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View Full Version : rigid frame that is easy to swap to? need advice beginning a build



horrorfan
07-18-2017, 5:03 AM
I want to build a hardtail bike. Never built a motorcycle before, but worked on cars for a while.

Plan
buy a simple sportster, buy a frame + some parts, swap everything over.


Parts I believe I will buy:
Essential: frame, oil tank, battery tray,
Extra: wheels, tires, maybe fork (if the stock fork don't look good), bars, seat


Parts Im hoping I won't have to buy:
front and rear brakes, motor mounts, "anything that begins with mounts", fork, wheels


Are there frame or rolling frame kits out there that are "easy" swap , meaning NO FAB. A frame compatible with all the donor's parts? Or will all frames require fab and extra parts for this simple build?
Is this a good approach to building this bike, or is it going to turn into a sh*t storm later?


trying to achieve this angle, not sure what the "rake" (I guess thats what you guys call it) would be here.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rigid-Hardtail-Springer-Bobber-Chopper-Rolling-Chassis-Frame-Harley-Kit-Roller-/131645617754

tzienlee
07-18-2017, 7:28 AM
expect to have to make things....it's part & parcel of building a ''Custom'' bike.......
if everything is out of a catalogue and straight bolt on you may as well ride a Goldwing...
best to buy a sportster... ride it....ask questions and look at other bikes friends or people you meet may have.....
get advice from 20 people THEN decide what you want Exactly,....
think ahead so nothing creeps up on you that require re-building at extra expense and Time wasted.
avoid buying the latest ''trick'' part that will get you laid,...it wont get you laid & the bike will look shit with it anyway..
make sketches of what you think you want, then re do it till it looks right,....when something looks right it usually is..... same for when it looks shit.....make provision for the biggest battery you can get ...too many only think of a battery till too late and try all sorts of batteryless systems that don't work as they don't want to rebuild 1/2 the bike to fit what they should have thought about on day one.
expect to spend 3 times what you think it will cost & start to learn how to lie to ya woman about the prices you pay....
good luck,...have fun....

horrorfan
07-18-2017, 7:37 AM
thanks.. pls read.

I just need to know about a frame ..that there are ones that are compatible with most of the parts from a donor sportster. Google is not helping.

I don't need much advice on "what" I want to build just "how" ... I already know what I want which is a simple bike.

But As of now ... I would not be able to determine what frame I need, if stock shocks will fit on it and look good, if the rear tire I want will fit , if the motor will bolt on... Thats why I am posting here. Therefore the responses I'm looking for are maybe details about frame dimensions , terms, specifics, and such... not "mentality"

Heres a photo of what I might base my project on... I like the way the bike sits, I like the rear tire..
Again the problem is not knowing
-what frame this is
-what the rake is
-if the donor motor and suspension will be compatible
- what the tail size is so I can fit a bigger tire on the back...




77904

Tattooo
07-18-2017, 7:45 AM
You forgot to mention the most important thing...........Don't forget about the Title..... It goes with the frame...........

horrorfan
07-18-2017, 8:01 AM
You forgot to mention the most important thing...........Don't forget about the Title..... It goes with the frame...........


what do you mean?

bobscogin
07-18-2017, 8:10 AM
what do you mean?

Vehicles nowadays are usually titled by the VIN on the frame. Change the titled frame to a replacement and you're in for some paperwork at the DMV. Custom frames normally come with an MSO which traces their provenance, but bikes built around them are routinely titled as "Special Construction", not as a Harley-Davidson. Most folks just hardtail the original titled swing arm frame to retain the Harley VIN and avoid the paperwork hassle.

Bob

horrorfan
07-18-2017, 8:30 AM
Vehicles nowadays are usually titled by the VIN on the frame. Change the titled frame to a replacement and you're in for some paperwork at the DMV. Custom frames normally come with an MSO which traces their provenance, but bikes built around them are routinely titled as "Special Construction", not as a Harley-Davidson. Most folks just hardtail the original titled swing arm frame to retain the Harley VIN and avoid the paperwork hassle.

Bob

whats the problem with slapping on the donor license plate onto the hardtail frame?

I'm sorry but this is getting off topic my question is about the compatibility of hardtail frames ...
example paughco hardtail for a sportster.. will mostly everything bolt on??

shitsnack
07-18-2017, 9:34 AM
The engine, front end, and wheels are likely the only things that will bolt on.
Look at this, and figure it out.
http://www.paughco.com/2008-catalog/indivpages/Images/120ECAW_wide_rigid_frame_for_1986-2003_evolution_sportster_engines.jpg

tzienlee
07-18-2017, 9:37 AM
you ain't listening .......yes, if you buy a frame for a 2003 sportster & the motor from a 2003 sportster will fit.... but nearly everything else probably wont as you are buying a Custom frame NOT a standard frame.
forks will bolt on yes.... but will they be too long....too short.....is it the rake your dream is of or not?...
will the wheels fit...will the brakes fit & work...will every bracket be where you will need them exactly....what gas tank do ya want...... what oil tank....what battery box..... what type of ignition... will you need coil brackets or will you use a magneto ??... lots of variables fella..... probably not... if however you take all your parts to a frame builder and tell him exactly what your dream is & how much you want him to do then you will get a better fit on everything because someone has done it for you.
& if you think you can simply put the licence plate from the donor bike on it maybe you should think again about building a bike in the first place.... cops will take the bike & crush it quicker than you can say MOMA !!

bobscogin
07-18-2017, 10:05 AM
whats the problem with slapping on the donor license plate onto the hardtail frame?

I'm sorry but this is getting off topic

Off topic? Maybe, maybe not, depending on your "plan". However, If you can't see the problem with running a license plate from another vehicle on your replacement hardtail frame, I'm sure some friendly officer will be glad to explain it to you. That's what they get paid to do. I'm not gonna try.

Bob

horrorfan
07-18-2017, 10:15 AM
Off topic? Maybe, maybe not, depending on your "plan". However, If you can't see the problem with running a license plate from another vehicle on your replacement hardtail frame, I'm sure some friendly officer will be glad to explain it to you. That's what they get paid to do. I'm not gonna try.

Bob


well if don't want to explain the whole "vin and license plate regulation" don't start talking about it...
It has nothing to do with what I'm asking thats why I said were getting off topic (the topic and reason I posted).

in fact if your not going to say anything about the generally difficulty of getting some stock parts from a sportster to a aftermarket hardtail frame then don't say anything at all..

horrorfan
07-18-2017, 10:22 AM
you ain't listening .......yes, if you buy a frame for a 2003 sportster & the motor from a 2003 sportster will fit.... but nearly everything else probably wont as you are buying a Custom frame NOT a standard frame.
forks will bolt on yes.... but will they be too long....too short.....is it the rake your dream is of or not?...
will the wheels fit...will the brakes fit & work...will every bracket be where you will need them exactly....what gas tank do ya want...... what oil tank....what battery box..... what type of ignition... will you need coil brackets or will you use a magneto ??... lots of variables fella..... probably not... if however you take all your parts to a frame builder and tell him exactly what your dream is & how much you want him to do then you will get a better fit on everything because someone has done it for you.


im listening just fine...

I've throughly described , what are most of the parts I want to transfer. I've already described that I want a simple bike, get on enough what I can from the donor and add on extra things..

you're jumping ahead even though I've begun looking into dimensions of parts and angles of the frame...this stuff is ahead of what I'm asking..

what I really just needed answered was "what can this frame really hold", once I've got passed that and got an idea of what I will be able to transfer, I would have a better idea if this project was doable.. and then I would start looking into dimensions and such.. rake , tube length, wheel fitment





& if you think you can simply put the licence plate from the donor bike on it maybe you should think again about building a bike in the first place.... cops will take the bike & crush it quicker than you can say MOMA !!

F the piss head law, why shudnt it be that simple?

theres only a few ways to "identify" a vehicle vin and license plate. and if you somehow know what the vehicle looks like...

so if the chopper has the same vin and license plate as registration. how would they know? how are they suppose to know where the vin number is place, is there a law that the vin number must be engraved in the frame?
so why would it be hard to pass the new chopper as the original donor bike?

FredoSNR
07-18-2017, 12:38 PM
Your attitude is shitty, believe it or not these people are trying to help you step around the quagmire you are headed for and your arrogant ignorance is going to cost you a lot of money.

Tattooo
07-18-2017, 12:39 PM
whats the problem with slapping on the donor license plate onto the hardtail frame?



Because it is illegal and they can take your bike away that you just spent a lot of time and money on....

Tattooo
07-18-2017, 12:44 PM
is there a law that the vin number must be engraved in the frame?


Yes there is as a matter of fact............. And you live in the worst State in the union to do what you are wanting to do...........

bobscogin
07-18-2017, 12:49 PM
F the piss head law, why shudnt it be that simple?
is there a law that the vin number must be engraved in the frame?


The local DMV, or a Judge, would likely offer a better explanation than anyone on this forum as to why it "shouldn't be that simple'". You may get a chance to hear it. As to your question about a law which requires frames to have a permanent VIN that coincides with the VIN on the registration. Yes, there is one. The exception would be a Harley before 1970 originally registered by engine number only. You could save a lot of trouble later on by getting an understanding of motor vehicle VIN and registration requirements, but not my monkey, not my circus. Good luck.

CTNewman
07-18-2017, 3:09 PM
Your attitude is shitty, believe it or not these people are trying to help you step around the quagmire you are headed for and your arrogant ignorance is going to cost you a lot of money.

I started typing up a helpful reply, read a little further, and noped the fuck out. I'll stick to helping people who don't make me feel obligated to help them.

Gvermin
07-18-2017, 3:30 PM
I think you'll find if you change that wiener dude attitude you'll get the help you need. dudes answered your questions
and tried to steer you away from the dumbfuckery of where you are headed.

BuddhahoodVato
07-18-2017, 5:02 PM
https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/mpo/d/sportster-rigid-frame/6219074691.html

have at it, and this price it would be a easy learning curve.

hillcat
07-18-2017, 6:04 PM
HaHAHa! Gawdamn this is beautiful!
NWA
Newbies With Attitude.

KevinN
07-18-2017, 6:12 PM
I love HD's that turn up cheap at the sheriff sale.

beat
07-18-2017, 6:17 PM
example paughco hardtail for a sportster.. will mostly everything bolt on??

i'm gonna assume you mean an ironhead sportster since that was what you put in the pic of what you were going for.
most aftermarket frames do need a bunch of fab to make what part you want to use work. i've had a bunch, so i do know.
but you said paughco.
they make an excellent product(i've bought 2 of their frames new).
for the sportster the motor will fit in there perfectly. the forks will too. the rear wheel and drum brake assy needs no modification. i cannot say about the later ironhead w/ rear disk brakes. their frame comes w/ mounts for the stock pegs and kickstand.
you can buy a oil tank and batt tray that bolts right up. no muss no fuss.
i think some of the frame models have mounts made for a tank mount and maybe a rear disk brake.
depending on what you what to use you will probably have to fab a way to mount your fuel tank, seat, and rear fender.
unless you want to spend the dough for an internal(hidden) fork stop, you'll have to make one.
youlle have to make a coil mount or buy a top motor mount that puts it there.
youlle have to make a mount for the volt reg or buy the cycle elec one that mounts on he end of the stator(much cooler).

that's all i can think of right now.

i'm not gonna harp on it 'cause the other guys allready said it..
if you do this when your done you will have a motor w/ a VIN and a frame w/ a manufatures serial # and an MSO.

beat
07-18-2017, 6:23 PM
I love HD's that turn up cheap at the sheriff sale.


wait! what??!!!
i've been to plenty of county auctions trying to score a police bike or crown vic on the cheap.
never happens. to many guys bidding up to resale them. fucking cocksuckers.

SamHain
07-18-2017, 6:33 PM
Get a panhead

Tattooo
07-18-2017, 6:35 PM
Get a panhead

There you go... Better yet a knuck............

47str8leg
07-18-2017, 7:29 PM
Get whatever you want and just use glue.
Everything goes together with glue.

Jfuller
07-18-2017, 7:39 PM
whats the problem with slapping on the donor license plate onto the hardtail frame?

I'm sorry but this is getting off topic my question is about the compatibility of hardtail frames ...
example paughco hardtail for a sportster.. will mostly everything bolt on??

The most basic explanation is the law goes by the frame of the car. Everything else they figure is changeable. It's like you being registered by your blood. Change out any body part, you got the same blood. In CA it's that way with cars as well. Easier to go with the system than fight it. I'm fighting the same battle with a truck I'm building right now. Goes off the frame vin. I tried to register it as a 1948 f1, but since it's on a shortened F2 frame, it will most likely be registered as an F2. Even though it's an f1 body, and I have the title from the 80s from the f1 with matching vin numbers. I been fighting the battle for 2 years, and I'm bowing down Thursday to get a title.

usmc50lx
07-19-2017, 10:52 AM
If only it was as easy as a plate swap...haha here in Missouri show up to an inspection like that and you'll get your titled motor back and a court date to try and prove everything else wasn't stolen. In the meantime the state will lose half your shit or it will get stolen or sit outside in an impound yard.

If you are building for the first time and want to avoid any of this, I'd suggest a weld on hardtail. David Bird makes one that will use all of your stock brakes, but you still need to make or mount an oil tank, fender, seat etc. So hopefully you can weld.

beano
07-20-2017, 12:42 PM
O.P. why not just get a 'weld on' hardtail ? That way you get to keep your original vin. and use all the parts...b.

Ouch, post above beat me to it !:)

vonhelmet
07-20-2017, 12:58 PM
I keep returning to this thread hoping the OP will return with more shitty attitude. Quite amusing.

Tattooo
07-20-2017, 2:16 PM
I keep returning to this thread hoping the OP will return with more shitty attitude. Quite amusing.


I bet we pissed him off with info he didn't want to hear......My guess is he is around 20 and thinks he shouldn't have to do things legally.... LIFE ISN'T FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hillcat
07-20-2017, 4:39 PM
He doesn't even have a donor bike or any parts.
A dreamer with an attitude and a picture.

ChopperDani
07-25-2017, 1:21 PM
Either do the Weld on like mentioned or...


I live in Missouri...................Lisensce your sporty stock. Everything is good. Legal Begal. Then chop it.

New Frame- Stamp your original VIN on it. and swap everything you can over. (Keep your old Frame)

When you go to renew your plates, no one will have a clue you have a different frame or care. it all matches and its not stolen.
The dude at your local shop will inspect it, write down the VIN and ask the Make and Model and you tell him a Harley Sportster.

No one needs to know its a different frame.

If by chance a Sheriff questioned your Stamped VIN, you have your original Frame still so you can still proof its yours and not stolen and yadda yadda.

Custom Bikes and Cars are never bothered here in Missouri, unless you are doing somthing stupid to get pulled over.

Sheriff isnt going to see you ride by and be like, "OH THAT MOFO DOESNT HAVE A STOCK FRAME" Lmfao

He gonna not even bat a eye as you pass by. No one fucks with bikes around here.

KevinN
07-25-2017, 1:27 PM
Sorry. Really bad advice in post #33. You like federal raps?

SamHain
07-25-2017, 4:35 PM
Agree. If you ever want t leave the state or find some law enforcement that does their job as fuckin dumb as it may be, stamping your own vin is illegal as it gets. Not saying no one does it, but a harley frame is pretty fucking easy to identify if its real or not... choose your own battles and how much money you want to throw down the drain.

Jeremy24
07-26-2017, 9:54 AM
To OP

Im not trying to sound like an ass here but search and read this whole forum before you spend your money and then decide this isn't the hobby for you.

From what you've posted I see you want an ironhead sportster in a rigid frame.

Right side or left side shift? Yes it matters for the frame

Pre 1970 or post 1970?

what size ironhead? yes it matters

My advice to you, bc you don't sound like you come from a fabrication background, but maybe you do. buy a numbers matching, frame and engine vin numbers match. Get a standard Harley manual. Pay someone to hardtail it for you, kevinfab, haifley bros etc. Then re assemble the bike using your manual and whatever knowledge you read here.

Police aren't as dumb as you think. Had a friend that had his shovel, taken from him right there on the street bc the cop knew his shit, impounded the bike, fought in court for a year to get it back and then had to buy it back from the state. 1 year and 12 grand later he got his bike back.


Buy a numbers matching, frame and motor.

usmc50lx
07-26-2017, 9:54 AM
Either do the Weld on like mentioned or...


I live in Missouri...................Lisensce your sporty stock. Everything is good. Legal Begal. Then chop it.

New Frame- Stamp your original VIN on it. and swap everything you can over. (Keep your old Frame)

When you go to renew your plates, no one will have a clue you have a different frame or care. it all matches and its not stolen.
The dude at your local shop will inspect it, write down the VIN and ask the Make and Model and you tell him a Harley Sportster.

No one needs to know its a different frame.

If by chance a Sheriff questioned your Stamped VIN, you have your original Frame still so you can still proof its yours and not stolen and yadda yadda.

Custom Bikes and Cars are never bothered here in Missouri, unless you are doing somthing stupid to get pulled over.

Sheriff isnt going to see you ride by and be like, "OH THAT MOFO DOESNT HAVE A STOCK FRAME" Lmfao

He gonna not even bat a eye as you pass by. No one fucks with bikes around here.

Troop C inspections for a DOR tag are a complete bitch... same with Street Rods, the local sheriff or PD wont know the frame is different but MSHP has a dedicated team for shit like this and those dudes do patrols as well. Ive been pulled over and bugged about a weld on tail on my old bike by one of them after speeding down 70 just before Columbia

ChopperDani
07-26-2017, 12:40 PM
Troop C inspections for a DOR tag are a complete bitch... same with Street Rods, the local sheriff or PD wont know the frame is different but MSHP has a dedicated team for shit like this and those dudes do patrols as well. Ive been pulled over and bugged about a weld on tail on my old bike by one of them after speeding down 70 just before Columbia

You prolly know me by chance. i live in the area. Always in Como, Jeff, Kingdom City.

In all honesty, i knew my post would bring up some BS story about being caught and yadda Court BS.

For real its not that hard to build a bike or car. There are so many ways and different types parts.

you can pick up a frame off your local craigslist for dirt and make your own motor mounts.
You purchase a frame jig and build your own frame scratch.
you can modify your stock frame.

Research, GOOGLE everything. Pick a bike or motor that you plan to build.
Sportster? okay, New frame? Used Frame? Weld On? Bolt On?

The possibilities are endless to building a bike.

RickG61
07-26-2017, 1:03 PM
I'm disappointed in the lot of you. Not a single person answered his question, "would his stock shocks fit his hardtail frame. LOL

RickG61
07-26-2017, 1:29 PM
wait! what??!!!
i've been to plenty of county auctions trying to score a police bike or crown vic on the cheap.
never happens. to many guys bidding up to resale them. fucking cocksuckers.

So, I shouldn't mention the cheap ass 86 1100 Sporty I bought from the Fulton County Sheriff at an auction, cheap. Did I say cheap twice? LOL Calm down. Didn't buy it to resell. Not one of those cocksuckers you mentioned. LOL Here's where it started, and where its at right now. Gonna find out just how much more abuse my tired old spine and kidneys will take before they leave town.

Instead of trying dedicated police auctions, I found this one at a regular auction full of boring junk, and the FCSD just happened to bring this bike and two cars up for consignment. Wasn't a huge crowd there looking to score cheap police vehicles. Just a bunch of old ladies looking at glassware and antiques.

SlyJJ
07-26-2017, 8:14 PM
You prolly know me by chance. i live in the area. Always in Como, Jeff, Kingdom City.

In all honesty, i knew my post would bring up some BS story about being caught and yadda Court BS.

For real its not that hard to build a bike or car. There are so many ways and different types parts.

you can pick up a frame off your local craigslist for dirt and make your own motor mounts.
You purchase a frame jig and build your own frame scratch.
you can modify your stock frame.

Research, GOOGLE everything. Pick a bike or motor that you plan to build.
Sportster? okay, New frame? Used Frame? Weld On? Bolt On?

The possibilities are endless to building a bike.

I appreciate the advice that's given. Legality and morality is often not one in the same. Provided the OP knows the dangers its his choice and his risk. Technically my sporty isn't legal, but I lost faith in the legal system a long time ago...

seaking
07-27-2017, 12:05 PM
TLDR? Buy tools, and buy them often. You'll lose your ass on bikes and any project. Tools are an investment.

I don't have much to add, but sometimes people buy questionable shit by accident--keep it under wraps and do your best to flip it asap. If you're 99% sure it won't pass muster at DMV you could just leave the title unsigned and put it someplace safe. Don't leave the ride unattended--no parking it at the beach, swaps or group rides and no riding it during bar time. Then you're not married to it, I have married questionable shit and regret it.

Next--this is just my opinion--the closer your project is to your ability to chop it, the better. To me a softail or any big twin is the perfect project. They're reasonably cheap, value may be added (most likely not if you're a newbie) with chopping or customizing, and 90% of the parts will be used in the project, should it be a slight custom or hardtailed.

Without a significant backlog of tools and skill, tour frames or anything rubber mount and jap/brit/sporty projects to me aren't worth it. To me, even an alternator shovel isn't worth it--there's absolutely no r.o.i unless you get it dirt cheap and flip the stock parts for spending on custom ones and that can be difficult.