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-   -   The Winter Project (http://www.xs11.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42895)

iBoesen 09-20-2014 07:29 PM

The Winter Project
Hello fellow forum users. My name is Mark and I am a 19 year old college student. Signed up for the forum recently. I am looking forward to discussing topics with you guys.
This winter I will be detailing my XS1100 and making into a cafe racer. I realize these are not very practical/comfortable builds , but I very much like the looks of them. I am VERY interested in any tips you may have for me. Over the next 6 months I will be working on this build and frequently keep you up to date to any changes. I am determined to see this build all the way through.

To start with, I saw the XS1100 and it immediately drew my attention. I realize it is a heavier motorcycle but so far I have not had any problems handling mine. I have an inclined ramp I take it up to park it in my shed.

I saw one on craigslist and purchased it for $850. It has 16k miles on it and runs pretty well. It need new tires for sure!

This is a picture of the bike thus far. I have NOT done anything to the bike so far. The Blue motorcycle is the one i built last winter and am looking to do something similar for the XS1100.


The things I would like to do to the motorcycle as follows:

Larger Tires -- What do you think?

Clip on handlebars -- Is it pretty unfavorable to steer with these??

Total Paint Job. Silver Tank, Black Frame.

Fiberglass seat. I made one for the blue motorcycle in the photo, what do you think?

I am VERY excited to be apart of your community. I would love to hear your guises opinions good or bad! I realize being a young naive teenager I will look past things and I am hoping you will steer me in the right direction.

Thank you very much!

TopCatGr58 09-20-2014 10:33 PM

Hey there,

You've got a standard, and with the 17" rear wheel, as well as any XS11, there's a width limitation due to the driveshaft side of the swingarm, but the 16 Special rears provide more size options, as well as can help lower it a bit. I think I may have already said this in my Registration confirmation email I sent you?? There are mods you can do to the swingarm to get a little more clearance.

These bikes have a fair amount of trail so the steering is a bit heavy to begin with. The narrower in total width the bars, the less leverage you have in turning them, so the harder it is to steer. Ride the STOCK XS11 you have a bit and see how it feels to steer it, especially at slow parking lot speeds.

The standards seat/cowling is already shaped in the café style, you may just need to mod the seat cushion/cover to get the café look without actually having to get out the fiberglass??

The front fender is fairly flimsy anyways, but removing it lets the forks flex even more WITHOUT a fork brace. Hope you're a fair weather rider, no fenders makes things get messy in the rain!


iBoesen 09-20-2014 11:53 PM

Do you by chance know if there is a slightly larger size tire off hand? I have not been able to find much on it.

As far as the steering it feels pretty good, it's not too hard to maneuver at slow speeds.

I will probably end up making a fiberglass seat just for the heck of it. The last one i made was a pretty fun project. I can post the diy if I end up making one.

IanDMacDonald 09-21-2014 09:14 AM

Hey Mark- There have been a few XS cafe builds that have impressed me, but none that made me want to buy another and cafe it. The 11 is just too big in my opinion for a cafe job. It's not like a little CB350 or XS400 is you rather.

One of my favorite cafe builds:


crazy steve 09-22-2014 02:15 PM

Tire sizes... http://www.xs11.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36698

Garagamus 09-23-2014 09:16 PM

Not the lightest or best steering café, but it can be made to work. Regular clubmans will not fit with the standard tank at all. Pods, (although cool looking) are crappy to tune to (still looking to make some fancy velocity stacks). Fork brace is a must. Once the seat is off, its an incredible can of worms to build a suitable base for a bump seat, (especially if you want to re-locate the electronics under the bump), you need a pretty decent step to clear the rear tire. Find someone on the forum with a good round headlight to sell. If you don't intend on keeping original unmolested parts, advertise them on this site, (every part I needed was purchased through selling parts I didn't on here). Change the fusebox. I've been driving mine for a good part of the summer all cafe'd out and have gotten used to the handling. It would be nice to drop a hundred pounds off it, but it is what it is. Do it up nicely, and it'll still start more conversations in a parking lot than most high dollar cruisers.

jetmechmarty 09-23-2014 09:24 PM

The execution on this one is about as good as it gets. Well done!

MarkD 09-23-2014 09:31 PM

Looks really good, G'mus. I had a thought, and I'm guessing you might have had the same one? A sort of thick ( 2 ") , or 2 separate ( 1" each) racing stripe(s) down the middle of the tank and rear cowl? JAT. Even without, your bike is a sweet scoot with a classy look.

Garagamus 09-23-2014 09:35 PM

Just realized...he already has a round headlight. Hell, he's half way finished.

Garagamus 09-23-2014 09:49 PM

Way ahead of you. After a couple of "bland" "uninspiring" paint scheme feedback comments, (its cooler in person, really...no really), my incredibly thick hide went out and bought a new air brush. I'm looking at some stripe combo's that look a little "weathered".
As much as I loathe skulls, (that's all I seem to put on everything here at the bodyshop where I work...that and "flaming" skulls), I did come across some really cool graphics of a skeleton from a really old deck of tarot cards from Mexico or Spain. (Think less "Mexican sugar skulls" and more intensely detailed woodcut/lithograph). My air brush skills as they sit presently may turn all that into "Homer Simpson holding a chicken"....so, it'll probably be stripes in the end.

cajun31 09-23-2014 10:01 PM

Bottom line.... these are very powerful bikes. Don't cut corners or compromise safety just to achieve a look. When done right the cafes are appealing, however I believe for the young. I could not even imagine what I would feel like after a long ride on one of these.

iBoesen 09-24-2014 09:36 AM

Thanks for all the info guys. Garagamus your bike looks pretty awesome!

I was at the local motorcycle shop when i found.... drum roll please.

A sweet cafe racer fairing!

IanDMacDonald 09-24-2014 12:03 PM

Yup, looks pretty cool with that fairing.

iBoesen 09-26-2014 12:32 AM

So I ended up mounting the fairing tonight. It looks very impressive! I think it adds a lot of character to the bike. When I get down low on it it makes me feel fast! The xs1100 is hands down my favorite motorcycle I have ever rode. I'm really looking forward to this winters build and I will keep you guys up to date on anything that happens with the bike. I really want to do a detailed job on the bike and I am debating removing the engine. I don't have a lift, so it would be basically solo. I heard stripping the bike and laying it on its side is one way to do it. Any experience with this method? Also what would be all ballpark guess for a complete front and rear performance brake system? Calipers to pads to lines. Thanks !

IanDMacDonald 09-26-2014 03:16 AM

Without a lift (floor jack), stripping it, andaying it down on it's right side is your only option. With regard to brake system, you could possibly be looking at what u paid for the bike, or u could buy everything off eBay, and still come close to that cost, lol.

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