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Jim's Chopper Diary - Sweet Success!!!
July 2001 - Page 5

Finally the big day had come!  Andy from Boston came up and helped.  We fitted the exhaust pipes I got from Erie MC...a shorty set of 4-2 crossovers (thanks, Brian!)...and filled and bled the front brakes.  We poured in a little gas and tried to kick it over. It started on the third or fourth kick...mostly because we kept forgetting to turn on the kill switch and the it WOULD have started on the first kick (which makes a better story anyway), but didn't.

Damn, Brian, those pipes are LOUD!  But, the noise was like sweet, sweet music... appropriate for the chopper I think, though a bit loud if you're trying to sneak home after hours.  The idle was ragged, but that soon smoothed out a bit once we played with the idle set screw and the bike warmed up.

Then, near disaster -- or at least near minor disaster....the tank from Chris's old CB900 had numerous pinholes when I got it.  I filled them with epoxy resin and creamed the tank...but one of them sprung a leak and started dripping gas all over the left side of the bike.

We decided to at least ride up and down the street a few times, which we did.  There is actually enough ground clearance for cornering (not ample, but enough thank God) with the shorty pipes -- although speed bumps will still be a no no.

We each took an inaugural test ride -- a grand total of four blocks on the odometer -- before
pulling off the tank and draining the gas out.

After Andy left, I took my kids to KMart, where I found some 3M Liquid Metal metal repair epoxy compound, which is setting up as we speak.  I sanded the area around the pinhole and "set" it in a bit with a punch, and then filled the small ding with the miracle metal stuff.  It should hold fine.  There are some other pinholes that I know of which aren't now leaking, but I will probably go after them as well now, so as not to have surprises later.  I have to repaint the tank again anyway.

The last few days have been fun...installed the new Dyna coils and wires, installed the clutch plates, fitted new throttle and clutch cables (HD spec handlebar controls so I had to jury rig a bit), etc.

The most challenging was having to make my own wiring harness. When the horn worked and the lights lighted and the blinkers blinked and the points sparked, it was a good feeling.

Sure enough, today everything seemed to work fine except for a broken wire on the horn (where I clipped it by routing the brake line too tightly against the wiring harness... now fixed). 

In the end, my chop has parts from three different 750's, a CB900, a GS1000, an old FXWD (seat and fender), miscellaneous items from other bikes, and lots of hardware and auto store bits and pieces.  Given all that, it came out better than I had a right to expect, and it even looks pretty cool.

Thanks to all of you who have sent me encouragement and advice (and especially parts!).  The bike still needs it's tank back and to get a few more shakedown runs...but I expect to be "cruising" up and down Main Street and making coffee runs soon enough.  Being a hardtail, it's not the sort of bike I plan to ride to Americade or go for long rides in the mountains on -- it actually is not uncomfortable at all, but I'm guessing that the lack of rear suspension would get to me sooner or later.


    After pulling the carbs and trimming the HT leads, #1 cylinder still wasn't firing.  I put  a new plug in as a last resort, and it fired right up!  There was nothing apparently wrong with the other plug (I have a coffee can with about 50 plugs in it) but it didn't work even after cleaning it.  Moral is to use NEW plugs anytime you are "mechaniking" so you don't get confused...
    Rear brake light don't work...adjusted works.

    Clutch needs it later.

    Busted the steering stop on the aftermarket (homemade) lower triple on fixed (the important one), have to do the other.  Busted off an easy out in the screw hole...decided to abanon the hole altogether and drill a new one next to it...tool steel is HARD!  Dulls drill bits quickly.

    Horn used to work, doesn't now...?

    Biggest problem is that the bike seems to run lean.  I mistook the idle screws for fuel screws (like on my Honda Kehins), but they are air screws on the GS1000 carbs, and I was turning them the wrong way...blued my pipes in 4 minutes.  Now at about 3/4 turn out from all the way in, seem to like it there.

    Tank is getting it's second coat of fiberglass on the bottom to fix the pinholes.  I may just run it without repainting it for a while to make sure. I have already painted it out twice now... I don't need the practice.

Many Thanks To All of You Who 
Encouraged, Shared, Supported, and Advised!
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