So I finally got around to finishing my bike. Over the years of moving, divorce, drunken pontifications, and crip walking the nights away, I got my head out of my ass enough to not only finish my first custom motorcycle build but also had my good friend Joe take some swanky pictures of it. I wrote up a few words for a posting on XS650Chopper.com. I’ll let the copy and paste finish this post off…
81′ Dropseat – Pain In The Ass
Adrian – So here is the bane of my existence and the love of my life. I got it already in non stock shape. I rode freestyle bmx bikes for about 15 years and I wanted to pay my respects with this build. Pretty much everything except for the bars was an attempt to make me feel like I was on a 20″. I coated the stock hubs and wired them to some Moose Racing rims, both 19′ for that uniform look. The dropseat gives me the feeling of a slammed bmx saddle. I chopped the axle plates and beveled off the ends of the stays to look like my bmx bike. Then I tried to incorporate as many bmx parts onto the bike as I could. A lot of builds use a bmx pedal for a kicker. I went the extra step with a Profile crank arm. I also managed to use a half link chain for my brake linkage. My good friend Mr. Rich of T1 bikes provided me with a sprocket, some foot pegs, and some grips. That talented coffee connoisseur also gets the credit for these photos (taken on the T1 ramps). Pretty much everything else was custom fabricated or at least fucked with. Tried to keep everything simple. Frame ground clean. Forks ground clean and coated. Simple headlight. Nice sweeping boardtrack style bars. I wired the bike inside the frame where possible. Tidy battery/elec box. Sprung skateboard wheel chain tensioner. The emblem on the fender struts is my mix between a yin yang and a cancer symbol. I made that out of square stock and a talented blacksmith by the name of Brady Foster got it to fit the convex of the fender. That was a bitch.
More credit where it’s due. My buddy Chris at Limey Bikes was my mechanical mentor. I rebuilt the engine under his expert tutelage and at his garage. He also had this old Indian tank sitting on a shelf. I tried to save it but there were too many holes and I suck at sheet metal so… I filled it with cement and banged out some sheet aluminum over it and made the tank you see there. I fumbled through spot welding all the seams, pieces, and tunnel together and then Matt of Working Man’s Customs laid down the buttery welds to make it air tight. So air tight that when I was pressure testing it I accidentally put 85psi in there and it started to blow up like a balloon. Matt is also responsible for the beautiful leather on the seat and the tig welding on the hardtail. I bent all my tubing and assembled my frame at his shop so I owe him big time. Check out Working Man’s Customs for lots more leather and steel.
Why a pain in the ass then? Is it a pain to ride? Hell no! This bike feels so good to ride that 150 miles was a joy. The cantilevered mtb shock seat mount helped out big time. It also handled so well that I scraped the pegs in the turns more times than I really wanted to. It’s a pain in the ass because everything that can possibly get buggy about a first time custom build, got buggy. First the headlight kept burning out because the vibration was overwhelming. After that the regulator/rectifier shit the bed. Then the head gasket started leaking (spawning the rebuild). Then the gas tank liner (which I didn’t even need) started flaking off and gumming up the carbs. Riding down the street one day the lid to the battery box came off and went skidding down the street. Had a clutch cable snap, twice. I’m currently rebuilding my front brake for the third time.
I handled all of these issues as they arose getting pisssier and pissier the whole time. Six months ago it developed an issue where it idles fine but bogs down when you pull the throttle. That is a symptom of damn near every problem you can have with a motorcycle. I have systematically tried to iron out the whole bike. I’ve done all i can. It’s time to get her back to the Limey. He’ll know what to do and she can stop being a pain in my ass.
UPDATE: Soooooo… after a thorough going over at limey bikes we discovered a few things. The springs on the advance mechanism were too stiff and were part of the cause of the lag upon initial acceleration. The other items causing the bog down were… the jets in the carbs were too big and the permanent magnet flywheel was rubbing the stator because the adapter plate broke. All is well in Whoville now and my lady is whole once again. Just waiting for the rain to clear up to go for a ride!