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Old 11-27-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
digger440 OP
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Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Very northwest corner of the USA
Oddometer: 74
R100RT chop hack and slice without remorse. Looming 56K death

Firstly hello this is my first post nice to make your aquintence.

Now that the salutatory BS is out of the way here is the long and the short of it. I was given an 1981 R100RT that was severely neglected and pretty rough. The layer of of oxidization ad rust were pretty deep so I dont feel sad at all for what I am about to post in this thread. It was given to me by a friend of my parents, at first I just left it to sit in a corner of the garage wondering what I was going to do with it. I could not sell it as that was part of the "gift conditions" so it sat and sat and sat. I rode it once up the driveway after I got it. It ran which is about all I can say that is nice. The brakes were bad, both masters leaked fluid as fast as you could add it. The exhaust was falling apart, it was ugly, and there is a ton of slop in the rear end as the splines are toast.

So a little about me, I come from a 2 wheeled family my dad puts more miles on his Tiger than I do in my daily cage. My mom on the other side has a Triumph Legend side-hack that she motors about. I think there might have been a very brief time in my late teens that some sort of gyro balanced motor transportation was not in my life (but that time was long ago and is fuzzy to say the least).

So fast forward a bit I was working managing an automotive shop where I had been for 13 years. I hated my job, I had been hired to change oil and sweep floors but throughout the years I somehow ended up in the office writing work orders and running the shop. I was much happier back in my bay doing diagnosis and building cool stuff, (which I am aggressively mediocre at ). The shop fixed your everyday mundane vehicle issues but we also built hotrods, mostly Model A's but there were many others to mix it up. Prior to being the head lackey I had a good gig I was an ASE master with L1, X1, and (the newer) A9 certs. I did all the custom fab work and a few of our cars ended up in magazines (Nov 2004 American Rodder inside cover and a nice write up).

Did I mention I hated my job? Not just hated it but loathed every minute I spent there. I would come home a ball of stress turning me into a shitty father and a shitty husband. So I decided to drastically change careers, which I did. When I quit I hated working on things with motors just as an extension of of unhappiness in my career. I brought my tools and equipment home and packed them into my garage not even so much as changing oil for quite a while.

It took months but in May I saw that poor old RT sitting in the corner and a lightbulb went off. I was working nightshift in my new career and I had a ton of time to myself, so rather than drink and watch netflix I put it on the lift and started this journey. I quickly remembered what I loved about building mechanical stuff and I could do it in a leisurely manner and whilst drinking beer.

I tend to lean toward sportbikes (my elderly Kawi is in some of the pictures) so this hack I am shooting for a cafe-esque look but with some modern influences. If you can picture an Airhead, a Norton Manx, and a Triumph Speed Triple getting wasted and having an inter-species orgy, the illegitimate bastard that came of that union is what I am looking to create.

So with that said welcome to my therapy.

So here is where I started

More to follow I am uploading 140 pics to imageshack as I type hence the dial up warning in the title

digger440 screwed with this post 11-11-2013 at 08:52 PM Reason: Paragraphs
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Scottsdale AZ..
Oddometer: 3,629
can wait

love watching cafe builds
BMWMOA 82741 ABC 8418
75 R90S , 77 R100 RS,88 R100GS ,94 R1100RS (Aragorn) 2k 1150GS DMC sidecar,
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Halfway between Munich and Redditch.
Oddometer: 1,980
My 1982 r100rt looked worse than that when I got it, and I paid money for it!
You can give me whatever you take off that in the process of cafe-izing it, it would probably be an upgrade for me.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Bath Uk
Oddometer: 2,350
This bike was bought in about 1994 as a very well shagged 1982 RT.

It now looks and goes very much better and it's funny how many people don't realize that it is not a R90s

R90s 1070 replica, R90/6, 1958 R50
1971 Commando Fastback
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
digger440 OP
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Location: Very northwest corner of the USA
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And here is where I am as of this morning as I said in the first post I uploaded a metric shit-ton of photos to imageshack and I will try and update this tread as time permits

This project has snowballed from its beginnings, becuase at first it was just going to be the standard cafe fare. I.E. Clip ons, new exahust, bobbed tail, and some detailing...

...I am so not done
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:31 PM   #6
Beemerholics Anonymous
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Jackson's Bottom Oregon
Oddometer: 8,279
I like your style!

Riding them is therapy, but so is working on them and customizing them as well.

Sounds like you've made some good changes and the quality of life has improved drastically. Well done!
Wanted: Dead, smashed, crashed or trashed gauges
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
digger440 OP
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So here is where it all started I got the bike up on the lift and started looking. I knew that I wanted to go cafe-ish but I also knew I needed to strip the poor old beast prior to any hacking

So now the big pieces start to come off starting at the back and moving forward

Once the fairing was off I put the tail back on to look. Now I am old enough to have had Sir Mix-a-Lot on cassette (now on my iPod) and while I agree with his proclamation of love for large round backsides this was too much Ghetto Booty, that ass is huge

I knew I was going to bob that tail when I started so I needed to get down to the seatpan

After putting the seatpan back on I measured that I could lop 8 inches out of the middle to get the look I desired but because I was bobbing the seat I had to bob the frame too

Now that the frame was bobbed I could get to the tail and seatpan. I have to mention that before the big snowball I was going to use the factory seat hinges and mounting so it would still lift and pivot as it was designed to do.

rusty and dirty

needs some patchin

Here to being 8 inches short

the tail is now ready to be cut to match the seatpan

Oh TIG welder how I love thee

and here is the tail mounted up looking much better than the ghetto bootied start

But I still have the rusty seatpan to deal with, in the below photos I joined the sections, patched the rusty hole, and installed new metric Nutserts to attach the tail

Done and painted

I wanted the tail to have a cleaner look so I stared at it for a while, had a couple beers and got this bright idea to pinch the subframe supports inward to the battery box mount leaving room on the outside to lay down the shocks I figured I would just make some new shock mounts and leave the subframe pretty much factory (with the exception of the pinched support bars)

With this idea the snowball began to roll I ordered a pair of external reservoir off ebay that were just a bit longer than the factory ones. but once I got them I found that my idea of pinching the subframe supports didnt pencil out like I thought,so the cutting and chopping began in earnest. I distinctly remember putting the recip saw to the subframe mounting tab and asking myself if I was making a good decision so I had a beer and ignored the stupid naysaying voice.

To be continued......
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #8
digger440 OP
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Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Very northwest corner of the USA
Oddometer: 74
You cant do it all

As with any project you are going to have some epic fails and while I am good at many things I suck at upholstery. I tried dear lord I tried and I found that I have neither the patience or willingness to learn this skill. Needless to say I will be farming out the upholstery to someone who knows WTF they are doing

I started with the Ghetto Booty foam that was in the seat and I began to piece it together

I shaped the foam to something that looked like I wanted and went to the fabric store and purchased some marine grade vinyl. I tried to make a seat cover in the photo below but it ended looking like I had put pickled eggs and oatmeal in a plastic grocery sack, it was hideous and shameful.

Needless to say that is why in the latest photos there is only foam to protect my tender tushy

More to follow.....
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
Bill Harris
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Location: backwoods Alabama
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Good deal on the career change.

Remember, a motorcycle can get you through times of no money better than money can get you through times of no motorcycle. Or sumptin' like that...

'73 R60/5 Toaster
Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #10
digger440 OP
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Oddometer: 74
This is where the whole project changed, I had purchased the longer shocks and had found they would not work with the pinched subframe support idea. So I got out the recip saw and cut of the subframe mounting tabs. Once the tabs were cut off I had some rather ugly growths that needed to be smoothed

Now to build a new subframe, I used threaded rod bolted through the battery box holes in order to be able to adjust the seatpan and tail to the correct height and angle prior to tacking together a subframe. It worked pretty well and I used a 3rd bolt on the tire to get the rear at the correct height.

And now the shock mounts need built so I had a beer and l stared for a while. My first thought was to make the shock mounts support the seat. so I mocked up a bracket from card board.

And I got ready to make some cuts

Flame cutting is ok but I really need a plasma torch

Since I had flamecut ala freehand the brackets they needed some work to look respectable so I clamped them together for some judicious grinding and shaping[/img]

After shaping them I have 4 brackets that look exactly like each other and match the template I had made

Now to drill the holes the shocks will bolt through

Everyone has a supervisor and mine says he is not convinced that the shockmounts I am making will look good. He said some other stuff too but it was mostly about Batman and Lightning McQueen.

Once I got the hole drilled and the mounts bolted to the shock I had to form the mounts to match the curvature of the frame.

And this is where I end up not happy I really should have listened to my supervisor as he has an eye for aesthetics. With the mounts fomed and the tail in place on top of them it looked clunky and like an afterthought. The mounts did not flow with the shape of the tail or the frame. So I sat in my rocking chair, had a beer, and cried while staring at the damn thing. My supervisor would have my ass if I screwed this up, so I continued to cipher until I had a better idea.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:21 PM   #11
digger440 OP
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Ok I got done with my man tears and asked myself what kind of look I liked in bikes that I could apply here. And the answer I came up with was a Ducati steel trellis frame. While that is not what I built, I wanted something that would be simple, lithe and strong. I didnt tell the supervisor but I started to build shock mount pockets that I figured I would weld to the frame with triangulated tubes.

As always I made a pattern and beer helped me get started

The old shock mounts were good for something

Once I had the rough cut I shaped them the same way I did the old shock mounts and got ready to tack it together

I started my tacks at the top of the semi-circle and closed it up with the vice before I finished welding

With the shock pockets done I began to build the seat mount, I used M/S tubing, chamfered the edges in the lathe and istalled nutserts in the end to hang..... .....stuff

I welded a spreader support onto the frame and tacked together the seat mount in the vise

Then I tacked the frame to the spreader

I cut two small spacers and clamped the shock pockets to the seat frame and tacked it into place.

This looks a little better the Supervisor will be pleased

I used pieces of the old subframe to make the triangulated shock pocket braces that will bear the brunt of the working load against the frame. I also added a second set of triangulated braces to the spreader between the two shock pockets. I moved the location of the shock pockets to lower the rear 1.75 inches for the short and wide look (kinda like me).

When I finished the seat rested on the factory rubber buttons on top of the seat frame. This look both myself and the supervisor are more pleased with.

Because I lowered the rear I also needed to lower the front the same amount to keep the correct geometry and look. So some shiny new parts were ordered. I am really trying to build everything I can on this, but for $120.00 the San Jose triple clamp was well worth the money spent. Besides a machinist I am not

Next up.... exhaust

To be continued
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:31 PM   #12
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Nor Cal, USA
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This is humbling to watch....
1974 R90/6 motor w/1050 kit; twin plugged; installed in...1970 R60/5 frame; RM125 front end; KZ1000 Police Tank.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:28 AM   #13
I like everything.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:25 AM   #14
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a cool build and some nice welding you have done but i would not do the welding in rubber gloves as they will melt.
suzuki gsxr 600 srad sound fun bike
bmw r100gs i sold as it be came to unreliable.
road legal stomp pitbike sold
Klr 650 the worst ever made
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:18 AM   #15
digger440 OP
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Location: Very northwest corner of the USA
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Originally Posted by orangebear View Post
a cool build and some nice welding you have done but i would not do the welding in rubber gloves as they will melt.

You would think they would melt badly but they dont. I started using the blue extra thick gloves probably 10 years ago when I was working as an auto tech. The first reason was women dont like the dirty hands, after I got used to wearing them you could not tell what I did for a living by looking at the stains on my cuticles.

As far as them melting the only problem I have had in the whole time is big drips of molten slag. It takes quite a bit to melt them actually however if you grab something hot or touch something hot they retain the heat for a long time; but they come off easy.
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