Shaving Fork Legs with Special '79


So, you want to be a daredevil and shave the fender and caliper mounts off your fork lowers? Cool, just make sure your rear brakes are tuned up nicely and give yourself plenty of braking distance. I’m certainly not opposed to running front brakes, but it sure looks nice and clean when your front legs are shaved and your bars have minimal controls on ‘em. The following little video is how we go about this process in the Barnstorm Cycles/SPCL’79 shop. Enjoy!



Thanks for the tech, Jay! Check out more at Special '79 and Barnstorm Cycles.

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Commented on 11-2-2011 At 04:31 am

Really nice work! Thanks for the vid, you make this shit look so easy!

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 05:37 am

Did I cheat too? I used a grinder with a cut off wheel and a flapper disc.

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 05:39 am

What i am saying is you dont need any particular machines to do this.

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 07:09 am

And sure nice to see WD40 put to its only good use....

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 07:19 am

Woulda rather seen him shave em with hand tools...

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 08:21 am

I concur! video is cool, but i'm going to bet that the majority of us don't have a lathe. cut off wheel and flapper disc plus some patience are very cool!

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 09:52 am

I guess that if you own a lathe and use it... you don't need the video to shave your fork legs .
Jay Roche is so talented and skilled that he probably has a lot to say on how to do it without expensive tools, no?
Hope he'll do other DIY videos for people with simple tools, even if a good craftsman always use the proper tool for a job....

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 04:00 pm

Why, you ungrateful sons of bitc... errr... I mean...

I completely agree. Not everyone has a lathe out in the garage, this was done showing the process that takes the shortest amount of time, since the shop I work for/out of bills by the hour:)

I'll shoot some video shaving legs with an angle grinder (cut-off/flap wheel), files, and emery paper and post it in the main forum.

However, I must say the best machine I ever bought was a small 110v South Bend workshop lathe. Invaluable to anyone that builds bikes for themselves.

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 05:31 pm

SP79 always has the goods. Great how to videos. Thanks again.

Commented on 11-2-2011 At 05:52 pm

Yea there is also the little matter of knowing what the hell you are doing when you turn it on so you dont get hurt. A bigger lathe can easily kill and maim you. Setting up a tight workpiece, selecting speed and cutting depth, when and when not to hit the autofeed and selecting the correct cutting tool for the metal youre working with is all shit you need to know. Heavy chunks of metal flying off at 1200 rpm can really f-up your day and asymetrical workpieces get "real interesting" at the wrong speed.

But i am totally with you on the value of a lathe once you know how its' easilly the best machine you can get for a shop. it'perversely fun to use.

Commented on 11-3-2011 At 03:45 am

Don't get me wrong, no intend of bein' ungrateful, I like very much the videos you do Jay, they are simple and well explained, I was just sayin' what was on my mind....

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and skills, here and on your blog.

Commented on 11-3-2011 At 05:42 am

No worries at all, I was only joking around with the prev reply.

Stay tuned for the new lower-tech version.

Commented on 11-5-2011 At 06:51 pm

well all i got is a die grinder if i had money to get a lathe i would proly just get more parts or another project bike haha!!!

Commented on 11-6-2011 At 10:07 am

insight full vid jay. let the haters hate. no question on the
talent or quality coming out of this east coast spot. next
time don't waist you time showing shit cause they all know
it better and don't need you to make a vid showing a shop's
fab work. no one is here to see that shit. this is a fasion
board for real deal bikers, didn't you know.

Commented on 11-6-2011 At 02:47 pm

LOL, Rugburn... Chill, man! =) I don't think anybody is hatin' on tha' man or even tha' process. Lathe is tha' way to go if'n ya' have one, but most low bucket chopper/bobber jocks that I know get by with less. First time I shaved some legs (a practice set, thankfully), I went too deep with a Sawzall when cuttin' into tha' caliper mount... Totally ruined 'em. Nothin' like good ol' FAILURE to teach one a lesson (and I've been taught many lessons) =) Great video and write up. Y'all take care out there. Respects

Commented on 11-7-2011 At 01:27 am

Rugburn i watch tv too and i know great bikes can me made in a fully equipped shop but that does not do me any good because i dont have access to one nor do i have the cash to pay skilled craftsmen like Jay to work for me. If you do that´s great buy a exile bike or something. Me i need ways to do stuff cheap or free and you can bet there are more dudes in my situation here.

Commented on 11-7-2011 At 03:16 pm

dude if you want info on lo-tech technique's on how to shave fork sliders then
say, "hey jay, great vid. thanks for taking the time to show how to smooth out
those fork lowers on a lath. how about a few ways to get it done with out a sweet shop set up." its about class, people more and more on this board are knocking dudes helpful shit down. i read grails blog every few days and when he post how to's with end mill machines i dont send him an email saying yeah but i dont have one, i deck my heads with a file. you did it with a hacksaw and a file, that's rad, where the link to your how to? your not the biggest offender nor are you the focus of my statement. jays local and cool guy who shared a bit of his work with the lurkers and chopper geeks on the board. next time you call some one a cheat put your own work up for review. i get that this is a comment section and not all comments may be nice or fair but your comment is more of that "ehh, what ever" shit that shows no respect. its systemic with all this fake bro love that oozes on this site. you may have just trying to make a funny quip with your comment, fine.
and i have clearly dedicated way more to this issue then reasonable.....and its the internet, it self a waist of time.


Commented on 11-8-2011 At 10:24 am

Commented on 11-11-2011 At 06:53 am

nice before and afters, get those done at your local machine shop?

Commented on 11-12-2011 At 08:54 pm

Now this is getting FUN! Anyone notice this site has gone from the small group of guys that knew a little about something, but not everything and weren't scared to ask; to a bro lovefest, to a pissing match! It happens on all massage boards.

Commented on 11-13-2011 At 10:52 am

Aw shut the fuck up rugburn. If you dont now shit dont say shit.

Commented on 12-3-2011 At 02:00 am

I'd love to get me a little lathe but every time I try to make something it ends up being a sneak-a-toke or a one hitter. (?)

Commented on 12-3-2011 At 02:30 am

Seriously tho.... I'm about to po-boy my lowers down to just caliper mounts but I'd like to get the tops turned to take off the groovy area where the chrome cap snaps on. I've always disliked those little caps and the way the leg bulges to make room for the grooves to hold them in place. I'd like to see a vid of the tops getting shaved down. I'm doing the rest by hand because I really like working metal with my hands. It's good therapy. Every aluminum part on my front end has been assaulted with a file, sandpaper, and polising rag.

Commented on 12-3-2011 At 02:33 am

Oh crap, I almost forgot... Cool video Jay!.


Commented on 6-24-2012 At 11:53 am

shaved fork legs = awesome

Commented on 12-21-2015 At 08:46 am

Old vid but is there a taper on 39mm lowers? If yer doin 41's im assuming you follow the taper whatever it is? Thanks, cool vid.

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