Starting to look a little more like a bike. New fork tubes, lowers, and front wheel with the dual disc brakes and stainless braided lines to get the front end sorted out. A custom alloy fender is coming next.
A week of rain in Texas in August! I rolled the bike out for the first round of pictures and had 30 seconds before a sprinkle turned to a cloudburst. The side profile is looking a little cleaner with the shortened and raised tail, rear-sets, clip-ons, and rear fender elimination.
This Lucas headlight is for mock-up only, with a new unit in the works. A small fairing in aluminum is still being contemplated. The tires are Kenda brand that the owner picked out.
Because the rear gas tank mounts for mounting the Roadster tank were not on the bike, I am wondering if the bike was originally a Roadster model. New mounting tabs were fabricated to utilize the original mounting points.
Waiting on some bearings to mount the NOS brake drum. The bike is being assembled to the point that it can be started and ridden. Since the bike came as an unknown, it will be necessary to check the function of the engine and drivetrain before disassembly for finishing.
Just a little tighter and compact with big stopping power up front. The stock handlebar controls are vintage cool, and will be rebuilt.
In other happenings, a lot of vintage tail and other type light came in. Pictured are some of the glass lens ones that got cleaned up a little. A few are US navy and other aircraft, with car and motorcycle units making up the bulk of the collection. A guy who looked to be somewhere near 70 told me they were collected by his Daddy.
My favorite from the lot were this matched set of what would appear to be US military surplus units. With clear lenses and small wattage bulbs, it is unclear what they were for exactly. They would have been almost useless as a headlight, perhaps they were used for a front marker lamp. The paint underneath is Army green. The red paint was likely after it was sold to the public. If parts could talk...
There's plenty to do around here still. Time to get busy.
A busy time in the shop for sure. A '48 BSA M20 has come in for a revival, a race prepped Triumph OIF dirt bike is here for repair and revival, the Norton Commando Cafe wheels were built, the red Z50 is being completed for a buyer, a cool Indian drops by, and the Hater bike is undergoing more changes. So just a regular kind of week.
Loving the patina on this 1948 BSA M20. Just doing some general maintenance on the gas and electrical systems, and adding a tail light. The Snuff-or-Not exhaust damper doubles as a mouse nest barrier.
1971 Triumph TR6C oil in frame model here for a tank re-line, fork rebuild and revival. With a Joe Hunt Magneto set-up, fiberglass tank, plastic fender, custom bash plate, Husky front hub, Ceriani front forks, Works brand shocks, Renthal Desert bars, and a monster rear sprocket, this one is ready to chew some dirt.
Digging into the Norton Commando wheel, a close up shows the irregular finish on these castings. Turning them on a lathe was only possible to a degree, with a surprising amount of wobble in the run-out. Most of the work was done with abrasive wheels to start, then files for the grooves, and emery cloth and wet-dry paper to finish
I'm going to say sand cast.
The worst of the before pics. Kush-drive has become mush-drive.
BLING!!! Hours of filing, sanding and polishing, but it is worth it. They are not perfect, but loads better anyway. An NOS brake drum will be mated to the hub.
Found a nice Jones shouldered rim and some Buchanan stainless spokes to finish up the wheel.
Just waiting on some wheels to make the roller.
My buddy Jason stopped by with his Indian. What a beauty! His TR6C desert racer is in the background.
A lot of work went into the Z50 tank, stripping a Kreem liner and replacing it with some epoxy, and touching up the paint. Since there was paint being shot, the 1957 Triumph tins got thrown in.
Some small additional changes to the Hater bike in prep for the drag races this week-end: a manual heavy-duty clutch and Takegawa hydraulic acctuator were put on along with a Takegawa forged alloy kickstarter, a DRP temp gauge, and a Kitaco Super coil. Some graphics have been thrown on to complete the drag vibe. A set of alloy pegs have also been fitted after this picture was taken.
Looking lonely and a bit gawky, The 1999 Honda Z50R that became known as "The Hater" for its parts bin special heritage of parts some mini-bikers love to hate on: the overly extended swingarm, square headlight, mini-car flat profile tires, and BBR kids bars. An upcoming gig with The World-Famous Wheelie-ing Elvi prompted some changes like a new short skirt piston, roller-rocker head, carb and intake, a new front tire, and some aluminum rims. Besides being a regular rider with the Elvi, the bike was chosen for its long rear swinger and bigger rear tire. The front tire and Kitaco wheel rim is a full 3.5 pounds lighter than the mini-car tire and steel rim it replaced.
Got the Mikuni VM26-606 carb jetted in. It came with a 190 main jet, and have worked it down to 120. In preparation for the drag race, a HondaTB roller-rocker race head, cylinder, piston, stroker crank, heavy duty autoclutch, high volume oil pump, and intake were used in CRF50 cases. A Takegawa high flow petcock, air filter and side stand were added. The stock day-glo fuschia tank logo says party like its 1999.
The over-long Takegawa alloy swingarm and Yoshimitsu shocks. The crazy gear ratio makes for a little chain slap.
ATC70 repop headlight with a new element in it. Ugly but bright. A rare BBR drum brake pedal can be seen poking out from under the pegs. Some aluminum pegs will be found to replace the stock steel ones. A manual clutch set-up is being contemplated. Although stock in appearance, the exhaust is a larger diameter reproduction.
A custom magneto cover allows for easy sprocket changes.
The Kitaco alloy rims are a full 10 ounces lighter apiece than the steel ones.
Trading out the 35T for a 24T rear sprocket. Some off the line acceleration will be lost, but these bikes get to top speed in a short distance, so I'm thinking top speed will be the determining factor.
The Hater in form for the 4th of July parade in Arlington, Tx.
Yes we are grown men riding parades on minibikes in Elvis costumes...what's not to like?
The view from the rear that I am hoping will be etched into my competitors brain.
Busy in the shop with a number of projects. My buddy Jake's TW200 came in for a revival and repair. The bike had been ridden by an inexperienced rider unfamiliar with the concept of shifting gears, and revved to the moon for an extended period of time, after which it became underpowered and began clicking. The bike had set up and needed the carb cleaned out and battery revived.
The culprit on the TW200 was a missing locknut on the valve adjuster. The nut was fished out of the head with a magnet, replaced, valves adjusted and the bike runs like new.
A 1972 Honda Z50 minitrail was dug out of the garage for a potential buyer. This one had the forks, handlebars, wheels, electrics, and controls restored. The seat was recovered. Restored cadmium plated footpeg assembly with new rubber. The engine needs rebuilt, so an 88cc upgrade is being contemplated.
The wheels were rebuilt with new bearings, seals, sprockets, tires, tubes, cadmium re-plated hardware, and new cables.
The tank is going to have to be sealed, but otherwise has a cool vintage patina.
Just needs a little love.
The 1974 Norton Commando gets some mufflers and the stock side covers added. The footrest mounting plates were traded out with some bobbed ones that allow the mufflers to be tucked in closer. The rear wheel is undergoing restoration. New fork uppers arrived and will be used with new lowers for the dual disc brakes.
The Kush drive rubbers had all but disintegrated. I bet this thing made some noise starting and stopping.
Mid Ohio Vintage days Swap meet find. Looks like a CL175 engine jammed in this '71 CT70. The extended swingarm is a good idea to keep the front wheel down.
A cool old Ducati scrambler. This was on display, NFS.
Never been big on baggers, but this one is inventive and looks pretty natural.
A beautiful Honda 305. Thinking this is an early sixties CB77. The passenger peg mounts are the same as the rear-set mounts on the "Cabracer 360" and "The Seven" bikes.
An unexpected find at Mid Ohio was these Century studio spots. 80 bucks and they came ganged together and with bulbs!
A bar to hang the light in the shop was installed in the rafters. The lights will be used for events and photography.
I couldn't go all the way to Ohio without raiding Fair Electronics, source of vintage panel lights among other things. These are all military surplus, mostly from aircraft. I have found some sealed packages there from the early forties, but these were dated 1962.
Miles of old military radios and parts.
A stock, worn Commando 850 the day it was hauled out of Elmo's barn and brought to the shop. The seat pan was disintegrated due to rust, side stand flopping, tank just placed there, pipes and side covers missing, but otherwise fairly complete. The plan is to add some custom vintage and modern parts to transform the bike into a cafe racer style. The fenders will be deleted except for a small front alloy one, new seat with classic cafe style hump will be made, shortened rear frame loop, clip-on handlebars, alloy bikini front fairing and side covers, short upswept pipes, dual disc front brake, spoked wheels with alloy shouldered rims.
Norman Hyde rear-set foot pegs and controls were found for this project. A buddy had an unused set purchased in 1992 that he supplied for the build.
The stock handlebar mounts were deleted and filled on the upper triple clamp, and a set of clip-ons were fitted. Some of the front controls will be used, but a dual disc caliper system is on hand to update the front end, with a brake master that will most likely replace the stock unit.
The Jet Tools English wheel and shrinker/stretcher made for much easier going on the hump, and the Jet Tools combo brake/shear was used to form the seat pan. The rear frame loop was sectioned about ten inches, and swept upward from the stock lines.
Mocking up the pieces. There will be a hinged door to access the rear hump for storage.
During shaping. This picture is a bit of an optical illusion. The lighting makes it appear to be either the concave or convex view of the seat hump. It is the concave underside with the flat front arch laid on the table, checking for flatness. This was before the tail was put through the shrinker.
The first day of pounding and shaping done.
The seatpan getting ready to get some center ribs and then the edges folded down.
The Jet Tools English wheel with the combo brake/shear/roller in the background.
One of the challenges restyling the seat was to make the rear frame loop shorter and upswept. The original loop (seen in the first pic) is significantly longer and slanted downward. The loop and part of the shock mount were reconfigured to get the tighter, shorter tail. Exhaust pipes are fitted and mufflers are getting worked out.
The rear view.
Next up is the bikini fairing and fender in aluminum.