Quickie VF400 Street Tracker

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Some of you may have seen that I have abandonned the idea of using a VF400 engine in my Boardtracker. I was never a fan of the water cooling and it was going to be a real pain trying to disguise it / lose the radiator. Somehow I ended up with 2 donor bikes and virtually another in spares. Well the "good" donor I got sold off and ended up doubling my money. I've also sold off quite a few of the spares, so once I decided on the 125 Virago lump I decided to liquidate all the VF400 stuff.

Except a fellow DDT'er pointed out the the second spare bike looked quite good ..... in fact when I checked into it, apart from some cosmetic issues - it was !!

So, time to put that XR750 and light unit to use that I originally had planned for the Glemseck project when THAT was going to be a Flat Tracker. ... then there was a set of Renthal copies and some other goodies. I posted up my intentions on the VF400 forum and a guy immediately said he'd give me £75 for the seat !!! I only paid £150 for the bike - so far so good.

It will be a mild makeover, but at least it should mean I have a bike on the road this Summer. The beauty is it will virtually pay for itself in spares I sell.

Stop press - just sold the headlamp and fairing for £135 - I'm actually £60 in pocket at this point !
 

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teazer

Over 10,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
Won't be hard to modify the rear subframe too mount that seat and not too much work to blend teh seat and tank. Add a headlamp and it's done.
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Won't be hard to modify the rear subframe too mount that seat and not too much work to blend teh seat and tank. Add a headlamp and it's done.
I think you are to blame for this one Teazer !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Just had a guy on who wants the silencers - £120 the pair.

Just as well I've got a couple of Lobster tail meggas that we got as a "whatif" for the Glemseck project. £32 the pair !!!!
 

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Brodie

Gold Coast, Queensland
DTT SUPPORTER
Making money and building a bike, that's not how it's ment to work is it? If so I have been doing it all wrong...

Looking forwards to see where you take this.
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Brodie, this has been my aim in bike building from the early 60's on !

The first special [ Cafe Racer ] I built was a Tribsa - 1962 [ ? ]. A running B33 [ rode it home ] £5.50. Sold engine for £5.00, seat, mudguards and all the uneccessary squitter for another £25.

Next a Triumph Ton Ten - £12.50 [ wow ]. Sold rolling frame to a sidecar guy £18 and gearbox to a mate £5.

There had been other "modified" bikes before that - but none scratch built.

Fast forward to the Naughties ......... 2002 - Kay 100 RT £350 - sell off bodywork fairings, lights, etc £275, Panniers £150 [ genuine Beemer ], seat and other shit £180 ................... Yep - still works !

A note to new builders - it is generally cheaper to buy a donor [ say for the lump ] then sell off all you don't need. Especially lucrative if the bike has a V5 [ registration papers ] which makes the frame valuable.

Oh , just sold the rear plastic cowls and indicators for £55 !!!
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Had a few hours spare today ..... mock up Renthals using old K100 risers. The headlight fairing I got looks all wrong - back to the drawing board.

I managed eventually to remove the old petrol cap - no keys ! I'll probably use one of my spare Monza caps.

Shortened the rear guard and trial fitted the XR750 seat, biy of trimming and it will sit down nicely on the top frame and then just needs some small infill fillets and blending in to the OEM side panels. The last pic with the Shotgun rear lamp shows the seat resting on the rear brackets when they are lopped off the seat will fit nice and snug.
 

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beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
A bit more work while I am waiting for exhaust parts for the Glemseck and the intake manifold for the Boardtracker.

I bought a bikini headlight fairing [ scooter ], but looks all wrong .... unless I was building a Street Fighter !

The main problem is the bulky and fugly instrument binnacle. Need to ditch it really, but brings me into the black art of electrics if I go with aftermarket instruments etc ..... not my comfort zone.

On the plus side the seat / side covers look much simpler to acieve a smooth look.

The PO lost the keys, so another Monza [ alloy ] flip cap will be drawn from my stash. Took ages to get the old cap off !
 

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teazer

Over 10,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
Fortunately it's not a Ducati with the key, ECU and Instruments all matched. Maybe look for a tacho with speedo insert so top speak. Simple single instrument.

I use a TrailTech Vapor because it's small and rectangular(ish) but there are better units out there. Try a dual sport/street scrambler type fairing. I used a plain 8x11 plastic rectangular number plate and changed its shape a little on the Phat Trakka. A little heat and a little bit of trimming and Robert's your mother's brother. Behind that is a small carbon fiber box that some of the electrics hide inside. I used an offcut of a 4x4 inch post as the mold. Cheap, easy and effective for the purpose.

Simple is always best and electrics aren't too daunting. I tend to draw out each circuit on a separate sheet of paper because doing it all at once is more than my brain can process. That way I can see all the safety switches and relays and so on which makes it easier to design a new clean simple loom. Integrating them all later is not too hard.

That VFR reminds me of the wiring mess on my ST3 when I decided to go naked - the bike - not me. Ducati had all that space inside teh bodywork and I had to make it all shrink and disappear. Took a few goes but we got there. For the ignition, you might want to start from scratch and use say an Ignitech TCIP4 with two pickups and dnump the Honda ignitor boxes and related components.
 

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Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
A bit more work while I am waiting for exhaust parts for the Glemseck and the intake manifold for the Boardtracker.

I bought a bikini headlight fairing [ scooter ], but looks all wrong .... unless I was building a Street Fighter !

The main problem is the bulky and fugly instrument binnacle. Need to ditch it really, but brings me into the black art of electrics if I go with aftermarket instruments etc ..... not my comfort zone.

On the plus side the seat / side covers look much simpler to acieve a smooth look.

The PO lost the keys, so another Monza [ alloy ] flip cap will be drawn from my stash. Took ages to get the old cap off !
I love Hondas but they use way more wire than you need for the bike to run, just so they can put all the connections in the headlight. You can really clean up a lot by using multiple grounds close to the items that need them etc. and not running everything into and out of the headlight bucket.
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Thanx for the guidance boys.

Sounds so easy when you say it !!!!!!!!

Teazer your headlamp fairing was what I had in mind initially but couldn't find anything suitable on EBay.

MT, yes it's obvious from the yards of spare wiring - they could save a fortune.

First off I will try to get it running as is - I haven't disconnected anything yet or burned any bridges.

I'll deal with all the simple to do stuff first as I really DO want to have a bike on the road this year !
 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
Ha if I could ride over I'd sort your wiring over a few pints. Sadly there is a large body of water in the way.
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Yes, if only ...... I've had so much support and encouragement from my North Ameerican cousins.
 

teazer

Over 10,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
I took an 8x11 inch plate and applied heat with a heat gun along the "seam" and then clamped it in a press. That consisted of a couple of old shelves. One clamped either side of the plate to bend it in a fairly straight line. Really low cost, low tech.

I searched for ages on line and bought a couple of cheap ebay plastic dual sport number plates but they were junk and the wrong size. Make a card template to get dimensions and angles to work and then cut that shape out of metal or plastic. I used a pair of equally cheap and nasty fog/driving lamps on a simple bracket I welded up, but which small LED projectors, a single light should be easy to work with. It may be just a little short of DOT/MOT specs but this thing is unlikely to ever do a lot of miles at night, so as long as it lights up, it's good.

With the complex mix of curves and hard edges on the tank and seat, you have lots of room to play with shapes. Or start with a flat sheet basically mounted striaght onto the fork legs and see if that works.

Or go old school US style with a really small headlamp at the front and no fairing. Try a 5.5inch LED headlight in a simple mount pulled in close to the forks.

Just do not let the search for perfection stop you from finishing it.........
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
I took an 8x11 inch plate and applied heat with a heat gun along the "seam" and then clamped it in a press. That consisted of a couple of old shelves. One clamped either side of the plate to bend it in a fairly straight line. Really low cost, low tech.

I searched for ages on line and bought a couple of cheap ebay plastic dual sport number plates but they were junk and the wrong size. Make a card template to get dimensions and angles to work and then cut that shape out of metal or plastic. I used a pair of equally cheap and nasty fog/driving lamps on a simple bracket I welded up, but which small LED projectors, a single light should be easy to work with. It may be just a little short of DOT/MOT specs but this thing is unlikely to ever do a lot of miles at night, so as long as it lights up, it's good.

With the complex mix of curves and hard edges on the tank and seat, you have lots of room to play with shapes. Or start with a flat sheet basically mounted striaght onto the fork legs and see if that works.

Or go old school US style with a really small headlamp at the front and no fairing. Try a 5.5inch LED headlight in a simple mount pulled in close to the forks.

Just do not let the search for perfection stop you from finishing it.........
Teazer, the small headlamp tucked right back was my first option thought, but I was chickening out on the wiring issue [ wiring and gearboxes - not for me ]. Wiring not so much of an issue - follow the dots, but it's all the fargin electronics !!! Give me an old Brit bike with a regulator and F.A.D.E. connections and I'm good to go.

When you mentioned 5.5" headlamp that triggered a vague [ !! ] memory that I bought one years ago for another project. Bingo - found it, still brand new in it's box a bottom mount genuine Bates 5.5" unit.

As the bike will be street legal I need to have the obligatory idiot lights, but lots of options there.

Yep, that's the way to go ....... watch out for a future enormous electrical fire in downtown Redditch !!!!!!!!!
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
My pal Brian chopped some 19mm dia thick wall tube to make up spacers for the BMW bar risers. I'll make up a spreader plate to go under the yoke as it's only about 3/8" thick alloy. There will be considerable additional load put on that area through the bars. Belt and braces.

I finally managed to get the OEM silencers freed off and removed ! Don't think they had ever been off before.

The Lobster tail meggas are spot on - happy.
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Hmmmmm - don't like it, lot's of stress going through 2 relatively small areas and the yoke is only 3/8" thick.

Plan B - I'll make up a solid block of alloy to fit the top yoke 40mm thick and drill the mounting holes through, that way the load will be spread evenly across the top of the yoke.

The 5.5" Bates will do nicely and I found a couple of small gauges bought for previous projects.

Cables and hoses will probably have to be lengthened. Fortunately I have dozens of braided hoses from other projects, and maybe the other cables can be re-routed.
 

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beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER


Made a little progress on my Flat Tracker project.
Clip ons removed and Renthals [ copy ] mocked up in place.
Clutch side controls are fine and all wiring / hose will reconnect with a bit of juggling the routing under the tank. There's enough spare wiring etc. on the clutch side to tidy all the cables etc. so they're not floating in the breeze - as per the POC pic.
Not so sure about the throttle side, the top brake hose will have to be changed for a longer one and the throttle cables are looking a bit suspect ! However, once the tank is off I can see if they can be re-routed to gain some length. Fortunately I have dozens of braided hoses from previous projects.
I've ordered a block of 40mm x 30mm alloy to make up the bar riser mounts for the renthals [ copy ]. I'm quite happy that will distribute the loads through the top yoke without problems.
I'm going with a Bates 5.5" headlamp pushed as far back to the headstock as I can to get a clean look. I can re-posiiton the fuse block without any problems and that just leaves the idiot lights to sort out. All the wiring can be tidied up and then it's just a case of creating all the original connections.
I'm using one of my spare XR750 Flat Tracker seat bases and the mounting is dead easy. I'll trim the side panels down to give a smooth transition and it will need two small fillets to fill the smalll gap between the seat side and the frame tubes.
The fuel filler cap is being a P.I.T.A. - I bought a new one as the key was misplaced when I got the bike. I'll probably go with a Monza flip cap.
I finally managed to get the original silencers off and the Lobster tail meggas look the biz and fit right in with the look I'm trying to achieve.
 

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beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
The alloy block has been drilled and fettled for the spacer for the bar risers and trial fit this afternoon - 100%, glad I went to the extra trouble.

Might also be a suitable place to mount the Rev Counter and Speedo [ aftermarket ].

I'll make up the bracket for the Bates 5.5" headlamp this week nand also have a look at the controls / cables etc on the brake side. I've got a several braided hoses to choose from.
 

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