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5-Ball VL,XA,FL Knucklehead build, Part 3

Struggled for a while, but am now making progress

by Bandit with photos by Weed
3/24/2023


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I’m facing a number of challenges. I’ve also faced some pressure lately and I don’t like to associate pressure or stress with building motorcycles. Hell, I moved to motorcycle Nirvana in the Black Hills to duck the bullshit California riders face daily.

I thought I could just tinker in the shop in Sturgis for hours unencumbered, without anxiety or worry, especially in the winter. I don’t have a deadline for this bike, what gives? Hell, I don’t know. I started to lean on myself to get shit done, so that’s why I’m writing about it, so I face the music and stop. Okay, did it work? We’ll see. Here’s a thought from our Mindfulness Master in Australia:

 
Encouraging people to adopt a growth mindset, practice mindfulness, and build a support system can be effective ways to help them build their resilience and ability to handle stress.


 
A growth mindset is the belief that one's abilities and intelligence can be developed and improved through dedication and hard work. By encouraging people to adopt a growth mindset, they are more likely to view challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as personal failures.


 
This can help them develop a more positive outlook on life and increase their resilience in the face of adversity.



Irish Rich came over and suggested that I run a Sportster headlight and it just happens I dug one out of my headlight box. I’m using my Smithy Lathed more every week and my new Vulcan TIG welder. The bracket for the headlight caused me to use multiple shop tools from cut-off wheels, grinders, lathe, TIG, you name it.



A neighbor came by with an old taillight and I pondered mounting it to the sissybar or the fender. I was able to mount it to the fender after brazing to fixed the cracked body and then heating and bending. Irish Rich recommended using a Radiantz LED insert for the taillight, brake light. They are supposedly indestructible. So far they are out of stock, but I'm working with them.



I used a portion of the original front fender strap for mounting the fender to the sissybar. I still can’t mount the fender to the frame or sissybar until the driveline is aligned, but we’re getting close.

Top is the fender bracket and the bottom the seat spring set. They had to go.
Top is the fender bracket and the bottom the seat spring set. They had to go.





Here's the newer version pieces for the seat spring set.
Here's the newer version pieces for the seat spring set.



I made a front, under-the-seat,  fender mounting tab and spent hours on it. Now it looks like I won’t be using it. Actually, that’s okay. The newer version will be improved. I now have all the pieces and tools to make my copper and brass oil tank, and I needed to move that bracket.



I also made a seat tab and swivel for the front of the seat. I’m trying to use as many mechanical pieces as possible for an old machinery vibe. I made the rear mounting and spring system using a set of Panhead valve springs for suspension. I moved the seat back almost 4 inches for my tall self. Again, I wasn’t happy with some elements of the spring and support tab. I tossed it and started over. Same system but different components.



These look like old cot springs.
These look like old cot springs.



John M. came over and we tinkered with the pipes after we installed a mock-up Transmission. The pipes are very quirky. I can’t decide if I like them or not. The other issues include the foot controls and rider pegs.




I milled my crossover line and made progress, then decided to move everything forward several inches. I had a plan to avoid attaching anything other than the regulator to the front motor-mount to keep the single-loop VL frame as clean as possible.







I came up with a goofy strategy for the rear brake using old crank tools. This uses the cross-over tube and I made the linkage and pedal mechanism. The pedal will be behind the riding peg. It will take some getting used to, but it may be more convenient.








I came up with an alternate plan for mounting the rider pegs so they come out close to the center of the engine, but it took moving the engine. First, I removed the tacked-together pipes. With the Redhead’s help, I was able to rock the engine over and drop a couple of 3/8 bolts, ¾-inch long through two holes in the frame plate under the engine. I made a ¼-inch thick peg mounting plate and tack welded the 5/8-inch solid square stock rod to the plate. It worked, but I may need to adjust it.



I also feel a rider must be able to stand on his pegs in an emergency situation. I’m looking for additional support for the rider peg mounting.



Relax and enjoy the build I say to myself, and in many respects, this is a fun one. I have a plan for the paint, which I’m excited about. and I’m trying to make everything with unique products, more industry and less custom stuff including the kickstand.



I bought a weld-on bracket. It takes a ‘74 to ‘90 Sportster kickstand and spring. It’s way more expensive than a custom job, but it’s also way more mechanical and classic.



I've had this Bartels' license plate frame designed to mount to tubing for 30 years. Presto, it worked like a champ.
I've had this Bartels' license plate frame designed to mount to tubing for 30 years. Presto, it worked like a champ.




Paughco is shipping a stock replacement tool box strap and some pieces that might help with the pegs. I’m going to use a Paughco sparkplug holder for my ignition switch and circuit breaker housing. I’m going to make the battery box from a Harley side cover and mount it to the tool box strap.

This will ultimately be the battery tray with a leather top.
This will ultimately be the battery tray with a leather top.



I’m going to add leather tooling to the seat, leather straps to hold the oil tank and a leather engraved top to the battery from Dime Bag or Adam Croft leather works.



When I’m hanging with Hamsters and other builders the subject of unfinished builds comes up constantly. We talk about all the chopper dreams that don’t come to fruition. Whether it’s mental, resources, relationship, financial or baby obstacles, anything can be overcome and dreams do come true.

Maybe it takes a little longer or we need to save up some coin or find a used part. Maybe you need to find a more receptive old lady. Whatever the issues there’s an entire industry of guys and gals out there who want to help you make your chopper dream come true, so relax and make it happen.

Everyone needs a shop helper...
Everyone needs a shop helper...




Goddammit, this puppy is going to be cool or I’ll die trying, right. Hang on for the next episode.

Sources:

Click to Reach the Master on Face book.
Click to Reach the Master on Face book.


Atomic Dice

Clausen’s Machine Shop
Spearfish, SD

Dakota V-Twin
Spearfish, SD
www.dakotavtwin.com

JIMS Machine
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McMaster Carr
www.mcmastercarr.com

Paughco
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Shamrocks Customs
Sturgis, SD

S&S
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Terry Components
Check on J&P Cycles


Nash Motorcycles
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Colony
 
Black Bike Wheels
www.blackbikewheels.com

Custom Chrome

Barnett’s clutch and cable
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Dennis Kirk
 
Click for action!
Click for action!

 
Quick, join up. Just click and go.
Quick, join up. Just click and go.


 

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Reader Comments


Kool KOOL $#!t .

And as for the 'Stalled in progress' chopper projects, I DEFINITELY have (I hate to say) a couple of them hahaha. Although, one is definitely back on (the lift) and progress is being made.




el Waggs
Oceanside, CA
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Editor Response This puppy isn't stalled. It's just my mental state that needed tweaking. More progress this week, with the Redhead's help.
--Bandit

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