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  1. #1

    Default Hardtail garage build

    Iím a new builder trying to have some fun doing a garage build on a budget. The bike started life as a 98 buell white lightning. Somewhere down the line it turned into a hardtail chopper. I have no idea what the frame is Iíve done countless hours of research trying to find where the frame may have come from with no results. No numbers on the frame to go off of either. Bike sat for several years in a friends garage untouched when I took it home. Iím trying to do as much as possible myself, within reason. Iíll try and catch this thread up to where I currently am and keep updates as I go. Most parts of this project take a long time it will be a slow build but Iím okay with this.
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  2. #2

    Default

    After getting the bike home I took off the handlebars, gas tank and seat pan too them to my work cleaned them down to bare metal and had them painted for free using tractor paint just to start cleaning it up a bitClick image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    Looks good; unrecognizable from its original form:

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    https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/mo...tning%2004.htm

    Do you think it's a home-built frame?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1200Lightning View Post
    I’m a new builder trying to have some fun doing a garage build on a budget. The bike started life as a 98 buell white lightning. Somewhere down the line it turned into a hardtail chopper. I have no idea what the frame is I’ve done countless hours of research trying to find where the frame may have come from with no results. No numbers on the frame to go off of either. Bike sat for several years in a friends garage untouched when I took it home. I’m trying to do as much as possible myself, within reason. I’ll try and catch this thread up to where I currently am and keep updates as I go. Most parts of this project take a long time it will be a slow build but I’m okay with this.
    That rear frame loop under the seat springs looks a lot like the Bitter End Choppers Buell Conversion kit:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.bitterendchoppers.com/Bue...ersionKit.html

  5. #5
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    Cant see the rear motor mount but whenever I see "Buell" and "Dropseat" my first thought is Redneck Engineering. They were known for those pro street swap frames but had a very distinct rear motor mount frame support. Have you already crossed them off the list of possibilities?

    Also though MCWorx but thier axle blocks were a round cylinder unlike what you have.

  6. #6

    Default

    Iím not 100% sure if itís home built but I feel itís convincing. The rear of the frame is about a half inch wider on the drive chain side. To me that feels like a homemade frame jig that wasnít completely accurate but it may have been intentional.Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

    Default

    It very well may be From redneck eng. I haven’t noticed this exact frame via internet search but it may even be an older model frame that wasn’t used much for all I know. The rear motor mount frame support as you mentioned did draw my attention with its unique look. Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    That rear frame loop under the seat springs looks a lot like the Bitter End Choppers Buell Conversion kit:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.bitterendchoppers.com/Bue...ersionKit.html

    It does share some similar qualities with the look of this bitter end frame. It may have been from them or at very least inspired by that design
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  9. #9

    Default catch up

    in the last 3-4 years the bike has only been on the road twice, the last one was me riding it home. my goal is to get my feet wet with some smaller changes/fixes i want to make so it can be road worthy for summer 2019. after cleaning it up a bit i noticed the gas tank had some rust inside and the saddle was about ready to fall apart so thats where i started. i found an inexpensive tank on a site called demoncycle that fit the style i wanted and measured proper for the frame.

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    so far it seems more than worth the 150 paid. it passed a pressure test and is currently in the fitment stage. ive been working on fabricating some mounting brackets on my breaks at work. once the fitment is confirmed ill be prepping it along with the oil tank and possibly rear fender for some new paint.

  10. #10

    Default

    the saddle had a nice biltwell bracket already welded in place so i figured it would be worth keeping. i ordered rebond foam on amazon along with a roll of marine grade black vinyl. i didnt get any photos of the process unfortunately. after painting the saddle pan i drilled 1/8 holes for rivets.

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    two layers of rebond foam glued together and shaped with a sanding disc was good enough for me. i had to stretch the vinyl for each rivet and go back to drill out a few and redo them to get rid of wrinkles but im not upset at how it turned out. the true test will be putting miles on it.

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  11. #11

    Default

    I let this build thread die due to not actually building anything for the chop following my initial posts. Here I am again preparing to actually build something. my plan as it stands right now is to build a frame the way i want it. ive spent the last two years working on my house, starting a new career and building my garage space into a "shop". took some tig welding courses and bought a tig welder for my garage. got a jd2 tube bender with appropriate dies coming in this month. i have a chop source frame jig ready and a tube notching setup as well. i have an idea of what it will take to get a custom frame registered when its all said and done in my state. even from here i know this build wont happen as fast as i want it to but im feeling real goddamn dedicated to making it happen the way i envision it.

    since im currently waiting on equipment to come in ive been considering going thru the motor to see how it looks and doing whatever is necessary to make sure it will run proper when i get to that point. it is a 98 buell s1 1200, it hasnt been ran since 2018. i wanted to get a service manual for it before tearing into it. im not sure if i need the service manual to the original motorcycle or if i need a manual to the engine itself. also not sure if the manual would be any different between the buell of that year and just a 1200 sporty of that year? ive been doing research on it but havent found anything i thought was ultimately convincing yet. so thats where its at right now, cheers to the new year and hopeful for progress in this build.

  12. #12

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    Spent the last week disassembling the bike.

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    put the frame and motor up on the lift and pulled the heart out.

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    loaded the frame up onto the welding jig. im gonna have to figure out ways to save locations of certain parts of the frame for when i build the new one. engine mount locations being the primary thing im thinking of. after loading it on the jig and getting it tightened down a bit i realized just how bad the rear end is.

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    The axle plates dont line up for shit. they are not parallel to each other, both skew at an outward angle towards the rear which was really noticeable once i put the threaded bolts in and tried to tighten them down a bit.

  13. #13
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    If you haven't already I'd download the factory service manual and parts catalog. https://m.facebook.com/groups/1465028990466294/ may have it but if not I'd ask or perhaps a Buell group will have them. I'd get the Buell books to be sure and also download the Sporty books for research.

    Good call building another frame. That one looks like it was welded by drunk children and drop seats are goofy and graceless though a less-droppy version could look clean.

    That style frame looka different but they really don't flow with the HD engine design and were obviously done to be different for its own sake, like a home penectomy but with less blood. It will be interesting to see what ya come up with.

    Since it's a 1998 you could use any five speed aftermarket or stock solidmount Sporty frame (or section thereof) to get on the road quicker vs trying to unfuck someone else's abortion. 4-speed frames would work if ya move the sidestand bracket (aftermarket should usually be in the correct location to fit both styles).

    http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2004933

    The engine mounts are easy to save (by cutting them free with enough extra steel to trim to fit) since bolting them to the engine locates them for tack welding.

  14. #14

    Default

    Hey man nice bike... Here's my current build...

    On new frame, with completely rebuilt motor and new or rebuilt EVERYTHING ...

    You are the 2021 Sturgis Competition???

    Show or RACE ???
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Add: your exhaust; with my skinny tire I plan to run the front exhaust like yours but shotgun style inside the frame in between the tire...then run the rear jug exhaust out the other side for dual exhaust all tucked in tight... My aluminum oil tank thinking run on a sissy bar type of rack ...... I am 2 months out from road trip, will keep posted
    Last edited by jamesgandy; 01-13-2021 at 12:20 PM.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by trinortchopz View Post
    looks good; unrecognizable from its original form:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/mo...tning%2004.htm

    do you think it's a home-built frame?
    almost... Except... He has an evo and not a p.o.s. 2nd gen....... Just saying that there is a big difference!!!

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    If you haven't already I'd download the factory service manual and parts catalog. https://m.facebook.com/groups/1465028990466294/ may have it but if not I'd ask or perhaps a Buell group will have them. I'd get the Buell books to be sure and also download the Sporty books for research.

    Good call building another frame. That one looks like it was welded by drunk children and drop seats are goofy and graceless though a less-droppy version could look clean.

    That style frame looka different but they really don't flow with the HD engine design and were obviously done to be different for its own sake, like a home penectomy but with less blood. It will be interesting to see what ya come up with.

    Since it's a 1998 you could use any five speed aftermarket or stock solidmount Sporty frame (or section thereof) to get on the road quicker vs trying to unfuck someone else's abortion. 4-speed frames would work if ya move the sidestand bracket (aftermarket should usually be in the correct location to fit both styles).

    http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2004933

    The engine mounts are easy to save (by cutting them free with enough extra steel to trim to fit) since bolting them to the engine locates them for tack welding.

    I saw you suggest that FB group on someone elses build thread in the past and checked it out but didnt find anything for a buell S1W. i did find a pdf (http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buel...rvice/BU3a.pdf)
    that should work until i can order a hardcopy for the S1W. i appreciate the info! ive been browsing a bit on that xlforum since you suggested it, really good stuff there too!

    i will be using that method for the engine mounts, it sounds pretty straight forward. im a sucker for dropseats and fat tires but i agree it doesnt fit the profile of these engines when its "too droppy"

    Attachment 108124
    im drawing some inspiration in my head from this weld on rear end but i would be doing at most a 200 tire. at the moment im focusing on practice. snagged a bunch of short end ERW steel tubing at work and coped half a dozen pieces at varying degrees to practice some tube TIG this weekend. ill probably do this and practice bends for a while before i do any real attempts on a frame.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesgandy View Post
    Hey man nice bike... Here's my current build...

    On new frame, with completely rebuilt motor and new or rebuilt EVERYTHING ...

    You are the 2021 Sturgis Competition???

    Show or RACE ???
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Add: your exhaust; with my skinny tire I plan to run the front exhaust like yours but shotgun style inside the frame in between the tire...then run the rear jug exhaust out the other side for dual exhaust all tucked in tight... My aluminum oil tank thinking run on a sissy bar type of rack ...... I am 2 months out from road trip, will keep posted
    thats cool man, what tire width are you running on the rear? ive debated keeping the stock rims to save some money but i really want 60 spoked rims if i decided to throw the money at it.

    nah i dont do sturgis. im not into crowds, small meets and get togethers are more my interest. im not sure what im gonna do with my exhaust yet, really want to make my own at some point. the exhaust that was on the bike when i got it was absolute garbage just like the welds on the frame.

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