Jun 14, 2019

Jenny Craigslist returns (Jenny Craigslist2)

More final iteration  photos at bottom of blog.  She was a beauty

So you want a reliable Cafe/Bobber or some kind of unique ride eh?  Who doesn't, that's a stupid question.

I don't run a fender, but here is proof that I do have one.

Look no further.  Here is a tasteful custom that doesn't look like a 18yr old built it. 
Link to Craigslist add here

1. doesn't have it's ass cut off completely. Modified, not amputated..
2. doesn't have a seat that looks like a caterpillars ass,
3. runs like NEW. Just jump on and ride to Florida.
4. Posture/position is made for real riding, not simply looking cool at coffee shops.

Typically most Craiglist projects start with an old pile of shit.
I went the other direction, buying the best GL1100 out there.
Lowering a bike is a bit harder with air-ride.
But I've got nothing better to do all night long.

So watch Boulder's craigslist in a few weeks.  
Go get some of your kid's college $$, summon an Uber, and ride Jenny home.

My target bike for this project was a 1-owner bike, preferably sold because the owner's geriatric hemorrhoids are got too large for him to ride any longer. This bike below wasn't exactly that the holy grail, but darn close.   Oh, and it wasn't poop brown like most Goldwings.

Step one, Jenny's diet.  This 800lb lady needs to loose 100lbs, and fast.

 Handle bar, crash bars, fog lights and fenders  were trashed.   
The kid requested the windscreen for his "Spaceship" or something or other.
Luggage will store tie down straps in the back of the raptor now.

too bad I cant use these. they look expensive

converted to storage in my truck bed.
now holds chains and tie down straps

This is a 1982 Ipod.

Typically I find bad bikes and spend months fixing them, but this time I found a great bike and spent months ruining it instead.   It came with perfect electrical components.  Even the ugly Vetter components appeared professionally wired (probably a dealer back in 1982).  Perfectly preserved stuff is so nice to work on.  I enjoyed being the first guy to wreck it.   

Off with the"ape-hangers" and on with black flat bars.
  I ordered them extra wide, like I order my condoms.   
Jenny didn't leak a drop of fluid or exhaust.  Moreover the chrome looked new on the exhaust.  So I certainly couldn't paint or wrap it.  That's typically reserved for ugly rusted exhaust.   That chrome survived 36 yrs, I didn't have the heart to tear it off.  Instead I doubled down on that crap with some chrome valve stem covers, woo hoo!

Throttle turns 180 degrees, which "hides" a lot of the motors power.

I've ordered an improved throttle to make things happen faster, hehe!

You have no idea how hard it is to lower an instrument cluster 3/4"
Some things just have to be done, to  make that small 5% difference.

I dig the whisper quiet long tube mufflers on a Goldwing, they look good exposed.
\I don't think a machine should be loud unless it needs to be to perform. 

They didn't leak, and appeared new already.
Seems to me, if you have the forks off you should just reseal them anyway.   

The  reason  most cafe bikes don't have a rear fender is the damn things are HARD to get right.  People try for a week,  have  a few drinks and then say something profane and whip out a sawzall tool.  Know you know why cafe bikes have no ass.   

Bucking convention, I skipped the hipster fender-less bike crap.  After a few beers I bought 4 fenders to attempt various looks.    Once they arrived I cut em up and viola!  a Whitmans sampler of fenders.  The black one that was originally the front fender ended up the final iteration.    If anyone needs 3 spare fenders chopped to shit, they are ready. 

Okay, it's not technically a frame modification.
It's more of a factory seat mount amputation. 

Frame mods?  Glad you asked.  I didn't chop off the rear because it looks too much like you chopped of the rear.  Meaning, I think it's stupid.  

Holes welded up,  and a little sanding.
So glad I bought a MIG welder.  Woo Hoo!
No photo description available.
This is what an OEM front fender looks like after 3 hours of cutting.
Eventually it will make a handsome rear fender that is quite short. 

I know Jenny is slow by today's standards, but I feel she is speedy in a sort of RoadKill kind of way.  Those tiny Honda CB350's everyone is building won't pass an RV on a mountain road like Jenny will.  She may be big boned but having lost so much weight she's anxious to put out. 

The sofa seat was a lot like a sofa seat.  Its for sale if you want it. 
$4,600 and you get a free motorcycle included.  

For the droves of hotties I'll be taking home from various night clubs I figured a cooler saddle was required.  One that says, "sit here on the fender and be completely uncomfortable,"   The new custom seat is brutally uncomfortable as any good custom should be.  Fake crocodile skin was cheaper than brass riveted leather,  Think of it as a vinyl coated brick that costs about the same

The factory seat was so ugly I chose to ride around without one.  
I can't take credit, for the upgraded suspension.  The previous owner upgraded the suspension  to the popular Progressive brand air ride stuff.  Yes it leaked air, but silicone, o-rings and a dab of JB Weld turned off that warning light pretty easily.  Don't you love cheap fixes?  A man is defined by his junk drawer.   

This pretty much sums up Jenny's diet. 
The upside to choosing a project bike that typically weights 1175lb (fully loaded with wife and luggage) is the brakes are pretty darn good.   3 discs, twin pistonred calipers and braided lines all haul this beast down to a stop pretty well. 
Somebody loved these.  Rotors, pads and brake lines are all new.  
Jenny's MOTOR is fine. Not even a puff of  smoke at startup.  With 68,000 miles on the odometer, its possible she's been rebuilt, but it's also possible it's just been well cared for. I've got no clue, but I dig it.  What is apparent is plugs wires and carbs are all sparkly fresh and that's good because carbs are like the moon to me.   Something mysterious goes on inside carburetors that i cannot understand.  It's just unnatural.

Frame guards had to go,  your shins hit them with the new seating position.  

I don't know what we have here.  A Goldwing Custom. Bobber,  Cafe Racer, Flat Tracker, Transcontinental Cafe?  Perhaps simply a Goldwing Sportster.   Whatever it is, it's got a certain character that is awesomely majestic and more unique than most Craigslist Cafe bikes. 

Okay,  below is the final iteration.  I sourced a second set of parts to paint olive drab.   Looks a bit more  custom with some  carbon   wrapped bits.    She's on to a new happy home.  

Apr 27, 2019

Jenny Craigslist


867-5309.  Jenny Jenny, you're the girl for me.

So in theory, selling the M3 was a good idea. but I lost a valuable pastime.  Tinkering in the garage was quite therapeutic and tinkering with the Porsche gets me broke pretty quickly.   Frankly if I could turn back time I'd get the M3 back and discard the Porsche.   But that's not news, I've regretted buying AND selling every damn car I've ever owned.   Why would the M3 be any different?  Oh, and did I mention the Raptor I bought?   Never blogged about that minor diversion.

 A blank template.   22K miles is nothing for these motors.

So I needed a project that was primarily elbow grease and minimal outlay of the Benjamins (that's hipster talk for money).   So I pulled the trigger on this 22K mile goldwing.  Since its an unexciting Japanese motorcycle, it should be mechanically sound albeit aesthetically unpleasing. 

The goal was to lose some serious weight from this porky bitch machine.
Hence the name Jenny Craig was born and quickly morphed to Jenny Craigslist.

I grabbed some cash and took an Uber to Denver after confirming the bike was capable of driving home in its current state.    Once home, I found it did indeed run quite well, but the electrical as well as countless little things needed addressing.  Like any 40+ yr old person it has seen better days but can still satisfy you if you are drunk or squint when looking at her.
Undoing a history of unqualified wiring "improvements" is a blast.
I've screwed up plenty of wiring, so I can spot bad work quickly.
This was just the mental health distraction I needed.  Why pay a therapist $150/hr when you can just tinker on a motorcycle every evening for free.   Well, "free"  might be a tad inaccurate if you check my eBay and Amazon.com history.  But hey,  I've been through a lot this past year and need this distraction.  I wonder if I get a doctor's prescription, will my insurance pay for these parts?

1. Rectify improper wiring to starter, headlights and turn signals.
2. Buy turn signals and tail lights.
First, get Jenny naked and check her out.. 
Rules to live by in any relationship.
Yes indeed, 40+ years did take a small toll on dear old Jenny.   The cables needed attention, tires were old, and forks were weeping slightly.  Lights were all gone, or broken, exhaust leaking, cellulite (just checking to see if you are reading).   Overall through, I wouldn't kick Jenny out of bed if I woke to finder her there.   She's not too shabby for her age.    Jenny's got character and she needs me to save here just like she is saving me.   Too sappy?  I'll tone it down.

Internally routed wires are cleaner looking for sure, so a must.
But damn  they are hard to do with a dremel and a cordless drill.
If I wasn't' so cheap I could have paid to have them pre-drilled.

Everyone is doing a cafe bike these days, and fenderless bobbers bore me.  My initial thinking was some sort of straight bar flat-tracker tribute.  Some super-small saddle would work nicely and cool shocks or a hardtail conversion.   
Instead of cutting the exposed end or removing the fender entirely
I cut the forward edge, then rotated the tail section forward.  
3. Buy fork seals
4. But starter switch for donor parts
5. Buy tachometer for donor parts
6. Buy seat
7. Buy handlebar, grips and end caps
You cannot buy a new starter button,
but I like tiny impossible rebuilds.
8. Buy motor oil, collant, gear oil and brake fluid
9. Buy shocks and fork seals.
10. Buy tire$

Had to learn to weld to do this,  you should see all the scraps I practiced on.
Sometimes looking good comes with a cost.  Once completed I have found that this tiny saddle could easily lead to a broken tooth or spinal damage.  The shocks look sweet, but don't work much like shocks.   I'm thinking perhaps a mouthguard would be a wise investment,  I've also ordered seat springs that are coming soon.
Rebuilding tachometers is not as hard as you think.
 Buy a spare on eBay first if only to show you what you screwed up.
11. buy throttle cable
12. buy digital flasher relay
13. buy speedometer cable
14. buy tachometer cable

Fancy looking shocks, but they are one stiff-ass ride.
Check out the nifty LED tail light.  I'm so cool.
Rear fender is now mounted ON TOP of the frame.
This will look better as it flows beneath the new seat.
Gold Calipers, a period correct color.
New fork seals are not as hard to install as you might think.
I was disappointed no vintage looking tires were readily available.  Frankly nothing was available except expensive Pirelli Knight Dragons.  I couldn't confirm existing tire age,  they had no miles on them, but were probably 20 yrs old.   Unsafe.   Luckily these are now radials  for it now, which my chiropractor appreciates. 
Straight bar and brown grips to match the saddle.
Ran a wire wheel over the clamps to "freshen" them.

You think you want a classic till you realize it adds 4 minutes to your drive to Starbucks to warm up every morning.  So how's it ride?   Well it's got long legs, meaning it likes to cruise at higher speeds, typical of a Goldwing. 
Saddle is a brutal ride, but looks perfect.  
How did anyone get anywhere in these old bikes?  The think gets about 9 miles per gallon, so the range is quite short given the tank is small and hidden under the seat.  I've run out of gas twice already due to stupidity and my inability to read a gas gauge or use the reservoir properly.
Jenny is an Emotional Support Vehicle.
So I can take her INSIDE the grocery store.
Left over paint,  now that's thrifty isn't it?   I'd originally planned to prime the panels and pay a painter to spray the bike whatever color was readily available during a car respray.  But the primer I used on my BMW R100RS last year looked pretty darn good.  So I sprayed some clear coat left over my the M3's wheel refinishing right over the primer.  Perfect is not the goal here,  character is the goal.  Speaking of character, check out that faded Honda logo on the rear fender above.  It is from the original dealership in Florida, circa 1977.
Shake down run.  Note I didn't install the all-too-common license relocator system.
Instead I modified the OEM plate mount to recycle it on the fender. 
The best part about riding the bike is the stops.  Watching hipsters appreciate it from the sidewalk.  Letting people take my photo at traffic lights, etc. My favorite. is the older guys telling me stories about when they had one.   Now, to find a CBX.... Hehe

Whenever I ride her that song goes through my head over and over again.   If you are as old as this bike you'll know the song I mean.     This would  be the perfect project if only it was a car.

Sold nearly immediately to Shane via Craigslist,  Enjoy Shane, she's a good woman.