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Final assembly ...

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Here's where the painstaking attention to detail starts to payoff. Candy colors, polished aluminum, stainless steel and chrome all have one thing in common...they look their best in sunlight! As with candy colors in general, our custom-mix candy purple looks different from every angle and in every different lighting condition. The bike has plenty of bling, but it's natural; absolutely nothing has been added to the bike for the sake of appearance alone, or effect. We've simply perfected the look of the required compnents. If anything, this build has been an excercise in minimalism; there isn't a single item that could have been left off.

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It came as no surprise to us that there were still a number of time-consuming details to get the bike to this point. Whenever a project seems near completion, there's always another month's worth of "hurry up and wait" ahead of you. We added an external cartridge-type oil filter (more about that in a future installment), the high-pressure teflon/stainless lines we selected were cumbersome to work with and expensive. They were also the only way to get the correct size and the clean, crimped ends that we felt the bike should have. The location of the oil cooler, chosen for maximum airflow, meant that the oil lines had to be capable of handling constant flexing. Using flexible brake line hose was a safe bet. The seat was a new item that we had redone in top-grain leather, with gel padding added for ultimate comfort. The chain clearance is no more than .040"  and took some time to work out precisely. Sourcing the various specialty fasteners, such as the polished stainless button-heads, stainless banjo fittings and grade 12.9 Allen bolts for the engine and swingarm mounts required visits to multiple suppliers. Sourcing the right mirror was an adventure in and of itself. The upper rocker cover had to be drilled & tapped for a breather fitting and the correct breather element (not shown in these photos) had to be special ordered. A license plate mount was hand-fabricated from a piece of diamond plate. We still haven't settled on the permanent cable routings. This bike is going to be ridden regularly, so paint abrasion is a concern. We're going to give it a while to determine the best configuration, not optimal for these photos.

 

If you go back to the beginning of this project, you will see that the build took on a life of it's own, gradually evolving into a billet rod. Yet, the original objectives, set forth at the start, have all been met. The bike blends the unmistakeable aesthetic of the orignal CT70 with modern tech, world-class performance, restrained bling,  USA -hotrod-style. broad-shouldered, stance and does it all seamlessly. The bike received a huge "thumbs-up" from some highly-respected custom bike builders (think "Biker Build-off; 3 were filmed in the Metro Detroit area over the past year or so), surprising even us.

 

How does it perform? Like no other bike of its type we've ever ridden! It has impeccable road manners and ride quality,  comparable to a much larger machine. The chassis feels decidedly more solid and the road feel is incredibly stable, light-years beyond stock. The bike beckons to be leaned into turns at peg-scraping angles. Yet, the ride is comfortable enough to cruise along one tankful at a time without fatigue. We will be installing a billet aluminum auxilliary gas tank next season, looking for 80-100 mile range between fuel stops.  In fact every ride seems too short to satisfy us, the mark of a successful project and just what you'd want from a grand-tourer. The motor has a decidely cammy idle and pulls like a rocket, for it's size. The bike can easily out-drag an average car from a stoplight to about 50mph or so, good for a gratuitous chuckle and the occasional "how the hell can that thing go that fast?!". It has stump-pulling torque from just above idle and just loafs along at 60mph, yet is almost electric-motor-smooth at that speed.  We don't yet know exactly how fast the bike can go. The motor is new and still tight, thus we haven't wound it anywhere near redline yet. It is still accelerating briskly in the low 60mph range in third gear and should be capable of nearly 70mph before shifting to fourth, with the current gearing. We also plan to test two other, hotter, cams once the engine is broken-in just to gauge the full potential of this setup. Unlike a stocker, this engine will make huge top-end power with a wild cam. Ultimately, we may end up going milder with the cam profile as the bike easily pulls 65mph uphill with two aboard as-is... meeting our original performance goals without breaking a sweat. However, we know that there's at least another 10mph lurking in this setup. In our (and many other's) experience, these motors pick up another ~5mph after 500-1000 miles. It takes that long for them to fully break-in.  So, until we have tested the limits, completely dialed-in the combo and verified the results, no actual top speed claims will be made. While this may disappoint a few in the short-term, everyone benefits from honesty. During testing it became apparent that the biggest obstacle to top speed is finding a safe place for the run without attracting attention from the "black & white tax collectors" and our insurance vultures, errr... company. Beyond testing the bikes capabilities, we cannot see a reason to push it to 80mph+, except on a track. Those are interstate freeway speeds and we feel that a bike this size has no place on a freeway, let alone exceeding the current federal speed limit in suburban traffic. The bike can reach and handle higher speeds than we care to attempt on any kind of regular basis. Click on the home page photo of this bike to see how it runs at part throttle. Even taking it relatively easy, we quickly found ourselves at odds with sanity...65 in a 35 zone is not exactly bright! (But we're willing to go to great lengths to bring you the facts.^)

 

 

 

 


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