So I figured I would start a build thread to track the progress of my build, although it might be more aptly titled a bolt-on. I have a sweet little garage under my apartment where I do most my work. I can't weld or fabricate but other than that, game on and good times!
Here how it starts:
I recently sold my old bike and with the money from that I bought this 1996 XL1200 with 3,900mi. Bone stock and looks like it literally just came off the showroom floor.
The first order of business was to remove the stock signals. Those big nasty orange balls hanging off the bike are an eye sore of the maximum. However, I didn't want to just snip wires, I wanted to detach them from the source that way if (and when) I get a fix it ticket (I live in LA) I can just slip them back on and pay the $25 doll hairs. So with a little help from my manual, I went to work:
Here was some of the stuff I used:
Took off the seat and got at that under seat wiring because I was going to detach the rear signal wires from the deutcsh connectors under the seat
Took the bolts out of the rear fender bracket and cover and let the rear signal dangle free
Then opened up the rear signal connector to release the wires
This is what the two wires look like
From there I just routed the wires out from under the rear bracket cover and off come the rear signals
Then I put the new chrome bolts that I got from Home Depot (I made sure they were shorter so they would not hit the rear wheel) and rear signals are off and done.
Next will be new bars and grips. I got some stuff coming from Lowbrow. Also am removing the tach. I bought a single speedo housing from a member in the good old classifieds. Have to say, it was pretty awesome. I put up a WTB and in less than a day had a speedo housing on its way from a CC member in MO.
Although I did learn NOT to delete a classified posting. I was pretty bummed cause I lost some miles. I was just trying to be tidy and then BOOM! good bye miles. Won't make that mistake again.
More to come
Last edited by KickassSeaBass; 04-23-2012 at 3:19 AM.
Look how clean that thing is under the seat! Nice donor material for sure.
Ya I was shocked!!! The bike still has the factory paint dabs on some of the bolts. I opened up the throttle housing the other day and there were the 2 green factory paint dabs just staring me in the eyes. For a 16 year old bike, I was shocked!
Got some frisco's on the way which I am way stoked about!
So now that my new bars came it was time to get to work.
I am going to internally wire the bars but bought non-dimpled bars because I don't want the dimples and because eventually I am going to get rid of them, but for now gotta get all the stuff off my old bars.
Opened it up
And took it off but made sure to not lose the brass ferrules and not to forget which cable goes where
Next was to get in the headlight bucket and disconnect the wires from the deutcsh connectors
Wires out and off and because the wires are run externally, off they came
The left side was a breeze
And then off the bars came
One thing I will say though is that I kept having to remember to put a piece of cardboard between the brake lever before I took it off.....I forgot a couple times...that might bite me in the ass later
Well, first I got out my drill and drill bits and figured I would start out by drilling some small holes and then bore them out to 1/2" holes. Seemed to make more sense then just trying to bore a 1/2" hole straight from the get go. Decided to do a practice run on my old bars before getting down to business with my new Biltwell's, seemed easy enough. I will say though that not having a work bench or vice or any sort seems to be making things a bit more complicated in terms of securing the bars for drilling, but I rigged up a nice little set up using a blanket, some old shocks (in boxes) and my good ole feet. Though drilling on round bars made it a wee bit exciting because one slip O' the drill and I got a hole in my foot.
Here is the practice holes...good enough for rock'n'roll
I then mocked up how I wanted to have the bars sit and yes those are my safety goggles for drilling. I learned REAL quick that eye protection was very much a necessity when drilling metal. Also here is what I did not show. After I mocked them up I used tape on the bars to mark where I was going to need to drill so that when I internally wired the pods back on they would sit properly and in the right space. Also then where the wires were going to have to exit out the bottom. This was not a good time and was actually kinda stressful ergo there are no pics because while one is frustrated, taking pics is the last thing you wanna do.
Ok so here is after I taped, marked and drilled the first holes. Looks good! However, I noticed that the Biltwell bars are made from some REALLY strong steel and thus drilling holes was ALOT harder than on the other bars that I had....literary scholars would call this foreshadowing....
Wait just a minute, there are no pictures for this but it bears to be mentioned: I HIT A BIT OF SNAFU. So as I am drilling I get to where I am boring out holes from size 5/16" to 3/8" and guess what!?! I could not bore it out!!!! It just would not work!!! The drill seemed inadequate to drill any bigger of a hole. The steel was just too strong and my drill and bit was not strong enough. So off to Home Depot I go. I upgrade my drill to a major hammer drill and buy some Cobalt drill bits to drill through heavy duty metal. I then get back home and start drilling again with my new Milwaukee heavy duty drill and bits....3/8" hole, no problem but when I them try and bore out to 1/2"....I SNAP THE DRILL BIT!!!!!! That is how hard this metal is, I snapped a cobalt heavy duty Milwaukee drill bit! So back to Home Depot I go....a bit annoyed thus no pics. I buy a couple new drill bits and return home determined to finish boring out these holes before it gets too late in the day and the neighbors begin to hate me.
Drilling with my new drill and bits
And to check the holes, here it was mocked up on the bike again
Old jean jacket makes a great tank cover while working.
Ok so now that the holes are drilled out I thought to myself, "Oh man I got this now!"....How wrong I was. I mean I knew it was going to be tricky, but little did I know I would end up cursing like a sailor, needing to solder some connectors and learning some very critical information the hard way.
So first I took some thread and tied a nut to the end of the string to put the nut in one one and jiggle it out the other, however, turns out that the nut was too big and I instead decided to use a small screw
Once I dropped the thread with a nut from one hole to the other, then I tied the end of the string to a low E guitar string and pulled the guitar string through the bars
That proved to be somewhat ok. I also bought some rubber grommets to put around the holes I drilled that way I would not have to file them down, and they did indeed fit perfect
I pulled both strings through
Then I took the 6 wires from the hand controls, tied an overhand knot around them and taped up the whole thing with electrical tape so it would not come apart while viciously pull them through the bars
This is where things start to go a bit amiss. So after trying multiple times to pull the bundle of 6 wires through the bars, I finally get them through (one of the times I realize that the black plastic sleeve bunched up at the 90 degree bend rendering the try useless and having to start all over again, only after cutting off most of the wrap). However, when I do finally get them to the bottom hole, I realize that the bundle of connectors are too wide to fit through the hole. I tried vigorously to try and get them out seeing as how I just victoriously pulled them through, but to no avail. I was pulling out single connectors one at a time. As you can see here, I got about the 3 of the wires out when tragedy struck...
I broke off one of the Deutsch connectors! Not a happy moment. It was about here that I was so pissed off that I stopped taking pictures. At this point I dropped everything and rode over to Radio Shack where i had to pic up a solder kit (the old one I had was not heating up). So then I came back and although the night was getting late, I was determined to fix my wrong. I immediately heated up the solder gun and got to it. Soon enough, the connector was back on.....oh wait, did I mention that because i could not get all the wires through that I had to pull them all BACK OUT!!!!!! Well, I did and I was not happy about it. So anyhow, after I got the connector back on I had a great idea: Instead of pulling out all 6 wires at once, I would break it up and do 3 and 3. More time consuming but it might work.
And in fact it did! I had to first put the wires through the grommet so it would be on the back end. But none the less, I got all the wires through!!!
Here they are all out!
Then I took the extra black sleeve that I cut off and slid it back over the wires and up into the bars. Slip the wires through a grommet on the bottom, placed grommet around the hole and there it is! One side of the bars internally wired and some good lessons learned. Ones that would help make the other side a bit of a breeze...although I had the throttle to deal with. Either way! I was stoked, I had some success, and promptly tapped out for the evening.
It was at this point that Christa Jayne brought me some delicious breakfast. I was so surprised and stoked!!!!! It seriously made my morning! Two eggs sunny side up on toast, too good!!!
As soon as I was done with breakfast I wired up the other 3 wire bundle and slide the wrap over and just like that the bars are internally wired!!!!!!!
Now I mocked up the bars in the bike just to check it out
Now that the bars are mocked up it was time to wire everything back up to make sure it works
Then was the moment of truth, I turned the key and pressed the started button....she fired right up!!!!! I checked all the electronics and everything seemed good except the hi/low beam. After wiring the first time I accidentally mis-wired the hi low beam of the head light but that was a quick and easy rewire. From there as you can see, thumbs up..all was good in the proverbial hood.
Internally Wiring the Bars Pt. 3-Gripped It & Ripped It
With the bars internally wired and all the electrical done up it was time to mount the bars, put the throttle back on, attach the throttle cables and then put the white grips on.
With the bars mounted and the control pods up I reattached the throttle cables
Here it is almost done. Here is just a note about the grips: The left side grip was super easy to slide on, no prob at all. However, the throttle grip was not so easy....
In order to get the new grip on the throttle, I had to roll off the old grip...not so bad, but then I could only get the grip half way on. So here is the tip: Go get some rubbing alcohol and rinse the inside of the grip with the rubbing alcohol, the shoot the smallest drip of WD-40 in with it, then slide that bad mofo on the throttle sleeve and let it dry, when it does, that bad boy will not be coming off.
With the new grips on I whipped up an oil/graphite concoction under the throttle sleeve to keep that throttle all lubed up. Then it was throttle cable adjustment time. Easy breezy. Got that snap back going real good.