Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There's a long list of bikes from the 60's, 70's & 80's that I hope to own and enjoy at some point in my life. I kick myself for not buying early Z1's, RZ's and RG's when they were so cheap, 'cause they've gone through the roof.
I'm fortunate to have been able to fill my garage up with some interesting vintage bikes, but it's getting full in there, and I said no more unless I was going to let something go, in order to make room for another...that didn't last long.

Last June, I saw pictures of a scruffy '79 CBX on-line and mulled it over for a few days. It was too far gone to justify a proper restoration back to original specs, but I figured it was perfect for what I wanted...a period 70's Café Racer. Back in the days of the "Universal Japanese Motorcycle", if you wanted a sport bike, you "rolled your own". I've never cared too much if my vintage bikes are totally original, I've always leaned more towards period correct performance parts and modifications. If I'd had my 305 Superhawk back in the 60's, it would have had megaphones etc and naturally my H1 500 would have had expansion chambers back in the day too. And the same can be said for tracking down Yoshimura pieces for my '86 GSXR 1100.

The shop in Calgary were firm on $2500. I knew it was incomplete, but it was a runner and I knew it was unlikely that I'd run across a CBX project again for that kind of money. I started poking around on eBay to see what was available. So I grabbed a trailer and ran down to have a closer look, the ad pictures didn't do it justice. It was bastardized beyond expectations, I never realized it had a "wide glide" front end. Years ago, there was a local custom shop that built a lot of bad choppers and bobbers, based on Japanese bikes, because they were cheap.
My "new" CBX was a victim of that shop, I'm surprised that someone paid to have this thing commissioned, but... "it takes all kinds", or some crazy bullshit like that.

It was obvious that the back of the bike had been "bobbed", I figured we could just weld in a new hoop to fix that. The gas tank was puzzling, it has the original bottom to fit the unique CBX trellis frame, but I was told that someone had grafted a huge Yamaha skin over the top. I spent a long time going over the front end. An intrepid craftsman had fabricated crude upper and lower trees and lavishly dipped them in chrome. The fork tubes were now spaced out an extra couple of inches on either side. In order to use the original brake rotors, giant aluminium hockey puck spacers had been placed on either side of the rim. The front fender had also been modified with a chunky bracket to meet up with the forks, again strangely crude but someone went through the trouble and expense of chroming it. I get the whole wide glide front end concept, but it looked silly with the stock spindly forks and skinny front wheel. I was satisfied that I could build something with it. Then they started it up, it idled fine and they revved it up...6 cylinder bike engines have a unique scream...I was sold and brought it home.
I stuck it in the corner of the garage and started collecting pieces for it.

Cheers,
Scott
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,541 Posts
That was a good read Scott,looks like you have a fun build ahead of you. :cheers

My friends dad bought a red '79 brand new and still owns it today. Bonestock,with less then 12k miles on it. It's one of those time-warp bikes that are almost 40yrs old but look brand new.
 

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I was really pleased to see that my CBX had an RC Engineering exhaust system on it.
Russ Collins was one of my motorsport heroes, I was impressed by a guy that could ride bikes with twin and triple engines.
BangShift.com Motorcycle Racing Legend Russ Collins Has Died

The header pipes on mine are mint, the muffler ends will need a little finessing. My plan is to get them ceramic coated black later.
 

Attachments

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,136 Posts

·
That’s Mister Chalet To You ....
Joined
·
7,742 Posts
A buddy of mine here in town found one that wasn't in fantastic condition so he decided to do something with it. GSXR 1000 front & rear suspension, among other things. I think it's freakin' cool-looking



Found some more pics on his photobucket page





The man sure does nice work.

 

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
'79's and '80's were Super Sports, they were Honda's top of the line sport bike at the time.
'81 and '82 were revamped for Sport Touring, and got Pro-Link rear suspension, luggage and a fairing.

Original and correctly restored early models are worth good money. Mine is too far gone, but I think I can build an interesting old bike for @$6 grand and use up some parts that I've accumulated over the years. It will have period performance upgrades, I figure it's already shed a ton of weight.

Everybody has their own opinion of what's "cool", somebody thought a bobbed CBX with the ass down low and raised forks was worth building. I was starting to think that maybe it had been crashed, hence the butcher job if it had no value, but the title checks out ok. I'm just thankful that the neck wasn't raked, I can repair everything else.
I see it as an opportunity, I wouldn't cut up a nice one. I'm going to put some "Sport" back into it.
 

·
That’s Mister Chalet To You ....
Joined
·
7,742 Posts
I guess my buddy's DEFINITELY isn't your cup of tea. I don't think the gsxr suspension qualifies as 'period-correct' :lol

Looking forward to the build thread / pics of your progress :cheers
 

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I told myself that I wasn't going to get too carried away with the CBX, until I finished my turbo '86 GSXR 1100, which has been sitting on my lift for several years.
I was also fixing up a '69 Honda CM91 Super Cub to flip and I was doing a sympathetic restoration on a customer's '77 Yamaha XT500, so I definitely didn't need another bike spread across the garage floor...but that stupid wide front end on the CBX was bugging me. I decided to correct a few nagging issues. I've been recovering from some nerve damage in my right hand, it was good to be able to putter in the garage.

I was able to find the correct upper and lower tree's on eBay. Some parts are pretty reasonable, stuff like air boxes are ridiculous. I also found some cool cross-drilled rotors and the correct hardware. Early Interceptor calipers are supposed to be a good upgrade, so I'm on the hunt for those. The rims are surprisingly in really nice shape, so other than needing new rubber and bearings, I'm good there. I much prefer looking at it now with a proper front end.

I knew the back of the bike needed some attention, it appears that @14" was hacked off. It also became obvious that the rear shock mounts were poorly re-positioned, and I was a little sad to realize that a couple rear frame rails were heated, bent downwards and welded during the whole Bobber experiment. Again, nothing that can't be repaired. I've spent a lot of time looking at other CBX's and mine to figure out what's been changed.
The bike will get mocked up and then disassembled for powder coating.
 

Attachments

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
My Paint & Body guy will help transform this weird gas tank. The existing gas cap will get removed, welded up and replaced with a Monza style flip up cap in the center. I also want knee cut outs in the sides.

The new clip-ons feel right. I scored a used front fender off eBay. I got a pair of reproduction side covers from David Silver Spares.

I've had this Avon VR fairing collecting dust for over 20 years, I was just waiting for the right bike to put it on. It's funny that the paint almost matches. It will sit back a little further once the bracket is sorted out, but you get the idea. I really hated the tank at first, it has a bloated look to it, but I think once the bottom of the fairing ties into it and breaks up the lines, it will work just fine.
Honda's CBX design paid homage to their RC166 250cc 6 cylinder road racer from the 60's, so I plan on early Honda race colors...silver fairing and front fender along with a red tank and tail.

I looked at a lot of café seats and this one should work after the rear frame is repaired. I still don't know what I'm doing for gauges, turn signals, tail light, license plate bracket etc., but they'll be simple.

I won't go with rear sets, but I will modify the stock brackets, cut off the passenger pegs and Swiss cheese it.

These were rated at 105hp when they first came out, but detuned to 100hp in 1980 to appease Germany's 100hp limit at that time. So realistically, a stock one is probably making @80hp at the wheel. You can wake them up, there are big bore kits to punch them out to 1400cc. A set of FCR's will cost more than what I paid for the bike. And guys have put turbo's on them too, but I'm just looking for a dependable runner.

The rims are really skinny. I researched the CBX forums and Bridgestone Battleax's were well reviewed.
I'm going to get a fork brace and braided brake lines next.

This is how the bike sits now. I get off track every time, something new and shiny appears. I'll continue to collect parts for it and plan it out, I'm in no rush. It's another piece of garage art to enjoy looking at. There's a couple of other projects to complete before I go full tilt on this one.
 

Attachments

·
Married his Fleshlight... And Also touches people
Joined
·
870 Posts
Nice work man, looks like a really cool project. I couldn't imagine what a six cylinder is like to ride other than it would super smooth

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,937 Posts
Don't know how I missed this thread!

I had to take my ignition timing test on the CBX when I was at AMI Daytona (now known as Wyotech). Yes we passed. :banana Honda donated the bike to the school way back when, long before I even took the course. Whole different school now.

Anyway, great to see the build happen. :cheers
 

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Lots of progress...

The "Old Motorcycle Shop" in Calgary, where I bought my project, had a mint original '79 in the show room ($15 grand!). They let me crawl over it and take a bunch of measurements off the frame and the distances between the shock mounts and other reference points. This would allow us to triangulate and determine where the new shock mounts should be on my butchered frame. Too many note pads on the go, and later I couldn't find my measurements, I actually had to return a 2nd time to repeat the process...but I left with a cool '68 Norton 750 factory desert racer, which is worthy of its own build diary soon.

I dropped the CBX off with Richard Bak at 12 O'clock Performance, he does a lot of the fabrication and machine work on my race bikes. First he cut out the ugly brazed shit from the Bobber mods gone bad. Using my measurements, he had some aluminium plates made that bolted up to the bike, and once a rod was passed through them, it determined where the shock mounts should be. He was then able to tackle repairing the frame. It turned out this required much more than just welding a hoop across the back.
 

Attachments

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Andre ( I can't keep track of his screen names) put me in touch with his buddy, who had resto-modded an '81 with late model GSXR suspension, he still had the stock front end...Sold!
Bolting up the later CBX front ends to the earlier models was a popular upgrade, the forks are a little beefier.
Andre collected the parts and graciously boxed everything up in Quebec, and shipped them out West.

Richard rebuilt the forks with new seals, bushings and springs. I chose to keep the earlier fender, rotors etc, so he had to machine some spacers. I like the look of fork boots on older bikes.

A base was put under the fiberglass seat for support and that ties into brackets that were added to the rear frame, then it was all hidden with an aluminium plate.

The VIN plate was removed, I'll put it back on with blind rivets after the frame is powder coated. I was really looking forward to seeing the fairing mounts, this required lots of experimentation and compromise in order for everything to work with the wiring, cables, hoses etc.
 

Attachments

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Richard made a bracket for the gauges. I got the new tach and speedo from Dime City. I didn't want any LED's on this bike, but these integral idiot lights keep it clean.

I get updates and pictures every so often, there's no panic on this build. Its a one man operation, so he juggles my stuff with other customers, parts availability etc. As I've seen the progress and visited his shop, I get a real sense that we saved a CBX from being parted out.

I picked up a correct gas tank at a swap meet. I couldn't wait to set it in place, and found that I didn't care for it at all. I prefer this weird one, it seems to work better with the fairing, tail and all of the other changes.
 

Attachments

·
Likes to race old junk.
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Once everything started to come together, the original plan for mounting the tail light wasn't working at all. There wasn't much room for wheel travel clearance, and the license plate was at an odd angle. I thought the billet light was cool and definitely wanted to keep it, so Richard fabbed up a new bracket and mounted it higher and into the tail.

This is how it sits now, the foot peg brackets are going to get modified next and Richard will make a couple brackets for the lower sides of the fairing.
Then it will make its way back to my garage. I'm looking forward to installing a new wiring harness, sorting out the switch gear, brakes etc.

Cheers,
Scott
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 26 Posts
About this Discussion
25 Replies
9 Participants
Jimmyboy
Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com
A forum community dedicated to the Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle. Discuss the GSX-R600, GSX-R750, GSX-R1000, and GSX-R1100, and more!
Full Forum Listing
Top