Another Summer Gone, New projects Galore

Hard to believe another summer has come and gone. Most of it was spent riding and doing house projects 😦  well I guess the home needs some attention every now and then too. While there’s still plenty of riding weather left, i have been squirreling away my next cold weather projects. I picked up an ’82 Honda CB900 that will be a total tear down and re-inventing via the Green Horse style and i also acquired a ’73/’74 Yamaha TX750. The former is in pretty rough shape as it has been stored outside. From my research I found the ’73 year was unreliable due to engine design issues, where as the ’74 had fixes to said issues which reportedly made the bike more reliable. The plan at this juncture is to part out the  TX to fund the CB900….that’s the plan at this point…but you know what they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

The second VT500 project is still in the works, though the mantle of build has been passed to my son, and I have been relegated to an adviser/consultant role. i will be making a more concerted effort to keep things current on my little corner of the interweb here 😛  …. no promises though , lol

For those of you in the Northern climes, get your riding in before the nasty white stuff comes. For you year round riders…you got no excuses, get out there and ride!  But for everyone on two wheels, Ride safe my friends.


Looks like it’s almost over..

Winter that is…
It’s been a looong, cold winter here in Michigan. We had more snow piled up around the house this year than we have since we moved here almost 15 years ago. But it’s looking more and more like spring every day, and with the longer days cones the promise of warmer weather and the itch to ride and wrench. I have been spending some of the long, cold winter scheming and planning the next build, another 1983 Shadow 500. This one will be a build for one of my sons who will be taking part in both the building and the planning process.

Tentatively we are calling this the Sophistcated Rat, part Duex, but as with the planning and building process… everything is subject to change. We will keep the blog updated as we progress, you’re welcome to join us in the adventure!

Get ready for another riding season, and as always, remember. Ride like you’re invisible…

Update time…

Well, actually it’s waaaay past update time! Not much new happening in the garage the past year as our focus has been more toward getting our house ready to sell. Have been doing more riding this year though and have been playing around with the Go-Pro getting footage to edit together in the coming winter months. Other than that things are quiet….kinda nice way to enjoy the summer 😀

What a Weekend!!

Wow! Just had the greatest weekend of cycle riding EVER!! Went up to a campground about 35 min North of me to meet up with the Backyard Bike Builders at their annual get-together there. They have held this meet and greet for the last 4 years in conjunction with the Muskegon Bike Time. My wife and I rode up Friday night and met up with some of the crew and 25 bikes took off for a run. Everyone should experience the thrill of riding with a group of  bikes like this!  Since most of the riders were unfamiliar with the area, it was of utmost importance to keep the group together! 😉  I won’t got into details of how we kept the group together, but to suffice to say it was probably not 100% on LEOs list of acceptable methods. But that made the ride even more fun gave me a little insight into one aspect of being part of a group that kind of thumbs it’s nose at authority. (not that I endorse that sort of thing… 😉 )

After riding the backroads for  bit we took a spin down Steel Horse Alley at the Muskegon Bike Time. I wouldn’t even hazard a guess at the number of bikes there, but they filled both shoulders and a two-wide line down the center of the street for the entire 10 city blocks (approx. 1 mile) , with nary room to walk  between the parked bikes… you do the math!

Saturday I took VooDoo out for a ride to meet up with the guys again. I was a little surprised at the positive response I got from the bike, since these guys ride mostly choppers, and I think some of the guys were surprised VooDoo as well. we took off with a smaller but equally enjoyable group of about 18 bikes. The ensuing 100+ miles and 3 hr trip was even more fun that the previous day’s jaunt. Kudos to the guys leading the rides and the blockers maintaining the group, through out the two days of riding there was only one time when the group got separated.

All in all it was a fantastic time and I met a great group of  guys. There is just something about getting together with a group of people who don’t want to ‘talk’ about riding…they just want to RIDE! You really can’t put the experience into words. you just have to ..experience it! I will definitely be meeting up with these guys next year! If you are near Muskegon bike Time next year…look for us! So if you ever get the opportunity to ride with a group of on-the-edge-law-abiding-motorcyclists (ok …so maybe the law-abiding part was a bit of a stretch… lol! 😀 )   DO IT!!

Additions to the Garage!


Well I was fortunate this past week to find a cycle lift on a local online auction site that I was able to  win!  Might not seem like a bike deal but this will go a long way in simplifying  working  on the bikes. Especially when it comes to removing the rear wheel!

We went and picked up the lift and brought it home. Iknew from looking at it prior to the auction that I would have to make some modifications to it to accommodate the larger  bikes since the bed on the lift was so short. Here’s a pic of it with the project bike on it. Keep in mind this is a small Shadow 500 with a wheel base of 58″….


So I went a picked up some steel from a local supplier and fabbed up a nice 18″ extension for it. That way I could fit the 750’s on there as well.  My extension was made using 1 1/4″ square stock welded to the existing frame on the table and then making the frame for the extension out of 1″ square stock. The 1″  square steel then slides nicely right into the 1 1/4″ steel for a sleeve type construction.


So now the larger bikes will fit  on the lift as well, and with the removable extension, I’ll be able to accomplish removal of the rear wheel without the need to remove the fender first. But that meant having a means by which I can jack up the bike once it’s on the lift. I knew just the item to use!

I had an old scissor jack laying around that would work perfect! Once I located it however, I realized I would have to do something to the jack to make it useable  and safe for lifting a motorcycle. So, here’s the jack. As you can see there is nothing on the top of the jack to keep it fixed on the bottom of the bike.

Since there is a round cross brace on most bikes near the back of the motor I came up with this… I took a piece of exhaust pipe I had lying around, split it in half and the cut a small section of that off. Next I took a piece of round stock that fit nicely into the top of the jack, cut a small piece off and welded that to the exhaust pipe ‘cradle’.


Now all I do is insert this into the top of the jack and I have a very secure way to lift the bike without fear of the jack slipping. Plus I can create any number of ‘attachments’ I need for various makes and models of bikes using the same method and just pop on the needed attachment for each bike!


Next I needed to do a dry run to see if everything would work as planned 😀  I put the VooDoo bike up on the lift and slipped the jack in. It’s kind of a pain trying to crank the scissor jack by hand… but that’s a project for another day. I got the jack all lined up….

and cranked her up until the back wheel was off the table.

    Then pulled the table extension off… and VIOLA!! Now I can easily work on rear brakes and tires without having to mess with removing fenders. I love it when a plan comes together…and actually WORKS! 😀

Something New from GHC

We will soon be printing our own t-shirts in-house here at GHC.You can expect a significant savings over the current Zazzle-produced T’s so if you have been wanting Green Horse Customs apparel but didn’t want to pay those crazy prices..your wait is almost over!! Check back soon as we will be conducting a poll to let our public decide which 3 graphics we will offer initially. Don’t have the price locked in yet but I know it should be under $18 per shirt…probably less!

Let the Madness Begin…

So I finally got out to the production center (aka the garage.. ) and started my spring cleaning. Took all the summer stuff like deck furniture and such and got it out of the garage. Spent some time cleaning and taking all the ‘stuff’ that inexplicably accumulated and relocated much of it to the curb. Apparently, my wife feels the garage is ‘overflow storage’ for when she is cleaning the house of stuff she wants to keep, but not in the house. 8/ A short ‘staff meeting’ resolved the situation with more shelving in the basement for her to relocate her stuff accordingly.
Disaster avoided! I could start taking inventory of what I have on hand for the next build. I found I have enough parts to build a Yamonda..or would it be a Hondaha..? Probably the latter since the power plant and frame would be Honda with maybe some Yamaha parts…we’ll see. So head on over to the build page for a more detailed synopsis of the days events, not much happening right now but the gears are starting to turn…

Hello world!

Welcome to Green horse Customs! Motorcycle modification is a passion of mine that I have been indulging in on a part time basis for the last five years or so. It all began with the Sophisticated Rat project that was a  father-son venture. On my blog you will find my adventures (or misadventures) as I progress from project to project. I find that I get as much enjoyment and therapeutic benefit out of the building each bike as I do riding!

I do as much as absolutely possible on each build. Whether it’s part design and fabrication, to chopping, welding, buffing or painting, everything I do is budget minded. I will try to put enough detail here so that other ‘backyard-builders’ can duplicate the process if you find it useful.

So whether you are a full-fledged professional builder, a backyard bike builder or just a weekend rider, hopefully you’ll find something here to pique your interest, or maybe give you a laugh.