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  1. #1

    Default Girder Front End

    Hey all, I'm really new to this whole custom bike building thing. I bought a girder front end that was missing a shock and the stem bracket. I'm wondering how I should go about finding the correct size shock and making a new piece to mount the stem so I can put it on a bike

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    Post good pix and measurements of the part thats missing. TNC seems good at ID'ing period front ends,, on the springer "How do they ride" post I inserted some period photos of the Jammer catalog as I have several old copies, but they ran a shock on Girders and IMHO was one of the best setups.
    But not all girders run a shock, some just a spring (Bouncy Bouncy) and springers & Girders with only springs tend to pogo.

    Shock absorbers themselves are just a shock and designed for certain applications but dont care if its on the back of a Bagger, Minibike, or a Girder,, they have holes and fluid inside, the spring and free length as well as travel are specced to match the application. For example on vintage British bikes most were fitted with one specific brand and the specs were the length and shrouded or unshrouded. The dealer then fitted the springs to the application IE: 250cc Triumph vs 500 vs 650 or 750 Triumph but most ran the same shock.

    My experience with vintage shocks on front ends were that ridden hard, the shocks got overwhelmed and didnt perform well. (The oil inside overheats) However modern shocks are much better designs and quality so consider that before using any old crusty swap meet find.

    ** I found the disc with the other pictures on it, I have other catalogs but TNC is your best bet on that one. But heres from the 1984 Edition of the Jammer catalog. I think they did 2 catalogs a year and inventory changed over time but you can no longer buy direct from them if they even exist at all anymore. Used to be the G0-TO source for parts.

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    Last edited by Dougtheinternetannoyance123; 4 Weeks Ago at 8:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triumphkiller View Post
    Hey all, I'm really new to this whole custom bike building thing. I bought a girder front end that was missing a shock and the stem bracket. I'm wondering how I should go about finding the correct size shock and making a new piece to mount the stem so I can put it on a bike
    Need pics...good ones close up of the upper area, from side, top, below and of the bottom, and a couple of the whole girder, front and side views. Better the quality of pic, the easier to identify. oh, need pics.
    Really need an idea of what ya got to help with a replacement shock - if it originally had one...or two, coulda been a coil spring...straight or a variable rate barrel shaped one.

    Not sure what you mean by a stem bracket, but guessin' ya mean a neck post, that connects between the upper and lower trees and fits through the neck, through upper and lower bearings, to fit on your frame.
    Is it that XS650 in your avatar you're throwing it on?

    Here is a link to recent thread for a P&P girder, which was common, available round or square legs, had a built-in interchangeable rake (zero or 10 degrees) and options of one or two shocks (the square dual shock is rare, but their mono-girder is even more rare - perhaps as rare as a Wayne Engineering girder) where there was the need for a new shock, and lots of pics, discussion, links and info.:
    2018 Thread: P&P girder
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51863

    When you get them installed, it's important to fine tune them so the upper and lower linkage arms are parallel, to prevent binding. This may take a spacer at the neck - you want the distance between the upper and lower pivot points on the trees installed on the frame, to be the same distance as the measurement between the upper and lower linkage points on the girder legs. Hope that makes sense.

    You also want all of the linkages to be the same length to prevent binding or improper movement as the fork compresses and extends.

    Let us know what ya got - oh, I love girders...

    an example of an original parts assembly (for a P&P):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    and every thread needs pics, so a few of the more common girders;

    CCW:
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    Durfee:
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    Fury double-shock
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    SB&F:
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    Dude, seriously? Are you really 16 yrs old?? WTF? How cool is that! As long as you really arent #1Wing pretending to be someone else, 3 cheers for the youth of today.

    Yes, more pictures needed as well as is your bikes frame set up for a over length girder? Despite what you may hear,, running too long of a front end creates serious handling issues. The general rule is, if the bottom of the frame is level with the ground it should handle okay, if its too high in the front it will be unstable as all hell.

    You might want to read this entire book, give thanks to the Lord above and the author for being such a great resource as well. See: http://www.chopperhandbook.com/index.htm

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chopp...80601771955474

    If you are in Boise as your profile says,, If you ever get to Portland PM me ahead of time and Ill give you the grand tour of the Gearhead ranch and some of my chops.

    TNC-good job on the ads. I liked the Durfee and had one on one of my Triumph choppers but it pogo'd bad if you rode it hard,, I sure like the ones with a real shock absorber instead of just the springs., Plus you can actually run a front brake that way too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More girder stuff:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cycle Shack girder:
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    Donnie Smith (former part of SB&F) girder:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    EME flame-cut girder:
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    Harman Internally Sprung Girder patent drawing:
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Harman Internally Sprung Girder patent drawing:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ^^^^^^ Beautiful isn't it............^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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    Since the thread is titled girder front end, I keep throwing stuff up:

    Harman-Holland Internally Sprung girder (new by Executive Choppers):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Extended 1947 Indian girder:
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    I looked at this ad for like 40 years and I just noticed (musta been distracted) that it's a Wayne Engineering girder in an original SIE springer ad:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Spurder by Wheeler Mfg:
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    T&S Sales teardrop flame-cut girder
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 4 Weeks Ago at 1:34 AM. Reason: wayne

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    I own a harmon style girder that was built by bill holland. Bill of course was partners
    with john harmon when they had their shop in nor cal.
    I modified the top section to derake it to about 30 degrees and also narrowed the trees.
    I have it on a chopper that I have been building, which is taking forever since I rarely have
    free time to work on it, so I can't comment on how it rides, but others have said that the
    harmon's were the best handling of all the popular girders of the day
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails chump build 005.jpg   lady chump build 1 005.jpg  
    Last edited by Revelator; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:58 AM.

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    I looked at this ad for like 40 years and I just noticed (musta been distracted) that it's a Wayne Engineering girder in an original SIE springer ad:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have me one of those Wayne engineering girders. Probably going to wind up on this bike. Never rode a long bike before so Im going to leave the glide with the airhart brake on it until I get used to it. Then ( I've already mocked it up , should be fine ) I'm going to throw on this old narrow Wayne girder w/invader and see how she goes.

    Pics are probably going to come out sideways or upside down though.

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    Remember the Leafer front end? I remember the magazine adds back around the late '90's
    They gotta be really rare, I aint never seen one other than the ones in their adds.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    47str8leg: I have me one of those Wayne engineering girders. Probably going to wind up on this bike. Never rode a long bike before so Im going to leave the glide with the airhart brake on it until I get used to it. Then ( I've already mocked it up , should be fine ) I'm going to throw on this old narrow Wayne girder w/invader and see how she goes.
    I don't think there are many of them Wayne's out there. Interesting to see the extra little gusset plates in the legs. Does the neck post thread into the lower tree? - or is it welded in... the bottom of the lower tree looks smooth. The spring looks like a straight coil, non-variable with no damping, so it should be fun once the oscillations start.
    A few pics of the Wayne girder in my files:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revelator View Post
    I own a harmon style girder that was built by bill holland. Bill of course was partners
    with john harmon when they had their shop in nor cal.
    I modified the top section to derake it to about 30 degrees and also narrowed the trees.
    I have it on a chopper that I have been building, which is taking forever since I rarely have
    free time to work on it, so I can't comment on how it rides, but others have said that the
    harmon's were the best handling of all the popular girders of the day

    Nice build. that is the shortest Harman I've ever seen. Musta took lots of work to redo that one.

    Here is a drawing of the inner spring assembly:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I wonder if it may pogo now that is not raked out like the original...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revelator View Post
    Remember the Leafer front end? I remember the magazine adds back around the late '90's
    They gotta be really rare, I aint never seen one other than the ones in their adds.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Forgot about that one in the old ads until you tossed that up. Guessing there is a reason it wasn't popular

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    A few more girders:

    1949 Vincent Girdraulic:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Triumph girder:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Spitfire girder,new, based on copying Durfee:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    He didn't want to leave the bar when she came to get him, so she took the chop instead. Last she was seen was heading out of town with the all-women biker group, Babes Ride Out (BRO): https://babesrideout.com/
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That leafer front end was ugly. I don't even like original Indian leaf spring front ends. Looks like Jimmy Durantes nose sticking out the front of the bike.

    I think it's welded in but I'll probably be back at the garage working on it in the next day or two.
    I love that Devils Diciples bike. That's how I deciphered the front end , through Jeff McCaans site.
    Always wanted a long bike with a girder, we'll see how it all works out.
    I'm used to pogoing from my other two bikes. Taking it slow.
    I think that Wayne engineering girder was sold under a couple of other names also by other ads I've seen. Can't remember which off the top of my head though.
    Last edited by 47str8leg; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Forgot about that one in the old ads until you tossed that up. Guessing there is a reason it wasn't popular
    I'm guessing your guessing the correct!
    First thing I see is no positive stop but the pavement. It's also ugly especially compared the the grace of a girder done right but iy fits the graceless chassis.

    It's good to see the fugly shit from the past for reference and it's an interesting design but that much spring steel ain't light.

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    I have had a few bikes with Springers and to be honest, I wasn't really happy with the ride or control,.. but this is my buddys SBF sportster that Donny Smith built in about 1980 with a set of his SBF Girders and I gotta say it was one of the best handling chops I have ever ridden . the girders worked so damn well you'd think it had stock forks on it,.... SBF were great Quality and sometimes come up for silly money,... good to hear Donny still makes them....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails jerrys sbf 1984.jpg   jerrys sbf 1985.jpg  

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    tzienlee:"...my buddys SBF sportster that Donny Smith built in about 1980 with a set of his SBF Girders and I gotta say it was one of the best handling chops I have ever ridden ………. the girders worked so damn well you'd think it had stock forks on it,..."
    The design for the linkages on the SB&F girders, carried over with Donnie Smith's (below) is a factor that creates good stability - they are made like little swingarms, compared to most others with just bronze bushing 1/2" to 5/8" wide at each end of the four separate linkages. Also there is a coil over adjustable shock for dampening, not just a spring for suspension.

    Donnie Smith:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    SB&F teardrop girder:
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    Girder plans with typical bronze-bushed linkages:
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    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 4 Weeks Ago at 8:32 PM. Reason: dampener

  19. #19

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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	98304Yes, I am really 16 lol. I was not planning on putting the girder on the xs650, I really only want to rebuild it for a future bike that I’m gonna build. Thanks for the invite, I’ll definitely have to check that out next time I’m in oregon! I have attached some pictures of the girder, I cannot find any identification on it, so I don’t know who built it.Click image for larger version. 

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    Hey, that's a cool one. it's got the gusset shapes like the Wayne girder where the back leg bend is, the same shaped gussets in the middle of the leg like the Wayne girder that one 47str8leg posted above^^^(post #9), but not the curved section at the top, and lower leg axle plates almost like the one on the KZ900 trike that shank1kole just bought:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showth...t=54044&page=3

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