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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
for those who don't know my second bike is a cruiser I built myself entirely from spare parts as a probably never finished ongoing project, a brief history for those who may be interested.
about 2 years ago after finally getting the gen 1 as near perfect as I could with nothing to do on it (except routine maintenance) I decided the time was right for new project. something quite different a one off custom build as far outside the box as I could imagine, given that I had over the years accumulated a pile of spares from various past bikes plus a titled frame and spare engine from a gen 2 it had to be EX based but what, streetfighters are 10 a penny, bobbers are not to my taste, so what. how about a cruiser ? that's different yes I know the EN is a cruiser but I had the wrong frame for that.
so a cruiser with a mono shock, fat tires. anti dive forks, twin front brakes. and a riding posture easy on the back and arms (unlike the gen 1) that could be ridden all day in comfort, and luggage to carry everything I needed for day out, so that's it a basic plan. no drawings or plans just a concept to be built ad hoc with whatever I could use or source from where ever I could get it, it had to be inexpensive as the finished bike was for myself and probably would end up only worth what the value of the main parts were.
of course it would require radical surgery and major modifications to get it somewhere near my concept. not to mention all the re-modifications to the modifications I had done already during the build.
time was no object just needed a plan.
I started by building a assembly table putting the frame on it and trying different parts to establish how it would come together.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive fuel system


it took roughly 8 months to get it to stage where I could put it on the road and ride it for shakedown runs and decide which parts worked well and which required further changes or modifications.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system


some were excellent others like the bars and the then single brake were horrible the pods were a mistake from day one it never ran as it should even after trying a set of sliders it wasn't right (lesson there for others) the problem or main one was there was/is no data or information on how to set them up.
so it was back to the CVK's and modified airbox before it ran as it should, improvements continued over the next year and some 4k miles. finally ending up with something resembling what I had intended. nice to ride, reliable, and niggling fault free however it was a bit top heavy and those feet out front pegs an annoyance at low manoeuvring speed.

Fuel tank Wheel Tire Automotive lighting Automotive tire


still I was more or less happy with it that is until (as reported on another thread) I dropped it in a car park and could not lift it back up on my own. the thing is seriously over weight. by how much not sure but a lot.

to try and find out I weighed the front axel on a set of scales and then the back, not very scientific I know but the two weights add up to 240kg (529lbs) where as the gen 1 using the same system is 182kg (401lbs) so way too heavy.
now were in Nov the winter is here so it's going on a diet over the next few months not sure how it will turn out only it will be much lighter how much not sure but I'm aiming for a lighter bike than the gen 1.
guess I will get some ally welding practice in removing all that steel. make some major changes and do some radical surgery to it, made a start today stripping the rear end down for some frame cutting we will see how it goes.

may do updates if anyone is interested.
 

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Nice job! it must feel good to put parts together- they take up less room as a whole bike, I find :) ... overweight? Hmm. maybe the steel fenders, or the bigger fuel tank? which you probably don't want to lose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
weight yeah but that is one of the problems building from spares with most of the running gear (wheels forks ect) are off a 1litre bike, so by nature much heavier than a 500.
all the gubbin's like twin brakes anti dive forks and steel headers all add weight, just about all the extra brackets (and there is a lot of them) are 1/4 steel plate because that is what I had to hand.
surprising though the tank is no bigger than the EX yes it sits taller on the frame but there is a huge void underneath it, (I will post a photo when I take it off) that is where all the normal sticky out bits are located, true when it's full of fuel it raises the COG quite a bit but unless I can find somewhere to relocate all the stuff (under the tank) I will have to keep it. most of the rest will be re designed with lighter alternatives except the rear wheel got to keep that I like the 12in rear drum and it's got a new 3k tire on it. so apart from that and the tank the rest will have to go.
 

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Some bikes are just topheavy. A well-built 4 cylinder I had was a different ride if I was recently riding the 500. But, I got used to it quickly.
But indeed- you'll watch where you put the kickstand down. I had the 4cyl fall over in soft ground once. I think maybe the crashbars on it made it worse- it went MORE than 90 degrees. What a bear with the wheels and my feet slipping...but It could have been worse with a peanut gallery suggesting I watch a Youtube video of nymphs righting Harleys....
 

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When you realize the the pivot point of the leaning angle of a bike is the ground.
All bikes are top heavy, The more the better, this is how stability is achieved. Longer polar moment of inertia.
Honda tried to make a racebike with very low center of gravity by putting the fuel under the engine and other stuff. The thing was un ridable.
too heavy is not good top heavy is necessary.

FOG
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
yeah all that is true it's just a question of degrees, how much is top heavy by percentage 40%, 60%, 80%, then there is the actual weight a 120kg bike is easy to pick up and keep upright, 400kg bike even the strongest would struggle.
the more top heavy it is and the more weight it has alters the degree angle it can go before it becomes too heavy to keep upright.
in the case of the cruiser the carpark was sloping quite a bit and like a P*** I put the wrong foot down IE the one on the downside of the slope bike leaned pass the tipping point over it went. so then it laid out on a slope with bit that should be the highest now the lowest.
a dead lift of some 240 kg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
as promised a view of the underside of the ER tank with the big void in it.

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and I really need to keep it because that cavity is full of stuff. a flat bottomed tank like the EX no longer fits.

Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive super charger part Auto part Automotive exterior
 

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Am I wrong but doesn't that look like it would raise the CG a bit? But with same center of gravity and steering geometry a heavier mass is bound to feel tippier at lower speeds...as you say, the critical lean before you "lose it" is going to be a smaller angle. I'd guess that weight you can get off the top is going to help far more than anything you lose below. But I think I get FOG's point: too much of a ballasted effect LOWERING the CG is going to make the bike "stiff" like a ship and you'll be working harder to ride around a bend....

Since it rides ok for you, it's not like you want to extend the wheelbase or lower the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
you could well be right but there is always a trade off somewhere, probably why there are so many un finished project bikes out there, while it's a pain designing where you are going to build the main parts of the bike all the stock stuff has to go somewhere, on some street fighters that is under the seat. not possible on a single seater that sits on the frame.

avoiding all the sticky out bits and moving them to new locations was the hardest part of the build originally. the bike needs them so have to be used, I got round the thermostat housing and expansion bottle by utilising the (housing on top of the head) straight off the ER500 (same as the tank) COP's deleted the coils, and that void under the tank used for the key electrical components.

without that tank everything would/will have to be reworked, redesigned. and thought over, if it causes issues then I will have to but prefer not to at this stage, removing all the excess weight is the first priority see how it goes then if there is still an issue. tackle the "elephant in the room" tank question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
made some progress on this (photos to follow) stripped it to the bone removed all the steel welded brackets cleaned up the fame and pained it.
reworked all the electrics and repositioned them, changed out the rear fender for a shorter lighter plastic one,
re done the rear light and indicators.
repositioned the forward foot pegs and levers to original position.
reworked the seat and tank mounts to fit a spare Gen 2 seat.
changed the oil and filter, and drained the coolant ready for radiator removal.
waiting for paint to harden before fitting lighter exhaust system.
had some issues with the dog bones (other thread) but think i have it sussed, will not know until the exhaust is fitted.
that's about it for now. apart from I've obtained a different set of lighter forks single front brake and gen 1 front wheel. may have to change the steering head and trees. if I cannot obtain sleeves for the one's fitted. (2mm larger than the new ones) but that can wait for now.
 

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How on earth did you ever get that past Transport Scotland?
 

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no idea what you mean please explain??, and I'm not in Nicky Knacky Nooland (Scotland).
English northern county.
Had just replied to a Scotchman in another forum. My bad. Then, did you have difficulty getting it legal? I thoiught the gov't was rather picky about mixing and matching bits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
they are But. as long as the parts are matched (IE foot pegs, exhausts) and there are no sticky out bits to cause injury, and provided it conforms to the relevant road legislation they have no choice but to pass it on the vehicle inspection.
so for example all the lights work as they should all the parts are the same (side to side) no play anywhere in anything,
no leaks, new tires, brake efficiency 90% front (75% for a pass) rear 48% (25% for a pass) it's good to go.

now they are bringing in a draft amendment so it is illegal not to use OEM parts when doing repairs (trying to stop cheap fake china parts) being used. but it not coming in until 2025. and then it will make no difference to the bike because (deep breath) all the parts ARE OEM just not from a EX500, :):)(y). and as normal with any new law, if a non OEM part has been used before 2025 you don't have to take it off as it was on when the law changed.
 
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