Building bikes was simple until Harley-Davidson threw in a
myriad of models, new engine configurations and now
the axles are larger, which fucked with the bearings, sprockets,
rotors, frames, etc. At one time we all built rigids, using the
frames and components. That lasted for 20 years. I digress. It
ain't so no
Kent used a JIMS tool to remove the belt pulley.
We're running a traditional chain on this Harley-Davidson 5-
Two dissimilar elements kicked off this build, new 1-inch
axle, Harley-Davidson spoked wheels with contoured rims, that
shook the industry, and a retro rigid frame from Kraft Tech, set
up for a 3/4-inch rear axle. Kent, the master builder behind
Lucky Devil Metal Works knew just what to do. He replaced the
stock 1-inch sealed bearings with sealed 3/4-inch units.
Using a JIMS tool to remove and press in the new 3/4-inch
sealed bearings with
the center spacer inbetween.
"Sealed bearings are kick ass," Kent told me. "Timkens need
to be set up with .002-.006 end play, but sealed bearings have
no need for end play, but the center spacer must be perfect. If
the center wheel spacer is too small it will roast those puppies
For 3/4-inch axles Kent makes his center tubes out of
1-inch DOM mechanical tubing with a 3/4-inch I.D. for a
comfortable slip fit. "You don't want a sloppy spacer banging
in there or fucking with wheel balancing," Kent explained and
tried to hit me with a ball peen hammer, 'cause I was about to
touch something I shouldn't.
Kent made a new axle for the rear wheel and an aluminum
cap with a counter-bored hex nut fastener. He also makes his
own thick wheel spacers. "That gives them a more solid grip on
frame," said Kent.
Most of the current sprockets are built for 3/4-inch axles or
Timken bearing wheels, and he needed to open the centering
hole to fit the late model hub.
"I believe the old standard sprockets have a 1.999 hole,"
Kent said, "and the new units have a 2.210 hole." Fortunately
the fastener holes are the same."
Kent likes PBI sprockets. "They afford me several
options," Kent said, while machining our sprocket. "They have
lots of offset
options for the trans or rear wheel and I like the aluminum rear
Alignment is critical and Kent began the process with
the engine and trans in place, loose. Then he bolted up the
primary, centered the rear wheel and aligned the sprockets.
Since we're going to run a BDL belt system in the primary,
the stock bearing had to be removed and replaced with a sealed
Seat Pan Installation:
Next came the Lucky Devil seat pan, hand made by
to fit the lovely Sin Wu. "I cut a chunk out of flat mild steel, 14-
guage sheet and worked it over with an air hammer to develop
the shape, with the owner's ass in mind."
I snatched up the ball peen hammer.
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from Lucky Devil
"I didn't mean it that way," Kent said regarding Sin Wu's
nice ass. "I do consider the owner's ass, body style, arm and
length as I build and mount any seat system."
We also discussed how the seat impacts the gas tank,
the oil tank, the battery and the rear fender. All these elements
need to be considered for proper fit.
After he built the seat pan he mounted the Fab Kevin seat
hinge system and Rocky's, Pure Kustom, valve spring suspension
system. "I used 1-inch medium body foam on her seat," Kent
explained. "It's pink. I like pink."
He glued the foam in place then shaped it with a
Scotchbrite 3-inch wheel. While I ground my teeth over the
"Pink" comment, he explained that there are various foam
alternatives. "For a round-town bike I use a stiffer foam," Kent
said. "For longer distance projects I use unifoam, which
combines a softer foam on top molded to a stiff foam on the
Kent handily mounted the Pure Kustom seat suspension
system, but we decided to relive the process through Rocky
Felis's web site, with his shots:
This shows the carefully machined aluminum
spring cup and how the spring locks into place.
This shot shows how the springs twist/snap into
With the spring unit put together and seat tabs bolted on
with supplied fasteners, Rocky places the system and marked
the seat tab location. He tacked them and remove
system before final welding was applied.
Then the system needed to be put back together and
on the seat so the frame tabs can be tacked.
Here's this slick puppy ready to tack. We'll bring you another
Root Beer Float installment shortly.