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Discussion Starter #1
This isn't anything fancy, but here's my write-up. I forgot to take pictures half the time. Oops.

Back in November, I was given a 2001 V-Star 650 Custom. It has 34k miles, but had been sitting outside, uncovered, for about 3 years. The owner never started it or anything. I think he laid the bike down, was too scared to get back on it, and gave up.

Here she is as I picked her up:




The previous owner installed t-bars, Cobra drag pipes(with no baffles), lowered the rear, and removed all the controls and turn signals. It's hard to tell from the images, but it's in pretty rough shape. Most of the chrome is damaged, the tires are shot, the carbs are gummed up solid. On top of that, the owner didn't have the key anymore. My first job was to get the ignition cylinder off, get a key made, and check the gas tank. Luckily, it was perfectly clean:



Seeing this, I decided to rip most of the bike apart. I pulled the carbs, soaked them, and cleaned all passages with carb cleaner and guitar string. I had to replace about 75% of the wire terminals, since they were all corroded.

I also decided to paint the most heavily corroded areas. Since I figured I'd want a daily rider that I didn't have to baby, I went with matte black. I painted the exhaust, engine block, head covers, frame, front shocks, and swing arm covers.

After finally getting it partially re-assembled, it was time to try and get it started. And it fired right up. At this point, I completely reassembled her. I also changed the engine and final drive oil.




I then drove her around the neighborhood for a little bit. Whenever I would give it enough gas to move onto the main jet circuit, she would completely bog down. I decided to pull the carbs back apart, thinking maybe I skipped over something. turns out, the stock 92 jets were still installed. I replaced them with 125s, and now it pulls hard when you get on it. I thought maybe I went too high in jet size, but so far, the plugs still look good.

After this...well, some kind of bug bit me. I should have just hopped on the bike and enjoyed it. Instead, I decided to add meaning to the "Custom" moniker.

I started by chopping the rear fender.




But it didn't quite look right with the factory color scheme. So I painted the tank, rear fender, side covers, and mirrors with black bedliner. I also removed the front fender.




You may notice I never fixed the dent in the tank. I decided I was going to try and keep cost and effort as minimal as possible. I just wanted to ride the bike. There are no cracks or holes where's it's dented, so it's just cosmetic.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Now it was time to tackle the electrical system. There were no turn signals. The horn and starter buttons were located on the tool box cover. The headlight was hard wired to always be on high beam. I needed a new tail/brake and tag light.

So, starting with the tag light and mount, I decided to just use a piece of angle iron. I cut it to length, painted it with bedliner, and mounted it on the forward two bolts of the final drive. The tag light is a simple white LED strip glued to the angle iron.



The tail/brake light is simple LED strip glued to the top trailing edge of the fender, using a simple circuit consisting of a resistor and diode. The rear turn signals are also LED strips, glued to the side trailing edges of the fender.




The front turn signals are also LED strips, wrapped around the fork tubes. They ended up being smaller than I expected, but they'll do for now.




As for switches, I decided I liked the clean look of the handlebars. I mounted all my switches in the speedometer housing.



Above the Yamaha logo is a SPDT on/off/on switch for the turn signals. The black push button to the left of that is the horn button. The toggle to the upper left of the speedo is the high beam switch. And the push button to the upper right of the speedo is the starter button.

I also put new grips, since I HATED the chrome grips.



I also have new mirrors on order, they should be in sometime in the next week.

And that's pretty much where she sits right now. The next couple weeks will be spent taking care of mechanical issues.

This weekend will be the front end. I'll be replacing the front tire, tube, rim strip, fork seals, wheel bearings, and tree bearings. I'll also be re-routing the throttle cable, and making sure the hoses/wires/cables are secure and won't bind.

Next weekend, I'll be replacing the rear tire, tube, and rim strip. I'll be using a slightly wider tire, 180/70, instead of 170/80. I'll also be replacing the wheel bearings, and lubing the drive shaft.

I also have to check the valves, which I neglected to do. I'd like to change out the clutches, but after adjusting the clutch cable, they feel fine.

One thing I'm debating on is painting the wheels. I don't really want to, as I feel I've passed the critical mass level of matte black. I think I'll just work on lifting the rust, and maybe just paint the spokes, since they have some decent oxidation on them.

After that, I'd like to get some baffles for the exhaust. The sound is growing on me, but the lack of low end power isn't. I'll also most likely re-shape and re-cover the seat myself. And AIS removal is definitely in the very near future.

So far, I've spent about $600, including the tires. I figure, if I can keep it under $1000, I'll be a happy man.

Feel free to ask any questions. I'll post an update this weekend. Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

I used the forward two bolts of the final drive, and washers behind the plate holder.

 

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Well, the seals, tube, and liner didn't make it by this weekend. But I got the load resistors, so I may finish up the turn signals. I just have to install the load resistors, and put a couple diodes at the indicator light to restore turn signal functionality. I also have to do a valve adjustment on my buddy's Ninja 500R this weekend.

But again, a bug bit me. I have an Arduino sitting here, not being used. For those that don't know, an Arduino is a small microcontroller, designed to be flexible and easy to use.

For some background on me...my profession is automotive HVAC. I've been working as a technician professionally for 11 years. My father has been a mechanic for 45 years, so growing up, all I did was work on cars. I'm literally that guy that has been turning wrenches since he was 5. I did 3 years of college in Electrical Engineering. I've always had a severe thirst for knowledge.

So, back to the Arduino. I decided I want a brake light flasher. But I haven't really found a unit that I liked, regardless of price range. With the Arduino, I can easily build one, that can be custom tailored to my needs. Not only that, I can change flash rates and patterns at any time with some simple code changes.

To go even further, I'm also considering using the Arduino to control my turn signals. I'll be able to add subtle flashing patterns to each light individually, to enhance visibility without being overly obnoxious.

Anyways, that's where I'm at. I'm working on the schematic and parts list now, and hopefully I'll have a prototype working by the end of next week. At the very minimum, I should have something running in a simulator by the end of the weekend.

I'll update then. :)
 

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The wheels in gunmetal grey would look nice....

If the chrome rims are in decent shape just do the spoke areas.

Nice bike though. your on the right track....

Cool... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmmm...you may be on to something there. I'm pretty sure I can save the chrome on the wheels. But I very well may paint the spokes black, and front caliper, rear drive, and drum gunmetal grey. I'll have to sit on it for a bit. Thanks!

Also, a small update. I got the turn signals working properly finally. I also got my new mirrors in, which are cheap $20 mirrors from eBay. A bit smaller than I expected, but I'm happy with how they look on the bike.

 

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You can plug the two holes in the left side cover with Chrome Bullets.
Since you moved all the switches to the speedo cluster.

Many people like the Satin black or Hot rod flat black. and it does look great on some bikes. The balance between dark and chrome or silver items can make all the difference.

I have always been a fan of Red, black, silver. A combo of the three colors can be very pleasing.

The mirrors look cool, I hope they have enough adjustment in them.

If you do the spokes in black try to keep the rims chrome.
This makes the wheels look much better than all black.

my 2 cents

jake :rolleyes:;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I like the way you think. :)

I'm actually a huge fan of red and black, and I'm loving the way black and chrome looks now. I feel I've gone a bit too far with the black, though it wasn't bad before I painted the tank and fender. I'd really like to sneak some red in there, tastefully, I'm just not sure how yet. I'm thinking maybe keeping red specific to the engine might look good. Such as the head covers, the outer edges of the cooling fins, maybe the bolt heads.

The mirrors just barely have enough adjustment. The right one is okay, but the left is as far up as it can go. I think I may be able to move the clutch down a bit and still be comfortable.

I put some effort into cleaning up the wheels a bit more, and I'm pretty sure I can save almost all the chrome, except for two tiny spots.
 

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Well let me take a stab at where to put the red.

Make sure to use Cherry Red.

Headlight bucket
Frame neck covers
6" up on the front fork lowers
Both side covers
Rear drive assembly/Brake drum

Done !
 

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Rebel 450 custom

Here are some pics of the Rebel I completely customized for my son.
Just for some ideas.

Now this bike was completely stock and black. A lot of work went
into it to get this look.

My son did both of the wheels. I did everything else.
The front fender was bobbed about 5 " in front
Rear fender is a fiberglass sportster style w/ hand frenched dove tail
Ace 750 seat and custom made seat pan
Full leather fringe
7/8 Z bars
Chrome 30" fishtail exhaust no baffles
Custom air filter assembly
LED tag light
Pod style turn signals
Harley 48 style rear brake and running light.
The paint is cherry Red w/ multiple clear coats adding gold metal flake
 

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Thanks Keith, The bike did not run when we got it. And when we sold it
earlier last year it ran like brand new. 14K miles Purchased for $980
and sold it for $1850.

Get this : A Russian woman in Tampa purchased it.

She makes and sells custom leather goods for exotic dancers. :p:cool:

I was glad to sell it off. My son said it was just a bit too small for him.
And getting parts for it were rather difficult.

Great bike though. Light as a feather and fast.

jake :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Man, that Rebel is beautiful!

I've actually written down your suggestions for paint. I'm gonna focus on getting the bike mechanically sound, then spend a bit on gear, and then I'll get back to looks. :)

As a small update, I brought the bike to my shop today. I got the front tire installed, and the shock seals are mostly done.

My LED strip tail light isn't gonna do the job. It's perfect at night, but pretty much invisible during the day. I bought an LED tail light from eBay, which is housed in a reflector housing. I think it should be a lot more visible. I'm going to mount it to the top of the fender. I also ordered some different rear turn signals. We'll see how this turns out.
 

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Thanks, The rebel was a great project bike for me and my son to work on. We learned so much from it. Good and bad.

You would never know by looking at it. but there was a huge dent right above the bottom center of the tank. About the size of half a baseball. This bike sat for many years without being ridden.
Luckily only the carbs were in need of much attention. They are joined together like conjoined twins. very difficult to work on.
When we first got it running the idle was so high you did not need to give it any gas to ride it. Trying to adjust the idle was impossible.
Finally we took the carbs off for a rebuild and cleaning. what we found was the PO took the adjuster all the way in so far that it buried the locking washer into the plastic knob and locked the adjuster.
After getting it free and lubing the whole thing we got it freed up.
Then the idle could be adjusted at will. Many people told us the bike had an intake leak somewhere. NOT.

You'll find that what I suggested you do in red a little bit much.
and I thought about it for a while. Your bike would look good with just some old school scroll pin stripes in red. Most of the time these are done free hand with an airbrush. Or a pinstripe brush and a real steady hand.
You will find that if you are going to do a rattle can job with the red to use engine paint. It is longer lasting and reduces the chances
of peeling and flaking. Just clean real good with rubbing alcohol first.
 

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Hi RestoRider. I like how it doesn't take much money to get these Star Bikes fixed up/modified. I like your LED brake lights and turn signals. I gave the LED lights and turn signals a try on my bike as well. Much cleaner, but I agree.... they are not as bright in the daylight.
I had a question about the main jets you used. You said you are using 125 main jets. Do you remember if they are Mikuni brand? I know your pipes don't have baffles... Are you using a mass airflow filter? I am running short shot pipes without baffles and a K&N cone filter, with 110 Mikuni main jets. Now I'm bogging at 1/2 throttle. My jet needle is set on the 5th notch with a shim. I was thinking of removing the shim, but have doubts that will change anything. I've taken the carbs apart and cleaned them. I also balanced the carbs. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
8088er, it definitely sounds like you're under jetted. I do use 125 Mikuni main jets, along with the needle at the 4th notch. Basically the same setup, straight pipes, no baffles, pod filters. I'm not confident my jetting is 100% accurate, but it's much better than the stock 92 jets.

I actually ordered a set of cheap short baffles. I don't mind the lack of low end too much, but I'd like some of it back. She's a pig until you open her up and get on the main jet circuit, and then she pulls very hard.
 

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8088er , My bike does not have LED tail lights. It has green LED under glow lights.

My pipes have baffles and my signature shows what jetting I run.

So I think you have me confused with somebody else's ride.
I too believe you are under jetted. If you have not done the PMS mod and your pipes
are open no baffles, then you need to adjust the low end mixture as well as the top end.
Typical adjustments are 3.0 to 3.5 turns out on each PMS screw. And main jetting between
115 and 125. Since Shpook had a similarly setup bike and he runs 125 that most likely where
you might want to start. I would order several sets of mains 120, 122.5 125
For help on this the CC&D web site has a table that shows jetting for a vstar 650 with different intake and exhaust mods.
jake :rolleyes:;)
 
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