Thanks for the replies...it really does keep me motivated to update
Ok, so for me, a lot of the fun of this project is figuring out what I want the final build to look like. Therefore, I spend a lot of time drinking beer and doing this:
I have been scouring the web and classic bike magazines for pictures of classic desert sleds...and while I have no delusions of this being a proper Triumph or a BSA desert racer...I am nonetheless inspired by them.
I find myself getting ideas from images like this one of Bud Ekins:
One thing that is constant is that the taillight is non-existent on desert sleds....but since I want this bike to still be used on forest roads legally (and have a plate), it will have a light. But like on my DRZ, minimalistic is the key, and low power draw is essential. I have this LED taillight unit that broke while I was race training on my DRZ..the license plate holder part broke off..but the light still works fine.
I also love that it is small and round and with a simple aluminum mount, could still look retro.
This is Ray.
Ray is a local friend who is originally from New York, so he and I have that east coast thing going as far as understanding each other. We both also have ADD, so there's that. However, Ray is a master welder. Of anything. He does a lot of work for local cheese factories building all of their cheese making equipment among other things. He once re-welded the kickstand bracket on my old XR and no shit, that simple weld was the best looking one on the whole frame. He is a perfectionist when it comes to welding.
Luckily, he also likes interesting projects...and he considers this SL350 build interesting. He came buy, drank a beer and started taking measurements for the new bash plate and taillight bracket. I hope to have the taillight bracket soon...the bash plate will have to wait a bit longer.
I must say, just removing that huge original taillight assembly made me smile a bit
And I love the look of the aluminum fenders...warts and all
I mocked up the bars from the CL350 onto the SL with a faux bar riser set up...just to get some ideas. Immediately, it transformed the bike into a dirt bike in my eyes..and made the ergonomics of the bike much more usable for me. I could now stand on the pegs and be in a proper attack position.
They were a little high..and those old steel bars are crazy heavy. I ordered up some cheap Tusk Aluminium bars in the KX high bend, some Protaper pillow top grips (I was sold on these while racing the DRZ) and some bar risers from Rocky Mt. MC/ATV. The bar risers are on back order, but the bars and grips came today. I again used my faux bar riser set up and mocked the bars up (without the cross bar installed). I liked them. I'll have to wait to see how they work with the proper bar risers in place.
Cables. I need cables...but while ordering a stock throttle tube from my small, local Honda dealer ($15 bucks), he told me that he would be set up to make cables there very soon. I hope that happens.
Pegs. The stock rubber pegs are horrible and completely unusable for an off road racing bike.
I was sitting in my comfy orange chair...sipping a NewCastle and looked around my messy garage. The CL350 pegs were the same, the DRZ pegs didn't look like they would fit...and the XR250R ones..also didn't look too good...but that poor bike is buried under shit so I really couldn't get a good look. Then I looked at the DL650 Wee Strom
They looked that they might fit.
They did! Even this early in this build, I get pumped finding non-specific, see cheaper than vintage/NOS/hard to find parts that work.
I also remembered that Easy Z had bought a pair of metal pegs for his Wee that were actually made for a KLR650 and they were cheap. Here they are:
Less than $20 bucks..are you kidding me??
It is fair to say that the suspension is not going to be that cheap..as I am looking at some units that are fully adjustable (both compression and damping) with variable height adjustment
Another problem is finding an aftermarket or otherwise larger capacity tank that will bolt on or weld on with minimal customizing..anyone have any ideas?? I have the people at Clark looking at it...and I've also checked into some mustang custom chopper tanks..which actually look sweet and properly vintage and hold more fuel..but are not cheap.
Stay tuned for more.....