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  1. #1
    Halwade
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    Default Minor Metamorphosis: McGoo's Acme-Built Triumph Bonneville Chopper

    I bought this bike last year because at the time I thought my SpartanKiller project would never be finished:

    Photobucket

    The only thing I've done to this bike since taking delivery last September is shorten the muffler, change some random bits and go and ride it:

    Shortened exhaust can (Geronimo will give it the full polish before I take Scotchbrite to the entire exhaust)
    Photobucket



    Biltwell Sanderson pegs and re-angled H-D foot pedal to fit my diminutive buckshanks
    Photobucket


    Now that I've logged 500 miles or so on my Acme Triumph, it's time to tweak a couple things for greater personalization and/or performance. Specifically, here's what I'm doing:

    • Front brakes
    • Paint
    • Better multi-surface tires
    • Custom-upholstered two-up seat on hand-made steel pan
    • Buddy pegs

    While researching the retrofitment of front brakes on the current 16x3 H-D Road King mags, I concluded a new front wheel with narrower hub was required.

    On eBay I found this:

    Photobucket

    It's a 19x3 '06-'09 Dyna 5-pattern 10-spoke mag with a rotor and good 1" ID sealed bearings already installed. Price: $123 delivered. I mention the 1" bearings as a good thing despite the fact that my forks accept a 3/4" axle because Acme has made some stunning spacers and bearing shims that are on the current front wheel. I'll repurpose these bits in the lathe and I'll be good to go. No new front axle bearings required.

    Further eBay scouring landed me a set of '04 Sporty sliders with brake caliper tabs intact. Price: $70.

    Now all I needed was a lever and caliper.

    I scored this like-new Sporty take-off brake for $25:

    Photobucket

    With all the money I saved on other people's used shit, Tyler at Lowbrow convinced me to splurge on a matching brake master cylinder and clutch lever set from Kustom Tech:

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    These are setting me back nearly six Benjamins even with Lowbrow's bro discount, but they are stunning. Forged and cast satin finish alloy with retro styling and a clever conversion piece on the clutch lever that accepts both barrel- and eyelet-style clutch cables. Kyle at Lowbrow is shipping them as I write this.

    con'd...
    Last edited by Halwade; 03-05-2012 at 9:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Halwade
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    … con'd


    When I received the new front mag I immediately compared it to the 13-spoke wagon wheel that's on the rear. One look sent me back to eBay for a matching set. My mismatched wheel package was simply too gross for my anal nature and persnickety aesthetic to bear. I found this wheel on eBay, but it was $300 sans brake rotor, including freight:

    Photobucket

    A spendier solution than I wanted to finance, but I like the look of these Dyna take-offs very much.

    ONE problem: H-D's sizing on wheels of this style is 18" x 4.0", and my stunningly well-mounted rear fender won't accept a tire wider than 5.25" or taller than 26.5".

    To the calculator…

    After shopping for meats and doing the math, here's what I bought:

    Photobucket

    These are Kenda K761 dualsport tires with meaty directional tread blocks, 130+ speed rating sufficient load bearing for me and a ladyfriend. I don't actually have a ladyfriend, but should one ever materialize, I want to be able to haul her 177 pounds and my own 225 without killing us on the 405.

    The sizes I selected are as follows, with their US measurements shown in parentheses:

    Front: 110/90-19 (4.33" wide x 26.79" tall)
    Rear: 130/80-18 (5.11" wide x 26.18" tall)

    The rear tire will fit inside my Trump's rear fender perfectly, with a little extra breathing room to spare.

    I think the 18" tall wheel will improve the appearance of the bike by drawing attention to the nice drivetrain and brake components Acme used to build this machine.

    And best of all, the rear hub spacing of the new wheel and old wheel is identical, so a speedy retrofitment with no additional fabwork required is virtually guaranteed.

    That's good news, because switching the front end is going to take a little more fab work and a lot more time (more on this later)



    I love the custom stainless steel handlebars with integrated clutch lever perch Acme built for this bike, but I'm afraid I can't run mismatched levers. I'm simply too OCD.

    Photobucket


    Since I've got to switch the bars to accept my new Kustom Tech hand controls, I'm going with chrome Bilwell Trackers and a new Biltwell Thunder riser in polished stainless steel:

    Biltwell Tracker bars
    Photobucket


    Biltwell Thunder Riser
    Photobucket


    This combo will keep the off-road-inspired aesthetic of my rigid Bonnie alive. Dualsport tires and high pipes say "adventure bike" to me, even if the forward foot controls do not.

    I considered mid controls to give the whole bike a rigid Scrambler feeling, but Walt Gemeinhardt was right: the repurposed H-D forward Acme used on this build are really comfortable, and the bike's so small they aren't as forward as they might appear.

    Sticking with the current foot controls will save me some money, and I plan to pour that cash into some nice paint and chrome afterthe SpartanKiller is finished.

    Stay tuned…

    Photobucket
    Last edited by Halwade; 03-06-2012 at 4:07 AM.

  3. #3
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    Very excited to keep up on this project.

  4. #4
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    looking good!

  5. #5
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    Bike is real good looking, very nice.

  6. #6
    Halwade
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    03.24.12

    GOT MY TIRES AND WHEELS MOUNTED…

    MIke D and Billdozer graciously had my tires mounted and balanced on the new wheels while I was in Australia last week.

    Tomorrow I'll shoot photos of the new rolling stock.

    I'm going to install the new fork sliders first so I can set up the front brakes.

    My new clutch and brake lever from Lowbrow arrived last week, too, so I should be able to gain some real traction on this project over the weekend.

    But first, I've got to finish the electronicals on the SpartanKiller.

    So much to do, so little time.

    Thank god for jet lag!

    Stay tuned…

  7. #7
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    it appears Magoo has hit another home run.
    I like your style.

  8. #8
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    looking good!!

    I bet your chain is rubbing on the motor mount plate. i would'n't call it a design flaw, but the clearance is very close. I was able to fix mine with a nice DID o-ring chain and tensioner from monstercraftsman. I rigged it to mount directly to the plate. you may want to consider. it's also nice as you don't have to adjust the rear wheel for stretchage.




  9. #9
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    This bike is awesome, found some pics of it online a while back and had it as my cellphone background! Glad to have background on it, looking forward to seeing more pics of the changes

  10. #10
    Halwade
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    My motor rides slightly higher in the frame than yours appears to, relative to horizontal plane of rear axle. Wayne at Acme is a chassis-building badass, and I see no rub to be concerned with.

    I'm working on the SpartanKiller tomorrow, but I'm going to try to get the Acme into the shop so I can swap the fork sliders and install the bpnew font wheel/brakes.

    Stay tuned. More photos Sunday.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halwade View Post
    My motor rides slightly higher in the frame than yours appears to, relative to horizontal plane of rear axle. Wayne at Acme is a chassis-building badass, and I see no rub to be concerned with.

    I'm working on the SpartanKiller tomorrow, but I'm going to try to get the Acme into the shop so I can swap the fork sliders and install the bpnew font wheel/brakes.

    Stay tuned. More photos Sunday.

    ohh ok,, was just trying to help. my chain rubbed the first mile it put on the bike. keep up the good work.

  12. #12
    Halwade
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    04.08.12

    FUSTERCLUCK EDITION: Dueling Choppers

    Photobucket

    Both of these bikes have been collecting dust for weeks. Reason: I've been out of the country for 17 of the last 30 days. Yesterday I made a solo run on the wiring for the SpartanKiller.

    The hardware store was closed on Easter, so I was dead in the water on the SpartanKiller until I could pick up some nuts and bolts at Hank's. In the mean time, Easter Sunday was a great time to install the new front wheel, fork sliders and brake assembly on the Triumph:

    Photobucket

    This is the 19" '06 Dyna mag with rotor and Kenda dualsport tire installed.

    Photobucket

    Here's a picture of the battle ground with parts ready.

    I solicited the help of Duane Ballard and Alex Cardone for this project. After dicking with the wiring on the SpartanKiller for six hours yesterday, I wasn't in the mood for pulling a another solo run on the Triumph.

    Photobucket

    Alex and Duane wasted no time stripping the old wheel off the bike and installing the new sliders. There were no surprises with these steps, and both guys moved so fast I didn't have time to take photos.

    Photobucket

    Because the bearing spacing on the 19" front wheel is narrower than the rear Road King wagon wheel it replaces, two new spacers were needed.

    As good luck would have it, I found some guinea pigs in Billdozer's pile of early lathe experiments:

    Photobucket

    These trumpet-shaped sections of pre-turned alloy already featured the correct axle bore, so all Duane had to do was chuck 'em up and shave a few hundreds off one spacer to center the new front wheel perfectly.

    Photobucket

    With both alloy spacers installed it was time to position the brake caliper on the rotor. This step exposed another problem: a spacer for the floating XL caliper would be needed to bolt the brakes to the tabs on the fork legs.

    Digging around Bill's mill scraps turned up a piece of 3/4" thick 6061 plate that was perfect for this job.

    After drilling some holes, hogging away some material with a flap disk and cleaning up the dogbone-shaped alloy chunk we ended up with a piece that looks like this in final installation:

    Photobucket

    I've got some fine-tuning to do to the dogbone to make it match the brake mounting tabs more perfectly, but this piece allowed us to install the caliper so we could add a lever to the handlebars and bleed the brakes. I'll change to stainless steel button Allen screws, too. I don't want to run grade-8 hex bolts—too clunky-looking IMO.

    To slide the brake lever onto the bar I had to cut off the right side grip and remove the alloy tube that screws to the internal throttle mechanism.

    Photobucket

    If this Joker machine master cylinder looks familiar, it's because it used to be on the SpartanKiller. I originally bought a Kustom Tech master cylinder for this project, but when Alex and Duane saw these beautiful retro-styled levers, they demanded I install them on my Harley project and use the Joker units on the chunkier and more modern-looking 2010 Hinckley Triumph. Good call.

    With the front brake lever installed we built a custom brake line and bled the brakes. Ten more minutes and the alloy throttle grip tube and new rubber grip was installed…

    Photobucket

    Here's a photo of the new front end buttoned down from top to bottom:

    Photobucket

    And here's a shot of the whole bike in side profile with the new front end:

    Photobucket

    I LOVE the taller front wheel with the meatier all-terrain tread, and of course the added confidence of front brakes.


    Next on the agenda: Installing the rear matching real wheel…

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    Because the new meat is a little wider than the tire it replaces, I'm going to wait to attack this mess. I don't want to be without a chopper before the Dixie Roundup, which we're trailering to on April 21. After The Dixie Roundup I'll have the month of May to locate and install a wider rear fender and built a two-up seat pan for a new rigidly mounted seat.

    If I finish the SpartanKiller by April 20, it'll go to Alabama. If I don't, the Triumph is ready to rumble…
    Last edited by Halwade; 04-08-2012 at 8:39 PM.

  13. #13
    Halwade
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    04.10.12

    Just ordered a 27.5" d. X 6" wide smooth duckbill tip steel ender from 7 Metal West. Stoked!

    This custom piece will take a few weeks to produce, so I'll be taking ths chopper as is to the Dixie Roundup on April 26-29.

    Now, off to CHP for VIN verification on the SpartanKiller.

    Dueling choppers is just about finished...

  14. #14
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    I love this bike dude!

  15. #15
    Halwade
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    06.06.12

    Back from the dead...

    Well if you followed my commentary on the Biltwell FB wall you know all about my Triumph wiring's failure to keep pace during 80+mph days in the hot desert. Yesterday a dozen little glitches in the original wiring exposed themselves during strip down for the rear wheel and new fender install

    I'll have photos and details this afternoon.

    Right now I'm searching for a 2010 Bonneville wiring diagram.

    Any volunteers?

  16. #16
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    you need a diagram? or a wiring wiring volunteer ?

    diagrams are on the web, bring it down to the shop and I'll wire it.
    Last edited by Torch; 06-06-2012 at 9:13 AM.

  17. #17
    Halwade
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torch View Post
    you need a diagram? or a wiring wiring volunteer ?

    diagrams are on the web, bring it down to the shop and I'll wire it.
    SOLD!

    Thanks Tony!

    I'll send this to paint as soon as the fender fab is finished, then we'll make this motherscratcher sing like a bird.

    Speaking of fender fab…

    The Dyna wheel retrofitted to the existing brake disk and drive sprocket/spacers without headache, and looks like this:

    Photobucket


    I love the meaty 130mm wide Kenda enduro tread, which matches the 100mm wide x 19" unit up front.

    The wheel package is perfect, but I knew the fatter rear wouldn't work with Acme's original fender, so I bought a 7.5" wide unit off eBay.


    Photobucket

    This photo shows just how much too wide said fender is, so I'm going to remove an inch from the middle and TIG weld it back together.


    Photobucket

    Here's how the fender looks in dry build state. I'm happy with the curvature and wraparound; all that remains to be done is the narrowing, which I'll tackle this weekend.

    But first, I need to deal with ONE SLIGHT PROBLEM…


    The brake caliper that came on the original bike fit nicely around the 11.5" rotor as mounted on the 16" x 3" wide rear wheel.

    My rear wheel, however, is 4.5" wide x 17". I thought the additional diameter would accommodate the original caliper, but it doesn't.

    Photobucket

    Solution: mount a different, thinner caliper using a simple hanger bracket like this:

    Photobucket

    I'm told a variety of calipers from PM, GMA and others will fit this… all I need to do is find one. I found the alloy plate on eBay for $50 delivered and ordered it instantly. I could have made one myself, but that would require material I don't own and time I can't spare. 50 bucks seems like a fair price for an instant solution to a common problem.

    If you've got a used caliper that will work with this floating plate, I'm a motivated buyer. PM me.

    con'd…
    Last edited by Halwade; 06-06-2012 at 12:51 PM.

  18. #18
    Halwade
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    06.06.12


    It took me approximately 250 miles to decide I don't like the custom mustache bars that came on the original bike… too low.

    This morning I switched to Biltwell Breeze bars, and they are MUCH more comfortable.

    Photobucket

    The hand controls are the ones Joker Machine provided for my SpartanKiller, but they look much more at home on this modern Brit chopper, IMO.

    Photobucket

    The throttle is a Biltwell Whiskey Throttle, single cable type, with Kung Fu grips. Hey—why overthink it?


    Of course, I need a new longer clutch cable to fit these much taller bars, so I ordered three from the good folks at Motion Pro. Being the anal guy I am, I created these drawings for the three slightly different cables… one is sure to work perfectly with the lever and motor in question:

    Photobucket


    After sussing out the cockpit, I moved my attention to seating.

    I plan to make a custom seat pan using the old fender and some steel sheet, but Bill had a cobra seat laying around that works mighty nice for my mock-up.

    Photobucket

    The body of the snake shape won't be as long as this mock-up seat, but you get the idea.

    Photobucket

    I will shorten the tail end of my custom cobra seat pan to make room for a new Biltwell Mako taillight (photo pending)

    A sissy bar will double as fender struts to support the rear of the fender. I'll probably never haul a passenger on this bike, but the cobra seat and sissy bar will provide a nice place for hauling light loads (camping gear, backpacks, contraband)

    Here's what I envision for the finished product:

    Photobucket

    The yellow line represents the sissy bar. I think I'll build it to a point so it matches the ends of the highest point on this bike, which happens to be the top of the Biltwell Breezer bars.

    Now, off the McMasterCarr.com to order some rod stock…
    Last edited by Halwade; 06-06-2012 at 1:11 PM.

  19. #19
    Halwade
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    I'm looking for one of these:

    Photobucket

    Click here to see my WTB listing in the CC Classifieds.

    Anyone willing to sell or trade something similar please email Harold@chopcult.com.

    Thanks!

  20. #20
    Halwade
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    06.07.12

    I SCORED A PM CALIPER FROM A CYBER FRIEND…

    So while I'm waiting for it and the eBay hanger to arrive, I thought I'd dig into narrowing the fender.

    Step 1: find center on the fender and mark 1" down the middle. I used masking tape for this purpose because my tired old eyes couldn't see the scratch marks on the red dye Billdozer originally recommended for this purpose.

    Photobucket


    After laying my marks I used a 4" cutting disk to take the 1" wide strip out of the middle. Take your time in this process or the kerf of your blade will leave big gaps that you'll have to fill with weld later… that's what happened to me because I'm a hack.

    Step 2: using magnets, clamps and assorted other gadgets I jigged the opposing halves of my freshly split fender and tacked it along the length on the underside of the fender. I'm a better tacker than I am a welder.

    Photobucket

    Photobucket


    After tacking the fender along the length of the split I welded it down the middle on the top side. I skipped around on the surface of the fender so the heat from the welding wouldn't warp my fender. It worked, because the finished piece was surprisingly straight.


    Here's the conjoined fender after my shoddy finish welding:

    Photobucket

    I used a 60-grit flap disk to smooth the welds on the top side of the fender. Of course, I blew right through the filler welding on some of the wider gaps on the fender, so I need to create patches and try again. I'm not worried about what the top of the fender looks like because the center seam will be covered by the cobra seat. I'm more concerned with straightness and strength, and this fender seems to be passing on both counts.

    Photobucket

    Photobucket


    I failed to take a photo of the narrowed fender on top of the tire, but it fits great. I'll do so after I patch the 1" hole on the center seam that I created with my aggressive flap disking.

    While I was welding, the McMaster-Carr delivery guy showed up with 6 feet of 1/2" stainless steel rod, so this weekend I'll start on the fender strut/sissy bar assembly. I bought some bungs for this project from the good folks at Lowbrow Customs, so I might not be starting until those little bits arrive next week. If that's the case, I think the brakes and brake plate should be in Friday's UPS. I hope something shows up, because I'm really itching to wrap this project up.

    If nothing arrives, I'll drag the SpartanKiller to CHP and get the VIN verified.

    It's always something…
    Last edited by Halwade; 06-07-2012 at 8:56 PM.

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