Second Generation Ascots > The V-Twin Years: Modified To Full Customs

Off To The Races - the build begins

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Kettle One:
It all started a few years ago when my brother & I and a few close friends participated in a "650 Challenge". The rules were:
1. Acquire a motorcycle not greater than 650cc
2. Total budget for acquisition, repairs, etc not to exceed $650
3. Ride 650 miles in a weekend to meet up at an Irish Bar in WV (The Brazen Head, near Snowshoe)

One of the bikes was a 1984 Honda VT500 Ascot. I had never seen one before, and my first impressions were along the lines of "Jeez that looks ugly". But that motor did look good.
Fast forward to this year's Bull City Rumble in Durham NC. I was strolling around with a mate of mine who happens to be a custom bike builder of note. We came across a stock VT500 and I asked him what he thought of it. His verdict was that it would make a fantastic cafe racer.
So I called up my mate Bill from the challenge and mentioned that if he was ever thinking of selling I might be interested. Long story short I now own it.

First order of the day was to get all the bodywork off to see what we are dealing with. I haven't got a final concept fully baked yet, but if you stay tuned you will see how this will develop.

Kettle One:
First step was to get all the main body work off to see what we are dealing with. I switched out the stock bars for an old pair of drag bars just to bring the handles down.

Nice Donor Bike! Be careful with those body pieces, side panels & gauge cluster. They are eBay gold.

Your exhaust was manufactured by MAC. I had the same exhaust on my first Ascot, but my pipes had the black ceramic type of finish. There is something wrong with the way that your top pipe is mounted. I think it needs to be raised in the back some. The mid section & lower section of pipe that comes out of the rear cylinder should have the two horizontal sections sitting flat & horizontal instead of angled like they are. I hope that I explained that clearly. I think by raising the very rear most portion of the pipe it should level out with the ground. MAC makes two types of baffles for these pipes. They have a street baffle which you most likely have & they have a race baffle. The race baffle is a straight piece of perforated pipe that runs from the down pipe exit to the end of the megaphone. Supposedly the race baffle with the proper damping material is a bit quieter & more throaty than the street baffle. According to MAC's online catalog, these baffles are still available. Please check out this post for more info:

Good luck with your project. I can't wait to find out what your plans are.

Kettle One:
Interesting to hear about the body panels. They will be sold at some fund this project! Thanks for the info on the Mac pipes. I don't plan on re-using them so they will probably be sold too. They are a bit rusty in places, but could certainly be rechromed or ceramic coated.

Kettle One:
Here's a couple of ideas of what I am currently thinking for this build. Pretty radical styling change but I think it's totally possible.


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