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Norrtälje custom bike show Winner

By Veikko Sikiö Photos by Sherriff Media Group

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Everything began in the spring of 2011. I had just finished my Harley –Davidson Panshovel, and taken it to Tampere Hot Rod & Rock Show. I had been working on the bike very actively the whole winter, and the thought of taking a break from building bikes was starting to sound like a good idea.
While staying in Tampere the whole weekend, I went to see what Pekka Poramo was doing at his place nearby. There I saw something utterly amazing, Pekka was casting a crankcase for a motor he had designed himself! The atmosphere and the overall finish of the work totally blew my mind! At that point I realized that’s the road I want to take. From that day on I started thinking of making a motor of my own, and the thought of having a break from bikes was postponed.
Wooden casting models. Crankcases, kickercover, frame neck and girder parts
Wooden casting models. Crankcases, kickercover, frame neck and girder parts

The planning of the motor started during the summer. I had many ideas but in the end I didn’t have to look too far. With my first bike a BSA B33, came two B31- motors (or actually just some parts of the motors). The Cylinders and cylinder heads could make a beautiful v-twin motor. The idea was to use more of those BSA-parts. I also thought of using four BSA camshaft. While doing some calculations and measurements, I realized there wasn’t going to be enough space for the camshafts, if the cylinder-angle was going to be the usual British 50 degrees. Now With a 60 degree angle I could make the camshafts work with correct timing, but now trying to acquire a magneto could cause some extra trouble. I searched the British EBay, and found a Robert Bosch 60 degree magneto. No matter what the price I had to get this magneto in order to seal the deal with the 60 degree cylinder angle for my bike. 
I still needed more parts, like a crankshaft, an oil pump, and the rest of the parts for the distributer head which I still didn’t have. I bought two broken HD Sportster crankshafts, and made one new one out of them. The oil pump came from a Speedway Jawa. That external oil pump seemed like both an easy and good-looking solution.
Autumn had come and now I had all the parts required for casting the crankcases. I started with making the cast models from plywood. First I made the model for the output shaft side, because it was much simpler. I also had to make a liquid gas furnace, big enough to melt necessary amount of aluminium. I also had to make myself all the other tools which were to be needed in the casting-work. After some testing I managed to get the system working, and I could start the casting of the crankcase. After the first successful cast I started making the cast model of the distributor side.
WSA 4 cam timing system
WSA 4 cam timing system

After finishing both crankcases, I started to machine them. The goal was to be able to do all of the machining in my own workshop. Everything started well and it seemed to be going perfectly, until I started to bore the cam followers base. One part of the base was shifted too close to the edge at the cast, and there was not enough surface for the sealing. I didn’t like the idea of filling it by welding, so I decided to cast the crankcases again. The next attempt was much more successful in every way.
When the building of the motor was as far as it was at that point, I really started to believe it was actually going to work. I then started to think how to continue. It was an easy choice to choose a BSA Burman gear box, as I had two broken ones already. I didn’t like the look of the gear box, because the new motor was about to become much older-looking. I made some radical modifications to the gear shift lever mechanism, so that I could make the gear box a little bit smaller. I also casted a small kicker cover behind it and the result looks like a transmission from the 1930s, although actually it is much more durable 1950s model. I also improved the gearbox’s oil proofing and fixed an issue with bearings.  The clutch is from Speedway Jawa, which is well known for its good functionality.
The mechanical parts started to be ready apart from polishing and final installation. I decided to postpone these things for later because I was keen to get to work with the frame and front end. I and Pekka had been practicing bronze casting for his own bike’s carburetor and cylinder lids. We had managed to make the casting equipment work as it should. I had an idea to make the frame in the old style, where the tubes are attached to each other with cast parts. In this case the cast parts would be bronze, and the tubes stainless steel. I made a rough sketch of the shape of the frame, so that I could start making the parts. Everything has an effect on everything, so you couldn’t make all the parts at once. Piece by piece I started making progress.
Frame and girder parts. Models on left side and cast finished parts on right side
Frame and girder parts. Models on left side and cast finished parts on right side

While I was thinking about the frame, I had an idea to make the rims by casting as well. After doing some serious thinking I started making a cast model from plywood. The model had to be extremely precise, so that I could balance the rim afterwards.
Casting the wheels
Casting the wheels

Also the shrinkage is notable in a cast as large as this, so the model had to be larger than the final product. The casting was such a big task that I asked my cousins Hannu and Timo to help me with the work. The box took 100 kg of molding, so you really can’t handle that alone.
Look what we found here!
Look what we found here!

First rim was a failure, but the second and the third were successful enough. On the front rim there were made places for 24 magnets, which are producing electric current for the lights when combined with a self made coil. I lathed the rims to the final size with a big lathe from at my workplace; the rims were too large for my own lathe. After some polishing and grinding I balanced the rims. One rim took 35 grams extra material and the other 50 grams, so the rims were a great success.
In the spring 2013 I got the wheels under my bike. I felt like that I am almost finished, although there was still a lot of work ahead. During the summer the bike made progress only by some castings. In the autumn the action at my workshop increased. The ribbed oil tank was casted from two parts, and welded them together afterwards. The saddle was also casted from aluminium and I also glued couple thick leather pieces on it to make it more comfortable. The rear fender was made from stainless steel as were the handlebar and the exhaust pipe. The usage of the clutch and the brake works with the same pedal. The system works as following: when you press the pedal, it first frees the clutch and when you continue pressing the pedal, the brake kicks in. I made a test version of the leverage system at first, so that I found the right relations. The leverage system was also made from stainless steel. Footpegs and handles were lathed from hard plastic, and grinded and polished afterwards. The gas tank was made from aluminium with Pullmax. It was extremely difficult and the tank didn’t end up being very good, but I didn’t have enough time for making a new one.
Assembling the motor took also quite a lot of work. I started with polishing the crankcases and with making a few more threads. I clocked the timing of the camshafts and they got new timing marks. The lower part was assembled quite swiftly, but the cylinder heads and the cylinders took lots of work. I bored and honed the cylinders so that they are fitted for Triumph car pistons. I had also to shorten the pistons and make holes to the location of the valves. To the cylinder heads I put new valve guides, valves and springs. Naturally I also had to fix the seat coatings. I had to weld some new cooling rods to the cylinders and heads to replace the broken ones. Alterations of the intake channel had already previously been made for the cylinder heads, so that the carburettors would be straight. My bother Jaakko came and helped me with these welding works with his unparallel expertise. Finally the engine was complete. The feeling when I heard the intake and exhaust sounds for the first time, when rotating the crankshaft, was amazing! I had a great believe that the engine will actually start.
When the mechanics were ready, I started assembling the rest of the bike all over again. I polished and tidied the frame and the front end. The assembling was going really well and fast, after all the parts were now almost completed. The oil circulation slowed the progression down a little bit. I started to fear that the Speedway Jawa oil pump wouldn’t be sufficient enough. When the bike is standing and the oil line goes empty to the crankcase, it takes really long before the oil reaches to the cylinder heads. I added a hand pump to the oil system to make sure the oil circulation is really sufficient. At this point I was ready to go on and try to start the engine for the first time. Few first tries only produced only little bit banging and booming, but the engine didn’t start. The reason proved to be a wrong set of needles in the carburettors, I had gotten them used. When I managed to get the carburettors in a tolerable condition, there was ignition. Adjustments were of course totally off, but there was anyways some rotating motion. Little by little I got the carburettors adjusted better and the motor was running fairly well. The oil was also circulating as planned. Now when the bike was already running, I only had to make some minor parts, like the electric coil and the headlights. There wasn’t so much time left, my aim was to get the bike ready for the Norrtälje custom bike show.
Tech and Specs
BUILDER:   Veikko Sikiö                                                                                       OWNER:  Veikko Sikiö                                                                                                                   
ENGINE: Veikko Special
BUILDER/MANUFACTURER:WSA, Type F (60 degree v-twin)
BORE/STROKE: 73 mm / 96,85 mm
PISTONS:  Triumph
CRANK: HD Sportster / WSA
RODS: HD Sportster
IGNITION: Robert Bosch
CARBURETOR(S): Amal 276 x 2
CLUTCH: B&W Gears / Jawa speedway
MATERIAL: Stainless steel / brass casting parts.
FORK TUBES: Stainless steel
WHEELS (FRONT): 19” Bobbin Wheels
(REAR): 19” Bobbin Wheels
(REAR): Bobbin Wheels & Brakes co
TIRES (FRONT): Firestone
(REAR): Firestone
OTHER SPECIALS concerning frame: Stainless steel pipes and brass casting part are soldered with silver.
GAS TANK: WSA Aluminium
OIL TANK: WSA cast aluminium
FENDERS: WSA Stainless steel
SADDLE/SEAT: Cobbler, size 1
ELECTRIC SYSTEM: Frictionless Power Unit
COLOR: Natural

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Reader Comments

Nagyon szép alkotás. Sok munka van benne. Ezt már muvészet kategóriába kell sorolni.

Dr Krón István
Budapest, XVII., Budapest, Hungary
Monday, December 18, 2023
Editor Response I appreciate the compliment. "Very nice creation. It's a lot of work. This should be classified as art."

I hope the brothers get to see it.
Wow, that is unbelievable, you are one of the best I have seen trial and error and patience vary nice.

Leny Mason
East Helena, MT
Friday, August 31, 2018
Editor Response I'm sure you made his day.
Hey Veikko,
YOU made a dream come true,

Thank you!

Larry Torka
90556 Cadolzburg, Frankonia, Germany
Sunday, August 3, 2014
This is the best build I have ever seen. None of the others actually make their moldings and pour them.

Makes your build much better than others.

Friday, July 25, 2014
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