SUPER 50 CAFE build. 1971 Z50 with Super 50 tank.

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SUPER 50 CAFE build. 1971 Z50 with Super 50 tank.

This is a discussion on SUPER 50 CAFE build. 1971 Z50 with Super 50 tank. within the Z50, CT70 and JDM Monkeybikes forums, part of the General Talk category; Waiting on parts for the 50 Magnum build. Thought I would do a retrospective build thread while I was waiting...You know, like music to listen ...

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Thread: SUPER 50 CAFE build. 1971 Z50 with Super 50 tank.

  1. #1
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    SUPER 50 CAFE build. 1971 Z50 with Super 50 tank.

    Waiting on parts for the 50 Magnum build. Thought I would do a retrospective build thread while I was waiting...You know, like music to listen to while your call is on hold. The build started from humble beginnings: the need to take a dump. Some of you guys may be familiar with the Country Crapper, a camping aid. It was a hit at the big annual camp-out I brought it to, but power on the stock engine was a little less than satisfactory. So, a bigger engine and some other mods were in order, and a different bike was tapped for the job. The country crapper trailer also got a make-over, with redwood arm rests, fenders, and an umbrella among other mods. Originally, the new bike had a 70cc engine, Z50 K3 handle bars, and a low pipe that was later chopped up to make the Midlothian Racer pipe. The seat was the first attempt I made at a "sprung" seat. Valve springs from a 65 mustang were used. Was not too happy with the final outcome on the seat, but it was done with the idea that it would eventually be changed out. I will say that it made for more room to stretch your legs, but the seat was too short, and not as functional as it could be because of it.
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  2. #2
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    Fast forward to the great paintfest of 2010, when I decided to paint 7 bikes at once (crazy, I know, but not as crazy as you might think.) The seventh bike was this one, with the tank, headlight and rear fairing getting painted. Since there was already yellow powdercoat on the headlight, only the black stripe and clearcoat were needed there. The rear fairing got black powdercoat, and then silver lettering and clearcoat. The tank has side covers, so I decided to take a stab at some graphics. Not totally pleased with the outcome on the graphics, but hey, it was my first. The new seat was made, with a longer lever-arm. The handlebars were made from Z50 K1 bars. I almost put an SL70 tank on, but decided to try one on another build (that would later be the 50 Magnum.) The tail pipe was longer originally, but after whacking my shin with the tip a half-dozen times, it was chopped down.
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    Last edited by davmo; 08-12-2012 at 02:12 AM.

  3. #3
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    More progress pics. The seat was layered with 1/2"foam, and then topped with some dense black foam. The lines are drawn on the black foam to show the upholstery folks how the stitching goes. The tank was shot with black basecoat and a little clear over that, then blocked out with 600 grit, and taped off prior to spraying the graphics. You can see that the original style pegs are still on, as the centerstand/peg assembly was yet to be built. Just looking at that tailpipe sticking out makes my shin hurt! The mess of wires in the headlight bucket. There were even more wires added for the signals. The blinker relay ended up in the housing as well, making for some tight quarters. The timeline on these pics is a little off, you can see the painted headlight bucket and a different mounting bracket for it in the lower left picture. That pic shows the top triple clamp after new holes were made to house the toggle switches, and holes at the top that allow the wires from inside the handlebars to pass through.The triple clamp was made from 1/2" 6061 aluminum plate. I wanted to use some vintage pilot light lenses in the build that were given to me by the guy who invented "circuit bending." They are salvaged from WW2 era aircraft instrument panels. The last pic shows the yoke for the brushguard that also acts as a wire and cable retainer. The brushguard was made from a CT90 donor.
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    Last edited by davmo; 08-12-2012 at 02:03 AM.

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    I like the idea of using the vintage aircraft lights! Was it one of these people that gave you the lights?

    More please .

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShapeShifter View Post
    I like the idea of using the vintage aircraft lights! Was it one of these people that gave you the lights?

    More please .
    Yes, the very first guy, who looks a little like Jerry Garcia. That's Q.Reed Ghazala. Met some of the others up in Cincinatti this summer. The "music" on the video is not the best representation of what can be done with these instruments, but rather a demonstration of some of the sounds the instruments are capable of. There are well-known artists using these instruments in recordings. As far as the pilot light lenses, Reed sent me some years ago that ended up on a couple bikes, and some instruments. When I was in Ohio, he took me to that place in the video where he is pointing to a sign inside a warehouse store. Mega-vintage pilot lights. Went another place and picked up some US navy surplus "aircraft tail lights" with the date April, 1944 on the box! Right in the middle of the war.
    First pic is of the bike after the tailpipe was shortened. The pipe was made from a Norton 850 Commando, that a friend gave me, and the canister is a 69 Z50. Here the graphics have a couple coats of clear applied over it. Nothing has gone to the chrome shop. You can see the new footpeg assembly (sans pegs) peeking out from under the engine. You can also see a piece of metal at the front of the seat, that covers the lower back portion of the tank. That is the door for the glove box (there is so much room under the tank, it was a shame to let it go to waste.)The glove box is big enough for a wallet or cell phone, but not both. Next pic is a close-up of the retainer for the seat springs. Because the seat is hinged, there has to be something stopping it from going too far upward. There are rods passing from the seat through the springs, and held in place by a crossbar and a couple nuts. The crossbar hits the bottom of the tail light bracket to stop it. The rods were shortened sections of engine studs from a previous Z50 engine rebuild. Pic of a KO and two K1's in primer. (there were two more K2's done at the same time as well.) Pic inside the spray booth of random parts and the Super 50 tank. Last pic is of the relocated petcock. It was originally right where the rear frame comes up to the back of the tank.
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    Last edited by davmo; 08-12-2012 at 02:07 AM.

  7. #6
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    More random build pics. The footpeg mount prior to chrome, with Fastway pegs. I angled the pegs slightly forward, as they were more comfortable on the feet that way (something about putting an adult on a kid's bike.) The brackets for the steering stabilizer were made from 3/8" aluminum plate. The steering stabilizers were found online as "Polini pocket bike" ones. They don't dampen the steering all that much, but make it a lot smoother. The geometry on the stabilizers took some time to figure out, there is just enough room in between the forks to make it work. A bracket was made from steel that goes around the lower steering stem and forkstop. Some of the mods are made to address more than one problem. This bracket takes care of four different concerns at once: providing the mounting point for the stabilizers; strengthening the steering stop from breakage; limiting fork turning; and bracing the lower bearing cup. I am sure some of you have seen the flaring-out that happens on the lower steering stem due to years of riding. This bracket clamps that area tightly. Pics of the footpeg/center stand just back from the chrome shop and assembled. The center stand was made from 1/2" steel tube, with slugs inside the very bottom and top segments to strengthen things up. The footpeg mount was made from 3/4" steel tube, with 1/8" steel plate to strengthen again. The centerstand spring is a K3 z50 brake return spring (like to keep things all Honda, as much as possible.
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  8. #7
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    Pics of the front-end. The front fork dampers are obviously steering dampers. No doubt some of you guys have seen a similar set-up elsewhere, but the ones I usually see just put it on one fork. So more has to be better, right? Once again, I was trying to make something that served more than one purpose. I wanted to do a low tire-hugging front fender, but that means it has to be attached to the lower forks. With the fork boots in the way, the mounting point would be quite low. So 1/4" thick steel was used to make the fender bracket with a front tab to mount the fork damper to. My wife found the fender out in front of someones house, they were clearing out the garage and laid the fender and some other stock Harley take-off parts at the curb. The fender was cut down and remounted on the original bracket with a little re-shaping and a spacer to lift up the rear of the fender. The lower bracket and fender mount were connected in such a way that it acts as a fork brace as well. The upper fork damper bracket was made from some 1 1/2" black gas pipe. Some short 1/2" square bar pieces were welded along the side of the pipe sections to make the ears the screws go in. After the screw holes were drilled, the pieces of pipe were split down the middle. That way, the screw holes are perfectly aligned with one another, if you follow me. Everything got sanded and polished out before going for chrome. First pic is of everything back from the chrome shop. You can also see the aluminum pieces at the bottom of the picture, for the sides of the seat. They were made from 1/2" plate.
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    Last edited by davmo; 08-12-2012 at 10:16 PM.

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    Davmo - did you do something special with the headset? Doesn't look like anything i have seen before. Bicycles have super precise headsets, but the couple i have opened up on these mini bikes are a mess and seams like an afterthought. I think it would be cool if i could get a chris king bicycle headset in there to smoothen things out!

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    Astonishing contrivance, Dave!


    Augi, which part is the headset you speak of?

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    ugh, i just opened up my clymer book and found the exploded view of the headsets, i guess they have pressed in bearing races... the last picture in post #6, with the stabilizers looked different than any of my bikes in the headset bearing component... anyhow, i guess i need to read up on this book before asking dumb questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hokoman View Post
    ugh, i just opened up my clymer book and found the exploded view of the headsets, i guess they have pressed in bearing races... the last picture in post #6, with the stabilizers looked different than any of my bikes in the headset bearing component... anyhow, i guess i need to read up on this book before asking dumb questions.
    Hey, there are no dumb questions when it comes to customization. Maybe yours is the next great idea. I have gone so far as to put in an entirely new steering tube in a frame (the 50 Magnum build,) so thanks for more food for thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hokoman
    ugh, i just opened up my clymer book and found the exploded view of the headsets, i guess they have pressed in bearing races... the last picture in post #6, with the stabilizers looked different than any of my bikes in the headset bearing component... anyhow, i guess i need to read up on this book before asking dumb questions.
    The only dumb question is the one you should have asked, but didn't.

    I just never heard it called a headset before. Actually, I don't know what it is called - maybe it is a headset. But yes, the stock Honda minis all had pressed in races with loose balls (insert testicle joke here) . A common upgrade is to go with tapered bearings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davmo View Post
    More progress pics. The seat was layered with 1/2"foam, and then topped with some dense black foam. The lines are drawn on the black foam to show the upholstery folks how the stitching goes. The tank was shot with black basecoat and a little clear over that, then blocked out with 600 grit, and taped off prior to spraying the graphics. You can see that the original style pegs are still on, as the centerstand/peg assembly was yet to be built. Just looking at that tailpipe sticking out makes my shin hurt! The mess of wires in the headlight bucket. There were even more wires added for the signals. The blinker relay ended up in the housing as well, making for some tight quarters. The timeline on these pics is a little off, you can see the painted headlight bucket and a different mounting bracket for it in the lower left picture. That pic shows the top triple clamp after new holes were made to house the toggle switches, and holes at the top that allow the wires from inside the handlebars to pass through.The triple clamp was made from 1/2" 6061 aluminum plate. I wanted to use some vintage pilot light lenses in the build that were given to me by the guy who invented "circuit bending." They are salvaged from WW2 era aircraft instrument panels. The last pic shows the yoke for the brushguard that also acts as a wire and cable retainer. The brushguard was made from a CT90 donor.
    Thats nice!!!

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakliddle View Post
    Thats nice!!!
    Thanks! Some of the early completion pics. These are some of the same ones in my albums, but I just wanted a single thread with this stuff. The rear fairing was made of scraps left over from the construction of my shop. It was a metal building using 20 gauge metal studs, a piece of which was flattened out for the seat pan and fairing. The rear light was made with 10mm LED's, and a piece of 1/8" aluminum plate that was a scrap of window trim. There are turn signals in each corner of the light.
    The way I made the brake light work was that I put some smaller red LED's behind the 10mm ones. That way, they shine through the lenses in front of them. Those are for the running lights, and the 10mm ones come on for the brakes. I used the same idea to put some blue LED's behind for the ground effects. It makes the tail lights purple, and the turn signals green. When it gets dark, I will try to get some pictures.
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    What did you use for the heat shield on the muffler?

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