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SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD! (Read 3217 times)
teabowl13
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SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
12/10/11 at 21:55:20
 
Before I push the POST button on all of this, I want to say THANK YOU and give everyone here on this forum a huge round of applause. Nearly very single detail of this build is based on something that at least one if not several of you guys have figured out already and been generous enough to post. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent pouring over the tech pages, and the various build threads and getting really great answers to my NOOB questions.

MotoBuddah, Verslaggen, and RpnSht deserve special thanks for your help and inspiration. Cheers guys! Wink

HI!
I've gotten in way over my head here, and I like it!

It all started with an innocent conversation. My friend, Jay, who has been a client of mine for 12 years or so... (I'm a tattoo artist...) came to me this Fall to start a rather large project that will carry us through the Winter. For all the years I've known him, he's been working on bikes and hot rods. Mostly bikes. He's a painter at Stone's Custom Cycles in Massachusetts.
http://www.stones-custom.com/

He's their cust paint guy, but there are only 4 full time guys there, so he's had his hands in everything. He's spent most of his years working on Harley projects, but more recently he's been interested in vintage bikes and cafe bikes. He's been doing a few projects and some small builds for friends on the side, and he tells me he's excited to do more. He gets to do a lot of this stuff in the winter, when the shop slows down, and he's got access to all of their stuff.

As for me, I got married recently, and my wife and I have a gorgeous daughter who just turned two. As you can imagine, a couple of years ago I whittled my bike meager collection (including a Yamaha 250 cafe project that I knew would never get off the ground..) down to the most sensible and practical thing I could get; a 1992 Nighthawk 750. Don't get me wrong, I love the bike. It's bullet proof and will go anywhere I want to go, but I have it outfitted mainly for touring and two-up camping trips, and while it's perfect for that, it's just not as awesome for those Sunday afternoon blasts around the lakes...

So the question was obvious?
Hey Jay... Wanna TRADE?

We started talking about bikes and what to build. I wanted something small and more fun around town. I really wanted a single. Something super-simple, and something a little unique. He wanted to build me a CB350, but that didn't really jazz me up at all. We started looking around and thinking about it...

Turns out a buddy of his had gotten a GS550 and an old '94 Savage a couple of years ago for just $500, and he'd sell us either of them for the $250 he had in it. Jay wanted to work up the 550, and I can't blame him, it would make a nice ride, but I really didn't want another 4 cylinder; I wanted something REALLY different from my nighthawk, so I got to thinking about the Savage and poking around on the internets....



I found the RYCA site and was amazed at what they were doing with the Savage. I knew I liked the motor, but I really didn't want a cruiser or any kind of a bobber. I figured we'd have to find another old bike frame to squeeze that motor into, but RYCA prooved us wrong... Maybe we could do something with our Savage after all?
I was really hooked on something more vintage looking than the RYCA bike: Norton Manx, Vincent, etc... something like that. The RYCA kit is a great Cafe, but a bit too modern for me. Then I found this picture...


This thing is amazing, And it's almost entirely stock! (If you know this bike, then you'll notice that I photoshopped the seat a little bit... the real one is a bit lower profile.)

I showed the RYCA site and the picture above to Jay, and we both agreed that we had found our winter project. Between the British one and the RYCA bike we were going to build something pretty cool out of this old Savage.

OFF TO FLEABAY!!
I still had the old 1969 Suzuki T350 tank I had bought for the 250 Yamaha that was never to be (I loved the shape of it, and the color is great too) So we decided to use it...


We'll cram it on there somehow...

I decided I wanted clubman's instead of clip-ons, so I found a bar from a new Triumph Bonnie. Factory take-off for $35, and I decided that I wanted one of those old headlights with the speedo mounted inside, and I found one from a 1969-70-ish Hodaka Ace 100; complete with the speedo!! (It's just the bucket in the photo below, but you get the idea...)




13" New-old-stock Red Wing shocks from the '70's


They look pretty hot!! especially with the 18" Akront rim all laced up and ready to go...
We decided that 18"wheels front and back were a must for the right vintage feel, so i found two rims on Fleabay. The front one is still in limbo; waiting for Jay's wheel-pro-friend to get it laced up, but the back is done!
(Turns out, the swingarm cross brace will have to be re-worked to fit the Kenda tire. It's a Kenda Challenger, which I got because the one's RYCA uses don't come in an 18" for the front, but the rear is a 90 instead of a 70, so it's just a smidge too tall... It's Jay's problem; he's the welder... more on that later.)

We decided that to get the right period look, we needed chrome fenders. The front was pretty easy; from a 1972 Kawasaki S1 (sorry, no picture right now... later...) For the rear, I decided to look at larger front fenders, figuring I'd turn one around backwards and use it that way. Turns out that the front wheel on a 1977 Goldwing runs the same size tire as I'm running in the rear, and the fender is pretty sweet! With a 1960's BSA rocket taillight mounted back there it'll look something sorta-like this...


Jay, holding it up for some guess-work...





At this point, we've got enough going on that I decide to work out a fresh concept drawing, so here's the master plan! (I know, it's pretty rough, especially coming from a guy with a college degree for drawring...)



The rear fender will get mounted fixed to the swingarm; bobber style. We decided this would look a little more Buck Rogers, and be easier for Jay to fabricate that trying to create an entire rear sub-frame from scratch...
It'll get a Dyna muffler, a Mini battery of some sort; somehow mounted behind the gear-box in the charcoal-cannister-holder-mc-thing-a-ma-jiggy. A K&N cone filter ($15 used on Fleabay) And an 18/47 chain conversion...
With the electricals all tucked neatly under the seat; the whole rear area behind the cylinder will be completely open. I find this VERY EXCITING!
Jay is going to fabricate a custom seat pan, and I have another client here in Portland who has offered to do the upholstery once we have the foam figured out and carved... That'll be a while yet.

SPEAKING OF WELDING...
So Jay sets to work and he sends me this crappy photo...

And I think, "Hmmm... that's strange, something's missing... what could that be?"
Oh, Don't worry says Jay, that's just the BACKBONE OF THE FRAME...
Turns out he decided that rather than to have to cut up and re-weld the tank to get it to fit the frame, it would be easier to get the frame to fit the tank...




Add in some rails to hold the seat pan...




And then add the tank support and the tail piece!!


This thing's got a long way to go, and a lot may change along the way, but the first snows haven't even really gotten here yet, and there's along winter ahead of us, so we have plenty of time!!

You say you can't wait to see what's next? Well, ME NEITHER!  Grin
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splash07
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #1 - 12/10/11 at 22:27:56
 
Really awesome stuff so far. Cant wait to see where it all goes. Keep it up.
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sbaugz
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #2 - 12/11/11 at 06:07:18
 
Looks awesome!
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MotoBuddha
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #3 - 12/11/11 at 06:42:46
 
Another interesting build to follow.
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dasch
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #4 - 12/11/11 at 07:29:05
 
Yeah!!! Very cool!! Let us know. Akront rims and which spokes?? Custom made job or??
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verslagen1
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #5 - 12/11/11 at 09:01:15
 
Looks to me like the tank invades the stock seat location by a bit.
So you might need some extra space behind, which I would have liked anyway.
I think I would have formed the seat rail from one continuous tube, cutting the seat horns to fit.  matches what I've seen done with the cb's.  and I think it's pretty slick.
I'm interested in the front fender, is the mount for it doubling as a fork brace? and how does it compare to the stock fender?
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sbaugz
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #6 - 12/11/11 at 10:15:57
 
how about hammering in some knee dents in that tank?
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teabowl13
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #7 - 12/11/11 at 10:53:37
 
verslagen1 wrote on 12/11/11 at 09:01:15:
Looks to me like the tank invades the stock seat location by a bit.
So you might need some extra space behind, which I would have liked anyway.
I think I would have formed the seat rail from one continuous tube, cutting the seat horns to fit.  matches what I've seen done with the cb's.  and I think it's pretty slick.
I'm interested in the front fender, is the mount for it doubling as a fork brace? and how does it compare to the stock fender?


- Yes, the tank is about 2-3" longer than the stock tank, but I like the looks of it. I don't mind sitting farther back on the seat; I'm 6' tall and all legs, so I would be anyway. When I did the concept drawing above, I actually used a photo of one of the RYCA bikes and traced it to get the same geometry. The seat actually matches the RYCA seat pretty much to a T except that it's a few inches shorter to accommodate the tank.
That said, I was hoping to SEE it in person before he welded up the rear bits, just to be sure...

-I too had pictured the rear loop being visually continuous, as I have in the drawing, and what he has welded up right there seems pretty rough, so I need to get together with him to see what his plan for all that is....

I'm interested in the front fender as well. I can try to post up a picture, but I didn't take one when I had the chance. It doesn't have a fork brace, but I've got my eye on one on Fleabay...

I'll keep things updated as I can. Thanks for your input!
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teabowl13
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #8 - 12/11/11 at 10:56:16
 
sbaugz wrote on 12/11/11 at 10:15:57:
how about hammering in some knee dents in that tank?


If the tank was wide, I would definitely be thinking about that. I love the Yamaha tank on the Savage Scrambler (still very sad that project never got finished...)

BUT, that T350 tank is really quite narrow when you see it on the frame, and I think it looks pretty perfect just the way it is. We may consider it later on as the whole thing comes together. It is a work in progress after all...
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teabowl13
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #9 - 12/11/11 at 11:03:16
 
dasch wrote on 12/11/11 at 07:29:05:
Yeah!!! Very cool!! Let us know. Akront rims and which spokes?? Custom made job or??


Oh yeah, I got the rims on Fleabay. Got a great deal on one, paid a little too much for the other one, but it balanced out. Still less than half of what new ones would have been.

I really wanted to keep this looking very 1960's and also more like a rider than a show bike, so I ordered Chrome spokes from Vietnam over Ebay. I was skeptical, but I asked around and more than one person recommended the seller. They worked well. The wheel was laced on by a guy in Mass that Jay works with. He's been lacing up wheels for 30 years, so he knew what he was doing. Not something I wanted to leave to chance.

I think the spokes were about $40 shipped, and he laced it up for $50; but that's a friends and family price he gave to Jay... It's good to have friends...

We still need to get some measurements for the front wheel, then we can order spokes and get that one mounted. One thing at a time!
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verslagen1
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #10 - 12/11/11 at 12:17:04
 
teabowl13 wrote on 12/11/11 at 10:53:37:
I'm interested in the front fender as well. I can try to post up a picture, but I didn't take one when I had the chance. It doesn't have a fork brace, but I've got my eye on one on Fleabay...


You might ask around if it's intended to serve as a fork brace.
I know the cb fender mount is.
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scubachef
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #11 - 12/11/11 at 12:24:20
 
I really love the look of that tank. the concept bike looks great, can't wait to see it in reality.  awesome idea, looking forward to following the build.
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RpNSht
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #12 - 12/11/11 at 12:33:26
 
this is going to be awesome. i cant wait to see it finished. rad!

i need a new tattoo artist too, too bad youre not in ca then we could talk bikes over ink!
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teabowl13
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #13 - 12/11/11 at 17:52:32
 
Thanks again, Verslagen!
I don't know if the front fender I have is intended to double as a brace or not. I rather doubt it; it doesn't seem that substantial, but I will  look into it. I know I am going to want to stiffen up the front end for sure. I got a Superbrace for my Nighthawk, and it made a world of difference, especially up here in Maine, where the roads get pretty rough with pot-holes and frost heaves...
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sbaugz
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Re: SAVAGE VINTAGE ROADSTER BUILD!
Reply #14 - 12/11/11 at 17:54:15
 
if you haven't already, you should stroll over to www.dotheton.com and post up some pics there. This bike would go over very well on that forum and there is tons and tons of help and useful info there too.
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