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  1. #1

    Default 1986 vt500 ratbob

    I bought this bike when I was 23, rode it a few years and parked it after it had some mechanical issues. Went back and forth with what exactly I wanted to do with it. About a month ago I got an week long I requested vacation from work without pay and decided to wrench on it a bit. It's always had problems with the stock intake leaking and causing lean conditions so it was first to go. It has aftermarket exhaust that was on there when I bought it. Installed some uni pods and rejetted the carbs and took it for a test ride. It ran better than it ever has before. Sounded good, and hauled ass. I was in love all over again...
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    Mechanically it is sound, but I haven't been happy with the cosmetics in quite some time. It has a dented tank that looks like shit. I'm not fond of the K&Q seat and there is just certain issues that need to be addressed. I'm thinking of focusing on a ratbob budget type of build. Thinking of keeping the stock sissy bar but with a bobber seat. Opinions are welcomed.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdcoastthumper View Post
    I bought this bike when I was 23, rode it a few years and parked it after it had some mechanical issues. Went back and forth with what exactly I wanted to do with it. About a month ago I got an week long I requested vacation from work without pay and decided to wrench on it a bit. It's always had problems with the stock intake leaking and causing lean conditions so it was first to go. It has aftermarket exhaust that was on there when I bought it. Installed some uni pods and rejetted the carbs and took it for a test ride. It ran better than it ever has before. Sounded good, and hauled ass. I was in love all over again...
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	64901Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	64902

    Mechanically it is sound, but I haven't been happy with the cosmetics in quite some time. It has a dented tank that looks like shit. I'm not fond of the K&Q seat and there is just certain issues that need to be addressed. I'm thinking of focusing on a ratbob budget type of build. Thinking of keeping the stock sissy bar but with a bobber seat. Opinions are welcomed.
    Shit's going to be e.a.s.y

    Front fender off
    Back fender off
    Get some rad bars from Zombie Performance
    Drop the bike a few times on each side to dent in the tank a bit more
    Spray paint the engine (without dismounting) with BBQ rattle can
    Spray paint rims (with the old poker card trick) black as well (don't take'em off)
    Indicators off back and front

  3. #3

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    Rebuilt the forks and put new seals, also put rear shocks from a '96 nighthawk that I had lying around that dropped the rear a few inches.
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  4. #4
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    Depending on the type and location of the dent you might be able to pop it out. Or, sand and bondo. Then repaint with rattlecan.

    Don't use BBQ paint on a bike. Any spilled gasoline will dissolve it (I know this from experience). I use Rustoleum Engine Enamel (it's resistant to gas). Costs me about $12 a can for semi-gloss black (also comes in low-gloss). But I notice that Walmart often has the high-gloss black in their auto parts section for less.

    If you're planning on shit-canning the stock seat, you might be able to cut the seat pan down to a size you like and either re-pad and recover it yourself or have an auto upholstery place do it.
    Last edited by EVILBLACKSABRE; 10-23-2015 at 2:46 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by EVILBLACKSABRE View Post
    Depending on the type and location of the dent you might be able to pop it out. Or, sand and bondo. Then repaint with rattlecan.

    Don't use BBQ paint on a bike. Any spilled gasoline will dissolve it (I know this from experience). I use Rustoleum Engine Enamel (it's resistant to gas). Costs me about $12 a can for semi-gloss black (also comes in low-gloss). But I notice that Walmart often has the high-gloss black in their auto parts section for less.

    If you're planning on shit-canning the stock seat, you might be able to cut the seat pan down to a size you like and either re-pad and recover it yourself or have an auto upholstery place do it.
    Thanks, I plan on doing something with the tank, but for now I'll just roll it like it is. I got a cheap eBay solo seat. It kind of skinny but it will work for now. I got these bars on the way.

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  6. #6
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    VHT engine paint is good too

  7. #7

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    I've been trying out a few options before I actually chop it just for the hell of it!!!

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  8. #8

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    Finally decided a plan of action. Build a new wire harness. Chop it down and build it back up.

    It's my first sissy and I'm glad it worked. Made it out of stainless 1" tubing.
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  9. #9
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    Nice

  10. #10

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    Got the harness removed...

    Holy fuck!!! That's a lot of wires.

    Surely they aren't all needed for basic operation. I got some work to do.
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  11. #11

    Default

    I added my plate holder to the sissy. It was a cheapo shock mount.
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  12. #12

    Default

    Got her wired up. Gotta love turn key power.

    Cheapo Mac exhaust got cut at the muffler and lollipops installed. Sound nice!!!


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  13. #13

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    Took a 100 mile ride today and it was perfect. Runs great, sounds great, and feels more responsive. Jetting is 42 pilots, mains are 135 front, 140 rear.
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  14. #14

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    She got a new front end this weekend. Vt1100 triples with 41mm showas. Really changes the whole look and feel of the bike. Next I plan on experimenting with some different bars.
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  15. #15

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    Went with the blacked out lane splitters. I like it...
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  16. #16

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    Bike looks sick, got two of them sitting in my garage/shop.
    Had a couple of questions-how hard was the front end swap? Does it matter what year on the Vt1100?
    What kind of headlight are you using on that thing?

    Will

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