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Old 05-01-2010, 02:27 PM   #31
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170
Oil Cooler

I'm almost done with all the frame mods and starting to work on various things around the frame. So that I can do some of the measuring and fitting I set the old engine and trans from the parts bike into place. The header pipes were all rusted up so I went over them with a wire wheel and it really improved the look. I guess they will rust up again soon though.

I found that when climbing up steep mountain back roads (1st and 2nd gear stuff) in hot weather the engine of my PD would overheat. After a bit of looking around at automotive plumbing catalogs and such I ended up ordering an Earl's Temp-a-Cure oil cooler, some -6 Perform-O-Flex stainless hose, and a few Swivel-Seal hose ends that would mate the cooler to the threaded holes in GS oil filter cover plate. Other aftermarket parts makers have similar offerings.

I sized the cooler to be a bit bigger than stock and to fit in the space behind the front fender. This photo shows the stock GS cooler compared to the new cooler. It is thicker, and the front has about 30% more finned area.

I wanted to have the front fender so I could properly fit the cooler. I looked around for something with a modern look to it and settled on a Acerbis for the limited edition black CRF450R. I'm hoping the aerodynamics of it will be good at highway speeds.

To mount the cooler I decided to use two aluminum plates that would mount above and below the cooler to stabilize it and offer some crash protection. The lower plate would mount to two brackets that would be welded to the front frame tube. The lower plate would need two big holes to pass the fittings on the bottom of the cooler.

As a first attempt I made these plates from 1/8" flat stock. I machined out the top plate mainly for looks, but also to make it lighter.

The frame brackets needed to be narrow enough to fit between the cooler fittings. I still need to cut off that horn mount, but will need to wait until the engine is out next.

The lower plate then mounts to the frame with four counter sunk screws.

To connect the hoses to the GS filter plate I bought two M12x1.5 'fuel pump' hose ends (Earl's PN 849092). These have the same thread as the stock GS banjo bolts. I also bought some clear 3/4" heat shrink tubing to put over the hose to keep grit out.

The filter cover plate had a recess that the banjo sealing washer fit into that can be seen in this photo.

I filed down the edges of the recess to make a flat sealing surface for the new hose ends.

Here is how the new fittings connect up with the GS filter plate.

Here is my 1/8" lower mounting plate with some temporary hardware. After getting this far I found the lower plate seemed too flimsy, and I felt the plate would eventually crack from fatigue. There is about 67mm between the inner frame mounting screws and the outer cooler mounting screws, with a big hole between them.

As a solution I welded some 90 degree angle stock on the sides of the lower bracket. This photo shows that work in progress. On the bottom I needed to grind away some clearance. With hind sight, I think a better design would be to just make the lower plate from 1/4" stock. The current one should work OK, but I may make up a new one.

I made up this set of spacers from 1/2" round stock to fit between the cooler mount tabs. I machined a flat on two sides to accept a 10mm wrench. I also use two washers between the cooler tabs and the mount plates to space the plates away from the top and bottom of the cooler. The cooler is then sandwiched between the plates to stabilize it.

I was concerned that I would not be able to remove the front engine cover with the oil cooler mounted, but I found that the cooler and hoses are far enough forward that there is plenty of room.

Here's a side view showing the clearance between the cooler and the fender as mounted.

It seems like the front fender will obstruct most of the airflow to the cooler. I'm thinking I'll cut out some of the fender to allow the the air to flow into the cooler, and maybe make some shrouds that attatch to the sides of the cooler to duct some more air through it. I'll wait until later when the bike is ridable and I can do some air flow testing before doing that though. I also need to add the heat shrink cover, and I am thinking I to shorten the hoses by 1/2" or so.


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Old 05-01-2010, 10:06 PM   #32
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Shawangunks
Oddometer: 27,218
Yah you'll want airflow through the fender,, but you dont have to cut it off if you can just drill some holes in it.
Unintentional psychokinesis.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:46 AM   #33
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170
Regulator Harness

I had one of the Enduralast alternators from Euro MotoElectics on another bike, and can recommend it for the improved charging. The down side of the kit is the wiring. It just provides some general instruction, a handful of electrical connectors and some wire. You are left up to your skills to get it working.

The combined rectifier/regulator comes from a two wire Ducati system, and it just doesn't mate into the two component Bosch diode board + regulator system of the GS very well. Here's the rectifier/regulator from the kit.

I wanted the wiring for the new alternator to be reliable and clean so figured I'd need to make up some kind of custom wiring harness. I started by taking measurements of the existing engine wiring harness and whatever else would be needed to connect up the new regulator and came up with this harness drawing.

I think for maintenance it would be better to have connectors between the regulator and harness so the regulator could be easily replaced, but that would be complicated because the wires to the alternator need a high AC current rating, etc. For reliability I choose to wire the regulator directly into the engine harness.

The result for the most part is a direct replacement for the OE engine harness. The regulator needs switched power on the white wire which has no equivalent in the OE harness. My solution was to run another wire out along side the wires to the main harness connector and put on a blade connector that would need switched power from somewhere. I need to do some re-work on the main harness and I'll add in a new wire from switched power to connect up here.

In my old installation one of the connectors between the alternator and the regulator burned up. It happened on a trip to Baja, and the battery was ruined, so I had to finish the trip with a lot of push starts. I think that the AC current must get really high at times, then any resistance in the connectors will cause them to get hot and eventually burn up. As a quick fix while down in Baja I got some wire nuts from a hardware store. Those worked so well I left them on. Anyway, I want to have some good connectors there to avoid problems. For now, I put in a heavy duty terminal block. I'll attach it to the timing cover with a screw to hold it in place.


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Old 05-15-2010, 12:26 PM   #34
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170

I'll need a headlight, and I wanted something distinctive, something that said -- off-road.

I liked the the look of the big 8" race lights and figured I'd try to rig something up for street use. Both Baja Designs and Trail Tech make very similar products, an 8" light with a simple frame that attaches to the fork uppers with hose clamps.

I chose the Trail Tech light based solely on Internet photos. Both are so similar that I can't imagine one could be much better than the other. I'd like to hear from anyone who has compared them side-by-side.

Here's what arrived at my door.

This light comes fitted with a single filament 55 watt H1 bulb. This really isn't suitable for a street use headlight. After a bit of headlight study (see here) my idea was to fit a standard H4 (9003) bulb to the 8" shell. The H4 bulb is a dual filament bulb with an off-focus low beam filament and integral low beam mask.

I needed an H4 bulb holder to replace the existing H1 holder so I searched around at the local motorcycle wrecker and found what seemed to be a pretty common H4 light on older Honda motorcycles. The back shell is made of plastic and I figured it would be easy to cut down to make a bulb holder that could be glued onto the back of the 8" light.

Here's the junker compared to the 8".

I took a hammer and a pair of pliers to the Honda light to break away the front lens from the rear shell.

The H1 bulb holder on the 8" light is cast aluminum and held onto the shell by several bent over tangs and a bead of what seemed to be high-temp RTV silicon. I bent the tangs up and cut the silicon away to get the holder off.

Here is the H4 shell set on top of the 8" light.

Using a lathe I cut off the outer part of the plastic H4 shell then turned it down to a good size. Here's a comparison of the two holders with bulbs.

The drawing shows the bulb dimensions I measured:

    H1      = 27.0 mm
    H4 high = 20.0 mm
    H4 low  = 28.0 mm
The H1 bulb holder places the bulb about 5 mm behind the shell, so to get the H4 high beam filament at the same position that the H1 filament was I would need the base of the H4 bulb about 2 mm in front of where the H1 holder rests against the shell. Anyway, I marked out the cut with a Sharpie pen and started toward it on a bench grinder. I noticed the reflector mirroring started to peal off inside the bulb from the heat of grinding so I switched to a hand file.

Once I started getting close I checked the placement of the bulb by looking through the front lens at the reflection of the high beam filament in the reflector. Because of the reflector's parabolic shape it was easy to see when the filament was at the focal point.

Here's the filed down shell and my bulb holder ready to be glued together.

After all the grinding and filing there was a lot of metal and mirror junk inside the light that needed to be cleaned out. I started by just flushing it with clear warm water, then on the final fill-up I added a tablespoon of household ammonia to help reduce water spots. I was really surprised with the result. A very clean inside and only a few unnoticeable spots.

I got some Permatex Ultra Grey RTV silicon to glue the new holder to the shell. It seems to be very similar to what was originally used to hold the H1 holder on.

Here are a few photos that show the finished headlamp.

Here's the high and low beam patterns on a cardboard target a few feet in front of the bike. Both were taken with the same exposure settings.

The low beam pattern seems pretty good. I'll need to get the bike out of the garage to check how it looks down the road.

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Old 05-30-2010, 10:58 PM   #35
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170
Dash Fab

The frame of the Trail Tech headlamp I bought has four threaded mounts that I thought would be a good place for my dashboard. I wanted to make up something with a minimal look.

I thought a multi-function digital computer would be good to base my dash on since I could get a number of features from a single device. I looked at a few models, and decided on the Trail Tech Vapor. It had most of the features I wanted at a reasonable price.

For warning and indicator lamps I first bought these 12 volt LED lamps which have a built-in resistor and holder, but I had second thoughts about them as they look a little big, so I then bought some bare LEDs and small clip holders that I will try. I'm not sure if I can get the installation of the bare LEDs to be reliable enough. They seem like they will easily get damaged.

I also bought a few heavy duty toggle switches. With all the components on hand I did a mock up of the dash to get the measurements for the top panel.

I went through a few iterations of the layout with components at different positions, etc., until I got to the final layout. I did a mock-up with thick card stock to get the shape of the side panels that put the dash at a good viewing angle. Here's one of my design drawings with a side panel template and a few of the different lamps I bought. The sharp point at the top of the template is to form a kind of glare guard and mini wind screen.

I found some 1/16" 6061 aluminum sheet at the remnant shop that I thought would work well.

After cutting out the rough shapes on a band saw I used a mill to get the parts to shape and machine out the openings for the components.

I used this piece of flat stock as the front mounting bracket. To allow full adjustment of the headlamp I needed to cut out the relief. I made the bracket wide so I can mount a pair of small auxiliary driving lamps above the main headlamp.

Here I have the parts taped together with masking tape as a final check before welding.

Welding the dash panels to the lower mounts.

Here is the finished dash. I still need to wire up all the components, a big job in itself.

I also need to get a key lock switch for the ignition. I'm thinking to hang a bracket down below the dash side panel, but on the inside of the headlamp frame so the key switch is recessed into the gap behind the headlamp.

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Old 05-31-2010, 07:31 AM   #36
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Melbourne, OZ
Oddometer: 886
I'm liking this
If ignorance is bliss, why aren´t more people happy?????
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:56 AM   #37
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Joined: Jan 2004
Location: ... I was born a ramblin' man
Oddometer: 845
Originally Posted by x3300

I also need to get a key lock switch for the ignition. ...

If you are looking for clean and "simple", have you considered keyless?

I seem to recall one Aussie inmates going that way with his R65 Cafe build



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Old 06-05-2010, 12:51 PM   #38
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170
Tool Tray

Zebedee, keyless sounds good. I often seem to get all saddled up with gloves and everything on to only find my key is deep down inside my pocket.

I'll need to make up some kind of custom seat since the stock GS seat doesn't fit with the frame gussets I added, and also, the shape of the HPN and R65 tanks I have are considerably different from the stock GS tank.

To get some ideas I made this seat mock-up from thin cardboard.

There was a lot of unused space below the seat top, so I thought it would be a good place to store some tools and spare parts. I made up this model to size up a large tool tray.

My idea was for the seat pan to mount on the top of the tool tray. The HPN and R65 tanks are different lengths, so I would need a design that would allow the seat to be used with both. I decided that the tray would stay fixed to the frame, and the pan would have front to back adjustment. Here is the pan mock-up on the tray. The marks in the back show the pan position with the two tanks.

I spent a lot of time measuring the profile of the tanks and cutting and fitting the pan to get a shape and position that I thought looked good. Here's how it fits to the the R65 and HPN tanks.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to replace the R65 tank adapter I had made with a mount welded directly to the frame. I made up this template for a mount that could be used for both the R65 tank and the tool tray. The front of the tool tray will have a bracket welded on that sticks out and bolts to this frame mount. The bracket on the tank and the bracket on the tray will stack together and then bolt to the frame with two bolts.

Here's the bracket cut out and bent. It will get some threaded bungs welded on after it is welded to the frame.

When I got the 1/16 aluminum stock for the dash I got enough for the tool tray also. I cut the panels then bent the bottom panel on a sheet metal brake. With a bit of filling the side panels were even and mated to the bottom with a good fit.

Here's the bottom panel in position. I left some extra on the front to be trimmed while fitting the front panel.

I used this card stock template to get the geometry of a cut out that would be needed to clear the frame.

Here's the tray taped together for a final check before welding.

To weld the panel edges square I used this piece of angled scrap. The vice-grip is set as a stop to register the panel in position.

The panel is set in position.

Then some tack welds.

And tack the other edges.

Then the final welds.

I trimmed the extra off the top of the panels, then used a disc sander to get the top of all the panels even. This shows how the tray fits into the frame and its position with respect to the tank mount, which is welded to the frame here.

Here's the tray so far.

I put in a lot of detail in this write-up, and the piece isn't even finished... I still need to make the two small panels to seal the frame cut-outs, make up the front and rear mounts, and make up a mounting system for the seat pan.

After the tray is done then I can start on the seat pan then move on to the seat pad and cover. I've been gathering up seat design info for the next steps. I found some good info here

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Old 06-05-2010, 06:32 PM   #39
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Bluff City
Oddometer: 354
Awesome write up thus far!

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Old 06-05-2010, 07:50 PM   #40
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Oddometer: 4,645
'85 BMW r80G/S--Another G/S on the road--Central America on a Shoestring--Nova Scotia on a Shoestring--Never Leave a Man's Behind

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Old 06-12-2010, 09:48 AM   #41
Benjamin M
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Surrey, UK
Oddometer: 56
Great thread dude. Especially interested in the high/low beam mod that you've made to the TT 8" headlight..

Any progress made since your last post?

Cheers, Benjamin

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Old 06-12-2010, 12:52 PM   #42
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Amsterdam
Oddometer: 6
Respect & inspiration

Looks like a great project! My respect for your drive to do so many things yourself.

I am working on something similar, but I have the advantage some work has been done for me and there is a bit more stuff for sale over here.

I bought this 1992 R80GS with a Siebenrock 1000cc kit and a WP 48mm usd front fork (foto attached).
After that I have put on a mono seat on a self made shortend rear frame, with a smaller battery, a BSM stainless steel exhaust with a good Y-pipe, a UNI open airfilter, an oilcooler, a ring to enlarge the oil pan and self made bash plate instead of the pan, an inversed brake lever at the back, a HE 320mm front brake disk, adaptor plate and caliper.
I am trying to reduce weight everywhere (mainly using the angle grinder).
The dashboard consists only of a Nuvi 510 GPS, the instrument lights and a bycicle speedometer. A second one and a roadbook holder will follow.
The taillight consists of LED's and the front light (classic G/S basic front) has an xenon light.

I am busy refurbishing the carbs, timing chain and rectifier (same as your setup) and I want to mount some subframe for a set of saddle bags (no cases for me). I have an appointment with a suspension specialist because I also want to raise the rear end (so please keep us posted here, the road I want to take is to shorten the bar underneath the swinarm and with that straightening the rear angle of the swingarm) and I am interested in your frame reinforcement drawings.


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Old 06-13-2010, 12:43 AM   #43
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170
Seat Pan

There seems to be a lot of popcorn munchers out there...

I got some more work done on the tool tray, but it's still not finished yet. I made up some corner pieces to complete the cut-outs I needed to clear the frame. Here I have the first one tacked in.

After I got it all welded up I did a backyard hydrostatic leak test. This photo shows two cross tubes I added to make the sides more rigid and to work as part of the seat pan mount. They also make nice carrying handles.

I made up a single wide front mount that bolts to the R65 tank mount I now have welded on the frame, and two rear mounts that have slots that go onto the sub-frame cross tube as seen in the later photos.

I wanted to have a design that would have the seat, tool tray and battery theft proof with a single lock. My idea was to have the rear of the tray slide onto the sub-frame cross tube with the front of the tray elevated. The tray would then pivot around the sub-frame tube to bring the front down to its mount, and front would then be bolted to the frame. The seat covers those bolts, and then the seat will have a bracket of some kind (TBD) to allow it to be locked to the frame.

My solution will certainly work, but now that I have it fabricated I feel it could use some improvement. The rear mounts seem like they will wear fast and get sloppy. Also, there is too much side to side flexing of the tray so the rear mounts move side to side. I'll think about some way to improve it.

I have a Rick Mayer solo seat on my PD that I find comfortable on long rides so I decided to try to incorporate the same general shape into my seat, but on a much trimmed down scale. To start, I made up this seat pan template that could support the seat I'm thinking of.

I found this 16 gauge aluminum sheet from a discarded air conditioner cover or something that I thought I could use. I thought the alloy was 3003, but it seemed to crack easily when shaping it, so it might have been something harder. I laid out the sheet with a Sharpie pen.

The shape of the pan didn't allow me to shrink the material to form this corner so I cut out a wedge shaped section with the plan to weld the seam together. Here I have the seam tack welded. As I was shaping I didn't do any annealing, and some cracks resulted which are visible in this photo at the top of the seam. I welded up the cracks with the seam.

For added strength I made this 6061 under pan to weld onto the bottom of the seat pan.

Here it is welded to the bottom of the pan.

Here's the seat pan so far. Its a little difficult to see, but the photos show how I put both a lengthwise crown and a cross crown to stiffen up the top of the pan.

I'm really happy with the result of the tool tray and seat pan so far. Before I started on them I was wondering what I could do and wasn't quite so sure how to progress, but now they are almost finished with just a few more bits of work to do.

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Old 06-29-2010, 06:46 PM   #44
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170
Seat Pan Mount

The design and fab of the tool tray plus seat pan assembly has taken some time, but I'm almost finished. In my design the tool tray bolts down to the frame, with the seat pan then attached to the tool tray.

I made up these aluminum hooks to weld to the bottom of the seat pan. The hooks are intended to slide under the tubes I have welded into the tool tray and hold the seat pan firmly to the tool tray.

I had previously welded a solid sheet of aluminum to the underside of the seat pan to form a stable base for its mounting to the tool tray, but I decided to remove that sheet and instead use two pieces of aluminum angle to act as sub frame rails. The hooks get welded to the rails.

Here's how the rails fit onto the tool tray tubes. The sides of the tool tray fit into the groove between the rail and the hook to hold the pan from moving side to side.

I then welded the rails onto the underside of the seat pan.

To add some rigidity to the sides of the seat pan I made up end panels from flat sheet and welded them to the seat pan.

Once I got the rails and end panels welded in I did some trial fitting with the R65 and HPN tanks to find out how much of the underside hooks to trim. Here is the finished seat pan with the hooks trimmed.

Here's a back view. I just laid a string of spot welds to hold the end panels in.

I still need to arrange some kind of latch and lock mechanism. I found this nice looking draw latch at McMaster-Carr which looks like I can mount the arm vertically on the rear end panel and the strike below on the tool tray to draw the seat pan firmly down onto to tool tray and lock it into position.

To get a feel for how much and what kinds of foam I'll need I glued on a few layers of packing foam I had on hand.

The seat pan mount is functional, but I'm not entirely satisfied with it. I don't really like the rail and hook solution I came up with. The pan is hard to put on, doesn't really fit well, and the rails aren't very strong so won't offer much theft protection. I already have a reworked design that I think will function better, but my plan is to move on to unfinished things like the seat foam and cover.

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Old 07-03-2010, 05:58 PM   #45
x3300 OP
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 170
Fork Lock

After a bit of looking I came across the Master Receiver Lock 1473DAT at my local auto parts store that I thought I could make work as a fork lock. The package included 1/2" and 5/8" receiver pins and a single lock.

Here's the 5/8" pin and lock.

I used an abrasive cut-off wheel to cut the pin so that the fork upper would hit the lock squarely when locked on. I ground off some of the chrome plating near the end of the pin then welded it onto the frame head tube so that there would only be a few degrees of fork movement.

Here's how it looks when locked. Its not super secure, but will prevent an opportunistic roll away theft.

I can also lock it in the other direction, but it is harder to access the lock and there's about 30 degrees fork movement.

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