DO THE TON

Blood Sweat Tears and Grease => Projects => Cafe Racers => Topic started by: jpmobius on Jun 21, 2015, 15:53:37

Title: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 21, 2015, 15:53:37
Greetings all.  A while back I saw a Craig’s List add for a bunch of Yamaha RD parts.   It looked like a lot of stuff, so I went to go look at it.  Well, it was a lot of stuff, about 5-6 bikes worth, almost all in bins and boxes and most of it in pretty wretched condition.  2 bikes were kinda-sorta all put together – though pretty obviously assembled from parts.  One of the frames had a clean title, so I offered half the asking price and loaded it all up in two trips.   Then about a year later while out for a Sunday ride on one of my own RD’s, I met a guy that asked me if I had one for sale.  I told him no, but that I would be happy to build him one! (figured I had plenty of parts!).  Well we struck a deal and the pictures that follow document some of the outcome.  I decided to call this thread “the stock bike” because while this project did sort of spiral out of control from its original plan, it did hold true to the initial concept, which was to not create an obvious custom.  I think it turned out more like a Café’ bike than anything else, but it is pretty mild.  Lower bars but not clip-ons, pegs back and up a bit but not rear sets, but it did get a solo seat and cowl.  The main theme was handling though, so I decided to put it here.  Now a Yamaha RD350 is a pretty recognizable machine, so it’s pretty obvious to many people when one isn’t stock (on the other hand, when was the last time you saw a totally stock one!) so the notion was to build a bike that “looked” more or less like a factory produced machine – one that could have been “a stock bike”.  This turns out to be rather more difficult than it at first sounds.  It is one thing to fabricate custom parts, but when factories make thousands of parts, they do so using processes that are likely to be very different that the process an individual would use to build a part to function the same way.  So while there is indeed the odd (and obvious) “built from scratch” part, most things were made using factory made parts and “adjusting” them to suit.  Likewise, the bike was to be practical and reliable – like a stock bike.  Hey, but actually this was NOT a stock bike, so there would be changes to make it go a bit faster, and handle a LOT better! 
This bike will be shipped off to Australia in a few weeks, but I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out and plan to build another one very much like it for myself (project #867, so don’t hold your breath for a write up!). So opinions on this, and suggestions for “Stock Bike II” will be greatly appreciated!

Started with this beauty.  Rd350 frame with minor butchering but mendable – more importantly complete with title.  Mostly RD400 bits, some R-5 bits, and quite a few unknown bits.  Man, that 400 engine was hard to get out of that frame despite being nearly identical to a 350 - now I know why the 400's have a removable front engine mount on the right side!  Don't know how the previous owner got it in there!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 21, 2015, 15:58:19
First things first.  Mocked up a rolling chassis to test fit the new owner.  Not going to use any of the bits here except the frame, but had to determine the bars, and peg and seat location.  Once those things are determined, it’s off to the races!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 21, 2015, 16:02:07
I knew I wanted to use the stock fenders and cut them back a bit.  My customer wanted the old school brit bike taillight.  I think it looks pretty good and surprisingly does not seem to flavor the bike like it has inappropriate brit bike bits on it like I thought it might.  Turn signals are small (compared to original) but not too small to keep the stock vibe.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 21, 2015, 16:03:28
Decided to go with the “superbike” bars and stock instruments.  I spent a LOT of time with my customer deciding on the bars, and determining the foot rest location and seat height/location.  It takes a lot of trial and error and time sitting on the bike to make a determination, but pays off in the end.  Now all I have to do is make everything be in the right place.  Bars were a set I had already, and already cut down some time in the past.  Seem to be the perfect thing.  Pegs will be 1" farther back and 1/2" higher than stock.  Also determined to raise the chassis a bit for ground clearance.  The seat height will be a lot lower, Most of the parts here are for mock up and trial fitting the owner.  Going to use a larger headlight, and an RD400 tank which is a bit longer than the 350's.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 18:06:38
Probably not what you’re used to seeing, but the pipes, footpegs and side stand do not like each other and it’s going to take a lot of negotiations before they get along like OEM parts.  The empty engine case and cylinders makes flipping the bike upside down much easier!.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 18:07:49
The center stand will not be coming back to the negotiating table.  This mess will get prettied up later.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 18:14:04
Pipes fit excellent as long as you chuck the side stand and stock pegs.  These are Moto Carerra.  Very nice in stainless steel, but no way can they be fitted to a stock bike without building new foot controls and pegs as well as a new side stand.  I think ditching the center stand goes without saying, but don’t recall any mention of needing the other mods. Immaterial for this project, but seems a bit rough if you wanted to run them on your otherwise stock bike.  That said, they are very nicely made and the price is fair.  I will buy them again.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 18:17:48
A little adjustment to the worlds heaviest foot peg mount. Sadly the stock rubber mounts had to go too to make clearance.  Replaced them with nuts welded to the frame in their place.  Still a heavy hunk of hardware, but very strong and will end up quite a bit lighter than stock.  This will get a lot more surgery and hopefully look like a factory part when done.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 18:25:16
As you can see there is no room to spare.  This part will get quite a lot more welding, bending, cutting and finishing, just mocking up everything to make it all work at this point.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 18:26:33
Here is the left side foot peg.  The stock mount makes a big loop around the outside of the factory exhaust pipes.  As you can see I have cut them off much shorter, bent them to tuck up close the frame and welded the factory peg mounting back on.  The pegs are about 1 inch further back and about ½ inch higher than the stock location.  Yes, it was a fair bit of work to get both sides right on the money!  Note also the hole in the side case where the shift shaft will extend.  I had to allow room to install the lever onto the shaft without having to remove the pipes and then the foot rest bracket.  Not hard to do, just hard to anticipate before paint, final assembly, and "oh s**t"!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 18:29:01
The right side.  Evidently I should have quite working and devoted my attention exclusively to drinking by the time I took this pic!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: xb33bsa on Jun 22, 2015, 21:34:18
yes
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: rundown on Jun 22, 2015, 22:31:35
This should be a very interesting build!  Watching.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 22:42:35
Now that I've sobered up, time to start cleaning up this frame.  The not very factory looking rear brake master cylinder "through frame" mounting had to go.  Note the lovely swingarm!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 22:46:14
Factory side stand mount removed and relocated on a new reinforcing plate along with a stop for the up position.  Welded in mounting nut for footrest bracket can also be seen.  Both looking mighty chunky in this close up.  Quite a lot of remodeling on the original side stand.  Still has a ways to go in this pic, but the difficult clearance issues are done - just have to get the foot to sit flat on the ground once I get the rest of the suspension sorted out.  The stand may look pretty feeble in this pic - but it aint!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 22:51:39
Very pleased with the look in the retracted position against its new stop.  Looks better with the pipe and foot rest mount  installed and is easy to get your toe on to deploy.  Looks trivial without the engine and pipe installed but it was actually a very fussy job to get it to work well, look good and not scrape the pipe, drag the ground, etc.  It has to clear the foot peg mount, (not installed in this pic) which is why it seems so far from the frame.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 22:53:58
Steering damper (or is it dampener?) installed.  You can also see here I have started cleaning up the lower triple.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 22:56:44
Steering lock removed and "patch" welded over.  The steering locks are quite pitiful on RD’s (like most bikes) plus I don't have the key!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 22:57:55
Some more frame clean up.  There was a helmet holder clip here.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 23:06:34
Front engine mounts.  A lot of the factory frame fab is pretty rough – I welded this over and filed it smooth.  Not very noticeable, which is good compared to the noticeably BAD original.  Have to be a bit careful not to get carried away and have the frame look obviously custom – just cleaning up the really bad spots.  It is a lot of work for a pretty small return – definitely not worth it unless you follow through likewise on the rest of the project, and even then I guess it depends on who you ask!  This is much more evident after it is painted and the bike finished – you don’t have some really obvious blemish distracting your eye.  I hate spending a bunch of time on say, the engine and then bolt it in to some obvious and easily subdued or eliminated eyesore.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 23:08:34
Some more clean up and relocated rear brake light switch mount.  Just moves it up under the stock side cover.  I will bend up a new spring with a longer end later to reach the new location.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 23:09:56
This was a tang that stationed the OEM steering damper.  You can see the circular tell tale.  RD's  have a somewhat novel rotary damper attached under the lower triple.  The outer housing of the damper is prevented from turning by this now removed tang and an internal arm submerged in oil is turned by the fastening to the triple.  Sounds good, but easier to replace it.  Hey – weight savings – every bit helps!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 22, 2015, 23:17:54
Looks better sandblasted!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 13:21:09
And painted.  Epoxy primer (within the hour after sandblasting) and 2K single stage black.  Seems like a decent photo, but it looks a lot better in real life for some reason.  Usually it is the other way ’round!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 14:23:07
Ok, time to line out the plan for the rest of this bike.  As noted already, the emphasis is on handling and drivability, so there will be suspension and engine mods. 

Suspension changes are fairly subtle.  Rds are light and were among the best handling bikes you could buy in their day.  They are still fantastic to drive today, but can use a little help.  That help is limited if keeping the period factory “look” is intended so an USD fork swap or monoshock swingarm won’t do.  Rds can also be a twinge nervous at high speed, so I want to address that as well.  So I decided on some slight geometry changes accomplished by building a 19” wheel for the front.   This alone picks up the front slightly increasing the rake and trail a bit, so slightly longer rear shocks will be fitted to bring the rake back to stock.  The net effect is that the trail is slightly increased (the goal) with the secondary desired benefits of increased ground clearance and nearly perfect speedometer accuracy.  Using the factory clocks is a requirement on this bike.

Damping will be provided by Race-Tech.  Springs and cartridge emulators in the front and custom series shocks and springs in the back.  Pivots will be tapered rollers in the steering neck and bronze bushings in the back shimmed to zero lash.  And a piston style steering damper to replace the factory Yamaha rotary unit.  Wheels will be “H” section polished alloy rims with stainless spokes and slightly altered hubs, 2.15 x 18 rear and 1.85 x 19 in the front.  Widths are one size larger than stock front and rear.

Engine work is pretty conservative from a tuning standpoint.  Stock carbs with stock inlet manifold with a single large K& N filter.  YZ 125 reed petals on stock cages, with 9 mm spacers between the cages and cylinders.  Yamaha Banshee stock intake boots with crossover tube.  Cylinders are nearly stock with very minor transfer port work and stock exhaust timing, really just a careful cleanup of the stock casting.  The tops will be milled flat to use RD400 gaskets or o-rings on the heads.  Heads will be remachined for squish clearance and area and chamber volumes for pump gas.  Exhaust is from Moto Carrera.

Crankshaft will be a hybrid Banshee/Rd construction with stronger connecting rods, RG500 big end bearings and stronger main bearings.  The left side flywheel will be a Banshee component which makes it possible to mount the Banshee permanent magnet dynamo and vastly superior CDI ignition.  This basically eliminates all of the RD charging system, ignition system, and battery saving a TON of weight and vastly improving reliability.

The rest of this build will be all cosmetic.  It will get a RD400 tank because it is a bit longer than the 350, offering a bit more road racy look, and I will build a café style solo seat to match it.  The rest will be mostly stock parts either smoothed out and minimized or dolled up as needed.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 21:33:54
Pretty well along smoothing out this upper triple.   It will get painted, so it only needs the big scratches smoothed out.  The lower is done and painted.  The top isn't painted yet because it gets a semi-gloss finish like the original.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 21:37:22
Some mighty hideous side case covers.  It’s ok though as I will mill off the cast in “racing stripes” for a very smooth plain look.  Sorry no pics of them along the way - just wanted to show there is always hope no matter what you have to start with though this is really only just awful paint.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 21:42:46
Some even more hideous rear hub parts.  Hoping this will encourage others to not give up on their own dreadful looking parts.  Patience and determination go a long way as can be seen in following pics.  The hubs on this bike got painted, but they could have easily been polished.  I will post pics if I have any (and can find them)
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 21:45:51
Re-contouring the surface – there is a rectangular indent for the brake wear indicator label that I wanted gone.  You can see it in the above pic, though hard to see the recess.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 21:47:37
Bored some racy looking holes.  Note: Don’t indiscriminately alter your brake backing plate if you are not confident with re-engineering things on your own.  This is not a good part to have a hole bored in the wrong place!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 21:51:43
A little die grinder action.
And a trip through the glass beader.
And done.  I will make some dies to form up some stone screens later.  The screens will get epoxied in on the inside of the backing plate after it gets painted.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 21:59:58
I turned off the cast in fins on this hub on a lathe and polished it up before deciding I wanted the hubs to be painted black so I had to turn down another one.  I figure I will use this on something someday, and thought it easier to make another for paint rather than destroy the polish and paint over it.  This started out every bit as rough as the brake backing plate.

Like I said earlier, I bought a bunch of crap parts all at once and here is a pic of what I had to pick from.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: canyoncarver on Jun 23, 2015, 22:11:39
I'm in.  Great stuff jp man.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 22:15:08
Here I am getting the front hub ready for the lathe.  I’m just mowing this down close with a die grinder so it is less work on the lathe.  Actually, I just noticed that this is not the hub that is going on this bike.  i used a 1974 TX500 (Yamaha) front hub because a second disc was an option on that bike.  The hub is otherwise identical to the 350.  This bike is only using a single disc, but I am reversing the fork legs in order to move the heavy cast iron caliper behind the leg instead of in front of it.  this moves a very heavy mass much closer to the steering center of rotation, which will increase the assembly's natural frequency and promote speed wobble at a higher speed - hopefully higher than the bike is capable of.  Of course, the 350 hub would have worked just fine as well for this, except the mechanical speedometer drive would also be reversed and drive the speedo backwards.  The 500 hub can be installed the right way 'round and make everything work just fine - just swap out which side the disc goes on.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 22:16:56
Don't know how I get anything done in this mess!  You can see both hubs after the lathe work, and another (polished) backing plate on the far right.  Figured I would make one for the polished hub I was not using while I was at it.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 22:28:32
This should be a very interesting build!  Watching.

I'm in.  Great stuff jp man.

Thanks gentlemen. 
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: irk miller on Jun 23, 2015, 22:52:43
Very cool.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 22:54:23
Very cool.

Thank you, sir.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 22:56:47
Rebuilding the front forks.  Race Tech springs and cartridge emulators.  Guess I misplaced the springs!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 22:58:24
Drilling a couple of fluid transfer holes is all it takes.  Race Tech details the mod in their instructions when you buy their parts.  Part on the left is modified, right is stock.
 
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 22:59:17
Making some progress.  Sharp eyes will note the polished upper triple.  That got changed to another painted black and the polished triple will have to find a home elsewhere!  The rear drive hub is masked off because I am going to polish the center and I already painted it.  And that chrome ring is a vanity trim for the 500 hub on the side that has no disc.  There is quite a bit of time in those fork legs smoothing out all the casting parting lines, and some may notice the missing fender brace mounts.  Since I trimmed down the fender, it no longer needs the front braces, so I removed the no longer needed mounts on the front of the fork legs.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 23:08:43
Got the new front wheel built.  19” rim.  No idea why the disc is not bolted on in this pic – must have run out of beer!  That is a stock RD350 disc with holes drilled in it - sort of an old school pattern, but I didn't want it to look like a modern bike anywhere.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 23, 2015, 23:30:20
These bits are ready to go to the chrome shop.  I have learned that if you make your parts look like they are already chromed when you take them, you have a much better chance of accepting them when they try to give them back!  These are nearly the only chrome parts on the bike aside from the headlight ring and a few other bits here and there.  Most everything else is stainless steel.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: TranceMachineVienna on Jun 24, 2015, 05:33:30
This build already looks so perfect!keep it coming jp!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 24, 2015, 20:28:07
Thanks Ryan.  There are a lot of gaps, but I'll post what I have!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 24, 2015, 20:28:53
Ok, a lot of progress all at once.  A lot of this is still a mock up, but quite a few bits are there for good.  Lots of stuff I wish I had photographed and detailed, but didn’t.  Front end is assembled with tapered rollers and is fairly complete.  Engine in.  Got the rear wheel assembled.  Swing arm is installed – one of the things I really wish I had documented. 
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 24, 2015, 20:31:59
 Front mounts have been modified to use 4 12 mm bolts instead of the 2 long 8 mm stock ones.  Engine cases are threaded to accept the bolts.  Other engine mountings are stock.  You can see how the cylinder head mating surfaces have been milled flat in this shot.  Stock cylinders have a recess for the copper head gasket.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 24, 2015, 20:41:14
This is a fairly good shot of the smoothed out side covers and the right side foot peg and rear brake pedal.  This pedal is a bit shorter to match the slight re-positioning of the foot peg.  It is also rather a great deal different than the stock piece, as the original goes above the foot peg, while the new one goes below.  Making it was a lot like making the side stand – it is a moving part that has to not conflict with anything else, so it is a good deal of trouble constantly re-installing it with everything else in its permanent position to test the operation while making it.  It started out as the factory piece, but got bent to fit the new situation and then cut shorter and had the original foot pad welded back on.

The sharp eyed RD gurus will notice a different electrical connector coming from the alternator.  The ignition and lighting system is from a Banshee.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 24, 2015, 20:45:46
I made up some little stainless bits to clean up the brake mechanism.  Wanted to eliminate the spring and visible threads on the actuating rod.  The pinch bolt on the crank arm was stripped and I didn't realize it before having it chromed, so I made a little stainless sleeve and fixed it with a bolt and nut rather than making up another one.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 24, 2015, 20:51:26
Shifter side.  Not much to see here except the smoothed over side cover.  The shifter pedal is long per the owner’s request.  Actually super easy to make – it is stock (!)– made longer due to the peg being farther back.  I find the bike a bit awkward to ride because of it, but not as much as you might think.  Also obviously using a temporary side stand.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 24, 2015, 21:11:57
Temporary Cylinder heads installed, as well as fenders and controls mocked up.  The reliefs bent into the fork brace portion of the front fender  for the stock brake lines will have to get flattened out, and the fitment adjusted, but good enough to get an idea.  Headlight is a SOHC Honda 750 replica.  Notice I have not yet put the screens in the brake backing plate, and you can see the gratuitous “custom brake stay arm” I whittled up out of aluminum.  The stock one is heavy, and I thought the “speed holes” balance out the drilled disc nicely.  Lots still to do, but coming along!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: canyoncarver on Jun 25, 2015, 11:38:37
very clean.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 25, 2015, 12:07:37
So I’m looking at some of these photos from a pretty fresh perspective, having not seen them for some time and it struck me how unattractively dowdy this bike looks in its present form.  As a rule I have a mental picture of what whatever I am building will look like when completed, so in the main it does not strike me how unappealing things look along the way.  Well it occurred to me that less experienced folks might not easily see past the functional hardware on their own projects and make poor choices making changes or even discarding components like fenders in the name of aesthetics.  I thought this bike in this condition was a good example.

With a more objective eye, it really struck me how un-sporty and low performance this bike looks.  The bars look really high and wide and out of place, and those fenders!  No doubt the contrast of the comparatively bright grey epoxy to the black everything else magnifies the effect, but they sure do look absurdly overlarge, and surely an attractive motorcycle cannot be concocted around them.  I can see getting pretty discouraged – hard to keep working enthusiastically when it looks like your grandma should be riding it!

Whether that turns out to be true or not likely depends on who you ask, but I thought it a good thing to consider at this stage.  I think the completed bike turned out rather differently than how it looks here, despite the fenders staying exactly the same.  A good motorcycle has high performance parts – including high performance fenders.  Hopefully these high performance fenders will actually look a bit more high performance in the end.  With any luck I will get this thread completed in the next few days – and you can judge for yourself!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Dale on Jun 25, 2015, 12:54:43
I guess throwing the tank on will answer a lot of those questions straight away. :-)
Great build and beautiful exhausts. They scream 2 stroke performance.
The tank and color scheme will have to be as "performance based" as the motor - what were your ideas regarding those? But yeah, that's my subjective opinion - as you say... :-)
Love the details you've got going here.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 25, 2015, 14:17:56
very clean.

I guess throwing the tank on will answer a lot of those questions straight away. :-)
Great build and beautiful exhausts. They scream 2 stroke performance.
The tank and color scheme will have to be as "performance based" as the motor - what were your ideas regarding those? But yeah, that's my subjective opinion - as you say... :-)
Love the details you've got going here.

Thanks Guys.  Yea, I am quite pleased with the pipes.  They are biased a bit toward high rpm power compared to the cylinder porting, but still are pretty practical considering.  They fit the aesthetic requirements I had as well mimicking the chrome OEM pipes with the polished stainless, and also have a smoother, more manufactured quality than most of the options.  I didn't want a hand made look regardless of the craftsmanship.  This bike gets an RD400 tank - totally stock except for the paint and mounts, and a solo very cafe' looking custom seat.  There is not really a color scheme but the graphics are the same as a '74 RD350 but scaled a bit differently - trying to retain the OEM flavor.  My main point was trying to demonstrate that despite the fairly overwhelming appearance and nearly full size of the fenders now, they will (hopefully) seem much less prominent on the finished bike and their presence does not detract from the overall appearance of the bike - at least that is the goal.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 25, 2015, 14:56:19
Onward.  Fabricated a mounting plate for the electrics out of a piece of scrap aluminum.  Not much to it – just a little solid state regulator and CDI box.  Rd’s vibrate rather fiercely so I will rubber isolate the whole works.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 25, 2015, 14:58:59
Here it is installed.  The bottom mounting bolt uses the original mount for the factory side cover, and I made it long enough to double as a stud to mount the cover with a nut.  You can also see the rear brake light switch mounted and the long actuating wire/spring I twisted up out of some stainless wire.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Tune-A-Fish© on Jun 25, 2015, 16:47:56
Yep... that's the result of discipline and a quality environment. Nice work mang  :o
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Dale on Jun 25, 2015, 17:14:56
Nice bracket.
The RD 400 tank will look fantastic...
This is great quality build mobius.
Subscribed. - But I guess it's gonna all be over pretty soon :-)
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Dale on Jun 25, 2015, 17:17:16
Btw, is that a bug eye sprite in your avatar? At first I thought it was a triumph TR, then a Healy ... But then saw the plate ?
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: westgateok on Jun 25, 2015, 17:26:20
Wow that looks great man!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 26, 2015, 12:46:48
Yep... that's the result of discipline and a quality environment. Nice work mang  :o
Nice bracket.
The RD 400 tank will look fantastic...
This is great quality build mobius.
Subscribed. - But I guess it's gonna all be over pretty soon :-)
Wow that looks great man!

Thanks guys!  Yea, I don't have many more pictures of the build progress so the best I will be able to do is write some notes on some pictures of the completed bike.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 26, 2015, 13:12:57
Btw, is that a bug eye sprite in your avatar? At first I thought it was a triumph TR, then a Healy ... But then saw the plate ?

Yes.  59 Sprite.  I rebuilt it for a friend a few years back.  It was a real mess. He bought it literally in a bunch of boxes and crashed on all 4 corners.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 26, 2015, 13:43:02
Here are a few pics of the coil installation.  A couple of stainless steel brackets.  I really like the forward routing of the plug wires – the stock situation has really short wires which share space with lots of other things and are too cramped to put an inductive timing light pick up on.  The single coil also allows the control cable routing to be vastly improved since it takes up so much less space than the stock twin coils.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 26, 2015, 19:22:14
Here are some pics of the seat pan and cowl.  Not quite finished in these shots.  Construction is of very fine woven fiberglass cloth (sometimes referred to as “finishing cloth” – I don’t remember what the weight is) and epoxy resin.  I made a fairly complex throw away mold to create much of the underside, but the top and body architecture is of mold-less construction and you can see the green florist’s foam I used through the transparent glass. This functions just like the stock pan, although it is considerably lower.  The Half-moon shaped recess at the front was needed to clear the top of the air filter.  If this bike had a stock battery, it would stick up through the top of this pan.   It uses some custom stainless steel hinges I made up that fit the stock chassis pivots, and the catch is the same design as the stock one though it is shorter to fit the pan and also made of stainless.  The hinges and catch bolt to aluminum plates embedded in the glass very much like the stock hinges and catch bolt to the stock pan.  The pink patches are just Bondo used to contour around the plates so another layer of cloth can be smoothly laid on top.  The big holes are for rubber bumpers to snap into which sit between the frame and pan.  There are 6 total.  The 4 small holes are for bolting the seat itself on which is made just like this part with embedded plates for the bolts to thread into.  The whole thing turned out very light – I didn’t weigh it, but I’d guess less than 3 lbs., more than half of which is the seat itself as the foam padding is quite thick and surprisingly heavy.  It is super comfy though. It has a prop rod too, an altered stock piece which also uses the factory track on the frame.  This seat and base actually will "bolt on" to a stock bike if you remove the battery and oil tank filler neck and cap, so I asked a friend of mine (someone that actually knows what they are doing!) to make a high-tech silicon mold of it after it was finished.  If I ever want to make another one it will be a lot easier!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 26, 2015, 22:18:42

So I think these are pretty much the last of the “build” pics I have of this project.  Except for the bodywork, which was considerable on this bike, it’s pretty nearly complete in these pics.  Most of the wiring is organized though not loomed up yet. – Fairly simple on this bike but the bulk of it is from scratch.  Chain and sprockets are finished: a #520 conversion from the stock #530, and slightly shorter gearing, 15/41 instead of the stock 15/40 drive/rear sprockets.  You can see the Banshee permanent magnet dynamo and ignition trigger.  Also, the injector oil fill cap which is under the seat on a stock RD can be seen.  It is still there from mocking up much earlier and won’t be used, but you can see how much lower the new seat is compared to stock.  The factory seat easily clears the top of the cap, while the new one needed a recess in the front to clear the air filter.  Engine still needs heads and intake finished but is mostly there.  Unless I find some more pics somewhere, the next ones will be of the finished bike!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: xb33bsa on Jun 26, 2015, 22:54:51
wow  ;D ..hay can you tell us the rider weight the bike is set for and the rear spring rate ?
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 27, 2015, 00:50:06
wow  ;D ..hay can you tell us the rider weight the bike is set for and the rear spring rate ?

I don't remember off hand the spring rates for either end.  Rider weight including gear was set at 190 lbs. (if I remember rightly)  Race Tech recommended the springs based on that and my estimation of the bike weight of 320 lbs and the experience and riding style of the owner.  I assumed they are better at figuring out the correct parts than I am so I simply bought what they said I needed.   I probably have their recommendation recorded somewhere in an email.  I set everything up to begin with per their recommendations also, and the thing was so good right out of the gate I didn't change anything.  I did think it would be too stiff for the owner though as I weigh more than he does, but he says he loves it.  I don't know if he has made any adjustments himself.  Using the totally scientific "eagle eye engineering" method suspension sag looked pretty even and probably has 3/4 to 2/3 travel available with him sitting on it and held vertical so it certainly would seem close.  That's the only check I did aside from driving it myself.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: stroker crazy on Jun 27, 2015, 09:07:07
Respect!

Crazy
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 27, 2015, 12:09:03
Well, here is the finished product.  There are some details I think worth trying to show, but since I don't appear to have any build photos of them, I will look for some good shots out of the "completed" file and try to describe the work in future posts.  But here are a few shots in the mean time.  There is one big change from when these shots were taken, and unfortunately I don't have any pics.  The owner wanted DG heads on it (DG cylinder heads were a radial fin design aftermarket head sold with a gold anodized finish back in the 70's).  I told him I refused to put gold heads on the bike (he also wanted red cylinder heads which I also refused!  This all before he ever saw the bike - I find it simpler to refuse customer input on the aesthetics than to haggle over colors or finishes).  We did end up compromising and getting a set of reproduction heads from Ottoco (before they sold out to HVC cycles) custom machined for the altered 350 cylinders (actually this was an accident on their part.  They machined them for RD400 cylinders, and I had figured to have to do this myself) and anodized black instead of gold.  I really liked them.  The black was really low key and blended excellently with the generally black scheme.  The best thing is that they really changed the overall look of the engine - that big vertical polished outside fin on the heads really makes for a distinctive look for this series of Yamaha's.  So that trademark look to the motor is gone, but the radial design in black is quite low key and to me looks more like an unknown factory bike than a custom.  Those gold DG heads are super obvious but in black you have to do a double take.  Shame I don't have a pic!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: xb33bsa on Jun 27, 2015, 13:15:25
that is amazing ! it is perfect in every way the way a motorcycle should be built with performance as a strong priority and the skill and knowledge  to bring it together in a beatiful form. insipiring to say the least
BRAVO SIR
(http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h204/killer-ra/Gifs%20II/cheers.gif)
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: trek97 on Jun 27, 2015, 16:43:51
Thats a gorgeous machine.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: coyote13 on Jun 27, 2015, 17:29:30
Yes.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 27, 2015, 17:37:17
Here are some details I am pretty happy with.  Sorry not to have any build pics.

Paint.

I’m super happy with the paint.  There are no decals.  I couldn’t get the gold like I wanted in a decal so shot everything first with a pure silver high metallic base and candy gold – Aztec Gold I think from House of Color first.  Masked off everything and painted the red which is some 2K single stage I had laying around I think from a BMW.  Remasked the stripes and lettering and shot the black which is just straight pure black base.  A little clear and there you are.  That gold is absolutely dazzling in the sun despite how super thin the lines are.  I was worried there would be too little exposed for the effect I wanted but it turned out great.  Would have been awful if I had made the gold any more prominent.  Wish I had thought to get a picture in the sun.  This is nearly identical to the stock 1974 RD350A paint scheme graphically.  The ’74 is maroon, (forget what they called it) but the fonts and stripes are exactly the same aside from re-scaling them a bit. 
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 27, 2015, 17:42:30
Air intake grills.

I think this is my favorite modification to this bike.  I really dislike stuck–on non-functional “performance” parts that are purely cosmetic.  Like a hood scoop on a car that not only doesn’t feed the engine but doesn’t even let air in (or out) to cool the engine bay.  Stock RD’s have this very thing; little plastic louvers on the side cover and oil tank that are just non-functional trims.  I suppose they don’t look bad, but the poser aspect has always bothered me.  I have seen a fair number of bikes where the builder removed them and filled the recesses in, and you can immediately tell why Yamaha added them; the covers look just too plain without them.  I doubt opening them up is actually a performance improvement, but it can’t hurt!  So easy enough on the right side cover – just open the fake duct with a die grinder and job done.  The left side is another matter, and takes a LOT of determination to match the right side because the left side is the oil tank, and cutting out the duct there cuts straight into the tank rendering it useless.  Well on this bike I decided to go ahead and see just how much trouble it would be to make the ducts functional.

Basically I cut the back half of the front of the tank off and welded in a “wall” back up to the front of the tank to seal off the open section.  It was then a simple matter to carve out the false duct opening to make it functional.  I did a number of other mods to this tank as well:  The factory filler pipe that led under the seat was removed and patched over, and the dip stick and vent tubes likewise eliminated.  There is also a sight glass in the lower front corner to visually inspect for low oil.  Since I feel this is too hard to see making it fairly useless I eliminated it as well.  I silver soldered on a steel bung with a vented alloy cap as you can see and while I was at it I flooded my welded up bits with silver solder because I was paranoid it might leak – not the easiest welding work on the  very thin sheet Yamaha stamped the tanks out of.

I wanted to make some screens for the openings but decided they looked cheesy with just a flat piece of screen so I made up some 3 dimensional dies out of aluminum plate and pressed up the screens you see here in my bench vise.  The first set looked like crap because the wires in the screen intersect at 90 degrees, so I made a jig to clamp a piece of screen in to skew the wires to the correct angle.  A lot of work for a simple part and I had to make two sets of dies as there is a right and left side.  I simply epoxied them in from the back side after I finished the paint work.  Like I said, it was a lot of work, but I still have the dies if I ever want to do this again!

Actually both the side cover and the oil tank are not in their original locations, though it is nearly impossible to tell without having a stock bike to compare to.  The reason is that the stock bike is quite asymmetric - the oil tank bulges way out compared to the very much flatter side cover, so I moved the side cover out as far as possible without it conflicting the kick lever and moved the tank in as far as  I could and still get to that cap.  Also moved them both up a bit to tighten up the gaps.  A fairly negligible change but I think it's the small things add up to making an overall nicer finish.

Here is a pic of an original tank for reference.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 27, 2015, 21:51:38
Here is a better pic of the seat hardware.  The latch is factory except for the bail, spring and pivot pin which I made up from stainless steel.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 27, 2015, 21:58:44
Respect!

Crazy
that is amazing ! it is perfect in every way the way a motorcycle should be built with performance as a strong priority and the skill and knowledge  to bring it together in a beatiful form. insipiring to say the least
BRAVO SIR
Thats a gorgeous machine.
Yes.

Thank you all for the kind words.  Means a lot coming from folks on this board.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: brad black on Jun 27, 2015, 22:02:02
outrageous.  how many hours are in it?
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: trek97 on Jun 27, 2015, 23:10:42
Hey jp, a little something you may find interesting...

http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=66541.msg764202#msg764202
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 27, 2015, 23:13:54
outrageous.  how many hours are in it?

Ha ha. Still trying to pretend I can count that high!  I would say that it is 50/50 between the thinking of what to do and the actual doing.  Much of the doing is reasonably quick if I have done it before, but there was a good bit of new territory for me on this bike.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 28, 2015, 20:48:35
Side stand detail.

One of the more personally satisfying parts on this bike.  Seems sort of trivial once done, but before the mount is welded on and the shape bent up, it is very fussy figuring how to get it in a really good spot retracted while still working well as a prop without it being an eyesore or looking like an afterthought.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 28, 2015, 20:50:51
Body line

Wanted to include this shot because it shows why the seat pan looks like it does.  The RD400 tank has a very out-board and visible seam on the bottom and my solution to getting the seat to look like it matched was, well, to match it.  Without the matching “pinch weld” the bottom of the seat and cowl either looks too high if it matches the shape of the tank, or too low if it aligns with the bottom of the flange.  Mimicking the flange eliminated having to make a choice.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 28, 2015, 20:52:18
Controls

Rebuilt the instruments and hand switches.  All completely stock RD350.  The owner asked for closer hand levers, so I fitted some aftermarket adjustable levers that are a lot closer to the bars.  I re-machined them to fit to the stock perches.  This was a crazy amount of work and I won’t do it again.  No reason not to simply get modern bolt up perches.  I thought the MC was from an XS11, but now I can’t place it.  Used it because it has a smaller piston diameter which makes the front brake feel much more powerful and an integral brake light switch.  Pretty sure it is from the 70’s though!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 28, 2015, 20:56:21
Stone screens

Just a shot to show the screens in the rear hub a bit better.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 28, 2015, 20:58:46
And finally, and lastly, some shameless self-promotion!

Thanks for looking everyone!  And thanks especially for all the kind words - it means a lot!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: xb33bsa on Jun 28, 2015, 23:26:01
the rear hub center shaved ...... nice touch there
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: canyoncarver on Jun 29, 2015, 01:06:02
No surprise well deserved BOTM nomination.

Incredibly cool RD.   Perfectly balanced.  Mad skills.  And the Heavy Metal reflection in the pic of the right controls.   Nice. 
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Dale on Jun 29, 2015, 08:50:26
Beautiful, tasteful, skillful execution.

Really nice to see projects done to this level.
Im looking forward to your next one.
BUT PLEASE! NEXT TIME: Post more work in progress pics! :-D
Thanks for sharing. Inspiring.

BTW, the Sprite is pretty damn awesome too.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: el barto on Jun 30, 2015, 08:25:49
This bike is a wonder.

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Tune-A-Fish© on Jun 30, 2015, 10:07:38
What an accomplishment... well done!

As we say in the pits... "it looks fast on the stand" nothing left now but to go wring the piss out of it and see what its worth on the track  :o
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: jpmobius on Jun 30, 2015, 10:24:17
Thanks for the compliments everyone!

As we say in the pits... "it looks fast on the stand" nothing left now but to go wring the piss out of it and see what its worth on the track  :o

The owner has only had it a few months and has put 4000 miles on the clock, so there has been a bit of wringing.  He has 3 other bikes that are "daily" drivers, so I presume he doesn't find it particularly disagreeable!
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Tune-A-Fish© on Jun 30, 2015, 10:47:19
You don't know how good that sounds... I was thingking... "man I hope that gets to go play and not collect dust" Sooo good to hear the owner is putting miles on it.  ;D
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: bonzer on Jul 22, 2015, 23:46:05
I'm a little late in the game to view this and reply but I am blown away!  Thank you so much for posting the progress and tidbits on all the custom work.  You are a true craftsman. Fit and finish on this thing is nothing short of immaculate and loving all the proper 2T goodies. Great to hear 4000 miles have been logged already because as beautiful as this thing is, it looks like a proper and very tasteful RD.  Good on ya!  Ring a ding ding waaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!  ;D
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: Tune-A-Fish© on Jul 22, 2015, 23:57:13
If I had that to ride to school back when it was new, I would of had good reason for the two up foot pegs :o
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: djmaynard on Jun 26, 2016, 13:14:46

A little die grinder action.
And a trip through the glass beader.
And done.  I will make some dies to form up some stone screens later.  The screens will get epoxied in on the inside of the backing plate after it gets painted.
Love that! Have thought about getting a sand blaster to do just that for my parts. Looks so good.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: djmaynard on Jun 26, 2016, 13:41:00
Wow, what a great journey that is, really inspires me to take my time and not "just get it done". Bravo, just bravo.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: cb250nproject on May 03, 2018, 22:11:22
such a beautifully finished build, Id enjoy opening the door to my garage everyday if that was parked behind it.
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: kar1zma on May 29, 2018, 19:13:20
the MOST beautiful RD i have ever seen
absolutly gorgeous

i have started a project of my own and i would like to contact u
for maybe some work. especially the seat and rear coupe
Title: Re: The Stock Bike
Post by: CrabsAndCylinders on May 30, 2018, 02:48:07
Nice to see this post again, what a beautiful bike!