Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fork legs

It's always a bummer when it starts snowing. I ignored this bike all summer. The worst mistake I ever made in getting this bike done quickly was to buy a Harley. I was making wicked fast progress on this bike when the only other motorcycle I had was an XS 650 Yamaha. Once I got my Sportster this bike went on the back burner during nice weather.

We've passed the 7 year mark since I started building this bike. Maybe I should call it the seven year itch. Anyways. It's winter time so my chopper is my focus again. Much earlier than usual too. Most years I have to wait until I get my taxes back to buy the parts I've been dreaming about and researching for a year. This year I don't really have alot of parts to buy, just alot of parts to make. It helps that my Sportster doesn't NEED anything. My Electraglide needs some work but I already paid for the cam and tappets to put in it (EV23 Andrews). Other than the cam swap the blue bike just needs maintenence and a rear tire. Tax time will get that bike into shape.

Lots of talking and very little pictures today. The photo shows the right side fork slider after fender tab removal. This is the set of forks I got from Alex on the swap board mentioned down below. I started with the right leg because if I messed it up I had a few spares. Now that I have it figured out I'm ready to do the left leg. They will be sent to Browns for plating.

I decided to pony up and buy a chrome plated brake caliper as well. All this chrome I am doing is going to require a nice paint job.

I got my new West Eagle seat. I'm very happy with it. It fits the bike nicely. Just gotta get it mounted and order up seat springs. I think I'm going to get another set of hairpins like on the other seat.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I bought an Electraglide

I started Riding my Sportster when the weather turned nice and then I bought a 1996 Electraglide in May. I rode 16,000 miles between the 2 bikes and won a trophy drag racing the XL at Rock Falls Raceway in Sept.

So whats the point? It's getting to be bike building time again with the looming winter. I sold The seat in the picture below to Hootis for a Bultaco chopper project he has going on. I ordered a West Eagle thin high back solo seat for this bike on Friday. It's a better fit for the bike and the increased kick up will make it more comfortable to ride I think.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I love Chrome

I must admit the only reason this bike has an S&S carb on it is because they are shiny. I removed all the chrome from my Sportster almost entirely, this one will have lots of it. I started buying parts for this bike about 6 1/2 years ago, seems like a long time to build a bike. I've watched Hootis build at least 4 sweet bikes just in the last 4 years. What can I say I'm taking my time and I think about shit for way to long. I have spent alot of money on the Sportster in the last few winters re-doing it and last year I built the motor. I'm trying to build my perfect motorcycle the first try out. Some say that's not the way to go, just build it you can always build another one. I don't want another one, I want this one. Someday I hope to get to the point I can trade in a bagger every couple years and stay on a newer bike but I'm no where near able to do that now. I'm putting it together with long term reliability and me being able to fix it myself. That's one reason for it's simplicity.
Back to the chrome. I've been saying, for a couple years anyways, that if you want a nice bike you gotta use nice parts. I've tried very hard not to use cheap china made crap on anything important. There is some import shit on the bike, but very little.
I made a swap deal with a guy named Alex on The Horse swap board to trade him a set of 83-99 brake calipers for the 2000-2003 lower sliders that I need to get the forks working with my front wheel. Now I just need to get a brake caliper. I think I'm going to call Paul @ Hardtails and see if he has one. He's got a good pile of swap meet stuff and makes all the meets in winter time.
I haven't made alot of progress on the bike in the last month. About 5 weeks ago I was walking home from the neighbors house and my foot broke off my leg. I have the chopper at work and had been going in on my days off to work on it, but I've been spending them in St Cloud getting fitted for a new leg instead. I'm pretty excited about getting the new leg, my old one is just worn out and doesn't fit well anymore.
I installed the new starter in my Sportster and it still hasn't blown up yet. Have about 1400 miles on it in the past 2 weeks so if I be nice to it I think it'll survive a while. The noise is still there but it's not getting any worse. I do not know if it is in the top end, the left side roller bearing or just getting worn out in general.
So I posted a pic of the bike as mocked up as I could make it. Alot of the parts on there are just bolted loosely so I could find the bolts I need. It also gives me motivation to keep moving forward. This project has stalled out on me numerous times do to lack of money or motivation. I keep telling myself that I need to do something to it everyday, no matter how small. Today I am going to get a piece made for the coil mounting bolts. I really like that chrome coil mounted FXR style on the side of the motor.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Exhaust tip

I made the exhaust tip from 3" solid aluminum. Joe Bell bored the center of it to 1.5" for me and I machined the rest of it on the Smithy. I wanted it to look like a flash suppressor on a machine gun. The Cycle Shack 2 inch shotgun drag pipes are going to be modified to run down the side of the bike under the carb but above the nose cone as a straight pipe with the rear cylinder coming in as a 2-1 exhaust. The 1.5" I.D. of the tip will be the only baffle and I hope the reduced diameter will give me a little back pressure anyways. My intention is a lakes pipe look with this tip on the end mounted right above the rear axle on the frame.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The question is. Does it fit?

And the answer is no. Had a setback on the chopper today. My combination of mid 90's fork slider and brake caliper does not cooperate with my 2005 wheel. I am now in search of a 2000-2007 four piston front brake caliper and a 2000-2003 left side 39mm fork slider with 3/4" axle. Gonna have to sell some parts I don't need because I am out of money.
My only other option is to machine the hub on the rotor mounting surface down about 1/4" to move the rotor in, farther away from the fork slider. The problem is the inboard brake pad holder that fits between the rotor and the fork slider is a press fit and will not allow the wheel to spin. I do not have a mill accurate enough to machine it down. I am going to measure it tomarrow and talk to Joe Bell and see if such an operation is possible. He did a really nice job boring the 1.5" hole through the center of my exhaust tip when I couldn't do that on the Smithy.
It's the end of March and I don't have a running motorcycle. This really bothers me. I'm putting the new starter in my Sportster tomorrow and doing a compression test to see just how bad my top end is. It's making noises I don't like but they are not I'm about to explode noises. I hope the Sportster hangs in there long enough for me to get the Chopper running. Then I can put some high compression pistons in it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Gears

I went to work today on my day off so I could work on the bike some more. Started the morning on the Smithy making custom rear transmission mounting nuts that will accept eye bolts that I'm going to order from McMaster-Carr to use as my primary belt adjusters. They turned out (get it) really nice.
The transmission case has had several days for the texture black paint to dry and it's probably as durable as it's going to get. Brought the gearset's home today and got The '98 gears from Hootis assembled onto my billet S&S trapdoor. The retaining rings that hold the gears onto the shafts were kicking my ass when I was taking the gearset apart. I got a new snap ring pliers off the Snap On truck today, a tool I've wanted for a while. Harper finally removed one of the retaining rings for me at my house this afternoon when he stopped by to see if my fridge still kept beer cold. After I watched how he was getting them off with a couple screw drivers and the snap ring pliers, I was able to settle down and get them apart alot quicker without wrecking parts. I was really getting frustrated with them so I'm glad he stopped by.
Now I need a few hours to put the transmission back together and install the kick starter.
The pic shows how the electric starter mounting ear is now gone and smoothed out for a kick only application. Good-bye modern convenience. Those long bolts sticking out the left side hold the outboard mainshaft support bearing that goes between the clutch and the drive sprocket.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Headlight

The headlight has been hiding in the background of all three of the previous posted pictures so I thought I would show that next. It is a simple 4 1/2" Drag Specialties light with a regular H4 55/60w bulb in it. I made the mounting block from a peice of 1x2" aluminum on the Smithy 3 in 1 lathe/mill at work. I'm very happy with the way it looks mounted to the fork.

The Transmission

I built the transmission from parts. Looking back I should have just bought a complete transmssion because I have WAY more money into it than I needed to spend. It is full of nice parts tho.

The transmission for this bike has been through the most changes as my plan for the bike has changed over the years. The gears in it originally were mix-n-match gears from various different bikes that had the gear box opened up for one reason or another. 5th gear main & counter shaft are matched and came from the same bike. One that Tony at The Boar House had put a PM phatail kit on. The others are unknown origin and will be replaced with the 1-4th gear sets from the original transmission from Hootis' 1998 hardtail FLSTS project that he recently completed.

I finished the chopping of this transmission last weekend and need to re-assemble it. The starter mounting ear has been sliced off and filed smooth, The case is now texture black and will be put together with the exsisting 5th gear, Pauls old 1-4th gears, my original Baker roller detent shift drum and billet shift forks, and a Rivera-Primo kickstarter. All within the S&S super stock tansmission case and billet trap door.

The Frame

The frame is the foundation of the motorcycle. If it is a pile of junk the motorcycle will be too.
This is a Kraftech frame that I bought back in Sept 2003, the start of this project. It's stock width, 38 degree rake with +2" in the downtubes.
I bought the frame when I was working at The Boar House in Lino Lakes. Larry the Midwest rep called me when these went on close out as Midwest was no longer carrying Kraftech frames. I had told him I was looking to start a project and I got a really good deal on it.

The motor

One of the most important parts of a motorcycle is the motor. I bought this motor last summer from a fellow named Fred that put a 107" into his bike.
It is a 1995 Evo from a Heritage Softail. The heads are ported and polished with roller rocker arms, decked .050 and a V-Thunder 3010 cam. I'll be running it off points ignition to keep things simple.
The coolest part of this motor is it has my initials and my birthdate in the motor number. Like it was really ment for me from the get go when Harley-Davidson built it 15 years ago.
You may have noticed I always refer to it (and any motor for a Harley) as a motor. It's a motorcycle not a "engine"cycle.

My Chopper

I'm writing this blog to place all the pictures of my chopper and build progress in one spot. I titled the blog "If you build it they will come" because Field of Dreams was one of my favorite movies as a kid. For those of you who haven't seen it, it's about a farmer who plows under his crops to build a baseball field because he had a dream. Everybody thought he was crazy and didn't understand why he was doing it but he did it anyways and his dream comes true at the end of the movie. I've been dreaming about this bike for a long time now and it's getting near completion.