So here is my first project update. Images are of the Honda C90 motor, which I am using and the rear wheel/tyre & swing arm.
Motor first. I bought a blown motor (seized big-end) to use as a dummy for fabrication purposes. I’ll swap it for my good unit when I strip the bike apart, but I don’t want too much stuff apart at once. I’m using the electric start version as kick starting will be impossible with the motor mounted below the seat and fully enclosed by chassis and bodywork. The starter adds a bit of height to the assembly but without a purpose built unit I don’t think I can do any better. The carb needs to be remounted – eventually I will go to fuel injection but in the short term I will cut-and-shut the inlet manifold to create a lower profile. This part will sit just below the bend in my knees, so it can be a bit higher than the seat base.
The rear wheel assembly is from a Kawasaki ZR750, no idea what year, I just bought it from a motorcycle breakers because I liked the fat 160 rear tyre. Despite the difficult aims of this project I continue to make compromises because this thing has to look “cool”. I know mass and drag penalties will come with this set-up but running around on skinny tyres could kill the attractiveness of the finished article.
Craig Vetter has a point about the best vehicle being your first choice, and for me there is great appeal in a “good-looking” machine. In the few weeks that I have had the C90, my eyes have been reopened about the practicality of motorcycles. Although I have always considered myself a “biker” the truth is that I have not used a bike as regular transport since my teens. They make great toys but no way would I choose one over my car for anything but a “fun” journey.