DISCUSSIONS > Drifter 1500 only

Winter mods for an Alaskan Drifter

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I thought I would document the changes, modifications, and things learned while working on my '99 Drifter.   :)

Most of you have seen my ride report " Drifting to Alaska" and probably remember the background story of buying the bike on Ebay and then having it shipped to my brothers house in Weott CA.

I flew down from Alaska in June, 2015 and rode it back to Anchorage with zero problems.
Before actually riding the bike I didn't know if it would be a keeper or a one trip pony.
Early on I knew it is a keeper.   8)

I also started a mental list of changes I wanted to make.

Last month I started by making the lift/skid plate so I would have a stable platform for the bike while the wheels are off.

Works just right too.

Today I spent a few minutes bolting on the new rear bars;

They are excellent! Just what I hoped they would be.   ;D

I cut a couple boards to hold the bike safely off the ground without leaving it on my jack after I removed the front wheel:

I cut them long in case I felt the need to put eye bolts in and use straps.
But the bike is so heavy it is solid on the flat surface of the skid plate so I could cut them shorter...

I spent an hour removing the front wheel and fender, the seat, the leather saddle bags, and the exhaust system.

This is where i was at when I quit for the day:

The tools I used:

Something I learned today:
Don't use Locktite on the front caliper fender cover screws that go into rubber sleeve nuts.
The rubber just spun and the screw didn't loosen up.
I ended up wedging a screwdriver into the backside of the rubber to hold it while I spun the screw out.
I had put blue Locktite on every nut, bolt, and screw when I took it apart in CA to replace the tires and tubes.

Winter project plans for the Drifter:
Paint the fenders and tank a more subdued color(s) to look "old".
I don't care for the green.

Make a better mount for the Singh solo saddle.

Repaint various black parts of the bike that are rusting.

Paint some (most) of the chrome trim black.

Paint the rims.

Build a new exhaust system that looks "old" using flex pipe, simple muffler and paint it black.

Make new panniers that are larger and look more like what a budget bound owner in 1948 might have made at home.

The Drifter is one of 4 bike projects I am working on this winter.

The Street Tracker is getting painted another color, a billet aluminum oil cooler, and possibly a round headlight instead of the number plat with dual lights.
The new exhaust pipe and muffler I already added to it this winter.

The Rickman Metisse I have been building for a couple years will (finally!) get the rebuilt Triumph TR6 engine installed and a new rear rim and spokes:

My Suzuki V-Strom 650 (I am calling it a T-Strom since I am using Yamaha TW 200 wheels) is getting the most work done on it with new wheels and tires (180/14 rear, 130/18 front) with hybrid forks, all plastic removed, new design fuel tank and seat, new rear subframe, new exhaust system, fenders, lights, pannier racks, engine guard bars and skid plate. It will be at least a two winter project.

And so you don't think I have a fancy shop, it's just a messy garage with basic tools:

  Boy to dream of a shop like that I have to work in my living room and I was green with envy when I saw GB's shop now I am double green with envy........
   All very nice and the bikes look really good......

It looks pretty fancy to me.  I'm jealous too.   :-[

That's awesome!


--- Quote from: CDNRatMan on January 03, 2016, 23:38:24 PM ---  Boy to dream of a shop like that ......

--- End quote ---

I'll 2nd that ... envious of your shop!   Very nice setup!


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