Flying Merkel tribute build... the Flying Merkin??

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Rebuilder, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Rebuilder

    Rebuilder Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    205
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    Here we go... my first bike build and my first thread so bear with me.

    About a year back I decided I wanted to build a motorcycle from scratch. I've always liked the style of the old board trackers and when I came across the Flying Merkel I was hooked. I had to build one.... well my version at least. I definitely don't have the kind of money to build a replica but I think I can pull off a really nice tribute.

    First was the inspiration.....

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    Second was the design. This is the first project where I've designed and had almost every part purchased or figured out prior to starting any fab work. It's much easier to change it on paper than steel. It took me nearly 6 months on and off to get everything worked out. This unfortunately is not my final drawing, but you get the picture... so to speak. It get's better, I had to start somewhere.

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    And finally the real work can begin.

    This is where the design work really paid off. I had to have a handrail company bend the lower hoop so I had to modify the radius to match their mandrel dies. Cost me $300 but it came out perfect. You can imagine how nervous I was making that first fishmouth with my cheap Chinese jig.

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    I couldn't have done it without the full size pattern. Glad I work at a sign company.
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    Top tube was bent on a friends hydraulic tubing bender the mid tube I bent on my Chinese pipe bender to get a larger radius. The other tubes are for the rear triangle... also bent on the cheapo pipe bender.

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    The motor I chose was a Yahama XT500 because they're single cylinder, the exhaust allows for a single down tube and I got a whole running bike with title for $300. **side note** The further I get into the project the more I question my motor choice but it's too late now. I may have to do some work to modify the look of the case and cylinder to fit the look. Should be enough power though.

    After tacking the hoop to the other main tubes I sat the engine in place to get the mid tube placement. Tack, check for straightness, repeat.

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    Getting the rear dropouts ready. Again, the use of a pattern is essential.

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    I made a jig on a CNC router to get my dropouts and rear triangle aligned perfectly to the main frame. I used the jackshaft in the bottom bracket as the mounting point. More on that later.

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    Here's a good place the throw in a thanks to my friend Tyler for hooking me with the waterjet dropouts and sprocket mounting ring on the jackshaft.... as well as other parts to be named later.

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    Even with the jig I was nervous about alignment so tack, check, tack, check and repeat.

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    More to come... I just want to get this first post out of the way.
    #1
  2. drooartz

    drooartz Been here awhile

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    :lurk

    This should be fun to watch.
    #2
  3. matman1972

    matman1972 Lost in the woods.

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    :super
    That's just all kinds of cool so far! great idea to do it around a more modern powerplant while emulating the lines! Love it.
    #3
  4. Jinx

    Jinx Call me Renzo

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    :nod

    Subscribed :lurk
    #4
  5. Rebuilder

    Rebuilder Been here awhile

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    So once I got the frame all tacked together I started mocking up the drive line to make sure it fit.

    I didn't get any pic's of the work but the rear hub is actually a front Honda hub that I added bosses to accept a sprocket. I did this for three reasons... one, it's going to be my only break and it's larger than a rear. Two, it narrows the rear end 2+ inches. Three, because it's narrower it allows me to match the original Merkel design. I'll post some completed pic's of it later.

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    I had a hunch that there would be a clearance problem in this area....

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    ....so I had to make some room.

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    I case you're wondering about the jackshaft/crank situation, here's what's going on. The bottom bracket is DOM tubing machined to accept large sealed bearings as seen above. The jackshaft is 1.125" O.D. DOM tubing machined on the outside to slide into those bearings and on the inside to accept roller bearings that the crank spindle will run on. Basically the jackshaft will spin around the stationary cranks..... hopefully... otherwise it'll be hard to keep my feet on the pedals.:rofl

    I got the cranks and pedals off Ebay. The sprockets are for some ATV and I got them from Dennis Kirk. I'll get them Nickle or chrome plated.

    Instead of running the high dollar white replica tires and clincher rims I'm going with 21" rims front and rear with narrow and tall trials tires (basically the same tire shown here). Here's the mock-up that came off the donor XT500. Tires were a hard decision but I think these will work out great.

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    Once I had the wheel/tire placement I could tack in the upper support/fender mount.

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    Up next is the Fork.... stay tuned.
    #5
  6. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

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    Way COOL man, I likes the ways you think.....
    Robert
    #6
  7. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    Beautiful work !


    :thumb
    #7
  8. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    #8
  9. hoodellyhoo

    hoodellyhoo Dummy

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    :lurk
    #9
  10. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    This is really neat.
    I've always been fascinated with people that have to fabricate/mod their own stuff to restore a bike almost back from the dead, and I'm trudging my way through a restoration along those lines, so I have learned to really appreciate the abilities of others.

    But to completely build one from scratch is something I've never gotten to see yet.

    Will be watching. With a drink. :1drink :lurk
    #10
  11. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Good show, I had the same build in mind (different motor) and I know Dorkpunch had done a bunch of preliminary work but this is the real deal. :lurk

    Not bad for a first post
    #11
  12. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    A fine bit of understatement .... fine :rofl
    #12
  13. Rebuilder

    Rebuilder Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the interest guys. I'm quite a bit further along so allot more pic's to come.

    Rob Farmer - Yes I know what it is, but most people don't... that's the funny part. Imagine a bunch of people standing around it saying that's a cool Flying Merkin.:roflI crack myself up. I'll probably wuss out and go with Merkel though.
    #13
  14. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    I'd got visions of you standing proudly next to it while people sniggered behind their hands :lol3

    This is an inspirational project. I'm really looking forward to seeing the bike coming together.
    #14
  15. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    So your pedals will just be stationary?

    Do you happen to know how the old board trackers were set up? Some sort of one way clutch? I know there are rear end freewheels on bikes, but I've never been able to figure out how this was worked out on the old school bikes.
    #15
  16. Quasi1960

    Quasi1960 Been here awhile

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    I thought that when I first read the title. Isnt English a wonderful language.
    #16
  17. Rebuilder

    Rebuilder Been here awhile

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    Another good day of building behind me. Time to relax and post some pic's.

    The fork design took me awhile to figure out. The original design is actually way ahead of it's time. No leaf spring, girder or springer. Just telescoping tubes with internal springs. Very much like modern forks with the exception of the lower tubes sliding above the lower triple tree. That was the tricky part. Here's what I did...

    The main components are 1" case hardened solid steel shafts from Mcmaster Carr, some precision 1.01" I.D. chromoly tubing for the legs, 1" thick Waterjet steel for the lower triple tree and 1/4" for the upper. I'm taking a gamble that between the case hardened steel and the chromoly and with some heavy grease the wear will be minimal since I'm not using bushings.

    the two outer 1" solid shafts come with one end tapped 3/8" (female) and the steer shaft is threaded 5/8" (male) on one end.

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    The cups and bearings are Harley parts. Nice stainless steel with the steering stop built in. It's also nice that they fit into DOM tubing without machining (can't recall the DOM size though). And they're made for a 1" shaft.

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    Here I fancied up the ends of the lower tubes with caps.

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    Now it gets complicated. I had small slots machined into the 1" solid shafts and long slots in the lower tubes. At this point I was hoping I could get this thing together without binding. I had a plan....

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    Pressed the steering shaft into that part. It's not going anywhere...I thought my press was going to break.

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    ....back to my plan. I made another Jig.

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    and tacked it together.

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    Test fit the lower legs.

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    At this point I had to get an idea what it was going to look like so I mocked it up. The actual scale of things is a little hard to gauge when working on a computer so it was nice to be able to get a real look at it.

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    I think the fork is my favorite part. Now it's coming together.

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    Fancied up the small tubes too.

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    That hub is from Cheney Engineering. http://www.flattrackaccessories.com/FWheel.shtml Really nice guy, really nice hub.

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    Now everything is tacked and double checked I can send it out to get TIG'd....while crossing my fingers that it won't twist from the heat.
    #17
  18. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Threads like this put threads like mine to shame.
    #18
  19. Rebuilder

    Rebuilder Been here awhile

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    Yeah the pedals will be stationary. I had a plan to make them functional until I realized the right side of the motor sticks out too far. Stationary is fine for me.... not like I wanted to pedal around a 300 pound bike anyway. As far as how they made the original, I'm not really sure. I would assume they had a freewheel of some sort like a modern bike but I don't really know.
    #19
  20. danedg

    danedg Horizontally Opposed

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    :lurk


    I just read the definition of a "Flying Merkin..."
    :lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    #20