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Old 06-10-2015, 10:37 PM
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motobrix motobrix is offline
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Big Bertha - Cafe/Tourer 79 Special

So I just joined the forum, but I really should have been posting updates from the beginning of my build. It's now 6 months in, and I'm getting closer to finishing up.

The background on this bike is that I wanted to build a cafe racer, but wanted something with more power than the typical cafe build. I also noticed I'd be able to get a better deal on an XS11 than say a CB750. And finally, I might actually be able to tour with this thing, even after all the brat-style modifications. At least I hope I won't mess with it's tourability too much.

This is my second bike build, after having done an SV650 streetfighter last year.

Here's what the bike looked like when I bought it last summer:


And this is what it looks like today:


I have a blog where I've updated somewhat regularly on my progress, but lately I've been too busy building and problem solving to post. But you can see posts from the winter with all the details; http://www.ofmindsandmotorcycles.com

I'll be posting more in the next few weeks as I tackle the wiring, ZRX1200 carbs, and finishing the tank and seat.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:07 PM
soccer4m soccer4m is offline
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Ouch

Am I the only one crying over the metamorphesis of a nice XS1100 into another machine
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:50 PM
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motobrix motobrix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soccer4m View Post
Am I the only one crying over the metamorphesis of a nice XS1100 into another machine
Not sure if I should respond to this. To each their own right? I'll let others chime in.

I mean, if you're of the school of thought that a classic bike shouldn't be messed with, then I get it. But I'm of the school of thought that things can be turned into other things.
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Old 06-11-2015, 01:35 AM
fullmetal fullmetal is offline
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I haven't been on this forum for too long myself, but I can tell you'll get some flak for using such a clean bike as the base for your build. I got the same reaction on different sites when i tore down my xs360 to turn into a cafe racer.

Don't mind it though. You look like you know what you're doing with your tools haha. The XS series is a great platform for customs, and I personally like seeing what people can do with the xs11. Waaaay more interesting than your typical xs650 or honda cb-anything builds. As long as function takes precedence over form, keep doing what you're doing.

Cheers mate
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:41 AM
BowlingSS BowlingSS is offline
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You probably have a lot of spare parts. You should list them here. I could use a set of pipes. Are those stock?

Good luck with your build.

Bill
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:45 AM
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IanDMacDonald IanDMacDonald is offline
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I think we all have to take a breath, and realize it's not done yet, and will hopefully see a finished product. I like the tread pattern on the XS tires. What are they? If the wiring is complete on the bike, it looks clean. Any plans for side covers?

Any plans for color on the SV?
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:25 AM
TADracer TADracer is offline
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The bike is yours, do what you wish with it!

Now having said that, there are not that many 79 specials left lurking around so I hope that your finished product, while significantly different from where it started, will have the same level of style and class.

Would I cut my 79 special up, not a chance. Would I admire yours if it is done correctly, absolutely....I mean, I even like some Harleys.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:36 AM
Prisoner6 Prisoner6 is offline
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Well said, TAD ...

I wasn't going to bring this up, but I think it bears repeating once in a while ...

From our very own home page:

"Motorcyclists welcome here

Regardless of what you ride"
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2015, 08:45 AM
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DiverRay DiverRay is offline
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I does look like you've been through a build before. The parts you are NOT going to use can be sold to recoup some of your cost. The side covers and stock pipes, if in good condition, can be worth a few hundred dollars! Even the seat and fenders can bring in a few dollars more(sounds like a movie...).
Yes, there may be a few here who will give you some grief, but not a lot. Just keep us posted, and we LOVE pictures..
Oh, and welcome to the site!
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2015, 09:39 AM
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3Phase 3Phase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motobrix View Post
Not sure if I should respond to this. To each their own right? I'll let others chime in.

I mean, if you're of the school of thought that a classic bike shouldn't be messed with, then I get it. But I'm of the school of thought that things can be turned into other things.
You did a good job so far, man, relax. I like the blog you've got set up to follow along with your work and it looks like you've got enough going to finish the project before throwing in the towel and parting it out on eBay.

The sad part Mike was talking about is that your picture showed a really clean classic Special. Imagine going to a Classic Chevy forum and showing pictures of a beautiful '57 Delray and pointing them to your blog with all the details about how you tossed out the trim package, sanded off the factory paint, then sliced off the rear fins and diced it into an unpainted '50 Bel Air circle track racer. Even if you did excellent work and won races with it you still destroyed one more really clean classic.

.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:59 AM
Robsweetland Robsweetland is offline
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While I admire individuality, sf are a rare beast over here as are the whole family due to choppers and trikes. But I hope your build goes as you wish and if I was offered one at a good price would take advantage.
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soccer4m View Post
Am I the only one crying over the metamorphesis of a nice XS1100 into another machine
I'm a hacker but I took as gasp when I saw this too. But that's just because the original is so beautiful! There are lots of $500 XS's around me to rip apart. But, I'm not hating on ya.

Personally I HATE when people start a build thread from the beginning. Who wants to wait a year and see drips and drabs of progress?? Many times the people never come back to finish their thread. I much prefer when people finish the build and then make a thread we can read from start to finish.

With that all said, can't wait to see finished product!
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Old 06-11-2015, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Phase View Post
You did a good job so far, man, relax. I like the blog you've got set up to follow along with your work and it looks like you've got enough going to finish the project before throwing in the towel and parting it out on eBay.

The sad part Mike was talking about is that your picture showed a really clean classic Special. Imagine going to a Classic Chevy forum and showing pictures of a beautiful '57 Delray and pointing them to your blog with all the details about how you tossed out the trim package, sanded off the factory paint, then sliced off the rear fins and diced it into an unpainted '50 Bel Air circle track racer. Even if you did excellent work and won races with it you still destroyed one more really clean classic.

.
Yeah, I do understand. Didn't mean to sound overly defensive.

I guess I just didn't see it that way when I set out to build the bike, and probably to a certain extent didn't care what other people thought (ok, maybe I care a bit ).

The bike did look very clean before, but it wasn't without its problems. The main thing I looked for was a running engine so I wouldn't have to mess too much with it. I'm fairly new still to the bike building thing, so I didn't want to have to worry too much about engine problems while trying to do everything else. That being said the exhaust was rusted through at the mufflers, and most of the bolts were totally seized. Any time I tried to remove something I'd end up snapping a bolt and having to extract it. I'd say that's par for the course with a bike this old, and I guess my point is the bike was clean, but not restored.

It is unfinished as some of you have said, so I still have a lot of work ahead of me, and I don't intend on cheaping out. I also will finish the bike! The bike will not simply become a pile of parts after all is said and done.

So the way I see it, yes I took a clean XS11 and chopped it up, but I've also restored it. I took it down to the frame and have replaced every bearing (except for the left rear wheel bearing , as you guys are probably aware is a bitch to find in decent shape). I powder coated everything, which will be more durable than the original paint. I upgraded the front springs to race tech ones, and will probably do the same for the rear suspension. The tank is being nickel plated as we speak so it won't rust.

The only thing that's really been changed in any huge way other than paint and finishings is the brat style rear loop, and chopping off the mounts for the covers and battery box. I'm redoing the entire wiring harness, complete with a motogadget m-unit, and upgrading the carbs to ZRX1200 ones. Also grabbed myself a shorai battery.

It will still be an XS11 at heart. It's not trying to be a chopper or a trike, and it will hopefully last for another many years. If it was a chopper though, I'd have built it as well as I could, and would hope it would last all the same.
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2015, 03:55 PM
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jwhughes3 jwhughes3 is offline
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Contact James England on this site. He has a cache of left RWBs available.

John
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2015, 06:00 PM
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3Phase 3Phase is offline
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Thumbs up

We'll get over it, trust me!

It takes a fair amount of work and patience to fix up old bikes and you're doing fine; better than most. Even the XJ1100 is 33 years old -- pull the seat and instrument cluster, drain all the fluids, then push the whole bike into a vat of EvapoRust and leave it there overnight before trying to mess with it.

.
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