Airhead frame straightening?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Rapid Dog, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,373
    Location:
    Strangel Living West of Hell, SoCal
    ...so I've had my wrecked (left turn incident, front end impact) original '77 RS frame hanging in the rafters for decades, and thinking about getting it straightened, a project I've had in the back of my mind for many moons. It's stripped of paint, I have the CA title in my name, but it is bent.

    Any suggestions, experience, cost estimates, advice on this, what, where, how, I'm all ears :ear:ear:ear

    It's just a point to start from...

    Frame Man?
    Dr. John's? (he's closest but back in the day he totally fucked up the front-end of my /7, long story).
    Anyone else?

    so I'm all :ear:ear:ear
    #1
  2. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    It costs the equivalent to around $300 to straighten a frame in the UK so not worth the effort for an airhead frame.
    #2
  3. Voltaire

    Voltaire Titanium and Ceramic Hipster

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    I had my r75/5 frame straightened after my mate took us off roading with the Watsonian attached on a corner...:huh
    Local firm have one of those fancy computer jigs attached and they have the specs on the frame loaded.
    Cost was about $400 NZ.
    Sure I could have got another frame.....but me and that frame go way back.
    There are a few 'old skool' places but I like reports these days.
    #3
  4. jbcaddy

    jbcaddy Long timer

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    #4
  5. r77toy

    r77toy Been here awhile

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    Feb 19, 2006
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    541
    Dave Moore Wheel Service (760) 240-3543
    Dave's in Apple Valley Ca.
    #5
  6. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Unless it's sentimentally significant, you can buy a titled frame for probably half the cost of having your frame straightened.
    #6
  7. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

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    There is the unknown element with a second hand frame tho'
    #7
  8. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    Can you post some pics. In other words how bad is it?

    I'm sure I could do it if it's not completely destroyed. My only concern would be liability. If you have the engine would consider selling it.
    #8
  9. dan-o

    dan-o Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
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    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ohio
    finding a good frame with a good title is tougher than it would appear
    ask me how I know!! :lol3
    #9
  10. GapRunr

    GapRunr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    552
    Location:
    East TN / Smokies
    http://framestraight.com

    I know racers who have sent new bikes to him to have them straightened. His tolerances are closer than OEM. I've also seen frames and wheels that I thought were trash be fixed to better than new status.
    #10
  11. oldroadie

    oldroadie Two wheel addict

    Joined:
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    Location:
    North Alabama mountains
    When I rebuilt my /5 straight frames with titles were going for $400-$500 from Mark at RePsycle.
    #11
  12. BMWrider79

    BMWrider79 Here

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    Location:
    Japan
    You could call BMW in Germany and have them sell you a new one with the old number stamped on it. Did that once some ten years ago. Thankfully I've forgotten how much it was..
    #12
  13. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    PM'd ya Jim.
    No I don't have he motor, wish I did...
    #13
  14. Beemerguru

    Beemerguru Beemerguru...G/S guy

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    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    Walt's done about a dozen frames for me over the years and they always come back laser straight. Only had one that was too far gone.

    Frameman...they'll tell you immediately if the frame can be salvaged or not
    #14
  15. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    Would any of those guys weld in frame braces also? Manuel at SWT has HPN-style frame braces for $120. My frame might bent too. It'd be nice to go to a one-stop shop.
    #15
  16. Renner

    Renner combustophile

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    +1 Frame Man in Sacto
    #16
  17. matteo

    matteo HPM

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    San Jose, CA
    #17
  18. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    How did they straighten them?
    #18
  19. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    So. Cal.
    R-Dog since your close by you can bring it by my shop and we can straighten it out but without the motor match I think they will give you hell when you build something and try to register it at the DMV.

    I'm not going to charge you a dime. I'll do it just for fun but without a matching engine in California I think you'd be better off buying another frame, unless you want to do something really outside the box like bracing or a customization.
    #19
  20. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    It's unfortunate you don't have at least the engine case. If you had the case, you could always keep it on hand for title inspection then use a different motor to ride.

    I have straightened frames for BMWs in the past, we built and used a frame jig to great success. After the frame jig became scrapyard filler, I bought a very crashed /5. I sent the frame to a place in the Bay area of California (as I lived close by). When I got the frame back, I fit the motor and transmission then tried to fit the swing-arm. It wouldn't go in. I sent the frame back to get it re-straightened. Same thing, the swing-arm wouldn't go in. I called them up and they told me I was nuts.

    As it turns out, they would only straighten the front of the frames. My frame had done an endo and the rear of the frame got pushed forward. From the measurements I took, the drive side had been pushed forward about 3/4 of an inch and the kick start side about 1/2 an inch. I welded together a big metal block from an old punch-press bolster, welded some blocks on top of that and pushed both swing-arm pivots back into place. Worked perfect!

    I rode that bike for a number of years before letting it go. I still have that block in the back of the garage, maybe until the price of scrap gets higher. If someone is interested enough to see a photo, I'll see what I can find.
    #20