Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

New Headlight

I got some new chrome headlight mounts in the mail, yesterday, so I swapped out the light and mounts, today.

I used the headlight which I had used on my Interceptor streetfighter, a few years back. It is a stock unit from a 1972 Honda CB450. The original Yamaha unit was somewhat beat, apparently having led the rest of the bike into the pavement at some point. Plus I just like the looks of the Honda unit a little better. Both have been converted to halogen bulbs, so the actual lighting shouldn't change.

It's amazing how many pieces the Yamaha factory considered necessary to hold a headlight in place.

I replaced the six pieces per side with these.

The first thing you have to do, when replacing a headlight, is to unhook the wiring in the shell. I marked all of the male and female ends alphabetically, so that I could get them back together when I was done. I knew it was going to be more difficult than usual, since I was going from a Yamaha shell (three openings for the wires) to a Honda shell (one opening).

I lowered the gauges by unbolting them from the mounting plate, and bolting them back to the bottom of the plate. This gave me about an inch more wire with which to work. As it was, it took about 45 minutes to finagle all the wires into the light and get them hooked up.

Oddly enough, once I got all of the wires hooked back up, everything worked! I moved the light as low on the fork as the mounts would go, and tightened everything down. Then, I moved on to trying to get the center stand to retract all the way.

I took an 18 inch pipe wrench and applied a judicious amount of torque to the arm which was hitting the muffler. In other words, I jumped up and down on the handle of the wrench, and hammered on the tab until I got it to clear the can.

I will probably remove the whole stand, eventually, since I don't think a center stand is particularly appropriate for a bike of this style. But, I don't want to take it off until I am finished with the build, because it is more convenient than a race stand when you're working on a bike fairly constantly .

Once I took a couple of short test rides, I shot a couple of pictures to show the new light position, etc.

I think it's looking pretty good.


At 6:33 PM , Blogger Ton Up said...

Great bike project. I'm about to start work on a Kawasaki W650 I picked up a few weeks ago. I'm hoping to create my own Cafe Racer.

Keep posting ;O)


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