custom bike project build

Junkyard Dog Part 21 – Are We Nearly There Yet?

GSX600F exhaust headersIt has occurred to me that this is probably the biggest bike project I have taken on in terms of time taken. A lot of that has been additional effort caused by having such a pathetically low budget. I was reminded of this fact when I looked in the box of parts and decided to fit the exhausts. They were still in their unpolished state even though I had spent a good couple of days welding them up from 2 sets of discarded GSX600F headers. With a bottomless cheque book the job would have been farmed out and some expert in exhaust trickery would have done the job in a day or two and charged a fair old wedge of wonga for the privilege. Now I have to spend another day polishing them and trying to make them look pretty.

In fairness I could probably have found a set that were better to start with but where would the challenge be in that? I have got the first two done and mounted on the bike, I still have to work out what to do to complete the system. I found a couple of pretty cool looking silencers last time I was stealing stuff off Scott and Ian so I may use them. I need to find a couple of headers with 2 in to 1 pipes if I am to make them work.

The polishing was done with a really underpowered old bench grinder with a polishing adapter and various wheels and waxes. I don’t really know what I am doing but the results are ok. I may do something better in phase two. By the way, yes I know I haven’t done the two ends- they will be covered by whatever ends up being the rest of the exhaust system.

custom bike project build front endThe front end at least is now starting to look a lot more complete – I still have to sort out a side light. I have found one off a Bandit that will sit just below the suede bag thingy  it will look ok and will keep the MoT man happy.

I think once the exhausts are done I will set to work on the electrical stuff. I am running out of energy a bit and I reckon if I can get it fired up it might give me some of my mojo back. Once it’s running there is not a massive amount to do although I must work out how to go about the clutch cable – I keep forgetting about it. The other thing I must do is get that mudguard or maybe a different one much closer to the tyre – it irritates me every time I see it at the moment.

I think I might have hit another slight change of plan sort of moment. I now have all four down pipes polished and fitted and looking rather splendid. I then went to mount the oil cooler and the whole effect was ruined. I had a quick chat with Scottie and he told me of a Bandit 1200 that ran without the cooler without any problems. I reckon Suzuki only fitted it because with the fairings in place airflow is severely restricted – there would be no such issue on the dog. Making a bypass would be a fairly straightforward little job and I really think it would look better without.

custom bike project build exhaust mock upFiddling about with exhausts inevitably lead on to thinking about silencers. My original plan was to have two straight lengths of stainless coming back from where the header pipes terminate to somewhere around the rear axle. However, while visiting Scott and Ian the other week I picked up a pair of pipes that I thought would look pretty good. I held them up to the bike to see what they would look like and I think with them angled up to match the angle of the rear lower frame rails they will look pretty decent. It will be easy to make brackets and I already welded tabs on to the frame each side for just such an eventuality. Yes, I can see yet another change coming on before I even start the bloody electrics 🙂

I now have to find some headers I can cut up to give me a pair of joiners and a straight length of pipe that I can get bent to suit the job. Could be interesting – I have had a look on my scrap pile and there is nothing there, I expect Scott or Ian will have something that can be adapted – watch this space.

Another change that is likely to happen is that the seats me and Mrs made are probably going to be scrapped – they just don’t look right. To be honest they really spoil the lines and look of the bike so I am going to have to rethink that. It’s several days work and a few quid down the pan but I don’t want to put anything on that spoils the bike. I now have to find a way of telling Mrs without hurting her feelings or having her hurt my scrotum. It could be tricky.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

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