Sunday, June 27, 2010
James K walked into our shop and asked about British bikes and in particular, custom bikes.
He said "I don't want a bike like everyone else, i want something different, can you help?"
Now i had a plan for quite some time to build the BSA plunger (pictured above) but i just don't have the time as customers work comes first.
I showed James the BSA and explained with words and sketches my vision for this project.
James decided to make the purchase, then commissioned us to go ahead with the modifications. He has involved himself in the preperation and overall production.
I won't bore you with the stripdown and all the step by step.
The engine is 350cc bottom now with 500cc top end, Amal concentric 626 carb. G/box is stock 4 spd.
While we were doing some mild engine work, James sanded and painted nearly everything Satin black finish.
Rear is now 16" Harley rim laced to the stock hub with SS spokes. It took some effort to get this right as there were a lot of clearance issues.
Consider chain, chainguard, mudguard, frame... and then try to centre the wheel somewhat without touching anything!
Front wheel is now 21" Harley rim laced to the stock hub with SS spokes. No problems here, i wish it was this easy for the rear.
James chose to use drag bars with control levers that matched the era of the motorcycle. The only issue here is that the control levers won't clear the petrol tank on full lock. The original handlebars have a 2" rise wich allows clearence. Plan B a bit later...
We modified the top fork shrouds, i found this WIPAC headlight in the parts bin and modified a Bantam h/light bracket to keep with the old skool feel. The headlight is complete but because we are handling it we keep the glass and other parts stored safely.
Too many times i've heard the same story,
"i was checking to see how i'll mount the headlight and i dropped it".
It's good practice to remove the beam making the shell easier to handle.
It's a B33 round badge, the other guy needed the flat badge and everyone is happy.
An electrician by trade, James pulled some favours owed to him from a panelbeater/spraypainter and the paintwork is complete.
Chopping, modifying, bending, welding and we finally got this flat guard ready for the rear.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Old Bike magazine is a must for those who ride as well as the dedicated current enthusiast and rebuilder. Marvel at the restoration of machines that could still sit proudly on the showroom floor.
Regular features include a the latest news and results from recent events in Race Reports and Rally Roundup, along with new and old bike news and reviews, readers letters, Club Directory, What’s On and much, much more.
Available at Trojan Classic Motorcycles or subscribe at :
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Ruby Chopper is also featured in Ozbike magazine issue #331
Read on as we help Phil make his dream come to life!
We don't usually do HD as we aren't tooled for it. British is our specialty but one of our customer/friend, Phil, persisted we undertake a Harley he just purchased. After a few beers we agreed and the plan was put to paper.
The machine started life as a normal Sportster from the saddle to the front - fat tank, tele forks etc.
Someone had allready hardtailed it and although we weren't too happy with it's cosmetic geometry, it was well built so rather than mess around, we worked with the design on hand.
Phil was hell bent on a spring front and went ahead and purchased the generic types sold on todays market. They also sold him the front wheel and caliper and told him it was a 'kit and will fit straight on with no mods what so ever'. That, ofcourse, was not the case. These springers might look good but when it comes to function, they are absolute rubbish not to mention very dangerous. We had to re-engineer the forks, headsets and trees to work properly without interference and also re-bush pivot points to suit. Front wheel fitting and caliper also needed attention because if you fit these as they come, then you can kiss your ass goodbeye under heavy break loads. We machined a slot out of the caliper to take the torque stay straight and without any flex. The excersise in whole was not pleasant and we recommend you do lot's of homework if you want this type of set up for practical use.
Next was the Petrol tank, it's sportster bobber tank that we friscoed. These are awesome, they have threads at the four points and also come with mounting gear. We agreed that the floating look was the way to go to keep the top lines flowing.
Saddle is custom, proven tested and hand made here for us in Australia.
Rear guard is genuine Triumph front guard chopped and shorter than normal for maximum tyre exposure.
The next major hurdle was the oil tank and battery set up. Because of the angle of the top rigid section and the HD down tube, we could not find a good sized oil tank that would fit and also be removed easily. There is nothing worse than having to do future work and not being able to remove parts off the machine easily. So, we made a stainless steel oil tank with a Triumph rocker inspection cap, that falls in from the top once the saddle is lifted. Lot's of work but well worth it in the long run.
Underneath the oil tank we have the battery sitting in a hand made side hinged stainless steel battery box with rubber strap, so the battery slides out from the side.
Hand cut and turned alloy forward controls work a treat but took a while to set up and iron the bugs out.
Other features include handmade stainless steel chain guard, number plate bracket with a genuine Bosch tailight we found in the spares bin. Also handmade stainless rear indicator brackets, alloy steering stops, and stainless triangular axle stops that are shaped to the lines of the rear frame.
Oil filter is side mounted and we added a pressure gauge even though these machines run at practically five psi.
Final stages, paint scheme was meant to be silver and red but by accident this color was mixed and tested. We all agreed and got quite excited as it reaps nostalgia Hotrod. Pinstripes just ooze coolness!
Wiring was stripped and we started from headlight to tailight keeping everything as simple and neat as possible.
This project took about six months in between other jobs and actually turned out better than we expected. The machine rides and handles exeptionally well for a heavy rigid and the response Phil has been getting has been positive all the way.
These cars are awesome!
These cars are awesome!