Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever -
Monday Edition

5-Ball Racing, Bonneville 2010, Part 8

Working with the Paughco Frame and Engine Mod Obstacles

By Bandit with photos by Lee Clemens
6/11/2010 2:23:41 PM

Share this story:

DBW banner

Old flathead
Here's a classic flathead from the racing days on Daytona Beach, courtesy of the Bob T. collection. Chassis Adjustment

This year seems to be kicking off slowly. Lee Clemens' Departure Bike Work's team is buried in snow, bad cameras, and struggling with a slow economy. We finally rolled the Bonne Belle onto Andrew's lift. Andrew is the master fabricator at DBW. But there's actually nothing plodding about this year. Days are scrambling past. Bonneville is just around the corner and check this:

Our Mascot for the year, by Chris Kallas.

All New Mojave Mile

That’s right – standing-start, flat out speed, as fast as you can go in ONE MILE! In conjunction with the Mojave Air and Space Port, a private airfield in Mojave, CA, we will host the first ever Mojave Mile Shootout event on March 6, 2010. This facility features a 12,000’ runway which will allow for very fast speeds (250+ mph) and a comfortable braking margin. Since Mile Shootout racing is already very popular in Texas, the Midwest, and the East Coast, we look forward to being the premiere site for Mile Shootouts in the West! While the premiere of the Mojave Mile is scheduled to be a one-day event, future events will be 2-3 days long and will attract up to 300 participants!

The Mojave Mile will be open to both cars and motorcycles, and, as the event grows in popularity, is forecasted to be held multiple times per year. Mark your calendar to attend one of the most exciting new racing venues in the country!

MKM Racing Promotions, LLC
9850 S Maryland Parkway, Suite A5-143
Las Vegas, NV 89183-7146
Phone 702-614-6108
Fax: 702-614-6109

Departure has been open for over 30 years and is a complete bike shop. You name it, they can handle it, from service, engine rebuilds (any H-D engine model or year), performance work, frame modifications, drag racing, sheet metal fabrication, sales, parts and parties.

I put the chassis together at the Bikernet Headquarters, including the sheet metal, and Lee was handling the engine rebuild. Everything has changed. We started with a stock 45 flathead, which we planned to run with two front heads for a dual carb 45. We shifted to installing a K-model top end for better breathing.

Then we started to chase parts, including performance cams. I gusseted the frame, powder coated it, and set up the sheet metal. I shipped the whole roller with Performance Machine wheels and rear brakes to Richmond, Virginia. Then I took a trip to Carson City, Nevada to visit the brothels and have a meeting with the boss of Paughco. Ron Paugh showed me his new 45 flathead frame designed to hold most big twin 4 or 5-speed transmissions.

Hell, I had cajoled Fatbob into donating a 4-speed Triumph transmission after we attempted installing a cut-away Sportster tranny in the stock frame. That won't work.

Ron offered to build us a stretched single-loop Pauchco 45 frame for the Bonne Belle. What could be better? So the Hull Street Meanies from Departure Biker Works tore my roller down (the stock 45 frame and sheet metal is for sale to support our Bonneville effort).


Andrew and Stephen set up the rear axle, then the Performance machine brakes and rear wheel.




They installed the narrow glide front end after installing the Pauchco Timken bearing neck cups. Their plan was to install the stock gas tanks for a classic look and I'm about to ship them an Air Tech fiberglass partially streamlined fairing.


The soon to be shipped and modified, AirTech fairing.

Actually, Lee has the stock 45, 3-speed transmission and a running, rebuilt 45 flathead engine, so my parts and piece are rapidly becoming a complete vintage bike kit for sale. It may also have a title. Check with Lee at Departure.

Major gap between the wheel and the case.

In the meantime Lee is still messing with the engine. Since we went with the K-model top end (the precursor to the Sportster) we could feasibly run a late model Sportster lower end for strength and performance. We could also run Sportster connecting rods and pistons. Plus, that allowed us to install Timken bearings on the output motor shaft. For a measly 45 cubic inch engine this was becoming severely complicated.

Lee used a valve spring to hold the bottom end firmly in place. You can see the Timken protruding.

As it turned out the bottom end was too wide for the cases and the Timken bearings stick out of the left hand case. Lee machined a cap for the bearings but we're still grappling with the bottom end.

Lee was forced to remove this shoulder.

Polished Sportster rods.

Lee polished the connecting rods first, then shot-peened them for enhanced surface tension. The 45 left case was machined for Timken bearing set and races. When he discovered the problem with the bottom end, he machined the shoulder off the mainshaft for additional clearance.

The pinion shaft race.

He also had to machine down the pinion shaft race to allow for a Thrust surface on the right. Next we will bring you an update on the engine build and Andrew will be working on transmission mounting and alignment with the engine.

Another 5-Ball Cheerleader by Chris Kallas.

BDL has all the specs and they are building us a narrow belt drive and performance clutch for this application. I need to ship out the Air Tech fairing, then we need to hire a midget to ride it, or determine if Valerie will fit.

Gearing up for a run at the salt, courtesy of the Bob T. collection.


Hang on for Assalt Weapan tuning, then perhaps a run at the Mojave Mile before Bonneville.

Paughco Banner


Share this story:

Back to 2010 Bonneville Effort, 5-Ball Bonneville Racing

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.