It took me way too long to post up the fact that Rocky is sold. Didn’t expect her to sell so quick, so I put her on craigslist and in under 24 hours she was gone. Craziness. Anyway, on to the next project. I learned a whole lot building this bike, which is the reason I bought her to begin with.
Enjoy these last few photos that were snapped of her before she was sold.
So, for the past week, Rocky has been on the road. She’s like 98% complete too. All she basically needs now is a proper side mount for her plate (currently zip ties are working fantastically) and a dedicated brake light. The two small lights work great now as running lights and brakes, but that means no blinkers. She doesn’t have the right wiring to have the two light be running, brakes and signals. So, I’ll most likely get a side mount plate with a light built into it.
I’d also like to put some lower springs on the seat. I think. We’ll see. I didn’t really run into any issues getting her rear fender on. The ones made for the Kikker5150 bikes fit perfect. It’s got the right arc and exactly the right width for a 150/90/15 tire. I had to fabricate some fender supports which took a few hours, but they are working wonderfully.
I snapped a few photos after work today. Enjoy them below along with some others from the build. Hayoooo.
Alrighty. Let’s keep this short. Yes, I’m still waiting on a fender. But, I ordered one from a guy that I think is going to fit. It will be here this week, so I’ll know soon enough. I fabricated some brackets for the solo seat and it looks and functions great. It’s not on in any of the photos because I haven’t got the right hardware for it yet. But that’s easy stuff. You can see the mega-ghetto paint station I set up. As strange as it looks, it actually works surprisingly well. I painted the tank and front fender flat black. The fender came out great, the tank, not so much. I mean, it looks fine, but it’s not perfect. Turns out there are a lot more dings and dents than I thought. It gives it character though, so whatevs. I got the MCM cocktail shaker mufflers put on and they sound funky fresh. You can see how cramped the factory pipes are once you cut off the factory mufflers. That’s where the baffles were. I’ll remedy that soon. Peep pics below for looks (forgive the darkness of them, I’ll take some new ones soon) and peep the video below to hear how it sounds now. Enjoy everything I just shared with you.
All of the wiring (minus the rear blinkers and brake light) is buttoned up. I’ve got the ignition relocated and working perfectly. It looks a lot better in person than it does in the photos of it. I also redid the instrument cluster. I moved everything to sit below the bars, right above the tank. I really like the way it came out. You don’t have to.
On to the struts, you know, the perfect struts that wound up not being perfect. I had them made to be 9”, but it’s too low. You can see in the photos that there is basically no room between the frame and the tire for a fender. And that’s no good. Also, creating the perfect bracket to mount the solo seat would be really, really tough with the little room there is. So, I’m having a new 9 1/2” set built now. Dopeness.
Besides that, I suck at cutting fenders, so I’m going to have to have one made by someone at some point. I think I may go ahead and start painting the tank and front fender this weekend…since I’ve got nothing else to do on the bike till I get the struts. Done.
Good news is that I’m not feeling quite like a failure yet. Bad news is that I may feel like one in a few days. My struts arrived, and they’re beautiful. Big props to Andrew Clough (firstname.lastname@example.org) for building them together for me. They feel and look really, really high quality and his pricing is superb.
My sparto light came in and it’s awesome. But, I have no fender to mount it to. Cutting a rear fender in a complete pain in the ass… and an art. And takes a lot of skill and practice. Sure, I can trim parts off and make instrument panel and brackets and a bunch of little crap like that, but a fender? Forget it. I’m thinking that I’m going to have to just pony up the cash and get one cut or shaped for me. Any suggestions?
On to the failure part: I decided that with the new instrument panel that I’m going to relocate the ignition. I’ll be placing it under the seat somewhere. Soooo, I started to disassemble the wiring harness to follow the wires and see which ones I need to tap into and once I stepped back and looked at the mess I made I got a little nervous. I started studying the wiring diagram though and I think I’ll be able to handle it all with some prior proper planning. But we’ll see. On to the photos.
Here’s a not-so-exciting entry, but still worthy of posting. My solo seat (with hardware) and key finally arrived. Hopefully this weekend I’ll be mounting that so I can ride ass over tire for a while. I picked up a fender ($15) and some fender supports ($2) at a swap meet this weekend and forgive me for being pessimistic, but I think cutting the fender to be just right is going to be tough. I’ve never done it before and I’m thinking I might screw it up. Dammit. I also missed out on a set of cocktail shaker mufflers for $20 because I’m a big, big moron. Anyhow, enjoy the pics below for now. All 5 of them. I’ll be back.
It was a pleasant weekend of almost failure. I attempted to fit the new rear fender, but had no success. The drag specialties fender I purchased was 6” wide, but it didn’t fit over the rear tire the way I wanted it to, so I took it back and got a 7.5” one, which should arrive here one day this week. I’m hoping it’s not too wide, but it may be. Then I’ll be sad.
I did, however, chop up the instrument cluster and swapped and relocated the speedometer with the new mini one. The panel holding the turn/neutral lights and ignition isn’t 100% even, but I’ll trim it down and get it even soon. Overall, I really like the way it turned out. I’m a little it concerned about the way the speedometer cable is going to react to the extra bend in it. I’ve had one squeal on me before, and I’m hoping this one doesn’t do then same. Only way to find out it to ride it. So like, that’s all for now.
Rocky got a little classy this week. Her new tires got put on and her gold chain and I’m digging the way it turned out (you’ll see some pics of the white wall before I cleaned the blue protective junk off of them). The rear tire looks so much wider than the stock one, cause it is so much wider. I didn’t think it would fill the rear fender as much as it did, so now I actually can’t even ride her because I’ll be rubbing. But, I do like my tires tucked on my bikes and cars, so I think it looks super fresh. Later today I’ll be taking the fender off and begin fitting the new one. I also may just trim a little bit of the factory one up so that I can ride her, but maybe not. I’m still waiting on the solo seat to arrive and I’m thinking of going with a sparto tail light. They look slick and they’re a little safer then having the brake light mounted to the side of the rear wheel. So, gotta find me one of them for a good price and scoop it up. TAFN.
With a little bit of time on my hands over the weekend and today, I put a few new parts on Rocky. I placed some Lamin-x film over the headlight to tint it yellow. The new handle bars are on and great. For those considering putting some drag-style bars on their bike, do it. I tossed the front turn signals too, looks so much cleaner. The new grips are nice and squishy and reduce vibration pretty well. They look a little odd since the white seat isn’t on yet, but they’ll look right once it’s all done. Got some spiked bolts to dress the engine with, but they don’t fit right. I can’t get a wrench around them to tighten them up. So, I was able to put two of them on, one on each side and placed two of them underneath the headlight. I’ll find places for the rest of them eventually. More to come soon.
A few new parts have arrived. Tires, bars, bullet blinkers and chain have all arrived. Picked up some spiked bolts for the engine from a fellow Rebel owner. Well, fellow previous owner. She sold her maximum-sickness bobber. Whatevs, the bolts should be here soon. Other than that, my turn signals stopped working and my brake light is always on. I’ll get to both of those issues once I start taking stuff apart again. TAFN.
Accomplishing goals feels so great. After getting the bike running last week, I figured I’d need to do some fine tuning, but after cruising around for a bit and putting the velocity stack on, Rocky is running great. No stutters, no hiccups, nada. What does that mean? That means its time to get going on making the bike look better and older and cooler and faster. Below you’ll find photos of how I added a K&N filter element to velocity stack, some photos of how it looks on the bike and a video of the bike during the first startup after the filter install. Grips came in today and handle bars and bullet blinkers for the rear are on the way. Also, ordered a new rear tire (Maxxis 150/90 15 White Wall), front tire (Avon AM26 Roadrider 90/90 18), new tubes for both, a rim strip and a new chain (DID 520ERM2-120 GOLD). Now, im just waiting. Hmph.
Since the bike wasn’t running and I had a little bit of downtime, I decided to remove the whole air box mess from the bike. I’m going for a vintage look, so the less plastic and extra nonsense that I have on the bike the better, but it doesn’t hurt to make it it little easier for the engine to get air. Turns out there were a ton of tubes, a carbon canister, some little random junction box and a whole mess of little annoying things that were attached to the air box and routing in and out of the carburetor. I tore it all out. It looks so much nicer now. I started thinking that maybe all of that junk played some part in making the bike run crappy, so I hooked the battery back up, sprayed some started fluid in and vroom. Started right up, idled for a bit, sounded great and then of course died again. I noticed that I had forgot to connect one of the spark plug wires. But, by the time I tried again, the battery was completely dead. Threw the battery on the charger last night to give it a full charge, made sure the plugs were tight and the wires were connected, then started it up today and vroom vroom again. She smoked for a while, a little blue, a little black, but after about 10 minutes she was running great. I’ll be picking up a velocity stack tomorrow and doing a little bit of modifying to a K&N filter I have so that the stack has a filter on it and I should take the bike for a nice cruise this weekend. I’ll let you know.
Oh, I also will be picking up the tiny white-faced speedometer I ordered and hopefully next week my drag bars, 1” risers and rear blinkers should arrive. So, next, next weekend I’ll have some stuff to do.
Got everything buttoned back up, put some new gaskets on the bike and checked everything twice before starting it, but the battery was dead. Soooo, I gave it a jump and got it running. It sounded great, but then it died. Thought it might be gas, but there is plenty in the tank. Tried and tried again, with and without the choke on, blah blah blah, never got it running though. So, I’m going to have to take to a friends shop and have him take a look. Also, I ordered a tiny white-faced speedometer that I’ll be installing along with some drag bars, new grips and relocation of a few things. That’ll all be done once the bike is actually running though. Aaaaand, that’s all I’ve got for now.
I torn down the bike yesterday. Not a complete tear down, just the necessary parts to swap the power plant. That’s right – Power Plant, cause it’s like 17 crazy horsepower or some huge number like that. It only took my about an hour and a half to do, working solo. In the process I learned that the brackets for the clutch cable are smaller on the new engine than on the old one (you can see the difference in the pics below). So, I’m pretty sure I have to swap them out. Maybe I don’t though. I’ll ask. If so, it’s no big deal… should be plug and play. Doing some cleaning and painting of bits and pieces on the new engine this week and hopefully I’ll be able to pop it in over the weekend.