Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

born free el pics, before getting shipped off for paint

 My dad and I built a 1948 panhead for our friend Glenn in Pennsylvania about eight years ago.   The bike was a real mess when we started and it turned out really nice.  It is the donked out azure blue 48 on our website.   Anyways,  Glenn  has been riding and enjoying the bike for quite a while,  a couple years ago he asked us to build him the coolest knucklehead bobber that we could.  Fast forward through a bunch of time fabricating and this is what you end up with.  

 I re cut every fin on the motor to make a nice gradual curve from the cylinder to the base,  Then I polished the bases of the cylinders and different parts of the heads and electroless nickle plated the top end.  The oil pump and lifter blocks are nickle plated too.   The displacement is sixty one inches or 1000ccs for you ferners
This is one of my favorite parts of the bike.  the speedo is an indian 741 unit.  The gauges are from a 1928 dodge car,  They were actually in a cluster, and i had to cut them apart, then machine up cups for mounting them to the bike.  I still have to reprint the faces, make bezels and glass before the show.  The dash is made out of nine pieces of aluminum and welded together.   My friend Lock baker flew in to help with the dash and primary cover.  The bars are sectioned early hydra glide bars welded to tapered risers that I made on the lathe.
the transmission is raised 1.125 of an inch,  you can kind of see the supports in this picture.  they are very cool and  kind of look like gumbys legs.    Notice that the tubing for the axle stays is tapered from 1.125 to 1.00.   The tubes from beneath the engine cradle that go up to the neck are also tapered.  This is a pretty common feature on pre teen bikes and looks really classy.  it is very subtle, but worth the effort.  Miss Brittney and I spent a week with Chad pearson back in January and built the frame.   It was a lot of fun.  the cross member under the transmission is stock and so is the front engine mount,  everything else is made from raw materials
Here is the straight on right side shot.   The steering angle is the same as 36 to 40 knuckleheads.  we had to stretch the frame in order to get 4 inches of trail.   The rear wheel is an 18 inch rim with a 450 ANS tire, and the front wheel is a 19 inch rim with a 400 ANS tire.   The centers of the rims are nickel plated and the edges arepainted sherwood green, which is a 36 only color.  
Here is a good shot of the left side of the bike.   The french curve in the down tubes is pretty noticable here,  Check out the inlaid oil tank sight gauge,  I still have to french it in, but you get the idea.   The primary coverstarted out as flat sheet aluminum and is made out of seventeen different pieces that are welded togeether,   I have a lot of sanding to do to make it look as nice as the dash, but it is doable.  The chain guard is made out of aluminum too.   It is tough to make a chain guard look good,  this one looks about as good asthey can look.   The seat pan is a cut up standard 40 and later pan.   I shortened the nose 1.875 inches and narrowed it to an 11 inch width.  It is kind of a mix between a WR and WRTT seat pan.   I ordered a reproduction vl seat t and pivot from Mike Breeding.  I only ended up being able to use about five inches out of the seat t, but it has such a nice look.
The pipes in this pic are just rough mock ups.  I had something totally different in mind, but it would have ended up covering up the bottom curve of the frame, so   I had to go with something a little different.   I think that this set up is a nice compromise which does more for the overall package.   I love how the fender skirts have a reverse taper.   They are wider at the top than the bottom..   I am going to cut another couple inches out of the bars before getting them plated.