A ratted-out bunch of nonsense, really.
It's amazing what some paint and exhaust tape can do.
The stock fender and raw bikini fairing are placed.
A green thumbs-up.
Making sure it all fits first is important.
One of the exhausts routed under the seat.
The aftermarket bars are measured out for the controls.
Once it's all aligned, it gets bolted down tightly.
The exhaust is a crucial component in both appearance and performance, and our VTR needed serious attention. The header pipes were left in the stock location and covered in a heat-resistant cloth, while the stock cans were tossed in the trash. They were heavy, ugly and didn't sound very good either.
Buder prides himself on custom exhausts-what he calls "racing exhaust." He starts out with a steel tube that he drills, perforates and wraps with a fiberglass material. The outer canister is formed around it and then welded with an end piece. The result sounds like a MotoGP Ducati on steroids. The neighbors are gonna love it.
The decision was made to leave the frame and swingarm alone-instead of paint just give them a good cleaning. The footpegs mount at the pivot point of the swingarm and were snapped off, but repairable. Expert welding from the backside and a couple coats of paint made them good as new. The passenger pegs were tossed, as everyone knows a streetfighter is a solo machine.
The wheel rims were then cleaned up and given the same basic black paint job as the motor. The idea came up to paint them the same color as the tank and fenders, but nah-not on a streetfighter.
It was time to move around to the front of the bike, and the front fender was first on the list. After a few carefully placed lines were made with a marker, it was trimmed down a bit and set aside for the paint booth at a later date. The next operation was for the new front mask that would hold the headlights.
The "Top Gun" upper fiberglass came from Germany and holds twin Xenon headlights that are definitely brighter than stock. Both the taillight and headlight use the existing wiring and required minimal adaptation on the end pieces. With a little trial and error, the exact location was found and the mask was bolted into place.
All the important pieces on the bike were now in place, and it was starting to look like a streetfighter.
The tailpiece, tank and front fender went off to the painter, while Buder started putting on the final touches. The subframe was sanded and painted, and the coils, relays and all hanging wires were mounted to the plate on top of the subframe.
The top triple tree was torqued down on the handlebars. A set of Kellerman handlebar turn signals was installed along with a new clutch and brake lever. Both of these were cut down just enough for a two-finger fit, and then they received the black paint: 1972 Dodge Charger green-as American as General Lee orange.
The tail was put in place with two bolts, and the undertray piece polished it off nicely. With the gas tank back on and the front mask installed, this streetfighter was about done.
It's not rocket science, you know. If streetfighters are your passion, it's easy to get a nice end result without killing your wallet. Like any custom bike, build it with your imagination and budget.
Step One: Exhaust
Step Two: Headlights
Step Three: Tailpiece
Step Four: Handlebars