Let’s Turn a Honda Shadow Into a Hardtail Bobber.

First things first, if you can’t use a mig welder, this isnt for you. If have a welding friend, then cut away. Im not going to explain all the details about supporting the bike while you cut on it. Im not going to tell you how to link the two parts together. 

Built by Motopsychol J

We won’t be going over how to grind and weld. Basically,  if you can find it in a video, you are not going to find it here. There are small, very important,  details that the videos fail to show. We will be going over those details.  We will also cover my pick for the top three hardtail kits.

Let’s cut!

FIRST, WATCH THE VIDEOS.  Watch the pros. Learn how they do it. Come back here, and learn the missing details.

Let’s cut! The first cut is to free up the back part of the top, and the fender support.  This cut needs to be made TWO INCHES DOWN from the factory bend in the frame. It is important to have the two inches. You will slide your kit into this section. The second cut is the same on the other side.

CUT #1.

Next we are going to make our third and forth cut. This will completely remove the section from the back of the frame, that supports another rider, and the fender. You can pick where you want to cut. This really doesn’t matter. The only thing I would take into account, you have to make, and weld, a cap onto this cut into the frame. For me, a round cap is easier, so I left some if the round tubing.

CUT #2.

The next two cuts are very important.  They need to be done right. If they are not, you can ruin your frame. These cuts remove the top of the bottom section of frame, that incases the the tire.

Our fifth cut is THREE INCHES UP FROM FROM THE FACTORY WELD ON THE BACK OF THE FRAME. In the videos, they never show where most of the measurements are pulled from. You dont want to pull from the back of the frame. It is curved, and can mess up your measurements from one side to the next.

The sixth cut is to repeat the same process on the other side of the bike. When you look down on the frame, this will keep your cuts in the same area. Look at my cuts. They are not straight. Your cut doesn’t have to be, us a grinder to fix them.

Cut #5 and #6.

Cut number seven removes this part of the frame. This cut removes the back mono shock mount. You can leave part of this mount. We can use that to hand a battery box, if we decide we dont want an oilcan.

Cut #7.

The installation of the hardtail is pretty much covered by the videos. The only other hard thing to do, well the pipe that goes in between the two side pieces of the frame kits. You are going to need to notch it out so that it goes around the side pieces. This looks better, and is stronger. This can be tedious, if it is new to you. If you make the choice to bend your own pipe, it needs to be bent at a 25° angle. It needs to be around 15 inches long, and have at least 7 inches above the bend.

If I am going to rebuild a bike, it is going to be a Shadow. The look is very impressive, and they are all around great bikes. Building a hardtail doesn’t take years of experience, or a huge shop.

Thanks for the read! Next time, we are talking about the top three hardtail kits!

The 1983, 84, 85, and 86 Honda Shadow 750.

In 1983, Honda would release their new model, the Shadow brand. Little did they know, 40 years later, this bike would see a resurgence in popularity. The Shadow would become one of the favorites among metric bike builders.

Above is a 1984. The bike keeps basically the same appearance over these four years of production. The one problem the Shadow had, politics. Its first year, it was a 750. By 1984, to be able to ship the bike to America, it was lowered to a 700cc engine.

The picture above, it is an original, American, 1983, Shadow 750. By the next year, this would no longer be an American model, to compete with cruiser brands, but a Canadian model. In Canada, China found less shipping laws, and was able to deliver the 750.

Honda changed their displacement on the Shadow, only for America to drop the laws on imported engines. By the end of 1985, the Shadow label would reach 1100ccs on American soil. The 700 would, once again, be a 750.

The top speed of these years, is 100mph. It is a cruiser, that is enough. Im just kidding. Let’s make it faster.

First, she needs to slim down. You can remove so much junk off this bike, you can even throw away the fuel pump, and really see an improvement. There are EPA plastic containers everywhere. The airboxes are first to go! To do this, you are going to need volcitey stacks. TJ Brutal offers a nice set. You will need the ones for two carbs. The strange thing, it cost the same as a bike with a single carb. You will spend $100.

Tj Brutal Stacks

These stacks are going to give you an extra little boost, making your 750 a little more thrilling. Next, lets lower it down. The Great thing about this, you can do it two ways. First, you can replace the shocks with lowering struts. This will give the bike a meaner, faster, look. It will also lose some weight. Some people decide to do this, just to get the fender to seat closer to the tire. A strut kit is around $50.

Strut lowering kit

Next, because stacks gave her good lungs, give her a singing voice! She needs new pipes. A good option is to chop your pipes, and use the wrap above. Let’s make it pretty, though! For that, why are going to turn to Justin Alexander. Not only is this man an artist, when it comes to rebuilding bikes, he is a one man Shadow army. He offers everything from brackets to relocate your speedometer, custom pipes, $130 hardtail kits. These kits are a step above the rest. He has already welded them together, making installation easier. These types of parts cost whatever you want to spend…

Moto Psychol J’s parts and builds

Those are some shorties, but I would let them scream down my streets! But, we have a problem. Now, your bike won’t run. We should have done jets, first. What fun would tech be out off the gate? We need precision. We could get them off of ebay, cheap, cheap, or we could spend a little more than $40.

Another option for a lower ride, is a hardtail. This gives the bike an older school look, and sleeker stance. With the addition of a bobber seat, it is a pretty good ride. Thats a nice sidecar…

6SIGMA Jet Kits

My favorite place is 6sigma. They have service. They are not Ebay. If you have a question, they answer, promptly. They are also super technical, when it comes to your order. They ask about , intake, exhaust, and even what altitude you plan to ride at. 6 also offers 7 stages, at the same price. You can go back to factory, or to racing. I KNOW! WIPE YOUR MOUTH! Unfortunately, the NOS system is not for any bikes over 500cc. I had your mouth watering, didn’t I? I asked…

ATB Bags Custom bags

Shadows have grown in popularity over the last few years. This has inspired builders, rebuilders, and customizers, all around the world. This year alone, Honda has seen a serious jump in resale. I think to think it is us, building our dreams…

From Bobbers, to Cafe racers, to choppers, to rat bikes, a Honda Shadow is a great place to start. They are also great bikes to restore. They have a great look, a nice sound, and a clean ride. Now, they are becoming completely customizable!

That’s all I got! Thanks for sharing your pictures, and allowing me to use them! I hope you all enjoyed reading this, and im looking forward to writing about the next motorcycle!

The Great Escape, it is, but isn’t, a biker movie…

The Great Escape insprided many generations of riders, but is really a war movie. The reason it is seen as a motorcycle movie, by some, is the stunt. This movie contains, “the greatest motorcycle stunt of all time”. This stunt is a stunt man jumps his motorcycle over a barbed wire fence.

Here is some motorcycle histroy for you younger cats, and some of you older cats might not know some of it. The man in the pictures below, that is Steve McQueen. Before there was an “Easy Rider”, there was “The Great Escape”. This is the movie that inspired your Great Grandfather to ride.

The Great Escape is one of the best movies that you will ever watch, and it is true, somewhat. Roger Bushell was a Royal Airforce pilot. He would plan the great escape of 200 men that had crashed with him, or ended up in his camp. He is also not the main character of the movie.

Some of these same men would return home to their countries only to find a hard life. They would go looking for their brothers of war, new brothers, a new life, and speed. The veterans would find motorcycles, and a new lifestyle. In California, they would find those brothers, in the form of motorcycle clubs.

They would find bikers that had taken the nickname of the American 303 squadron. The Hell’s Angel MC, is where they would find a place. It is also a myth that these pilots started the Hell’s Angels MC.

During the war, they never rode a motorcycle. The writers added this because of McQueen’s ability to ride. It worked. The movie brought in $11,000,000!

Through epic story telling, and Steve McQueen’s ability to ride, it is one of the best Techni Color movies ever made. McQueen was such a skilled rider, almost everytime you see a person on a bike, it is him. He played almost every part of every motorcycle scene. He would have played them all, but couldn’t play two nazis at the same time, and was not allowed to jump the fence.

Even though the movie is full of fiction, give it a view. McQueen is worth checking out, and so is Bushell. I would recommend “The Great Escape” to anyone. If you love bikes, you will love this movie.
That’s it for now! Thanks for reading, and keep your knees in the breeze!!!!

1986-87 CMX450, The MTV Motorcycle!

Let’s talk about the 1886-87 Honda CMX450 Rebel. A great place to start is the build. First we got the 4 stroke, 6 speed, move maker. This came with a wet clutch and chain drive. Everything else, brakes and such, are basically the same as the Honda styles, years before and years after.

The big difference is that this bike took the Rebel from 250 to 450. The engine was changed to the 4 stroke V twin, giving it a lot more power. The fuel tank also comes with a a lot more fuel capacity, allowing for longer rides!

The CMX 450 has a very low stance. The seat sits low, as all Rebels do. A lot of riders say that this was done to attract women to riding.

This is not true. Honda would go on to release a statement saying that this bike was for the MTV generation! It was to attract smaller riders. Then, they put this guy, on a scooter, instead of the Rebel, to try and sell scooters. Why they said it was a bike for the MTV kids, and done that is beyond me. I mean, watch these commercials… Things have changed… https://youtu.be/cvU6QskEdSg

The main thing the Rebel has going for it is the low stance and low seat. With the basic design of the frame, the Rebel can be rebuilt into a beautiful beast of a custome bike.

Then, with the new interests in Honda, and people like TJ Brutal and Justin Alexander putting out parts to customize these bikes, you can do almost anything with them! Honda is becoming one of the best bikes to build, on a super small budget.

Another big plus about the bike is the single bar frame. This allows a builder to use Sportster tanks, and other styles. A Shadow frame has two bars, the single bar on the rebel, helps the tanks sit down more than a Shadow. The Shadow frame would force a Sportster tank to sit on top of the frame.

The 1886-87 CMX450 was replaced by the CMX500, in 88. A CMX450 is a great bike to restore, or rebuild! If you have one, you have a good one! Thanks for reading!