Update: August 2008
Been down over 6 weeks. Seems the main bearings in my Rev Tech 100 CI started to fall apart after 65,000 miles. Have learned allot about Custom Chrome since 2001. The first thing I learned was how well they kept it a secret that their motors where made in Korea. When I first posted that up they jumped all over me. Now Iíve learned that they are going through bankruptcy. Because of this I canít find .020 over pistons for my rebuild.
Long and short of it is, I would NOT buy Rev Tech if I had known any of this.
Update: April 2005
Itís been 4 years since I built my bike, and 30,000 plus miles. Iím still loving and riding her. Some things have changed, broken or fallen off, but all is good. Iíve had 2 speedometers, both broke, and my odometer is now stuck on 666. Went from Avon tires to Metzler Marathonís, it seems to handle better, and the tires last allot longer. Broke the rear pulley, and finally changed both belts. Had new cables put on. Still on the same brake pads and rotors.
So, if your still interested in building you own bike, read the story below. If you have questions join the crew on the Bike Builder & Mechanics Forum.
See also Flame Job A funny thing happened Saddle Bags
Tans helped me build a , six speed Hard Tail Chopper. Stay tuned for details. Be patient, Iím building this bike, trying to make the coin to pay for it, photographing the process, and spell all at the same time. Q-Ball
June 7, 2001 Custom Chrome ships the part #95-130 ď Hard-CoreĒ bike kit.
June 15, 2001 The truck showed up at 3pm. with a 900 pound BIG BOX.
Tom, Pam, Willy, & Driver with the BIG BOX.
The box being more than the crew could lift, was opened in the truck and smaller boxes lowered down by the friendly driver. After an inventory was taken, and 200 pounds of packing removed, the only thing that seemed to be missing was the head light bracket. Thatís right, every posable nut, bolt, whatever it takes was in that BIG BOX. We had enough parts to open another store.
In side the BIG BOX was a load of smaller boxes.
Here it was the hottest day of the year and it seemed, and looked like Christmas. Like any holiday it had its ups and downs. First the bad news, I had no idea that the motor, and tray where made in Korea. I have been star stuck by this kit for some time. After reading all the specs, and talking to friends, the only feed back I got , was that it was a hard tail, and it would beat me to death. That part was cool , cause I was planning to put a big nice seat with springs on the girl to save my butt. Hey, no offense, but for what itís worth, I like keeping fellow Americans employed. On the up side, the motor, trany, not mention most the other parts are of #1 quality. did not skimp on this bike. (More details later)
Willy with in custom wood crate.
June 21, 2001
In about a weeks time we pretty much have put the scooter together. Like most custom after market parts, some fussing was needed to make it come together. Some tapping, threading, & machine work was called for in the process. We have found that the only things missing was a few nuts, & bolts, & an oil tank bracket, which is kind of odd because we still have about 4 pounds of chrome nuts, and bolts left over. No, we did not forget to put them on. Thank the stars for Master mechanic Tom (owner of Tans), & Willy my guardian angle, or I would still be up to my butt in boxes, & bags of parts. There were so many parts it took for ever to find stuff in the heap.
That me setting the in the Santee frame.
All we need to do now is figure out how to mount the near zero clearance Jessie James rear fender, wire, put the fluids in, mount the pipes, fire her up, then tear her down, & paint her. Iím kind of torn between having fun building her, and wanting to ride her.
Tom fits Jessie James fender over the 200 series rear tire.
I have been photographing the process, but you all are going to have to wait till I get around to processing the film. The Bike Comes First.
Unpainted bike waiting on wires, oil tank, rear fender, & pipes.
July 11, 2001
Well boys ,& girls here we sit waiting on the master to fashion, & weld on some tabs for the seat-fender bracket, create some oil tank brackets, and wire the bike. We might have been done by now if had engineered this kit a little better, and Tom had not gotten so busy with other work. Donít get me wrong Jesse James made a great fender, itís that CC sent us one that is a bit too small. Calling CC for help was a waste because they seemed to have shit canned any one there with brains. My luck, right after I buy their kit, they decide to do some corporate restructuring. Update, seems CCI found me and was concerned about this last statement. They assured me all is well now, and offered me a new fender. Thanks CCI, but that water is under the bridge. Besides, I like what Iíve done, itís a one of a kind. P.S. Jessie James does not make these fenders, he just designs them, CCI has them made out side the USA.
No matter what we did, we couldnít get that rear fender to fit right. So, I said screw it, Iíll cut the f#@ker, and put in a splash guard. When the Custom Chrome splash guard showed up, it was two inches too short, I almost went postal. In time I settled down, and found a scrap of 1/8th inch aluminum, and made my own damn guard. The splash guard can be used as my oil tank mount also. The custom bugs are fewer as time goes on. Thank the stars Tans has a full machine shop.
On the most part, everything Custom Chrome put in the kit bolted together nicely, except the under sized rear fender. The other part of the slow down was my customizing. I changed the seat to a solo on springs, needed mufflers to pass state inspection, put on a different tail light, and changed the rear marker lights position. It may not sound like much, until you mix in a dose of reality. Things like, I am not a mechanic, and need help from the master, and I still need to make a living.
Still unpainted, but legal.
Tom and I worked on the bike finishing up some last minute wiring. There were the typical frustrations but on the most part it went together well. CCI supplies this kit with a Electronic Harness Controller by Thunder Heart, and a wire harness. Now was the time we had been waiting for, firing up the beast. We depressed the pressure relief valves, cranked her over for a few seconds to get the oil flowing, connected the spark plugs, cranked her again, and boom she was rolling.
Or was she? She was sounding a little strange. The front cylinder was burning but the rear jug was not. May be it was the coil, or the spark plug, or the valves, or the Thunder Heart Ignition System. We tried everything, including a bleed down pressure test, and time was running out. It was 3:30am, and we needed to get to Motor Vehicle Administration early. It was running on only one cylinder, but that was good enough to get my vehicle identification number. In Maryland, home built bikes need to pass a safety inspection, run, and show up in person.
July 31, 2001
After an hourís nap we loaded up the bike, and set out for the only place in the state were you can get a vehicle identification number. It was the last day of the month, and when we showed up the place looked like a shopping mall on the day before Christmas. Tom , and I were prepared for the worse. We had or shit together. Tom had put all my papers in order, and the MVA folks were a pleasure to deal with. Even with the crowd, we got out in good time. Soon I had a registered bike, with tags. I would have ridden home, except my pride was running on one jug, and my brain on an hourís nap.
Turns out the Thunder Heart Ignition was working only half hearted. Go figure, there was a spark at the rear jug even when we reversed the wires of the single fire coil (came with the kit). CCI shipped us a Crane Ignition as a replacement when installed fired right up. Time now to break her in proper. The first 50 miles are critical. You should not over rev, or lug the motor. You also need to back of hard on the throttle every few miles to create a vacuum which pulls oil into the cylinders. You have to change the oil, filter, and trany fluid after the first 50 miles. The hardest part is keeping her under the required speeds for the first 2000 miles.
First stop with the new bike is home. Hey, my wife and daughters have been real good about all this midnight oil. They wanted to see what the old man has been up to, and I wanted to show them. They love it, they wanted a ride, but I still need to weld on some passenger pegs tab, and put a pad on the rear fender. The bike rides real nice, and the old style sprung seat sucks up the pot holes better than my old Pan Head with a swing arm.
For the first 50 miles Tom and I did a night ride to avoid the heat, and humidity. We did the back roads, and highways. I am loving life, this bike wants to go, but Iím being good about breaking her in. Nice thing about living where I do, is all the winding country roads. One can spend hours riding through beautiful back water country. Anyhow, on our way home Tomís lights started to dim, then they went out. I did my best to keep up with him as he flew down some of the darkest, and windiest roads. I gotta hand it to Tom, he is one hell of a rider with the vision of a bat. We made it back just fine, Tom fixed his electrical problem, and I changed my oil, and filter.
August 2, 2001
Well I know this wonít set well with some, cause I already caught grief from others, but I decided to put some more mile on the girl before tearing her down to paint. We still need to weld on tabs for passenger pegs, mount a tool box, and coordinate with Lewis to get her painted. I was invited to ride with friends on their Labor Day mandatory, so I wanted to put some more break in miles before then. This is my one, and only, and I want to ride. Paint is nice but wind is better. So for now she is my high tech rat, when the time is right, she will get the face lift she deserves. I have covered all the bare metal with an rust preventative oil. For those who take issue, go Polish your garage ornament.
August 20, 2001
Another 500 miles, and another oil, & filter change. I am going by the book, and spoiling her. I am also having a blast riding her around. I would have put on more miles if it were not for family weather, & work. I promised everyone that I would paint her after the Labor Day Run. I must admit it is getting old have to explain why she doesnít have paint, besides then I can ride her in the rain without having to worry about rust. Then again I could get another AKA as ďRUSTYĒ. The only problems so far was I had to reengineer the exhaust system, and tighten the rear drive pulley.
Off to Tans Cycles for a date with a Dyno machine. About a 1/4 mile down the road the heavens dump buckets of cold rain. By the time I get to the shop I look like a drowned rat. Still, and all Iím looking forward to see what the girl will put out. I have over 3,000 miles, 5 oil changes, 2 speedometers, 2 broken rear wheel spokes, and a few minor adjustments on the girl. Not to mention a whole lot of fun riding her.
Tom, and I slide her into position. We strap her down tight, and wire her up. After warm her up, Tom climbs on and puts her through the paces. He went through all 6 gears, and reached a top speed of 150 mph. The room filled with burning rubber, and exhaust. Even with ear protection the thunder was deafening. The walls shook, and the concrete floor under my feet felt like it would crumble away. What a rush, almost too good to be a legal high.
Before we go any farther, this would be a good time to remind anyone trying this to have their shit totally together. I thought I did only too find two minor problems. One of my rear fender bolts was a little too long, and cut a rain groove in my 200 series rear tire. I had not reached these speeds on the road, and at 150 mph tires tend to expand a little. I was sick thinking what a new tire would cost, but after inspection all was well. The only other problem was the license plate bolts vibrated loose sending the plate flying , taking out my stop light lense with it. I was a little embarrassed, but Tom said, it was not bad by comparison to other bikes falling apart on the Dnyo.
What did we find? The combination of the Mikuni HSR42 carburetor, exhaust pipes, and the over rev limiter produced a max of 76 hp at the rear tire. Not too bad when you consider most off the shelf Harleys produce in the 50 hp range. Whatís my game plan? Save up some coin for a S&S carburetor, and some collector exhaust pipes. In the mean time, Iím going rider her like I stole her. With 76 hp at the rear tire she does a fine job of leaving folks in the dust.
Wanna see more photos,
Share your questions, frustrations, & bike building stories,
More later, got to scoot..........
CCI BYOB Hard-Core Spec Sheet
Why Build Your Own Bike
Bike Builder & Mechanics Forum
See also Flame Job A funny thing happened Saddle Bags