Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

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Spade8
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:10 pm
Location: Melbourne
Interests: I've been into bikes for 4 years, since moving to Melbourne. I grew up around hot rods and customs, owning an XP Falcon and Model T coupe which I couldn't bring with me to Melbourne.

I've had a few bike projects over the past few years, including a DT400 with a very hot engine, an XS 400, an XS650, and am currently building a 72 Triumph chopper.

I'm hoping to meet a few riding mates with choppers, and plan on racking up plently of long trips on the Trump!

Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Spade8 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:12 am

Hi fellas, I guess I’ll kick this off with a little introduction.

I’m Will, currently 22 years old and living in Melbourne. I got into bikes about 4 years ago when I moved to Melbourne to study Mechanical Engineering. I’d been into customs and hot rods for a while (a passion handed down from my old man), having an XP falcon as a high school daily driver and a model T coupe body waiting to be hacked into. (Here’s a pic of the Falcon below)

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I had no room for cars when I moved into my tiny dorm room at uni, so I started fettling with bikes instead. This lead to a full-blown workshop occupying my dorm bedroom while I slept in my girlfriends room in the same building.
My journey through the motorcycle world started with cheap Japanese bikes: A DT400 Yamaha stripped down with a hot engine, an XS400 cafe racer, and an XS650 resto-mod which I currently ride.

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I always wanted a British or American bike, but couldn’t afford one until undertaking work placement this year, which lead me to buying the 72 Triumph 650 in this thread. Growing up with hot rods, I suppose it was inevitable that I would find my niche for bikes in Choppers.
So here it is as I bought it: Running with great compression, but pretty rough around the edges. It’s been fitted with a 16” rear wheel and side pipes (hell yeah!). I thought it was a pretty good deal at $3900 for a running Trumpy.

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At the time this bike was up on eBay, I also came across a set of 10” extended forks and raked triple trees on Gumtree to fit the same model, and took the opportunity to buy the bike and forks at the same time. I plan on building an early 70’s Norcal style chop.

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I’ve put these together with an ‘04-‘06 Sportster tank (the only tank I found with a big enough tunnel to fit over the huge OIF backbone) and mocked up a 21” front wheel which will get laced up to the stock hub. I didn’t end up using the raked trees; (A) Because it will mess with my trail, and (B) because I think the bike looks great with the stock rake. The stock triple trees do have a very slight amount of rake in them already, and I think the trail has worked out to be in a pretty good spot.

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I plan on keeping the bike swing-arm, as I plan on doing plenty of long rides with my lady on the back. (Not to mention the costs involved in getting a hard tail engineered and registered!) I’ll also be making a tall sissy bar to lash a swag onto, with hopes to get out & about and see plenty of high country on this old girl.

I hope to see some of you fellas out on the road some time! :)

Spade8
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:10 pm
Location: Melbourne
Interests: I've been into bikes for 4 years, since moving to Melbourne. I grew up around hot rods and customs, owning an XP Falcon and Model T coupe which I couldn't bring with me to Melbourne.

I've had a few bike projects over the past few years, including a DT400 with a very hot engine, an XS 400, an XS650, and am currently building a 72 Triumph chopper.

I'm hoping to meet a few riding mates with choppers, and plan on racking up plently of long trips on the Trump!

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Spade8 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:19 am

I’ll finish this first post off with some of the bikes which have inspired this style of build for me, because who doesn’t like photos?!

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Who needs hard tails? These swing arms look RAD!

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Prof » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:45 am

Welcome.

Your lady will definitely appreciate the suspension. You can run the 16 incher at 20 psi for extra cushioning and also shorten shockers though the latter exercise makes for a rougher ride.

When you do a seat for her, give her seat a slight rearward slope. Consolidated (crumbed) foam is far better than plain foam. Seat is also more comfy if back rest padding is not joined to seat.

Thanks for all the cool pics.

See you on the road sometime.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Spade8
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:10 pm
Location: Melbourne
Interests: I've been into bikes for 4 years, since moving to Melbourne. I grew up around hot rods and customs, owning an XP Falcon and Model T coupe which I couldn't bring with me to Melbourne.

I've had a few bike projects over the past few years, including a DT400 with a very hot engine, an XS 400, an XS650, and am currently building a 72 Triumph chopper.

I'm hoping to meet a few riding mates with choppers, and plan on racking up plently of long trips on the Trump!

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Spade8 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:58 am

Cheers mate, sounds like my seat plans should fit these comfort criteria quite well!

I'm currently making a temporary seat to get the bike registered, which will have no sissy bar/back rest.

Once the bike is registered, I plan on heating the rear sub-frame and bending it upwards, so that I can raise the rear mudguard and fit slightly shorter shocks (or lowering blocks). The seat will then have a bit more of a 'hump' for King & Queen style, although the back rest will remain a separate piece so that the bottom can still be hinged to lift up for battery access.

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Prof » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:14 am

Here's a pic of my girl and I in Vic last November...

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My seat is separate to pillion seat as well as it all being separate form the back rest. Means I can check oil, fuses etc without unloading gear.

Something you could consider as well when lowering the bike is to lengthen the swing arm 3" or so which will automatically lower it and give you and yours more room and get your own seat al little lower.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Spade8
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:10 pm
Location: Melbourne
Interests: I've been into bikes for 4 years, since moving to Melbourne. I grew up around hot rods and customs, owning an XP Falcon and Model T coupe which I couldn't bring with me to Melbourne.

I've had a few bike projects over the past few years, including a DT400 with a very hot engine, an XS 400, an XS650, and am currently building a 72 Triumph chopper.

I'm hoping to meet a few riding mates with choppers, and plan on racking up plently of long trips on the Trump!

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Spade8 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:03 pm

Nice looking scoot, how is to ride with the hard tail? Are you running a sprung seat? I've never ridden one, so I can't say anything from experience.

Yeah that is a good point, a longer wheel base would also distribute a little more weight to the front wheel. I'd also like to get the shocks laying down a little more, they look a bit funny completely vertical at the moment.

I'll have to have a good look at the swing arm, as I know it's a strange shape since its not centered in the frame.

Bearcx
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:31 am
Location: Gawler, Sth Aust
Contact:

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Bearcx » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:21 pm

Hi Will, and welcome. Looking good so far, I'm liking the stance and don't think you need the raked triple clamps.
Front of the engine looks a bit high, but judgin from the old photos, doesn't seem to be any issues with oil pickup. It's just my brain. :lol:

Love the XP, used to have a 2 door. Wish I still had it............ :D
The brave may not live long, but, the cautious do not live at all.

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5672
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Prof » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:17 pm

My shovel is actually sprung, however, hard tail on a heavy Big Twin HD with sprung seat isn't too bad, but a lighter Triumph would be painful especially for the passenger.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

loulizard
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:45 am
Location: Bendigo
Interests: Cars Hot Rods Customs @ Harleys

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by loulizard » Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:16 pm

Looks good so far I like trumpet's too but my preferred style of Brit bike is a cafe racer,like your xs400. nice brings back memories but if we do today like we did back then, Ah the good old days!!! recall once at about 2:30AM on Calder Hwy..... Hwy patrol officer "how fast were you going sir?" me "About 240 k's constable" He "Close 244kph on the radar, why did you stop and wait I would never catch you" me "radio is faster than K100 next town divvy van across road" him " OK so how about I drop it to 129kmh & 3 points for common sense" me "OK thanks sir" fast forward to today "60 yo hoon" caught doing 144 kph over speed limit, bike impounded for his 3rd offence motorcycle crushed by police, should be locked up for endangering himself and other road users. But on an other note if you want to look real period I think I got a pair of flares like in the photo's of the 70's chops if you want to buy them. Lou

Spade8
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:10 pm
Location: Melbourne
Interests: I've been into bikes for 4 years, since moving to Melbourne. I grew up around hot rods and customs, owning an XP Falcon and Model T coupe which I couldn't bring with me to Melbourne.

I've had a few bike projects over the past few years, including a DT400 with a very hot engine, an XS 400, an XS650, and am currently building a 72 Triumph chopper.

I'm hoping to meet a few riding mates with choppers, and plan on racking up plently of long trips on the Trump!

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Spade8 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:28 am

Haha, although flares definitely would be 'period correct', I don't think I'm willing to take it that far!

So I've got the tank rubber mounted and primed, and am also working on a seat pan. (Thanks, local council!)

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I'm currently trying to work through a dilemma on whether or not to go with the 21" front wheel. Here's a photoshop of the 21" vs 19" (with sissy bar and lowered rear), although I do love the look of the 21" but I'm just not sure whether it's worth spending an extra $500 on. I could always go back and do it later, but with another new tyre means I'd be looking at $650 to get it done.

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I suppose the extra rubber on the 19" does give the bike a slightly tougher look, whereas the 21" looks more elegant. Tough choice!

loulizard
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:45 am
Location: Bendigo
Interests: Cars Hot Rods Customs @ Harleys

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by loulizard » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:01 pm

Nice seat pan pre-painted too. Stay with what you got re the front wheel save some $$$ for more important stuff you will need it. You can always fit a 21" later when you got some more readies. Like my build used 2 old rims with ride able rubber saved some big bikkies needed it for the motor & other stuff, bike projects are like yacht racing "standing in the shower tearing up $100 bills" cept we stand at the counter of a parts supplier payin for his new yacht!!

Youngblood
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:48 pm
Location: North-Eastern suburbs- Adelaide

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Youngblood » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:11 pm

I agree stay with what you got for now regarding front wheel, especially if you are a bit short on the money. You always can change it when you have got more money and if you change it later you will then know what the difference between the two wheel sizes is and then you can decide which size you like better. Good work so far, keep it up
8) 8) 8)
Youngblood

Spade8
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:10 pm
Location: Melbourne
Interests: I've been into bikes for 4 years, since moving to Melbourne. I grew up around hot rods and customs, owning an XP Falcon and Model T coupe which I couldn't bring with me to Melbourne.

I've had a few bike projects over the past few years, including a DT400 with a very hot engine, an XS 400, an XS650, and am currently building a 72 Triumph chopper.

I'm hoping to meet a few riding mates with choppers, and plan on racking up plently of long trips on the Trump!

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Spade8 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:53 am

Cheers!

Yeah I think that's good advice fellas. Who knows what kind of issues are hiding away in this bike!

I also thought of another reason to keep the 19 for the moment, which is these apparently crappy conical hub brakes. If I decide to go with a 21" later, I can lace it up to a better brake at the same time.

Bearcx
Posts: 1894
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 12:31 am
Location: Gawler, Sth Aust
Contact:

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Bearcx » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:58 pm

Smart thinking. 8)
The brave may not live long, but, the cautious do not live at all.

Spade8
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:10 pm
Location: Melbourne
Interests: I've been into bikes for 4 years, since moving to Melbourne. I grew up around hot rods and customs, owning an XP Falcon and Model T coupe which I couldn't bring with me to Melbourne.

I've had a few bike projects over the past few years, including a DT400 with a very hot engine, an XS 400, an XS650, and am currently building a 72 Triumph chopper.

I'm hoping to meet a few riding mates with choppers, and plan on racking up plently of long trips on the Trump!

Re: Triumph Chopper Build - Norcal Style

Post by Spade8 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:47 am

I've been reading this guys blog for the last few days, it's nice to see another young Aussie with a passionate interest in the hot rod/chopper scene and it's history! He has some pretty down-to-earth opinions, too :D

http://www.asitwasculture.blogspot.com.au/

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He said he was going riding to become a "dirty, scummy and hated of the world biker" back in 2011, I wonder where he's at now?

I hope you're killing it man 8)

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