Victor’s Shovel Chopper

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Victor
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Location: Adelaide
Interests: Building choppers and riding off into the sunset

Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Victor » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:12 pm

Howdy folks, Victor here. Just signed up for the forum again after a long absence from any online activity. Not using a computer for this post makes it massively time consuming, time that is hard to find these days!!

Going to skim though some pictures of my new chopper build and put some words to it for you all. Hope you like.


Nice molded bigtwin rigid frame with some some subtle changes from stock.
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Freshly soda blasted (bicarbonate soda) engine and gearbox. It’s not as agressive or effective as grit blasting, but it’s fine to use Assembled motors, it just breaks down and washes away.
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Shaved top tree and Polished the fork lowers. These are pretty beat up from the previous life, but it will be replaced by a springer in the future so I’m not too concerned about them for now.

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Becomes a rolling chassis pretty quickly. Same wheels as used previously, it’s a 70s Yamaha front hub with 21” rim and a CB750 rear hub with Harley 16” rim.

King Peanut tank holds about 9L. 6” flat guard mocked up. 5/8” stainless sissy bar feauturing the “South Bay swoop”, a popular addition on 70s choppers from that area. Makes the sissybar massively strong and takes away its reliance on the rear guard for support. Playing with sissy bar infil designs.

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Stainless foot control pedals and pivots. The backing blare is painted steel but will be replaced with stainless at some point. I wanted really simple foot controls and 1/2” stainless round I think is very tidy. The first 1.5” of the solid 1” foot peg is turned down, with a section of 25x3mm stainless tube used as the pivot sleeve. Just lightly greased periodically and it works great. Yacht fittings used for the brake cable, there was no room to run a solid rod through to the rear brake.

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Decided to use a King PNut tank from Lowbrow Customs, it’s a slightly scaled up version of an original peanut/wassel tank. High filler and low tap means all the fuel is useable. One of my biggest frustrations, when I look at some awesome looking choppers that can only access 3/4 of the tank capacity.

I’m lazy, and often find ways of doing things a bit more “custom” because it’s easier than the alternative. Case in point - the seam of the two tank halves right is linished smooth from the factory, but the crown/contour of the tank is uneven. This could be smoothed over with filler, but if I’m gonna use filler then may as well go further. So there you go, thus became the 10mm round bar peak. Racked in with the ends smoothed over, then molded in filler.

I cut off the original tank mounts and put my own on, although they are in the same style. This is because the frame was originally set up for a frisco sporty tank, something which i wanted to keep for adaptability in the future. I can make the mounts on this tank longer, but Ya can’t make a sporty tank any shorter!!! Not easily anyway.

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Jumping around a bit here, but here’s my seat with foam roughed on it. All the blue is closed cell foam that is quite firm to the hand, but it’s always surprising how much energy a 100kg sack of flesh, water and bones generates bouncing down the road. The black foam is softer. The cutout with the pink foam is quite soft, and is placed underneath where my coccyx is, have bruised it beforeImage on a long ride which is not the most pleasant thing to have 500km from home. Whether this will make a difference or not, time will tell.

After this picture, I glued down a full layer of the black over the top of the seat. This is also close cell EVA foam that I cut from excercise mats, cheap from Target. They make great mats to lie on shed floors with too!!

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Left side showing the half open primary, modified from a stock cast inner primary with a polished aluminium outer. New 5 stud clutch hub, pressure plate and chrome outer plate, performance clutch springs. BDL 1.5” belt drive.

Also visible is the shifter linkage and sidestand. I have ridden jockey shift for a long while and footshift actually feels unnatural now, but I wanted to try it out as it will make filtering through traffic much less stressful. Let’s see how long it lasts.

Sidestand is a stock length reproduction. I much prefer this design over other custom styles of sidestand, it works really well and is quite strong. One design HD actually got right in the early days, and held on to it for ever. Look at some of the most radical and out there show bikes of the 70s, most still used a stock Harley stand.

Also visible is the oil tank which was carried over from previously, but has had a brushed stainless skin welded to it. I’m not happy with it and it has some minor leaks so this will be getting replaced soon.

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1 3/4 stainless pipes coming together. I had made a template for these to be mandrel bent, but either there was some inaccuracies in the bending or more likely my templates!! I needed to cut them and adjust in one area of each pipe.

Passenger foot pegs mounted up, and a good shot of the CB750 rear drum that I’ve run for a while. Prof has the same setup, I can’t take any credit for it!!

My switch panel is on the back of the oil tank, and the swoop on the sissy bar.

Oil filter mounted to the back of the trans plate, makes for really clean and easy filter changes.

Rear brake cable now run and snaking along the frame. Visually I would prefer solid linkages with belcranks, but even then it was difficult to package amongst everything and I was trying to get this project moving.

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Doing a test panel for the upholstery. Marine vinyl with a backer of ripstop nylon, sandwiching 6mm very soft foam.

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Here’s my trick on getting nice even pleats. With the vinyl laid out flat, I marked my lines with 50mm masking tape, first one direction then the other. Making sure the tape going on straight and level, leaving an approx 2mm gap in between each piece of tape. The area between the tales becomes your sew line, makes it very easy to follow as the contrast between black and white really helps the eyes following the lines. I didn’t sew this masterpiece however, a good friend did. Even still, she is a brilliant dressmaker but this was her first attempt at anything upholstery.

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First stage done, now taped up and ready to go in the other direction.

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Here’s the pleated top now ready to sew against the boxing. I’ve done a few simple seats myself and this is a trick my mum told me, holding everything together with bulldog clips. I have a big jar of them and you just clip the whole thing together, then as you sew 1” at a time, pull the clip off and throw it aside.

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Seat Finished!! Apart from being pulled over glued down to the base. The fanciest seat I’ve ever had that’s for sure.

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Here’s the paint work for the tank and rear guard. I’m planning to do the whole frame in this style too, but for now the frame is just spray canned black to get this thing on the road. I also wanted to do some good roadtesting before doing the proper frame paint, in case any tabs need to be added/removed or other alterations. If I do, it’s easy to touch up now without ruining a good paint job.

This is all spray cans. Dulux light blue base, with their marble effect spray over the top. Really interesting stuff to use. In general, spray paint atomises when it leaves the can, and you have your work piece fairly close. The marble paint is essentially unthinned paint and comes out stringy, but when it leaves the can it just keeps going until it lands somewhere!!! Be aware of your surroundings using this stuff!

The whole thing is then buried in Spraymax 2K clear, a top quality fuel proof 2K/2pack. Expensive per can but it’s the same quality you’d get in a pro paint shop. 2 part spray can needs to be activated then used within a period of time. 1 can used for the tank and guard - 4 heavy coats.

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Bike all together and ready to ride. It was all a mad rush to get it done, and I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out. There are things that I need to redo, things that I need to finish. The oil tank is one thing that will be replaced. It’s leaking and has been rewelded several times already.

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I’ve put a few hundred Kms on the bike now, and it’s riding superb. My first rigid and I’m very impressed with its ride quality over a variety of roads.

Now that I’ve got this thread up to date, I’ll try my best to update it as things occur. Bike is sitting now minus an oil tank, it’s replacement is the first thing that needs to be done amongst all the other jobs in ones busy life. That will get the bike back on the road again.

In the background I will begin working on my springer. As it turns out, both Prof and I are building springers front ends using hydraulic shocks instead of the typical compression/rebound spring setup. Our designs will be quite different in appearance and construction so it’ll be interesting to see how they both end up and handle.

Cheers.

Victor
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Location: Adelaide
Interests: Building choppers and riding off into the sunset

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Victor » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:30 pm

A few more pix of the whole thing. Can’t wait for that springer!!!

I’ve gone back to a speedmaster front tyre and put on some pullback bars. Now waiting for the new oil tank to be built.

Springer will change the bar situation again as they will have to be unique to the springer. Prof likes to joke I’ve got a set of bars and exhausts for each day of the week!!! It would be easy to think that, not what usually happens behind the scenes is that one set gets butchered for the next :lol: Its a viscious cycle !!

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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5786
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
Contact:

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Prof » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:24 am

A great looking example of a 70's classic chopper. And Victor rides it in all weathers too. Love the paint job. Upholstery construction info is great. Thanks mate.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

TriNortchopz
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:41 pm
Location: Haines Junction,Yukon, Canada
Interests: Choppers, nature, learning more about choppers

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by TriNortchopz » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:28 am

Great job on this build, it looks very clean. The stance is just right,and your forwards are clean and simple, and nice seat. The switches behind the oil tank is how I do it too;keeps them easily accessible(kill switch on throttle side) and cleans up the bars. Good to see that reinforced sissy bar and cool paint. Will you be building the new oil tank?

Victor
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Location: Adelaide
Interests: Building choppers and riding off into the sunset

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Victor » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:43 pm

Thanks!!

Yes I will be building the new oil tank this week. I’m committing to a Father’s Day ride (a week away!) so I’ve got to get it started and finished by then... I will try to take detailed pictures but quite often get stuck in the zone and forget.

Youngblood
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:48 pm
Location: North-Eastern suburbs- Adelaide

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Youngblood » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:58 pm

Well done Victor, bike is looking good. Professor will be proud, if you're not careful he will adopt you as one of his sons, :lol: :lol: :lol: .
Youngblood

El Skitzo
Posts: 736
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by El Skitzo » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:44 am

Looks fantastic, I love your style!
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

Victor
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Location: Adelaide
Interests: Building choppers and riding off into the sunset

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Victor » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:31 pm

Friday night and I’ve started on my oil tank. What’s starting out as a boring box will hopefully look pretty neat if it all works out. I’ve got Saturday to finish fabrication, paint it all and fit it to the bike ready for a ride Sunday. Plus a few other bits that need doing too as always!!

Starting with a piece of 2mm mild steel sheet. 1.6 would be fine but I feel more comfortable welding the 2mm into a sealed vessel.

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Marked out for bending the outer skin.
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Here is the outer skin bent to my pattern. Overlap at the rear gets cut through with a cutting wheel and welded closed.
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Top and bottom plates cut to size. You can see the bottom plate has been marked and centrepunched for the tank fittings.

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Fittings sitting in place. Oil drain in the far corner, this is a fitting that I cut out of an old car sump. I’m always looking for innovative ways to save time. This sort of thing is easy to turn on a lathe, but I don’t have my own.

Oil feed is a NPT bung in the middle of the tank. This gets a 90 degree 3/8” barb fitting into it.

Vent and return lines shown also. These are steel nitto/barb airline fittings that Bunnings sell, I cut off the nitto end and weld on the internal riser tubes.

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Really burning in the fittings, as my last tank had some weeps from these areas.
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Return and vent lines shown from inside the tank. Bottom plate is yet to be welded on. I will weld the bottom fully, then weld the top end of the tubes to the inside of the outer skin. This will prevent them vibrating and potentially cracking over time.

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Filler is a custom gas tank filler, recycled from an old tank I used. I welded it to some 1.5” exhaust pipe, it’s just what I had that was the same diameter as the filler. Cut on an angle and tacked onto the tank.

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That’s all for tonight. Being in the burbs means not too much cutting and grinding into the night.

Tomorrow, fully weld the top and bottom plates. Cut out an area for the battery and box that in. Make the mounts. Have something else up me sleeve to turn this from boring box to something pretty cool. Battery and switches will be going in the same place so no need to change any wiring.

Stay tuned.
Last edited by Victor on Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

TriNortchopz
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:41 pm
Location: Haines Junction,Yukon, Canada
Interests: Choppers, nature, learning more about choppers

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by TriNortchopz » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:48 am

Very nice work; great attention to details - like welding the top of the return and vent lines. Thanks for sharing.

Victor
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Location: Adelaide
Interests: Building choppers and riding off into the sunset

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Victor » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:19 pm

On with the oil tank work. Early start coz it has to be finished by tomorrow.

First thing is the battery box done in CAD (cardboard aided design).

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Without a fancy bender to make boxes, a good alternative is to slice part way through the outside of the fold lines. Easy to bend by hand then and weld over the edges afterwards. No ideal but it beats building it from 4 seperate pieces.
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Battery box tacked into the top panel. Do this before welding the top onto the tank, so you can get good welds on the inside where they don’t need to be ground back. Why remove strength when you don’t need to.

Threads coming up are 1/4” bolts that have been welded from the underside this is for my fuse block.

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Filler welded on. Not too fussed about the weld finish here, but the neater the better. Will make more sense later.

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Vent/return tubes fixed to the side of the tank as described earlier. One the top goes on, this is all entombed!

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Top plate all welded on. I recess the top and bottom plates into the tank a little which allows a fillet weld rather than a corner butt joint. Stronger and it’s not really visible anyway.

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Something important I want to mention here. When fabricating something like this, care has to be taken to remove all of the welding splatter/BB’s that you get with MIG. Not so much on the exterior, but all through the inside. Don’t want a little ball of steel coming loose and getting into your oil system.

In saying that, you’ll notice that my oil feed fitting has a short riser that uses oil about 3/4” off the bottom. If any sediment or junk accumulates in the tank, i should still be feeding clean oil to the motor.

Notch for chain and clutch arm cut out and welded. I forgot about this until I had already welded the top and bottom on the tank. I had cleaned the tank out before welding the top on, but after cutting this piece out, the tank will need thorough cleaning again. Kerosene is good for sloshing around and draining out.

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Front mount for the oil tank. Slight issue with this frame is the standard oil tank mount is slightly too low, with little clearance for fasteners between the mount and the top of the gearbox. Instead I decided to use the coil mounting points. I’ve had an oil tank mounted like this and it works well, 3/8” bolts are plenty strong enough. Curved gussets provide some support, shaped to clear the seatpost.

Note I’ve also kept a bit of a gap between the top of oil tank and the frame rails. An oil tank gets pretty warm and the poor battery has a tough life in there, in theory this will increase airflow around the tank/battery. Who knows if it makes any actual difference though.

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Rear mounts to suit existing tabs on the frame. Thick steel and done using longer weld sections for strength.

Ugly tabs on welded on for switch panel. These are hidden anyway.

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Parts for the battery hold down. These rubber style straps are available in multiple lengths, and I use some 1/4” round bar as the fixing points. Need to bend them over centre so the rubber doesn’t come off too easily.

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Annoyingly, but somewhat unsurprising given my standard of work sometimes, the threads on the drain plug warped in the welding, Short for time and not having the right tap, need a plan B - QUICK.

Found a nice 7/16” stainless nut and socket head capscrew. The nut has a nice flat on it which will work fine for a sealing surface with a fibre or rubber washer.
Sometimes you just gotta do a big of a dodgy job to get something done.

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And here comes the final part... I knew what I wanted to do, and in my head it was much easier let me tell you!!

A whole stack of 10x3mm flat bar.
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No pictures in between sorry. Too busy making a mess with the welder!!!!!

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It’s not perfect, there are slight differences left/right, but it’s something different and that’s what I was going for. Will be interesting to see what influence it’ll have on oil temperatures, I don’t use an oil cooler but have a remote oil filter that gets plenty of airflow.

Bit of etch primer...
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And then painted in a high metallic silver. Drying now and will refit in the morning. All the wiring will plug in then it’s time for oil.

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After all this, we’ll then find out if it’s oil tight or a leaker :lol: :lol: :lol:

Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 5786
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Prof » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:23 am

Ribs should make a difference. Look good. Nice job and thanks for the detail. Oil return in front of filler to easily check oil is returning?
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

TriNortchopz
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:41 pm
Location: Haines Junction,Yukon, Canada
Interests: Choppers, nature, learning more about choppers

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by TriNortchopz » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:18 am

Very well done with great descriptions and photos. Your use of CAD is perfect!

Victor
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:01 pm
Location: Adelaide
Interests: Building choppers and riding off into the sunset

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by Victor » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:00 pm

Not a lot of pics to report this post and I can’t be bothered formatting this.

The oil tank paint dried over night and this morning was a mad rush to get everything bolted in, plumbed up and wired again, And I made it!!!!

In the process my horn button fell apart but that’s easily easily replaced, and it’s now apparent that I really need a 90 or 45 degree fitting on the return side of the oil filter... the hose bends are not ideal now.

Must have done something right with the oil tank though. Put about 80km on the bike today and no sign of leaks or weeps. Holds a full 4L of oil, which is what I was hoping for but never actually calculated. With the filler cap removed and the motor idling, you can see the stream of oil flowing back into the top of the tank, handy to see.

Really happy with how the tank looks from an angle, but looking too close and the fin welds ruin it. Now I have some time, I’m going to try and run a small fillet of urethane deep between each fin to smooth it all out. Think of mortar between bricks, then it will be painted the same colour. After that it might look more like an aluminium casting which is sort of what i was going for. One of those “how did you make that!?” type things.

On the road though, I have no idea what the oil temperatures are like, but the tank as definitely cooler to to touch than the old flat steel one.

In other news - back to foot clutch again which was only a matter of time really. It tends to freak people out for some reason though. Lashed out on some new chain for my clutch linkage. I had ordered a really nice piece from interstate for my shift lever, but a week later it hasn’t arrived yet. I had banked on it arriving Friday/Saturday so it was supposed to be finished by today’s ride, alas I found myself without a shifter.

Problem here is that you have the freedom to make just about anything your mind can think of. It’s just so hard to decide on something! Bucket of old spammers to the rescue. It’s temporary until the real deal shifter is done, but the ‘Made in Australia’ is a nice touch here. I’ll post up the final lever once it’s been done and fitted.

Whipped up a new coil bracket and finally got rid of the bulky stock Harley one that had been cut and rewelded multiple times. This brings the coil in as close as possible and out of the way. One of these days I’ll actually get a new coil... this one has cracked and could very well be 45 years old. It still works, mostly, I think, perhaps... Have been getting some spark breakdown at higher rpm which might be related...

And finally a new sissy bar. The first one was too short in the end and I wasn’t happy with the finish of it. V2 is made of 25x6 stainless flat bar with 1/2” round bar swoops. I was a little worried about the flex of the flat bar as it’s quite flimsy as a length, but as soon as some triangulation was added, i don’t think it’s moving now!!! South-Bay Swoop makes an appearance again, something I really love. It will be all be polished at some point too.

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That’s me out for a bit, got other stuff to work on now - BORING non bike stuff. Ill post up some more chopper stuff as it comes along. Next thing is Coast to Coast Motorcycle show in 2 weeks, a few minor things I would like to do by then as the bike will be on display for all to judge!!!!!!

TriNortchopz
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:41 pm
Location: Haines Junction,Yukon, Canada
Interests: Choppers, nature, learning more about choppers

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by TriNortchopz » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:57 pm

Great job on gettin' it done to fit your schedule.
It looks like a bit of a tight bend on the filter line; yup, a 45 would help there.
Great idea to think of using urethane as a filler coat between the fins on the oil tank - I was not familiar with urethane for that type of application so had to research it, here: http://www.urethanecastparts.com/faqs.htm.
I love your shift spanner - best one I've seen - I think when the new one comes, it can be put on...a shelf! And let me guess; it fits your rear axle nut so you can do easy chain adjustments...
I like the position of your coil - nice bracket; keeps the space between the cylinders clean. I always like when brackets or mounts are dual purpose - like the coil mount and front oil tank mount in one.
Good to see your new design for the sissy bar - looks good.

Overall, a clean build with a great stance.

I can see in your last pic that it looks like the inner brake cable at the back and may be rubbing due to the angle - perhaps re-adjusting that mount or a longer brake arm with prevent it wearing out too soon.
Good luck at the show - I think you built a winner.
Last edited by TriNortchopz on Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

El Skitzo
Posts: 736
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Victor’s Shovel Chopper

Post by El Skitzo » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:07 am

Wow you've definitely got the skills to match your good eye for style 8)
65 Triumph Chopper (project)

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