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Old 07-11-2012, 03:06 PM   #21
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I built a side-mount plate bracket but have yet to paint it or install it as I still have to rig up the LED plate light. It is extremely simple and I'll get the pics up of it soon. Like I said, weather sucked so hopefully tomorrow I can get the bike outside for a better pic. Thanks so much once again for paying attention to this growing monster of a thread!



10.12.2011
Couple of days gone by, too many family issues; finally got back to the bike. Semi-finished the side mount plate bracket - I say 'semi' because I still need to do the wiring for the plate light and some sort of housing for it. However, the framework is done and installed using the left side shock base. Made it out of some simple steel bar-stock I had sitting in the garage. Couple coats of primer and some semi-flat black ... it's not the first time I've done this. It's actually very sturdy, but I may put a small anti-rattle wire attachment on the bottom to form more of a triangle for added strength at higher speeds. Ah, free mods ... I love 'em! Ok, so I spent about $25 on LEDs ... big deal. I have some bright white LEDs for the plate light and it will illuminate nicely! Still waiting on the amber LEDs for the front so I can bring it all together. Pics ....







To answer a question regarding Plasti-dipping the wheels: I used no primer or etching agents for the wheels or rear fender supports, wiping down with only a degreaser. Remember, Plasti-Dip dries to a very elastic rubber. I messed up on one of the rear supports and pulled it all off like rubberband, stretching until snapping. It's tough stuff, but it does not ruin your chrome ... in fact it will protect it. Hey, beats the cost of powder coating; won't last as long I'm sure, but still. Obviously you don't want to go scrubbing on it, but some Simple Green or soapy water and a smooth cloth usually cleans it right up. The color of the red is so, well ... cool! I love it! It's right on target with a hot-rod red and it's flat to semi-flat in sheen. My body paint is not "semi-gloss", it's "semi-flat", just to clear that up. So the red and black look great together.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:08 PM   #22
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10.18.2011
Made a nice LED light housing for my side mount plate. Simple one piece design all hand cut and folded up using a vice into a shape that fits nicely; polished it, mounted the LEDs and there ya go ...





Speaking of LEDs, click the pic ... you can also see the tag light housing in this vid ...





10.20.2011
I've only had about 10-15 minutes in the garage last night and this past Monday night. Family. Grrrrr .... In any case, here's the blinkers in their respective positions all functioning properly. Please excuse the wires hanging down below the headlamp ... they are hidden now. I tried a video in the dark, but with my phone vidcam it was too blurry.

Click to play ...



... My son's choice in music ... he selected rotate on all of my U2 all the way back to Boy. Hehe, that's my "boy"!

For the record (and budget), customizing expenses to date are right under $300.

I also have considered installing a secondary set of amber as the signals, and just leaving the red as rear running lights. Problem is, aesthetics. To do this, it means drilling more holes and I think that might overkill the look. I'll have to think about it more, but I am more geared toward my original thought.



10.21.2011
Last night, finally got a few minutes to get her all back together. The LEDs I used for the tag light work like a charm; nice super bright white! Gotta get the headlamp like that; looking into HID, for low and high beam. My eyes SUCK at night, so anything that whitens the road that much more is for me! Anyway, running the wire for the tag light was a task. In the end, I tapped into the swing-arm and ran the wire through it and up the connecting brace rear of the pivot. No pics on that, but maybe later.



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Old 07-11-2012, 03:10 PM   #23
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10.27.2011
Never did post the cleaned-up pics, so here they are. Next on the agenda is either replacing or reshaping the seat (yes, again). Then on to a HID upgrade. I read a lot about not worrying too much regarding the high-beam since the HIDs take a few moments (or more) to 'warm up'. So possibly just a low beam conversion. Some say it's bright enough to not really need the high beam at all. I'll look into it further. Other little details entail LED wedge bulb upgrade for the speedo ... wow does this thing suck to see at night.








I used these: http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...-flexible.html. It's the same LED strips that the auto parts stores market and sell for accent lighting, but a lot cheaper for what you get! I think their plenty bright and since I wrapped them around the fork not only can they be seen from the side, but also offset side view (as in rear-side view). It also adds a bit more visual from my riding perspective to know your blinker is still on; that in combination with the turn indicator. Now, they are not in a reflective housing like the stock bulbs; if they were, I would imagine they could be even brighter. But because their are so many in the strip, overall it's quite bright. I will attempt to get video outdoor during the day, as well as night although my phone vidcam has trouble at night.



10.31.2011
I went and did it now! I have purchased a seat that will be drastically different from the stock modified one that I have now. I'm not going to post any pics until it is figured out and installed, as it is a custom seat not necessarily made for the ACE ... for that matter, neither Honda. I will say that it IS a bobber seat and I'll have to fabricate mounting and a pan (if needed) - I will NOT say that whether I'll be setting it up as a springer or not.



11.03.2011
Sneak peek .... Oh man, the smell!

It's more red than orange as the picture reflects from my phone-cam flash.

I've got the seat/saddle (never know what to call it) right next to me on my desk here at work. The aroma of it is so sweet ... like a fine leather jacket! Anyway, it's a custom fit just like most of what I've done so I can't wait to get it home and start 'thinkin'. Hey, if nothing at all at least my @$$ will smell nice! As for the LEDs, it has been miserable weather here since Saturday with rain and storms so I haven't been able to get her out of the stall. They are bright and I would imagine for more visibility in the day I could devise a small aluminum visor for the fronts as well. The rears I would only need to carve out the Plasti-Dip from the conular areas around each LED in the fender support. I just haven't done that yet. While I'm concerned with being visible to other drivers, it is not overly as I tend to hand gesture my intentions anyhow.



Here it is! It is not made for the Honda Shadow ACE nor any other Honda. It is actually 'intended' for the HD Sportster. Hey, have I let you guys down yet? I did some research and measurements and 'risked' the fit. I'm just not using a HD springer kit nor pan. Anyway, the seat is a 100% American made, tooled embossed leather seat in a squash blossom pattern. It is thick, supple and very durable. The bottom of the seat is covered with the finest vegetable tanned tooling leather. This is the same type of leather that is used in making fine American horse saddles. The pan is made of 1/8" inch thick steel and measures 12" wide by 13" long. The studs in the rear are spaced 7" apart. It uses closed cell neoprene foam in the seat (closed cell means that the foam is made up of many micro pockets of air). This provides better cushioning than open cell foam because open cell foam lets the rider bottom out. This also enables a slimmer profile. But I won't kid you, it's a firm seat. I am not spring mounting it like a bobber since I am still using rear shocks, at least for now. I may spring it later, but I want the lower profile set-up you see in my pics below. It is conformed and fits me quite comfortably. Will fabricate the bracket this weekend, as the seat is just laying on there in the pics (albeit lifted to where I'm going to mount it. Hey, I'm happy! I love how much more elongated the rear fender looks; I'm going to have to redo the striping back there, but that's no problem ... And now, PICS!!

On the Bike:


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Old 07-11-2012, 03:12 PM   #24
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The Seat:

Thanks to Mother Road Customs!

The Difference:




11.06.2011
Built some simple yet very sturdy brackets this weekend out of 1/8" steel. I designed the front part to slide under the fuel tank just like OEM, and it sits nice and tight in there. The threaded seat bolts in the front are lengthened a short bit with threaded couplings and threaded rod. I shrink wrapped them just to get them black in color. The rear is two separate angle brackets that I bent into a zig-zag to accommodate seat height. No, they are not bending and they don't flex at all. The bottoms are bolted through the cross-frame under the seat. Little primer and paint and some nice stainless steel hardware and viola ...




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Old 07-11-2012, 03:14 PM   #25
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I love this seat! For me it's the icing on the cake, as I think the theme really needed it compared to my butcher job on the stock seat. My neighbor (the Harley guy) loves it ... of course, even more when I told him it was designed for the Sportster. He said, "Figures."

Anyway, that's where I'm at as of now.



11.08.2011
After removing the baffles from my Cobra Drag Pipes I had realized that some low to mid-range torque suffered. While it wasn't at the top of my priority list, I tried an old hot-rod trick that was also put into production on some early 70's Honda scoots, albeit a bit more engineered. Anyway, it's basically using a thumbscrew inserted about 1" into the pipes giving the ability to tune the exhaust (re: back-pressure) without affecting the sound to much. By turning them on a 90 degree, you can better tune your exhaust. Some others have accomplished this with a bolt and washer welded to it. All I can tell you is it cleaned up the 'popping' a little more and really added some noticeable torque back into the 'system' while still using these drag-pipes. There are a few write-ups here and there on the internet, but I for one can tell you it works. Here's a pic of them inserted. I still need to cut the excessive threading off (I got them longer just in case) and paint them with some high-temp black. The really neat thing about all this too is that if you use 1/4"x1" thumbscrews, they will insert into the existing hole that the Cobra baffles hung on to.




Also, I really hated the "jigglyness" of the stock clutch pedal. A simple solution for those who want a tighter feel is to use nylon washers inbetween the allen screw and bracket. You can see them here in this pic. I don't recall the exact size, but it's not rocket science and just make sure it's not too thick of a washer. The spacer really allows the pedal to feel tight, while the nylon material remains slippery enough to not stick and bind with the allen screw.





11.11.2011
On another note, I just ordered a 38T rear sprocket to replace this 41T dog. I'll post more when I get it and as I install it.



11.14.2011
Ok, got the sprocket! Hopefully start install tonight. The chain slack indicator is still within green so I opted not to do the chain at this point; but we'll find out after this install ...



Also designed up a nice pattern for my otherwise naked rear fender mod. Weird pic though; funny what reflective license plates will do to a camera ...





11.15.2011
Got down to business last night! Installed the 38T sprocket which was a fairly easy task. All-in-all it took about an hour total, but I stopped for dinner ... hey, the wife calls, you run! While I had the wheel off I checked the rear brake assy (pads, springs, mating surface, etc.) which looked perfect by all means - bearings all good; no scoring on axle. When reassembled I got to adjusting my rear brake as well. I am OK with the drive chain length at the moment but the smaller diameter sprocket pushed the chain adjustment indicator way passed the 'red' zone, thus increasing my wheelbase. So visually it would appear to be a problem to the unwitting. In any event, I'm going to go pick up a clip-style link from my local shop. Yeah, yeah, some are opposed to those but let's remember this is not a sport-bike and it's not driven into the ground with gobs of torque and hard launches. Installation is key. Here's some pics from last night in which you can see the difference between the 41T and 38T. I did not get a chance to test ride last night as rain prevailed. Tools used are basic and any mildly mechanically inclined enthusiast can do this.





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Old 07-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #26
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11.16.2011
Okay, so I got the chain done last night! I opted for the OEM rivet style master link. I discussed this with a friend who has used clip links for years and swears by them. He heavily moto-crosses and has never had a problem. In fact, I don't know anyone personally who has had problems. But my subconscious kept telling me to just do the rivet. So I got the link and bought a chain press tool for $14. I used a grinder wheel to shave down the rivets on the links I was removing ... that in itself will save you anywhere from $60 and up for a chain breaking tool. I actually thought about compressing the new link with a vice and pinging the new rivets but the chain press tool was cheap enough and made it that much easier. The tough part was compressing the new rivets. The tool has a threaded Allen head bolt with a concave surface on the other end that when pressed will expand and roll the edges of the new rivets. It was an art to find proper leverage while doing this ON the bike. It did however save me from completely removing the rear wheel again, and as well the shift-rod to remove the chain and assemble it on the counter; because once assembled you need those items removed to re install the chain ... duh. Anyway, the results are fantastic and I was able to get my chain back to a proper length and eliminate extending my wheelbase by about 1" and being the "red" zone. Bad news is I still have not been able to test ride. Last night's mayhem with my step-daughter and ex-wife (unrelated incidents) just pushed my time and temper into the late hours. Ugh. Here's pics ...

Grinding (blue tape to prevent shavings from settling):


New Link:


Tool (Allen screw not shown to show centering on rivet):



Compressed Rivets (w/freshly oiled chain ... yes, I hit the plastic at the top with the grinder):


Ok I'm a believer. Not that I wasn't before hand, but I only wish I had a tachometer so I could demonstrate the difference in RPM drop at highway speed from the sprocket change. The bike feels completely different, in a good way. No, no, a fantastic way! Yes, it's probably the first mod I should have done ... heard that one before, right? Ok, so what are you waiting for? Do iiiiiiiiiit!



01.23.2012
So I got around to putting another coat on the WW's. As I have been mentioning and as is common to this process, the WW's will turn off-white with time due to the oils in the rubber sidewall seeping into the paint. The good part about this process is that you can simply recoat whenever you want, and as the old coats cure the new coat slows the seepage a bit more each time. While it's not as apparent a difference as it is in person, this pic shows the difference with the freshly recoated rear tire and the original coats on the front from months ago:



I also did not update this post with the changes I made to the carberators. I recently upgraded the jets to DJ134 & DJ138 mains and a #42 slow. The difference is amazing, and there is no popping on deceleration anymore, nice and smooth downshifts! As well, under full throttle there is absolutely no bogging, hesitation or sputtering toward the upper RPM. It is now a completely different bike with dare I say tons of power (for a 750).
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:17 PM   #27
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And what would bike modding be without imposing a lil' child labor!




02.03.2012
I have had no issues at all with the PlastiDip and it's like the day I sprayed them. I've cleaned the wheels several times spraying Formula 88 and letting it sit a minute, sponge any grimey areas and gently hose off. It was my poor man's alternative to powder coating. So far, so good. The trick with applying the aerosol PlastiDip is very light coats, as it runs very easily. What do you have to lose? You can always peel it off later. When it's time for tires though I may send the wheels out for powder coat. But if I don't, I'm sure I'll at least have to touch them up after the tire mounting.



02.05.2012
Alrighty ... ever since I installed the seat I've been wanting to change the style of the plastic side covers. When sitting on the bike with feet on the ground, the backs of my thighs would rest on the outer edges of the stock coves. It was not uncomfortable, just annoying in that it just seemed something wasn't right. Well duh, I installed a much smaller seat and now I'm practically sitting on the frame!

So, after researching some alternate side covers such as possibly fitting the smaller covers from the Phantom or even eliminating them in lieu of home made "panels", I decided to dig right into the stock covers themselves after a brief PM with Elfnyc ... hey, I give credit where credit is due! ;) He suggested maybe I modify the stock ones and fiberglass the attachment pins onto the new custom ones. Ok, I didn't do exactly that.

Instead, I cut the stock ones on an angle similar to when my legs are down. I then shaped and cut some aluminum sheet (yes, by hand) and riveted them onto the 'cut' covers. This enabled FULL usage of the stock mounting locations without any other fabrication. I even made sure to allow just enough tolerance so as the storage compartment for the manual and on-board tools could still be retained.

Note, I have not painted them yet and I have a design that I'll be putting on them in order to enhance my theme! However, the unfinished stage will give the overall idea.

Now, in keeping with my budget build what did this cost me? Well, I've had the rivets and tool for many, many years and I bought a small sheet of aluminum for $15 at ACE hardware ... so $15!

Now on to the pics ...




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Old 07-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #28
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Here's my "Redneckdified" aluminum brake (as my son calls it) ... Hey, it works!:








And here's how the side covers now contour with my legs:


There was some experimenting going on beforehand! I actually attempted melting and forming the plastic ... too hot, too smelly, horrible tolerance, burned my finger on the heat gun, cried to my wife, kiss the boo-boo, all that good stuff. I then went through a few cardboard cuttings and was happy with one (shown), but it just didn't compliment the lines of the bike. It was more like a solid 'wall'. I kept reevaluating and ended up with the aluminum. Still gotta paint (too rainy and damp these past few days and probably through Thursday).

The beginnings of molten plastic
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:20 PM   #29
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Gotta love cardboard (but design was too blah and flat:


Next up ... slicing off the passenger pegs.



02.08.2012
Primed the side covers tonight; will paint hopefully tomorrow.

Ok. So you want to dress your bike up. You shoot (hunt/range/both). Maybe you don't, but I mean, who doesn't have extra shells layin' around? Ask a buddy for some! What better and cheaper way to add flair to your scoot than this? Yeah, you can buy 'em, but c'mon ... MAKE IT YOURS! Hell, I just saved you $9.95 plus shipping! :wink:

Here's what you need:

- .45 cal. shells (inner diameter perfect for standard valve stem cap)
- Valve stem caps (standard plastic)
- Rubbing alcohol or non-residual cleaner
- Paper towel or rag
- Automotive adhesive/JB Weld or the like
- Sand paper (gritty, maybe 100-200)

1. Clean the inner part of the bullet shell with a paper towel/rag soaked with alcohol/cleaner; let dry.

2. Roll a small piece of sandpaper up into a tube small enough to insert into the shell and twist to sand, back and forth a few times rapidly.

3. Lightly sand the outside of the valve stem cap too.

4. Put a pea size amount of adhesive into the shell, not too much.

5. Place and gently push the valve stem cap down into the shell until bottomed out.

6. Wipe away any remaining adhesive.

TIP: You can either install the caps while they dry to assist in setting the cap level in the shell, or use some spare valve stems and adjust accordingly.

Have fun!







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Old 07-11-2012, 03:22 PM   #30
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02.09.2012
Got 'em painted, even though off/on rainy and windy. Going to do a couple more coats over the weekend and wet sand. Me happy! Terrible pics at night under fluorescent lighting ... I'll take a few more when it's nice outside.





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