Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Regulations in each state are based on ADR's but states differ in application and interpretation. (Previous Chopper chat articles have been shifted to this new section). Ask your questions here...
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Colstah
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Colstah » Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:39 pm

Hi all

Not been here for a while, I joined the forums some time ago when I was looking for some advise on modifying my old sporty, then other things took priority.......

Anyways, I'm looking at it again. Probably a bit of a pretender compared to many here. I don't think I'll ever build a real chopper, but I'm looking to modify that old sporty. I was reading the requirements for motorcycles from SA Gov (here https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/transport- ... quirements) and this bit got my attention....

"However, under certain circumstances, motorcycles not fitted with a compliance plate may be eligible for an exemption and full registration. Exemption may be given for:

imported motorcycles that meet requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act administered by the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services
one-off new construction motorcycles
motorcycles operated by primary producers for agricultural purposes
ADR certified motorcycles fitted with a replacement frame, or if the compliance plate has been damaged."

So, does anyone have an opinion or knowledge of how the rego dept would view it if I got an aftermarket hardtail sportster frame and fitted all the OEM parts to it? Seems to me it would be an ADR certified motorcycle fitted with a replacement frame.

My idea would be to get it legally rego'd like this, then tweak it a bit as i went.......

jsalt
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:47 pm
Location: aberfoyle park sa

Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by jsalt » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:26 pm

I had to get the exemption done on my sporty, Only had to get it exempt due to that the plate was not their. you should ring the inspection place that do tier 1 inspections. Tell them you brought a bike and that the last owner put new frame So frame numbers don't match. If new frame has the plate, might be able to just get it checked and police give you papers to give to rego Sa. I'm sure the prof will post something re this stuff.
Jon
I hear voices and they have some good ideas!

Prof
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Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Prof » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:02 pm

What year is your sporty?
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Colstah
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Colstah » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:27 pm

Sorry, should have stated the year.

It's a '92...... old to me, I guess, not actually an old sportster, as my description might have suggested!!

So it's after '77, with all the compliance requirements that entails.......

Prof
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Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Prof » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:12 am

I should have also asked what kind of frame you are planning to purchase.

If you are going to stay relatively mild the change will be easier than wild.

There are some easy options and also some more expensive and complicated ones.

Give RTA a call and ask what they require. Your sporty frame IS damaged and you can't afford the stock replacement.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Colstah
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Colstah » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:00 am

Thanks for the replies, gents.

Prof, I'm thinking hardtail because I really prefer that look, although I might yet go with a swingarm. Either way, I'd also prefer to have a bit more rake that standard, but I know I need to think about the 550 rule. Some stretch would be ideal, but I think that's pushing it...

Mild, not wild. My goal would be to get as much 'chop' as I could, but with bolt on bits, more or less, I don't fancy going down the ICV route, it looks like too many hurdles, and too much cost.

I'll give the RTA a call, as you suggest....

El Skitzo
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Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by El Skitzo » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:28 am

Hello ICV :wink:
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

Prof
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Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Prof » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:15 pm

I have -put this up as a permanent post on 'Fits'nBits, General...' as I have said these same sorts of things in numerous posts. Also added some other info and some pics.

For diagrams explaining rake and trail, go to our website "Definitions" page.

Rake...

Standard rake on most bikes is around 30 degrees. A bike with stock rake is designed to be light handling and quick into corners around town. The downside if you like relaxed cruising is it needs to be continuously 'steered'. A large number of stock bikes including surprisingly, many current model cruisers will soon pick up a wobble in the front end if you take both hands off the bars (ooh sorry Mr Plod... we're not allowed to do that!) indicating they are not stable at speed. Stock bikes tend to be much more tiring to ride than choppers on the open road. They also do not do well with irregularities, potholes, bricks and other road debris in comparison to a chopper.

Raked front ends... 40 degree rake and 6' extended telescopics with a 19" front wheel should be just within the 550 RidikuluzRool. This will give you a very stable, safe and easy cruising bike. At walking pace the steering feels heavy (wheel wants to flop), but it is quite controllable. It is not noticeable at anything over jogging pace. On the highway it will feel like it is 'on rails'. I like to say getting on my shovel with the above dimensions is like getting into a taxi. You tell it where you want to go and sit back and enjoy the ride!

An excellent compromise is 35 degree rake and 4" over front end. Bike will stay fairly level, be light handling at low speed and noticeably more stable on the open road. this set u will be well within the 550RR.

45 degree rake will require 8"-10" extended forks. The steering will be heavy as you come to a stop, but beautifully stable on the open road. Over 40 degrees telescopic forks tend to get 'sticky' and don't respond to normal road roughness as well. Over 40 degrees rake, springer or girder forks are recommended. Their action is not affected by rake.

The more rake and therefore the greater angle of the forks, the better telescopics respond to pot holes, kerbing big bumps etc They compress rather than try to fold back or twist to the side as on a stock rake... a safety factor I think. Increased rake and trail improves steering in the dirt and sand.

Girders and springers move the axle forwards a couple of inches. To keep with in the 550RR you can't go over 4" and about 33 degree rake. Most modern springers work well even at speed. Early ones (without extra set of springs to counter harmonic balance) could 'pogo' which usually meant a painful or terminal 'highside'.

Achieving rake... Dropping the rear end of a sports bike can add 3-5 degrees to your rake. Cutting the neck or lengthening down tubes (better way) can be used to increase rake. RTA requires engineering and inspection for frame mods. Raked cups provide a way of adding 3 degrees or rake without frame mods and inspections

3 degree raked steering head bearing cups... These replace stock HD (and some other popular brands) bearing cups They can be used to increase rake by 3 degrees or reduce rake by 3 degrees depending which way you install them. Some enterprising chopper builders use them in reverse to get through RTA and then put them back in the way they are meant to go.

Raked triple trees... are a definite no/no on any front end that is legal in Australia. They drastically reduce trail ... the whole point of rake in the first place. They reduce trail and increase instability. Want to set yourself up for a highside? Go with these and don't let anyone tell you different. Raked triple trees (or extended rockers on a springer are only beneficial when rake trail is past 10". They are used to reduce wheel flop and heavy low speed steering on big rakes. Some bike owners with raked trees have told me they handle well, but are talking about lightness of steering rather than safe highway riding.

21" front wheel... Replacing a 19" front wheel with a 21 incher will increase wheel flop and effectively move axle forwards (Beware 550RR). You will note that classic choppers (see CA website Galleries) often had 18" or even 17" front wheels. this was specifically to reduce low speed heaviness and wheel flop.

Steering lock... raking your steering head increases wheel base and means your wheel will tilt more as you turn it. Turning circle increases as a result. Look at classic choppers and you will see that their tanks are set further back form the steering head than a stock bike. This was done to allow extra steering lock to be built in by modifying fork stops. If you are going to extend forks and rake the neck, increase your lock as much as you can. This will be particularly helpful when manoeuvring your chopper between cars or around your workshop and yard.

Trail...

Trail (see Definitions page) is basically the distance of your axle ahead of the steering axis (think of shopping trolley wheels).

The more trail the more resistant your wheel is to a turning force. The obvious example being a stone or brick on the road. The wheel will both resist being turned also and return to its original direction quicker and more forcefully, so you will more likely stay on the bike. Excessive trail can cause the wheel to over correct, but this is past what any Aussies will ever be able to do.

Rake & approximate trail
28 degree trail (typical stock bike) and 19" wheel =2½" trail
35 degree rake (telescopics), 19" wheel = 6" trail
35 degree rake (springer), 19" wheel = 4" trail
40 degree rake (teles), 19" wheel = 8" trail
45 degree rake (teles), 19" wheel = 10" trail

Telescopic forks all have a forward offset. This varies bike to bike but usually between 50mm and 60mm. This affects the trail figures above but only by 10mm max Trail bikes usually have less offset which increases trail over a stock road bike for better handling in the sand and dirt. Springers do not have forwards offset, but axle is moved well forwards by the rocker length.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Colstah
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Colstah » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:03 pm

Thanks Prof

I was aware of some of that stuff, I've been punching numbers into the RB Racing rake and trail calculator, but your explanation and personal experience makes it much easier to understand.

So, in your experience, how difficult do you think it would be to get my bike legally registered if I just replaced the frame with a hardtail, raked to about 35 degrees with maybe a little stretch, but otherwise everything else on it would be pretty much standard sportster, and/or meeting all the regulatory requirements. Am I right in assuming all the OEM stuff would have to meet these requirements because they're original equipment and that only the frame needs some sort of engineers certification? Is the manufacturer able to provide any sort of certification?

Or does it become an ICV job, and so need to meet 2014 requirements (which are probably much the same as they were in '92)? Yes, El Skitzo, I could always seeing it go this way too. It would be too easy to just change a frame, the fun police would never let that happen.... !!

Prof
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Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by Prof » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:30 pm

If you take the bike to RTA you will have to abide by current rules including e marked lights, indicators, labelled switches, side stand flip up requirements, handlebar height decibel limits.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

El Skitzo
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Location: Perth, WA

Re: Replacing the frame, is this legal?

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:54 am

Colstah wrote:Or does it become an ICV job, and so need to meet 2014 requirements (which are probably much the same as they were in '92)? Yes, El Skitzo, I could always seeing it go this way too. It would be too easy to just change a frame, the fun police would never let that happen.... !!
I cannot seeing go any other way than an ICV because you're not replacing the frame with one the same as what was originally the case. I wish it was that easy I really do, as I would have gone down that path already myself if it was.

Maybe other states are different but in WA that would not fly.
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

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