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Old 04-17-2012, 07:12 AM
JosephM JosephM is offline
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Location: Atlanta, Ga.
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Cafe Conversion

I just bought a Yamaha XS1100H that I want to turn into a cafe racer style bike. I like the style of the original, but it was pretty ratty - a restoration would be way too costly - and I really wanted a hobby to occupy my time.

So, I have a decent tank off of an 1979 XS1100 (the guy swore to me that it would fit - I hope it does), clubman bars, barend mirrors/signals, etc. I am going to dig up a smaller speedo/tach. I plan on stripping a bunch - center stand, fairing (aftermarket Windjammer), electric starter, etc.

I Was just wondering about any other suggestions you folks might have (e.g. front/rear fenders, grab bar, headlight, rearsets, etc). Really just curious about what people here have tried in the past. I prefer to get bolt on stuff, in case somebody can salvage the stuff I take off for use on a stock bike.

Most important - what have you all done about the seat and seat pan? I don't have a garage, so I don't want to dump a ton into this - just some basic swaps, without a ton of chopping and grinding. Any suggestions? I really thought about pulling the cover, shaving the foam with a hotknife and recovering. But, it is a newly covered seat/foam and I hate to waste it.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2012, 07:58 AM
jetmechmarty's Avatar
jetmechmarty jetmechmarty is offline
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www.hotwingglass.com
http://www.dimecitycycles.com/
http://www.roccitycafe.com/
www.fastfromthepast.com (in Atlanta)
www.motolanna.com

www.dotheton.com (cafe racer forum)

This ought to give you a start. Welcome aboard! Plan on attending the Southeast Rally last weekend in Sept. The info is listed in "Rallys-Southeast".
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2012, 10:00 AM
tom clisham tom clisham is offline
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Location: Northern Illinois
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Electric starter?

If it's an 81, how ya gonna start it without an electric starter?
1100H would be 81. 78-79 were the only models with kickers.
Re the seat: Lot's of bolt on cafe seats on ebay. You can probly buy one there & sell your good stock seat in the same place. You generally have to make some brackets for the cafes on ebay, but pretty straight forward,

I'd try to avoid cutting off the back frame parts like so many do. Really limits your re-sell market if you get tired of it.

For my cafe , I'm keeping all the stock stuff so the bike can be re-converted back to stock at any time.
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'78xs1100E ,all stock & original GONE TO WISCONSIN

'80 SG Vetter fairing,hard bags,trunk,fork brace,
stock headers with fishtail mufflers,black & beautiful GONE TO ARIZONA

79SF lowered,jardine 4/2 exhaust,pod filters,drilled rotors,fork brace, bar hopper

79SF 1 owner,8000 miles, restoring to completely original ( I hope) GONE TO FRANCE
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2012, 10:35 AM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
...I am going to dig up a smaller speedo/tach. I plan on stripping a bunch - center stand, fairing (aftermarket Windjammer), electric starter, etc....
....I prefer to get bolt on stuff, in case somebody can salvage the stuff I take off for use on a stock bike...
If you have a complete bike, that's the pretty rare Venturer tour model... Post some pics, I'm sure that some other people will be interested in the take-off parts. I'd recommend checking the frame and motor numbers to verify what you have; look here: http://www.xs11.com/faqs/153-serial-...ry-colors.html

But before you start removing/selling parts, keep in mind that some of the stuff you want is rare, doesn't exist and/or can't be removed. The starter has to stay unless you machine a block-off plug for the hole left behind. The '81 motor has no kickstarter mechanism, you'll be splitting the cases to install that (unless the motor is really a older one; the '78-79 bikes had a 'emergency' kickstart but these weren't really designed to be kicked all the time). You'll hate losing the centerstand as that complicates a lot of maintanence jobs. The gauges will be particularly hard to replace as Yamaha used a oddball 2.93:1 speedo ratio that doesn't match most aftermarket speedos. The tach gets it's signal from the alternator, another hard item to match. You'll find about zero bolt-on stuff for the rest, some fabrication/modification will be needed for nearly everything.

Parts swapping on these bikes is good for some stuff, lousy for others.

I'd recommend getting the bike running right first (carbs, brakes, wiring) before tearing into it so you're at least starting with no known/major problems. All the info you need is here, do a search for more specific info, posting pics will be very helpful.

Welcome!
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:18 PM
JosephM JosephM is offline
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First, thanks so much for all of the advice - I really appreciate it.

To Crazy Steve: I will post some pics, but it isn't a complete bike - no bags or trunk and an aftermarket Windjammer fairing. But, I will definitely post whatever things I can salvage off the bike. As to the rarity and non-existence of some of the parts, I am starting to realize that. I am curious about the kickstarter - or lack thereof. There appears to be a rubber plug labeled "Kick Start" in the case. So, I thought it'd be an easy swap. That said, I'll take your word for it and leave the starter.For the gauges, I thought I would go for a low profile digital model - that should square with the non-standard ratio, correct?

To Tom Clisham: See above regarding the "Kick Start." I suppose the few extra lbs. of a starter won't hurt - I can make up for it by laying off the pizza. It was just a thought if it was an easy fix. I agree with you on cutting up the frame - so, I decided to just reshape the foam and recover the seat. Then take off the grab bar, replace the rear fender/brake light assembly. But, do it all without messing with the frame.

To jetmechmarty: The links are awesome - thanks.

I really never knew much about these bikes - it was just a whim for a project to work on when I moved to a new city to occupy my time. I really didn't know there were so many fans of the bikes, either. I am starting to think about selling it and chopping up a Honda CB - much easier conversion and many more on the road, so less concern about molesting it.

Also, anybody out there have a recommendation of a mechanic in Baltimore, MD? There are some mechanical items that I lack the tools/skill to manage on my own and I hate to go to one of the big shops.

Again, I thank you all for your patience and wisdom.

JM
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:45 PM
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WMarshy WMarshy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JosephM View Post
...I am starting to think about selling it and chopping up a Honda CB - much easier conversion and many more on the road, so less concern about molesting it.

Also, anybody out there have a recommendation of a mechanic in Baltimore, MD? There are some mechanical items that I lack the tools/skill to manage on my own and I hate to go to one of the big shops.

Again, I thank you all for your patience and wisdom.

JM
Welcome to the forum! I like your idea of chopping up the Honda Lots of people here like to see these ol'XS stay close to their original form. Not that it hasnt been done before, we have seen some very nice bob's and cafe bikes come around but, too often than not we see people dive right into cutting the rear of the frame and taking off all kinds of things then lose interest. Before ya know it, another very original and once ride-able bike ends up as parts on ebay. That being said, Im not discouraging you from moving forward with your build, we just want you have some sort of an understanding of what your facing. Having limited access to the right tools will really limit your ability. With that said, some paint, new bars and a seat from ebay can make a huge change in attitude/appearance. Have fun with it and make sure it runs and stops before you try to mod it out.
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