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Cafe Racer build log

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Philodoxo, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills


    I have begun building, what i hope turns out to be af cafe racer.

    Been aorund this forum for half a year, and thank You all for giving away so much knowledge og good ideas.

    I have very little knowledge about motorcycles. Had a moped (Yamaha FS1) 30 years ago, and never been on two wheels since then. Winter 2011/12 my son found an old XS400 from 1977 very cheap (800$ - yes, that cheap in Denmark), and we worked on it all winter. Since living in Denmark, riding motorcycles in winter is no fun (and the insurance will not allow it). So we might as well spent winter repairing his bike.

    It turned out looking like this:

    That project turned me on............... got to have a driving licens for bikes ! :bike:
  2. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    I found a XS400 (1977) in a barn. Rusty.... but running.

    Found this cafe racer in one of Drewpys threads - I am going to try to build something inspired from this:

    Starting to pull it apart. Since I don't understand, what wire does what and goes where, i marked all wires. Actually I would have loved to do a totally new wiring, and i made the drawing.... but i haven't got the courage to do it :doh:

    Time to find color. First I bought an expensive spraypaint and a 2-k coat. But testing it on the headlight-house made the paint bobble/crack. It looked like sh.. I tested several ways to do it - all with the same result. I even asked the company, who sold me the paint and coat - they have never heard about the problem before...... :banghead:
    Then I bought a primer for rusty metal - and it turned out to have the perfect color. But primer can't be hard enough alone, so I got a yacht-coat and sprayed with a handgun - it turned out nice and seems hardy. This is a test on the frame:
  3. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Painting the frame:

    Putting it together again. Note the fork....

    GreasyFingers had a thread about polishing his fork, so I was stupid enough to try it out:

    The frontfork needed oil - once again I found a perfect how-to in the forum. Thaks guys. The gaskets are now new, and so is the forkoil - in the exact amount.
    Stupid to start polishing - because polishing will never take any end ! Had to start with engine-covers too, and then everything else looks boring. Do not start :yikes:
  4. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Lots of challenges....

    I have seen of lots of builds, where you guys cut of the end of the frame and then weld an U shape on. In Denmark we are not allowed to do just minor modifications on the bikes - can You do that as much as You want to in other countries ?
    Well I don't dare cutting of the end. Therefore I will build a seat, that leaves room for the existing frame. More about that later on.

    My rear fender is very rusty. Such a fender is hard to find in Europe, but still looking. If I don't succed, I plan to remove the rusty parts of the fender, and do something with fiberglass - and paint it all brown.
    If i had been handy, I would have made another kind of fender :(
  5. drewpy

    drewpy Excess twin Top Contributor

    good build thread. :thumbsup:

    if you cut and welded a U shape on the end, who is going to know? these bikes are old and not many people see them.

    just say it came like that if questioned :D
  6. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

  7. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Do anyone have a good idea - what am I gonna do with my wheels ?
    They are not pretty - calling for paint.
    But I don't think all black is my style - or the style of my inspiration ? How about brown like the frame ? And do I leave the "polished" side, or do i paint it all brown ?

    Ideas and inspiration are wellcome !
  8. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    How do i delete a reply ? Made it twice :banghead::doh:
  9. I think there are good rear fenders on german ebay sometimes. At least much better than yours:D
    They are much easier to get than good front fenders.

    And maybe I got one in my garage. I can look on sunday.
  10. Greasey Fingers

    Greasey Fingers XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    lol, dont listen to me or youll end up a polishaholic. As for your wheels and what to do with them...vapour blast and POLISH them of course :laugh:

    Attached Files:

  11. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Hallo Lupe

    Danke für deinen Tipp - und weil Sie sich die Mühe, um zu sehen, wenn Sie ein Heckflügel liegen zu haben!

    Ich danke !
  12. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Hi Greasey Fingers

    Funny - I was hit by the idea, that You would say that :laugh:

    And to Your wheels - THAT'S ART !!! Love them.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  13. Richmond

    Richmond XS400 Enthusiast

    Does anyone have a picture of tires painted on polished mags? interested to how that would look
  14. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Thanks Lupe. That's exactly the fender I need - and for now at a very nice price :)

    Thanks fra Philodoxo
  15. Greasey Fingers

    Greasey Fingers XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    lol thanks mate, its also blood sweat and tears:laugh: Actually the tyres are getting fitted as we speak,once theyre on the bike ill post some pics. Im putting a dunlop K81 on the back and a dunlop TT100 on the front. Btw NICE work on your polishing :thumbsup:
  16. Andy241

    Andy241 XS400 Member

    Oh man, a shame, that i didnt read this, one week earlier!
    Got a Rear Fender, and brought it to the Junkyard!!!
    But i can give you the email-adress of them:

    Write them, and ask for that rear fender, because I know, they have one!

    BTW: nice Project!
    Have the same problem with shortening the rear frame!

    So go on ;)

  17. TheMainMuel

    TheMainMuel Cycle Junkie

    Being from Denmark you must be familiar with the WrenchMonkees in Copenhagen. Not to take away from Drewpy by any means, but they are also very talented and have built some sweet bikes including cafes.

    My father in law used to live in Copenhagen. I don't recall the name of the event, but there would be a huge annual motorcycle event with hundreds maybe even thousands of motorcycles passing by his window. He would send me pics of them going past.

    Wish you the best with the build, you're already off to a great start. I can't wait to build a bike with my son.
  18. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Love the WrenchMonkees, who are to deliver parts for my bike :thumbsup:

    The WrenchMonkees style is a little to "rough" for me....... but I'm getting there :laugh:

    The Christmas Vacation (by the way the best christmas-movie ever) I will spend getting on with my project. This is status:

    Still haven't found a place to get my wheels vapour blasted :banghead: - so think I'm going to paint them instead.
  19. Philodoxo

    Philodoxo without technical skills

    Never found a firm near me, that can vapour blast the wheels.

    So they are going brown, like the frame. But I want to keep the polished parts - so I'm taping.

    And I am to lazy to remove the tires (they are not worn out yet) - so I'm covering up the tires. Hope this will work out.

    Painting them brown, and finishing up with a hard clear coat.

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