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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Need some help with scrambler planning

I picked up my 1979 CX500 about 4 months ago. She's on the road, she's all stock.... and I want to start a scrambler-style build. I'm using the cx500 as my daily rider right now, so I want to get everything planned out beforehand to minimize the time spent in the garage (and not on the road!). My wallet isn't exactly overflowing so costing things out will help in budgeting...

As she stands:



There's so much experience on this forum that I hope I can ask you to help me in the planning process. I've never modded any bike before but am pretty handy on the mechanical side (the autobudy side will be a learning process) so let's start with picking parts. ***To be clear, I'm not going for an authentic off-road scambler, but more of a scrambler-style road bike. I would go cafe racer but I don't want to be hunched over on clip-on handlebars. So something between cafe racer and outright scrambler.***

Something with a silhouette sort of like these:




The initial thoughts
New, larger tires (maybe with spoked wheels). Get rid of the airbox and relocate the battery. Rejet & clean carbs and install pod filters (leave or remove the H box???). New seat. New lower (i.e. flatter) handlebars. New brakes. New instrument cluster. LED lights & turn signals. New brakelights and license plate bracket. Mods to the fenders as required. New suspension (rear) and new springs (front). Replace stock mufflers with upswept exhaust. Sand/soda blasting as required. Repair dent to current gas tank. Paint wheels (if keeping stock), gas tank, forks. Possibly some engine block & valve cover painting. New grips. New levers.


Oh, and I'm in Canada. I visit the US every now and then so can get away with ordering some items to my US mailbox.... so I'll assume everyone is talking $USD from US retailers unless you mention $CDN.

Parts list
  1. tires
  2. wheels (spokes)
  3. pod filters
  4. custom made seat
  5. handle bars
  6. upswept exhaust piping
  7. mufflers
  8. front rotor
  9. front brake system (require new caliper??)
  10. rear suspension kit (dual)
  11. front fork springs
  12. cost of having local shop sandblast/soda blast forks, frame, engine, tank & powder-coat
  13. instrument cluster
  14. electric fan??
  15. LED headlights
  16. LED turn signals
  17. LED brake light
  18. relay kit for LED conversion??
  19. wiring harness??
  20. new throttle cable??
  21. new brake lines ??
  22. handlebar grips
  23. brake/clutch levers

> Ballpark cost for those who have done something like this (USD/CAD)
>> What am I missing?
>>> Any recommendations on specific brands or parts for the list above? I know it depends on individual taste but I'm just looking for a starting point....
>>>> Certain retailers to look at? I've been browsing PartZilla / MotorcycleSuperstore / BikeBandit. There's also Canada'sMotorcycle here in canada but their selection isn't so great...

Thanks in advance for your help!
Andrew
 

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To me - the scrambler versions have to have an up pipe - like the Triumph. I may be old school, but that was always what it used to mean.
Like you, I agree with not wanting to be hunched over - I'm too old for that stance, plus I have a prosthetic right eye - hunching forward limits your side vision even more.

I looked into spoked wheels - love them, but you did mention you were on a bit of a budget and they end up being expensive options - but again, they are gorgeous.
I had fun tearing my bike apart and scouring for parts. In the end, I bought the Roadster kit (or a lot of it) for Café Racer Kits in the UK (I live in Hamilton, so I had to import everything).
The kit came with a great set of instructions and took away most of the "fabricated" side of the build. It's hardly what I would call a scrambler, but not really a café either.
Save some money for a set of Murray's carbs. They will reveal a whole new side to your bike that you never thought possible.
Good luck with your build. You will be inspired by many of the other members bikes - all you have to do is make it your own. Your budget may end up being your master.

Here's a shot of how mine turned out. Maybe when you're done we can all meet up for an Ontario CX meet that doesn't mean a ride to Ottawa.
Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Car Motor vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The UK Roadster kit, is that this one: CRK 500 Roadster Kit Modules - Cafe Racer Kits ?

I'm looking at your picture and trying to find what else you put into your bike, other than the kit. Looks like tires, mufflers (did you ditch the H-box?), rear shocks, and front forks... or are those just cleaned up stock forks with new covers? What handlebar setup did you use? cheers!

PS I wouldn't mind a meetup BEFORE I start chopping in addition to after lol. Maybe I can get some inspiration and avoid making some mistakes.
 

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Yes to the link to the CRK Roadster kit.
Tires are Pirelli Sport Demon's. I selected 3 other kinds of tires first, only to learn that they weren't made in 16". I love the Sport Demon's.
If you play around on CRK's site you will find both the stainless exhaust and the reverse megaphone mufflers (and baffles) - those are the ones I have . . and yes, they do ditch the "H" box
Murray also has some exhaust pipes with a larger diameter that can be welded to form different angles so you may want to check those out to.
I found the bars at a local bike shop - I think they were a no name "Daytona" set up. There are many to choose from.
The forks are stock (fitted with new Progressive springs) and a Tarozzi fork brace to stiffen them up. The shocks are after market RFY shocks bought from Ebay - you have your choice of colours.
I also sourced parts at Joker Machine - click Café Racer and they have a list of parts for the CX500.
Dime City Cycles was another source - LED signals, Head light bucket, head light brackets, tail light, footpegs, battery, Arlen Ness front fender and other bits and bobs.
Things like stainless braided brake line were easy enough to find around Toronto.
Engine parts were sourced from several internet sites and E bay.

I didn't use Ian's (CRK's) headlight, brackets or instrument cluster as my bike was the Deluxe version. I did end up having to replace my gauges, but used the stock pods to mount the replacements in. Those gauges came from Speedhut.com, with a custom instrument panel machined from billet by ACP in Hamilton. The original ignition was chucked in favour of Moto Gadget's M lock - a pretty cool RFID keyless ignition. I know - totally unnecessary - but when I re-designed the dash I added a temp gauge where the ignition sat.

Anything else you want to know on this - just PM me I'd be happy to help.

John
 

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I *may* have an extra Renthal Road Low Handlebar for you if interested in black and never mounted. If it's not picked up by a potential buyer tomorrow (Friday) and you're interested, I can let you know. Pretty well standard if you're looking to attain the scrambler/tracker look and feel.
 

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...

Something with a silhouette sort of like these:



...
Good taste! :p

I'll be looking forward to this project, curious to see how it ends up.
The brakes are good enough, just upgrade to steel braided lines and you'll be fine.
If you have any questions feel free to ask. Unfortunately I won't be able to help you with parts since I'm on the other side of the pond..

Good luck!
 

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To me - the scrambler versions have to have an up pipe - like the Triumph. I may be old school, but that was always what it used to mean.
I have to agree. A lower pipe to me is a Tracker.

I'll be wattching as I just picked up my 1980 CX500 Custom, and I think I'll be going with a tracker build on this one. Just picked up some Renthal low rise bars for $10 on Craigslist. First part!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I *may* have an extra Renthal Road Low Handlebar for you if interested in black and never mounted. If it's not picked up by a potential buyer tomorrow (Friday) and you're interested, I can let you know. Pretty well standard if you're looking to attain the scrambler/tracker look and feel.
I was just checking out your blog and photos. Great build. And something for me to aspire to. A few questions for you
1. Are those renthals the 7/8 ? did they go on Friday ?
2. What's your setup for brakes? those look original with custom drilled rotor
3. What sort of mufflers do you have on the exhaust
4. Did you use Murrays nipple for the standard oil filter or make your own?

Thanks!
 

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I was just checking out your blog and photos. Great build. And something for me to aspire to. A few questions for you
1. Are those renthals the 7/8 ? did they go on Friday ?
2. What's your setup for brakes? those look original with custom drilled rotor
3. What sort of mufflers do you have on the exhaust
4. Did you use Murrays nipple for the standard oil filter or make your own?

Thanks!
Hey Anjp,

Thanks for the props on my build. I'm glad to here that they can give you some direction and inspiration for you to take off on yours! That's what it's all about. Sorry for the late reply as it's been a hectic weekend. Unfortunately, the bars DID sell on Friday. I got so many emails from people either claiming they were going to take a look at them for weeks from potentials, but never did, so I was somewhat surprised when a buyer actually came to pick them up.

1. The bars in my build are the 7/8 Renthals, but in Ultra Lows (lowest profile). Keep in mind the outer bar is measured as 7/8ths diameter, but the opening is actually thinner as they are thicker walled aluminum.

2. Yup, stock, front controls are stock, which will be replaced soon, though the stainless steel brake lines obviously are not. I custom drilled the rotors using a drill press. I can source out both a template for the rotor holes as well, give you a local contact for SS brake lines if you'd like. His turn around time for custom lines is usually a day or so and is very reasonably priced.

3. The mufflers are Supertrapp Universals that sound and perform GREAT! Can't tell you just how many comments and head turns I get from them each time I take my bike out. Always puts a smile on my face when the throttle is rolled! :D

4. The oil filter adapter is from Murray and in the photos, the Napa Gold Filter is on the bike. I've since changed it out and trying out the Mobil 1 filter due to the constant leaking of the Napa filter. Murray prefers a certain Fram filter, but both the Napa and the Mobil filter already some in black, so saves me the hassle of painting the orange Fram. Definitely contact him in regards to the adapter if need be.

Hopefully that helps you out some and if you have further questions, just ask!
 
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