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Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Rebuilder, Sep 11, 2010.
When I built my first frame I bent it around a tree trunk, you are way ahead.
Look for an old pre-unit motor of any brand, flat belt is cool. A t head gravely would be great, magneto too. It doesn't take a lot of HP to have fun. Hope you baffeled the gas tank. I have a pal that has built 20 plus pre 1915 bikes from a few original parts. I have most of a 12 Indian belt drive motor, I better get to work. Keep it up
Seems like motors like the one on the gravely would have extremely narrow rpm bands.
Not that it couldn't be used, but it just doesn't scream "motorcycle". A longer rev band seems required.
Perfect for mowing. But boardtrackers were more of a WFO w/ an ignition kill switch to slow down.
I was just commenting that what comes to mind when I picture old boardtrackers are open pipes shooting flames from unrestricted engines. And I just question if a gravely will stimulate the senses like that, or remind you of mowing the yard.
I'd almost more visualize something like a 100cc revvy engine run WFO just for noise.
Got the frame back from the welder. Cost me around $300 for the frame, fork and rear hub but whatcha gonna do if you can TIG it yourself. Turned out pretty good.... and it was still straight. Now the question is to smooth all the welds or keep them as is? I'm leaning towards smoothing. Thoughts?
Few post weld shots.
With that out of the way I moved on to handlebars.
I may have to something different with the clamping system
I'll get back the bars later... have to get to my friends house to use his bender.
On to the seat. Yeah the seat. This was fun. So, not sure if you guys know but you can buy these....
....for just under $400. So that was out of the question. So why not make one. I've made a few vinyl seats, leather shouldn't be that bad.
Anyway, so I started.....
1/8" steel pan... check.
Bend the back.
If you can't Duck it.....
I got the leather from a $5 jacket. Just enough as long as I don't screw up.
Working conditions were a little tight. That's Harley and my girlfriend just burnt some toast.
The old Singer worked great although if the leather were any thicker I would have been screwed.
Three layers sewn together. One below the pan and two above to hold the......
Once stuffed I riveted it up. I wish it didn't have the areas showing the steel but prior to sewing I accidentally cut where I shouldn't have so I had to make do. It's hidden, but I know it's there.
To get the color right I just used some shoe polish.
I can live with that.
One thing I did that you can kind of see here is I added a springer seat post. Should get a few inches of cush.
Rewind a little.... I got the bars bent in the midst of seat building. Here they are.
The riding position is a little more stretched than I wanted it to be. It's sportbikeish in feel.... but wAAy cooler.
So that's about it for now. I've got some shots of mounting the motor and the rims are painted but other than that this is where I'm at with the build. Up next, finish the tank, get the wheels built, prep and paint, plumbing, electrical, odds and ends, this and that, Motor work, final assemble and then ride it. Oh Boy, better get to work.
What's next, a replica of the Titanic?
Love the smilies on this site by the way.
Enjoying your build. I must say for such a superb job, you are a fast worker. It's not already winter in MN is it?
This is fantastic. You are an inspiration.
Thanks for this.
Gotta agree with the above statement, I am impressed by the detail and the speed of your progress.
Love the concept, the only things that freak me out a bit are the pedals, and wondering about brakes.
With the much more powerful than original engine you have selected it should be fast.
I have a couple XT's and SR's they move pretty good at stock weight, and yours should be at 250lbs or so.
Look forward to more!
Actually I've been working on it all summer but just recently decided to start this thread. Now the thread is caught up to my progess so we'll see how fast I am.
I'm also a little freaked out about the brakes (or I should say brake) since I'll only have one in the rear. I debated running a front but just couldn't do it. Riding it will be a test of my self control and spatial awareness I guess.
Personally, I'd leave the welds as is.
Bikes of that era had all brazed lugs etc. So smoothing might look more original. It's a toss up I guess, how much time do you have? If it's a long cold winter the question might be answered for you.
The rpm range of a Gravely motor would do well with a belt drive motor, many early bikes had an atmospheric inlet valve and that would limit rpm to around 1000. Those early motors were much like a hit and miss, big flywheels and low rpm. I'm going to an old engine show tomorrow, and a Gravely may follow me home. Winter is coming to Ohio.
I love that you actually make stuff. I have only done mostly replacement of things, never a real "build" like you have going on.
You are making a one of a kind bike. That is great.
I especially love the "the painter will fix it. Oh wait, that is me!" What you plan or don't plan does come to haunt you down the road on projects. Decisions made now impact greatly the choices in the future. I can tell you have the mental wheels turning and I am excited to see what you come up with. it isn't just a build, it is a masterpiece.
I remember those Gravely sickle bar mowers. They were a bitch to start with a leather belt that you wrapped around the starter pulley. Many a time I whipped myself with that belt trying to start that bitch. Backed into a few trees trying to man handle that beast when I was a kid.
Think I'd modify the OP's choice of motor to make it look kinda look old.
BTW, Irutt, you got the MBS real bad,bad.
HELP! fix it.
Rebuilder your pictures are not coming through.
Crap. Should be back up soon.
...if I'm sending repeats... tough!