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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I'm creating this thread as a discussion area for my upcoming build.

I'll be ordering the Blue Collar Bobbers (BCB) kits tonight to convert my VN800B from stock to Bobber this Spring!

The current plan is to do both front and rear fenders, seat, tag relocation, taillight.

Then, I'd like to change out the exhaust and handlebars (6-10" mini-apes).

For paint, I'm waiting on a couple of estimates from local shops, but it looks like it's gonna be WAY expensive! I found that Plasti Dip makes glossifiers and a chameleon green/blue setup, which looks great (in pictures).

Does anyone have any experience with these products? I did a search on the forum, but no recent results came up.

The current plan is black plasti dip with the blue/green chameleon color over it (anyone know of a cheap place to buy plasti dip?)

I'll be posting before pics in a week or so, and once I install the BCB kits, I'll have a more thorough write-up.

Thanks!

-John

PS: Any words of wisdom regarding this project?
 

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No words of wisdom, John, but I will eagerly follow your build. I really want to watch the process you go through and to see how the BCB kits work for you.

Victor
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No words of wisdom, John, but I will eagerly follow your build. I really want to watch the process you go through and to see how the BCB kits work for you.

Victor
Thanks! I'll be posting here and on my own web site, Road Reality (Road Reality).

As for now, I found a chameleon blue/green plasti-dip color, which I plan to add the glossifier to. For under $100, I can see what it looks like, and if I don't like it, peel and change.

I can't wait to get started :D I would've done this over the winter, but with a baby in the house, free time is limited. Now that he's almost a year old, I hope I can get things done in a more reasonable time frame.

-John
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Order placed!

LICENSE/TAIL LIGHT BRACKETS VULCAN 800 & 400
License Orientation: Vertical 1

REAR FENDER KIT VULCAN 800 & 400
Fender Finish: Grey Primer - Ready to Paint 1

13” SPRING SEAT KIT VULCAN 800 & 400
Seat Style: Caramel Off White Pleats 1

FRONT FENDER KIT FOR CLASSIC MODEL ONLY VULCAN 800 & 400
Fender Finish: Grey Primer - Ready to Paint 1

FRONT LIGHT KIT TO MATCH 1929 FORD LIGHT VULCAN 800 & 400
Choose Signal Color: Black 1

1929 FORD REAR LIGHT KIT VULCAN 800 & 400
Choose Signal Color: Black 1

Hopefully that's everything I need. BCB, through email, said they've got a 3-day lead time, so I should have the parts by the middle of March, which lines up with some time off - now to pray the weather holds out :D

I'm probably going to order the Plasti Dip stuff next week. I think I've settled on a black base coat, with chameleon green/blue color, then the glossifier for a nice shine.

-John
 

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I think you're going to be really pleased when you get your BCB order in. I Ordered the front and rear fenders, seat kit, and mirrors about a month ago and they are fantastic quality. I ordered the 11" seat, and I just rode it for the first time today. It's amazingly comfortable! Your butt is glued to the seat when you're cornering or accelerating.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think you're going to be really pleased when you get your BCB order in. I Ordered the front and rear fenders, seat kit, and mirrors about a month ago and they are fantastic quality. I ordered the 11" seat, and I just rode it for the first time today. It's amazingly comfortable! Your butt is glued to the seat when you're cornering or accelerating.
Glad to hear it ... and since my butt is larger than average, I got the 13" seat LOL.

I got an email from BCB last night, saying my order had shipped (dang, that was quick!), and checked UPS... sure enough, parts will be here next week!

-John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, quick update ... sorry for lack of updates, but I changed jobs, so I've been busy. With my new, shorter commute, however, I have more energy in the evening and have been working on the bike.

So far, here's what I've done (and I'll be posting pics hopefully sometime in the next week):

Pre-work (just to get 'er into my porch):
1. Removed windshield (quick release-ish)
2. Removed saddlebags (quick release)
3. Removed engine guard (PITA)
4. Removed floorboards and one FB support bracket (giant PITA)
5. Prayed she'd fit (she did)

Bobber Conversion:
1. Removed seat
2. Removed rear fender assembly (fender, lights, sissy bar!)
3. Removed front fender
4. Pulled battery, re-routed cables
5. Cleaned battery box, fuse box area, and anything else I could reach. Spent 2 hours with shop rags and spray detailer!
6. Installed BCB front fender
7. Installed BCB rear fender
8. Installed BCB vertical license plate bracket
9. Installed BCB seat, signal lights, tail light
10. Buttoned up all wiring, tested lights
11. Installed foot pegs (which required new bolts, ugh)

Still To Do:
1. Figure out paint (90% certain I'm gonna do Plasti-Dip this year, maybe get 'er painted next year or do it myself)
2. Finalize foot peg installation (need springs to keep the pegs down a la stock)
3. Adjust front fender (it's off-center a bit)
4. Get new tires installed (they're from March of 2010, so hard as rocks)
5. Adjust brake and gear shift levers (since the foot pegs are lower than the floorboards were)
6. Install front signal lights (you need a floor jack for the VN800B, and mine is in my shed. For more room, I may wait until there's a nice day when I can back the bike onto my patio to work on it)

Phew!

The BCB stuff was a lot of fun to install. The only two daunting tasks were drilling into the swing arm to install the license plate bracket and the wiring, but their videos made the bracket install easy, and it looks sharp! Also, the color instructions for wiring helped a lot, but I still read them 4 times before doing anything permanent to the bike. Everything else went without a hitch, and the included allen wrenches and drill bits were a nice touch. The other videos they've made make it really easy to follow along, so kudos to them!

All-in, I'd guesstimate that I've spent 18-24 hours of work to get to this point in the project. I didn't really keep track of my time since it's a hobby project and not work, but I know I spent a lot of time looking over the bike, cleaning up 10+ years of dirt and bugs, reading and re-reading, watching and re-watching instructions, and just plain taking my time to make sure I did it right.

Finally, make sure you have the following tools on hand, since some of the bolts are metric, some are SAE, and they're all over the place for size:

1. Full socket sets for Metric and SAE
2. Several types of pliers
3. 17mm and 19mm open-end wrenches (17mm for the hollow bolts on the bullet lights, 19mm was needed on mine to get the floorboard bracket off and footpeg bolts on)
4. Cordless drill
5. Laptop (handy for watching videos while sitting right next to the bike and all the parts)
6. Decent wire stripper/cutter
7. Flat surfaces (nobody wants to work on the floor!) I used 4 TV tray table things, and draped old towels over them to help keep parts situated there
8. Cordless work light (I have a Craftsman LED work light that I got on a lark a couple of months ago, was great for shining light in hard-to-reach places)
9. Patience! I get frustrated easily, so being able to sit back and do something else for a bit (there's a TV in my porch) helped

I'll be writing all of this up on my web site, but just wanted to keep y'all informed of where the project sits.

-John
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey all, anyone else with a bobbed-out bike have any tips on how to go about washing this sucker? I understand that the seat will be waterproof (since BCB includes the waterproofing stuff in the seat kit), but how do you go about actually washing around the relatively open battery box and fuse area?

Looking at the bike, I'll just try to minimize how much water hits the seat area, and wipe down that area with shop rags and spray detailer, but if someone's got a better idea, I'm all ears!

Thanks,

-John
 

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I hand wash mine. A few micro fiber towels and a good foam cleaner usually does the trick. I do not recommend washing with the hose.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I hand wash mine. A few micro fiber towels and a good foam cleaner usually does the trick. I do not recommend washing with the hose.
Thanks, I'll give that a shot.

I contacted BCB and they said to cover the seat area with plastic for washing, to keep water out of the electronics. Other than that, you're good to go.

-John
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I got to take the bike out this past Sunday, what a blast! Need to adjust the pedals though. Flash forward to last night, and I spent a few quality hours with the ol' Vulcan Bobber project.

I adjusted the gear shift lever and rear brake pedal, to work better with pegs versus the boards that used to be there. Much better!

I washed the bike - used the hose sparingly, and away from the seat area. All the electrics still work, the seat looks fine, and the rest of the bike is clean.

Then I used some Griot's Garage heavy-duty wheel cleaner on the wire wheels. Did 3 passes on the rear wheel, and got about 85% of the gunk off. It looks great from a few feet away :)

Then I used a grunge brush on the chain, with some cleaner, and got that clean (I think all the gunk ended up on my shirt, lol). I let it dry, and then used chain lube on it. Looks much better.

Rode the bike to work today, and the new pedal placement is much better, but I still don't know how y'all ride your bikes without windshields!? Anything over 50 or 60 mph, and you better have a tight grip on the handlebars, not to mention firmly placing your feet on the pegs!

-John
 

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Discussion Starter #13
what was your cost by the time you were done?
I'll have to double-check my numbers when I get home tonight, but IIRC, it was around $1,100. That includes all the BCB kits, pegs I got from another member here, and a few hand tools I had to buy (bigger wrenches).

Bike looks great, just needs paint. That'll add a few bucks, too.

-John
 

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cool thanks, I ask cause I was not sure if I should just got buy the new indian bobber or buy a vn900 classic and make it into a bobber I was not sure how much I would be saving.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
cool thanks, I ask cause I was not sure if I should just got buy the new indian bobber or buy a vn900 classic and make it into a bobber I was not sure how much I would be saving.
I checked, and about $1,100 is still accurate. The BCB kits are a ton of fun to install, and their instructions make it stupid easy to do. I'm a fan. Plus, you can pick and choose which kits you want to install. Also, Vulcans are great bikes, so you have a great starting point for your project. Make it your own!

-John
 

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thank you will do, the indian is beautiful but new sits at 12-13k I can pickup a used Vulcan for 4500 and put 3k more into it and have a really sweet ride while saving 6k and I believe the Vulcan will have more then enough power for my type of riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thank you will do, the indian is beautiful but new sits at 12-13k I can pickup a used Vulcan for 4500 and put 3k more into it and have a really sweet ride while saving 6k and I believe the Vulcan will have more then enough power for my type of riding.
Go for it! If you find it doesn't have enough power, you can swap out intake & pipes, and then have Ivan's Performance tune the ECU for you:

Ivan's Performance Products

I've heard nothing but great things in the 1700 section of this forum, and plan to have them program the ECU on my Vaquero once the warranty is up.

-John
 

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Thanks man, now I can start my weekend drewlin' ... :grin2:

That looks awesome. Great colour for the saddle. The seams/seems? complement the colour of the fenders while the leather is great with the tank.

I'm going in a different direction with mine, even though I love this bobber style as well.
 
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