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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:07 PM   #1
Wanderer
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If you have started or want to start building a project bike, what bike would it be?

I use my little Ninja 250 as a solid, daily riding, playing bike and I just LOVE it! It is a great bike.

But for some reason, that I sometimes regret, I also bought a 1991 Yamaha Virago XV750 V-Twin to rebuild and I am slowly getting it running again.

I paid $500 dollars for it on Craigslist. It had been sitting out in the desert weather, next to the owners house, unstarted for over 6 years! It was complete, undamaged and had no major mods, but straight drag handlebars added by the previous owner and the owner said that it was running good when it was last started. It has about 36K miles of the odometer.

I started by changing the oil, added new battery, squirted some Marvel Mystery Oil into each cylinder, checked compression and all looked pretty good. My major issues have been the weather damage, corroded connectors, dried out seals(brakes, forks, hoses), rust inside fuel tank. The carbs were completely gummed up and all jets were completely blocked. While rebuilding the carbs, I also decided to add a single carb manifold mod to the bike and to get rid of the twin Mikuni carbs.

I'm not trying to keep it stock or original. I am going for a cheap bobber style bike.

Anyway, I am getting closer and it has been running and idles well, but the single carb still needs more jetting/tuning work, but little by little it is getting there.

I'm happy with the bike model I chose for the project, but it has been a work of "love" and not really worth all of the hours I've invested in it. Would I do it again? Maybe not, but I do like the old bike so far.

So, what old bike are you rebuilding or would like to use as a project bike?
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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:16 PM   #2
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You speak of what tugs at my gut to build.

I wanna take your exact bike (Virago) and make a scrambler out of it.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:23 PM   #3
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My biggest and most time consuming task so far has been just cleaning every part. I have used quarts of WD-40 and parts cleaner. I've spent about $500 on parts, mods and upgrades so far.

Mods so far:

- As I mentioned, single carb intake manifold.
- Small single bobber style saddle seat.
- Bobbed rear fender.
- New custom LED tail light with built in turn signals.

Parts replaced:

- Oil filter cover(broken)
- Levers(broken)
- Battery
- Seals, electrical parts, cables, paint
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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:26 PM   #4
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I guess at this point I'd probably set up a 250 for the track. Nothing fancy that I'd be upset about crashing.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
You speak of what tugs at my gut to build.

I wanna take your exact bike (Virago) and make a scrambler out of it.
I was attracted to the V-Twin engine. Used for years by Yamaha. First V-Twin from Japan to try and compete with the U.S. Harley-Davidson market.

What makes this bike so nice is the possibilities as a custom bike that it offers.

One major problem with the bike is that Yamaha stuffed SO MUCH crap in between the two V-Twin cylinders! They have the two carbs in between the cylinders, the emission crap, the vacuum and fuel lines, air cleaner boots. It took me almost 4 hours to remove the carbs!!! I thought that getting the Ninja carbs out was tough with the Ninja big plastic air box! But with so much crap in between the cylinders, it was worse.

That is why I went with the single carb manifold mod that many Virago owners have gone to. Now there is almost nothing between the cylinders, but the steel manifold.

The Virago would be a great scrambler or street tracker build project. And they are CHEAP.

Thanks.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
I guess at this point I'd probably set up a 250 for the track. Nothing fancy that I'd be upset about crashing.
I would like to see a Ninja 250 engine in a custom street tracker frame. Use existing bars, forks, swing arm, engine, carbs.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:48 PM   #7
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Old May 31st, 2017, 01:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostt View Post
I'm wanted to do the Blue Collar Bobbers Cafe' racer conversation to a Ninjette.
Yeah, I watched the "Sonic Dad" YouTube video about that Cafe Racer kit.

Out of my price range though. And I couldn't live with myself just bolting on a kit that someone else sold me online.

But, the kit appears well done and the Ninja result looks great! Yeah, it would be very nice.

I really like the kit.

Last futzed with by Wanderer; May 31st, 2017 at 03:10 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
I guess at this point I'd probably set up a 250 for the track. Nothing fancy that I'd be upset about crashing.
I just love this Ninja 250 Street Tracker/Scrambler bike!!!
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File Type: jpg Ninja-250-Tracker-1.jpg (93.6 KB, 9 views)
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Old May 31st, 2017, 02:10 PM   #10
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I think Kawasaki could sell a lot of different versions of the 250. I don't understand why they're sticking to just one.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 03:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csmith12 View Post
You speak of what tugs at my gut to build.

I wanna take your exact bike (Virago) and make a scrambler out of it.
Do you like this Virago?

Note the single carb mod on this bike.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 03:54 PM   #12
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Not that you asked me, but that seat is one of the silliest things I've ever seen on a motorcycle.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 04:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
Not that you asked me, but that seat is one of the silliest things I've ever seen on a motorcycle.
Ha,ha. It would not be my choice either.

But, in my mind, this original Virago seat is worse. I prefer the small "bobber" seat in the second picture. Both are Viragos and look completely different.

But, each to his own.
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File Type: jpg Virago Seat.jpg (93.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Yamaha Virago Bobber.jpg (145.6 KB, 2 views)
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Old May 31st, 2017, 04:39 PM   #14
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I guess it depends on whether or not you plan to actually ride the thing. Yes, the one on the left is ugly, but I'd rather sit on that for 200 miles than a metal plate with some vinyl glued on.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 05:56 PM   #15
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Sounds familiar...I'll have to update my thread.

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This is moving along rather quickly!
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Yesterday I finished up the side covers and the second gen starting system.



I polished up the intake elbow covers:





Then I threw it together, taped up the subframe, poorly sprayed a coat of duplicolor peel wrap (super crappy Plastidip) to see if I want Orange, or the stock tank even.



After looking at it, I know I don't want the stock tank shape, but I have it, I like the upper shape. I'm thinking maybe some two tone might hide the curves I don't care for...



That's what I'm going to try to do!
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Old May 31st, 2017, 08:21 PM   #16
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I feel it, but prefer to have my seat have a bit of curve to it, but to each their own. I am diggin the direction of this thread.

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Old May 31st, 2017, 08:35 PM   #17
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Ooh baby I'm also in the Virago fan club. They're plentiful because they were in production for a long time, and also great bikes.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 10:43 PM   #18
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...

Interesting question. My initial thought was to get a 1986'ish Ninja 600 (it was my first street bike back in the day) be nice to have.

I have always wanted a Yamaha RD400 Daytona preferred-

And for some strange reason I really want to get an 80's Goldwing, strip it down and put knobbies on it.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 10:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Ooh baby I'm also in the Virago fan club. They're plentiful because they were in production for a long time, and also great bikes.
I agree. That is one of the reasons that I love the Pregen Ninjas. They have been around for years. Same with the Viragos. And the XV500s, XV750s and the XV1100s all use many of the same parts. So, there are a lot of parts still around and lots of Craigslist bikes for very little money.

The bike is solid, reasonably light weight for it's engine size. Air cooled which I like.

Overall, a great project bike. Just like the little Pregen Ninjas.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 10:20 AM   #20
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I will admit to you all though, the Virago forum is not even close to the help and the people that I have met around here. I LOVE this place!

Thank you all for letting me talk about my Virago bike also.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 10:22 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by verboten1 View Post
Sounds familiar...I'll have to update my thread.
Great project bike!

Hey, where did you get your Cafe Racer seat frame piece?

Very nice bike. '81-'83 Virago, right?
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Old June 1st, 2017, 10:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Ha,ha. It would not be my choice either.

But, in my mind, this original Virago seat is worse. I prefer the small "bobber" seat in the second picture. Both are Viragos and look completely different.

But, each to his own.
My project Virago is modelled and looks a lot like the gold bike above, but mine is still a little less refined(*grin) yet.

I will stay with the "bobber"/cruiser style for now, but I would later like to rebuild it into a street tracker/scrambler style bike. It truth, it will never really be a done project.

I leave my little Ninja alone and just ride it. I like it the way it is for now.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 10:42 AM   #23
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I always wanted to have an older Triumph 500 project bike, but it has so many things against it in my view:

- Cost - Way too expensive compared to older Japanese bikes.
- Triumphs are too trendy and fad bikes with the wealthy.
- Not as reliable and solid as Japanese bikes.
- Not as many made as the Japanese bikes.

So overall, for a cheap, solid, plentiful, reliable and customizable project bike. Japanese bikes just can't be beat. Like the 1970s Honda CB750. But even those have gotten too popular in the last few years.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:10 AM   #24
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The "dream project" I've had in my mind for a while now is a 250cc 2-stroke in an aluminum frame with inverted forks and race-spec components and handling. 250 pounds wet and around 50 HP.

Maybe a Ducati 916 upper fairing and tail and no lowers to show off the engine.

It's not easy coming up with a frame though. It needs to be reasonably small and be able to be registered as a street bike.

I like supermotos, but that's not what I envision this as.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:17 AM   #25
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Quote:
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The "dream project" I've had in my mind for a while now is a 250cc 2-stroke in an aluminum frame with inverted forks and race-spec components and handling. 250 pounds wet and around 50 HP.

Maybe a Ducati 916 upper fairing and tail and no lowers to show off the engine.

It's not easy coming up with a frame though. It needs to be reasonably small and be able to be registered as a street bike.

I like supermotos, but that's not what I envision this as.
That would be a nice project.

I would suggest that you look at some of the '70s-80s 2-stroke motocross frames and engine from a Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki for a project like this. You can find a engine/frame like this for almost nothing because old dirt bikes are almost everywhere.

An old dirt bike like this is easy to customize and to find parts for.

Register it as a custom built motorcycle, not as a dirt bike.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:22 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
That would be a nice project.

I would suggest that you look at some of the '70s-80s 2-stroke motocross frames and engine from a Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki for a project like this. You can find a engine/frame like this for almost nothing because old dirt bikes are almost everywhere.

An old dirt bike like this is easy to customize and to find parts for.

Register it as a custom built motorcycle, not as a dirt bike.
I like the idea of using a dirt bike engine and frame, probably newer though, but in WI I'm pretty sure I would not be able to register and plate it.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:31 AM   #27
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I like the idea of using a dirt bike engine and frame, probably newer though, but in WI I'm pretty sure I would not be able to register and plate it.
I don't know much about registering custom built vehicles, but there must be a way to register completely hand built motorcycles, like Harley hand built customs. I would remove(grind off) any place on the motocross frame or engine that labelled it as an "off-road" bike and that you built the custom frame/bike from scratch.

How do people register and title custom built vehicles? In fact, I would like to consider doing this myself.

Anyone here know???
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:41 AM   #28
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I found this on a custom chopper website"


http://www.choppersurplus.com/global...builtbike.html

=======================================

Registering A Custom-Built Motorcycle


By Jason Van Wyhe

One of the most common questions we receive is:
"If I buy a frame or rolling chassis, how do I title it?"

There is no easy answer to this. Each state has different regulations, and you should check with your state's DMV for the procedure you need to follow. But here are the most common procedures:

Technical Requirements
This varies, but most states require: headlight with low/high beam, horn, left-side mirror, fenders, and turn signals. Some states are sticklers on loud pipes, others will let you slide. It wouldn't hurt to have a set of baffles in your pipes just in case. Same goes for handlebar height - some states have exact measurements from the seat to the top of the bars that must be adhered to, while other may use simple regulations such as "shoulder height", or none at all. Other than that, it just needs to be "road worthy."

Paperwork

You will need to have an MSO (Manufacturers Statement of Origin) for your motor, transmission, and frame. You will also need receipts for the other parts you used. If you haven't paid sales tax on your parts up to this point, this is where they nail you for that.

Also, you may have heard about the EPA regulations regarding custom-built bikes. Without going into a lot of detail on this, these laws are directed primarily at professional builders. A home-based builder is allowed one personal exemption in their life, and they must keep the bike 5 years. However, there are ways around this. You can register the bike in a family member's name, or even easier, just use an EPA approved motor (which almost all manufacturers offer for nearly the same price as their regular motors). One final note, most states not named California are not currently enforcing these regulations due to lack of funding. I'm sure this will change in the future, however.

Inspection
In most states, inspection is done by a DMV employee or a member of the state patrol/police. The knowledge of inspectors varies wildly from state to state, even county to county. Some will have staff dedicated for this purpose, other inspectors will have little or no knowledge. Be prepared to answer their questions, make sure everything works, and most important, have your paperwork in order.

After inspection, you will either receive a title, or paperwork that will allow you to get a title.

Insurance

Insuring a custom-built bike can be tricky, so do a little research before you begin. Some frames and rolling chassis are easy to title. A frame from Santee, for instance, will go through with little or no trouble with big companies like progressive. A home built frame, however, may be impossible to title in your state. So do a litte research before you begin building.

That's about all there is to it. If we've missed something or you have state-specific regulations, please share them with us and we will add them to the bottom of this article for everyone's benefit.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 11:58 AM   #29
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Hey guys, I just found this!!! Check out this web page!!!!

http://motorcycle-manufacturer-licen...otorcycles.htm
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Old June 1st, 2017, 01:42 PM   #30
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Two-strokes are outlawed in CA, so you can find old dirt-bikes for ... dirt-cheap!!!

I want to build a RS250 or NSR250 with direct-injection and turbo for racing! Something around 200bhp and 275-lbs wet. That should be a lot of fun!!!
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Old June 1st, 2017, 02:55 PM   #31
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Two-strokes are outlawed in CA...
That's not really accurate. I know lots of guys who legally ride old Kawasaki triples that are registered in CA. I think the problem is bringing them into the state, but I'd want to research it before I claimed that's true.
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Old June 1st, 2017, 06:10 PM   #32
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My first bike and had to immediately do some work which only made me love her more.
'01 250r
Now no one wants to put money into a 250 especially an '01. But I bought this for $250. Needdd carbs worked on just taken apart and cleaned etc. Needed an ignition. That's the internal. So I'm $500 in. You can see the dent in the gas tank. Bike got laid down and the chicks helmet made the dent. You know what I still to have yet address the dent because it doesn't bother me. I was able to get and ride my first bike for $500. I love this bike with a passion. When I upgrade in CC's then I'll know the feeling of something brand new and flawless
I would like to purchase some fairings though even though I like the naked look to be honest.
Cheers guys
Don't know why it won't show pics



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Old June 1st, 2017, 07:21 PM   #33
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That's not really accurate. I know lots of guys who legally ride old Kawasaki triples that are registered in CA. I think the problem is bringing them into the state, but I'd want to research it before I claimed that's true.
For the record, I tried to TU this post but on mobile it TD somehow instead. It won't let me change it for some reason...
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Old June 1st, 2017, 09:15 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Great project bike!

Hey, where did you get your Cafe Racer seat frame piece?

Very nice bike. '81-'83 Virago, right?
It's an '82 920 with '84 1000 starting system '86 turbo Seca wheels, and R6 brakes. I forget what the forks came from.

The subframe came from Australia.
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 12:27 AM   #35
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MOTY - 2018, MOTM - Nov '17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
That's not really accurate. I know lots of guys who legally ride old Kawasaki triples that are registered in CA. I think the problem is bringing them into the state, but I'd want to research it before I claimed that's true.
Sorry, I meant 2-stroke dirt-bikes on public parks.

http://www.bikersrights.com/states/c...a/2stroke.html
http://dirtbike.off-road.com/dirtbik...ated-9909.html
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 07:03 AM   #36
Triple Jim
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Originally Posted by CynicalC View Post
For the record, I tried to TU this post but on mobile it TD somehow instead. It won't let me change it for some reason...
Ha, I didn't think my post was that bad.
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Old June 2nd, 2017, 02:50 PM   #37
Triple Jim
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Name: Jim
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OK, you're even now.
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Old June 4th, 2017, 02:17 PM   #38
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If I had the cash for a project, I'd pick up a Z1300 or an old late model CBR250RR


or a 2 stroke of some sort
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