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Old 08-31-2008, 02:10 PM   #1
Mad_Bohemian
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Default '83 Shadow vt500 Modification build

Here's a build my son and I did earlier this year. The process was documented on another forum here http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/vie...er=asc&start=0
but I put some of the highlights here as well...since this is like the forums of forums for cycles

It's a pretty long thread so if ya don't feel like lookin' at all the how-to stuff, I have before and after pics at the end !

Finally getting around to finishing up the project bike I started a couple years ago. I should say WE are finishing it up. We being me and my 19yr old son. So far we have swapped out the motor, lowered the rear suspension by 2 1/2 inches, cut and lowered the tail/fender and moved the controls forward! Here's a couple pics with a link to my photobucket album with more pics...









We're still kicking around ideas for a small low saddle and I have to fabricate something to get the rear brake forward. The brake light is the next item on our agenda. Either going to try and downsize the depth of the stock light and glass in the backside, or get rid of the hump and mount on on top of the fender.Then we'll slap on a nice custom paint job Not too shabby for our first go at it...(wish my first bike had been this bad!) always open to ideas or suggestions!!
Here's a link to the album of more pics.
http://photobucket.com/Ratshadow

UPDATE TIME..
Well I had the brake mechanism figured out and was just trying to get the right parts and pieces, but then I started working on the exhaust today and that threw a monkey wrench into the brake plans...so back to the drawing board on the brakes... But here's what I'm doing with the exhaust.
Since the plan is that this bike will be my sons at the end of the project, I figure it's only fair that he pays for the parts....consequently our budget is VERY tight! Found him some new slash cut drag pipes, but he apparently is unable to save $250 anytime soon..and yes he has a job and could save the money if he stuck to a..BUDGET! oh well ..19 and invincible..we were all there once.. But I digress.. Then he started talking about putting the old dented , rusty exhaust on.. :roll: (cringe) 'Not while I suck air' was my only thought.
So today while at Pepboys I spied a couple of 2" exhaust pipes with a tapered cut..and a plan was hatched.
Got the pipes home and first thing I did was cut off the 2"OD flared end, then made 4 cuts lengthwise about 4" long with my chop saw.



Then grabbed a couple hose clamps and put them together...



Then I use the hose clamps to taper the end of the pipe with the 4" cuts.




Had to widen a couple of the cuts but eventually got to where the new pipe fit snug around the stock pipe and up snug against an existing collar.



Then I welded the pipes together and welded the slots shut as well..


yeah yeah...I know ...not very pretty weld job... BUT THAT"S WHAT GRINDERS ARE FOR!!!


Here's what they look like after the weld but before the grinding....





Well...that's it for today...


UPDATE..
Finally got the parts I needed for the brake fabrication. Here's what it looks like...



Used some parts from another Shadow and made a front bracket.



..and used another brake pedal cut off and fed a conecting rod from the front brake mechanism....

[


UPDATE

Well we're gettin' closer ! Got the seat finished last night and got all the fabricated control pieces painted! Our list of things-to-do is getting smaller and smaller. Hopefully by days end the only thing on the list will be...
1.Mount new headlight assembly
2.mount new tailight assembly
3.paint tins (Scheduled for Monday 7-14 )
4.clean carbs
5.PUT IT ALL TOGETHER!!!

Here's the seat... Thanks to Grandma's sewing expertise!







Quote:
Originally Posted by psycoreefer
hey, I've got the same bike and I like what you did with the fender. Could you tell me what you did to drop it down like that? Also wondering if you've considered what will happen to the plastic fender when he hits a big bump. Doesn't look like you've "hard tailed" it so won't the rear tire come up and hit the fender?
Sure can tell ya... we chopped the rails off about an inch or so behind the shock mounts,ground about a 20 deg angle on the chopped off tail ends then welded it back on.



As far as the fender... we cranked the shocks up. I bounced on it with my 200lb frame (which I'll never admit to again...lol) and couldn't get it to hit the fender. So if he hits a bump big enough to bottom out he gonna have more to worry about than the fender hitting.....



I had some questions on some items so I figured I address them here just to keep as much info in one place as possible.
Drag bars - $24 piece of 7/8 diameter schedule 80 (I think it was 80... it's about .065" wall stock ) 'seamless tubing' which we sanded /primed / painted.
We had to add risers to keep the hand controls from hitting the tank on sharp turns.



FORWARD CONTROLS:
I started out with a 3/8" thick piece of steel that I cut/ground to the desired shape, then welded two peg mounts (I drilled and tapped the ends for a 3/8 bolt first) to the bracket. Then we welded that to the front downtubes of the frame in a location that didn't interfere with the radiator or radiator mounts.


For the shift controls I used all stock items except for the connecting rod. I cut the ends off the existing rod leaving as much of the screw length as possible from each end. The foot end of the shifter rod is a standard metric thread, but the engine end is a reverse metric thread. Next I got a small diameter steel rod from the hardware store. I then drilled a hole in each end about 3/8" deep and just big enough to let the rod ends I had cut from the original, to slip in. Then I welded them together.





I had to put a slight bend in the rod to clear the engine, and it took a little adjusting to get the shift in a usable location , but it came out working great.

For the brake I got a second set of parts off Ebay. Those parts were the brake pedal, attachment bracket,brake armature( in the yellow circle) and connecting rod.


The part in the yellow circle is the stock part here..

I just cut the area circled in red off the armature and ground it smooth. The brake arm that hangs down (with the connecting rod through it) is the stock brake pedal cut off and rotated 90deg from the 'normal' mounting position.
For the brake pedal itself I had to cut about 5" out of it's length to get it to be accessible with your foot on the peg. I cut out a section and welded the pad back on.


Everything looks simple and sounds simple...but I can't remember how many different ideas I ran through before coming up with workable plans. Like I said to a guy at a bike show this past weekend. It's amazing how much time and work can go into making something look simple and clean...:lol:
I think/hope this addresses the questions I've gotten. Please let me know if there are any that I missed or any new ones!!

OK, just to wrap this build thread up nicely I figured I post some final before and after pics. Thanks for all the encouragement and positive comments! I've enjoyed sharing our build with every one!!!
BEFORE:



AFTER:




I am now hunting for my next project.....
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:07 PM   #2
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WOW!! Most excellent job. The 83-85 500s and 700/750s make excellent modding platforms. Lots of parts available! x100

P.S. Put her in the contest!

Last edited by Custom85VT; 08-31-2008 at 03:11 PM..
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Old 09-07-2008, 03:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Custom! Yeah it was fun just lookin at the ol' girl and figuring out what we could do to make her 'hot' again! We put her in a local bike/car show the week that we got her done. She took second place!!! my son was geeked about that (me too...lol)
She' in the contest along with my other Shadow. We see how she does this time around
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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Deffianly cool looking. nice work!
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:24 PM   #5
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What paint did you use when you blacked out your pipes?? i am starting a project and wanna use matte black on the exhaust.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:29 AM   #6
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We used a high temp (1200 deg) exhaust paint. I wet sanded the pipes with 400 grit and wd-40. Cleaned them with a degreaser then painted and cured according to the instructions on the paint. Want to be sure you put on light coats of paint , wear latex gloves when mounting the exhaust and follow the curing instructions to get the best results!! Good luck with your project!!
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:31 AM   #7
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That is a slick looking project bike! Job well done!
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:16 AM   #8
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@ Mad:

Wow...my respects for that job!!

AWESOME!

I joined this site to get in contact with you:

Could you make another set of those pipes - also for a 83 VT500c...?

If so, please let me know how much you want for a job like that, please......

Again - my respects for that job!

Chanz
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:27 PM   #9
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Also - where did you get those handlebars??

How long are they?
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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OK..re-read and found the answers...,
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:32 AM   #11
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Very cool, I like the exhaust and paint on the tank...nice job!!!
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:44 PM   #12
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That bike looks awesome... I am rebuilding an '84 vt500c, which is about halfway done but keeping it mostly stock. Do you still have the seat? I'm looking for one thats in good shape. PM me if it's available and you'd like to sell it.

Also, how loud is the exhaust? I took mine for a spin with just the headers on and it was really loud, louder than I'd like. I thought about fabricating an exhaust but decided against it based on how it sounded without the stock mufflers.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:58 PM   #13
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If you donít like the loudness of drag-pipes but want to make your own pipes just add baffles and/or baffling.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:14 PM   #14
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Also, I forgot to ask... do those pipes vibrate at all? I don't see anywhere that they are mounted to the frame to keep them in place further back from the header. When I reved my engine without the mufflers on, I could see the headers move, thats why I ask.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom85VT View Post
If you donít like the loudness of drag-pipes but want to make your own pipes just add baffles and/or baffling.
True Custom, i started out with no baffles...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vsa20...eature=related
Then I took the baffles from my 2001 ACE (Cobra drag pipes) and cut them in half. Put half back in the big Shadow and half in the little Shadow. t's kinda hard to hear the difference on the video, but it did cut down the volume just enough to sound better plus added a little back pressure to eliminate 90% of the popping on decel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vsa20...eature=related

Sorner, I haven't noticed any vibration from the pipes. I have ridden along side as my son drove it and watched for that very thing as it was a concern in the back of my mind. I plan on keeping an eye on things and if any vibration does start I'll just weld or bolt a brace on toward that can mount to the old rear footpeg mount or better yet that can bolt right up to the frram mounts just behind the rear brake armature....
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad_Bohemian View Post
...I'll just weld or bolt a brace on toward that can mount to the old rear footpeg mount or better yet that can bolt right up to the frram mounts just behind the rear brake armature....
I would go ahead and do that. Having all that pipe bouncing around (at every bump) on just those two little header studs canít be a good thing. A stitch in time saves nine.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:14 PM   #17
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Thanks guys, I'm going to seriously consider something like this for mine rebuild and just sell my muffer box and pipes on ebay and get what I can get for it. When I got the bike I really wanted to do a straight pipe like that but was affraid it would be too loud. The other thing I might consider is somehow fastening the pipe with a clamp rather than a permanent weld, just in case I don't like it that way. I have a lot of exhaust popping with the stock pipes on it, so I think I have dirty carbs. I've never taken them off and cleaned them, I dont know how long it sat before I got it but I bought it as a parts bike and rebuilt it. There's a considerable amount of rust on the front forks, so I would guess it's probably been sitting for a while.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
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The other thing I might consider is somehow fastening the pipe with a clamp rather than a permanent weld...
Thatís how I did mine. I used the stock clamp that held the old mufflers on. I also sold my old cones on eBay for +100$ that I bought a lot of nice parts with. x10
http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?t=84960
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:33 PM   #19
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Do you have pics of yours?

Last edited by sorner; 09-26-2008 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:47 PM   #20
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I like what you did with your shadow I'm wondering about the exhaust I was actually thinking of doing the same thing by just adding new tips basically. Did you have to rejet for that or no? Also did it affect performance much?
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:01 PM   #21
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Didn't rejet and can't really speak of performance issues since I never rode this bike in stock condition. My carb needs to be rebuilt though. I did add some short baffles in the ends so I don't think I will rejet when I rebuild it. Here's another set of pips I made for another forum member. I really like the looks of these and am considering cutting mine to get the same look....




Those had 4inch baffles in them and had a really nice sounds to 'em.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:47 PM   #22
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That looks like a great job! It always suprises me what people can do, turn a normal factory, street bike, into an truely indavidual piece of art
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:26 PM   #23
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Thanks sky. That was a fun project too. I have an 82 xj750 Maxim 'under the knife' right now. I'll update that post as soon as things get rolling again.
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:37 PM   #24
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Man I really love what you did to the ol' lady! I just got a 500 myself.. it's my first bike. I really want to put some drag pipes on myself! I have taken the exhaust off coming from the engine, but it seems there is a bunch of crap after... do I just have to take off the passenger foot pegs??
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:43 PM   #25
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Yes Chris, The passenger footpegs are the mounts for the mufflers. I think there might be a bolt on the muffler that mounts to the frame ...I removed the stock exhaust almost 4 years ago..so it's all a little fuzzy
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:27 AM   #26
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For the 2-1/2 inch drop in the rear was that all done just through lowering the rear fender or did you purchase new rear lowering springs.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:25 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by $700Shadow View Post
For the 2-1/2 inch drop in the rear was that all done just through lowering the rear fender or did you purchase new rear lowering springs.
Neither... I cut the springs on the stock shocks. I found a how-to on how to make a spring compressor and shorten the springs another website,but that site is no longer around. I'll look around and if I can find the compressor I made, I'll do a rewrite if how to shorten the stock shocks...
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:10 AM   #28
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Cool that is even better because thats what I was planning on doing to my current shocks on my bike. Thanks
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:48 PM   #29
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i just made some pipes just almost identical to the ones you made for another forum member...and man they sound really burly! ill post some pics once the battery to camera is charges
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:04 PM   #30
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how did you get the engine case covers so shiny? did you sand them and polish?

(been trying to post some pics on the status of my bike but need more posts)
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:43 PM   #31
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Chris, on this particular bike I just used this...



It's a like a scotch brite pad that mounts on my die grinder. It cleans up the covers nicely and leaves a satin type finish. Look in the how to section here for some really great info on how to bring the shine back to old aluminum. It's a long read but there is some great info there. Hope that helps!
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:22 PM   #32
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oh man thanks! theres a lot of corrosion under the clear coat on almost every aluminum part of my bike! been using some light duty pads, but that takes a while! i love the satiny look..
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:05 AM   #33
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Great Job
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:23 PM   #34
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All I can say is wow! That bike looks wicked.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:32 AM   #35
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Nice work. It's nice to see someone doing some creative problem solving
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:21 PM   #36
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Thankd guys.. I appreciate the great comments!


Here's my current project
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:11 PM   #37
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Awesome job! I have a 1984 Honda shadow 500 all stock in great shape.It sat in a back yard covered for 3 years, gummed up carbs and needed paint and cleaning. Bought it for $120,got it running, painted it black, cleaned it up with Autosolve .Just sold it for $1500 after 2 years and 18000 klms . loved it! I know have a 1982 Honda Nighthawk 750 project and am looking for left and right side covers. If anyone know's where I might find theses let me know please, thanks!
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:50 AM   #38
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Love the bike! Where did you get the risers? My VT700 has the same deal where the risers are molded in the triple trees. I would love to convert to drag bars but don't want to damage the tank by hitting it with the bars.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBull1t77 View Post
Love the bike! Where did you get the risers? My VT700 has the same deal where the risers are molded in the triple trees. I would love to convert to drag bars but don't want to damage the tank by hitting it with the bars.
Thanks Silver! Got them from here Rox Risers
Looks like they have added different styles of risers since I purchased mine...
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:48 AM   #40
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First off, let me say this was a great thread. My and a buddy of mine were just talking about all this stuff at work tonight. I have a 1983 Honda Shadow VT 500 C. I've been looking around trying to figure out how to lower the back end and put forward controls on it. I obviously didn't look very hard. I wanna thank you for sharing this. It explains everything i've been looking for. The only thing I have to ask right now is how much did it cost you for everything??
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