VTX 1300... the works...

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5896
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

VTX 1300... the works...

Post by Prof » Mon May 20, 2019 11:08 pm

After an extensive phone conversation Rick brought in his VTX1300 for some rear end changes. These completed, he is determined to go the whole hog with rake and extended forks.

But first, the rear end...

And man does that fat backside even need slimming...!
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I encourage my customers to be as involved as possible and Rick got into the act, first being to remove his shockers and rear monstrosity Honda calls a rear guard...
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I pop the shocker in the press and compress it to get a figure for maximum tyre movement for ensuring the guard has the right amount of clearance; 30mm on full compression, enough to clear even on a hot day at speed when the tyre is expanded, and not more than needed to keep our profile as low as we can...
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temporary strut made to mimic full compression...
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Rick wants a tall sissy bar, so the next step is mounting brackets off the rear subframe...
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They are threaded for ease of assembly and disassembly. Bike is carefully levelled...
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Good riddance to one fat bugga!..
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Police generally use 45 degrees as the cutoff point for rear guards although there are now no specific regulations about length...
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Once marked, use the square...
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I made this mount for for holding tanks and guards years ago and it has served me well. Valve compressor works a treat for holding the guard firmly...
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How high Rick? This high!..
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Rick wants an old school victory sign on top...
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A few suggestions drawn of the concrete and a V sign in a circle wins out...
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I point out that a good angle for a passenger and for looks and it looks best if it lines up with or close to the rear axle...
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Marking the 16mm mild steel round bar we will use. It will be welded to the top of the brackets we have made...
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Angle being set up...
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Heated to cherry red and bent in the vice. Sharp bent achieved by keeping the red area short...
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Two bent pieces laid together to check the bends and to make sure the lengths are identical...
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Double checking the centricity of the wheel between the brackets by measuring both sides; within 5mm...
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Cut to length for height and now the top couple of inches need to be splayed out so the circle can rest in them...
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Heated and bent and now areas to be welded linished to remove surface rust...
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Now for the circle. On old small fire extinguisher will suit the inside diameter as a former. If you are into chopping bikes, it pays to keep all sorts of nick nacks that can be pressed into service...
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16mm round bar is heated and bent around the former, cut and now needs the ends lined up. A piece of bar is placed inside the circle and used as a lever to pull both ends into alignment...
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Chamfered ready to weld...
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When bending with heat, you don't always get things straight, so the press is put into service to do a flattening job...
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How's it look guys? Rick is sold. Seb on the left has been our cameraman today. Been here having left France some months back. Sissy bar now lightly tacked...
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Now to get the thing central (ie straight up and down, not cockeyed). Bike is rechecked for level, tyre centre marked and plumbob brought into action...
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The two pieces of bar do not meet, so once centre of tyre is marked same gap is texta'd onto tyre and plumbob checked and rechecked...
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To keep three pieces in the same plane, we clamp a piece of 16mm melamine in front...
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Rick holds while I tack...
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Now the bar sides can be more securely tacked...
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Looks pretty cool just like this...
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Now to mount the guard. Chain is laid over the tyre. To provide sufficient clearance we slip a thick leather belt under the chain. Now lay the guard on that...
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Front of guard needs to just clear the swing arm of full compression so we slide a piece of 12mm timber on the swing arm and rest the guard on it...
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Find centre of guard using the folding paper method (see previous TCS posts), so we can drill holes...
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... for the tail light and wiring. EEk! Look at that enormous muffler!..
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Guard mounts on the sissy bar. Curved ends weld to the rear curve of the sissy bar (blue arrow). One reason for this is that the bracket will add strength to a potential weak spot in the sissy bar; the heated bend...
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Tack welding brackets. Cardboard used for marking...
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Nuts are bronze welded to keep assembly/disassembly easy. One thinner guards I weld in threaded bar to spread the stress, but this is a thick guard...
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Old and new...
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Sissy bar welded and checked on floor for twist...
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At this point, though late in the day, Rick is getting enthused about how cool his bobtailed machine looks except for those horrible muflers. Has a gander at muffler options. Decides to see how this lot looks and picks the turnouts...
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Slide them on the header pipes. Hmm! Very loud for Mr Plod. Some extra baffles needed...
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Long ones are chosen and will slide inside headers. Pipes are inch and a half, so the adapter ring is needed for the muflers which are incha dn three quarter...
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All nicely set up. Definitely better...
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Some half inch copper pipe welded inside the guard will keep the wiring out of harms way. I usually use plastic tube glued in, but Rick is riding home tonight and glue would not be set in time...
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Bent with this device...
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Missed a couple of pics. Number plate and taillight mount all made in one piece from 3mm steel plate. When he comes back we will make up a 3mm ally plate to reinforce the number plate, but this will do for now as darkness has set in...
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Side view shows number plate lights which Rick 'just had to have'...
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Small steel brackets for indicators as this is a post '88 machine....
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Now off the stand at last and let's see how she sits...
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Rick is stoked and now determined so save up some of that elusive paper called money and give it the full chopper treatment. He'll be here in three weeks so we can rake the front end. Keep posted.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5896
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: VTX 1300... the works...

Post by Prof » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:39 pm

Back onto the VTX. Lionell stripped the front end of the bike and it looks a hundred times better already... in fact a genuine bobber.

40's through 60's American bikes were all fat and heavy although not quite as extreme as this modern Japanese copy. Rear guards got bobtailed, and front guards, big lights and tinware got junked. Bobbers and choppers of the era were all about lighter more agile, not great heavy framed fat tailed behemoths. Oops! Forgive me for I am a 70's chopper jock through and through and through!

I got Rick up to have a look and work out with me what he wants. As any of you who have had work done here would know, I give you ALL possible (practical) options and so it was with Rick. He wants it as raked out and long as possible well past the RRule, and with a springer planned in the future when he can afford it. In the mean time telescopics will have to do. He also wants to be able to pull the bike back to legality if defected.

This narrows things down a bit. Means 3 degree raked cups, means pre 1988 HD steering head.

We will set the chopper up so that with the cups reversed the chopper will sit on the 550 RR if getting a defect taken off, butcan then have 6 degrees extra rake when cups are set forwards.

I have a set of 8" over 35mm forks in massively wide triple trees and standard narrow glide triple trees to match. Will have to find a 19" front wheel to suit narrow glide... and he wants twin front discs. Anyone got a wheel of that description they'd like to part with as I have recently sold my last one?

Rick's happy with this, "but I want it as long as possible"...
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So yesterday we get back into it. For raked front ends I now use a big 1" sheet of particle board with a centre line marked on it. Bike is jacked on four jacks so the wheels just touch the board. This makes it easier to set up the exact rake we need as we don't have to calculate for fork collapse of an inch or so as the weight of the bike comes on the forks. Get the bike roughly level...
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...and measure existing RR which =410mm which will reduce by about 10mm when weight of chopper is on the forks... gives us 150mm to play with the cups in the reverse position...
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Chopper to be is now clamped down. Each short piece of chain wraps around the frame tube and hooks on one end of the turn buckle...
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Bobber is now carefully levelled. A spirit level off the wheel is the most accurate way. The small rectangle of particle board is permanently screwed to the spirit level to set it out from the wheel...
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Turnbuckles and a small sledge are used to get the rear wheel...
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... and steering head centred. Turnbuckles are thenscrewed tight so bobber can't move...
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Here are the 8" over forks in their wide trees. Narrow trees to be used are on the floor...
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When dismantling the forks we discover the tube spacers are too short, so there is no pretension on the springs; meaning the springs will sag too much with the chopper's weight on them. We could use forks a few inches longer and use shorter spring spacers to get within the 550, but bobber sits just right (level) now...
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Make some new spacers 30mm longer. Could be a bit more, but because we will be pulling them apart a few times in the build will settle for something a bit easier to deal with...
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Set the front end up with the axle 150mm forwards to see how much the steering head needs to be raised..
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Challenge with the VTX steering head is that it is about 30mm longer than the HD steering head (145mm long). With a bit of ingenuity we can get to within 5mm which is fine for both standard HD forks and springers...
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VTX steering head is also considerably wider than HD. This all means that we can shorten the VTX steering head and machine up a sleeve to fit inside it. A very good solution as I prefer to not have to cut off a steering head if I can leave it be.

Steering lock is cut off and ground back so it can be tapped in with a hammer and drift... gently as we don't want to move the bike on its jacks...
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To raise steering head and give us the rake we need for the extra 150mm, the rear of the back bone will have a narrow 'V' cut out of it. Needs to be cut square or steering head will pull out of line...
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Thin wedge cut. Always ere on the side of caution. You can always cut more out, but will have a mess if you take out too much the first time...
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While I have been doing this, Lionel is cutting off an ugly padlock bracket off the bottom of the steering head...
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Now to cut the down tubes leaving plenty of tube each side for the slugs that will lock it all together again. First step is to mark the cut with a pipe cutter...
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Now very patiently cut along the mark with only 3mm of the blade in the steel to reduce the easy trap of going crooked. Each down tube is cut all around but for a couple of mm. Then very carefully cut into the final pieces. Steel invariably springs apart, to the side or pulls tight. You don't want to jam that fast moving blade...
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Forks are now slid into the steering head and wheel put on and set over our 150mm mark. Perfect! and looks pretty cool to! What a change!
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Now for the insert in the steering head. We use a small square to get the top even. It is trimmed down as far as possible so the bearing cups will just fit and not foul the backbone...
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Interior burrs are removed with a file. The steering lock hole would have originally been punched, so metal needs to be removed to allow our insert to be a close fit. End up having to use the die grinder to get the job done...
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Insert (bearing cup carrier) machined to fit in the VTX steering head and internally to fit the bearing cups. A piece of pressure pipe has very close dimensions and needs minimal machining...
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VTX steering head is drilled so the sleeve can be plug welded...
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The steering head has to be shortened and I do most of this at the bottom because the steering head has more weld area attaching it here. Hole that appears at the bottom is filled with a shaped piece of 3mm angle (in foreground). This has now been welded in and once the weld is tidied up, the bottom bearing cup with be inserted in the carrier. Carrier won't be welded until we have set everything up for minus 3 degrees and 550RR. Then it will be turned 180 degrees for the extra 6 degrees. Monday's job.
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Chopit'nrideit... Prof

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