Uncommon virago cafe

biker_reject said:
Nice. I'm likin' it! I am starting the process of building my subframe and figuring out the mounting of an SX tank. I fiddled with my stock tank, and just couldn't come to terms with it. Good to see more and more Viragos popping up! Do we have Englebert's famous build to thank for this?

No Englebert here but i have seen his builds, just didn't know they were his.
 
cqyqte said:
Interesting project, I like the frame reconstruction it gives you a great foundation for a cafe seat. Are you going to hoop the rearend of the frame? Did you re-angle the neck or did you just drop the fork tubes? It looks interesting, but I would run the numbers throught the trail calculator just to see what number pops out. Hate to see all this work to find a tank-slapper death wobble :eek:.

Going to bookmark this build to watch progress, good start, lovin' it!

No hoops going on my bike. I only drop the forks through the triple tree 2". I hope I don't create a bike with death wobble. I will be installing steering damper at end of the build.
 
CBPayne said:
No hoops going on my bike. I only drop the forks through the triple tree 2". I hope I don't create a bike with death wobble. I will be installing steering damper at end of the build.

No, doesn't happen ................. I dropped mine 2" from the off and then worked all the way back to OEM in 1/2" increments. No perceptible difference and certainly no ill effects. If anything the stock Virago / TR1 family have a very lazy headstock trail angle to suit the Cruiser style of bike / riding. Sharpening this up [ ie raise the tubes ] makes the bike more flickable [ is that a word ? ] akin to modern Race Reps.

I've gone a stage further on my Vindicator Cafe Racer by shortening the wheelbase [ rear axle moved forward ] by 1 1/2". That has yet to be trialled with the raised fork tubes, but I think I'll end up with about 1 1/2" raise with the shorter w/base.
 
Beachcomber, shortening the rear portion of the W/B will increase the rear weight bias thus lightening the front end. It might be better to do the opposite, shorten the front and make it steeper as well by slightly raising the rear ride height. I like to change forks, but along with the modern forks (which are often shorter) the typical modern triple clamps also have much less offset than older style. This of course will shorten the forward W/B I know you know this but just throwing it out for discussion.
Cheers, 50gary
 
Right now my main goal is not to get the bike built...what? Im just trying to get the bike so I can fire her up. I'm saving my money to buy a EVO2 ballistic battery around $170. Well I was going with the Shorai battery around $180-190, but the ballistic is a little cheaper and it is smaller. Only thing is you have to buy a special charger for it that cost $75. There is no way I can use the stock or those bikemaster batteries. I personaly think the bikemaster batteries are a waste of money. Those gel batteries cost almost the same amount money as the lithium batteries but way as much as if not sometimes more.

Hey beachcomber do you have any ideas for saving weight on these heavy bikes. I have remove the usually stuff and I have heard about switching to aluminum wheels.

Thanks everybody for chiming in. Keep on keepin' on
 
My R1 forks are about 4" shorter than the stilt-like stock forks. I was hoping not to have to put a damper on. I am a convert to the Ballistic battery. Also, when I finally got my xv to the roller phase, I noticed how easy it was to roll around! I figure it was from the drastic weight reduction and low center of gravity. There also appears to be very little rolling resistance. Got me...
 
50gary said:
Beachcomber, shortening the rear portion of the W/B will increase the rear weight bias thus lightening the front end. It might be better to do the opposite, shorten the front and make it steeper as well by slightly raising the rear ride height. I like to change forks, but along with the modern forks (which are often shorter) the typical modern triple clamps also have much less offset than older style. This of course will shorten the forward W/B I know you know this but just throwing it out for discussion.
Cheers, 50gary

Gary - this decision was made after some research. Weight distribution is NOT a problem. I weigh in at a very trim 250lbs [ !! ] and with a Cafe Racer stance - ie weight forward, the actual front / rear weight bias has been calculated to take this into consideration. Compare that with my same 250lbs sat bolt upright or leaning slighly back - that probably equates to at least 150lbs of moveable ballast !!!

Moving our weight around the bike to give us optimum control is something we do totally without thinking - whether it's forward, back or hanging off the side.

Like the current discussions about why GP riders [ in the main ] dangle a leg into some bends. They are moving a significant ampount of weight to a location that assists the cornering abililty.

Seemed to make sense to me when the commentators [ UK ] were pontificating about "air brakes", panic reaction, putting following riders off, etc, etc. Then Rossi, who started the trend came out and confirmed the weight distribution theory in an interview at the end of the season.

I've done a lot of work over the years on the effects of weight distributions in various design applications [ race cars , Trike. ] and applied this to solo bikes and sidecars for as long as I can remember.

The main reason for shortening the wheelbase is that I feel the TR1 / family is way too long for use as anything else but cruising mode. Whereas I'm no longer the hard rider I used to be, I still enjoy bend swinging to the best of my diminishing abailities.

CB - you will have no doubt already swapped out most of the heavy / bulky stuff. The stock seat / cowl / mudguard weighs a ton ! Ditto the stock silencers [ vs meggas ]. The alloy rimmed spoked wheels are considerably lighter - I'll get an exact weight when mine come back from the wheelbuilders. Other heavy OEM stuff - like the chain enclosure [ chain drive models ] saves a bunch by binning it. Alloy or GRP gas tank will give a significant saving. I'm expecting to see a 100lbs minimum weight saving on the Vindicator.
 
Looking for advice on my paint job. What I've decided is matte black for the tank and grabber blue(ford color) for the frame. I think Im going to buy black rearsets. I don't think chrome is going to go with the paint job, but Im not for sure. So I'm thinking black triple trees and forks...maybe
 
I think the grabber blue frame and matte black tank and cowl would look....... alright unless you plan to have some pinstriping done in the grabber blue on the tank and seat to tie it in together. The only reason i said alright other wise is that the matte black and grabber blue would stand out to starkly from onr another it would look strange to me. But to be honest i have seen a lot of paint jobs that i didn't agree with in my head until i saw the finished product and then i loved it.
 
Beachcomber;
How did you shorten the swing arm? Cut it or take the 1" out of the supplied adjustment? I would love to see more of this build.
 
rundown said:
Beachcomber;
How did you shorten the swing arm? Cut it or take the 1" out of the supplied adjustment? I would love to see more of this build.

RD - I'm just getting back into it [ Vindicator ] and hope to have mt swing arm back from my pal in a week. Originally we were going to cut and shut the tubes - but then realised I could get the required 1 1/2" forward movement of the axle simply by elongating the slot. Actually - that IS the simplified version ! It also requires some fettling of the tube ends to allow room for the axle washer. No big deal for anyone with a welder and grinder. My pal welded a neat plate over the job to make it look OEM.

As soon as the s/a is back I'll take some pix. I might have some somewhere of the initial rough mock up - not a pretty sight, but you'll get the idea. In the event - very simple.
 
Beachcomber;
Thank you for the prompt and clear answer. For some reason the idea of a Virago based Cafe is stuck in my head, I realize no good will come from this, but such is passion.
 
rundown said:
Beachcomber;
Thank you for the prompt and clear answer. For some reason the idea of a Virago based Cafe is stuck in my head, I realize no good will come from this, but such is passion.

hey RD - they are TOTALLY ADDICTIVE ! I have 3 x projects now - 4 if you include one I'm building for a pal.

There are so many variations available - Olde Worlde 60's Style Cafe Racer [ Vindicator ], a modern take on same - Doc and others, pure racers - Sepp Koch, Pat Cowan, Woods [ Dave Aldana bike ], totally off the wall "Specials" - Loek and many more. And that's before we get to Bobbers, Trackers etc. Oh yes and a Boardtracker - my Cafe Creme project. The basic powerplant lends itself to all the above.

In stock form the bikes are ...bland. Do everything reasonably well, but nothing outstanding. However [ styling aside ] ditch that pathetic exhaust system for something a bit, well freeflow / louder and junk 80 - 100lbs of excess weight and you have the basis for a cool project.

Found an early pic - like I say this was the first mock up - not pretty, but you get the idea.

Picture173.jpg


Picture092.jpg
 
Who wants to see more paint brush, it doesn't matter Im going to post it anyways. I used paint brush to draw up my seat idea.
 

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I started doing the wire harnness and I built the electrical tray. I need to drill out one of the rivets and redo it.
 

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Today I got some parts in from DCC. 7" headlight bucket with brackets and a left side control switches.
 

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Yesterday I got the ignition side connected. It's not pretty, actually it's a mess, but she turn over. Now today I gave her some gas.
Im having the some of the same problems I had with her before. Im going to replace the the throttle assembly and cable, I'm sure that causing some problems and Ill put the gas tank on. Im sure the carb is dirty. Before and now when run the throttle I'll let go and the rpms go up for about 5 maybe 10 seconds then dead. Maybe one of the jets is cloged or there is trash in the bowl, I don't know. Im not very knowledgeable about carbs.
 

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Very nice project and I really hope you won't lose your interest in it. I really want to see how this is going to look like when finished :)
Probably because I'm going to start my own project on a similar bike next winter or so :D

Don't worry I won't copy your work, just getting ideas for the frame which you also found not so good for cafe stylish bike :)
 
pirkkalalainen said:
Very nice project and I really hope you won't lose your interest in it. I really want to see how this is going to look like when finished :)
Probably because I'm going to start my own project on a similar bike next winter or so :D

Don't worry I won't copy your work, just getting ideas for the frame which you also found not so good for cafe stylish bike :)

Im still at it, I have a part time job and not a lot of bills, but enough to keep this project at a slow pace. Thanks for watching though.

Its pretty sweet that I could somewhat inspire you... Fist bump! As far as copying, I have a hard time finding ideas, parts, improvements that are functional and look good. Mainly because I have never done this before. So If I can help...Kewl. I do know that the project needs to be something I enjoy, a labor of love, or it will not turn out so.. When I get frustrated with it, I walk away and come back later.
 
Ok so I got some new stuff and some set backs or redos. I bought a cb750 remake master cylinder, not a rebuild or old new stock.
For those who are watching this thread what is your honesty opion on these two tanks. I know which one I like and I might have already made my choice, but Im curious.
 

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