Sunday, July 19, 2015

Chopper update

     I've been layed up for 3 weeks.  It's starting to drive me crazy but I'm getting some blog posts updated.  I had surgery on my left leg to remove some scar tissue and sinus tracts that have been causing me problems for a couple years.  It's healing well but god dammit it's been hard being unable to ride a motorcycle in the middle of summer.  It'll be worth it in the long run though.

     The most recent progress on the chopper is getting the final wheel spacing done and mounting the front of the gas tank.  I cut off the tabs that would mount a rear belt guard to the frame.  I wanted as much clearance for the sprocket as possible.

     I had a selection of aluminum wheel spacers left over from when I replaced Tony's wheel bearings last year.  I selected one that was a little bit too long and carefully trimmed it with a hacksaw.  Then I filed the rest of it down as flat as I could get it until it was a tight fit into the frame.  The next time I take the wheel off I will bring it into work and have the guys in the shop give it a minor trim to square it up perfectly.  It's pretty flat right now but if they shave .010 off of it installation will be easier and it will be perfectly flat.

     Plenty of clearance to the frame and the belt lines up nicely with the front sprocket.

     I had previously set the spacing on the brake side to move the wheel as far right as possible and to keep the rotor centered on the caliper.  My step dad Roger helped me with that on his lathe last winter.  I am using an 87-99 style Softail rear caliper.  The tire is a 150-16 D401 Dunlop and a 1&1/8" wide drive belt.

     The rear wheel was originally on my 2005 Sportster.  I'm also using the original sprocket from that bike for a 32T front 68T rear gearing combination.  The chrome sprocket cover is from HD.  It reminds me of a Torque Thrust D wheel that you would commonly see on hot rods.  I put tape over it so I wouldn't scratch it up.

     After careful measuring with a micrometer eye I marked the neck gusset and drilled a pilot hole for my front gas tank mount.

     I then used a stepped uni bit to open the hole up to 3/4" and slid in my front gas tank mount.  The uni bit worked very well for this.  I made the mount from round stock to fit between the gas tank tabs and drilled and tapped it.

     What a nice view.  I still have to grind down the flat side mounting tabs on the back bone of the frame and the remaining tab under the gas tank.  I'm going to weld a tab to the tank tunnel and mount the rear of the tank straight into the back bone with a single bolt.  I love the way the width of the handlebars blends nicely with the triple trees and the gas tank.

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