Friday, 20 February 2009

Rolling Chassis Time

At last the chassis is ready to roll, and its time at the metal shop is nearly over.  All thats left in this stage is to mount the rear fender - there will be no front fender  - and sort out the exhausts. Once these are finished  - the chassis can move on to the workshop for final dry assembly and then stripped down and off to paint.  Dave can then fabricate me two more identical chassis for the other bikes, and the main fabrication will all be finished by April.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Slowly but Surely

Its moving on, this week I completed the wheels - well the wheel rims and spokes were laced onto the old Harley Hubs by Hagon in Hainault Essex - the wheels are 23" diameter the largest diameter motorcycles wheels you can get.  There is only one tyre that fits this rim - The Avon Cobra which is a universal tyre that fits both front and back - but is fitted in a different direction.
I dropped these wheels off at the metal shop so that the Rolling Chassis can finally be completed. This is the frame, forks, wheels and tank.  Next week I will post some pictures of this and look at the way i am going to differentiate each of the three bikes with bespoke exhausts, bars and paint jobs.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Meanwhile back at the Metal Shop

After the Street Bob arrived I went over to see how Dave was getting on with the main fabrication -  he had just finished tacking up my design for a tank - I wanted it styled, and to fit snugly between the two main spines of the frame - a job he has accomplished superbly.  I have nothing but the utmost admiration  for the way he can work with metal.

With the engine and the tank in place, the frame is really taking shape, the next stage will be a sculpted electrical box following the tank and frame, to hold the electrics and battery.   

The Harley Davidson Dyna - FXD

As I have said before, I bought my first Dyna in 1999, and used it to commute to London and back when I had my own property consultancy - I used to do about 400 miles a week rain or shine - and the last thing I wanted to do at weekends was have fun on my Harley.  After a few years I realised the train was best bet (economically and for my sanity) and went back to weekend fun rides and summer commuting.  This allowed me to take stock of the bike and over a number of years change it into "my bike".  What you see now, is a different colour, with a new tank, wheels, exhausts, bars, brakes, as well as raked forks and a tuned engine - I have probably spent more on it, than the original cost - but thats half the point.

Its partly due to my fondness for this bike that I decided to use a stock Street Bob as the base for the three new bikes, but also for sound commercial reasons which I will no doubt expound upon in the future.  But for now the key points are:
  1. Its the cheapest big engined Harley you can buy.
  2. Its the biggest selling type of Harley in the UK in the last 3 years.
  3. It uses a 96" Twin Cam A engine which is not particularly used by other custom bike builders as the engine is rubber mounted and mated to the swing arm.  This will have advantages to me in due course. 
The last one of the three Street Bob's arrived today, and when I look at the stock bike, its OK, but not great. 
I certainly prefer the styling on my 10 year old model - and this just emphasises why people customise Harley's - when the project is finished the new bikes will be unrecognisable from the Street Bob - and they will need to be to command about three times the price.