Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Scooter update

I got the pegs welded on the scooter and put the freshly rebuilt and cleaned fuel tank and carb back on. The carb still isn't working. If I pour gas in the carb, it will start so either I didn't get it clean enough or there's a problem with the pump. I'll have to pretty much repeat that entire process. I scored some carpet foam and reinforced the seat a bit. I'll need to either build another additional seat or make one long one to be able to afford a passenger. I've got plenty of padding for that either way.
I got real busy with other stuff and the wife hurt her leg and is on crutches. That means fun projects are on hold for a while. Kid's birthday and a wedding coming in the next few days so she's gonna have to just sit for now. The scooter and the wife. Oh, I did get the handlebars sandblasted on Mother's Day. It's not far away from running but I can't seem to get my free minutes all bunched up together.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ahhh...the internet

I took the carb off the scooter. Ugliness.

Tank is rusted, full of varnish. The carb is attached to the tank and it was not real obvious how removal was supposed to happen. I decided to do an internet search and came across this...

 Not only does it pretty much answer all my questions. It's pretty funny. At least the beginning is. Thanks Taryl. It's interesting to me that not only did I find what I needed pretty quick on the ol' interwebs, this guy's shop is local. My dad had one of his kids as a student.
Anyhow, I need to move the seat a bit as well. It's almost too far back for me to use and there's not enough room on the seat for a passenger.

I've got a spare headlight I might toss on there but I don't have a way to power it. I've got a half-assed plan for that but I just need to make it run and put the seat in a better location. Since the bars are from a Topper I have 1 1/8" dia. controls on both sides. I found some original style grips on eBay and I've got some passenger pegs coming as well. The weather's nice this week so hopefully I can get something done this weekend. I might repaint the whole thing at some point. Not a fan of brown but I can't be tearing this down to the hubs right now. Too much to do. I'm using the Cushman Trailster as a jumping off point as far as the overall look. Well, a cross between that and a Highlander.
Photo from Here
The yellow bike is the Trailster. The red ones in the back are Highlanders. No fairing yet. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

From Rocker to Mod?

I'm not sure if it was the best decision I've ever made but I brought home a scooter. It was a Harley-Davidson Topper in a former life. Someone drug it out of the woods and my dad and his student's turned it back into a functioning scooter. He said it was an entry into a welding contest. It leans more toward a farm store mini-bike than a Lambretta but you should have seen it fresh from the woods. Rough. I've ridden this little beast but it's been a few years. Odd handling if I remember correctly. I mentioned to Dad that I should get it out and give the kids a ride. He said he'd be happy to deliver it to my house. Which means - "Get that thing the hell out of here or it'll just turn back into a pile of rusty junk". I gave the rope a tug on Sunday but all I got was a sore arm. The gas is probably five years old and Sta-bil isn't magic so it'll need a carb clean, oil change, and a bath. It's covered in bird shit so it really needs a bath, the front tire is off the rim, and the seat is a bit short for riding two-up. I just drug it home because I thought the kids would dig it so I'll need to stretch the seat a bit. If I'm not mistaken it's made from an old tarp. I'm thinking that was the impetus for the color scheme.

If I had time to burn I'd probably put some bigger wheels and tires on it and maybe better brakes. Lights would be nice. Maybe a paint job and a fairing of some sort.  What's really going to happen is I'll put some grips on it and make the seat longer. Or shoehorn a CB500 seat on there or something.
This is what a restored Topper would look like. Pretty classy looking scooter in my opinion. I don't have the time to work on it. I don't really have the space to store it. I don't live on a farm and I cannot ride it on the street. Yeah, makes perfect sense. I won't be ditching my Gene Vincent records or leather jacket but I do like me some Specials and I did see The Who on their Quadrophenia tour back some years ago. I really don't think any self-respecting Mod would be seen on this little gem. At least in it's current state. It does have a certain quality, however. I find it fun to pick on but it's a cool little scooter. BELLBOYYYYYYY!!!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

From bad to worse

Making a new nut. Parting tool broke, part is junk. Do-over. Oh well.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

A little more progress

I'm not coming up with the best post titles lately. Anywhoo... I've got the seat posts machined and The Chief welded up the coil bracket which was cracked clean through. 
You can't see the weld in the picture but the Chief's welds are always a thing of beauty. I made some new struts for the seat bracket and turned a boss to fit inside the frame casting. It worked out that the new parts could be welded on using the old front part of the bracket. 

This might not make sense but after I cut the old piece off it'll be obvious why I bothered. 
A little more fitting and the seat will be mounted finally. Then I can sit on it and make motorcycle noises. I'm feeling pretty good about my progress, albeit slow. Next I have to solve a mystery with this stuff.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Progress - seat

Until 1970 you could get a nice big solo saddle with springs inside the frame as an option. By all accounts it is the most comfortable saddle on a motorcycle ever. I'm sticking with my little Bates copy but using the factory spring setup. Well, my version of it. The post kits with the springs are over $200. Since I'm using a different seat, I have the ability to make most of the parts, and I'm cheap. 
XLH models had the coil mounted on this bracket. This a similar bracket held the seat posts in place. You can sort of see the bronze bushings I turned under it. Below the bushings are a bunch of die springs I borrowed from work to use until I figure out specifically what I need. 
I only got part of one post done but the seat position is right on. I can actually clear the carb with my knee now. The foot pegs need to do about an 8" retreat but that's appropriate for an XLR and I prefer my feet directly under my ass anyway. My fork brace came in today as well. 
It'll be a little work to mount it but I like the look and these forks are pretty spindly so they can use the added stiffening.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The stock bar mount for my Sportster was for a two-piece bar. Separate lefts and rights.
Left side has timing advance, right has throttle. Both internal. The mount is cast steel and in only bored in from each end just long enough to grip the spline on the end of the bars. For using a one piece bar you need to get post 74 parts. Or get creative.

I cut a chunk of handlebar and chucked it in the lathe. Clamped the bar mount on it, tweaked the other end around until both ends were as concentric as possible. Bore up to roughly center to match old bore. The old bore was a little big, that's why the ends aren't quite cleaned up.After boring to center flip it around on the chunk of handlebar and reset it. Bore to meet the other bore you just finished. Fingers crossed the bores meet in the middle. 

I made a quick fixture to hold the part in the vise. Just a chunk of aluminum that I drilled two holes in. As ugly as that block of aluminum is, it was flat and parallel within .002". I turned, drilled and tapped a couple bosses for the new bolts. Clamped the part up and scalloped the bar mount mirroring the hole location centerlines of the opposing bolts.
The Chief welded them up. Thanks Pops.
I cut the new split. 
That'll work.

After deburring I blasted it and test fit it. I'm quite happy with how this looks. It's got the same style as the original and I can use whatever bar I want. I tried to paint it but used a ten year old can of paint and it worked about as well as tossing some house paint through a box fan. Needless to say I'll need to blast it again and repaint but the fab work is done on this piece. Now to get that steering damper adapted to this bike (it's not HD but it was free).