Saturday, February 15, 2003

Spoked Front Rim and Floorboards

I haven't done a whole lot of modifications since November 2002, but I've been busy fixing my V65 Sabre to get it ready to sell in the spring, tearing apart a V65 Magna parts bike in my garage, and working on a number of other things. Plus, much of my money has gone to Christmas, a ski trip, and paying off my credit card bill. I still worked some chopper parts into the budget, though.

I picked up the Markland floorboards on eBay for a Buy It Now of $100. I was in the right place at the

right time. Unfortunately, I don't really like them as much as I had hoped. Because that banana seat is so low, and the bike is canted back quite a ways due to the 7" over front end, the floorboards are cramped and uncomfortable. Also, since the floorboards were made for a GL500 brake system, I had to fabricate a connection to the rear brake. I couldn't just cut the end of the brake pedal off, drill a hole in it, and connect it to the brake pedal with an extended arm like I wanted to. The angle was wrong and the bracket was in the way. So I used a brake cable

from a VT700, some shifter linkages from the Harley dealership, a piece of threaded rod, and two brackets bent out of flat steel stock. Unfortunately, I couldn't come up with a way to attach the brake light switch or the return spring. So, the brakes tend to stick after you press the pedal, and because of the cramped seating position (due to the seat and the rake), it's rather difficult to use the rear brakes anyhow.

So, expect to see the floorboards taken off and replaced with a set of home-made forward controls at the next update. I'll save these suckers for a GL650 Interstate, if/when I ever get one. One nice thing about these floorboards, the boards themselves can be replaced with any Harley board out there. Which is good, since mine are scratched and a little rusty.

The wire wheel was an easy fit to the '78 front end. I don't know how it would fit with the '82 forks and axle, though. Basically, it bolts right on, but the spacing is different. The speedo drive is on the right side instead of the left, so the stock axle (with its built-in spacer) cannot be used. Likewise, the CL360/CB400 axle cannot be used, since it is way too short. Fortunately, I had a V65 Magna axle sitting around from a parts bike. It was a perfect fit. It goes right into the left fork leg with enough threads showing to easily fit on a nut, and it clamped down securely in the right leg. The nut size is different, so I raided my hardware bins for the right size. I then went to the hardware store and got a bunch of washers to make a short spacer (about 1/2") between the wheel and the left fork leg. I used a CL360/CB400 front wheel because it is an 18-incher, as opposed to the CX's stock 19" front wheel. I wanted to lower the bike a bit, since the extended forks make it sit a little too high for my taste. If you want a wire wheel, but wish to retain the stock wheel size, the CB450 uses a 19" wheel, as does the CB550 and CB750. I've taken a good look at the CB450 wheel, and I'm pretty sure it will fit in the same matter (it looks like the same hub), but I don't know about the 550 or 750 wheel.

Do note that you will need the disc brake, speedo drive, and speedo cable for whatever front wheel you decide to use. The disc on the wheel I'm using is exactly the same diameter as the CX500 disc, but it is offset differently than the CX500 wheel because the speedo drive is on the other side. One great thing about Honda speedos is that they're all identical internally. It's the drive gear on the wheel that is different from model to model and wheel to wheel. Which means that my speedo reads correctly even with the 18" wheel and a CL360's speedo drive.

Finally, I also removed the front fender. I like the looks of the bike much better without it... unfortunately, this chopper is often ridden in the rain, and I get a facefull of water without that fender on there. I have drilled it out so that it sits lower over the new 18" wheel, so I can put it back on if I want to. However, I found a pretty slick fender on eBay that I'll probably put on once payday rolls around again.

Part or modification: Price: Got From:
•  Chrome license plate frame with integrated turn signals $35 eBay
•  Heavy duty load-balancing flasher relay. Stock relay couldn't handle the weird bulbs in the frame. $3 WalMart
•  6" dogbone risers. 4" was too short, and I didn't like hunching over $20 eBay
•  Markland floorboards for a GL500. $100 eBay
•  Modified brake system with harley parts, threaded rod, and a brake cable from an 80-something VT700 parts bike. < $20 Dealership, parts bike
•  Wire front wheel from a CL360 / CB400 (18") $40 eBay
•  Axle from V65 Magna (parts bike), and some washers from the hardware store $0 Parts bike
•  Extended speedometer cable for a CB400 $20 eBay
•  Tire, tube, and rim strip for new front wheel (18 x 3.00 or 90/90/18) $50 JC Whitney
•  Accel wires (Leftovers pieces from when I put Accel coils and wires on my Magna) $0 Advance Auto
•  Flashing red spark plug caps. (Yea, I know. But they were cheaper than NGK caps!) $5 JC Whitney
Cost February modifications: $285

Parts Removed from bike to accomodate new changes:
•  Rear turn signals $20
•  4" Dogbone risers $15
•  Home-made highway bar stuff $40
•  Bullet license plate bolts $0
•  Stock Spark plug caps and wires $0
•  Front Fender $0
Cost of parts removed: -$75

Total cost of modifications so far: $623

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