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Chapter 2

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Nov 8, 2010

Let’s get started

OK – In the picture below, you can see a large collection of parts laid out on my driveway. While it is a large collection of parts, there are not enough of them to build a complete motorcycle. Not only are there not enough of them to build a complete motorcycle, but my expectation was there would be a fully functional, completely built and ready-to-ride motorcycle in my driveway, not a collection of parts.

You will notice at the top of the picture below, there is a completely built and ready-to-ride motorcycle in my driveway, but that’s the one I built – the parts in front of that functional motorcycle belong to a different motorcycle I that paid someone to build for me – It didn’t work out. In fact, it worked out so poorly, I feel lucky to have those parts back in my possession. It’s a long story, and as entertaining as the story might be, my choice here will not be to dwell on the past, but to take the parts I have – laid out here on my driveway and make a completely built and ready-to-ride motorcycle.

Here’s the parts I have – let’s get started…

My previous adventure in motorcycle building that I detailed in another blogled me to believe it would be best for me to start with a ‘rolling chassis’ – by this I mean a more-or-less complete motorcycle, with everything except the engine. This way, I’d have this beautiful,  mostly finished project that would keep my motivation up for the more difficult engine building portion.

One of the biggest surprises when the sheriff and I showed up at the ‘mechanic up the road’s shop was the new tires and wheels he added to the pile of my parts we’d come to retrieve. I didn’t expect to ever see any my stuff again, especially my frame and engine with their stamped ID that matched my title, but not only were they there, as unexpected bonus here came some new tires and wheels. Well… 1.5 wheels. There was a complete front wheel, but for the back, there was only a hub, a rim and a spoke kit.

I’ve never build a motorcycle wheel before – but just last month I replaced the Shimano 3-speed hub in my daughter’s rear bicycle wheel and I had built one other bicycle wheel in the past, so I thought I’d happily give this motorcycle wheel a try.

Being heavier and stiffer than a bicycle wheel, the motorcycle wheel was actually easier to put together.

It turned out quite well and trued up easier than a bike wheel too. (God bless Sheldon Brown [RIP] and Google).

Next, I thought I would maintain my motivation by dressing up the fiberglass tank (that came off Bob Bailey’s museum Triumph).

I’ve ordered more reflective checkerboard tape and Triumph logo decals which will allow me to finish the tank. In the meantime, I’ll head out to the shop and gaze at my collection of parts, looking for what’s next.

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