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Honda VT600 - Project Bobber!

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' at netrider.net.au started by Recon, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Hey there all,

    Well I took the plunge after spotting the right bike for the right price on ebay!

    I am now the proud owner of a 1994 Honda VT600! (my first bike! woohoo!) =D>


    I will keep you all posted with the progress on the bobber front, and please may i now take this opportunity to beg forgiveness for all the stupid and inane questions I will ask through this project! All help will be much appreciated! As I mentioned in a previous post, I have no mechanical experience and this is gonna be a steep learning curve! 8-[

    Well.. here we go!
  2. First Question...


    Ok so the ride needs a new set of tyres before its up for its roadworthy, before I start to tinker with it (it's been off the road a few years, but it runs great).

    So any recommnedations re tyres? I want to save $ where I can, what should I be looking at re cost? The bike I believe takes the following:

    Front Tyre size is 100/90 - 19
    Rear Tyre size is 170/80 - 15

    Should I just buy a set of Dunlops from a service center, or can I get better/cheaper tyres elsewhere?

    I've been quoted around $230 for the rear, and $210 for the front.

    I might also see if there are any rims around, particularly for the front, as the spokey look is a little old school for what I have in mind! Any good Rim providers that you would all recommend? Is it worth me scouring around wreckers?

    If I do stay with the spoked rims, can I paint them from a can, or should I get them powdercoated to Matt Black?

    (see, I promised stupid questions!)

    Seriously though, thanks so much, any and all help is much appreciated!
  3. Great project bike there - and it should be fun for you to make a bobber out of it.

    I know NOTHING about tyres (except they mostly come in black) but if you decide to lose the spoked wheels and change over to non spoked wheels, get them powdercoated - it is worth it.

    If you were keeping the spoked wheels, the best way to add a chunky look to the bike is to get the rims only powdercoated black (and maybe the hubs) and keep the spokes silver.

    It means unlacing the hubs and then rebuilding them and trueing them - but if you ever try to powder coat an assembled spoked wheel, you can then sit back and watch the spokes move and expose the unpainted parts.
  4. Metzeler Lasertechs would be a good choice, dual compound, plenty of grip & around $300 fitted.

    But, they don't come in 170/80 - 15 on the rear, are you sure that's right/standard issue?
  5. Thanks guys, I'm thinking I might just take the bike into somewhere like Peter Stevens Tyre Centers and ask to look at a few types - keen to see how fat a tyre I can get on the front, maybe a hybrid rather than the dirt tyre in the pic above...
  6. Recomendations of where to get stuff please!

    Ok so I think I'll need the following parts at this stage, any recommendations of best places to get it are much appreciated. At this stage ebay (US) seems to be the cheapest for most of this stuff, hard to verify the quality though...

    - Grey/Graphite exhaust wrap
    - Handlebars - Drag bars
    - Solo "bobber" seat and seat-mounting kit
    - Headlight
    - Tail light (mounted on the rear fender)
    - Rear fender :-s

    Plus are far as services go..

    - Possible custom rear fender fabricated
    - fuel tank and front and rear fender painting (just a simple matt paint job)
    - Possible custom pipes

    Again any good spots for cheap/reliable work would be great thanks! I dont need everything to look as amazing as a lot of the custom bikes places do - the rough and ready look is kinda what I'm going for on this bike! (except the tank and fender painting - I'd like these to look really sharp in that "harley-style" matt black paint finish.

    Cheers all,

  7. Where I got my parts from (in Melbourne):

    Exhaust wrap - Revolution Racegear in Mitcham (they have other stores) they stock 1/2" or 1" wrap and can get it in black, white or titanium (I used the titanium and it looks great IMHO). Don't buy the stinless steel ties from there - I just found out that Bunnings have a full range of them for sale in the elctrical department.

    Tail light - from Christian at Modern Motorcycle Company in Keele Street Collingwood. I also got my headlamp from him. Christian can get in a lot of stuff and has some specials in his eBay store.

    I use Dime City Cycles for a lot of my Honda parts, but they do have a good range of headlamps, indicators, wrap, seats, etc, etc - you can look up specific lists of things for a bobber on their website.

    The guys there (Jason and Herm) are geeat, very helpful and easy to deal with.

    Try this link to their universal parts for bobbers page:


    Hope that helps...
  8. Hey thanks mate! Much appreciated! that Dimecitycycles website is fantastic - really great site and the prices look good - they will definately hear from me!
  9. Cool - just tell 'em Cliff sent ya!
  10. That's a splitting image of the bike I just sold - for a sec i thought it was mine haha. How much did you pay for it?
  11. Do you have to do anything to the frame to make a bobber (ie cut/paste)??

    Also, does it have to necessarily be a cruiser that makes a good bobber, or can most bikes be made into one (with a little elbow grease of course!).
  12. Hey BigW

    haha, re what I have to do, I'll keep you posted! But yeah I will have to cut the frame on this one, but just two struts which currently hold the rear faring and seat. And yep to "bobber" a bike is basically to just cut off the back end, and yeah it can I think be done to most bikes, although some will lend themselves to it more easily.

    If you have a model in mind, just jump on google images and type the model plus the word "bobber" into the search - it will give you a good idea what is possible. Also try searching under "cafe racer" + the model type, sometimes the lines are blurry between bobbed bikes and cafe'ed ones! Doesnt matter really what you call it, either way it's awesome!
  13. Will do mate!

    Hey what are the postage costs usually like from the guys at dimecity? I think a seat, and handle bars could definately be a start from them.
  14. Can't tell you the postage exactly - but it is much better than people who use FedEx. They use USPS and that is the cheapest way to get stuff to us out of the USA.

    My current wish list with DCC has around 20 items on it, including bars and a seat pan.
  15. Thanks Maduncle for the help!

    You will I am sure get sick of all the questions! 8-[ (but here comes another one)

    Roughly how much might I be looking at for a Matt black paint job on the tank, and the front and rear fenders (and maybe front forks too)?

    (I'm doing my budgeting now and trying to work out how much I have to play with)

    I love the work your mate Mitch did on your Bike Maduncle, don't suppose he's looking for any extra work? (and has a relaxed approach to accepting varied forms of payment)...:beer:

    Also mate, how did you find the guys at Mischief Makers? They look like just the kind of outfit I need for help with my rear fender fabrication...
  16. Okay - IMHO...

    1/. My mate Mitch is a top bloke, a real pro painter and does a top quality job. BUT - he is expensive and works for real money only. A couple of other guys on the forum have qot quotes from Mitch and been scared off. The paint job you would get would be one of the best around - but the cost will match. One of the selling points of my bike will probably be the paint job.

    2/. Craig from The Mischief Makers is also a top bloke who does excellent work and he is not all that expensive. Your challenge is getting hold of Craig and pinning him down, as he works in the outback a fair bit on very big and complex engines. I will always go to Craig for frame work or fabrication work if I can find him (Craig rebuilt the tank and welded in the rear loop in the frame on the High Tea Racer).

    Anyone else reading this got some recommendations for painters? There are probably some in the services section of the forum. I am pretty sure that laying down a high quality matt black on bikes that does not scratch or show marks is a real art form.

    BTW - that services section is very useful, I found my bike transporter there.
  17. THis might help...


    I get confused as to what is defined as a bobber and what is defined as a hard tail, I think you can 'bob' just about any bike without having to hack the frame.

    But hey - just build a bike to look the way you want without worrying about pigeon holing it into a particular definition.

    Some of the best bikes on this forum don't fit a mould.
  18. Progress Update:

    Well, bike (now named Charlie) has gone into the shop for new tryes and roadworthy, with rego apmnt at vicroads booked for Friday.

    I opted for the following tyres:

    Pirelli MT60 front (19") - This is an enduro on/off road tyre, chosen for the look and the attitude it'll give the bike - it also gets great reviews on tarmac in the wet or dry so im confortable using it on a road bike.


    Pirelly MT66 (15") rear. - a good solid rear road tyre.

    I'm now deciding on the seat for the bike, will order it from the states unless anyone knows a stockist of good solo seats here in aus?

    I've also found a rear fender!!! This was harder than i expected without blowing the budget, (and having a custom one made) but I've found a steel fender for a trailer which comes in the right size to fit my back wheel! Its from a guy who makes hotrod rolled fenders along with trailer ones:


    He's even going to roll out three pieces of tubing to weld into the inside of the fender for me to run the wiring from the stoplight and two rear indicators. The fender should be ready in a week or so, then i can just cut it down to size to fit the bike once I cut the back end off!

    So pretty exciting - Charlie will be road legal hopefully in a week, I can then start cutting bits off!
  19. Check out lowbrowcustoms.com in the states for seats (and loads of other fab parts) they are dirt cheap and great stuff. I have been ordering from these guys for a while, postage can take a while but worth the wait.

    I run a big chunky tyre on the front of my (ruined) rebel... never had any issues with it, just need to make sure it will fit under your front guard (if you plan on running one). It feels fine on the road. Makes a lot of noise though! ahah

  20. Isn't these some kinda ADR/Law that says you havta have a front guard???