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Discussion Starter #1
Time to start the build thread for my bike...

When I joined this group, I posted I'd just bought a CM200T cafe racer, this little beauty below
s-l1600 (2).jpg

What, I want to do is build a desert racer.
I've got a miles and miles of dirt tracks where I live, don't want a trail bike, I want something with a bit more class...

Well, on Friday it was in truck on it's way to Portugal...
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Yes it was in that truck waiting to get on a ferry from Portsmouth, UK...

Today, It was in the Portuguese depot of the transporter, complete with a a spare engine & a box of bits.
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I'm going to pick up the bike later in the week, when my neighbour is available with his truck. I doubt I'll get it in the back of my car...

So, I get home, open the box of bits and find, 3 seats including the original, a tank, and a smaller box of bits...
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Spare engine...
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More to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't know what you've pictured in your mind for style and design of your project, but here's one a member shared with me a while back... if he can do it with a behemoth like a DOHC 450, your 200 should work well along the same lines

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxhhXu0s2Qk&feature=youtu.be
I'm not sure at this time what or how, I'm going to anything with the bike, The bike is still down at the transporters depot.
Until I get it up here in my workshop, and examine the bike thoroughly, I can't say what I am, or can do to the bike to make it a desert racer.

But, the bike in the link is rather nice ;)

At the moment, I need to get hold of my neighbour to arrange a day when we can go down and collect it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Been thinking more about what I want to do...
As I said before until I get the bike into the workshop and start assessing the bike, I cannot say exactly what I visualise.
I'd like to say something like the Steve McQueen Metisse style, but until I actually start working on the bike, I don't really want to say.

So, I asked myself why a Desert racer? Well I live in a region of Portugal known as the desert, it can get really hot and dry here in the summer, but also wet & muddy in the winter.
We don't really get ice here, too warm...
Plus, not everyone builds a desert racer, and given the terrain I have around me, a Cafe racer simply is not the right bike to have.
I need both tarmac & dirt, probably a 50/50 mix, I'm not going to technically difficult terrain, but certainly hill climbing.
Some of the tracks I use are pretty damn steep... But not so steep a 4x4 can't do them.
But, none of the tracks are particularly rough, the farmers use them all the time.
So, I think my CM200T will handle the terrain without too much difficulty.

The other reason, I've chosen a desert racer over cafe racer, is body position. I simply cannot handle being hunched over the bars anymore.
I want a more upright riding position, with a nice straight back...
Plus, I spend more time up off the seat, than I do on the seat.

I bought the bike as seen, it was being sold as a Cafe racer, and the sale photos (first photo on this thread) certainly presented that.
The rear frame has been cut, the seat has not been finished, so I have options...

The bike is also 6v, not 12v, I'd like to convert to 12v but keep the original configuration, just convert it from 6v to 12v... How possible that is I don't know, never done it before...

At the end of the day, I know my skill set is more than capable of handling the task ahead, but my knowledge of the bike is limited.
So, I will be asking for advice.

I'll post more of my thoughts as I have them, but any comments & suggestions would be gratefully received.

Cheers

Chris
 

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Should be a fun project. I'd think proper fenders and longer travel suspension would fit the bill. Maybe high level exhaust and provision for carrying survival gear depending on conditions. Subscribed!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thinking about it, the most important thing I need to keep in mind is weight...
It's not the most powerful of bikes, and any unnecessary weight additions will have quite an effect on performance

With that in mind, I think I'll make up the mud guards in composite, rather than metal.
Plus, it's easier to get the shape right in composites, than sheet metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Should be a fun project. I'd think proper fenders and longer travel suspension would fit the bill. Maybe high level exhaust and provision for carrying survival gear depending on conditions. Subscribed!
At the moment, I don't want to change that much, see how I go with the standard suspension, and exhausts.
See how I feel after I've been riding it for a bit, then decide whether or not I want, or need to change things, like longer travel suspension, & high level exhausts.

The other aspect, is I don't have a load of money to spend on the bike right now, so this is going to be quite a long drawn out affair, maybe even a year...
 

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I think you might like the bike as Honda built it. I completely agree with riding it for a while and fixing up small issues and getting to know the bike along the way. Where you ride will help form your riding style, with that you can decide better what you need a bike (or this bike) to be.

For me, if I'm building something custom I'm best starting with a bike that is missing pieces. That way I can't get lazy and go back to stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
For me, if I'm building something custom I'm best starting with a bike that is missing pieces. That way I can't get lazy and go back to stock.
It's got a few bits missing, so I will have to create the replacements, or change things accordingly
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Been looking at tyres today, something more suited to my needs.

It's got road biased tyres on at the moment
 

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Be aware that tires have a shelf life, so don't buy any until everything else is all set to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Be aware that tires have a shelf life, so don't buy any until everything else is all set to ride.
Thanks, I'm sticking with what I've got for the time being.
Just looking for what comes next, if you get my meaning...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you to Babybiker, for providing a link to a UK based company on Ebay, that fabricates frame loops.
The link provided, was for an LED light integrated design, which I don't want, but they also make basic frame loops to what ever spec you need.

Given how my bike has already had the rear frame cut off, I've got to weld something on the ends, and it'll cost me more for the steel to make the dies for my bar bender, it makes more sense to buy a ready made frame loop.

s-l1600 (1).jpg
You can see in this photo, the rear frame cut
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Still waiting for my neighbour to say when he's available to pick the bike up from the depot with me...

However, I was walking around some of the tracks near me today, and thinking some extra travel on the suspension might actually be a good idea.
So, I had a look at what was available...
Did a search on Ebay, and came up with a set of 400mm rear shocks from a Honda XL185, and a set of forks from a Honda XR125.
Which, I think might be a suitable "upgrade" for the stock CM200T suspension.
If I do anything, I'd prefer a more or less direct fit, without having to fabricate, cut, or weld anything at the moment, well not too much anyway.

Keep, in mind this is only a thought at the moment, I'll know more when I actually get the bike running, and take it out for spin...
No harm having a think ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Rear shocks are easy buy mind your chain line doesn't contact your swingarm.

Check out https://www.allballsracing.com/index.php/forkconversion
For front ends that'll bolt right up.
Thanks for the link, I've just spotted the link in your signature this morning, lots of useful info in there...

My initial thought was to find a direct fit for the existing CM200 Yokes, any fork tube with a OD of 31mm.
However, finding info regards fork tube length is harder to come by.

The rears, I'll have to do some measuring when I finally get the bike in the workshop. I only want about 2 inch extra travel, I think that will be enough.
Unless, anyone has a better way, I will remove the tops of the rear shocks, and lower the swing arm, until I get 400mm between centres, matching the XL185 shocks.
If the chain is still clear of the swing arm, then fine, if not I'll bring the swing arm back up until the chain is clear, and measure the distance between the centres.
 

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While other 31mm forks will fit your triple clamps, what do you plan to do for a wheel and brake?

The distance between fork clamps is critical if you intend to reuse your front wheel, brake, and stock spacers. To overcome this you may need to have custom spacers made, choose a front end that is close in width to yours but just a little narrower, that way in your wider triple clamps you can add spacers to make your stock wheel fit.

If you want to use a dirt bike wheel, make sure to take lots of measurements like hub width plus spacers so you know the distance you need between fork sliders.

In general slipping different forks into your triples opens up a world of other concerns. Replacing the entire front end in one go puts that burden on a Honda engineer who's probably already ended his retirement.
 
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