First Generation Ascots > The Thumper Years: Modified To Full Customs

FT500 Vintage racer

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While my other project is not even finished I am going to start a new one.
I stumbled acros a very cheap FT500 donor bike, it's a stranded flattrack project by the previous owner and it is perfect for what I intend to do with it.
I want to build a small racebike to compete in vintage demo races here in the Netherlands.
These races are on street circuits and ranked on consistancy instead of outright speed so it also means I can keep the engine relatively stock (and cheap).
The whole build will be on a small budget to keep it fun.
I already have a set of CBR600f Hurricane forks and wheels for it.

What needs to be done:
- Get the bike running
- Mount CBR600F Forks and wheels
- Make and mount a seat
- Make and mount front fairing
- Brace the rear swingarm (in the class I am running the swingarm itself needs to be stock)
- Fix exhaust or make one out of stainless
- New rear springs
- Rearsets for ground clearance
- The bike will be build as a racebike without lights or anything, there is registration on the frame though so I am contemplating to have removable lights to be able to test the bike on the street.

I've added 2 pictures of the style that I am aiming for.

Any tips and tricks are greatly appreciated.
I know the FT500 was used in AHRMA championships quite a lot so any racing upgrade knowledge would be great

Had some spare time yesterday evening so started to look at the state of the donor.
Man it is dirrrrty!
There is a thick layer of caked crap everywhere on the bike. Started to tackle that with some old rags and decreaser but I have a long way to go.
While I was at it I thought I would testfit the CBR forks.
One thing lead to another and now the full CBR front end is in.
Length difference is quite significant.
I still have to put the clipons on instead of the handle bars and I do want to lower the forks a bit further on the tripple tree.
Next in line is cleaning the carb, giving the starter mechanism some maintenance and reinstalling the wiring harness, after an oil and filter change I would like to see if I can get some noise out of her.

I had to remove about a 1" section out of the side stand after the CBR swap. Beware of the oil sump now sitting lower when you go over a speed bump, etc. I used Honda CR type motocross handlebars. I retained the OEM FT triple clamps & slid the CBR fork tubes into place.

Mounted the clipons, brakes and rear wheel of the CBR today.
The rear wheel does rub a bit on the right hand side of the swingarm, might be because the chain is a bit short (it's still the old 530 chain) and the wheel is very forward in the adjusters now.

After that I sprayed some primer on the tank to prevent rust.

Doesn't look half bad.

I also tried to clean the carb which went reasonably well. Biggest problem was that I can't get the jets out. Soaking them in penetrating oil now to hopefully get them out.

Got the jets out today!
Soaked them in penetrating oil for some days and they actually came out pretty easily.
With the carb cleaned I turned my attention to the electric system to diagnose any problems.
I hooked up the loom that I got with the bike. Connected everything up and first checked if I had power.
Ignition on and yes we have power!
Disconnected the pinion solenoid. Pressed the starter button and the starter motor works.
Disconnected the motor and connected the pinion solenoid, pressed the button again and this also works!
Connected the pinion solenoid again but took the sparkplug out.
Pressed the button and the engine cranks over, even better the sparkplug has a nice and strong spark!
So naturally I couldn't resist.
I reinstalled the sparkplug, got some starting spray and had the bike running for the first time in quite some years. (Without exhaust or air filter... Sorry neighborhood)
Not on gasoline yet (didn't hook up the tank) but great to know most of the engine seems alright.
Next step is to change the oil, hook up the tank and the exhaust and see if I can get her running on gas.


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