Cafe Racer Battery Relocation

So I found a battery that was much smaller than the BMW gel battery that I was rocking. It’s a Jet Ski battery according to the website, but I picked it up at a Batteries Plus store. It’s the Odyssey PC545.

I worked out it would be the perfect size to slide under my seat hump and still provide adequate cranking power to turn over the Beemer. I think I paid like $130.00 and it came with a two year warranty. So I’ll update later as to whether it works out.

I started with some thinner aluminum sheet metal. I traced a rough (very rough) shape from the back of the hoop, and then cut it out with the sheers.

I picked these things up from Home Depot. They are genius. I’m using them to hold the plate on the hoop, since I don’t want to drill into my pretty frame.

Once the plate was mounted, I lined the battery up and drew a little line where the back of the battery sat. Then I used my Dremmel (with the GOOD cutting wheels) to cut a little whole for the strap to pass through. The battery sits a little further forward than I’d like. I’ll probably do another strap across the top going from side to side.

The battery mounted in place. Doesn’t look too bad.

I bought some 6g wire to lengthen the power and ground wires to the back. I messed up and only bought one set of circle connectors (the little end bits that the bolt goes through). I ran to Wal-Mart to try and find some more. I ended up seeing some battery cables that were the perfect length and 6g. So i bought them instead. (that 6g wire is hard to cut).

Everything all buttoned back up. Started right up. Charging fine. I will report later on when I can get some miles on her.

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Monday, August 1st, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

A Few Pics

I still need to get rearsets and a smaller battery that will fit under the tailpiece.

Kate snapped this pic of me enjoying the ride. Can’t wait to get those rearsets thrown on there.

I’m going to try and get those rearsets ordered in the next day or two. I’ve just been lazy. It’s been so hot. And I’m practically useless as it is… so.. yeah.. stuff just isn’t getting done.. I know.

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Sunday, July 17th, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Custom Tail Light

I poured over the tail light for some time. I was originally thinking I might flush in a small round light. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I was just not doing the rest of the bike justice that way. So I thought maybe I could do a LED strip. Flush mounted. Sexy right?

I had my painter measure and drill the holes during the painting process. In the end I kinda wish I would have done it myself. But never mind that. Here are the holes.

Then I used a hot glue gun to attach the LED strip. These go for less than 10 bucks on eBay, and are completely baller.

Finally all wired up.

Now I didn’t take a picture of this, but wish I had… but a problem that you get when you attempt this sort of operation is, you only get one setting with a LED strip. Bright. This is great as a tail light. But no good to us for a tail light + brake light. So I figured I could use a resistor to dim the light and then bypass the resistor for the brake switch. I used a 1k ohm resistor from Radio Shack. They are super cheap. And it works great. Check those out here.. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062343

This is a quick diagram.

And here’s the finished product.

Sexy, yeah? Told you….

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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Cafe Racer Seat – Part Deux

It’s really like.. part 8.. or something.. isn’t it?

Anyway, after all has dried and sat up for a bit, I pulled it off and started the trimming.

I pretty much just sat the nasty seat on the frame and drew where I needed to trim with a marker. Then I took a Dremel to it. If you do this, definitely go with the nicer trimming wheel instead of those tiny ones that explode after a minute or two. Also.. wear eye protection and a respirator. So much nasty stuff is about to be flying that you just don’t want in you.

Here’s the seat all trimmed up.

The guy doing my tank fab dropped the tank by so I could see it all together.

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Making A Cafe Racer Seat

I fiddled with the tailpiece in the past, but in the end, it just didn’t fit right, so I went ahead and made one from scratch. This is not a super complicated process, just time consuming. Also it’s dirty. And not the fun kind.

I started off by cutting out some cardboard to fill in the gap of the subframe. This should add some support for when we lay the glass down the road.

Next I laid up a bunch of floral foam blocks where the tail piece would be. I glued these together with spray adhesive… which only barely works as this stuff is too dusty. I Also made a cardboard stencil of the shape of the tailpiece.

Then you can just start carving the shape with a knife. The floral foam is really easy to slice.

Once I get it down to the right shape, I go back with a razor and smooth the thing down real nice and sexy. This was actually Kate’s idea.

When you’re done, you should have a nice looking tail shape. Don’t pay any attention to the junk all over the place. We just moved into this house and the garage became the place everything got dumped until we find it’s new home (which will most likely be the trash can).

So now that you’ve inhaled a few pounds of green dust particles it’s time to bring out the big guns and get to the toxic fumes.

Take some of that aluminum duct tape and cover the area to be fiberglassed. That means the subframe from side to side (across the gap that you cardboarded over) and the newly fashioned bum stop. You’re going to want to use smaller strips for the round part of the tail so it will lay flatter. Once it all looks like a baked potato, use car wax to slick up the surface. This will act as a releasing agent (sorta).

This next part is best done with two people. Skyler was kind enough to give me a hand. Pre-cut your fiberglass into strips. You don’t want to lay giant pieces down as it won’t lay completely flat. Prepare a cup of acetone and your fiberglass resin. Using a paintbrush, apply the resin to the aluminum tape in one area and then lay a strip of fiberglass on top. Then use the paintbrush to push it down flat and soak more resin in.

Once you’ve covered the whole thing, you can use fiberglass cloth (it’s more smooth and delicious than the chop stuff) as a final layer to smooth it all out. Alternatively, you could probably just build the whole thing out of this, but I haven’t tried that.

After this I leave it to dry, and usually don’t touch it for at least 24 hours.

As you can see, it has some imperfections. But these will be sanded/bondo’d/cursed out.

So that’s where I’m at RIGHT NOW. I’ll update this post when I get in there and trim it, etc…

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Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

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