Norton/Ironhead Cafe Racer Build thread

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Bevelheadmhr, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. CoyoteCowboy

    CoyoteCowboy Easily Distracted

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    Even though it would look great painted up, it would be a crime to cover up that beautiful metalwork on the tank and the frame! :evil
    #21
  2. 2WheelTrampin

    2WheelTrampin Banned

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    NO PAINT :D



    You can't tell, but I'm typing with one hand reading this thread! :evil
    #22
  3. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I was originally going to paint it black (frame and tank), with gold pinstripes, as I've always liked that combo on the likes of a Norton Commando. I'm edging toward leaving the tank polished and having the frame clear powdercoated. Seems thats what most folks recommend, and I do like the gold brazing onthe frame, be a pity to hide it under paint.
    #23
  4. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    It took awhile, but I finally bought the Morad alloy rims I need. Both 18 inch a 3.0 on the back and a 2.15 for the front. I got them from Central Wheels in Birmingham (UK), despite having the correct dimensions of the hubs (Width, PCD) they were relunctant to sell the correct length spokes. Maybe I just got them on a bad day. I'll walk around the corner tomorrow and see old chap who restores old bikes, and rebuilds wheels for pocket money. Bill is in his late 80s, last time I saw him he was completing this 'works' 1926 Sunbeam, which had been found buried in a scrap yard. He has a few old bikes, including a Vincent he's owned since the late 50s, though Bill has reently had to give up riding due to poor health.


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    #24
  5. Iron_HawK

    Iron_HawK Farkle Enthusiast

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    I LOVE where this is going! great work! You've got me subscribed :thumb
    #25
  6. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I called Central Wheels again last week, with the thought that if they wouldnt sell me the spokes I needed (which I didnt know the lengths required), then I'd give them hassle at their stand at the Stafford Classic bike show this weekend. As it turned out, I got put through to someone else, who was very helpful, and my spokes should be on their way now. I'm making a wheel stand, to have a go at lacing the wheels myself. I met a chap at Stafford who lives near me, who says he has a mate who makes his own spokes and will lace up wheels cheaply, useful to know.

    I had intended to use the floating discs that came with the Honda front end, but they are dished and I'd need adapters/spacers to bolt them to the Harley front hub. Not really a problem accept there looked to be a lack of clearance, and also it would mean having a mismatched rear disc which would have annoyed me forever. So I bought a set of EBC discs instead, they'll still need spacers, though even then the calipers may not clear the spokes. I'll need to lace the wheels to be sure one way of the other..

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    #26
  7. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    These are my favorite threads. Lots of details. Lots of photos. Lots of innovation. Well done.
    #27
  8. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

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    I've always wanted to do this...hurry up and finish! :clap
    #28
  9. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    Ok, well today was a big day, my stainless spokes finally arrived, though to be fair, I think they were made for me. Later in the day I also got a big parcel from Unity Equipe, which I've not even had time to open yet.. it should contain a few goodies.. seat, stainless sidestand and tank strap and catch.

    This morning I cycled over the other side of town to see Jeff and drink tea, we'd agreed he'd make me a wheel stand so I can true the wheels up. As often happens I had a sketch of the simplest stand I'd seen, but before long th edesign evolved a bit and now its going to be much more useful, as I'll be able to use it on any size wheels, with or without a spindle. Hopefully it'll e ready in a few days.

    This evening, I had a go at lacing a wheel for the first time. I made a few silly mistakes along the way, but the rear wheel wasnt as difficult as I'd thought. Though of course I still need to true it. Full of confidence, I started on the front wheel, expecting to be finished in no time. After three attempts I gave up for the evening, I'll try again tomorrow. The main problem is that all the holes in the hub for the spokes are all bevelled on one side only, so all the spokes have to be seated on the same side. When the spokes cross it means that one of the spokes doesnt sit in its seat correctly. Obviously I'm lacing it in the srong way, but I cant see the right way at the moment.

    Rear wheel..

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    Front wheel.. started ok, then it all went wrong..

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    #29
  10. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I did a quick test fit of the seat, the two stubs which mount it to the frame didnt quite match up, but I threatened them with a big hammer and eventually the seat went on. It seems a bit too far back, but not sure yet..

    Mounts didnt align at first..

    Attached Files:

    #30
  11. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I didnt get very far with lacing the front wheel today, so on the basis that the only stupid question is the one you dont ask, I popped around the corner to see Bill who soon pointed out my beginners error. When I unpacked the spokes, the rear spokes were in two seperate bags. I did check to see if there were any differences but they were the same length and had the same angle of bend. So without further thought I got stuck in. Bill pointed out that I had two diferent spoke sets, one of which had a slightly longer bend, these should be used when a spoke crosses on top of another at the hub. Mystery solved, he kindly offered to finish the wheel for me and true it up, in the meantime I admired the last of the three 1920s Sunbeams he'd restored, from being piles of rust dug up out of ground of a old scrap yard. Not to mention his Velo and Vincent and a couple of specials.. I must remember to take my camera when I collect the wheel in a day or so.
    #31
  12. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    The wheels are done now at last, and I managed to reuse the front disc spacers from the original bike on the new hub, with some machining to fit the EBC discs. Unfortunately, I didnt realise that the underside of the spacers would also need a bit of work, so the the front discs will have to wait till I can sort out their spacers.

    The rear disc mounting holes also had to be widened (as HD hubs use bigger bolts on the back than the front) and disc manufacturers dont seem to bother drilling the correct size holes. I need to find a rear Nissin caliper then I can make a caliper mount and wheel spacers fo rthe back wheel.

    Here's a blurry vid I just took of progress to date, you can see I dont have a lot of room, as I'm working in the conversatory, as the garage is full up. By the end of the month I hope to have it on its wheels, then I can start on the engine, first task, is to make an exhaust system then a one off Hydraulic clutch conversion, so I can use a matching pair of brembo hand controls. May not work, but I want to try.


    http://youtu.be/MeqE9wE2gTY
    #32
  13. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    The front disc spacers are finally done, I took them off the original mag wheels, and luckily they were about the correct thickness for the new forks and calipers. I had to reduce the diameter by 10mm and widen the hole a bit for the stainless wheel spacers, still thats a lot less work than making them from scratch. It was asking a bit too much to expect the spacers to be spot on in the new front end, and sure enough I had to use a washer to space the calipers out to get them centred on the disc, they were about 2mm out. I wont leave it like that as using washers is a big no no, I'll machine some little spacers later.

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    One of the favourite parts I've bought so far is this toggle for the tank strap, lovely bit of kit. The tank strap has to be sized and a hook pop rivetted onto the strap, but need to make the buckle at the other end yet.



    Its almost on its wheels now, the tyres turned up today (Avon AM26s) but I'm still waiting on the inner tubes and rim tape. The rear is a 120x18, when I started out on bikes that seemed a huge tyre, now it looks like it belongs on a moped. :eek1

    My plans for a hydraulic clutch conversion are starting to come together, as I'm swapping an old roll of roofing felt for a mint Brembo clutch slave cylinder.

    Attached Files:

    #33
  14. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    and here it is.. just got to work out a neat way of bolting to the case and extending the clutch pushrod..


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    #34
  15. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    Well today it finally sat on its own wheels, still need to sort out the wheel spacers and a brake caliper for the rear wheel, but bodged a couple of spare spacers I had for now. Then I had one of those strange incidents that leave me baffled.. I knelt down to fit the front wheel, trying to line up the spindle with the first spacer, and the spacer fell to the floor.. need three hands for this job.. I fished around for the spacer, couldnt find it. I stood up, had a look around my feet, no spacer. I had a good hunt around, no spacer, I moved everything in the blooming room, no spacer.. god knows where its gone, it only fell a foot, so it could hardly have bounced off somewhere.. must have a black hole in there, its the only explanation. I'll have make another, in the meantime another spare spacer (a bit too narrow) was bodged on.


    At least I didnt lose this cool replacement choke 'enrichener'.. since I wont be using a std teardrop S&S air filter with its choke lever, this little gizmo takes its place..


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    #35
  16. B-Rod

    B-Rod RubberNecker

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    Super cool build! I have always loved the idea of this marriage, and remember, but can't find, a beautiful one built in in Aus that was featured in Classic Bike many moons ago.
    #36
  17. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I sat down the other day and made a list of all the jobs still to do.. it came to three pages of A4...At least one easy job was to make an undertray to sit beneath the seat hump, as thats where most of the electrics will be going. So in best Blue Peter style, (famous kids TV program in the UK) I cut up a cereal box to make a simple template.

    I made it longer than expected, so I can use it to mount the seat a little further forward if needed, and maybe the oil tank too. I can always cut it back a little to look neater. Then to save myself a lot of hassle, I went over to a local fabrication workshop (best welder in town) who is happy to make stuff for me for a few quid cash in hand. When he isnt on site working at places like Kellogs and Heinz, he works out of a small place in an old converted barn..

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    Where he soon made me the tray in 1.5mm stainless plate, all I had to do was bend it slightly to follow the lines of the seat loop when I got home. Just need to drill a few mounting holes and sort out some kind of P clips to support it at the back. I dont want to weld any taps onto this frame, its too nice to mess up.

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    #37
  18. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    I sat down the other evening and listed all the jobs and parts I still needed to finish the bike.. it came to 3 pages of A4 .. oh well, best keep going then.
    I ordered a few more parts this week, headlamp, ignition barrel, tail light etc. The tail light arrived today, a bit of a cliche perhaps, but I like it. need to make a mount for it now and for the number plate too.. Ill add it to the list.

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    I've also taken the starter apart, painted the case and polished the alloy end cap. Putting it back together wasnt so easy, keeping all the spings and bushes in place is very fiddly. The ridged end cap normally has a chrome cover, which wont look right on the bike, so I intend to make a billet one instead.. I'll add it to the list

    When I refitted the starter motor, it needed a new gasket, not a problem as I'd bought a full gasket set ages ago. One of the best things about older Harleys is the availablity and cost of spares, the full gasket kit cost me about £50, and its a quality product, not a cheap Chinese knockoff.

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    #38
  19. regomodo

    regomodo Been here awhile

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    Jul 14, 2012
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    Bristol, UK
    Loving the work and the pics. Just a question - isn't that frame bronze welded not brazed? I'd love to have room for an acetylene setup for brazing/welding myself, results looks great.
    #39
  20. Bevelheadmhr

    Bevelheadmhr Been here awhile

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    Its brazed, tubing is T45, the modern version of Reynolds 531.
    #40