So in the last post I ranted about how much of a monumental pain in the ass Scrambles has been. Hoping to have a fun trouble free summer with some of the best weather I can remember tearing up the streets on my old school scrambler ended up with having no working bikes to be washed down with a big tall glass of disappointment.
Having uncovered a shitstorm of engine related issues I realised that I most likely wouldn’t get to ride it this summer which led me down a path of inspiration…
Having unsuccessfully rebuilt and finished one custom motorcycle I had the not at all half-baked plan to start another one! I already had the comments “maybe you should think about finishing the first one” hahahaHAHAHAHA MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO AND F*** YOURSELF!
Bear with me…even before I bought the bike I had already scoured the web to see what could be done with an angle grinder and a bit of imagination, these things can look smart without too much work (lol famous last words). With the mishaps I encountered over the summer I had stripped 80% of the bike, rebuilt and stripped down again. I was planning to chop it into pieces at this point anyway so I would be as well to do something constructive rather than turn it to scrap…yet…
Having had no time or space to even look at the XS750 all summer and staring at an almost completely stripped bike, a discussion with my dad pointed me down the path of making this my winter project. There were a few reasons for wanting to do this project over the XS750. Plus points: it’s a working bike, I know it runs and I have used it for a few weeks with confidence in all the components (apart from the chocolate engine). Any work I do can be done on a relatively low budget (lol, hopefully) and SHOULD be less work than the XS750 project. The XS750 had been sat for 15 years so EVERYTHING needed looking at. I will get back to that but for now, it has been relegated to an outbuilding for winter storage.
I mentioned these bikes can look good with a bit of tinkering, see examples below:
A lot of the above can be achieved with a different tank, a clean-up and different seat. Whilst part of me is torn to do this to a TT600, I think a lot of people would have given up and either tried to see what a scrapyard would offer (may or may not have done this) or claimed it had stolen and got a payout (may or may not have crossed my mind). In my mind, I want to pay tribute to the bike it should be with a few subtle tweaks.
Using a free photoshop program called Gimp (hehe) I have managed to show what I would roughly like to achieve with scrambles.
The overall plan to achieve the above roughly looks like:
- Fuel tank change out – Several tanks can be manipulated to fit including a Honda CB360, CB550, and other Yamaha models including DT400, DT250 or even the predecessor model, XT500 – these steel tanks will give a much more retro vibe.
- Mudguards – Replace with metal ones, more compact – several options for this, as much as I would love to make some, I a) don’t have access to an English wheel and b) unsure if there is enough steel supply in Europe to allow for the learning curve…I may look to source some other arches and cut to fit. On a side note, I am looking at metalworking courses so if the timing works out I may make my own.
- Frame & seat – with the different fuel tank the current seat will not suffice. This also throws the proportions of the bike off with the frame being too long. Offset examples chop between 10-20cm off the rear of the bike and replace with a loop. I will look to make this loop myself this time instead of purchasing. currently trying to source a pipe bender to do the trick.
- Wheels – I luckily have spare hubs for the bike so I may look at a fatter rim for the front. A lot of the bikes above seem to change this. Not essential for the build but would definitely help with the stance. I 100% want to keep the gold look though.
- Air flow – I will add pod filters, removing the clunky airbox…I have no grand plans to take this thing through the Sahara (yet), so these will add to the lean look of the bike. They will need to be tuned to the bike which will be a fun learning curve.
- Exhaust – The current set up is OK, may look for a sleeker muffler and get it ceramic coated…
- Lights & electrics – Right now the bike runs a 6v system. A lot of the modern electrical components require a 12v system run LED’s. I will look to make this change so I can use new components. This area will take a bit of tinkering to get right but luckily the electrical system is even more basic than the XS750 so hopefully, this will be a good place to cut my teeth.
- Engine – Once I source the correct cylinder hear (a future post) I will get the engine and carb vapour blasted then reassembled. Same with the carburettor, I will give this a rebuild.
- Suspension – The current set up on the rear shock has an auxiliary chamber mounted on the frame…I need to review how my cutting plans impact this. The inspiration bikes above had all had a bit of work modifying the stance of the bike through shortening the shock length (through springs or chopping) so I will need to find out more.
- Nuts & bolts – Where required I will get these zinc-coated etc and replace what isn’t standard
- Colour – I want to try and pay tribute to the original so the rendering above reflects this
To get ready for this I have had a mass organisation of the garage and built another workbench so now I will be able to move without tripping over motorcycles!
To be continued,