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Thread: New here, looking for general advice

              
   
   
  1. #11
    Electric Warrior CaptainKlapton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottk42 View Post
    I like the looks of cafe racers or sport bikes (similar enough I suppose).
    1. What brands/makes/years would you reccommend that are popular enough? I imagine any recent Ninjas or GSX or similar japanese bikes are pretty easy to swap out parts.
    2. What do you mean by this, the type of motor mount? I'm thinking of having it mounted the traditional manner where it sits on the sprung frame and connected via a chain.
    3. Hmm I didn't think of the width of the frame at all.

    Thanks for your help, obviously I'm fairly naiive.
    1. Most of the Japanese bikes still have a sizable aftermarket support. Early to mid '90's upper displacement GSX-R's are a really good choice (just ask Noah) they have lots of space and are relatively wide and rectangular.
    2. I was talking about how the gas engine was mounted. Many more modern sport bikes use the engine as a stressed member of the frame. Once you take it out you will need to fine a way to support it again.

    Pretty much everybody ends up upgrading their builds at least once. Probably the cheapest option overall is getting the best of what you can afford, take good care of it and sell it to somebody else when you are ready to upgrade.
    "Never let schooling interfere with your education."
    -Mark Twain

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  3. #12
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    Hi there,
    I'm relatively new to motorcycling, up to three years now. I also was looking around for a good conversion candidate. I'm now up to my 7th motorcycle in 3 years!

    I would recommend trying plenty if ICE bikes before committing to pulling one apart. I jumped in a bit early on my first attempt, which was on my second bike.

    It was a 1989 Ninja 250 (GPX250) with a smoky engine which I bought quite cheaply. However, the diamond frame design meant a LOT of extra work in adding a battery cradle strong enough, since the engine had added strength to the frame. I never actually got it back on the road.

    I now enjoy riding 600 sportsbikes, with much better suspension and brakes, as my riding skills have improved over the years.

    So grab any second-hand ICE bike you think looks good, ride it around, get out in the shed with a tape measure on the weekends to see if things will fit but DON'T start unbolting things yet! You may find you need to onsell the bike and look for another.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grinhill View Post
    Hi there,
    I'm relatively new to motorcycling, up to three years now. I also was looking around for a good conversion candidate. I'm now up to my 7th motorcycle in 3 years!

    I would recommend trying plenty if ICE bikes before committing to pulling one apart. I jumped in a bit early on my first attempt, which was on my second bike.

    It was a 1989 Ninja 250 (GPX250) with a smoky engine which I bought quite cheaply. However, the diamond frame design meant a LOT of extra work in adding a battery cradle strong enough, since the engine had added strength to the frame. I never actually got it back on the road.

    I now enjoy riding 600 sportsbikes, with much better suspension and brakes, as my riding skills have improved over the years.

    So grab any second-hand ICE bike you think looks good, ride it around, get out in the shed with a tape measure on the weekends to see if things will fit but DON'T start unbolting things yet! You may find you need to onsell the bike and look for another.
    To save money I'm actually considering just buying a bike that no longer has a running engine. I'm more interested in building this winter than having to wait another 3-4 months before I begin, what bike did you choose to convert or are you still looking? I was thinking of simply taking someone's advice or copying their build - seems like a GSX-R is the way to go.

    On another note: any tips for a new rider?

  6. #14
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    What would be a good frame from this guy's list to grab? If I'm looking for a cafe racer/sport bike look.

    http://cnj.craigslist.org/mpo/4719102955.html

  7. #15
    Electric Warrior CaptainKlapton's Avatar
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    If you select a frame like a CBR F4 or a ZX-7,9 or 11 R, pretty much anything without an engine cradle, you will need to think about a sub-frame like MIT did on their S1000RR. I have an '84 GPz900R, which has a very similar frame layout to the Ninja 250, so I am doing something similar to MIT. It is far from impossible to brace the frame, but it will be more work(and $$). I would go for the newest bike that you like the general look of and are comfortable working with.
    "Never let schooling interfere with your education."
    -Mark Twain

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  9. #16
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    The 1995 Suzuki GSXR750 stood out for me from that Craigslist selection, the frame provides plenty of room for batteries. I would stick to a complete bike rather than just a frame though, as it will cost more to get all the parts separately.

    I'm probably going for something a bit more modern with my next build, a 2007 Honda CBR600RR is the favourite for now. They weigh a little less than the GSXRs, and they have a plastic tank cover which saves having to carve up the underside of a metal tank. If you are still looking at GSXRs, for most models the chassis is the same for the 600 and 750.

    If you're new to riding, I highly recommend doing an advanced rider training course after you get your permit.

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  11. #17
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    Thanks for the help! I just found a scrapyard nearby with 2 acres full of hundreds of bikes. It looks pretty awesome, I'm gonna head there saturday and just run around. What sort of things should I look for in a rolling chassis? I'm thinking a wide frame (like you said a larger motor like the gsxr or a cbr600rr) but I also don't want a frame that has a motor as a stressed component right? Is there anything else I should consider?

  12. #18
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    Well, for a start, remember that it's not just the chassis you're after. You're going to need a saddle, running lights, suspension, brakes, wheels... and all of these things can have issues that will cost you time, money or both farther down the road if you don't buy wisely now.

    First and foremost, WHY is the bike in the scrapyard?! Engine or electrical failure = great news. Structural failure/crash = stay away.

    Beyond that, and once satisfied that all lights, fairings, etc.. are as desired, I'd advise checks as follows, implications after the '-':
    Fork tubes for rust and pitting in the region of travel - they'll need either replacement or refurbishment
    Fork seals for oil leakage - that's only a small job but it usually indicates other problems with the tubes or the bushes.
    Fork triple trees for cracks/deformation - replacement possible but indicative of abuse/crash so I'd be inclined to steer clear.
    Rear shock(s) for rusting and pitting - as above
    Rear shocks for leakage - usually means replacement required
    Brake calipers and pistons (front and rear) for corrosion, seal integrity & leakage - reconditioning at best
    Brake cables (front and rear) for corrosion(if metal/braided), cracking & fatigue - replacement needed
    Brake master cylinders (front and rear) for corrosion, seal integrity & leakage - reconditioning at best
    Brake disk warped or pitted - Replacement is the only option. Surface rust isn't a problem; pitting, hairline cracks or warping is.
    ABS servo if present - will require removal most likely
    Headstem bearing for notching - replacement at best, can indicate bike was stunted which has implications for the headstock of the frame
    Headstock has serial number of chassis intact - if chassis number is ground off, steer clear.
    Headstock shows no evidence of rework - if there's evidence of non-factory repair, steer clear.
    Headstock alignment, all members attached to the headstock should be perfectly symmetrical left to right - any deviation, even in the slightest extent, steer clear.
    Electrical wiring for tampering - lighting loom will be useful if intact and if unmodified will be referencable in the relevent haynes manual
    Chain tension (assuming chain drive) for tension and lubrication - good indication of diligence of last owner if correct, neglegent owner otherwise.

    When you're not concerned with the engine and associated components, that's about the most of it.

    Replacing/reconditioning suspension can be expensive so it's well worth examining thoroughly and personally I'd walk away if it's not in good shape.
    Replacing/reconditioning brake calipers isn't so bad but it's all the better if they're in good nick.
    Replacing brake disks can be hellishly expensive depending on the bike so that's worth taking a very good look at.
    If you can get good tyres on the bike then that's a big saving as well.

    Happy hunting.

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  14. #19
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    Wow, that's a lot of information. Thanks a lot! I'll take a checklist with me tomorrow...

  15. #20
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    Hey Scott... I chose my chassis because the ICE failed. It was an adventurous choice, knowing that I would be limited in space, but it was paid for and sitting in my garage unusable, so what the hell. An educational experiment worth every drop of sweat and penny spent. Now I am waiting for LiFePO4 batteries to become cheaper and better, and they are coming down in price from when I built my prototype. There is alot to learn building these bikes.
    Enjoy your project and post pics or make a website like I did so others can check it out! here is mine: http://vorworxemc.wix.com/vorworx
    Cheers!

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