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I had originally purchased her in 2011 as my first motorcycle for $1000. She wasn't a looker, rough around the edges and barely hanging on, but she introduced me to riding free.
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Then one day, on my way to an offshore job interview, she overheated from a bad thermo switch and blew a head gasket. She sat up for a few months and then I started stripping her down. Every bolt and bracket, odd and end, was pulled off and placed in boxes unlabeled. Then it stayed there for 8 years gathering dust in my friend's garage.

Recently I picked it up, otherwise it'd have been scrapped. Looked like I had most of it, there were some holes chewed in the cardboard box from mice. So now I decided to put her back together, and treat her right.
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The engine went back together well with the help of my Clymer manual, a part from figuring out which bolts went where. Not long and she was in the frame with some fresh paint.
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Since most of the plastics were lost or in bad shape, and the tank was shot (and missing a key), I tried my hands at metal fabricating. Picked up a FCAW welder for $60 from a pawn shop. Made a new battery box out of some four inch metal garden border. Mounted the new Dynatek coils with a custom wiring harness around the battery. Didn't realize until after the fact that I could have used a smaller battery instead of the stock size.
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I looked everywhere for a possible gas tank. Even considered cutting out the double back bone and welding in a single, but I didn't trust my welding skills enough to tackle something so vital. Finally I found one on Amazon that had a wide enough tunnel to fit. I had to move the front mounts and the petcock tap, and fab up a rear mount that fit with the frame. Now seeing all this sheet metal got me in the mood for some body work. So I picked up some 22ga steel sheets, a couple hammers, and made my own shrinking stump. For a couple of days it was loud banging echoing down the street as I learned how to shape metal. My first attempt was on the transmission cover, which turned out nice with no bondo.
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Then I started on side panels, which proved more of a challenge with the multiple angles.
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I managed to get the side panels as tight to the frame as I could, then welded them to the tank to make it one piece. For the tail I wanted to keep a similar design and reuse the seat pan and foam. So I cut down the seat pan and foam to keep them tight to the frame and started forming sheet metal around the sides, keeping with the curvy style.
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Cleaned everything up and laid some bondo and paint.
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Discussion Starter #2
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I didn't like the dimples for a logo on the tank and wanted to paint it two tone. So striped back down and bondo some more. Now she is looking sharp.
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The muffler is some old four wheeler exhaust I had laying around but I like the tone so decided to repurpose it.
The front forks, triple tree and wheel came from a 84-85 Honda VF700. Wanted dual front brakes and better suspension. The VF700 magna had the same style wheel, albeit chrome, while the sabre offered a cleaner top tree clamp that allowed clip on handlebars. I had to beat out the steering stem from the lower triple and swap it with the ascots, the vf700 was a tad bit different and wouldn't work.
Got speedometer and tachometer from 4into1. Rejetted the carbs to stage 3 with pods. All the lines are braided stainless steel except the tach.
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All that's left now are the lights and wiring them up. Couple more weeks and she should be ready to ride.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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WOW! That is quite an eye opening piece of work, I'm liking it a lot.
From a catastrophe to an attention grabber.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
WOW! That is quite an eye opening piece of work, I'm liking it a lot.
From a catastrophe to an attention grabber.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
Thank you CS. A lot of time and money has been put into it, some waisted, but its invaluable to me. Here's a video of her running.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Nice outcome from a sad beginning !
 

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Nice build
I read where you mentioned an extensive search for a Tank that would fit so I just want to show what I did, tank wise.
I bought my bike sight unseen and it was sitting under a tree in Washington state, so the rusted/rotted out tank was no surprise.
I found/bought a vt500 Shadow tank from the now defunked Boise ID salvage yard. 😕
I had to fab the front mount further back but it was a good fit.
An added bonus was the Ascot gas cap fit the Shadow tank so it's the same key as the ignition.
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Posted for others that may be going thru/looking for a donor tank to swap.
To not further poop in this build thread, I have pics of the fab'ed front tank mount and will PM them if requested.
:)
Edit: with that tank and round headlight the bike is now named "Shascot"...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I love it when people build over buying. Great work and for a first shot at sheet metal work id say you did a damn decent job. I hope this inspires you to build more of your own stuff
It was trial and error, and I felt bad every time I swung the hammer and heard "ting" echo out my carport off the concrete stadium across the street and down the street. I tried to make every strike count.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice build
I read where you mentioned an extensive search for a Tank that would fit so I just want to show what I did, tank wise.
I bought my bike sight unseen and it was sitting under a tree in Washington state, so the rusted/rotted out tank was no surprise.
I found/bought a vt500 Shadow tank from the now defunked Boise ID salvage yard. 😕
I had to fab the front mount further back but it was a good fit.
An added bonus was the Ascot gas cap fit the Shadow tank so it's the same key as the ignition.
View attachment 287822

Posted for others that may be going thru/looking for a donor tank to swap.
To not further poop in this build thread, I have pics of the fab'ed front tank mount and will PM them if requested.
:)
Edit: with that tank and round headlight the bike is now named "Shascot"...
I considered the shadow tank. There used to be a motorcycle salvage yard near me that had nearly anything you can imagine. The place shut down and most of the parts were scrapped.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You mentioned Ebay tank...but from what??
And how many gallons does it hold??
This is the same tank but I paid $85 for it on Ebay Amazon.com: 10L 2.6 Gal Retro Fuel Gas Tank Cafe Racer Motorcycle Tank Universal for Suzuki Yamaha Honda 750 CB400 XJR400: Automotive

In order to make it fit like I did you will have to cut off and weld the mounts to match the vt500 frame. The fuel petcock comes in installed in a position that interferes with the frame and also must be repositioned. If your not that good at welding like me, you can use JB waterweld or something similar.
 

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Ah, there we go...2.6 doesn't add capacity...nuts.
I'm trying to figure out how to get as much fuel on board as possible...
The Sabre tank swap is looking like the way to go,
no welding required, and it pretty much is a quick bolt-on.
Finding one that ain't rusty as heck/dented to death is the hard part;)

Contemplated putting on a Fat Bob harley tank...
but figured it would be welding intensive also.
 
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