Un-wilding Rob's wild sporty...

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5625
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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Un-wilding Rob's wild sporty...

Post by Prof » Wed May 03, 2017 7:30 pm

Rob picked this 84 iron head sporty up at an auction. It came off a farm on the Eyre Peninsular in SA. Very farmish; old steel tractor seat and some really rough bits and pieces and a lot of surface rust including a rusty old cast iron plough seat. We got it fired up after playing around with the carby and wiring. Front end has "a wiggle in the hips and a giggle in the lips!" The back legs are actually loose in the bottom triple tree. No welding so different to anything I've seen. Rockers are also very loose . They are longer than most, which reduces the trail and flop. Their shape also puts the axle too low. Axle should be higher than the rear pivot point. The higher the axle the less the flop. 21" front wheel on long forks also makes for heavy low speed handling.
The widest western bars I've seen (on a narrow chopper not only look ridiculous but would make it a pig to try to ride. Look up 70's 80's choppers with very long forks and you'll see they all have narrow bars and usually pullbacks and very long forks often had tiller bars. A good reason for this, the longer the forks the narrower and more pulled back the bars...
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But with its bird shooter pipes, sure looks cool...
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Crazy wide western bars. Exhausts wobble all over the place...
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When buying an old chopper (or any bike for that matter) you will often find dodgy workmanship like the cables in the next two photos. A CB750 I bought had had a broken clutch cable which was 'repaired' by mig welding a nut to the clutch end of the cable. Broke after 30k's!
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7/8 handle bar fittings filed out to 'fit' on 1" bars...
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Forwards for 6'10" bloke. VEry flexible and pushed out of the way when any pressure put on them. Check out how you would operate the foot clutch! Hard tailed frame however was really well done and 53 degree rake job also very neat...
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Got started on the front end on Monday. Pulled off the wheel and rockers. Front legs are most easily removed by compressing them with a G or F clamp so the nut doesn't take off into orbit...
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Lower section of back legs are fine threaded and attached to the section between the triple trees via a matching threaded plug. Really nicely done...
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The components laid out. All threaded, no welding. Top triple tree lost at some stage and a rough one made but does not fit will and does not have a matching set up to retain it...
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Rockers have needle bearings running on shoulder bolts. Original spacers had been lost and then were held to gether with odd washers and nuts. Note the reduced section on the bottom of the upper leg which fits snugly in the bottom tree...
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So the springer is very well made, though at 15" over on such a rake I would be a little tentative about riding it on rough roads. We need to reduce the rake and shorten the springer. Pity cos it sure looks great.

Registration is going to be our challenge. Forks are too long, rake is too great for poor old Nanny Oz. Any springer is always difficult to keep within the Ridikulus550Rool let alone this one with its long rockers.

What I want to try is 38-40 degree rake along with removing 6" off the springer. I'll try for making a set of curved rockers to raise the axle at least 3-4" above the rear pivot. combine this with the 18" wheel shown here and we should be able to keep some of the chopper's style but not attract undue attention. Combining this with 3 degree raked bearing cups that can be reversed if there is ever a problem is the plan. Spoke to Rob n the phone tonight and he is happy with this approach, so we'll see how it all pans out...
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Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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