Strength of frames and cycle parts.

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Sianelle

Guest
This type of lowrider bike is pretty much readily available in NZ .....

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/5433/lowrideroe9.jpg

I own a brand new frame and forks still in its wrapping which I obtained from a local company which closely specifies what it wants in the bikes they order from China. My one is gold toned rather than chrome, but I thought I would like to have a chrome fork so I ordered one through another importer. To my utter surprise the chrome fork when it arrived was utterly innocent of any bushing materials in its pivots. By contrast the gold toned one has all its pivot points bushed as well as an additional strengthening crossbrace. My other point of concern was that both forks seemed to be very lightweight in terms of the wall thickness of the tubing used.
Perhaps I'm too much of an old bike enthusiast and I tend to regard anything under 1/8th of an inch thick as being 'tinfoil'. Has anybody had problems with motorising this type of frame or with this style of fork? Should I just simply shut up, stop worrying and get on with it? Perhaps I should take up kite flying instead.......
 


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Dockspa1

Guest
So Sianelle, is that link to the same type frame you purchased? I like it. I would hate to have to put a happy time sprocket on those wheels. Too many spokes to fight with. Where did you order the cheapo forks from? Will they take them back? I'm curious to see a bronze chrome low rider.
Kites are dangerous in a storm!
 
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Sianelle

Guest
Unfortunately I purchased all the parts awhile ago then packed them up when I moved house out here in the countryside. It's too late now to start stamping around and complaining, but I guess I could ream out the pivot holes on the chrome fork and fit some bushings myself. At least I have the other fork to guide me so it shouldn't be too difficult.
I'd love to have a nice bronze bike too, but unfortunately the golden colour on my frame and forks is more watery yellow than anything else. When I purchased them I intended to repaint anyway which is why I didn't buy a chrome frame.
I really like those maxi-spoke custom wheels. They're very strong and I used a set on my first cargo trike just because of the loads I was carrying and I never had a moment's trouble with them. I must admit the 144 spoke ones are a bit down the road when it comes to trying to do anything with them. Even getting a tyre inflator on them is a right trick to achieve :???:
I think my approach would be to make an adaptor to take a sprocket for a pocket racer and thereby avoid the difficulty of trying to fit bolts between spokes & etc.

When my kids were small we were living on a rural block of land and kite flying was a major source of entertainment. There was a good steady breeze most of the time so it was easy to get a kite aloft; - and the other thing of course is that it costs very little to make a really good kite.
Kite flying in a storm? - Oh dear me no :eek: Much more fun to do it when the sun is shining :D
 
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Sianelle

Guest
Sorry no instant gratification camera available :(

Ok take another look at this lowrider with 20 inch wheels.......

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/5433/lowrideroe9.jpg

...... Did you have a really good look? Great. Now imagine if you will that the ape-hanger bars are gone along with the banana seat. Imagine that the frame and forks are painted a very dark green (I like green on retro bikes :D) instead of being chromed. Some small parts like the suspension spring are still chromed and most of the really noticeable bolts are stainless and are fitted with acorn nuts. Got all of that?
Now add in a good wide-butt single seat (got it off an old exercise machine) and a 24 inch front wheel running a 1.75 tyre. The rear wheel is still a 20 incher, but not with all those spokes. Fit up a set of straight handlebars from an old MTB and you're just about there.
I do intend to fit a petrol tank only I'm not too sure as to the shape I will use as yet. The engine will be a frame mount Homelite weedwacker which will be 'fun' to fit as this lowrider frame really lacks for room. Overall the general appearance is just how I like it with a strong track racer look. I've got her all try-bolted together up on my workbench btw and the next stage will be to sort the motor mounts and jackshaft. Crikey she's low though....... :eek:
 
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Dockspa1

Guest
Wow, my brain hurts after all that imagining! Ya, I sort of get the picture but it would make it easier if showed us the picture, you know, in picture laymens terms.
You know, looking at allthe spokes in the picture is nice but weight wise, you might as well have 24" hub caps welded in. It would probably be lighter.
Get the pics as you go and grow.
Doc
 
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Sianelle

Guest
The trouble is I like those 144 spoke wheels Doc :D

They are a very strong wheel and I will be using one on the back at least in light of my latest messings about in the workshop this afternoon. I'm afraid I had a wee bit of a hissy fit while I was working on figuring out how to get the Homelite engine to mount up in the frame. There was just going to have to be so much cutting and shaping of metal to get it to stay in place and the more I studied the horrible wee clockwork thing the faster I was coming to the conclusion that after all that work the result was going to be downright piteous.
Sooooo I got one of my Villiers engines down off the shelf and I discovered that the agricultural machine mounting plates that were attached to it were almost exactly perfect for the job. I will get some film tomorrow and take some official progress photos, but in the meantime I did this very swift and untidy picture in MS.Paint to show you wot I'm about.

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6411/lowriderworkingpicvz3.jpg

This particular engine has a very solid centrifugal clutch and the chainline is looking absolutely spot on. With the engine in position the crank arms and pedals clear the clutch and the big brass flywheel just nicely without having to modify anything. I will need to make a new intake manifold though, but that should be a nice wee project all of its own. It will also give me a chance to improve the engine's breathing a little too.

For the moment I've held fire on working on my Phillips-Villiers bike since it's going to be a much more exacting project because I'm aiming for a true vintage appearance and I definitely won't be laying MIG welds anywhere near its 50+ year old frame or doing anything that will ruin any of the old parts I'll be using. The Lowrider-Villiers flat tracker is going to be quite another story though :cool:
 
J

JemmaUK

Guest
The trouble is I like those 144 spoke wheels Doc :D

They are a very strong wheel and I will be using one on the back at least in light of my latest messings about in the workshop this afternoon. I'm afraid I had a wee bit of a hissy fit while I was working on figuring out how to get the Homelite engine to mount up in the frame. There was just going to have to be so much cutting and shaping of metal to get it to stay in place and the more I studied the horrible wee clockwork thing the faster I was coming to the conclusion that after all that work the result was going to be downright piteous.
Sooooo I got one of my Villiers engines down off the shelf and I discovered that the agricultural machine mounting plates that were attached to it were almost exactly perfect for the job. I will get some film tomorrow and take some official progress photos, but in the meantime I did this very swift and untidy picture in MS.Paint to show you wot I'm about.

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/6411/lowriderworkingpicvz3.jpg

This particular engine has a very solid centrifugal clutch and the chainline is looking absolutely spot on. With the engine in position the crank arms and pedals clear the clutch and the big brass flywheel just nicely without having to modify anything. I will need to make a new intake manifold though, but that should be a nice wee project all of its own. It will also give me a chance to improve the engine's breathing a little too.

For the moment I've held fire on working on my Phillips-Villiers bike since it's going to be a much more exacting project because I'm aiming for a true vintage appearance and I definitely won't be laying MIG welds anywhere near its 50+ year old frame or doing anything that will ruin any of the old parts I'll be using. The Lowrider-Villiers flat tracker is going to be quite another story though :cool:

Hi Sianelle,

Ah, the hissy fit - I had a few of those with the D7... I think it was about 5 or so... first we had that **** coaster brake alignment (gods did I feel stupid when the guy just picked up the wheel and twisted it all around again ).. then it was the wheel (ie getting everything lined up and not slicing my hands up/forgetting the belt during the process).. then we've had the suicide lightset (three times at present count)... The tanaka engine vibrates like anything at idle, enough to ring the bell on the handlebars!!

That lowrider rig looks brilliant - I do have a couple of questions though. Is it gonna be an engine only design? and is the engine going to mounted forward of the crank as shown? If so how are you going to stop the pedals taking your ankles apart at approx 3000rpm?

hope things are good with you

Jemma xx
 
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Sianelle

Guest
Flat track lowrider project

Hi Jemma. Yes The Villiers Engine is going to be mounted in the position in the picture. Last night when I closed the workshop door the bike was sitting on its wheels on my workbench with the engine accurately ziptied in place with the serious type industrial strength zipties I use for mock-up work. The cylinder barrel is at about a 45 degree angle tucked under the frame downtube and the overall appearance is very pleasing. The Villiers frame plates will be able to be used without modification.
The standard crankarms and pedals clear everything just nicely and I'll be sticking with the motor-bicycle format in that the whole bike can still be pedalled if I'm actually feeling that keen. So my ankles will be quite safe so long as the freewheel doesn't seize up :D
Personally I think the whole development of the motorcycle went downhill once they removed the pedals and it is the motor-bicycle that is the true Zen wind in your face machine.

http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/3624/bikemuseumwd5.jpg

I'm glad to hear your own bike is up and running Jemma, - but I'm a wee bit boggled at the thought of a motor-bicycle that can ring its own bell :eek:
 
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Dockspa1

Guest
I see now Sianelle. Don't worry about the film unless it's for your own gratification. It would be nice to see a step by step on such a rare bird as yours. Even though your engine is heavy it's still in the low center of gravity area so that shouldn't be a problem.
Keep at.
Cheerio, pip, pip and all that rot!
Doc
 
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Sianelle

Guest
Low C of G is very important to me Doc. I can remember all too clearly some of the ill-balanced Japanese motorcycles of the 70s & 80s and how difficult they were to control at low speeds. Never had a problem like that with my old Matchless 350 single or my Francis Barnett, - they were designed by sensible chaps who knew what they were doing.

'British steel forged for me.....
May I own a bike made from thee....'
 
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