View Full Version : First bob - 06 V star 650 build

04-04-2017, 7:46 AM
I wanted to post this up because well, im new and I like feedback! When I started researching this project, Chopcult came up time and time again, I have got TONS of info and ideas from here, and wanted to jump in~ I am a 15+ year motorcycle rider, and this is my first ever 'cruiser'. I have always been a fan of bobber style bikes, but never thought about buying one until this year. I got the itch to ride a bit and this is the first cruiser I have ever bought. I rebuilt an old beatnup triumph into a street fighter a few years ago, and decided I wanted to build something again. So, I decided Im gonna bob the crap out of this thing~ I purchased this bike about 2 weeks ago and proceeded to start pulling it apart. This post was mostly copied verbatim from another non-motorcycle forum I am on, so I explained some things that chopcult guys may already know, please forgive! Will update as I progress!

Bone Stock



Started tearing the bike down


and more


If you like closely between at the above and below pics, you can see all of the progress I made.



Besides the obvious things like removing all of the bodywork/signals/bits/bobs to get to everything;

I had to custom make a shim in order to mount my LED tail light/license plate bracket. The bracket itself had to modified to fit a Missouri plate, then the shim made (with a ton of testing) in order to mount it on the main frame of the bike. Its actually made to mount on the swingarm, but I both didn't like it so low, and I didn't want to have to deal with the wiring moving up and down etc. I wired the tail light using the old wiring harness, even using the old rear harness spliced into the new tail light, it runs across the bike underneath the shock and the wire runs through the storage box so it is protected and isn't altered from the factory save for the rear harness.

Also may be hard to notice but I did what they call the 'julio slam'. This bike being a monoshock w/swingarm, I took the bolt from its stock mounting position, and drilled the frame out an inch forward so that the shock mounts 1 inch farther forward, which changes the geometry of the rear of the bike, in effect lowering it approximately 4 inches. To go with that, the shock is very close or ON the harness in the frame there, so I custom made a little bracket to cover it out of an old SSD drive bay.

If you look at the top pics over the bottom one, you can also notice the bike is now missing a set of chrome tubes that ran lengthwise under the left side cylinders. This was the AIS emissions system, which was a PITA to remove, between using a Dremel to cut the heads off of screws, to getting the bearing elbows that are mounted TO the engine block out. I know a lot of people have trouble with the rear elbow, I was able to get it out using an old broken 3/8 socket drive. Basically a handle with a circle at the end, which I was able to hook over the elbow, then put a vice grip on it, laid it inside the storage box and knocked it out with a rubber hammer Not only does it clean up the entire bike, get rid of the crap emissions (that do nothing once you switch to aftermarket pipes anyways) but I get to plug the holes in the engine block with these~

I am waiting on a few parts yet, but plans are as goes;

Clip ons instead of handlebars, plus all new aluminum, shorty clutch and brake levers. I ordered 2 inch billet fork extensions, that will be mounted above the triple tree. I am going use them to mount a pair of 41mm clip ons, with a 1 inch rise. Think sport bike bars, but because they will sit above the triple tree, and have the riser, they will look as badass and have a more comfortable riding position. Clip ons are here, just waiting on the fork tubes, and some tubing I bought that I am going to use to make shims from to mount the 1 inch controls on the 7/8th clip ons.

The all powerful BOBBER SPRINGER SEAT. You know the one, that every bobber has. Yea, so sue me, they look badass, and I am in no way qualified to fabricate a custom one, so I bought one from bobbercycle.com. Hardware is here, seat itself is in transit.

Stealth air intake and jet kit. If you look at the stock pics, you can see on the right side the big circle thing. That's the air cleaner, which actually runs up into an induction system underneath the gas tank, before running down into the carbs. Well, **** all that noise, that things coming off, and on top will go a couple of pod filters and a crank case breather, completely hidden under the tank, and cleaning up the right side of the bike. With that will go a matching re-jet/carb sync.

One-off exhaust fabricated by norm at Midmomc (http://midmomc.com). Super nice guy, and if you check out the site, you can see why hes received a ton of attention in the custom bike world for many builds over the years. I have given him some ideas, and going to let him have a little creative license on the exhaust. I just directed it be short, loud, and look sick~ At the same time, he will install the jet kit, because after looking into it, im just not comfortable trying to play with carbs.

I also have an idea on how to take the stock risers out of the triple tree, and wire up the stock kill switch/starter inside of those holes, though I will have to get them out and do some thinking on exactly how I want that to work.

Cosmetics. May do a rear bobbed fender at some point. Tank, side covers will have to be painted. Will likely move on to the bottom of the forks, the triple trees, and the plastic chrome type covers on the back part of the motor, and maybe even the plastic chrome cap on the cylinders. I am also going to eventually get rid of the big mountain of a silver speedo, and custom fabricate a cell phone mount, and use a speedo/tach/hud app as well as have it all wired to charge the phone while riding.

All the work was done so far in a Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I figure 2 more good days in the shop , plus a couple days with Norm will get everything done but the cosmetics~

Final result will be something like this; though I think I can make mine look a little 'cleaner' with the plans I have, such as no side air intake, no tank topper speedo etc.




04-11-2017, 11:10 AM
How does it ride?

06-01-2017, 7:00 PM
Then? Like shit. Now? MUCH BETTER~

I kind of abandoned this thread right at the beginning, but was posting in another forum. I am going to copy my posts over and see how you guys like it, I think there is a wealth of knowledge here and my google searches for ideas and how to keep bringing me back.

Some of the posts may omit some info I may have talked about in replies, but all my build pics etc are there.

06-01-2017, 7:01 PM
Some updates! Most of my 'base' parts have arrived and I couldn't keep hands off after work tonight, so started putting the bike controls together.

So I talked before about shimming the 1 inch controls to fit the 7/8th clip on I ordered. After putting in a bunch of work to figure out how to correctly shim them (pro tip, cut em lengthwise after you have them cut to fit your length~) I used 7/8th ID 1 inch OD plastic tubing from Amazon that they use for lab tubing. I got a 3 foot section for about 4 bucks shipped. You can visualize how I made them shims from the pic below. I DID have to work my ass off with dremel tool and hand sanding the right clip on, as with the shims it was so tight the throttle wouldn't bounce back. That took A LOT of elbow grease, actually a whole afternoon worth as I dont have all the right tools~ I also have a 7/8th throttle on the way that I think is really going to match the bike, and at that time I am going to move/rewire the start and kill switch to be off of the bars.


My 2 inch extensions showed, I was able to re-use the seals, and they fit perfectly. They screw right into the top of the forks, and an allen wrench with a breaker bar I was able to get them snug as they dont really have another way that I saw besides sticking something in those holes to screw them in~


After installation it was easy as letting loose the allen bolts on the forks and sliding the forks down an inch, as my clip ons will sit above the triple tree to give some clearance. A 1 inch fork length increase supposedly goes half ride height, and half to rake, but im not 100% sure about that. You can see the difference as marked bye the dirt line where the stock triple trees sat.


Also did a little paint work over the weekend on the plastichrome driveshaft coupling cover to see how I liked it. VHT high heat engine gloss with high heat matte clearcoat over top.


After getting the clip ons and controls on I am done for the night, but decided to do some mock up since I am getting close to the bike being 'ridable' though there is tons left to do. You can see in the pics that one clip on is more angled than the other, they arent tightened down yet and I was testing clearance between the tank and bars depending on where they sit. They definitely cant be as aggressive as I would like without losing some major turn radius and touching the tank, but im tall enough to make them work regardless of how angled (or not) I end up with them. I already prefer the seated position with these clip ons as opposed to both the stock bars, and the drag bars I have. Again this is mock up, but I really like the way the seat looks on the frame, rather than with the spring seat part installed, and am mulling over which way I want to end up.



And my favorite angle~


There are no pics from the right side of the bike, as it still pretty much looks stock. I have lots of little bits and bobs coming, need to shore up a few of the things I have done already and decide how I want the bars to sit etc, but I feel like I am doing something pretty cool here with my limited skillset (and tool set~)

Will update again as I get more done!

06-01-2017, 7:03 PM
Welp, finished up some more stuff, and got the bike ridable again. Still have a LONG way to go, especially cosmetically, along with the entire exhaust side of the bike, still going to be going to a stealth air kit and custom pipes..

Got the seat installed, though, I have decided I don't like the height on the spring seat ,and I am going to have to come up with a way to rigid mount the seat, I would like to use the mounting plate I have for the spring seat, but I am going to have to take it back apart and think about how I make that happen.

Got the stock risers out of the bars, and got the bars ALMOST to my liking. I have new 7/8th throttle coming, so I am going to have to work towards a solution where I take the kill switch and starter off of the bars, and relocate them somewhere else on the bike. At the same time, I am going to do the same thing on the left side controls as well, and relocate the light switch and horn while elimnating the blinker switch.

Stuck all the plastics back on for now and will ride it as such for a few days, while I wait for a slot to open up with midmomc~

Gratuitous 'ridable' shots




06-01-2017, 7:04 PM
So after weeks of raininfg, the beautiful weather lit a bit of a fire under my butt and I continued tidying up the bike.

Replaced the clutch and break levers with something more fitting for the style I am going for, and got more functionality out of them.



A comparison side by side of brake lever off of the bike;




Feels a ton better now as since I have a somewhat awkward riding position and now I dont have to stretch my fingers to grab the levers, I can just work them naturally. And yes, I did ultimately clean up the throttle cable tubes so they arent mangled and criss crossed.

06-01-2017, 7:05 PM
I said in a previous post, I wanted to do a rigid seat set up, but because of the height and look of the seat I had, the way the bike is put together, the baseplate etc, it just wasnt possible without having the seat at an awkward angle pointing almost straight up.

So, I wracked my brain a little bit and came up with this;


So if you can imagine the La Rosa seat, it has two posts coming out the back at an angle and this serves as the spring perch. I ended up taking a set of poly sway bar mounts that I never put on my TA and turning them into 'feet' for the seat. I had to encase each post/screw with a piece of rubber from one of the emissions hoses I took out earlier, and then finagle the bushing onto it, and pound them on with a rubber mallet. They fit amazingly and work askind of a rubber foot that sits on the base plate. Up front I actually took the base plate off and mounted the L bracket underneath to bring the front seat height down about a half inch, and it works as a single mounting point/hinge for the seat. The rubber feet do not move when weight is put on them, and it looks 10x better and gives my back around 2 inches more of straight up and down room, plus those springs where hard as a rock, so the poly bushings are as good.

The result;


And compared to the springer seat 'as came in kit';




I also cant decide If I want to run with the left side driveshaft cover or not so.. obligatory beautiful day photo right before I put a couple hundred miles on her today.


Will tinker some more but really waiting for my fabricator to free up for the next major update, which will be a huge overhaul to the right side of the bike with one off exhaust, new air cleaner setup etc.

06-01-2017, 7:05 PM
Right side overhaul complete! This included a one-off hand built exhaust, a rebuild and jet of the carbs, and the installation of a Barons stealth air kit~

Starting with come comparison, this is the day I brought er home. Notice the huge stock pipes, and the large air cleaner that pokes out from the right side, this leads into a plastic intake that goes up under the tank and down into the carb mouth.

I haven't got any other shots of the right side after the bike had been built down, because that's how much I hated looking at the right side of the bike! Just imagine an almost naked bike with those hideous pipes hanging off of it and a big tumor in between the cylinders~



And we cant forget idle footage~


I am extremely happy with the way the bike sounds and especially RIDES. I really feel like it has a little bit of balls now, and I actually have confidence that I can pass someone without such slow acceleration! Of course there is no way to know what kind of power/tq got picked up with opening up the intake, carbs, and exhaust all together like that, but I like to tell myself it grabbed 6 hp (source: total uneducated guess) or so, which would be a big boost in a bike that makes about 40 from the factory. Its very noticeable though, and I am getting to be very happy with this bike.


06-01-2017, 7:09 PM
Got a little more accomplished today as I am starting down the road of stage 2, cosmetic enhancements.

Started off the day by getting my whitewalls installed. Shinko 777s and MAN do they feel good! More on that later.


notice in the above pic you get a great view of my seat mounting hardware as of this morning. If you have been following this thread a few posts back you know I rigged this up because I didn't like the way the 3 inch beehive springs looked. After quite a few miles and a looooong achy memorial weekend ride one of the two solutions I came up with showed up today. Along with that, I laid some paint on the previously prepped plastic panels.


A good view here of the 2 inch 'regular' springs installed. These springs actually had some give in them, as compared to the solid as a rock 3 inch beehive springs that came with my seat. I will tell you this made a HUGE difference in how my back felt. I got out on about an hour of bumpy windy country road and it was amazing the difference from either of the previous mounting solutions.

Today when I went for that ride, I really felt in tune with the bike, and if you didn't know, I come from a world where I have ridden exclusively sport bikes for 14+ years. This bike, performance wise, was a real disappointment when I picked it up. Today, felt different. The new tires (I think a huge factor), the finally getting the seat right, the exhaust/air filter/carbs upgrades, the weight loss, the control position, have really made this bike into something that scratches my itch. It very much reminds me of my first bike, a Ninja 250. It feels nimble with just the right amount of power. I am SO glad I was actually able to build something that passes the bar of 'is this bike fun as hell to ride?'


06-04-2017, 10:49 AM
Looks very nice

06-05-2017, 8:30 PM
Just a little mock up tonight, positions vary slightly. May have to return this tank as I was told it was a left side petcock, and its right sided. Not that I cant make it work, but I am not sure how clean it will look doing so. Also its the 'universal mount', one and the mounts are just way too high. If I am going to try and make it work ill have cut those off and fab some bottom mounts. I also think It will look better higher on the tank, which the long front mount is blocking.

Of course this is just mockup, but I can see how I can make it work. What do we think?







Gonna do some searching and see what I can find for another tank~

06-05-2017, 11:02 PM
too short, too tall. looks like the bike has a tumor.

06-06-2017, 9:03 AM
Tank doesn't look right.

06-06-2017, 11:52 AM
V star tank is too wide for sure, and too short, I was looking at another tank that is about 3 inches longer, but would sit about same height.

06-06-2017, 12:28 PM
So this is coming from a place of personal experience man. That combination of forward controls, clip on bars, low back solo seat, and no rear fender is a recipe for a painful ass to tire fight. I've seen t-shirts ripped off by rear tires with no fender too. I'd highly recommend getting a fender on that bike. Raising the back of the seat is also going to increase comfort substantially, you won't feel like you're sliding back constantly when you're dropping the throttle on the highway.

Keep fiddling around with the tank, you'll find a combination that works. It's hard to do on double back bone bikes. Have you considered dishing the sides of the stock tank?

Cool build so far overall and thanks for posting the process. I don't know what other forum you're posting the build on as well, but CC is your people amigo. Tons of knowledge and help on this type of stuff here. Plus we got this middle aged delinquent named BBQ Biker that is the forum's whipping boy so if you ever post something dumb he's usually not far behind to one up and take the heat off you.

Sadly typing his name is like saying Beatle Juice. After about his third post your thread ends up in the junk pile, if that happens I apologize in advance for being the first to mention the name.

06-06-2017, 2:02 PM
I have put well over a thousand miles on the bike without a rear fender and in the current set up~ I can go about an hour and a half before needing a stop to rest for a few minutes etc. At no time have I felt like I was sliding or that my ass was going to come off of the seat. That being said, I will end up doing something with a fender but its low on my priority list. I am also not going to keep the clip ons forever, I am leaning towards doing something like Z bars when I get the tank figured out, but I want to make sure I get that handled first before I end up with another set of bars I dont want (Have the stockers and a set of drags laying on my bench)

As for that tank, the double backbone is a bitch I knew I would end up having to deal with before I even purchased the bike, but the V-star appealed to me in other ways that I figured It was worth it. I am set on doing some sort of peanut/sportster tank, as they just look great with the lines (I disagree that even my mock up tank does not look right, I think its a few tweaks from being dead sexy~) and they bring that bulky look down. I have seen people use honda magna tanks that gave it a good look, but time and time again I have seen the big boys either go single backbone into a sportster tank, (way above my skill level) or like I am thinking, use one on top of the double back bones.

I am glad I can get some traction here, as the reason I didn't continue my original post was that I waited about a week for a reply and it never came, so on I moved. I am also posting on starforums, where there is much less knowledge about this sort of things, but more activity to bounce feedback off of~

06-06-2017, 3:02 PM
other thing to do with stock tanks


06-06-2017, 3:43 PM
I have seen that done also. It's better than the stock tank but its not for me.

09-10-2018, 11:14 AM
You really need a work bench. There are workbench plans on the internet for free.
You would not have to work down on the floor.

09-14-2018, 5:00 PM
Old thread, I know...
But looking for those EXACT levers...been scouring ebay and amazon. Although they say they fit an xvs650, none of the pictures even closely resemble the stock levers. Can anyone help with this? Link me to the right ones maybe?