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Discussion Starter #1
I'm building a custom...steampunk, CX500. I am wondering if anyone has, or knows how to, build a break reservoir? I like repurposing interesting things into my build.
 

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I would keep the brake reservoir intact but you could re-purpose a container of some sort to enclose it. Something with a mesh or glass so you can see through it to monitor any leaks, etc.
 

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Bret
We all love to tinker and mod our bikes but be careful
you dont 'brake' the Function/Form rules.
(you see what i did there?)

Function over Form = good bike
Form over Function = bad (possibly dangerous) bike

Missing linkages suggestion is sensible, it doesnt compromise function
while decorating its form.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Bret
We all love to tinker and mod our bikes but be careful
you dont 'brake' the Function/Form rules.
(you see what i did there?)

Function over Form = good bike
Form over Function = bad (possibly dangerous) bike

Missing linkages suggestion is sensible, it doesnt compromise function
while decorating its form.
This bike is all form. It's a show bike. Yes, it has to stop on the few occasions I'll ride it, but brake reservoirs are just sealed, pressurized containers, right? There's no magic involved. Any container that is sealed and can handle the pressure should work. I've seen other projects that use creative reservoirs. And I can plumb, I can run high pressure gas lines, I've made brake reservoirs for custom cars pushing 3000 psi...why not on my bike? What am I missing here?

That being said, I like Missing Linkages suggestion too.
 

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Um... The master cylinder's reservoir is not exactly sealed and should never be pressurized. Under the cap is a rubber bellows that prevents the fluid from becoming contaminated while it follows the level of the fluid as it decreases with pad wear. The part below the bellows needs to be sealed to keep the fluid clean but the part above it must be vented for the same reason a fuel cap must.

Anything you make a master cylinder reservoir out of needs to be able to do that plus be sealed to the master cylinder so that it doesn't leak brake fluid onto your paint job and should be resilient enough not to break in the event that the bike is dropped. In addition to that you will want it to have an old timey appearance (nothing ruins a steampunk-ified item faster than some part looking modern).

If I was doing it I would find an early style master cylinder with the integral round reservoir with screw on cap and no sight glass and have it brass or copper plated. They originally came with aluminum caps so perhaps that could have the bumps turned off and it could be knurled and plated to match.

If you are determined to make your own reservoir I would start with a master cylinder that has a remote reservoir so connecting it to the master cylinder would only involve adding a hose barb.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Um... The master cylinder's reservoir is not exactly sealed and should never be pressurized. Under the cap is a rubber bellows that prevents the fluid from becoming contaminated while it follows the level of the fluid as it decreases with pad wear. The part below the bellows needs to be sealed to keep the fluid clean but the part above it must be vented for the same reason a fuel cap must.

Anything you make a master cylinder reservoir out of needs to be able to do that plus be sealed to the master cylinder so that it doesn't leak brake fluid onto your paint job and should be resilient enough not to break in the event that the bike is dropped. In addition to that you will want it to have an old timey appearance (nothing ruins a steampunk-ified item faster than some part looking modern).

If I was doing it I would find an early style master cylinder with the integral round reservoir with screw on cap and no sight glass and have it brass or copper plated. They originally came with aluminum caps so perhaps that could have the bumps turned off and it could be knurled and plated to match.

If you are determined to make your own reservoir I would start with a master cylinder that has a remote reservoir so connecting it to the master cylinder would only involve adding a hose barb.
Thanks for explaining it for me. I guess there are a lot of differences from what I'm used to on my off-road truck! But this is what I needed to know...it's what I was missing, conceptually.

I'm glad you get the idea about nothing being modern looking and plastic. I'm even ecasing the cables in braided copper tubing. I'm building it for show, at least for now. Eventually I'll fine tune the performance side of things, but for now, I'd like to make a good presence at some shows. I have a good trailer ;)

Bob, no one responded to my question about throttle, brake and clutch levers, cable and brake line options. Having moved all the electrical switches off of the bars, and being that the levers on the stock bike integrate the switches with the levers, I'm looking good, easy fit options. Any ideas for me on that topic? I'm not even sure what the specs should be so I can narrow the products down when I search.

I have to order something today to ahe time to receive and install in time for the weekend show.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond. Look for some pictures within a week or so. It's coming together and one thing I know for sure, it's going to be interesting! Weird but interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
how about steam powered breaks?
That would be innovative, that's for sure! How about a steam engine while I'm at it?! Hahaha! A "Bretly Steamer!"

I love off the wall ideas, but this one might be a little complicated for my skill set ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Um... The master cylinder's reservoir is not exactly sealed and should never be pressurized. Under the cap is a rubber bellows that prevents the fluid from becoming contaminated while it follows the level of the fluid as it decreases with pad wear. The part below the bellows needs to be sealed to keep the fluid clean but the part above it must be vented for the same reason a fuel cap must.

Anything you make a master cylinder reservoir out of needs to be able to do that plus be sealed to the master cylinder so that it doesn't leak brake fluid onto your paint job and should be resilient enough not to break in the event that the bike is dropped. In addition to that you will want it to have an old timey appearance (nothing ruins a steampunk-ified item faster than some part looking modern).

If I was doing it I would find an early style master cylinder with the integral round reservoir with screw on cap and no sight glass and have it brass or copper plated. They originally came with aluminum caps so perhaps that could have the bumps turned off and it could be knurled and plated to match.

If you are determined to make your own reservoir I would start with a master cylinder that has a remote reservoir so connecting it to the master cylinder would only involve adding a hose barb.
Think this would work? https://tinyurl.com/ybq9mm4t
 

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The only switch on the left side that is integrated with the lever is the one that lets you start it in gear if the clutch is disengaged (always a good idea to have) and the only one on the right is the brake light switch (I think that one is legally required).

The left hand switches in the housing are:
- Turn signals - Legally, if it came with them it is required to still have them but some would say that in the real world you aren't likely to meet a cop that knows that your specific model came with signals so who cares? Well, any cop that has half a clue will know that manufacturers were required to provide them from '68 on. Besides, anything that makes other drivers notice you and aware of what you intend to do is a really, really good idea so if you ever intend to use it on the road I would make sure it has nice, bright ones that are located where they can't be missed.
- High/low beam switch - I'm pretty sure that is a legal requirement too.
- Horn button - Again probably required and pretty useless if your thumb can't find it when you need it.

The right hand switches in the housing (this housing is integral with the throttle twistgrip):
- Kill switch - Legally required and for very good reason. Must be where it can be reached with the hands on the bars.
- Start button - Unless you plan to remove the starter motor and push start the bike every time you need to be able to operate the Start button, throttle twistgrip and clutch at the same time. Since the twistgrip and the clutch lever are on the handlebars that pretty much requires that the Start button be where one of your thumbs can reach it.

I am not 100% sure that all of them are legally required to be on the handlebars but I also can't think of any argument for locating them anywhere else that won't make them a whole lot harder to use.

BTW: When the original switch assemblies for my bikes started to get old & tired I replaced them with modern ones. After shopping around a bit I decided that ones made for Royal Enfields were the best balance of modern appearance, quality (made by a Honda supplier), function & price. I was an electronic tech in a previous life so it wasn't a huge job for me to remove the wires that came on the new switches and solder on the ones from my old switches and re-sheath them with nice, fresh heat shrink at the same time so the whole assembly looked brand new. My new switches don't have the contacts to kill the headlight when the starter motor is running but, being UK/India spec, they have a headlight selector on the right (they have to have parking lights on both ends and are allowed to be able to switch their headlights off), which I wired to select between off, bike headlight only and bike headlight + sidecar headlight. They also have a button on the left to turn the high beam on when you are passing; I set those up to operate the garage door opener remote.

Re the form vs function argument: If you make something look a certain way regardless of whether it works well or not it often looks cartoonish and like something just isn't right. If you make something that works right and then make what it needs to work right look nice it will almost always look right.
 

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That reservoir would work would work but 1) it isn't copper coloured and 2) you would still have to buy a remote reservoir master cylinder to use it with.

I like the one Mike linked to. It is a modernized version of the type I was talking about - that would be low profile so people might not notice it was a master cylinder.
 

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You could use a radial master cylinder with a remote reservoir and plate some braided sleeving copper or use a copper line between the radial MC. You could build a steam punk looking cylinder to cover the Radial MC and then plate the handle copper or brass or coat it in brass if you are a good metal craftsman. Or have the aluminum anodized copper colored or brass colored. There is a steam punk bike being built on the CB bikes forum, SOHC/4 forums. Do a google search on the forum for links to it... He has created a very nice steam punk bike and it is artistic but functional.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
The only switch on the left side that is integrated with the lever is the one that lets you start it in gear if the clutch is disengaged (always a good idea to have) and the only one on the right is the brake light switch (I think that one is legally required).

The left hand switches in the housing are:
  • Turn signals - Legally, if it came with them it is required to still have them but some would say that in the real world you aren't likely to meet a cop that knows that your specific model came with signals so who cares? Well, any cop that has half a clue will know that manufacturers were required to provide them from '68 on. Besides, anything that makes other drivers notice you and aware of what you intend to do is a really, really good idea so if you ever intend to use it on the road I would make sure it has nice, bright ones that are located where they can't be missed.
  • High/low beam switch - I'm pretty sure that is a legal requirement too.
  • Horn button - Again probably required and pretty useless if your thumb can't find it when you need it.

The right hand switches in the housing (this housing is integral with the throttle twistgrip):
  • Kill switch - Legally required and for very good reason. Must be where it can be reached with the hands on the bars.
  • Start button - Unless you plan to remove the starter motor and push start the bike every time you need to be able to operate the Start button, throttle twistgrip and clutch at the same time. Since the twistgrip and the clutch lever are on the handlebars that pretty much requires that the Start button be where one of your thumbs can reach it.

I am not 100% sure that all of them are legally required to be on the handlebars but I also can't think of any argument for locating them anywhere else that won't make them a whole lot harder to use.

BTW: When the original switch assemblies for my bikes started to get old & tired I replaced them with modern ones. After shopping around a bit I decided that ones made for Royal Enfields were the best balance of modern appearance, quality (made by a Honda supplier), function & price. I was an electronic tech in a previous life so it wasn't a huge job for me to remove the wires that came on the new switches and solder on the ones from my old switches and re-sheath them with nice, fresh heat shrink at the same time so the whole assembly looked brand new. My new switches don't have the contacts to kill the headlight when the starter motor is running but, being UK/India spec, they have a headlight selector on the right (they have to have parking lights on both ends and are allowed to be able to switch their headlights off), which I wired to select between off, bike headlight only and bike headlight + sidecar headlight. They also have a button on the left to turn the high beam on when you are passing; I set those up to operate the garage door opener remote.

Re the form vs function argument: If you make something look a certain way regardless of whether it works well or not it often looks cartoonish and like something just isn't right. If you make something that works right and then make what it needs to work right look nice it will almost always look right.
I was just reading over this again as I'm trying to make a run at finishing my build.

It's good advice. Thank you.
 
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