Little Martha - an 883 Tribute

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by TheGr8Pumpkin, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    After building a CB350 café racer (build thread in the depths of the forgotten Some Assembly Required pages) and getting invited to a few local shows with it, I started thinking about my next build.

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    I’ve normally been a “metric guy,” but definitely didn’t want to do more of the same café, brat, or scrambler stuff that floods Instagram. Then, I came across this 1988 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883.

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    Which vaguely reminded me of this Sportster that Duane Allman crashed before his untimely death. Essentially, both are stock Sportsters with extended forks and a couple cosmetic changes.

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    As a Georgia boy and a big fan of The Allman Brother's Band, I have thought for some time that it would be cool to remake this bike or build some kind of tribute to the band, especially given the love for motorcycles that was reflected in their lives and their music. So, I bought the 883 and began thinking.

    The idea here is to make a cosmetically 70's style "chopper" that, like Duane's bike, retains its rear swingarm. The paint (matching tank and frame of course) will be based on the "Eat a Peach" Album cover and the bike will have a few ABB "Easter eggs". Although I'm not going full purist on parts or build methods, I want it to look as authentic to that era of motorcycling as possible (even though its an Evo, but I have plans for that).

    Two photos for inspiration.

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    #1
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  2. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    First step, strip it down and begin mocking up some new parts.

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    Not looking too bad, the fender is a reproduction of a fender found on the late 50s Sportsters that I am going to chop down a bit. As you can see below, it was either damaged in shipping or came from the vendor dented, but those smoothed out alright with a planishing hammer. I also used the planishing hammer to widen the fender a bit around the area where it mounts to the frame, so that everything will be flush.

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    #2
  3. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars Supporter

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    Yeah baby! Definately a 70's style chopper.

    Skinny extended springer forks. Pull back bars, Wild paintjob. King and queen seat, Sissy bar and it would be nice as a hard tail but I get why you want the shock rear end.
    #3
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  4. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    These are the bars I'm thinking off.
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  5. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    I actually went with a bar that is pretty close to that!

    I’ve gotten a few more parts in and I’m almost done with the Fender, frame, and sissy bar so that I can get stuff off to paint.

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    #5
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  6. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

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    I wonder where that Triumph Springer is now.
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  7. Ozarkroadrunner

    Ozarkroadrunner Been here awhile

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    I wonder if the Triumph is the bike Berry Oakley was riding when he crashed into the bus.

    #7
  8. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    Perhaps, although I thought I read somewhere that Oakley was also on a Sportster of sorts. Either way, the bike is probably rusting away in a barn or junkyard somewhere in Macon unfortunately.
    #8
  9. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    Any good chopper NEEDS a 21" spoked front. I am not a huge fan of the no front brake thing, so I went with a mini-drum kit. Its not as plug and play as the spool kits are because you have to figure out the brake mounts and machine spacers yourself, but that just adds to the fun. I measured for the spacers myself and then had a friend with a lathe machine them. Pretty happy with how the fender chop worked out, I did have to hammer out some indentations in the fender to align with the frame rails so that fender was at the right angle for the seat to sit flat. Those indentations aren't visible when the fender is installed though. I also picked up a new motor mount to relocate the coil and ignition switch.

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    I'm going to get a spoked rear whenever they are back in stock, but the bike's geometry shouldn't change from this point forward, so I had to do a test ride to make sure the new front wheel and spacers worked alright before I tear the bike down to eventually go to paint. Looks like my measurements were good enough because everything is working smoothly, so its on to the next steps!

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    #9
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  10. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    Welded mounts for the new tank this weekend and decided that it would be sloppy to leave the stock old tank mounts there, so I plugged the lower mount and "windowed" the upper mount with some 70's style. I picked up a new welder for this project, an Eastwood TIG 200 and I can't say enough good things about it. It is definitely a HUGE improvement from the $100 Harbor Freight Flex MIG unit I have used on previous projects.

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    #10
  11. shupe

    shupe Long timer

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    I'm diggin that '74 Sprint in the background. :D
    #11
  12. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    The handlebar ornament is taking shape, bent and tacked together. Now it just needs some finish welding and sanding.

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    #12
  13. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I like the peach!
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  14. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    Thanks!
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  15. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer Supporter

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    I've not seen a link yet.....? Turn it up.

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  16. TheGr8Pumpkin

    TheGr8Pumpkin Been here awhile

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    Some good educational listening for anyone who hasn't heard it and happens upon this thread!
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  17. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer Supporter

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    I'm 4 songs in now and loving it. And I haven't even smoked any weed for 10 years....!!! Maybe I should :D
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  18. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    Don't go all Copperhead Road on us now
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  19. WeirdUncle

    WeirdUncle n00b

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    Swingarm chops, flashy paintjobs, and some "new" music to listen to. I like this thread.
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  20. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    C'mon your english, should be the Stranglers.

    #20