The "Juice Cafe" Racer. From start to Ton up! ( The Build Begins)

3/19/11 Update: Parts Huntin!

We spent the day at the PEE DEE Street rod show in Myrtle Beach
SC to look at old cars and go through the parts vendors that tend
to carry a good amount of electric items. We found several great
items I needed including the illusive copper 2 Gauge ¼” hole
terminal ends. A bag of 25 new pieces went for only 10$
plus a few other needed goodies. That and a fun day of
looking at thousands of really cool Hotrods.

Color look familiar?

Looks like a blower may be in the future for the ole 1929 Model A
we have, if I save a lot of pennies, but that is a different forum!

41 days and counting!

3/20/11 Update: More Power!

Today I added the extra battery box to get the Juiced Café
Motorcycle to the 90 volt level. This made it possible to run
a hard run and only have it drop down to 79 volts.
(3.04 volts per group) I also started replacing the temporary
cables with newly made correct length and size Gauge 2 pieces.

I think paint will soon be the order of the day. Prowler Orange
(like on the 1940 Willis photo in the earlier post) will match nicely.

40 days and counting!

3/21/11 Update: Barkeep, a round of cables for everyone!

Tonight I replaced the remaining temporary cables with all 2 gauge units.
I crimp and solder all of the big cables. I also added the mirrors and found
out the clip on handle bars were not positioned correctly for the period
correct fiberglass. They had to be moved from the top to just under the
upper clamp of the triple tree.

This motorcycle is a triple threat of a project. First it has to run on electric
power. Second it needs to look like a vintage CB750R with all of its heritage
and factory fiberglass mounted correctly. Lastly it needs to ride well and
fit my 6 foot frame comfortably.

The first part is working. The second and third part are the next hurtle
we must face. Oh , what fun!!

39 days and counting!

3/22/11 Update: So, how is that diet coming along?

Today the racer was brought into the main garage for a weight check.
This is the first time since we added all of the operational equipment
that we have had a chance to see if all of our parts were going to be
light enough. We are shooting for a total weight of 350 pounds.

Front 150 lb, back 160lb. Total of 310lb.

The bike still has a pound or two of useless brackets and such.
The fiberglass and headlight are not 40 pounds so I think
we are looking good…so far.

The foot pegs were moved …. again. The neighborhood ride
was comfortable so I think we may have it right, for now.

I also started looking at the mounting system for the fiberglass tank
and seat. We should have photos of it all mounted by this weekend.

38 days and counting!

3/23/11 update: Bartender, what do I owe on the tab?

Me, a saws-all, and the rest of the useless tabs met their match.

Tonight I actually got a lot done. First off I finally cut off all the useless
tabs and mounts as everything that can be mounted, has been. The bolt
that held on the rear cross member was shortened. Before it held all sorts
of things and now it is 1 ½ inches shorter as all it does now is hold up the
cross member. A wood seat mount (yes wood like in the old days) was
made so I have something to rest the fiberglass bubble piece and my butt on.
I swapped out the 12 tooth front gear (4.5 ratio) for a 13 tooth gear
(4.1 ratio) to try to settle the bike down and all it did was make it faster.
It did remove the jerkiness of the first 5 miles per hour.
The rest of the acceleration was hold on to your seat fun.

I am in big troooooooouble!

Yes officer ….I really was doing science…just really fast science.

37 days and counting

3/24/11 Update: Keeping that motor clean.

Tonight a motor shield was fabricated using an old plastic fender. I want to really keep the look of the old racer
and this does that job. Also the seat and wood platform were mounted to the chassis. No more sliding off during
hard acceleration! It was also trimmed to fit the tank and the look of this racer is starting to come together.

I spend an hour trying to get the tail light to look right, but finally stopped with nothing mounted. I am going to
take look at some of the other bikes and see if there is a happy medium of function and looking period correct.

It may be easier said than done. :slight_smile:

36 days and counting.

3/25/11 Update. We have lights!!! (Brake lights anyway)

Today the brake/running light and license plate holder were wired
up and mounted. I have a “flasher” unit that flashes the brake light 4
times before it goes solid. I have seen much less panic stops from the
local auto drivers since I installed theses units on the Orange Juiced bike
and Harley. All I need is the head light mounted and it will be 100% legal!

I also had the pleasure of going to the DMV to swap the license plate
over to the new café racer. :frowning:
The bike had another run through the neighborhood today too!

It gets stronger every day…… :slight_smile:

35 Days and counting!!!

3/26/11 Update: Is that a tiger in your tank?

I finally got the “fake” fuel tank bolted down….sort of. Instead of using
bolts we used industrial …….Velcro. The tank is a thin, but strong,
fiberglass cover for all the electronics of this racer. The Industrial
Velcro will hold it very well and provide that little bit of flex so the
fiberglass does not crack under the stress of riding on the local roads.
The mounting surface is aluminum plate so it has a wide area to hold on to.

We received our application to the car/bike show today. This is the one
we are setting our goal of having the project done by, April 30th. They
only allow 250 entries so we had to receive approval to be in this charity
show (one of our favorite). Since it is a technical college (and I am an
alumnus) we were hoping that would help us to be granted a spot.

I guess they thought so too. :slight_smile:

34 days and counting

3/27/11 Update: Battery balance runs.

One thing with Headway batteries you need to do is make some small runs to balance them and make them “happy”.
Until all the rain we really needed came today I ran the bike through the neighborhood until the system got to about 50%.
Most of the battery pack was already balanced, but since we added more cells it still is a needed procedure. If not an untimely
dealt of a cell or two will happen.

If nothing else it was fun the ride the bike before the final tear down for paint and such. That will be in the next week or two
so I should be able to do some more balancing. That way when it is complete, I can just ride and ride and ride! :smiley:

33 Days and counting.

3/28/11 Update: I see the light! (Almost)

Today we received the light “bucket” for the headlight that is supposed to be glued into
the back of the inside of the racing fairing. Since this will also a street bike we will
make brackets (Photo later in the week) to hold this in and bolt it to the fairing.
That way we can change the light and not be too destructive about it.

I was hoping to get all of this started, but it was 47 degrees (where did spring go?)
raining heavily (2” in 1 ½ hour!) and not the best weather to be doing fiberglass work in an unheated garage. Instead I started to do some cleaning of the aluminum rims and such.

Even with all the dreary weather, it was still a productive evening!

32 days and counting!

3/29/11 Update: This glass is kicking my ……

You would think that with the fiberglass seat and tank mounting going
so easily that the fairing would be the same….not so. Unless you do not
have a choice, try to keep the original equipment the bike came with.
I fully took on this challenge of changing …everything as we wanted
something different. The racing faring has some very tight clearances
around the handle bars. I will do some more work on it this weekend.

I did get the fine tuning of the controller done as well as a good twenty
miles on the GPS odometer today. Until we do the “Ton up” runs I will
run it in extended range mode. It is programmed with just enough Amps
to keep the EV smile on my face, but still have usable range. The locals
have also started to notice the Café racer. Two of them made a stop by
the house to take a look. So far, thumbs up!

31 days and counting!

3/30/11 Update:Parts, Parts, Parts.

I received a call from Airtech today (Thanks Dutch!) letting me know
that the last of the parts we needed (Fairing mount and headlight) were
on the way. That should make things easier to get the fairing mounted
since I have been holding it up with boxes. Once the fairing is mounted,
the racer will be torn down, the fiberglass sent to a local painter (A first
for me) and everything fully stripped, cleaned and painted before
reassembly a few weeks down the road.

I am sure I will be going through EV withdrawal and this has been so much
fun to ride during the testing phase. The first ride to work will be a blast!
My Drag racing hero (Tammy) has been brought on board to proof read all
of the posts as I am true technician, not a word artiste. I write what I
think (speling? What spleing? ) not necessarily what translates to the page.
I guess I am just having too much fun building stuff!

30 days and counting!

3/31/11 Update: Just a swinging!

It is now time to start the tear down of the Juiced Café and make her
look as good as she runs. I can do some of this now as I wait for the
fairing mount to arrive. This motorcycle is 32 years old and will need
to have a good “head to toe” check. So far, so good. There are several
years of “goop” on the swing arm that will all be gone soon.

The bushings in the swing arm look fine, but
the grease will need to be cleaned out and replaced.

We also found a local painter with a great reputation (and a really
good price for the job) that is enthusiastic about the project and
promises a quality paint job to be proud of. Also a 5 day turn
around will help us to get this project done on time!

29 days and counting!

4/1/11 Update: Sometimes 30 years of grease is not that bad….

After finally getting some time to tear down all the “little bits” on the
rear assembly I found thick layers of grease and goop everywhere.
Part after part cleaned up very well. Under all that mess was bright
chrome and perfectly preserved parts, even some original decals!

Each nut and bolt will be removed, cleaned or replaced (only if it is
damaged) and all clearances checked. So far all of it is looking very
good. Both sets of brake assemblies were also checked today. Even
with one brake assembly removed on the front (two are not needed
on such a light motorcycle) it stops with controllable confidence.

28 days and counting!

4/2/11 Update: I hate painting.

Since spray paint in cans, in the USA anyway, has become “eco-friendly”
it has gotten tougher to get a smooth solid look. I really do not want to
strip the frame completely, but every time I put a layer of gloss black
(a tough color to get right) it does not come out as well as I expect. I did
get a very nice layer of paint on the swing arm today as well as the rear
brake tube. The frame seems to be fighting me all the way.

It may be the years of wax that has gotten into the paint that is giving me
the trouble. Whoever owned the motorcycle before kept it in great
condition so I think wax was part of the maintenance. I may also need to
let the paint/primer dry longer before giving it the final coat of color. I
will let you know tomorrow if that strategy works.

27 Days and counting!

4/3/11 Update: Frame painting is done (Did I mention I hate painting?)

After a frustrating Saturday of stripping, painting, repainting, restripping,
and painting again, today was much better. The frame paint is now complete.
This is not my first rodeo in painting. I have painted many frames and
even whole cars, but for some reason this bike was not having any of it.
Several friends have send some great helpful information. Here are the results…

We went to the store and purchased several cans (remember it is a DYI
project) of gloss black paint and black primer to determine the best
combination for this project. After several tries, it turned out to be a
can of automotive primer and a “premium” can of black lacquer and
a lot of sanding and cleaning.

I have also taken special care to keep the original decals. As luck would
have it one of the few spots that paint would not lay flat for any reason
there was a decal. Even after stripping down to bare metal, it would not
flow correctly. I have found a NOS replacement decal and should be able to
(no, don’t say it!) hide the offending area with something that was supposed
to be there anyway.

Thank you to everyone who send suggestions!

I have all day training for the next two days so
work on the bike will be limited to an hour at best.

26 days and counting!

4/6/11 Update: It is almost ready for the Orange paint!

We finally received the last two parts for the Café racer today, the faring
mount and the small, but powerful headlight. I am glad we went with the
factory racing fairing mount as it is much lighter than I could have made
here in the shop. The mounting system also is rather innovative. All I need
to do now before sending the entire fiberglass parts off to the painter is
mount the headlight bucket and do some minor sanding.

Turning issues with the handle bars “turned” into a headache. There is only
a small amount of clearance with a race fairing. I did some research and
found out they limited the travel of the front end so that you did not hit
the fairing or fuel tank when turning. Most road racing did not need the
same amount of movement than street use. I have added a steering limiter
and will take the bike out tomorrow to ensure that I have no steering issues.
From pushing the bike around the garage it looks to be OK.

23 days and counting!

4/7/11 Update: She is ready for paint!

It has finally gotten to the point of getting the fiberglass finished for
the painter. Everything was mounted today and I took it for a good long
run. It all felt great. No rattles and on an electric motorcycle with no
engine noise you will hear every loose part and rattle.

The photos are the “before” pictures. Before all the pretty parts go on.
Before all the last few items get painted. Before it gets abused by my
driving it to work….a lot. The reassembly will still take a week or two
so even though it looks like I am ahead of schedule I think it will still be
down to the wire! I have a bunch of bolts to get changed out to the
correct size and type. (Some Stainless, other grade 8). All of the drive
train is done so no issues there.

22 days and counting!

4/9/11 Update: Bits and pieces.
Now I get to do what Ted (EV friend) likes best, paint, and paint a lot
of small stuff. While the rest of the bike gets all that bright Orange, it
is now time to get all the small parts trimmed, cleaned up and in some
cases, painted. I have been sifting through the nuts and bolts bins looking
for all the spare lock nuts I can find before running off to the hardware
store. So far I have found everything the bike needs “in house”. We may
still need a few stainless items since this will be a street bike and I do not
want to spend too much time re-cleaning and painting in the future. Maybe
even a few aluminum bolts for the non stress parts? Time will tell.

20 days and counting!!

4/11/11 Update: Polishing Comstar Rims

I do not know what these rims are made of (alloy) but they are tough to polish.
I have read mixed opinions on the looks of them and I have seen many more ugly rims
compared to these. They are very well made and not much heavier than spokes.
These we have are period correct,original to the racing version and I personally like
them. The have clean lines and are definitely not as bulky looking as the
"reverse comstars" I see on the later Honda’s.

After a couple different types of polish, I went hunting for more info online. So
far I have not found the secret way of making them look original. I am not
trying to get them looking like chrome just the matte finish they came with.

More work on this tonight. :slight_smile:

18 days and counting!!