Thursday, October 27, 2011


Noun; plural
1. A complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.
2. Any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.
Everything fitted, tacked, and plug welded. I added in an additional 1" of stretch to the hardtail, to bring in the proportions of the previously done 2" downtube stretch. Otherwise, it'd look way too stubby from the seatpost to the axle plates.

You should see it with the Evo in it...... fits like a glove. Quite the difference. A 2" over repop springer, 5 gal. fatbob tanks, upswept fishtails, and a med. height sissy bar are on the build list.........trad Fatbob-style road bikes never go out of style!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

HEY! Look who's on the cover.......

.......of the March, 2012 issue of In The Wind. Why, it's PART-TIMER STEVE!

Mike Lichter caught Steve in the rain on the Sugar Bear/Mike Lichter Ride in Sturgis last August. If the rain wasn't enough to ride in, Steve was just a few turns away from riding right into a hail storm.

Congrats Steve - you finally got your cover with a riding shot, just like you wanted, haha!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ladies and gentleman....Johnny Cash

Cash puts his own imprimatur on Soundgarden's Rusty Cage, and brings in Marty Stewart to administer the knockout punch. Thank God for video tape.......

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A little more progress today........

I got a late start on this this afternoon. It seemed the phone wouldn't stop ringing, and I'm battling with a wiring job on a Sporty that needs to be finished. Plus, Kyle ( you've seen his green Sporty that I worked over and hardtailed here previously) is back from his tour in Afganistan, and he brought his buddy Lumpy and his CFL roller over for me to start Lumpy's build. And, Part-timer Steve had a photoshoot with a model for a feature article on his bike up in the mountains, and he wasn't around today, so I was pretty busy.

I skipped taking photos of bending the backbone, and making the slugs for the neck and seatpost, but they're done the same as I've shown on here before.

The shape of the backbone is similar to what H-D does on their Softail frames. The backbone doesn't follow the line of the rear head, because it needs to be a little higher, then dip down so I can mate the top legs of the hardtail with it later on, and still allow clearance under the top legs for the engine to slide in and out. The top legs will hit the backbone approx. where the white line is on the photo. Next, I marked the seatpost for the angle of the cope, so it will butt up to the backbone.........

.....then into the tubing notcher for a 10 degree cope with a 1 1/2" hole saw. I can't remember who made this notcher (I know it's USA made, but there's no name on it), but I've had it for 10 years, and it's still dead accurate, and it's been used a LOT.

Backbone and seatpost aligned and final fitted.

Closup of the coped top of the seatpost, and how it fits. Here's a bonus tip: If you ever do something similar to this, before you weld the post and the backbone together, trace the post on the backbone. Take the backbone, and drill a 1/2" hole centered inside your tracing, then weld the two together. That way, you can run your headlight wires, coil wires, etc. up your seatpost, and up through the backbone.

I cut the backbone to length, ending it in a "doefoot". I'll cap it to finish it off.Here's where I dropped off this evening. I still have to clean the neck area to weld the backbone there, trim the old neck gusset, and drill my plug weld holes for the backbone and seatpost slugs. Then jig it up, weld it together, and then fit up the lower tank brace tube. From here I'll have a good foundation when I do the hardtail. I'll post up the frame when it's completed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Good morning, Mr. Phelps.....your assignment, if you choose to accept it...."

OK, what do you do when you have a titled 4 speed frame with an extremely grenaded Shovel engine, a low mileage Baker 6 in a 4 transmission, a good BDL 3" primary belt drive, and a brand-new S&S stroker Evo?

Well, you do like Deb did - you call me up and you say "Can you make all this stuff work together, and make it a rigid, so I can run The Horse's Stampede with it next Summer?"

Why yes, Deb, we sure can! And, I'm thinkin' if I know Deb, that Charley The Nomad will have her right on his ass, if she decides to run the Stampede with this. Deb's a pretty competitive gal in everything she does, and I'd like to have a bike I've done that runs The Stampede, to show exactly how durable something I modify can be under those conditions.

Here's where we start. Somebody has previously made replacement downtubes 2" longer than stock, and given the legs a rigid frame "dogleg" shape where they meet the lower engine mount. We're not going to change this area, and it'll look more like an original rigid when the hardtail is finished.
Structurally, this backbone is OK, but it just needs to be executed a little cleaner. We have to mod and raise the backbone anyways to fit the Evo, so why not make a nice, new 1 piece backbone? We're going to give it a Softail-style configuration over the back rocker area.
Here's the Baker 6 in a 4 in place on the trans mounting plate. When the Baker 6 in a 4 is pushed forward all the way, the clearance between the trans top and the post is minimal, but the trans will move back some after the primary belt is adjusted, so we won't be notching the new post for clearance in this area. The trans will go in and out of the finished frame no problem. Who says that stroker Evos don't fit in 4 speed swingarm frames? This one seems to fit just fine. OK, we did do a little "trimming" on the backbone..... Here Part-timer Steve is holding a section of 1 1/2" OD tubing to approximate the final post shape we need. The seatpost was cut down close to the white line you see, and a piece of tubing was rough cut to length....... .....and into the hydraulic bender it goes, for a 10 degree bend, with the bend winding up right below the rear exhaust port, like we wanted it to. Here's where we stopped for the day. The post angle leaves plenty of room to get the engine in and out of the frame, and the clearance on the trans top to the post didn't change. We'll leave the seatpost long until we get the backbone in place, then we'll cope the top of the post to mate the bottom of the new backbone. There won't be any need to notch the seatpost for the rear pipe to clear, either. Perfect. More to come.....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Just win, Baby......."

1929 - 2011

Professional Football and the National Football League wouldn't be what it is today without Al Davis. Instrumental in forcing the merger of the AFL with the NFL, a founding member of the American Football League, the owner of the Oakland Raiders, and former AFL Commissioner.

Pro Football Hall Of Fame member. 5 Raider Superbowl (including Superbowl II) appearances, with victories in Superbowls XI, XV (first wild card team to ever win a Superbowl), and XVIII. 19 Raider team members inducted to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, along with former Raider coach John Madden.

Say what you want about Al Davis, he was a true maverick in the world of Professional Football. Love him or hate him (there was no inbetween) , he was what he was. Being an Oakland raider fan for 41 years, I felt that maybe the game of football had passed him by a few years ago, but I have nothing but complete respect for Al Davis. Football lost a great man today, and I lost another one of my heros....damn.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jay's frame hardtailed.....

Jay's frame hardtailed, and already shipped back to SoCal. Jay says he's jumping right in on this build, so I asked him to send some build pics as he progresses, and he promised he would. I'm interested in seeing where he goes from here, and in turn I'll pass them along for you.

Check out the fancy-schmancy seatpost forging matchup I had to do on his top rails. The seatpost forging has to be cut on each side, and the original rails have to be heated and brought down to match the angle of the new upper legs coming from the OEM-style axle plates, before they can mate up. Then, that forging needs to be rewelded, and blended in to look "stock".

Every one of these frames matches up a little different than the last one in that seatpost area.

Il Postinos Italiano.......

I recieved a couple Emails within a few days of each other from Italy. The first was from my brother Nomad Sinner Alberto, with some shots of one of two bikes that Frankino, of Shop-Works, enterd in Alberto's Mooneyes Cafe Reunion.....
Then, I recieved some photos from Frankino himself, of his Chop-Works built Guzzi that was awarded the Best Engineered trophy that I sent to the Reunion. Frankino calls this bike the Motomorphosy Moto Guzzi T5 . Thank you both for sending these photos along to me, it was most appreciated!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sundays are mine.......

Lately, I've left Sundays for myself, to get things done on my personal projects. I just turn on the football games, and try and get at least one or two things accomplished from the build list. Today, I decided that one job that I have procrastinated on needed to be polished off, and that was notching my downtube so my Shovel and the front exhaust pipe could once and for all fit the frame right, and have both easily removable.

Here was my problem solving for today. My WCC CFL frame with the curved single downtube was originally built to house a Evo engine. I've had an Evo in this frame to check clearances before, and the front exhaust pipe had no problem clearing the single downtube. I wanted to use a cone Shovel instead, so I figured out it would fit no problem. Well.....

The Evo is a little taller, and the exhaust port is set on an angle away from the downtube. But, on a Shovel, you can see in the above photo how far out to the front the exhaust spigot, pipe mounting flange/bolt, and the pipe stick out. No problem on a stock-type frame layout, but on this frame, when we slid the Shovel in it for the first time, the front exhaust spigot ran smack into the middle of the curved downtube before it was even close to mounting up. Fuck.

If this engine was to fit this frame, a little judicious frame notching was in order. It had to be done, it had to look good after it was finished, and it had to not compromise the structural integrity of the downtube itself - especially a single downtube. Fortunately, the downtube is 1 1/2" OD, 1/4" wall DOM, so it made things a little easier structurally for the notching.

I started off by grinding down the old spigot until I got enough initial clearance on the downtube (and digging out an old helicoil exhaust bolt repair coil), and a good shape to the port area itself.........

......then I took the head over to Rick Labriola (Labriola Machine - home of the 5 Speed Suicide), and he built me a new exhaust spigot positioned 90 degrees to the left. Rick used my head to try out his new zoot pre-heating oven, and his new water-cooled TIG torch setup. Came out perfect, I've never seen Rick to do any less.

Here's another view of the repositioned spigot. Rick's work is flawless. You can see how much tubing would have had to be removed for the original head flange and exhaust pipe to fit. I would have had to notch the tube right to the outside wall for clearance.

I didn't shoot any photos of the actual work involved, because notching frame tubes like this is slow, tedious work - hence me putting it off for the last few months. You have to cut and grind little amounts of material off at a time, and it's easy to get impatient - otherwise, you wind up with a frame tube that looks like a bag of smashed assholes.

I will tell you that I started off by making a posterboard pattern of the initial shape of the notch, then I marked it on the tube with a Sharpie. Then, instead of going over the Sharpie line with a soapstone line, I used an old trick of tracing just inside my line with a series of centerpunch ticks, which are way easy to follow as you cut. I did the initial cut with a torch (I don't have a plasma cutter, way easier) with the flame set for a fine kerf line, cutting just on the centerpunch tick line. After that, it was grind, fit, grind, fit, until I was satisfied I had my final shape and clearance.

Here's the final notch shape from the L/H side. The notch at the deepest point didn't even get a 1/4 of the way into the diameter of the tubing. Once boxed, it'll be plenty strong, and there's enough room now for the engine to slide out without any hassles.
Top of the notch mirrors the shape of the exhaust spigot, as seen from the R/H side. Little details.......
The pipe looks closer than it is to the frame (at the small black arrow), but there's about a 1/16" between it and the frame notch area. When I get the tube boxed in again, I'll be able to take a slight recess of an additional 1/16" in that area under the exhaust, giving me about an 1/8" total, without sacrificing any strength, and you won't see it.

When I build my 2 into 1 collector system, the front pipe will angle down in approximately the same way as the big black arrow is pointing. It won't be anywhere near the magneto. Also note the nice, thick Fab Kevin exhaust flange. We made it, everything fits, and another thing off the "to do" list.