How I destroyed a perfectly good motorcycle.
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Thread: How I destroyed a perfectly good motorcycle.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Thomas's Avatar
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    How I destroyed a perfectly good motorcycle.

    Hi there. I'm new to posting on the forum, though I have been reading post here and checking out the bikes for a couple of years now.
    I have a 1981 Honda GL500. The bike was abandoned at a apartment complex here in North Carolina when the renter moved away. It sat for a long time before the property managers wanted it removed. A friend picked it up and decided to try and get it running rather than haul it to the junk yard. He gave up and called me. After getting the Title to the bike I picked up where he left off. The bike wanted to run. It responded well to me tinkering around and soon was purring like a kitten. The bike already had the fairings, bags, and a few other parts removed. Either these were lost, stolen, or sold, but not with the bike. I pieced it together and rode it a little bit, then kind of lost interest for a while. Then I started cutting, and welding. Then I made a seat. Next I painted it and rode it some. Then I put fenders back on because I was tired of water to the face and having my back and butt wet every time there was just the tiniest amount of wTer on the road. Next I decided I wanted a fairing. "Why not build one?" I thought. Many hours later I realized I got to come up with a way to mount this thing. And on and on. It's been a lot of fun to take something that someone else gave up on and give it a new lease on life. Sure it's not pretty, but it has been an absolute blast just to get it this far.
    Like most of my projects, it's a work in progress and there is still a list of things to complete. Carbs need cleaning, there a new rear tire in the imeadate future, and I'm still looking at doing a whole fiberglass bagger style rear end sometime down the road, but each step I'm kind of greeted by a motorcycle that seems to be enjoying its second chance.







    Last edited by Thomas; 06-02-2014 at 11:13 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member handcoded's Avatar
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    I like what you have done with it. Looks pretty cool to me. I'd be interested to find out more about how you made the fairing.
    I have big ideas but no idea



    1980 CX500 Project

  3. #3
    Senior Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handcoded View Post
    I like what you have done with it. Looks pretty cool to me. I'd be interested to find out more about how you made the fairing.
    Thanks, I really appreciate that.
    The fairing was pretty easy. I started out with PEX pipe to get the rounded parts into the general shape that I wanted and then covered the front of the bike and PEX with blue painters tape. That gave me a "buck" to lay my fiberglass on. After a few layers of fiberglass and resin, I let it setup for about 24 hours. I then pulled everything off the bike and removed the blue tape and PEX pipe from the underside of my part. I then used felt material soaked in the resin to build up the thickness of my fairing. I then spent sometime with Bondo body filler smoothing out the outside of the piece. I made it quite large to allow me to trim to fit the shape of the bike.
    I will post the pics I have of the build. If you spend some time really shaping things out during the taping part you won't have to work so hard on the body filler part. This was my first attempt at building something like this, so I watched lots of vids on making parts from fiberglass on YouTube. Very helpful.
    Everyone else is more than welcome to add their expertise on the subject and photos or links to vids on the subject.









    Last edited by Thomas; 06-02-2014 at 03:37 PM.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member RollTide_ATX's Avatar
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    I really dig this. Has a Street Glide feel to it. Welcome officially to the forum.
    Thomas likes this.
    Current bike - 81 CX500C street tracker - DONE (For now...) My Build
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollTide_ATX View Post
    I really dig this. Has a Street Glide feel to it. Welcome officially to the forum.
    Thank you.
    1981 Honda GL500, abandoned bike that was stripped and "Left 4 Dead", pieced together and getting another run at the road. Ugly and rough around the edges, like the owner, but enthusiastic, fun, and surprisingly reliable. Its a Honda, so you know it's going to start when you hit the button.


    Link to the progress of Project Left4Dead http://cx500forum.com/forum/garage-w...otorcycle.html
    Bikes currently in the stable.
    1986 Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade
    1981 GL500 Silverwing "Project:Left4Dead"
    1979 Honda CM400 Automatic "Uncle Billy's Bike" currently in pieces.
    Yamaha TT125, Doesn't someone need a shiftercart engine? PM me.
    Kawasaki KDX450 ****Update**** Gone to a new home to be rebuilt and ridden again.
    ***1970 CM400T needs a new home. *** PM me.
    Get on your Bike and Ride.

  7. #6
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    AWESOME work. It looks very symmetrical. How is the "fitment" (Is it a word?) for the gauges to the fairing INSIDE of the fairing?

    Seems like a CX500 with the mini-fairing would have meshed up nicely with the inside of your custom fairing....

  8. #7
    Senior Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Eh.. It's not too far off and fits around everything pretty good. It suits my purpose. I just wanted something to kick the air up and this does ok. I would have installed a Vetter or even another type of fairing for a Sportster or something, but I couldn't find what I wanted and so I said "What the hell, it can only be so hard." So I made my own.
    1981 Honda GL500, abandoned bike that was stripped and "Left 4 Dead", pieced together and getting another run at the road. Ugly and rough around the edges, like the owner, but enthusiastic, fun, and surprisingly reliable. Its a Honda, so you know it's going to start when you hit the button.


    Link to the progress of Project Left4Dead http://cx500forum.com/forum/garage-w...otorcycle.html
    Bikes currently in the stable.
    1986 Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade
    1981 GL500 Silverwing "Project:Left4Dead"
    1979 Honda CM400 Automatic "Uncle Billy's Bike" currently in pieces.
    Yamaha TT125, Doesn't someone need a shiftercart engine? PM me.
    Kawasaki KDX450 ****Update**** Gone to a new home to be rebuilt and ridden again.
    ***1970 CM400T needs a new home. *** PM me.
    Get on your Bike and Ride.

  9. #8
    Junior Member genesound's Avatar
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    Quite ingenious, impressive! I really like this kind of thing.
    Thomas likes this.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Ok so I deciced to drop the hbox, and do a little custom exhaust. I picked up a set of Murray's pipes, and then acquired a set of R1 cans from Craigslist. Broke a cheap exhaust pipe expander, and cut my leg, got pissed, threw some stuff, went and watched tv. Worked all day today, then Had Salazar Muffler in Greensboro expand the ends of the pipes so I could get the mufflers mounted up. Salazar, great folks, expanded the pipes, for $5, paid him $10, and they habla español if you need. The mufflers work good and look pretty cool, but they are so quiet. It's weird, the speed comes on quickly, but it doesn't sound right. They might not be on there very long, we'll see.
    Here's some pics.
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    Sorry the last few are really dark, I'll get better ones when I get in tomorrow.
    Last edited by Thomas; 06-30-2014 at 07:42 PM.
    1981 Honda GL500, abandoned bike that was stripped and "Left 4 Dead", pieced together and getting another run at the road. Ugly and rough around the edges, like the owner, but enthusiastic, fun, and surprisingly reliable. Its a Honda, so you know it's going to start when you hit the button.


    Link to the progress of Project Left4Dead http://cx500forum.com/forum/garage-w...otorcycle.html
    Bikes currently in the stable.
    1986 Goldwing GL1200 Aspencade
    1981 GL500 Silverwing "Project:Left4Dead"
    1979 Honda CM400 Automatic "Uncle Billy's Bike" currently in pieces.
    Yamaha TT125, Doesn't someone need a shiftercart engine? PM me.
    Kawasaki KDX450 ****Update**** Gone to a new home to be rebuilt and ridden again.
    ***1970 CM400T needs a new home. *** PM me.
    Get on your Bike and Ride.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator ramprat06's Avatar
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    Pretty creative Thomas. Not really in my wheelhouse but can't fault your craftiness and work. As an aside, the "label" on the front fender plays havoc with my visual perception. The optical illusion is that your front wheel is horridly out of line.

    *edit to add, take care of that leg, that looks nasty.

    Joel in the Couve
    Last edited by ramprat06; 06-30-2014 at 08:09 PM.
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