Well we are finally getting onto the Sunday bit of our intrepeid chopper jockey's build...
Struts and rear guard are on and there is no turning back. Sissy bar and taillight are completed. Now he has to get his new mufflers on before Monday morning or the old ones will be dragging everytime he tries to make a turn...
He has been able to pick up two sets of cheap second hand mufflers...
This is a set of aftermarket torpedos often used on Harleys... and unfortunately they have a large inlet pipe diameter as a result. Although they look great, a couple of bent pieces of exhaust will have to be found as well as sleeving the pipe up ¼" to match the mufflers.
Here is a genuine set of early seventies tulip megaphones. They have been dechromed to see if the metal is thick enough to rechrome... unfortunately not. A new matching set could be made by local motorcycle exhaust shop but will cost $150 each.
These are the right diameter and nicely upswept, so will get a heat proof paint job and get used for the time being.
This exhaust/rear footpeg subframe needs modifying. It is way too close to the ground and is in the way of the mufflers. Rear footpegs will be mounted on the bottom strut mount.
Cut them off to new length. On this side a bit needs to be left to hold the brake return spring... It will be left open for the time being as our chopper jock is going to set up forward controls with a cable running all the way back to the brake lever. This bit will then be cut off.
Top piece of tubing has been left a bit longer so we can close off the end. First step is to slice some tube out so a flap remains. Flap needs to be long enough to fold back across whole tube. If you are doing thins for the first time, practice on a scrap piece so you don't end up too short.
Flap is hammered across opening....
Excess flap is cut off ready for a bracket for muffler and to be welded closed. If you look closely, you'll see a groove has been ground around the join to be welded. This will allow weld to remain after it is filed smooth...
The only way to accurately get your mufflers level is to level the chopper with wedges and a spirit level and then measure from the floor with a tape.
Now for the brackets to hold the mufflers on. All brackets that hold any weight should be made from steel bar a minimum of 1" x 4mm thick.
They have been measured for approximate length and now need to be made. When doing brackets, always measure from the centre of the hole. When making a single hole bracket, mark and drill the hole first and then measure and cut to length.
Here we have used a verniers to find the centre of the bar and then reset it to the correct length to measure equally in from the end. This marks the hole's centre.
Start with a centring bit, expensive but invaluable, as drill bits wander badly without it. Even a centre punched hole will not be accurate.
This is the easiest and neatest way to finish the end of a bracket... unless you are following a theme in which case all brackets might end in a 'spade' or 'clubs' shape or a point. If you don't possess a verniers (shame!) use a washer as a guide.
When doing a pair of matching brackets, you may as well do both together then cut them into two... saves time.
1mm cutting disc allows you to cut most of the curve with angle grinder.
Finish the job with a file or get the missus to give you a 'Multitool" as your Chrissy present ... early!
Note neatly arrassed edge, done in a single sweep around the wheel.
Two identical brackets almost ready for welding...
They've just needed a bit of a twist in the vice using a large adjustable spanner. Pint has to be cleaned off the tube before welding, to ensure good penetration and lack of impurities weakeing the weld...
Welded on and weld finished off with a file or diegrinder. Even if you do reallly neat welds, cleaning up your job like this (don't rmove all the weld!) is the difference between a ho hum job and an 'outasight' one that shows true craftsmanship... just takes a little longer and a bit more care...
Job done. Mufflers painted and bolted on and the chopper is ready for the coming week.
Man this feels grrrreat! Am I ever one cool dude! Even his temporary seat (cushion and some lambswool) beats the stocker hands down. Our chopper jockey is already starting to feel pretty good about his bike. This is no longer another bike that's sjut the same as the others. And, at a glance it's starting to spell 'chopper'.
OH! and just a note about sissy bar angle. Some guys plan to make their sissy bar the same angle of the forks. Not a good idea for two reasons. 1. It's meant to be leant on by your passenger and that angle will have them leaning back dangerously and putting too much weight over the back axle. 2. For pure looks, your eye will be led off the bike and out into the distance way above and behind. If you keep your sissy bar more towards the vertical as we have done here, the eye is led back over the bike for another look... Guys like Rembrandt and all the other old masters knew this trick and used it in every paintingand sculpture they did... and a chopper IS a sculpture
The coming week he'll be planning next weekend's moves. He'll attack the front end this time.
Well our chopper jock will be spending a lot of nights sitting down with his bike and working out just what has to be done, so all is ready for the weekend.
1. He's picked up a 'Bates' style bottom mount headlight for $20 and will pick up a nice 65/55 +30 globe for it ($15) for some good night vision.
2. He's found a pair of his old man's ape hangers from the seventies... bit bent, but ok. They are a bit high so he'll cut them down and swing the arms back to be more of a pull back style.
3. Speedo/tacho/ignition switch junk will go so he's going to have to partially rewire it as well.
Luckily the coming week end is a long weekend, cos he'll be flat out getting that all done. His mates want him to come for a day run, but no way. He's got the bug and nothing is going to deter him from getting his little chopper looking 'the goods' and that means getting the front end cleaned up and as soon as possible putting a 21" front wheel up front that a mate has traded with him in exchange for some welding.
Just time for a few hour's run around the back blocks on his new look machine getting ready for the week ahead. It's been a hard weekend and he can't wait to feel the wind in his face on his neat low machine.