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Discussion Starter #21
Have you considered modifying the GL500 tank to get the flat line that you are after?
I've been wondering how feasible this is. Since you'd have to cut part of the rolled bottom, does that present an issue? Or can you just reweld the bottom and it would be safe?
 

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It can be done. You can always farm out the welding if necessary.
 
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There's a YouTube video of a GL650 cafe that used a Yamaha tank. He even shows his mods he made to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
There's a YouTube video of a GL650 cafe that used a Yamaha tank. He even shows his mods he made to the tank.
thanks for the tip, checked that video out and looked reasonably doable!


Does anyone recognize this build? Big fan of some of the builders choices, but the tank in particular looks very similar to an earlier CB750.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Few updates:

got in the vfr800 Shock, almost a bolt on, just needed some spacers, only problem is it’s definitely too long. crankshaft looks to be at an unhealthy angle and i can’t get the shock mount bolts back in.

found this table of rear shocks, thought it might be helpful to others.

As I’m learning more about suspension, in realizing to get the stance I want will mostly come from rear end frame alteration, and potentially a shorter front end (forks, etc.)

Here’a a reference for the stance I want, love the empty rear end.



Continuing to move on!
 

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"Stance" is one of those terms a designer will use but an engineer won't. Clearance for suspension movement and things like trail (a really important specification that WILL be affected by raising or lowering either end of the bike).

Lowering the front end will likely require reducing the suspension travel so that something doesn't hit when you encounter a pothole or speed bump (OK for a show bike but not so wise if you plan to actually use it) and it will reduce the trail, which will affect the way the bike handles (lower trail = less stable at speed). Did you actually spend a few hours on this bike to see how it handled before you started cutting? If you didn't you will never be sure how much the changes you are making harm the handling....

BTW: The bike in that picture has a "stance" related problem. In a misguided attempt to make the tank sit "level" they have actually ended up with the front of the tank being somewhat lower than the rear (eyeball estimate about half an inch, maybe more). The floor of a tank is always lower at the rear for a reason; They will never be able to get all of the fuel out of the tank. Once again, this doesn't matter if it is a shoe bike that is never going to have fuel in the tank but in the real world......
Remember what I said about things that don't work right not looking right either? The first things I see when I look at that pic are the tank tipped forward and the too big tires (especially the front - front tires are narrower to improve handling). After that I see no fenders (illegal in most places and dumb, as anyone who has been caught in the rain will tell you).

Don't get me wrong: I'm not against customizing. I just hate to see someone make something work less well for the sake of style. That rarely ends well.
 

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SCBob......don't waste your effort.

This modification will end up with form leading function.

The first interest is in how to modify the bike. Nothing about verifying the bike runs.......

This machine is a bit more complex than a shoe.
 

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Welp, if the OP can wade through such criticism and the result is ridable, he will know for sure whether it was all just for looks or not, won't he? In my opinion, your opinions are overblown armchair engineering, which is possibly just as useful as a function follows form approach - just more rude, and condescending. The fact that a rider must mount the bike can mitigate the high gastank, and there are plenty of tire sizes used on the front of motorcycles. Not only do they work, but they may bring the rider a pleasurable experience. Carving tight circles may not be a goal. Your critique overlooks one major, if not the only important factor in a project such as this: it is not yours. You know not what the creators desired result is. It may be to simply lay eyes upon a particular configuration of parts. It may be to slow roll down his towns main street. It may be to mimic another build that has been successfully riden with none of your paranoid flaws. It is pretty shocking what people can and will ride at usable speeds, and I think this one will be on the least shocking and very ridable spectrum, so pay no mind to criticism OP. Build what you like and take the criticism with a large helping of salt. And be careful on the test ride 😉

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We are attempting to keep him from producing one more unfinished project or making the same looks based mistakes as many, many others before him. Some of us have been around here a long time and have seen many failed projects and would rather not see any more of them than necessary.
 

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We are attempting to keep him from producing one more unfinished project or making the same looks based mistakes as many, many others before him. Some of us have been around here a long time and have seen many failed projects and would rather not see any more of them than necessary.
I guess I don't understand why you would do that? Just scroll past if you don't like the direction it's going. Or better yet, offer support and lose the condescension. If I sound a bit offended, it's bc I am. I am building something similar, and while I think it will be somewhat unique, I am aware there are many, many examples of "cafe-ed" GL and CX. I'm sure OP is also aware, and is clearly using them as a guide. Those many, many examples are likely being ridden by happy riders, not laying in burning piles; so clearly alterations to the geometry are not a death sentence. Basically you are not likely to "keep him" from doing anything, just alienate a fellow GL/CX fan. Even a purist such as yourselves must recognize the difference.

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Again, I didn't say not to make changes, just to consider & research what the changes will do to the handling instead of blindly copying what others have done based on what they look like.
The "cafe racer" crowd laugh at those who build choppers that are so exaggerated as to be un-rideable without understanding that all of the modifications done to make them choppers are based on things that were done to make the original choppers function better (e.g. more rake = greater trail = more stable on the paved high speed highways that were becoming available everywhere) but those changes were copied by people who didn't understand the principles involved and figured if some was good more was better so instead of increasing the rake enough for good stability they eventually had so much that the front wheel flopped to the side when you turned the handlebars.
I see the same thing happening with some of the changes the cafe crowd make with similar results that could have been easily avoided with a bit of research into how a motorcycle chassis works.

BTW: If you had looked at the thread about my CX (Eccles) you would know that, although I have gone in a different direction from the cafe crowd, I am far from a purist. There are many fine examples of cafe styled bikes on this forum but very few on sites like BikeEXIF where it is all about what they look like and not at all about how well they work.
 

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Ebb.....If you would shelve your predispostion, open your mind and read carefully. Then you may just discover there is no condescention toward the OP. Only suggested paths to follow or consider before modifying the bike.

Sure, it is OP's bike. He can do whatever he wishes to the machine. He can create a unique well running machine or he could create a unique peice of yard art. I think you will generally find the folks on this forum lean towards a unique well running machine camp.

FWIW, there are many members with deep experience with these bikes and more than just one engineer with mechanical or electrical backgrounds. My point, some of the suggestions are very sound although it maybe contrary to your mindset. You can elect to heed the suggestions or head out on your own.

Ultimately, it is your choice. Or in this case the Op's choice.
 
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