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You loved the cool small chopper built using a Yamaha Xs-650 donor bike that I have featured during this last month. Neck cups allow you to either use the stock XS-650 front end as you can see on the brown chopper that I feature, or neck cups to mount Harley-Davidson style front ends with a 1” stem. You can also buy a full kit including a special 34-Tooth rear sprocket geared for the Yamaha engine that bolts directly onto Harley rear wheels. Good to see this engine getting its due, probably one of the best designed and engineered engines of its time with a good following. I like the looks of the Paughco frame but if I was building an XS650 I wouldn’t want to give up the VIN so I would hard tail the original frame. Riders who put together nice bobbers like this one cannot do it for $500 plus time plus work.
Youa€™ve searched the web, watched the moody videos, and discovered that your street tires dona€™t like wet grass. The Speedtractor T-61 Catalina Special offers all the mods you need to hit the dirt and work up a sweat. For this discussion, leta€™s view the scrambler as the result of an approach: A mechanical embodiment of an adventurous spirit.
Smaller bikes that make good contenders are the Yamaha SR400 and 500a€”minus their mysterious pressed-steel rear additions. At the really lightweight end of the scale, check out Hondaa€™s CB singles and twins in anything from 90cc upwards. Generally, the key ingredients of scramblers come from twin shock, air cooled singles or twins. To fast-track the scrambler vibe, try switching out the tank for something smaller or more svelte than a humped cafe racer tank. Dona€™t panic if the swoop of your seat or tank interrupts these sacred lines a little: just get the axis of each component working together. Experiment using the exhaust, bars and seat top to imply these desired lines, without having to create them with the tank or frame. The wheels and tires you choose will go a long way to defining your machinea€™s style, as well as the way it handles.
An 18-inch front with a higher profile tire will have a rolling diameter close to a 19-inch set up. A word of warning: check that your dream tire and rim combo will clear your forks, rear swing arm, chain and the like.
Spend time exploring the handling traits and limits of the new rubber on the road, especially if youa€™re used to modern road tires. This Ducati Scrambler has a unified feel even with its swoopy lines, the centre axis of the seat and tank working together and the pipe offering a hint of the hallowed horizontal plane. Experiment with swapping in aftermarket springs or from other models to obtain the rates you need. Makers such as IKON and Progressive Suspension have a range of spring weights and shock body lengths that you can explore over a phone call. Many builders will also add rear ride height and wheel travel, fitting 20-30mm longer shocks than stock with an increased stroke. That simple 180-degree bend ties the back of the bike together visually as well as structurally. Youa€™ll notice a lot of scramblers, especially older ones, have elements of negative space in their design.
The Skuddesign W650 has the seat, tank, frame loop, motor and tire spacing nicely matched for a neat packagea€”though some suggested approaching the pipes a little differently. Finally, if you want that factory look to keep pundits guessing, give thought to the curves and edge radii of your motor, tank, lighting and seat. BMW R series engine castings, shown on this machine from Untitled, demand complementary curves and radii elsewhere for a factory feel.
Hopefully this has left you with a few tricks up your sleeve, so now go build your scrambler.
Filter: All types Articles Slideshows Videos Sort: Most relevant Most popular Most recent No articles available No slideshows available No videos available How to Build Your Own Chopper How to Build Your Own Audio Snake How to Build a Cheap Car Trailer How to Build Your Own Wind Turbine Strategies for Aggressive Behavior How to Make a Shoe for GCSE Art Projects How to make a flashlight projector How to Test ABS Wheel Sensors How to make fabric doorstops How to calculate truss forces Homemade PVC Speaker Enclosures How to remove a mosaic in pictures How to reinstall windows on a packard bell Fun Sunday School Activities for Teens DIY Tachometer Circuit Maple tree bark is turning black Flabby Back Exercises How to Turn on an Electric Stove Top Burner Artists Similar to Thomas Kinkade List of Magazines for Teen Males How to stop the clutch from slipping in an RC car Wooden match crafts What Is the Purpose of a Bubbler on an HHO Generator? For example, for $2650 you can buy the rolling chassis, then later for $6395 all powertrain components, then for $997 the sheet metal followed by the brakes and controls for $1527 to end up completing your bike with all electric components sold $1420.00. It sounds like a good way to help people put a ride together and the companies that are supplying you with parts are good as well.
Excellent idea and I also hope you sell a bunch of them, the quality American made parts list in impressive for a low budget bike. The custom oil bag on the “Mr Lucky” bike houses the electrics, and the retro styled battery box accommodates the stock Yamaha battery. I do like the frame, we had the time, lacked the cash and access to the equipment, so we chose to do the weld on.
Normally at the end it usually makes more sense and the answers are greatly appreciated and All who have an open mind, learn a whole lot more of Information. Youa€™ve decided you need a scramblera€”but how do you tweak your bike for good dirty fun, with a bit of extra style? Your goal is a scrambler motorcycle thata€™s robust, easily repaired and built using materials that can proudly wear the scars of your adventures. Most were reverse-engineered by factories or owners to make them capable of heading off the beaten tracka€”and hopefully back again. It doesna€™t matter whether youa€™ve got a big Euro twin, a lightweight retro single, or a UJM thata€™s more of a boat anchor than a fire road blaster. In 2011, the Hammarhead Jack Pine made people sit up and realize that a modified road bike can be good in the dirt. The 400cc Honda CBs and CLs make for nice starting points, and a few builders have shown that even Suzukia€™s big single Savage can be made to work. They prioritize torque over top end power, have visual simplicity, and fewer heavy cylinders projecting from the center axis. As Charlie Trelogan mentioned in his guide to building a cafe racer, you need a few visual lines running through the bike, like the one above.
Either one will help to smooth out the rough stuff, without losing the visual road bike origins of your scrambler.
It might not be as good looking as a set of alloy intake funnels or K&Ns hanging out in the breeze, but when you pass a friend desperately scraping mud from the folds of their exposed filter, youa€™ll thank yourself. They are also a ticket to the Burns Unit for you (or your passenger) if theya€™re not properly routed and shielded. We second the benefits of bush, bearing and seal overhauls that Mule covered in his own guide to the performance side of bike building.
Remember: Youa€™re not setting up a MotoGP bike, youa€™re just trying to get things into the right ballpark for now. Yes, lighter is better and easier to handle, and means youa€™ll last longer when youa€™re muscling it around away from the black top.
This BMW is no feather weight for sure, but bound to achieve the its ultimate goal of a dusty, mile wide grin. And you can use it to achieve your desired lines, cradle your fender, define the edge of the seat, and mount a rear stop light. Around the cylinders, the tank-to-seat gaps, between the rear wheel and fender, and between the leading edge of the tank and the steering head. Extra foam is your friend, especially when youa€™re coming down and your machine is going up.
For example, beautiful rounded cases enjoy a similarly curvaceous tank, but try a more rectilinear form if your motor is of a geometric age. And as a wise man once shouted from atop a Honda CL90, a€?Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirta€?! Each stage has its own options and of course if you buy the complete Bike Kit in one purchase, you get a discount, total MSRP$12995.
All the components we use to build our bikes at Darwin Motorcycles are available in the Brass Balls Cycles Kit Phases.
Nice proportions and being able to get the parts you need as you need or can afford them is a plus.
We are working towards all American, and with the exception of just a few small items, we are there.

Not everybody who read it agreed with the content, but when it comes to style, there are several different schools of taste.I’m going to focus on the performance side of building a cafe racer. About us Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the Terms of use, Cookie policy, and Privacy policy of eHow. All things considered, the best produced parts in the world can certainly still wear out eventually and heavy riding. Both are in production, including the exhaust system and scheduled to be available by the end of this month. Why Fart around with a XS-650 Motor and an old Average Bike at best even in it’s day. In most cases a used Yamaha 650 will start at about $800 to $1000 if it is running and is a 100% there. After all, if you build something too spectacular to get roughed up, youa€™ll end up missing half the fun.
The TR250 offers a frame and engine of handsome, period proportions, and a plethora of aftermarket parts.
That said, we ride with a few brave souls who have converted Suzuki GS fours to dirt usagea€”so dona€™t let us tell you it cana€™t be done! Remember, therea€™s a good chance youa€™ll be up on it from time to time, so no luggage racks on the tank please.
Together, these mods start to give the feel of a bike thata€™s had everything unnecessary stripped off, while still staying legal. But beyond that, wea€™re philistines when it comes to worrying about gyroscopic effect or stiffness, sorry.
Rear swing arm widening or extension is not a huge problem, but usually beyond the average garage builder with DIY tools. And if youa€™re using a directional tread rear tire on the front (yes, wea€™re guilty too), remember to switch the rotation to allow for braking forces. Aftermarket carbs can give you extra responsiveness and a useful horsepower improvement, though. Youa€™ll just need to work a little harder on your design to keep the a€?box and still look cool. Full front-end upgrades are also nice, but if youa€™re raiding the piggy bank to get things rolling, there is still improvement to be had for much less outlay.
To customize your roller, check all your options and know their costs, jump to Darwin Motorcycles. Just need to work on putting ALL American components in the kit…although, it looks like all the major components are American made. For what we offer and what comes standard on our bikes & kits, I can tell you we do it in a creative way because the profit margins are certainly not what they would be if we used inferior, knock-off components made elsewhere. It’s always good to share time with like minded, good natured, creative people who just love bikes and do it for that reason and to support their families. Using the stock front end, wheels, brakes etc., a person can build a super-fine ride for less than $5000 in parts! Mig welded for a stronger weld in a secure fixture keeping the frame straight and lined up perfectly during welding and cooling. No one is going to buy a basket case even for $500 and re-build the motor alone and not have at least $1000 into it before the assembly in a new frame or even a hardtail section and not end up somewhere near $3000. I would like to get the wire harness down to bare bones without all the extra stuff like the signals and all the relays for the signals etc. Race Video.Clay Manson on Fast Motorcycle Industry NewsClay Manson on RSD Super Hooligan Flat Track Racing In Austin At The Handbuilt Show. On the upside, wet grass and loose surfaces are now your friendsa€”and you can enjoy a little roosting too. If your heart is set on pair of the lattera€”and why not, they are damn sexya€”then youa€™ll be looking for a 19-inch front rim and either an 18- or 17-inch rim at the back. Keihin FCRs (above) are our pick, especially on singles, but we suggest staying conservative on the bore sizea€”to keep intake velocity high for better bottom-end responsiveness.
Terminate them at the rear shocks as straight-throughs for a touch of that desert sled vibe (and hearing loss).
A little is usually welcome, but dona€™t go too far without considering (and testing) the effects.
If therea€™s one thing wea€™d recommend paying a professional to do, ita€™s to create a neatly looped rear sub frame. It’s a ceremony a large number of motorcycle riders appreciate as part of the joy of motorcycle ownership. You can buy some pretty cool Sportster Rigs from a bunch of you Guys that are on Cyrill’s Blog. The question is, are bike customers willing to pay possibly 15% – 20% – 30% or more for a bike made of all American components in this economy? Cheat if you must: Use a short guard for hero photos, and use the number plate to keep the muck in check.
They’re a relatively inexpensive means for organizations for you to brand their visitors and can be attached with different kinds of clothes pretty effortlessly. I am a huge proponent of using quality components made here in my Country, but it puts the squeeze on us. The most affordable motorcycles to customize are the bikes that time and style forgot, and many are Japanese.
Every other decision that you make regarding the bike will be based around the engine, so make this your starting point. That means the Honda CBs, in the 350, 360, 500, 550 and 750 capacities.Yamaha has the XS series, in 360, 400 or 650 capacities. Search classified ads in your area for used bikes that feature the engine that you want to build your bike around. Then there’s the SR400 and SR500, and even the Viragos are now getting lots of attention.From Kawasaki, you can pick a Z of any size. If you have more than one bike to transport look for a wider trailer like the utility style. Best bet is to find a trailer that is cheap, maybe not in great shape, but that has a sound axle or set of axles and metal frame that you can get for a great deal.
A junk yard may be a good place to look, or ask at an RV sales lot for junk pop up trailers that are no longer serviceable. You should look at existing choppers and stock bikes and choose one that you want your bike to look like. You can then buy an appropriate new frame or have the frame from the bike you bought in Step 1 modified. All these bikes will most likely have the same issues, because they were all manufactured at least 30 to 40 years ago. If you purchased an old pop up, this job may be time consuming as you have to remove wiring, walls, etc. Always inspect the frame for any rust, cracks or twisting before you purchase a used frame to ensure that you build your bike on a strong foundation. We’re talkin’ about the 70s, when bikes were gaining power with each new model year but the handling was lagging behind.By 1972-73, almost every bike was sporting a disc brake up front. Shocks were mostly chrome spring holders, and low-hanging mufflers and centerstands caused lots of sparks (and crashes) when cornering at speed.Lessons were learned and improvements were made.
As the bikes were pushed to their performance limits at the racetrack, improvements gradually made their way into production models. These lessons, tricks, new parts and tuning secrets have since continued to gather, so we now have a huge pool of knowledge.I should mention it’s always a good idea to choose a bike that has decent parts availability—plus a wide selection of aftermarket goodies. This will free up funds for things like having the rake on the frame changed to fit your new style or custom paint.
Putting a lot of effort into a bike that you can’t even buy a head gasket for is the start of a frustrating journey. Spray the trailer frame with rust inhibiting paint to seal the metal and keep it protected. The greatest thing about building your own bike from a used bike is that if you use the majority of a single used bike you can still insure and license the bike as that type of motorcycle. Let’s say you bought a 70s bike cheap, with the intent of building something really cool to dazzle your friends.

Maybe you’ll ride it every day to work or school too.After many nights in the garage, the bike runs decent and you’ve done all the things that everyone else does to make your bike look cool.
Trying to plate and insure a bike that you have built from scratch is problematic and costly.
This thing is like a slow, wobbly 40-year-old buckboard.”When you go for a spirited ride in the hills with your friends, maybe the bike isn’t all that exciting or confidence inspiring.
Note the location of where the old decking was mounted, and measure these locations on your boards. Do a dry fit and lay the new decking boards out to make sure they fit evenly and tightly, and mark the spots the hardware will be placed. This is the more cost effective option if you want a high powered and highly customised bike. Or maybe there are a couple of guys with bikes from the 80s or even the 90s disappearing over the horizon. You’re thinking, “It’s got to get better than this!”Unfortunately, bikes have been improving at an exponential rate over the past thirty years.
But you’re committed to riding your 70s bike, and want to be able to say you built it yourself.
The more complete the kit, the more you will end up saving on the overall cost of the bike. It’s time to improve it, while keeping a realistic view of how much you can improve it before you’ve depleted your resources.
Adding thread locking material such as Loctite is a good idea for this step so during transport your decking does not come loose.
There are two types of system that can be used, metal channels that screw down to the deck and the bike wheels sit in the channel then it is tied down. The second is a wheel chock that the front wheel is situated into, then the bike tied down to the bed of the trailer.
Usually, these will include things that are needed to make your bike road legal, such as mirrors, a speedometer and baffles for the exhaust.
Either way you choose, the position of the front wheel of the bike needs to be marked on the trailer bed.
How do you find out, and whom can you ask?If you search the web and look at pictures of 70s racing machines and hotted-up street bikes, you’ll find clues. If you plan to build more than one motorcycle yourself, it can be worthwhile to invest in painting supplies and learn how to paint bikes yourself. Though you might not be able to do incredibly detailed work on your first try, basic colours and simple patterns like flames are not beyond the reach of determined do-it-yourselfers. Although the cost of painting equipment will increase the cost of your bike, if you plan to paint than one motorcycle, the costs will eventually be less than that of custom paint jobs.
You’ll notice air cleaners, bigger and better carbs and exhausts, and perhaps some sort of oil cooler. To get an insight into internal mods, you’ll need to read articles from old magazines that have hop-up tips pertaining to your bike. And then look for those parts at swapmeets or on eBay if they are no longer manufactured.Another way to gather knowledge about the older models is to attend a vintage race or two.
Using a piece of scrap lumber or any straight edge, configure a 45 degree angle from the bike to the floor of the trailer, on both sides at both the front and back of the bike. Use the point you will attach your tie down straps to the bike frame as your top reference point, then mark the spot on the trailer bed where the straps will need to be attached.
The rules are generally intended to keep the bikes period correct, but most of the parts needed are readily available.
Step by Step Is as Good a Way as Any Choppers: Custom Chopper Kits -- The Easy Way to Build Choppers Why Bike: Want a Chopper? All bikes like Honda CBs, the Yamaha XS and SR series and Kawasaki Zs can be improved with a standard group of upgrades, beginning with the chassis.
This should be replaced with a needle roller bearing kit in solid bronze or new-old-stock ones.Another area of concern would be the swingarm pivot shaft and reducing the side-to-side play of the swingarm down to the factory minimum spec.
Attach the ratchet tie down straps to the motorcycle frame at the rear first then the front.
Up and down movement should be without restriction, but side-to-side or axial play should be almost nonexistent. You can do a test run down the driveway or neighbourhood street to test everything and make sure there are no problems before embarking on a longer road trip. Getting shocks from Ohlins, Racetech, Works Performance, Hagon or Progressive Suspension can all be an improvement.That said, it’s absolutely critical that the dampening and spring rates are matched as closely as possible to the weight of you and your bike, taking into consideration what type of riding you’ll be doing. Buying a name brand shock that’s mismatched, already used, or designed for a race bike may not yield any improvement whatsoever.I know that Racetech and Works will build shocks to exactly fit your needs. Lengthening the rear shocks eye-to-eye can get you more cornering clearance and better turn-in for corners. But lowering the back end of the bike, as seen in many current custom builds, has the opposite effect.The same goes for forks.
But a fork spring and a dampening kit (or Racetech emulators) can yield great results with your stockers if they aren’t bent or rusted.
You can even adapt better forks to fit, possibly from a different model of the same brand.7.
Another way to improve the stock chassis is to lighten the wheels and fit better brakes and tires. There may be a similar model to yours that has a lighter, smaller rear hub, or a smaller and lighter disc.Look at lacing up an aluminum rim, perhaps wider, that allows you to use a better tire. Firestones or knobblies on your street bike are a loud, clear signal that handling in the corners is of no concern, and the other things I’ve mentioned to get the chassis to a higher level will be for nothing. Every tire manufacturer makes rubber donuts in the 18” range that will give good grip and great transitions from vertical to leaned-over. A lot of the 70s-era bikes—almost all except those in the sub 450cc range—came with 19” front wheels. These combined a steel rim with a large diameter, and generally speaking, a much more ‘relaxed’ steering head angle.
This increases the gyroscopic effect and leaves you with a bike reluctant to lean or steer into a corner.9.
Discs can be swapped out for a larger disc from another brand or model, or you could even swap the front hub for something that originally came with two discs.Note: make sure you also pick up a brake master cylinder intended to push enough fluid for two calipers!
When you visit the vintage races, you’ll observe that most bikes will have been converted to aluminum rims with an 18” wheel at the front and most likely a second disc.Other factors are the steering head angle and triple clamp offset, which feed into the “trail” part of the overall package. It doesn’t wobble and the new wheels and tires—being lighter—feel pretty darn good going into and through corners.
Not to mention the dual discs slowing the bike down with much less effort.But if only it had more power! The guys who have been successful at competition over the years don’t just throw some trick component at the bike and go faster. They keep the stock engines or modified engines in top condition throughout the year.They aren’t up all night playing World of Warcraft. Or resurfacing the head and cylinder, so with a new gasket, it won’t leak—ever.So start by making sure the engine has good compression on ALL cylinders. The air cleaner(s) need to be clean, and the carbs jetted properly—since you tossed the airbox and installed the cool “pods.” 11.
You may need to bite the bullet with an engine rebuild, and once again, the vintage races could be your best source.
The Yamaha TT500s (with the same motor as the XT and SR500s) are probably the most popular bike in all flattrack races, week in and week out.
With a 540cc kit, a Megacycle cam, a Sudco 36-38mm round slide carb kit and just about any pipe, you’ve entered another world of performance.Same with an XS650 Yamaha. That is, unless your CB owner got a hot cam, a 836cc big bore kit and some Keihin CRs while building his own cafe racer, and paid attention to his chassis set-up.

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