:29
Thanks for the thumbs up guys,
Looks like I'm drifting into the realm of XR tribute (not easy to pull off with swing arm frame). If you think about it, in the hay day of Cafe Racer (mid 60's) young guys in England were not going out and buying new Triumph Bonnie's, BSA Gold Star's etc, they were buying and modifying  10,15 or 20 year old bikes (like we do today), that puts them in 1945/50's territory . I was born here in the States but grew up in the U.K., I was part of the second go around of Cafe Racer/Rocker, did the Brighton, South End on Sea, etc, etc runs in the late 70's , even then the bikes were 50's/60's/70's Triumph's, BSA's and Norton's (I had a BSA M21 thumper, then a Rocket III) no new bikes.

Anyway,  I guess I'm building more of a Diner Racer (England had the Cafe Racer), we have Diners and was, back in the day a meeting place just the same as the U.K. highway cafe. Found this video yesterday,not sure guy in video knows what TT stands for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4p-gs2m6k0
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: teazer on Dec 01, 2017, 00:47:59
That makes sense.  Beautiful work by the way.

What year was your Rocket 3?  Mine was a 72 and after I rebuilt it and ported it and so on it was way faster than it ought to have been.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 01, 2017, 01:07:45
teazer, Thanks.  1970, it was 8 years old when I got it .
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 06, 2017, 23:03:02
Started motor assembly today, I refurbished and painted starter last week. Going real old school with tank so I did a frame mod tonight.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 09, 2017, 01:07:15
Motor as it was when I got the bike a month or so ago, motor as of today (almost done).
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Alex jb on Dec 09, 2017, 07:10:34
Heluva transformation!


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Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 09, 2017, 14:34:19
Thanks. Next will be tank fit, when I make up my mind what tank to get.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 09, 2017, 14:40:06
Tanks and/or colors I think look good.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 09, 2017, 20:37:37
Did the other side of the motor today and locked down the tank/s I'm going to use.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: CrabsAndCylinders on Dec 10, 2017, 18:07:21
Continues to look fantastic!
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 10, 2017, 22:11:03
Thanks CandC. Not much done today, but got the motor in the frame.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: WhyNot on Dec 11, 2017, 11:03:46
Sumbeech......that looks great.

Now, that is some patience right there.....I don't care who ya are.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 11, 2017, 23:41:21
This may be a cool rear brake to do
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 11, 2017, 23:48:03
Only did the oil lines today, waiting on parts so here are some pictures of other bikes I thought were interesting or had some interesting elements .
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Alex jb on Dec 12, 2017, 09:02:37
Love the rear suspension on that Suzuki engined chrome bike!


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Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 15, 2017, 21:21:44
Spent the afternoon dry fitting gas tank/s, will make front brackets tomorrow and final fit.
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: Luugo86 on Dec 16, 2017, 00:28:41
You're a hell of a builder dude..  And are you building that thing in your living room?
Title: Re: Sportster Cafe Build
Post by: DBrevit on Dec 16, 2017, 01:21:45
Luugo86,
                  Thanks, not my living room, I own a shooting range and I'm in the process of converting half the main building into my shop ( two story building is 24' x 44'), will have my table lifts etc, etc set up come spring.