El Skitzo's HD rigid

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El Skitzo
Posts: 731
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

El Skitzo's HD rigid

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:20 pm

Well my first weekend with the bike had it's ups and downs. First thing Saturday morning I threw on some jeans and boots and just wanted to thrash it around my suburb to hear it running again and make some noise, but the bike had other ideas. Turns out the battery is cactus. After about 2 hours of kicking and kicking I managed to get it to run briefly twice, long enough to enjoy the note of the engine and whine of the belt drive, but not long enough to get my helmet on. This thing is at least twice as hard to kick over than the Triumph was, so I gave up on it and went to plan B.

Plan B was to put the bike up on the lift and start cleaning it. The bike was a disgusting ugly mess when I got it home, and I knew I'd feel better about the bike if it was clean and some of the parts on it came to life.

Saturday I spent 3 hours alone just on the wheels. That was an hour each wheel just on the spokes, and then a half hour each polishing up the rims and cleaning the tyres, and what a world of difference that made! The spokes are stainless but I suspect have never been cleaned since being laced up, they were almost black, and now are back to shiny. Not perfect but close enough, but the rims did come up perfect which is great. Turns out under all the crap I have some real nice tyres, Metzelers in fact and with heaps of tread. The right side on the rear has been gouged a little in the sidewall by a backed out fender strut bolt but other than that is perfect. So my original plan to fit retro tyres is out the window, I'll just stick with these.

Front is a Metzeler ME880 90/90-21 on a 21x2.15" rim
Rear is a Metzeler ME550 130/90-16 on a 16x3.00" rim

Sunday I kept up with the cleaning and basically did everything from the seat post back. Cleaned up the license plate area, polished the paint on the rear fender, polished up the struts, polished the oil tank, rear frame rails, mufflers, transmission, cables, wires you name it and it really is looking nice now.

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You can see here a close up of the transmission area. I was literally pulling out handfuls of grime off the tranny and it's mounting plate. I could barely see the brake pressure switch before I started, and frame rails were caked in countless years of flicked chain muck.

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You can see here I've removed the outer cover off the belt primary revealing a brand new BDL belt. I've decided I'll leave the pulley covers on as they both have a lip edge which prevents the belt from coming off, so probably best left on. The inner "HD" cover, I'll probably cut out a big section in the centre to get rid of that bloody "HD" so I can get my hand in there for cleaning, and powder coat what's left in black to help hide it. For now I've polished up the whole lot and it's looking nice.

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You can see here how nice the front rim and spokes came up. The hub is covered in a lot of surface rust which I can't get to so it can stay that way. At least the bulk of it is shiny. The Showa fork legs came up a treat too with about an hour of scrubbing with AutoSol. I've not touched the calipers as I'll take peoples advice and replace them both in the near future with some nice 4 piston units. The front fender is cheap plastic, is cracked and looks like it was painted with a brush. I polished it up anyway and it looks better. I was given a brand new metal one as a spare, and will fit that up just before we repaint the bike.

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You can see here how nice the triple trees came up with the AutoSol and another couple of hours of my time. Even the headlight scrubbed up good, and the fork gaiters came up like new with some tyre cleaner.

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The first change on the bike was to swap out the handlebar risers (pics in just a sec), and while I was at it I rolled the handlebars forward. I only like apes on a bike if they sit vertical, I can't stand seeing them leaning back in line with the front end. IMHO much better. You can see the whole bike here now and see just how nice it's cleaning up. I honestly believe it has not been cleaned at all since it was built, and it seems like there's actually a nice bike under all the dirt and grime.

The more and more I look at this bike, the more and more I like about it the way it is, and the less and less and I'm planning on changing.

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65 Triumph Chopper (project)

El Skitzo
Posts: 731
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:22 pm

Here's the only change I've made so far, the handlebar risers, simply because I had spare parts laying around to use.

The original Harley clamps are simply plain ugly. Also take note of the finish on the top triple tree, you can see just how much work I had to clean these up!

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And here we are with the top triple clamp all polished up, and a set of 2" risers from Leroy Thompson Choppers which I had left over from my first custom, that blue Vulcan. So now you can start with the jokes about how much they look like bath taps... :lol:

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65 Triumph Chopper (project)

xsive
Posts: 628
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:58 am
Location: Rutherford,NSW

Post by xsive » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:22 pm

looking good . nothing like a bit of elbow grease to brighten up ya day .I got a show coming up some one with your tallent would be welcome to test your art on my xs
IM NOT CRAZY ITS JUST OTHER PEOPLES PERCEPTION OF MY NORMALITY THAT DIFFERS

Cromag
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:58 am
Location: NSW

Post by Cromag » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:52 pm

Congrats.....is the rear guard one of the things your going to change? it just doesnt look 'RIGID' enough.....great unit, but a flat guard would say 'look at me, iam bare bum naked' if ya know what i mean :oops:
Does not work or play well with others
Loud pipes save lives
"These are not the Droids you're looking for"

El Skitzo
Posts: 731
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:42 pm

Cromag wrote:Congrats.....is the rear guard one of the things your going to change? it just doesnt look 'RIGID' enough.....great unit, but a flat guard would say 'look at me, iam bare sweetie naked' if ya know what i mean :oops:
The plans were to almost immediately change out the rear guard and frisco mount a little tank, but these tins are growing on me. I don't really like either of them, and would NEVER choose to put them on a bike, but they flow pretty well and are very reminiscent of chops like this built in the mid 80's to mid 90's.

One thing I regret about the Triumph I just had, was that it had survived as originally built for over 20 years before I came along and changed it. Love or hate the way it was, it was definitely a piece of Australian Chopper history and a glimpse into the way things were done in another time. If people keep doing that to survivor bikes like this, we'll lose that window into the past? I'm not saying that the style my Triumph was, or the way this HD is now is a style I like and want to promote, but who am I to just brush it aside.

I might just change out some of the smaller parts you hardly notice like, grips, mirror, air cleaner, pegs, seat etc. Then give it a subtle paint job (I'm currently thinking satin brown), and focus on riding it, and getting it running and braking right.

Being a little rigid chop is different enough, I mean how often to you really see bikes like this on the road, so I don't think it needs to be over the top. I've been there and done that, time to move on...

I'm over thinking this aren't I? :lol:
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

KeithinSB
Posts: 866
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 4:21 am
Location: Creston California USA

Post by KeithinSB » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:13 am

:shock: Wowie!!

That is one Sweet looking Bike!!
Ride it like you can fix it.

Cromag
Posts: 2563
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:58 am
Location: NSW

Post by Cromag » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:49 pm

Grab a Beer ElSkitzo......sit back and enjoy......Quality time with your bike cant be beat. Fair call on the tins...(Iam just jealous)
Does not work or play well with others
Loud pipes save lives
"These are not the Droids you're looking for"

Scouser
Posts: 207
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 5:33 pm

Post by Scouser » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:19 am

I saw this when it was for sale and thought it looked great.
After the clean up it's fantastic
Scouser

leatheroo
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Location: Geelong
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Post by leatheroo » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:19 am

Jealous!!!!!!!! The seat pan is a nice shape.... hhhmmmm!

El Skitzo
Posts: 731
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Post by El Skitzo » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:53 am

leatheroo wrote:Jealous!!!!!!!! The seat pan is a nice shape.... hhhmmmm!
Funny you should say that, I think it has a little too much curve in it, but that might just be because it's closer to the tank than we normally see them because of the stretched tanks. I might consider putting a spare seat pan I have on there which would move it back an inch or two, or sticking with this one, too early to say. The seat that is on there is be LaRosa.

Either way I'll probably be hitting you up for trim this time :wink:
Last edited by El Skitzo on Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

Brassy
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Location: redcliffe queensland

Post by Brassy » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:20 am

They are a good seat I have 2 of them 1 in leather and 1 in pleather, nice shiny seat pan too the leather one is tighter, but only 9 inches thats a 12 or 13 inch seat that you have there I will take a photo of my leather 9 so you can see the difference, not bad for a product of mehico.

El Skitzo
Posts: 731
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Post by El Skitzo » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:29 pm

Brassy wrote:thats a 12 or 13 inch seat that you have there
Yeah I think it's the 13, it's absolutely huge! But very comfy.

Here's a better picture of the seat.

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65 Triumph Chopper (project)

78gold
Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Sydney NSW Australia

Very clean

Post by 78gold » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:00 pm

Mate that was a good pick up,
Very clean ride indeed, like it a lot.
Regards
Nigel[/u]
Nigel
78 Gold

leatheroo
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:49 pm
Location: Geelong
Contact:

Post by leatheroo » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:44 pm

it looks like it needs to be mounted back a bit and a fraction lower...maybe needs different type of springs.
El Skitzo wrote:
leatheroo wrote:Jealous!!!!!!!! The seat pan is a nice shape.... hhhmmmm!
Funny you should say that, I think it has a little too much curve in it, but that might just be because it's closer to the tank than we normally see them because of the stretched tanks. I might consider putting a spare seat pan I have on there which would move it back an inch or two, or sticking with this one, too early to say. The seat that is on there is be LaRosa.

Either way I'll probably be hitting you up for trim this time :wink:

Bearcx
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Location: Gawler, Sth Aust
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Post by Bearcx » Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:18 pm

Not sure about the lace up, rubbing on your block and tackle. :D
The brave may not live long, but, the cautious do not live at all.

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