View Full Version : Updates on my Hornet

11-20-2009, 8:16 AM
Progress is slow, but steady. Here are some updated pics of my ride. Got the frontend and frame back from BCF Cycle the other day. They had to make a set of races to press into the neck to fit the timkens on the stem. I did some more surgery on the frame, cut off the lower passenger peg supports on either side of the swingarm, installed the wheels and handlebars, and am now ready to start on the engine. First up, I think I'm going to try my hand at polishing the cases. Any suggestions??? Just need new bearings, and seals, and I'm ready to go.

11-21-2009, 11:15 PM
lookin good man, keep them coming....
i'm feeling that fender!

11-22-2009, 7:12 AM
Thanks Gravel, but I'm not so sure about that bobtail. It'll take a whole bunch of hackin to make it fit between the swingarm, not to mention, I'm just not a fan of that style. You interested in it for your ride??

11-22-2009, 9:26 PM
don't know if i could find a use for it on my beezer....i'm probably going to running fenderless...thanks for the offer tho!

11-25-2009, 7:11 AM
Stopped at BCF Cycle on my way home last night. There goes another $300!!! But I got all new bearings and seals. Also checked size on my crank and found the rod bearings were worn about .003". So I also bought new +.010" connecting rod sleeve bearings. Going to take the crank to my local grind shop to have it ground to fit. Over the holiday weekend I'm going to try my luck at polishing the cases!! We'll see???

12-01-2009, 7:18 AM
I got a skid in at my shop the other day, perfect length for a bike lift. Went to Harbor Freight and picked up a wheel stand and a single tie-down strap. Works for my piece of crap!!

12-01-2009, 10:04 PM
nice man!
way to make something awesome out of nothing.

12-15-2009, 7:17 AM
Accumulating more parts for the Hornet. Picked up a set of Harley fenders off Ebay yesterday. Just set them on the tires to see if they fit...and I can't stop smiling! Man this thing is coming together now! I made some new shock mounts, they should be much stronger than my first attempt! Going to stop at the bike shop on the way home to pick up the last few pieces for the engine. As soon as I get the crank and jugs from the grinder, it's engine time!!!!!!!

12-23-2009, 9:39 AM
Did some more work yesterday. Filled holes and mounted the rear fender. Blended the shock mounts into the frame.

12-23-2009, 7:26 PM
wow, those shocks mounts look killer...so much better trimmed/blended than the big bulky original metal you started out with.
nice work.

what's your plans on paint/color?

02-09-2010, 7:49 AM
I made up this headlight bracket a few weeks ago, and finally got a pic of it.

Here's a closeup.

I like it. It may not be fancy, but it works, and I made it!

02-09-2010, 8:32 AM
A new day, a whole bunch of new problems. I've finally begun the engine rebuild. Still waiting for my crank and cylinders to come back from the grinder. Don't ever tell people your in no hurry. They just put your stuff on a shelf and forget about it! But there is plenty of other shit to do.

I've gone through each component of the engine and have cleaned, oiled and bagged them up. So each set of parts is ready to go during assembly. Good thing I did, cuz all 4 lobes on my camshaft were severely worn, and of course so were the tappets. Also found that the wires coming out of my alternator are worn through the sheathing. There's another $300! But, I want this engine right, so it's money well spent.




02-09-2010, 8:39 AM
Next up was the clutch. It had a fair amount of surface rust from sitting in some guys garage for years.

Nothing that a couple of minutes on the wire wheel couldn't solve.

Then I decided to shine up the rest of the clutch parts.

It's getting there, slowly but surely! Next up is to probably start installing all the new bearings and seals. Getting nervous!

02-09-2010, 9:57 AM
nice work man! that headlight mount is pretty killer.
love the pictures too...keep em coming.

02-25-2010, 11:35 AM
STILL waiting for my crank and cylinder to come back from the grinder! So I thought I'd screw with some other stuff.
Stock kicker before.

The old shaft now loose after widening the mouth with a die grinder and pencil disc.

The new shaft, with the ball detent drilled (not shown) and it fits just right!

Finished kicker. Now all I need is a friggin' bike!!!!!!!!

02-25-2010, 11:37 AM
Next up, I've got an idea for the points cover, we'll see?

02-25-2010, 2:27 PM
where did you get the shaft that the kick pedal goes on? i need one.

02-25-2010, 4:28 PM
The shaft came with the bronze kicker pedal. Got the setup at a local swap meet a few weeks back. $20!!!

08-20-2010, 6:15 AM
Took a break from the bike for a while (life), but now I'm back on it! Feels good! Here's a couple of update pics. Got my cases back from the BCF Cycle, polished up beautifully!!

Pressed out the bearings/bushings.

Tapped the camshaft bushing with a pipe tap, heated the case, and out she came! Just like the book says!

And finally got a donor set of juggs so I could fixed my busted fin. Made a template of the damaged fin, transfered it to the donor fin, cut, shaped, welded, and blended in. I was kinda dreading this, but it was really pretty easy. Sorry no pic of the repairs, I forgot.

My crank and the repaired juggs are back at the grinders (again) and should be ready next week! I'll start pressing in the new bushings today!

08-20-2010, 6:19 AM
Oh, also got some new parts while at Mid-Ohio a couple of weeks ago: Stator, Whitworth wrenches and sockets, and a stainless bolt kit, a set of stock pegs, and a stock shift lever. Lucky me!!

08-20-2010, 7:46 AM
Looking AWESOME man. Loving the way the shock mounts look on there.

08-20-2010, 10:47 AM
Thanks Mike, still a bit more welding and shaping to do on them, but they worked to get the project going.

08-20-2010, 11:40 AM
nice build. bsa rules anyways. and i can say that the bsa motors always look great polished out.

08-21-2010, 11:32 AM
way to go Pete!

i've been movin slow on my beezer, but i'll have some updates soon too.

cant wait to see yours complete!

08-23-2010, 6:47 AM
Grav, thanks. Gotta just keep pluggin' away at em. Eventually we'll get them running...right?

08-24-2010, 5:53 AM
so true man!

the headlight mount is way nice, thats some quality work.

06-02-2011, 6:05 AM
FINALLY! Got some time back on the bike. Completely cleaned the crank, sludge trap, etc. Had to do some hand work on the sludge trap threaded holes, the last guy left some pretty nasty prick-punch dings. Had to file and reshape them, took about an hour! New threaded plug fits perfect now, ready for new prick-punch dings!!

Pressed in the new connecting rod small end bushings. Now I have to re-clean the cases as they have been sitting since november collecting dust. Planning on pressing in the other various bushings/races today.

Feels good to be back on it!

06-06-2011, 5:49 AM
Pressed in all my new bushings and bearing races over the weekend. One of the guys in my shop burned the shit out of his hand when he came over and leaned on the case to see what I had just done. Those aluminum cases get even when your just heating up one small part of it! Next up: Back on the crank to install the rods.

06-27-2011, 5:50 PM
Todays Progress:
-Finished honing all the bushings.
-Realized I forgot to put the flat rotary breather valve plate into the small end cam bore first.
-Got pissed off!
-Threaded a tap into the bushing and ripped it out.
-Assembled the transmission.
-Stopped on my way home and got a new cam bushing...Shit!

Live and learn.

09-16-2011, 1:22 PM
More progress on my BSA. Crank together and installed in cases. Cases gooped-up and bolted together. Sump plate on. Had to stop at the timing gears due to an alignment issue with the timing marks. See my other thread about this!

09-16-2011, 2:29 PM
nice job,, love the polished cases,,,

09-28-2011, 8:42 AM
Some progress pics from yesterdays work. Finished installing the timing gears, installed the trans, and new sprocket. Got the pistons and jugs on, then ran out of time. Hope to install the top end today, then clutch. Loving this!

10-05-2011, 11:17 AM
well, you have my attention. i'll be keeping an eye on this thread

10-21-2011, 5:54 AM
Engine almost done, just waiting for some bolts and nuts to come in. Got the drive side all together. New clutch plates, rotor and stator. Now over to the timing side to finish that up.

11-08-2011, 6:58 AM
Last night. Engines not totally done, but I needed to get it in the frame so I can start working out some of the other details.

Some work on my gas/oil tank combo:

Still lots to do, but gettin there!

11-08-2011, 8:22 AM
Looking good here Pete, nice work.

11-08-2011, 7:07 PM
I agree, very nice work!:clap for you::cheersmate:

11-22-2011, 7:03 AM
Some more work on the tank. Mounting tabs and made a filler panel to raise the front up to sit right above the engine. Going to give brazing a try over the holiday to hopefully seal this tank all up!

12-03-2011, 12:45 PM
nie work whit your tank, hope we see more..

regards from bavaria


12-07-2011, 6:40 AM
Been working on the tanks alot the last couple of days. Having not worked with sheet metal ever, I 'm pretty happy so far with the results. Welded and a lot of grinding! Forgot to take pics of the oil tank, I'll post later.

12-09-2011, 7:18 AM
Finished welding up the gas & oil tanks. Sanded everything smooth after I took the pics. Going to rig up something to pressure test them today so I can check my welds. Then start adding all the bungs and mounting stuff.

01-03-2012, 7:46 AM
Did some more work over the holidays. Got my new set of pipes temporarily hung in place. Finished the rear mount for the oil tank. Tacked all my bungs in place and had the weld shop next to me finish tig them all. Then I machined up some spacers, drilled and tapped for setscrews and tack welded those in place. You can't really see from the last pic, but these are how the oiltank will mount to the gas tank. My goal was to keep everything hidden, with no exterior mounting bars, bolts, etc. It was a major pain in the ass, but worth it in the end I think. So the gas tank has the "donut" shaped spacers with setscrews and the oil tank has the 7/16" pins that slide into the spacers.

01-03-2012, 10:44 AM
That tank is really nice work.

01-04-2012, 1:48 AM
geat work, looks pretty man!

cya wernerson

01-09-2012, 7:16 AM
Update from the weekend. Got the mounts tacked on for the coils, welded on a bracket under the seat for the Sparx battery eliminator and Boyer box, machined, tapped and welded in the bungs for the tank hold-down bolts. Gotta grind some welds smooth.

Not sure I love the spot for the coils, but it was either there or down below the swingarm or engine. Any thoughts???

01-18-2012, 9:02 AM
Made my own cables (thanks to the How-To section!!). Got the single throttle to dual carb done. Bend is a little tight under the tanks, may have to modify that somehow. Made my new clutch cable too.

03-30-2012, 10:09 AM
My high school shop class layout skiils are finally paying off. I machined up a bronze exhaust clamp for the bike.

03-30-2012, 10:14 AM
Fit the clamp and made a block to follow the curve of the frame tube. Drilled, tapped and bolted together. Lined everything up and tack welded in place.

03-30-2012, 10:22 AM
Felt pretty good about the clamp, so I decided to move on the the head steady. Couldn't come up with anything earth shatteringly cool, so I just twisted some flat bronze stock and I think it came out pretty okay.

I had a local chrome shop strip the old damaged chrome off the tanks. Cleaned them inside and out, and used Redcoat the line the tanks. Just a few more things to do and I'll be kickin this money pit to life!

03-30-2012, 10:31 AM
Man, you got some skills to do this. Very nicely done.

Shit, I was trying to reply specifically to your post on the oil/gas tank combo. I'm a computer retard....

04-17-2012, 10:38 AM
Finally kicked her to life!!!

This was after about 100 kicks, a call and a few PM's to Torch at Classic Cycles, realizing I had some wires crossed, a clutch too loose, and not eating my Wheaties that morning!

My wife nicknamed her "Norma", says shes the other woman I'm cheating with!

Next up: strip the wheels, powder coat the rims, new stainless spokes, new tires, then ride her for the summer.

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06-29-2012, 6:12 AM
Wheels are done!

The process:

1. Cut the old tires and tubes off with the bandsaw and a die grinder and a lot of sweating! Those things were completely stuck to the rims! What a pain in the ass!

2. Masked off all the threaded holes and grit blasted the rims and hub to remove all the old chrome and grime.

3. Cut all the old spokes and removed those.

4. Had them black wrinkle powder coated by a really great company here in Cleveland.

5. Cleaned up all the internal components, and installed new sealed bearings.

6. After days of searching the internet, finally settled on a set of Dunlops, not as aggresive as I was hoping for, but pretty nice all the same.

7. Had BCF Cycle in Kirtland, Oh lace and true them with all stainless spokes. They even added the dynabeads for me when they mounted the new tires and tubes!

These will be going back on the bike this afternoon!!

07-20-2012, 10:50 AM
Finished making my own grips today.

Cut up an old Tomisselli throttle.

Cut some aluminum tubing to length and turned the ID to a press fit onto the throttle tube. Will probably add some setscrew also.

Turned a little off the OD of the aluminum tube to make room for the bronze metallize (it's what I do for a living).

Here's a closeup of the bronze metallize coating after I finished spraying it. It's got really good texture around 150 grit sandpaper.

Machined through the coating in a couple of places for looks.

Installed on the bars.

All in all, I'm really happy with these, pretty cool and unique, and it's finally something that didn't cost me anything! We'll see how they feel when I actually get the bike on the road.

07-20-2012, 11:02 AM
While I was at it, I finished up my seatpan. Sending it to Christian as Xain Leather for some quality leatherwork.

The pan needed some bends and a curve rolled into it. I don't do sheet metal work, but I'm pretty good with a torch, clamps and a hammer!

A little blacksmith work around my lathe chuck.

Drilled some holes through the pan and frame tube for the mounting bolts. Just have to weld them to the pan and it's done!

02-19-2013, 6:43 AM
It's got a seat!!!

Arrived in the mail yesterday from Christian at Xian Leather. That guy does some amazing work!

I wanted something different, no skulls or flames and crap. Some color and a little bit antiqued. The bike is a 1966 Hornet, so why not. I think he nailed it!

02-21-2013, 6:10 PM
That seat is bad ass!


02-17-2015, 9:46 AM
After taking a bit of a brake on this project, I'm back on it. Had to have my local british bike shop give it the once over to make sure I hadn't completely screwed it up. Now I need a recommendation on a battery. I'm running the battery-less setup from Torch (Pazon Ignition w/ the Boyer Light Delay), it works, but is major difficult to start. We installed a temporary battery and it starts 1st kick every time. I was looking at the anti-gravity batteries, anybody have a recommendation on size?

02-17-2015, 8:46 PM
just put in a new rotor and and it will be a one kick bike.

if the rotor you have in that bike is not brand new.....it's old, and and if it's old.... the magnets are weak.

( yes.. I know you stuck a screwdriver and a hammer to it and it seamed strong ) but it aint.

sometimes you need to replace the stator too, but most times only the rotor.

that's why it's hard to start.

02-18-2015, 7:58 PM
Hey Torch! Back before I installed the kit I bought from you I installed a brand new stator & rotor. You and I messaged back and forth a few times. I am just really getting a very weak spark. Not sure why, even my bike shop couldn't figure it out.

02-18-2015, 9:25 PM
there is a possibility that it is a bad rotor...or stator.

many of those parts we get today are likely made in Taiwan, and there is a chance that one part is defective.

call me at the shop and I'll go over some ideas for a fix.

02-20-2015, 10:11 AM
Awesome bike. I’ve been following for a while. Man, I love the seat. It’s a one of a kind piece that is totally different and a totally cool design. I’m currently building a ratted out 67 hornet so thanks for the inspiration.
Good Luck

06-15-2015, 4:48 PM
New problem. I tickle the carbs, one primer kick, then a good kick and the bike fires right up. Once all the "tickled" gas is used up, the engine dies. If I hold the throttle open it will keep running, once I let off the throttle, it dies. I've got twin Amal 930's, Ewarts Push/Pull petcock, single 3/8" ID fuel line into a "T" then 1/4" ID lines to each carb. It ran before with this setup.

Started fooling with the carb adjustments. It was 1.5 turns out when I started, now I'm around 3.0. It starts easier, sounds a bit smoother and takes less throttle to keep running. Any thoughts???

06-15-2015, 7:10 PM
you have clogged pilot jets.

that adjusted screw should be about 1.25 turns out from bottom.

if your bike will not idle at 900 rpm, and if you go to rev it quickly it just takes a big gulp of air and almost stalls......you likely still have clogged pilot jets.

06-16-2015, 5:18 AM
Thanks Torch. I guess I'll be cleaning the carbs today.

06-17-2015, 8:54 AM
This bike must be cursed!!! Pulled the carbs to clean them, totally gummed up (thanks Torch!). In the process I had to remove the tank, decided I might as well clean that all out too. Found that my petcock is dripping when closed, and one of the tabs to bolt it to the frame is broken. This bike hasn't even been on the road yet and shit is breaking! Any ideas on how to fix a Ewarts Brass petcock correctly??

06-17-2015, 5:55 PM
Got everything back together: tab re-welded, petcock mostly fixed, carbs cleaned, gas tank and fuel lines all clean. Still having the same problem. Engine dies once all the "tickled" gas is out of the carbs. I started with the pilot jets at 1.25 turns out and slide screws just touching the slides. I've got it to run without having to touch the throttle with the left jet 1 turn out, right jet 3/4 turn out, slide screws are all the way in. Right side exhaust is strong, left side is really weak. Also, I can't re-start it once it has stalled out without re-tickling the carbs. Once I do, it fires up on the first kick.

06-22-2015, 6:29 PM
Must have finally gotten the last bit of crud out of the carbs. Now she's firing up and idling pretty good. Good enough that I was going to take a spin down the block, but could not get the clutch to disengage. I'm assuming the clutch plate screws are too tight. Any suggestions as to how much to loosen them up?

06-22-2015, 7:53 PM
What oil have you got in the primary? Pros here say use ATF. Otherwise with too thick an oil the plates stick together. Me I use Lucas primary chain case oil since the case drips onto the rear chain and I (foolishly perhaps) figure oil on the rear chain is better than ATF. I have no more problems. Before I had to Velcro strap the clutch lever to the handlebar for 1/2 minute or so while the bike was warming up to get plates apart.

06-23-2015, 6:57 PM
Thanks for the input Cisco.

Today I pulled the primary cover off and found very little of anything. Everything still had a coating of ATF from when I filled it a while back, but it has all leaked out since. I adjusted screws out a few turns each until I was still able to kick start it, but able to shift into 1st, so about flush with the threaded studs. I'm finding that even looser, when I squeeze the clutch lever, the clutch plates still wont completely stop spinning (light fingertip pressure stops them). This is resulting is a somewhat heavy "clunk" getting it into gear. Is this normal? I've been working on this bike for so long, but this is the first time I've ever put it into gear!

06-24-2015, 2:57 AM
Nice build BTW. Maybe with the cover back on and ATF level up properly the plates will have the ATF sloshing around to help slow the plate spin. What clutch set are you running? I have a Barnet plate set and also have a new style (forget the brand) standing by which looks better since the new set aren't flat like the Barnet but have grooves to help the fluid escape the plates. Oh, mine clunks a bit going into 1st unless I warm her up a bit and hold the lever in for 10 seconds or so.

06-24-2015, 7:45 AM
Thanks! It's been a long process, but I can see the light at the end now!

Not sure on the plate set brand. Steel plates and friction plates are all new. The friction discs do have the spaces/grooves in them like you said. I've got to pull the timing side cover off tonight, I think I might have broken the kick return spring. I'll sort that out then get back on the clutch issues. Limited time, and multiple problems!

07-02-2015, 5:21 AM
FINALLY!!! Took the old beezer out for a spin. Just around my parking lot, then down the street a couple of times. I've got a couple of issues that need some attention: oil drips and my front brake is for shit. I'm also finding that kickstarting it has changed somehow. I'll tickle the carbs, give it one primer kick, then a good kick. Sometimes she starts up, sometimes I can't completely kick thru that second kick. It's like I'm kicking into a rubber pad. The kick pedal won't even fully rotate thru, it stops 3-4" before full kick. I'm wondering if there is some sort of compression pressure built up. When this happens, you can hold the kick pedal down at the rubbery point and actually kinda "flex" it and feel that squishy spot. I'll do a couple more kicks, get a full kick through here and there then it finally start up. Weird. Any suggestions guys???

08-04-2015, 2:13 PM
Love this build, you have terrific fabrication skills and a good imagination!


07-18-2016, 11:18 AM
Been a long time since I've posted any updates. Almost sold the bike, but the buyer backed out. So I've kept on it, working out all the bugs. Here's the latest mod: eliminated the inline fuel filter and added a thread-in screen to a ball valve style petcock.
Drilled it out.
Tapped with 3/8"-24.
Deburred everything.
Fit's perfect.

07-18-2016, 11:22 AM
And here's how she looks now. Still need to fix a little oil drip on the bottom, adjust the carbs a bit more to get rid of the right side blue pipe, and maybe lower the forks 2" or so to level it out. But she's runnin'!

07-31-2016, 9:06 AM
Nice looking ride. Re the 'squishy' thing maybe clutch plates got warped from no coolant/fluid in there. There's guys here who work on these bikes and not commenting so maybe they haven't noticed your issue... maybe a fresh post re the problem might get some attention. Oh the front brakes are shit. I think they changed the design to help fix this. My '65 has a grabby pulsing stop unless the brakes are applied a bit to warm them up. Maybe a different brand of shoes in there would help. Mine squeeked also but cleaning out the dust stopped that. Ordered a different high-end shoe set but the things wouldn't go in even after following the modification advised by the manufacturer... so put the original ones back in... don't know what aftermarket make they are. Mainly use the back brakes anyways maybe for that very good reason. LOL!