The 2016 Born Free Give Away Bike

This is where you will see it happen.
I will document everything.
from a pile of parts to a running motorcycle.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The glorious HD 4 speed.

I have to strip the chrome off the case, lid, kicker cover and cam cover as well...yuck.

Trans is better than the motor lower end.
Standard stuff, the nut on the bearing was loose, 1-2 shift clutch is junk but other than that it should go back together easy peasy once I get the chrome off.  New lock washers, seals and I'll probably replace the shift forks as well.  I will time the lid to the case and away I go.

Maybe a 1 piece kicker arm and all new lid and kicker hardware.

Unless someone has those three pieces and they want to trade?  I spent 30 seconds with some never dull on the lid and I bet all three pieces will clean up pretty well...

Rear hub madness.

So, mechanical brakes are the way to go.  Well, a giant rotor with a giant caliper would work too, but wouldn't quite be the style I'm going for.

But when I redid the Lovely Loser, I had to re-gear it because I used the British motor sprocket and clutch basket.  It needed a smaller wheel sprocket to get the final drive ratio back to where it should be.  But you can't use a small sprocket with a drum, unless you use a 45 drum, and that wouldn't work anyway.

Sooooo...rear drum gets put on the right side of the bike.
Just switch it around you say?  Not exactly. Where do you attach a sprocket?
Well, what I did with the LL was make a sprocket mount/adapter that bolted over the inner star cover on the wheel.  It used the original cork seal as well, bolting the sprocket to the adapter then the adapter onto the wheel.  The wheel is about 3/16" thick where the star covers bolt.  I threaded it and attached it there and used grade 8 nuts on the back.  It's super strong.  Stronger than you might think anyway.

But I want this wheel to be bullet proof.  There are too many pieces in that system. While it works great, it can be simplified.  So, I machined inserts that slide into the wheel that are going to be fully welded to the hub on the back.  Lots of thread engagement.  That and some safety wire and its going to be bullet proof.
Oh yeah, no sprocket to adapter and adapter to hub, just sprocket through adapter to hub.

I'll get to the backing plate later, when I find one.  Because I have to modify it a bit to run on the right side.
Take a look...
Enlarge the holes to 1/2"

Turn off the excess from drilling


Make threaded spacers


They fit perfect.

The three pieces

bolted together for welding.

Just gotta weld it now.
Then I can sandblast, paint, build, lace, true and mount the tire.

The material for the adapter is coming, I'll show you that too.  I might not use the inner star cover at all, the one on the knuck goes over it.  I'll probably machine it so it sits flush and replaces the inner cover.  There will be less pieces that way.

And i can use 7/16 bolts that way too...okay, yeah. I'm doin' that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Motor is apart.

These motors that are "freshly rebuilt" a lot of times are, but not necessarily rebuilt right.
It actually came apart pretty easy.  A stud or two pulled on the head, but all the threads are ok for the pans. That's always amazing, those little fuckers always are stripped.  Two of the pushrods are a bit scored, as the pushrod tube inners aren't all correct, but 2 out of 4 isn't too bad...

The tappets didnt want to come out of the blocks, but eventually did.  They feel perfect where they normally run but when coming out they don't want to.  Cam chest, oil pump, cam, etc... all looks ok. \

Then I go to split the cases... they don't want to come apart.  Roller bearing lowers like these normally come apart easy.  Not these. Whoever set the lower end up, both sides were too tight, the pinion side race pulled right out of the case and I had to pry the race off the rollers.  The sprocket side was so hammed as the inner thrust washer was so wrong that the bearings and cages wouldn't come out of the race.  Its hammered.  

So I am starting there. Both case races are going to be replaced with over sized ones and line bored. 

I also need to strip the damn chrome off the cam cover.  I hate chromed aluminum...

The motor

A 1953 Harley Davidson panhead motor.  Matching cases, good numbers and a CA title.
That, in itself, is a good way to begin.

Its happening again.

I'm building a chopper.  You figured that?  Well, I wasn't so sure to begin with.  When it started, a chopper wasn't what I was planning on.  If you look at what I have built over the years, it has changed from traditional choppers to full on race bikes.  I love race bikes.  But, its not what Born Free is about.  I get that.  I love choppers.  I have for a long time.  It's old custom bikes, be it traditional Race bred bobbers or traditional choppers, that have put me where I am today. many styles and looks, some amazing others not so amazing.  This build is going full circle for me.  I am busy in the shop with 3-4, 45 flathead race bikes getting planned, built, modified etc.  But the Born Free build will not be a race bike.  At least not externally.  Its going to be with a love of traditional chopper culture that I build this bike.  With some race stuff thrown in (on the inside) for power and more than that: reliability.

I tend to build bikes that are downright complicated.  But I'm not building this bike for me.  It has to be a cycle that anyone could hop on, kick over and just plain ride.  However they want. That's how it's going to be.  I tend to ride faster and harder on a vintage machine than maybe I should, but building a bike that can take it is what I'm looking for.

I'm not 100% sure what direction I'm going style wise, I have a pretty good idea, but at this point the only thing set in stone is the panhead motor, 4 speed trans, a mildly modified frame and the 18" x 19" wheel combo I ran years ago.  That might change.  I'm not sure.  I won't know til I get there.

Thank you Mike and Grant for the honor.