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Author Topic: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build  (Read 6497 times)

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« on: Jul 24, 2011, 13:13:51 »
Hi,

I recently bought a 1983 Honda Ascot Vt500, and kind of got the cafe racer bug after checking out some the excellent rides you guys have. I also have a vt500 shadow as my first bike, but the guy who sold it to me lied through his teeth, and It's been nothing but difficult.

It never ran properly and stalled often so we ended up replacing basically the entire ignition system, rebuilding the carbs, noticed one of the cylinders had low compression, put in new rings and gaskets, it ran the best it ever did for one ride, then the transmission blew. So now I have this ascot, that is mechanically identical, so I can swap parts more or less interchangeably.

The thing cost $600 bucks, runs really well, (100 times better then the shadow), and sounds great, but it looks ugly as hell. Its been dropped/beat up cause some guy bought it, didn't actually know how to drive it and put it into a ditch instantly, and the tank/body panels are in bad shape. The engine is great though, odometer reads 30k km and I'm inclined to believe it.

I don't have any pictures yet until I get access to a digital camera, but I attached a pic of an ascot, just imagine, dirtier, ugly yellow orangepeel/blister/I swear it must be house paint, and faded. It will probably be slow, and on a very tight budget, because I'm in full-time university, even right now (mid summer).

I've just been swapping parts from the shadow which is in great shape(visually) and I think the gas tanks are interchangeable and I plan on replacing the rectangle headlight with the one off the shadow.

I'm obviously not as experienced as you guys who are very gifted, but my dad is basically a mechanic so nothing is out of the question, and he can help.  If you guys can think of things that can be done on the very cheap, to enhance the look that would be great. I do need to keep it two seater though, cause half the reason to have a motorcycle in university is to drive young ladies about haha.

But yeah, any ideas where I can get a set of cheap clubman handlebars? (I'm on the east coast of Canada).


Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #1 on: Aug 04, 2011, 23:19:32 »
I replaced all the lights on the ascot, with the ones from the shadow which were in much better shape, and swapped the gas tanks as well. Looks a million times better with a round light. The gas tank for the shadow is a bit bigger then the ascot, but pretty much a direct swap. I kind of like how the new tank looks on it.  I'm gonna do a quick black paint job on the yellow pieces (I'll do it proper later just want it to be less multicoloured as I drive down the road), once I get the side panels to fit with the bigger tank. I'm also gonna wrap the exhaust which is pretty beat up, but still sound.

I found clipon's for cheap from a bike but the fork diameter is 1 mm larger, can I/should I still fit them?

Also the bike runs well but in higher RPM, and when you really giver it chuggs a bit. I haven't looked at the carbs yet, but could it be anything else? I noticed that it has an aftermarket exhaust and was wondering if I had to tune the bike to properly run with it? I know that these bikes are specifically designed with backpressure and some other stuff I'm not too sure about in mind.

I'm liking how it's looking so far. Not much will be done until winter cause I want to ride it for now.

I'll have pictures up in a bit, I borrowed my mother's camera, but she is not tech savvy, and has no idea where the USB cord for her digital camera is cause she always goes in to get them developed, I may have to go in and get a cd of them from the photoplace in Walmart.

Finally got some photos.

Here is the ascot, looks better in the photos than in person.








Here is the vt500 shadow, that I transfered my parts off of.

Before


After


The ascot with new lights/tank




This is pretty much how it stands everything yellow is now black, I have clubman bars/bar end mirrors, and need to purchase new turning lights.
« Last Edit: Mar 11, 2012, 23:11:46 by andrew6v »

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #2 on: Aug 04, 2011, 23:30:55 »
I was looking at another ascot cafe build (first thing that comes up google ascot cafe racer) and stole this photoshop picture of his (before and after) of what he is planning on doing, I was thinking of doing the same thing, and maybe getting a cateye tailight/licenseplate holder underneath what do you think(I gotta make use of what I have)? Another thing I was thinking of was doing the opposite, getting rid of the red tailend, and moving the little fender to be more or less flush with the seat, It would work better on my bike cause the fender looks more like a fender, I think this is a european ft500, and mine is a canadian vt500, has a slightly different piece there (mine looks like the rear fender in my first post). Would that look alright?

Before

After
« Last Edit: Aug 04, 2011, 23:33:54 by andrew6v »

Offline joeyputt

  • Posts: 1253
  • The green flag sets me free
    • dwmsracing
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #3 on: Aug 05, 2011, 03:12:51 »
Welcome Brother! First bikes are really special so take your time and enjoy the build, getting to build with your dad is awesome too as you will make memories that will last a lifetime. I like the idea of building the ascot, it will be a cool bike!
Joe - Owner/Operator of DWMS Racing World Class Engine & Motorcycle Building www.dwmsracing.com

Cylinder Head Porting Sale! http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=56203.msg637024#new

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joe.dwmsracing

Offline AWDimprezal

  • Posts: 34
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #4 on: Aug 05, 2011, 11:23:32 »
Good luck! Looks like this one will be a little bit difficult!
08 Z1000
81 KZ750

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #5 on: Aug 05, 2011, 11:57:55 »
Thanks

Yeah I have my doubts if it will look like a "true" cafe racer, but that's mostly where my inspiration is coming from, It's gonna be uniquely mine, which is all that matters.

Offline joeyputt

  • Posts: 1253
  • The green flag sets me free
    • dwmsracing
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #6 on: Aug 05, 2011, 12:47:32 »
I think it will look awesome Brother, and as you said it will be uniquely yours so what better bike could you have!
Joe - Owner/Operator of DWMS Racing World Class Engine & Motorcycle Building www.dwmsracing.com

Cylinder Head Porting Sale! http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=56203.msg637024#new

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joe.dwmsracing

Offline IndieSol

  • Posts: 1368
  • "This one goes to eleven." -Nigel Tufnel
    • Project: Pariah
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #7 on: Aug 05, 2011, 14:08:34 »
Welcome to the site.

I recently thought about buying one of the V-twin Ascots, but it was already sold.  In researching it, I actually became quite a fan.  It would be a great base for a street tracker project.  Throw a couple number plates on the site covers, one over that ugly ass headlight, some taller rear shocks and you got a sweet bike.

Plus, with 49hp IIRC, it's got plenty of gedup. 

Great score, I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it.
BMW R100
XT350
CJ360 Cafe Project

Project: Pariah

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #8 on: Feb 03, 2012, 00:21:00 »
I still unfortunately don't have any pictures, my mother lost the adapter for her digital camera, I think I'm just gonna take it in to a photo place to get them to take the photos off the camera.

I haven't posted in a while, I planned to get a lot done over the winter but my dad decided to organize the basement which lead to the garage filling up with basement crap. Oh well school is keeping me too busy anyways. I did manage to get the motorcycle running perfect before I put it away, the engine had a chugging moment at high speed, which I figured out was due to the improper placement of a rubber tube off of the carburetor that gauges atmospheric pressure. 2 mins and a zip tie later and the motorcycle runs amazing  ;D. Too bad it was the last ride of the season.

I was having a dilemma as to what to do to the rear end of the motorcycle since I don't want a "tracker" look. I made this mockup of the motorcycle on paint (haha), added fork boots, shortened the forks by a bit over an inch, added round headlight, round gauge, a new rear end, shaved the seat a little and added clubman bars. The tank currently on it is from a vt500 shadow, and so I made a recreation of it, the proportions look correct to me. The red line in the black side panel would not actually exist, it just distinguishes where the current side cover ends, and the rear end would begin. The burgundy is just a final colour I was thinking about using, I also plan to paint the wheels black, and the engine matte black. The exhaust is wrapped with grey exhaust wrap. I was also thinking about ditching the front fender, but I am not sure how legal that is in Nova Scotia, I looked into it and nothing explicitly stated anything about it. I have definitely seen street-fighters with stretched swing-arms with nothing close to a fender.



Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome! :)
« Last Edit: Feb 03, 2012, 13:45:37 by andrew6v »

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #9 on: Feb 03, 2012, 00:27:57 »
oh, I wish I could get rid of the side cover altogether and the airbox, however placement of a podfilter or side filter would be difficult given the position of the air inlets. I have only seen a picture of one extensively modified ascot (vt500) that got rid of the airbox, but could never find a build article.

According to the ascot owners group, a few have tried and failed miserably.

edit: found the modified ascot



I said it was extensive.
« Last Edit: Feb 03, 2012, 00:33:52 by andrew6v »

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #10 on: Mar 11, 2012, 23:13:22 »
New pictures added in earlier post.

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #11 on: Aug 03, 2012, 13:17:53 »
So I have been just waiting on parts, and slowly trying to develop an idea of what I want to do for this bike. It's gonna be slow cause i am in university, and working, and poor, and it's my riding bike, so right now I just wanna ride it.

I'm really impressed with the bike, it's quick with 50 horsepower, 420 pounds wet. Clutch is slipping but the engine works great so I need to address that, I believe just the springs have lost their stiffness as the bike doesn't have many miles on it.

One thing I was wondering was what tanks might fit this bike? It has a double neck design with a carbboot in the middle so I wanted to know what bikes have large tunnels in the gas tank? Right now I'm looking at at 75 CB400f tank, maybe it will fit?

Anyways I need to throw up a different picture of the bike, as it looks better now then in all the other photos.

Offline jdub

  • Posts: 272
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #12 on: Aug 03, 2012, 13:26:49 »
Here's another Ascot on DTT:
http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=1398.0

Check this one out:

Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #13 on: Aug 03, 2012, 14:42:09 »
Here's another Ascot on DTT:
http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=1398.0

Check this one out:


I'm surprised I missed that DTT thread.

But yeah I've seen that ascot cafe racer before, he has a lot of work/money in it. Unfortunately I can't hire someone to make a tank and covers.

I do like that GB500 seat that he has on there though.


I know the radiator on the ascot is actually brass, with an ugly plastic cover. I think i'll strip it and polish it, and incorporate brass into the rest of it somehow.


Offline andrew6v

  • Posts: 56
Re: 1983 Honda vt500 Ascot my first build
« Reply #14 on: Aug 03, 2012, 14:55:45 »
http://www.johnnystoybox.com/complete.htm

Here is another nice build of an Ascot. I like how it looks like it "could" be stock. Probably how they should have came from the factory.