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Discussion Starter #1
Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

I’ve been thinking of this project since coming across a picture of a VTR engined tracker years ago.

flattrack.jpg

To me it looks spot on, everything fits just right.

I’ve been studying the picture/screen background
for years on & off. This is my theory on how it was built.

To me it looks as if it’s got a Harley front end & maybe using a small section of Harley frame. Consisting of headstock & top tube? The rest of the main frame looks like tube fabricated to the engine mounts.

I am not too sure of the swing arm, but the closeness of the rear wheel to the engine leads me to believe there’s little or no suspension. Maybe it’s a twin shock?

I am in the process of gathering parts at the moment. So any ideas/help would be really appreciated.

Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Don't laugh too loud, but here's the rough plan.

Frame wise I am going with steel (Vara) rather than aluminium (VTR).

I know it'll be heavier, but My main reason is that I have an arc welder in my shed (so I can take my time) & the Tig is in my mates garage miles away (paying for gas & rods).

Also, every picture (bar 2) I've seen of a VTR engined Bobber/Chopper/Tracker look awful with the top frame in place. The tank sits way too high over the air box & spoils the lines.

I am not going to change the important engine mounting & head stock angle. But I'm looking into removing the upper cradle & replacing it with a conventional spine running from the headstock to the rear shock mount.

This will enable the fitment of a tracker style tank similar to the above picture, but will also force the use of a Harley or DCOE side draught carb.

What do ya recon?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Another reason for choosing the Varadero frame was the really chunky Yokes. Which are 43mm, the same as the CBR 600 FY & CBR 1100 BB.

So I'm running with the idea that I'll fit the Varadero forks just to get a rolling chassis. Then, to get the correct ride height/chassis level I can slide the forks up through the yokes. Then persuade the wife to buy some forks for my Birthday


I've also taken a risk on buying a VTR engine, a 1999 model I think. He threw in a scruffy loom also.

So at the mo, I am looking for a engine mounting bolt/spacer set for a Varadero. I've seen one on eBay Germany but £30 seems steep for 4 bolts.

Usually I don't write about projects till they are 3/4 finished. Just in case it's a total failure.

If it is, it's going to be an expensive failure. I just hope it doesn't look like this.

50331f8d002be68b4f887c61.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Been busy looking for major bit's for the tracker project.

I am struggling getting Varadero engine mounting bolts from breakers. I've had a few bits, bolts & spacers castle lock nuts etc. It seems that most are destroyed when the engine gets removed..

I priced up from David Silver & it soon gets close to £100 just for a handful of bolts
Not happening.

Anyway, after trawling through hundreds & hundreds of pictures of petrol tanks over the last few weeks.
I have finally made a tank purchase, the tank is similar in shape, rot free & cheap.

I also bought a seat unit based on a Harley item that similar to the tracker picture above.

They arrived today


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Made up with the tank packing


The seat was undamaged but the packing on the corners was cut & the fiberglass was exposed


Here they are loosely lined up, not too bad for a total stab in the dark


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Here is the Tracker.

flattrack_2_3.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

It's a little too cold for me at the mo, so I'm being lazy & scanning for bits on the web. I'm spent out for the month now though so just making a list of parts that the wife won't hopefully see


The past two month I've bought :-

1999 VTR engine complete with oil cooler & loom. Crossed fingers it's a good'n.
2001 Varadero frame & yokes
Suitable tank with it's fitting bits'n bobs.
Tracker seat unit
Clutch cable (complete with bracket for Varadero cable clutch conversion)
Quarter of the required engine fitting bolts.. (2 spacers, 2 45mm'ish bolts & 1 castle lock nut)

Currently I am stuck on finding a complete set of bolts, spacers & frame adjusters. So its all on hold. I'm broke now anyway


Once I can bolt the engine to the frame I can make a rolling chassis & see what's what. I've already got forks, swing arm & bolt, linkage & wheels. Once rolling, the plan is to lower the bike to the height I want by sliding the forks through the yokes & correcting the rear by temporarily swapping out the shock for a drilled length of box. This will enable me to carry on with the chassis fabrication.

My main reason to use the Varadero frame is that it already has the important headstock, headstock angle (not flat track angle though) & engine mountings all ready worked out. The top tubes are to be removed & replaced with a singular spine top tube with bracing similar to the above pictures. The original frame is box section so I'll have to fabricate the rest in box also.

Trick is not to over do it so it looks like the Fourth bridge
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Over the last week I have contacted everyone on eBay who's broken a Varadero. Even people in Germany.

Some of them came back with a straight NO! But some have been very helpful & I've managed to get a few bolts'n spacers.

Last night & today I've been messaging a guy who has what looks like close to a full set for an early Varadero, which I'd prefer. The VTR bolts would do for a mock-up but I'd need the correct ones for the final assembly.

Can't wait to see what's in the box he's sending me.

$_122.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

My main problem is that it'll be built from 100% sourced parts, as opposed to a whole bike which is then converted. There are some bits required from a Varadero, VTR & from a Cbr. I am trying my best to keep it all Honda if I can though.

It's still up in the air, but this is what I've built in my head so far.

Front end.

1/ Spoked is the ideal way to go, but that's another big job.. This is what I have in the shed.
front, I have 19" 3 spoke Vara, Cbr 17" 5 spoke or 17"Vtr 3 spoke.
Rear, I have 4"x17" 3 spoke Vara, 5.5"x17" 5 spoke or Vtr 3 spoke.
I could get an Cbr F3 5 spoke narrow rear if needed, but will have to see.

2/ Varadero 43mm yokes with clamps for conventional handle bars. I have a couple of sets of wide Renthal bars in the shed, but I think I'll have to go old fashioned tracker for the look.

3/ Std 43mm Varadero forks will be going on temporarily & slid through the yokes to get the correct height. I also have a set of hybrid CR stanchioned/Varadero lowers (4" extended) in the shed. I did put them on the bike once
instant Easy Rider Chopper look
But hopefully a set of 43mm Cbr 600 f4 forks/calipers fitted with cut/shortened Varadero heavy springs.

4/ I know they're not meant to have them, but I'll have to have front brakes. I have a few sets of discs & a spare Yamaha R1 master. Also thinking of a Varadero clutch lever with incorporated choke lever, no mirrors.

5/ Day time mot, no front light or indicators. Only a oem engine on/off & start button. Not sure about a horn yet.

Chassis.

1/ Varadero main frame, cut top rails away & replace with spine & various bits of box section to keep it looking standard. The tank & seat position will dictate the height of the main frame.

2/ Not too sure of the rear frame yet, the easy way is use a Std Vtr swingarm/linkage/shock & exhaust. I really fancy going the short wheelbase route though. If I do I'll have to fabricate the rear subframe to cope with twin shocks & fabricate a swingarm similar to a Harley swingarm. This can be done later as it won't dictate how the bodywork fits, that's done by the headstock to rear cylinder head clearance line. I am reluctant to cut the existing subframe off just yet because I'll be using it as a guide/jig for the new rear frame.

3/ This is my idea for a short wheelbase swingarm, machine mild steel rings that replicate what the swingarm bearings sit in. Purchase some box section the same internal size as Cbr f3 swingarm. Then mill two slots in the box section so I can use the Cbr f3 wheel adjusters. Lugs for the shocks & bracket for the caliper will be worked out when the parts are sourced.

4/ The exhaust will be a 2 to 1 effort, more than likely std Vtr to begin with cut at the join & link pipe to a single silencer or twin megaphone thing.

All that's left to do is live into it
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Nice weather's arrived so I setup a temp bench from pallets & set about cutting the frame.

Here's a few pictures of the chopping. I used Lidl cutting discs, wafer thin brilliance :thumbup:

First cuts.

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Then the tubes were next.

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Removed the unwanted welds from the frame tidied the ones that might get used for lining up supports.

081.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Skipped the build photo's as it was dark, hence the backward front wheel.

Here's a loose idea of the direction I want to go.

Everything is balancing so it could all change


The remains of the rear subframe will go eventually, it's only there for supporting the seat & to aid alignment.

002.jpg

006.jpg

015.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

One thing I have noticed is the steel that the frame is made out of is ordinary steel. The tubing is heavy walled, but the rectangular section is just normal box section.

I was looking at buying a length cds (cold drawn seamless steel) square or rectangular section. But looking at the tubing that's been removed it's going to be a lot cheaper to do
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

There will be lots of cutting, grinding & welding with this project so I decided to build a bench out side.

I spotted a load of pallets & a skip full of wood at a building site so I popped in & asked if I could take some.

If you don't ask.. Anyhoo, I have a bench that cost me nout


The first project on it was to build a frame from wood that is similar in size to the steel that will be used to support the tank & seat.

Originally I was going to use the existing pressing at the rear of the frame, but I have decided to go straight from the rear shock pipe. The plan is to remove the upper part of the pressing later when the engine comes out.

This is only a mock-up just to see if things fit together


015 (2).jpg

Then I removed the Webers from the 2ltr fiat engine & give them a quick going over on the bench.

041.jpg

Some photo's of where The carb will hopefully live. A diagonal has been removed, just as well it was done in wood first.

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Spent most of the day making a manifold plate for the Weber dcoe.

Too much grinding involved to do indoors, so I did it on my new bench outside in the rain


Took pictures of each stage & how I went about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Been busy again today, working out the throttle linkage & tps bracket.

What a ball ache, all day fiddling & faffin. Still not finished but at least I now have some direction.

Btw, the cheap 5mm bolt holding it together in the middle is going


Some pictures of the progress.

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

It's been a while since I've built stuff & my hands are in a right sorry state.

I hope it'll all work.

I've stopped working on the frame whilst I sort the carb out. Just in case the carb gets in the way & the frame rails/fuel tank have to be altered/lifted for it all to fit.

It's slow progress, but I am happy with the way things are going.

I've also purchased some eBay goodies, I'll post up pictures when they arrive
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Been busy sorting out the throttle linkage/tps & idle adjustment over the weekend. I'm also trying to make it compatible so that it'll work with a Weber 45 dcoe if I find one.

Not too keen on the overall look tbh, looks like something from robot wars
oh well, it's the best I could think of at the time..

More goodies arrived today, Cbr 600 f4 forks
.

They look OK after unpacking, they're straight but there's some pitting between the yokes but nothing serious. I keep forgetting that they are 17 years old now..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

Finished the throttle control, what do you think?

It's not to my liking tbh. A bit too much like robot wars, but it'll have to do for now.

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011.jpg

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

The Cbr 600 fx-fy/f4 forks arrived late yesterday, so I had an early start on the new bench to avoid the forecasted midday rain... It rained all morning


Checked them over to make sure all the threads thread & all the adjusters adjust. Then started to clean them up.

Not too bad either for 17 year old forks, no marks to the stations where the seals run & only a few marks above the lower yoke.

002.jpg

The frame fabrication is on hold until I fit the suspension I want on the bike.

I thought that I might run into issues if I build the bikes lines on shortened Varadero forks & a 10" length of 2"x1" wood

So I've been looking at various Honda rear shocks that might do the job & have decided to look for a 2000-2001 Cbr929 item.

They are a short shock @ 286mm eye to eye & with a stiffer spring than the similar length Cbr954.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Bored with your Varadero? Enter "Project Varatrackerstorm or Firetrackerdero"

I'm limiting myself to £50 a month on parts so the wife won't notice & it seems to be working. But it has slowed the project down a lot.

So far I have sorted out / bought..

Cbr600 F4 forks fitted with F4 calipers & F4 master. The shortened Vara forks was a bad idea.

Cbr600f3 front wheel, machined 2mm from either side of the disc mounting faces for the correct spacing.

Cbr929 rear shocker, one of the shortest shocks Honda makes & the Std spring is very stiff also. I went the wrong way by making up a piece of wood as a guide as no big bike shocks are available that short from Honda.

Std VTR foot peg carriers, CBR 600 F2 rear master cylinder (same as the Vtr).

Vtr rear slave & carrier.

Varadero sprocket/clutch cover, Vara clutch rod, Vara clutch cable & Cbr600 f4 clutch lever.

Vtr thermostat housing expansion bottle & pipes.

SV 1000 naked radiator with fan, I don't like it, it's too big & it spoils the lines, but it needs some sort of cooling. I will change it later on when I spot a prettier smaller rad.

Yamaha R6 5EB 48 tooth supersprox rear sprocket (mounting holes drilled out to 12mm) with a DID 530 gold chain. Std front 16 toother.

Std Vtr headers (cleaned) with Remus link pipes & Comedy stubby rough as hell Remus straight through silencers.

Fuel cap, thought I was never going to get one tbh.

CR250 throttle with shagged cables..

I've been outbid twice on separate Pingel high flow fuel taps, just too expensive, will just have to have patience.

Been buying electrics too, Vtr coils (pair), CDI & ignitor boxes, finned rectifier.

Just finished off this months monies on a VTR solenoid, Varadero 125 handlebar starter switch & some 90cm front brake pipes.

There's more bits to get & it is getting expensive, but I semi knew in the beginning of the project it would, there just isn't enough of one bike that would of done as a base bike to convert.
 
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