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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Softail chopper - work in progress - need ideas for the rear-end

    I'm in the middle of a project converting a 89 Softail into a chopper.

    I've already stretched and raked the frame. It's tacked and welded up. All the gingerbread is removed.

    Now I'm looking at what to do about the swing-arm. I'm going to keep it.

    But, I was interested in ideas about how to design the chicken-bar and seat section of the tail.

    A hard-tail has that distinctive feature where the chicken-bar comes (usually) down to the rear axle.

    On a soft-tail this isn't going to work. I've thought about shortening the rear fender support beams, and welding on some tube sockets to hold the base of the chicken bar, or some other elaborate enterprise. But, I'm just at a loss on what to do there.

    I am looking for ideas or pictures of chopper designs where the builder kept the softail swing-arm, but fashioned some interesting mounting design for the chicken-bar/ fender.

    I plan to put a king-queen high back seat, a tall chicken-bar (40"), and up-swept pipes. I just want the rear end to not look like a typical softail (except for the fact it has a swing-arm).

    Ideas? Pictures? Google has too many hits that don't match up.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Senior Member

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    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,927

    Default

    Search for the term "sissy bar"
    Add "swing arm"

    Can't ridged mount a bar between a static fender rail and a live swingarm
    You can mount a fender to a swingarm
    See above search results for pics and naysayers....

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    2

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    As soon as I posted, I realized -- of course, mount the fender and bar to the swing arm. I will check that.

    I'm concerned that upon hitting a bump, since the swing-arm axis would rotate the swing arm forward, the passenger will get the seat back shoved forward (into their back). That would be unexpected surprise. Mounting seat to the frame rather than swing-arm alleviates that. I guess that's the trade-off.

    The pictures I found were usually of the bike from an angle or distance that made it difficult to see the detail of the rear/swing-arm/bar mount. I'll have to experiment with a mock-up on the frame I got. Thanks for the input.

  4. #4

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    This is my current set-up, fender and sissy bar are both swingarm mounted, wouldn't put a a passenger on there tho, it will add extra weight on the swingarm and it just doesn't seem that safe to me. I'm currently trying to figure out a clean way to mount the fender to the frame.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

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    Join Date
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    This was discussed before
    And I couldn't think of a term then....
    But there's a kind of hybrid cafe/hardtail/landspeed seat deal going on some builda
    that I have not seen on a softail yet...

    The crazy Frank route is a polarizing look...

    Think it would be cool to replace the gargantuan swingarm dropout plates with tubing.
    At least cut some speed holes in them!

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