Thursday, October 18, 2012

XS750 Restoration, part 4 -- Odds and Ends

I didn't get much work done on the Yamaha last night. It was kind of a busy evening, and I'm mostly at a stopping point until parts arrive. However, I still need to order replacement clutch and throttle cables. Motion Pro sells custom cables, but they need detailed specs, including length, cable free play, size, location and shape of all fittings, etc. According to their web site, drawings showing this information, in addition to a textual description, are requested.

Consequently, I spent most of the time measuring and drawing out representations of the clutch and throttle cables on graph paper. I'll post drawings here as soon as I have converted them to an electronic format.


This is the drawing and the dimensions of the clutch cable I need to fit the bike with the Clubman handlebars.

...and this is the drawing and dimension of the throttle cable for the bike with Clubmans.

After completing the drawings, I removed functional-but-...well...unaesthetic? :) ...rack from the rear of the bike, which kind of brought home a point that was obvious in hindsight, but that I hadn't really realized before: a motorcycle isn't just a collection of parts bolted together. It's a system of interworking, inter-related parts that work together to produce a functional whole. Well, yeah. Duh! However, when I started this project, I had a rather naive project plan that involved ripping and replacing parts as required to create the vision of the final product that I had in mind.

But it's not that simple.

Consider the rear rack, for example. In my mind, all I had to do was loosen the acorn nuts that hold the rack to the bolt that goes through the rear shocks, remove the mounting arms for the rack, then put the nuts back on the bolts so that the shocks don't fall off while riding. What I didn't consider is that the mounting flange on the arms of the rack is about an eight of an inch thick, and acorn nuts have a maximum depth to which they can be tightened on a bolt. After removing the rack, I had about a sixteenth of an inch between the acorn nut and the shock, meaning I either need to replace the acorn nuts with regular nuts that I can snug up against the shocks (maybe keeping the acorn nuts to lock the regular nuts in place?) or I need to buy some washers that I can use as spacers between the shocks and the acorn nuts.

Another example is replacing the handlebars. In my mind, all I had to do was remove the components from the old handlebars, remove the old handlebars themselves, install the Clubman handlebars, and reinstall the components on the new handlebars. However, the real world being far more complex than the simplistic model I had in my head, I found that the new, lower handlebars caused me to have too much loose clutch and throttle cable, so not only do I need to replace the handlebars as I originally intended, but I have to replace the clutch and throttle cables, too.

In my reading, I have also discovered that the pod air filters that I want to install will necessitate re-jetting the carburetors, since they flow more air. And so on, and so on. Every change to a component on the bike has implications for other components as well, because every component is related to every other component. Like I said, it's obvious in hindsight, but isn't something that had even occurred to me beforehand.


I knew this would be a learning process before I got started, and school is now in session :) That's a good thing. As I commented to a friend once, there is no point in embarking upon some process that is supposed to change you if you intend to come out of the process exactly the same as you went in. I imagine the process of rebuilding this neglected -- but seriously cool -- motorcycle into the vision I have is going to result in some changes us both. I can't wait to see how we both turn out!

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