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View Full Version : Just wondering, easiest metric to chop/find shit for



REV
01-19-2010, 3:05 PM
i know this is a broad statement, but hey, just wondering about opinions. if you were to buy an old jap bike and cut it up, is there a "best" one to do? and like the small block chevy, is there any particular bike that you can find shit for no matter what?

criteria for chopability is working with what the bike came with originally. i can go grab a frame and toss just about any metric motor in it, but is there a bike you can take all the b.s. off, cut some shit off and have a pretty decent bike? i know some things would have to be changed, but hopefully small stuff (seat, headlight) not huge (frame, wheels etc)

thanks!

bigdaddy
01-19-2010, 3:36 PM
well, i hate the old "three backbone" kaw models. my rd350 has the same setup. i wish they had a single backbone. i know that you can just modify the frame, but you said that you wanted something simple. maybe that's why a lot of guys are using the xs models? i see all kinds of stuff for those things for sale. if you did want to get a little more ambitious, there are lots of aftermarket frames already available which means that you don't have to cut and piece together your own...unless you like to do that kind of thing. it certainly is bad ass when you build a one off frame for your bike. a lot of the frames have a similar style or design in my opinion. i think the smaller cc models had smaller tanks, and that makes the bike look a lot better. i hate those huge tanks.

REV
01-19-2010, 4:08 PM
my new apartment complex is wanting to give me an abandoned kaw, but im not too sure. i have all the paper work and can get it legal, but i dont know how bad it is. i know its been leaking oil, probably gas from the smell, and theres a trash bag over the carbs where the air box should be.

with whatever i get, i want to keep it mostly original (frame, motor). i dont care if i hard tail it or keep the springs, but id be doing this on a budget and buying a whole frame is a little out there, especially with titling and money in the end.

i figure with whatever i end up getting, a new gas tank, headlight bars and seat are the biggest things ill have to change. do some rewiring and frame mods, rework a little on the exhaust and go from there. take "X" bike, add those components and i should hopefully be close to a ridable bike.

revmike
01-19-2010, 4:18 PM
BY metric are (we) really saying Japanese? because the Euro stuff is metric too of course. But for cheap, readily available and more forgiving, Japanese is pretty much where it is at.

I don't think there is a significant difference for ease and availability between Kawi, Yamaha and Honda....

the XS 650s are probably the most supported vintage metric right now, due to the popularity of the bikes to work with. I don't know that they are any easier to work with than anything else, but there is a wealth of info floating everywhere and parts are pretty easy to find, even big bore kits. For instance, my wife took apart her XS Sunday and the internal oil filter and sump filter were pretty much shot. She ordered new replacements that night for 18 bucks total.

There are still people riding the original CBs and XS bikes so repair stuff is still pretty easy to find. Hardtail kits and rigid frames are pretty easy to find, although again, the XS is the metric bike d' jour.

A lot of the Japanese stuff can be made to fit other makes and models. And within makes a lot of stuff is close, similar or the same.

There isn't the huge vintage aftermarket, as there is for Harley, but there is a pretty big after/used market out there. And basic parts for the older Jap bikes are almost free compared to Harley shit.... for instance, I bought a nice CB750 crankcase, cylinders and head for less than 100 bucks. And in good, useable condition. And of course running (?) donor bikes can still be had for 500 to 1500 bucks...

~Rev Mike

HWC
01-19-2010, 4:23 PM
my .02
any FREE bike is a "best" bike to chop,,,

revmike
01-19-2010, 4:25 PM
my new apartment complex is wanting to give me an abandoned kaw, but im not too sure. i have all the paper work and can get it legal, but i dont know how bad it is. i know its been leaking oil, probably gas from the smell, and theres a trash bag over the carbs where the air box should be.

with whatever i get, i want to keep it mostly original (frame, motor). i dont care if i hard tail it or keep the springs, but id be doing this on a budget and buying a whole frame is a little out there, especially with titling and money in the end.

i figure with whatever i end up getting, a new gas tank, headlight bars and seat are the biggest things ill have to change. do some rewiring and frame mods, rework a little on the exhaust and go from there. take "X" bike, add those components and i should hopefully be close to a ridable bike.
At some point you have to crack the engine and tranny. New engine parts cost pretty much the same for most bikes. New Old Stock stuff may be found for a good deal. Labor on a 50 year old Honda costs the same per hour as on a new Nightrider... unless of course they feel sorry for you because you obviously can't afford a nice bike (LOL). So there will always be some engine expense. I would say if you were 'given' a bike, my advice would be to plan to put the money you WOULD have spent on the bike into the engine/trans. And still figure all those other costs.

But that is just a ball park that I made up.... take it for what little it is worth... ;)

~Rev Mike

REV
01-19-2010, 6:34 PM
rev im not thinking really about this bike necessaryly, but it did get me thinking about all the guys that hack up 80s jap bikes and make some killer shit (slim, this means you too) out of basically crap. ive been looking into them from time to time, and if i get the kawi i may just part out whats on it so i can fund something. id hopefully put my money into something that already runs and is somewhat stable

DuaneBallard
01-19-2010, 7:25 PM
Cb750.

philbey
01-19-2010, 9:15 PM
Yeh either a CB750 or XS650 would be the go.

They built a shitload of them, for a long time. They were both pretty reliable and went well. As far as replacement parts etc there's lots of new repro stuff out there, stuff like Mikesxs.com etc. ANd there's loads of knowledge on them.

Punkskalar
01-19-2010, 9:30 PM
I would "almost" nix the XS650, due to rising costs... Just 2 years ago they were getting harder to find at a super cheap price, and now a running one seems to be bringing 1K or so. I know the deals are out there, but its just like a 1K sportster, they CAN be found, but not everyday. Im waiting for the XS650 to be the next cool "Barnfind" for stupidly high money :)

CB series Hondas are still super cheap, with a good aftermarket history and support. KZ Series Kawasaki's are gaining in popularity as well.

Anything smaller than 600CC still stays on the cheap, but aftermarket parts are not as readily available.

Jashole
01-19-2010, 10:04 PM
honda CB's or KAWAI's

Gene
01-20-2010, 5:39 AM
I would "almost" nix the XS650, due to rising costs... Just 2 years ago they were getting harder to find at a super cheap price, and now a running one seems to be bringing 1K or so. I know the deals are out there, but its just like a 1K sportster, they CAN be found, but not everyday. Im waiting for the XS650 to be the next cool "Barnfind" for stupidly high money :)

CB series Hondas are still super cheap, with a good aftermarket history and support. KZ Series Kawasaki's are gaining in popularity as well.

Anything smaller than 600CC still stays on the cheap, but aftermarket parts are not as readily available.

there's a lot of truth in this, imho.

The most cost effective approach is to troll craigslist and keep your cash ready. Cheap stuff comes up and you need to jump on it.

billybiltit
01-20-2010, 8:10 AM
start lookin at the engines of the bikes you think are the coolest and go from there.on these little stripped down bikes the engine is the focal point and some are more appealing than others.i really dig the inline four kawis and hondas,but prefer a sohc honda to a dohc honda strictly on style points.the dohc engines are arguably "better"but they don't have the cool look.
the three back boned frames do suck for chopping.but they leave a lot open for you to show how creative you can be,and maybe expand your people skills and get out and meet some folks who can do the things you can't.sometimes i like doing weird shit just because it gets me outta my normal groove and takes me on a lil sidetrack to some cool shit i would have missed with my blinders on.

leon

p.s. yamah sr's seem to be abundant and cheap if ya' dig thumpers.

philbey
01-20-2010, 7:09 PM
yeh punkskalar, I sit here in Aus where a running XS is 3k-4k at least and watch you guys regularly posting up <1000 buck finds that are running and think; you guys don't know the meaning of rising costs! A 30 year old sporty for 5k over here is cheap!

I will agree though that it is getting harder, I've been watching for ~3 years and the availability of xs's is defintely drying up.

As for KZs (Z's over here) I never see any, CB's are reasonably plentiful but in the smaller stuff.

Punkskalar
01-20-2010, 7:17 PM
Yeah, Im sitting on a few XS's in various states of disrepair. Looking to go buy another in the next few days, $200 with Title, kicks over, won't fire. Thats a rarity...

philbey
01-21-2010, 1:35 AM
Yeh I'm getting a stash too, but everything I can find is 1000-1500 aus (about the same) for a bunch of boxes....

bdbecker
01-21-2010, 5:02 PM
The Suzuki GS 450, 550, and 750 all have pretty neat looking motors, and I've seen some solid chops done with these bikes. Kingbird Motoring has a sweet step by step of a GS 550: http://kingbirdmotoring.com/GS550/index.html

Otherwise, the Suzuki Intruder is a great bike that requires only minimal modification to clean up - probably not good for a full on chopper though. Check out this guy: http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewAlbums&friendID=484430853

I've been helping my buddy with his '95 VS800 the last few days, and we've some solid progress. I should probably be taking pictures and posting here... ah hell, I'll get him to start an account so he can post it himself.

BillySlicks
01-25-2010, 6:03 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rxAlTUpEHU0/SmYgB5gfhKI/AAAAAAAAAnE/pVDjix1xfuw/s1600-h/IMG_2376.JPG

Kawi's are good and cheap. They are less popular than the CBs or XS, and not all of the frames have a 3 splined backbone. I built this 440 last year to rip around on, came in under 1500 total. And it was put together from nothing. I had a frame, and a front end. And the chunk of the money was on the rear wheel....like 700 of it.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rxAlTUpEHU0/SmYgB5gfhKI/AAAAAAAAAnE/pVDjix1xfuw/s1600-h/IMG_2376.JPG

REV
01-25-2010, 8:51 PM
ok guys, heres what im thinking:

im a big guy, so maybe not a 450..lol. altho i did ride a gz250 chop for a year or so...

anywho, id like to do it simple. decent size tank (but not huge) and sissy bar for traveling, would either no fender in front or a tiny one for rain and to set shit on. if no front fender, then a fork brace, if for nothing more than a place to strap shit.

spoke wheels if possible or maybe some pentagram wheels (saw someone with those...love em) but really whatever since i dont care about that too much so long as it rolls straight,

hardtail, shock seat (durability and dampening) kick only with some kinda tool box. ive seen a few bikes that have a huge open space behind the engine where the oil bag/airbox would normally be, so if i can get that same thing id like to have some kind of small container, maybe a converted oil tank or something. keep paperwork in, plugs etc.

no rear seat, half a rear fender, modest rake if possible. i like the look of the bikes with the knarley knoby tires that look off a dirtbike, and i do go off road so maybe those if i can.

mid controls with whatever bars fit the seating position. dual round headlights (over/under)

ive seen a few hondamatics for sale cheap, thought about chopping one of those for fun. anyone ever do a shaftdrive chop by chance?

thanks guys!

BillySlicks
01-26-2010, 2:51 PM
Most BMW chops I've seen have remained shaft drive, I've also seen a couple XS750s that have been chopped and they were shaft drive as well.
I think the only thing to keep in mind with that is when or if you stretch the rear section you have more to worry about than just lengthening your chain.

The whole shaft drive assembly has to be taken into consideration. Sticking with a chain may keep your life a little simpler. Although anything can be worked around with the right amount of time and know how.....

BillySlicks
01-26-2010, 2:52 PM
Most BMW chops I've seen have remained shaft drive, I've also seen a couple XS750s that have been chopped and they were shaft drive as well.
I think the only thing to keep in mind with that is when or if you stretch the rear section you have more to worry about than just lengthening your chain.

The whole shaft drive assembly has to be taken into consideration. Sticking with a chain may keep your life a little simpler. Although anything can be worked around with the right amount of time and know how.....

REV
01-26-2010, 9:24 PM
i was just wondering about the shaftys, since i never thought about the length of the arm. make sence tho, my old xj750 was a beast (only bike i ever wrecked. twice.) and was shaft driven. i liked wheelies in 3rd, but fuck that thing sucked so much.

Punkskalar
01-26-2010, 9:32 PM
Shafts can be lengthened easy enough. If you aren't comfortable doing it yourself, take it to a driveshaft shop...

REV
01-26-2010, 9:49 PM
not really something im worried about, just figured id ask since ive seen scant few shaftys. i almost miss my xj. not so much, but kinda.

this is the bike i actually miss. should never sold it.

ps, pardon the ugly drunk chick and the shorts guy. she was planed, he was not, lol

REV
01-27-2010, 12:57 AM
ok, opinions wanted please!

im thinking cb750, tcbros hard tail (maybe see if they can make a slightly longer one, would that be an issue besides chain length?) and different headlights. chop off whats not needed (airbox, battery if possible (?) signals etc) and do either a half or 3/4 rear fender.

any tips or tricks, suggestions?

Drake93
07-19-2010, 1:39 PM
The CB is a solid choice. There's a few weld-on hardtails out there for them, as well as whole frames, new or vintage. A search of EBay might turn up a Amen Savior Softail frame, that's instant honda-cool-guy status. Just what you like as far as that goes. And no, aside from chain length, stretching the rear section shouldn't hurt anything, so go for it.

bforbes
07-21-2010, 11:32 AM
courtesy of knucklebusters blog:

asian:
cost: low
parts: moderate/hard to find
asian bikes do not a ďtraditionalĒ bobber make. though the early honda cb750ís were readily chopped in the 70ís and their overhead cam engines were revered for their power. asian bikes are plentiful, cheap fast and pretty reliable. people are known to give them away just to get them out of their garages. itís not hard to accumulate a pile of parts bikes for short money to complete your build. the two most popular choices for customizing are the honda cb750 and the yamaha xs650. the cb line extends down through many choppable bikes particularly the 650, 500 and 350 cc models. the xs650ís are popular because not only do they seem to have a strong aftermarket, but also because they bear an uncanny resemblance to the british twins that faded out in the same era. aftermarket frames and hardtails exist for both models are are easy to find. OEM parts for both bikes are fairly easy to find as well. other models of asian bikes (there are MANY) arenít as easy to customize, but with enough resources you can chop anything really. one consideration to make is that these overhead cam engines arenít as easy to work on or tune, especially the quad-carb cb750s. if youíre a beginner to engine work, this might be a heavy start for you. parts are also an issue here which is surprising given the quantity of these bikes that were made. they were, and still are the best selling bikes in history. the plus side is that there are many in junk yards and garages everywhere.

branded
11-21-2010, 3:35 AM
http://www.cyclexchange.net has cool shit for cb750s

teamisaac
11-21-2010, 9:47 AM
i would spend some time asking around, stop by junk yards and talk to local riders. You might be suprised at what you find. I found a guy close to me who parts out metric bikes and I got an XS650 frame with a tittle for $40 and a running bike without a tittle for $200. I might have just got lucky, But if you put some time in to it you might just get lucky too.