Leading Link install problem/rant

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Pago Cruiser, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Pago Cruiser

    Pago Cruiser Been here awhile

    Jun 8, 2008
    After wrestling with my Triumph TBird/Velorex Hack for 6 months, I finally broke down and bought a Leading Link from England. Received it Friday, and started putting it together today. It appears quite robust, with a good powdercoat finish.
    Some of the wording on the one page instruction sheet was a bit odd however:
    “Unit leading link forks will replace your existing telescopic forks with no modification. However a small amount of fitting skill may be required if caliper mounts are on the extreme of manufacturers limits”.
    I read this thinking, “well, maybe I might have to use my file or dremmel for a bit”. After all, calipers and fork tubes are all aluminum castings, so how far can something be “off” – MAYBE a sixteenth of an inch? If that? Wrong. Seems this catchall note is a sorry excuse for lack of trial fit or jig integrity…
    See the attached pic, sorry quality that it is. The welded tabs for the calipers are off by almost 3/8”, for both right and left calipers. There is no way to drill and tap the caliper bracket, because it is not big enough; the hole would be in air. Conversely, I cannot redrill the steel swingarm tabs because they are not wide, or long enough; I would need the tabs to be almost one-half inch wider, and at least a quarter inch longer. There is also NOT room between the swingarm tab and the caliper to fabricate an intermediate adapter plate.
    This may be trivial to the gurus who build their own subframes and carriers in their garages; I have a lot of respect for you guys. But this is a royal pita to me. I spent almost $1800, and waited almost 2 months, because my welding talents are non-existent, as is my garage. I want to ride the bike, I just don’t have time to learn how to build it from bare steel parts.
    At this point, the only solution I can see is to take it apart, cut off the tabs, cut/fit/grind new ones (on my patio, using hand tools!) that are wider and longer, and then cart the wheel/swingarm over to the welders shop and re-damn-weld the thing, an dthen paint black to try and match the powdercoat.
    I know these are low volume, semi custom things. But… I find that note insulting. I’m supposed to accept that because of “manufacturers limits” I now need to spend more $ and more time to do what I paid them for? I would bet my paycheck that I could purchase 20, or 50 Nissen calipers for a 1995 to 2002 Thunderbird from the dealer or ebay, and they would all bolt up to the stock forks. What is with these people??[​IMG]
    I have not yet called the Unit guy on this issue. Our email conversations have been…difficult since inception.[​IMG] They are apparently so busy that they do not have time to communicate with customers. As I said in my last email to him, I have never had to work so hard to give someone my money…I really don’t feel like dealing with them anymore.
    Sorry for the rant. But now it looks like our Christmas sidecar trip is off, which made the wife real happy… and all because those asshats would not spend 5 minutes and do a trial fit before they send something half way around the world…[​IMG]
    As an interesting side note, the box was packaged very well. As I was unwrapping the newspaper like padding, I noticed it was a bike newspaper, with a review of the new Honda CB 750 (??) . They are using bike newspapers from 1976 to ship the stuff here!! I spent about an hour reading race reports with Mike Hailwood, Ake Jonsson, and looking at ads for Jawa CZ, Bultaco 125’s, even found a crinkled pic of a Norton 750 WASP sidecar! If I can figure a way to flatten it and get a photo I will try and post. It was literally like stepping back in time…
    D*mn. Just noticed that I cannot post a pic anymore. Whats up with this?
  2. Andy-Gadget

    Andy-Gadget Any bike can go anywere

    Jul 5, 2006
    Hobart, Tasmania
    Please change the text colour, very hard to read.:huh
  3. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Follow me i'm right behind you. Super Moderator

    Nov 24, 2005
    Melbourne Australia
    That`s a real bugger Pago, I guess one of the main reasons why I like to buy locally so if there is something that isn`t what I would expect, help is closer to home..

    If your not wanting to deal with that company then you have little option other than modify the parts yourself or if your not skilled in that way, you need to pay some other party to do the work for you..

    Personally though, i`d be chasing them regardless of how long it takes for them to return your messages, return the goods and demand your money back.. If the parts you bought aren`t doing what they are supposedly designed for, send them back for a full refund or get them to modify them at their cost..

    Not easy but good luck with whichever way you decide to go.. :thumb
  4. Andrew2

    Andrew2 Team 250

    Aug 3, 2005
    G'day Pago,
    that's no good at all.It would be real helpful if you could find a way to post some photos,maybe through Smugmug or Photobucket.That way the gurus on here would more than likely be able to help you out or offer advice before you send it back to the manufacturer..It's a bugga when these things happen and it has happened to us all if that's any consolation.Who is the manufacturer so the rest of us can avoid them.

  5. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Mar 17, 2002
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    Unit has maintained a decent reputation for quite a long time regarding their leading links. If you have noit spoken directly to them by phone I wouldk sure try and do that before getting invloved with re fabricating the stuff fyou received. Yep, no doubt frustrating and there is really no excuse but getting to talk to a real person live may make a lot of difference.
    No, I have no connection with them. We do build leading links but not unles we have the bike in house at this time.
    Please keep us posted on how things work out.
    Oh, for those who cannot read the original post just highlight it and it will be clear.