I wanted to build something that wasn’t a typical bike to build a Cafe Racer. So I bought a ‘86 Honda Shadow VT1100C which wasn’t the smartest, but it certainly was the best option to choose. The frame of a Chopper is not straight lined and stretched like a Cafe Racer would need to look like. After some cardboard molds I made, I saw broadly what would be the end result. Worked out a small sketch, and figured out really quick that the original tank must be thrown at the garbage. Let’s start from scratch.. With some 1mm sheetmetal I started forming the backside of the bike with my English-wheel, that all went well. After the backside was finished, I started forming the completely new gas tank from 1mm sheetmetal which came out really nice.
So many more modifications followed. I modified the rear frame and rear suspension frame (to make room for the 2 exhaust mufflers) Modified the rear drum-brake into disc-brake, I made an adapter on my own lathe where the disc would be mounted, and after that the mounting bracket for the caliper. A custom made seat by Miller Kustom Upholstery. I installed a rearset, internally lowered the front forks and so on..
I really liked the original speedometers, and the original sidepanels with new grey/gold Shadow logo’s. So I kept those original parts, a few things to recognize it’s a Honda Shadow.
After completely customizing the bike, I started to take it apart and repainted every part on the bike! All the sandblasting and painting is done by myself, except for the gloss paint on the tank and rear. Those are a really nice dark blue with matt black lines and Honda wings painted on it.
The bike handling is much better than I originally thought it would be. Because I increased the rear and lowered the front, the center of gravity shifted forward, which I think is better than the original chopper handling.