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Shooting for Final Welds then Powder

By Bandit with photos by Wrench

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Holy shit, the rally is already all over us. Brothers and sisters are riding into the Black Hills by the droves. It’s going to be an interesting event, with the H-D Anniversary hitting Milwaukee in July and the rally just a couple of weeks after thunder rocks the asphalt all over Wisconsin.

Here's the lower rear tab on the trans and Tech Cycle plate. We have issues.
Here's the lower rear tab on the trans and Tech Cycle plate. We have issues.

I’ve been waiting on my chain primary drive from Tech Cycle and Paul Cox, it’s cool albeit terrifying, but what the fuck. We only go around once. It arrived the other day and we started the alignment procedure, which didn’t fair worth a fuck. Answers and solutions are coming.

This is the photo I sent to Paul, so he knew what I was dealing with.
This is the photo I sent to Paul, so he knew what I was dealing with.

Then we looked into how the drive chain would align with the sprocket on the transmission and wheel. Fortunately, I had three different offsets. None of them came close. I was going to need to move the wheel, but everything was tight.

Irish Rich suggested flipping an offset sprocket over. Crazy, I started to machine the lip of the PBI sprocket. Then it became apparent that the sprocket still had to come in contact with the seal spacer. The difference was just a few thousandths of an inch.

I found some galvanized rings used for plumbing or home projects, but they contained the correct inside diameter, 1.750. Each one was about .035 thick. Together they did the trick. I may need one to create a sprocket locking washer as you will see, unfortunately, it won’t work. I need something with a 1.5 inch inside diameter and wide outside diameter so I can drill a hole in it and bolt it to the sprocket.

The alternator came with two washers. The little one goes behind the rotor and this one in front.
The alternator came with two washers. The little one goes behind the rotor and this one in front.

McMaster Carr has stainless shims. I believe they will do the trick.

This PBI sprocket didn't work.
This PBI sprocket didn't work.

Since I flipped the PBI sprocket over, standard locking devices won’t work.

Okay, so I had trans plate issues, I had clutch sprocket to engine sprocket issues, and I had trans sprocket to wheel sportor sprocket problems.

The mounting studs screwed into the bottom of the S&S Transmission case weren’t long enough because Rich made the VL 3-speed frame into a 4-speed trans excepting frame by adding and welding the 4-speed tranny plate into place. I ordered and searched for longer studs. I found some at ACE hardware, too short. McMaster Carr did the trick, but they are coarse threads at both ends.

All this alignment stuff has prevented all sorts of projects from being completed. Even the rear fender could not be final mounted.

I did make a coil mount with a Paughco chromed, Knucklehead top motor-mount. I’m working with three fastening methods. Some things will be brazed, some silicon bronze TIG welded and some mild-steel TIG welded. My Miller MIG welder always backs me up.

I brazed the coil bracket and put it in place without bolting it to the engine. Engine needs to be aligned and bolted to the motor-mounts first.

I also had to search for a taillight lens. John gave me this taillight early on, but with the wrong lens. It’s interesting trying to find the correct lens and the license plate window. Shit, it’s impossible to find. I even found a company focused solely on old glass lenses. I wrote and called; they’re gone. Let me know if you have a connection.

Charlie Rust said he had a box of old glass lenses in his shop, well sorta. I took a half-dozen home to try out. The only one that came close was a clear Lucas lens, and I started grinding the edge. The key to grinding glass is heat. If it gets hot, it will crack. And it’s best to have a very fine grinding wheel, I do now.

Meanwhile back at the 5-inna-4-speed case transmission. We put it together several times with various shafts and gears. Our assortment of gears and shafts messed with us big time.

Carl Pussar sent me a batch of 5-speed stuff. I threw in what I had and we started to build a transmission...
Carl Pussar sent me a batch of 5-speed stuff. I threw in what I had and we started to build a transmission...

We even had a variety of trap doors which we fumbled with until we had a complete transmission, but not a tapered shaft, so the Evil belt system was set aside. That’s when I was introduced to Tech Cycle.

Charlie gave me a cool, old, Shorty muffler with a pipe stuck inside. That bastard would not budge. We heated it, beat on it, twisted it but nada. We finally cut it off and welded it directly to the 2-into- 1 pipe system. It came with a goofy tip and I was determined to use it. I also TIG and MIG welded some connections and then brazed one. I thought I fucked up, but when the system was completed, I tried silicon bronze TIG welding each joint completely. I messed with the heat some, and it worked to unify each weld.

I TIG welded my seat pan, drilled and shipped it to Howard Knight for leather work, along with the straps. The oil tank is tested and ready. So much to do and so little time.

Check it out. I ground the Lucas glass lens until it fit in the light socket, then the retaining ring wouldn’t fit. I made a ring from a chunk of exhaust pipe and then tried to figure out how to fasten it down. It works, albeit strange.

Hang on, the 120th anniversary was last weekend, two weeks until the rally, six weeks until Bonneville. This week I will endeavor to line up the rear wheel with trans sprocket and finish mounting the fender.

Ride on and Ride Forever!



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

Atomic Dice

Clauser’s Machine Shop
Spearfish, SD

Dakota V-Twin
Spearfish, SD

JIMS Machine

McMaster Carr


Shamrocks Customs
Sturgis, SD



Terry Components
Check on J&P Cycles

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


Black Bike Wheels

Custom Chrome

Barnett’s clutch and cable

Dennis Kirk
Click for action!
Click for action!

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Reader Comments

What a fantastic project. I am very impressed with your ingenuity and welding skills. This is one of the trickiest builds I have seen in decades, and it does my old blood pumper good to see you are still hard at work building outtasight creations.

Shovelhead Dave
Milwaukee, WI
Monday, February 12, 2024
Editor Response Thanks Dave. I'm in the final assembly stage. It's a challenge and a blast. I'm working on Chapter 7 as we speak. Hang on. Shit, and I'm about to turn 76...


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