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Author Topic: Unfinished Business  (Read 18752 times)

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Unfinished Business
« on: Aug 22, 2014, 22:18:07 »
Where to start?  ....  a few years ago a few friends got me into drag racing, which resulted in me building and racing a Harley Evo big twin. Though the only Harley part was the tank, everything else was either aftermarket or homemade. It had a two litre engine, with nitrous oxide injection, airshifter, and for a Harley it was very light. It went ok, but before I could get the best from it, I ended up working abroad and sold the bike when I got back home to another friend who put it on the road.

However, I got to keep all the race specific parts when it was sold, as I knew that someday I'd probably build another Evo Big Twin and go racing again.

This is my old Evo...

   

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #1 on: Aug 22, 2014, 22:42:48 »
A couple of years passed and I started slowly buying parts for a new drag bike when they were offered at a good price. It helped that I knew the owner of a local custom shop, so I got parts at wholesale prices. My intention was to build a full on drag frame, with no road bike compromises, long, low, light and rigid in chrome moly to take the engine and transmission I'd bought.

Then I saw a chop frame for sale at a very low price, so I bought that instead with the idea of cutting out the top tube and downtubes to lower and rake the headstock. When the frame arrived from the States, everyone said you cant cut that up, its too nice. I wasn't convinced, until the chop shop owner suggested we build a cool chop from the parts I had at his shop, which would then be sold, hopefully for a profit for us both. The chop was then slowly put together at his shop, and to be fair it looked pretty good, with its 80 spoke wheels and wide glide front end. Then the whole thing went south, as the shop owner fell ill, and eventually had to close his shop and retire.

The chop came home to me, where it languished unloved in the corner of my small workshop for a couple more years. I already owned an expensive, impractical big inch Evo, I didn't need or want another, but nor did I want to part out the chop for peanuts, as the components I already had (Engine, gearbox, primary etc) were all of good quality.

With my Norley finished (for now at least), I had two options for my next project. To continue with my Guzzi café racer, or do something with the chop. Well, I went with chop, as I already had most of the expensive parts needed to turn it into a drag bike. The plan is to get it done without spending too much cash, and take it racing next year. I doubt I'll win anything, but should be fun.

My first thought was to commission a one of frame in Chrome Moly, but that would blow my budget and take time. I returned to my original idea to modify the chop frame I had, just to get it out on the track asap. Then if it things went ok, I could build a new frame over the following winter.

I got my tape measure out and measured the chop frame, and drew it out on paper. Then I played around and came up with the changes I'd need to make.       

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #2 on: Aug 22, 2014, 22:53:31 »
Taking stock, what I had was the following:-

127 inch El Bruto Big Twin engine

3 1/2 inch open belt Primary

6 Speed gearbox

Chop frame.. with 4 inch stretch, raked to 34 degrees


Wideglide front end and 21 inch front, 18 inch rear wheels and tyres, floating discs and Brembo brakes, none of which will be used.

I also had the parts from my old bike,, fuel tank, exhaust system and an MPS Air shifter (means you can change gear without using the clutch at full throttle by pressing a button on the bars. It works by using an air ram to change gear (up only), using compressed air which needs to be replaced after each run).

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #3 on: Aug 22, 2014, 22:58:23 »
Time to make a start. The heavy rear fender would have to go, to be replaced with a fibreglass fender I'd had for ages. Its made by the German company HPU. Its similar to the one fitted to my road bike, when I saw it on Ebay for just £30 I snapped it up.

Looking better already..

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #4 on: Aug 22, 2014, 23:15:24 »
Next I needed a front end (forks and yokes) and a pair of 17inch lightweight wheels, with the rear being 6 inch wide to take a nice sticky 200mm tyre.

I did have a front end from a old HD Sportster, but the stanchions would need to be rechromed, while despite being only 39mm, they were surprisingly heavy, so no use. I did get offered a mint pair of wheels and discs from a Kawasaki ZZR1400.. ideal, but then the seller backed out at the last minute.

Who did I know who had a shed full of old drag racing stuff? 

My mate Jeff of course lol.. he didn't have any suitable jap 17 inch wheels, but he did have something far cooler. One of his split rim billet wheels. 17 x 6 inchs just the thing complete with disc and the correct sized sprocket Jeff had made it using a pair of secondhand compomotive rims, then machined the centres and hubs himself. It had been destined for his blown Honda twin 500 project. Just one small problem, it was heavier than expected, so Jeff being Jeff he started again and made another.

That wheel may have been too heavy for a little Honda, but I could live with a couple of additional kilos. Besides it was too cool not to take it home. But first I stopped off at my LBS, where they fitted an old worn out tyre from their scrap pile for free. I'll use it for setting up, it'll be replaced when its time.

This is what it looks like ..   

PS the music wasn't deliberate, it was just playing on the radio in the background, didn't realise till later.. but quite appropriate lol
   

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #5 on: Aug 22, 2014, 23:23:11 »
First problem is that the split rim wheel leaks like a sieve, it will need much better sealing before its used. Second issue is that the hubs will need to be shortened to make room for a caliper mount, not really a problem, just more work. The third problem is that my rear mudguard (which I really like the look of) is a few mm too narrow.

I'm waiting on Jeff to narrow the hubs for me, to make room for the caliper mount, while I can widen the HPU fender. I've not done much fibreglassing, but with some research online, it didn't seem too difficult..

First task, cut the fender in half lengthways, and use a couple of crude brackets to hold it around 30mm apart..

 

Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #6 on: Aug 22, 2014, 23:35:02 »
I'd read that Roven tape was much easier and neater to use than fibreglass matting, so I bought both, and used the tape till it was all gone, then the matting. Probably used far two much, as the fender is now twice as heavy, but better safe than sorry.

Where the fender will mount to the frame tubes, I decided to add an alloy plate for extra strength. First attempt didn't work, the fibreglass didn't adhere to the plates at all. Instead I drilled lots of small holes around the edges of the plates, and just used resin (with plenty of hardener) as a clue. The holes hopefully adding extra purchase. Seems to work ok.

Then it was time to smooth the gap with filler, and that's it for now, until the frame has various mounts and brackets welded on. Then I can drill the fender to match its new mounting brackets.


Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #7 on: Aug 22, 2014, 23:44:55 »
That's the progress over the last few weeks. I've arranged to have the frame modified by a specialist at the beginning of Sept. Before then I'm trying to get the rear wheel done and spaced to align with the gearbox sprocket. The gearbox did come with  a pulley, which I've changed for a sprocket, as the bike is having chain not belt drive.

Other little jobs, have been to make a new mount for the airshifter, buy a shiny new Brembo rear caliper (cheaper than some folks want for used Brembos on Ebay). And make a start on making a matching front wheel. It would've so much easier to use a pair of jap superbike wheels and forks, but everyone does that..


Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #8 on: Aug 25, 2014, 20:50:36 »
I got offered a good deal on a pair of ZZR1400 wheels and discs, which would be perfect for the build. Unfortunately, the deal fell through when the seller backed out at the last minute, so back to plan A to use the split rim billet rear wheel. Which meant it would need its hubs narrowing to make room for the rear caliper mount. That's being done now..

Which left me needing a matching front wheel. Not easy to find a pair of compomotive split rims, certainly for a price I'd want to pay. But I did have an old Astralite wheel, which had seen better days. A pity to sacrifice it, as they are getting quite expensive these days, but needs must. We drilled out the rivets that held its two halves together, then cut the rims away from its centres, to give us a pair of rims to use in a new wheel.

A centre was machined from alloy plate to match the rims, it needs 80 holes drilling and tapping next, and the spokes machining a bit more so they match the style of the rear wheel.

Think I'll leave the centres as is and just polish the raised bits and rims. I need to decide on single or duel front disc setup. Normally I'd go with duel discs, but to save weight I'll probably go for single disc. Also with the rake its getting having powerful front brakes may not be ideal, always remember seeing a bike crash at Gainsville when the rider hit the brakes too hard over the line causing the front end to wash out. He was helicoptered to hospital.


Offline Bevelheadmhr

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Re: Unfinished Business
« Reply #9 on: Sep 13, 2014, 15:07:49 »
Last week I squeezed the frame into my little hatchback and had a ten hour return trip to Norfolk (that's the original one in England). I took the frame to a one man outfit who makes frames, where he'll lower, rake, brace the headstock and lengthen the top tube too. That should be ready in two weeks or so. Here's his website.. http://www.ccd-briz.com/ his Daimler v8 bike was different!

In the meantime, we've almost finished making the billet yokes and rear caliper mount, spacers etc. The caliper still needs to be shaped, so still wearing its coat of engineers blue.

Here's an action vid of the yokes being machined ...