Honda Shadow Bobber - Phase 1

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Back in April I mentioned plans for my Honda Shadow 600 bobber. I have made some progress on the bike so I thought I would show it off.

The plan

I have noticed that there is a real need for information on metric bobbers (and choppers), thus I have made it my goal to detail my process as best I can so that others can duplicate it. My main goal is to keep it as simple as possible. I want to use the stuff I already have whenever possible. I hope to get into performance modification at some point but for now it is mostly cosmetic. Here’s a little diagram I made using the Samurai as my inspiration:

Samurai vs Shadow plan

This is what needs to be done and what has been done already:

  1. Remove the rear fender (done)
  2. Move the front fender to the back
  3. Remove all fiberglass (done)
  4. Remove the back seat (done)
  5. Replace the front seat (in progress)
  6. Lower the whole bike
  7. Ditch the windshield (done)
  8. Replace the handlebars
  9. Get a smaller gas tank with a lower profile

Removed fiberglass

Removed the fiberglass

Removing the fiberglass was pretty easy. It probably took me a day or two and was mostly a matter of unbolting stuff. While I was at it I removed both seats. This also meant removing most of the rear fender.

Seat experiment

Making my own seat

Because my goal was to use what I had, I thought I would try and reuse all of the parts from the seat to make a new one. The result is not pictured here although it did turn out pretty decent. Unfortunately, it isn’t quite to my liking so I will probably replace it with something custom. This will probably be my one splurge on the bike.

Here was how I did it:

  1. Remove the seat
  2. Unstaple the leather from the plastic
  3. Remove the foam carefully (it’s glued)
  4. Create a cardboard template that fits inside the existing plastic
  5. Cut the plastic to shape with a jigsaw
  6. Trim the foam down to size
  7. Size the old leather and cut out a template
  8. Sew the template together just like it came
  9. Glue the foam to the plastic
  10. Staple the leather back over the seat/foam

This took me a long time. I didn’t do that great at sewing either. If you are going to attempt this you need to figure out what the right tools are. I can tell you for sure that a utility knife is NOT the right tool.

In the end I think you’d be better off buying a nice custom seat and hardware.

Chopped back seat

Today I chopped off the whole back seat from right behind where the front seat used to end. It was as simple as taking a grinder to the tubing. Probably took me 20 minutes to mark and cut both sides. Once I get a welder (and learn how to weld) I will close up the holes. I’ll try and get pictures of this up soon.

Next steps

The next steps will be to get a seat, weld the brackets and weld on the rear fender. While I am at it I might try and organize some of the cables and do some general cleanup.

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