Showing all posts by Mac McConnell
Too old for drops(?)

Having had some time to spend in the garage I realise how unlikely it will be that I’ll even ride the Cafe racer as I am neither 18 years of age nor a yoga instructor…. and the thought of pulling up at some lights screaming in agony at my seized hip joints as I try to lift my foot off the rear sets to place it on the tarmac before the bike meets it – doesn’t fill me with ‘joy joy’ feelings.

So Having come to this conclusion I backed the Harley out of the garage only to wonder how long it would be before I found mid controls and drop handle bars equally as uncomfortable.

With this in mind I have started on plan B.

Firstly take a set of R1 forks that you have laying around the garage…. as I didn’t want the headlight brackets (on the forks) I took a headlight (also in the parts bin) with indicators incorporated (with negates the necessity to fit bar end indicators ) and made a semi circle bracket, mounted it to an ally bracket that I knocked up and bolted it to the bottom yoke (shame the screw holes were not parallel) The nuts on the sides and on the back adjuster will be replaced with nice big brass wingnuts when they get here. I’m not sure how it will look yet (sticks out further than I’d have liked) until it gets married to the bike.

So …… rough mock up and the front end should look something like this …. however I’ve realised that the bars now look too skinny but as luck would have it I’ve also got a set of 1″ bars stepped down to 7/8 but this will mean the risers will need boring out to an inch……. enter the ever helpful Mr. Heisenberg (who has already knocked me up a very useful tool for removing the front spindle.

Up Front

Top yolk on and clocks attached to see how it all looks up front.

A Damn Good Beating

Nothing quite like taking your frustrations out on a hot piece of metal and get something that actually works at the end of it. I wondered how I was going to mount the rear of the tank and marry it up to the seat unit at the same time whilst keeping it all secure but rubber mounted (to limit the stresses on the fibreglass tank). So – out came the blow torch and being lucky enough to own an anvil … the beating began. Once painted I’ll add some foam strip to limit the wear on the frames paint.

Pegs done

After much grinding, drilling and filing- the brake lever is done. As much as I hate doing it …. I have ordered a spacer from evilbay to sit behind the lever. Once all the bits are done ( and the weather is good) I’ll spray them up.

Lockdown Workshop Update 2
Added a rear end to sit under the seat ‘hump’. Plan is (as it will need to go through an SVA) to get all the electrics in the seat hump
Mock up works so far, enough room for battery (no starter so small 12v unit should suffice) and wiring from lights sit nicely behind. Should get the fuse box in there as well then the big stuff should go under the tank.
Tank is now seated on a bracket made up and spaced off the coil mounts (will be using a Boyer system with a single coil that can be situated elsewhere)
Rear sets are designed to use the existing rear brake mechanism by chopping up a perfectly good rear brake pedal …… not a huge a fan of doing this so time for a re-think
Lockdown Workshop update
Xs Cafe racer is getting there, Took the frame to a local blasting company thinking it’d be in lockdown for weeks/ months but three days later got a call to say it was done …. good but … what to do with it now? … welding needed but Heisenburg is in lockdown with poorly parents so I’m not going anywhere near his bunker and I didn’t want it going rusty . To the rescue came a great (and local) fella who put a lovely coat of epoxy primer over it to protect it – turning a real turd of a (standard) frame into something quite lovely giving it a satin look which (he explained) is hard wearing enough that if I chose could be left as a finish.

Front end in
Rear tyre is wider so new Brake stay required
Lockdown workshop

With a day off and no where to go we dragged out the Xs frame and got chopping. Rear foot peg mounts , side panel lugs and misc studs and brackets all shaved off then tidied up the ugly lock stop (chopped it off) . Fixed the welder for phase two tomorrow although I may wait until the madness is over and I can get the frame blasted.


Finally began work on the cafe racer that’s been sat at the back of the garage for years. Bought some deep rimmed hoops and had them laced to reconditioned hubs. Thought it’d be nice to put an old drum brake on the front for a real cafe feel.

Shaved the front forks to suit the drum and reconditioned them and also added external springs to give it a period feel. Stripped and repainted the yolks and clocks and dug out a pair of drop handlebars. Had a full set of R6 bar switches etc and as this bike will need to go through an SVA then it’ll need indicators and the full works so these should do fine and give the bike a more up to date feel.

New headlight, headlight bracket and indicators finish off the front end. Now looking for a (cheap) ally period mudguard to go over the olde ribbed tyre.

Scavengers Forever (when we’re not too busy)

It pays to have a talented daughter – bored and in need of a few quid she decorated dads leather jacket!


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