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Thread: El Skitzo's Harley Chopper

  1. #1
    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    El Skitzo's Harley Chopper

    The whole reason I was selling my Triumph Chopper was to make what in my opinion was the final step up, same sort of thing being a rigid Chopper but I really wanted a big American V-Twin in the frame, so most obviously a Harley. I first saw this bike for sale 5 months ago, so I was pretty stoked that my Triumph ended up selling (for exactly what I wanted), and no one else had stumbled on this and snapped it up.

    Anyone that trys to tell you that old rigid Choppers are impractical and only suitable for short city riding and bar hopping is full of shit. I've found in my experience these sorts of comments usually come from internet haters who have no idea what they are talking about, because they've never actually ridden a rigid themselves. I rode this bike from Harvey to Wanneroo across some pretty crappy country roads at around 110km/h for the over 2 hour trip home, and got off feeling fresh enough to refuel and turn around and do it again!

    It's running a Santee rigid frame which is registered as a 1965 Harley, so just like my last bike, pre-ADR so no need for indicators, mufflers and other gay fluff. The engine is apparently a 1984 HD Evo, but I've not yet decoded the numbers to figure out what it was pulled from. Engine is completely stock and even still running points. Not as cool as a shovelhead, but given it's my first HD it's kind of a relief to be running something that is so common and well known as the EVO is.

    The gearbox is a kick only castle top 4 speed rebuilt with Andrews gears, and a hydraulic clutch. The two are joined by a 3" open belt primary made by Outer Cycle in Victoria (previously Sonic Choppers). I'd never ridden a bike with an open belt primary before, and boy oh boy, it whines louder than a jet plane full of poms!! Front end is a home made wide glide with 35mm tubes and dual discs, although they don't seem to do much...

    Overall the bike is pretty good. It's rough around the edges and needs a good clean up, and some attention to the wiring. It's pretty damned ugly the way it is, but I only really intended to keep the frame, drive train and the back wheel and replace the rest during the rebuild.

    I'll probably ride it for the next 12 months to learn the bike and suss out what it wants and needs, and pull it off the road next year to give it some style. I thought the Triumph turned out pretty good, but I intend to take this to a whole new level and will not compromise on anything during the build. Less bolt on parts and more custom one off hand made parts for sure (especially the gas tank)!




















  2. #2
    Member AndyS's Avatar
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    Going by the stunning job you did with the Triumph, if this is to be a step up, it will be awesome.
    I'd better get my cafe done in the year before you unveil this new masterpeice and put us all in the shade.

  3. #3
    Member Rastas's Avatar
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    Nice mate, nice.
    Let me know if you need any fab work done, ive moved my workshop to the new house and have three ridgid bobber frames to make so bring the beast by for a looksee if your in the area.

  4. #4
    Member thumper humper's Avatar
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    Why ditch the engine? Someone has done a nice job squeezing it in there.
    Im an internet hater but at least the brakes look reasonable.
    Now if you just got rid of those handlebars and put on some nice low wide ones..
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    Member Rooboy's Avatar
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    Always love watching your builds.
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  6. #6
    Member Stephan's Avatar
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    Give Simon at MCPP a call...his last build turned out very nicely and he got quite a few parts custom made...
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  7. #7
    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thumper humper View Post
    Why ditch the engine? Someone has done a nice job squeezing it in there.
    Im an internet hater but at least the brakes look reasonable.
    Now if you just got rid of those handlebars and put on some nice low wide ones..
    I won't be ditching the engine, will be keeping the drive train as is, maybe a carb change though and upgrade to electronic ignition, we'll see. Much easier to kick start with points as you don't need the engine to rotate as fast for it to fire with these EVOs.

    Brakes are near on useless so will be scrapped. Probably go for single disk up front in the end, but with a Brembo or Performance Machine 6 piston caliper.

    Agree that the ape hangers have to go in favour of lower bars, but they were suprisingly comfortable for today's ride. If I'd rolled them forward an inch or two during the fuel stop at South Yunderup they probably would have been perfect. In the end I'll have a hard mounted seat that will be probably 4 inches lower than this sprung one, so the current bars will end up being too high. Apparently they were off a new Harley Street Bob.

    Thanks for the offer Rastas, I'm sure I'll hit you up for some of your sweet TIG welding again. Will have to stop by and check out your new setup.

  8. #8
    Member OSP1340's Avatar
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    EVO's are bullet proof motors and will last a long time if looked after. Had a buddy in the states that had 100K on his when he sold it.

    I know of several places that sell 4 piston calipers for the older front ends or you could go the perfect SPRINGER front end for the scoot.

    I agree a new tank would be in order. Somthing that lifts it and shows more of the motor and gives it a more chopper look.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamathi View Post
    I might be a "Racist"
    Edited for clarity.

  9. #9
    Member HDK's Avatar
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    Be sure and give me a call when you need bits turned up mate.
    COMMUTOR/CAFE

  10. #10
    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OSP1340 View Post
    I know of several places that sell 4 piston calipers for the older front ends or you could go the perfect SPRINGER front end for the scoot.

    I agree a new tank would be in order. Somthing that lifts it and shows more of the motor and gives it a more chopper look.
    I'm toying with the idea of a Durfee Girder front end at the moment, but need to see the whole build in my head before making a style choice like that.

    Will definitely be Frisco mounting the tank again, but the style of tank is up in the air at this early stage. All I know is it will be a one off tank made from scratch.

    Just quickly ripped all the tacky looking stickers off it to clean it up a little. Looks heaps better already, especially without the bloody Harley Davidson stickers on the tank!


  11. #11
    Member Rex Havoc's Avatar
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    Very nice starting point mate. Looking forward to this!
    Perth Cafe Racers F A C E B O O K

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  12. #12
    Member OSP1340's Avatar
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    I know what you mean by the HD signage. I ripped mine off the second day I had the bike.

    I did have some vintage 50's HD tank plates but recently took them off as well.

    Looks so much better with a clean tank.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamathi View Post
    I might be a "Racist"
    Edited for clarity.

  13. #13
    Member valvolux's Avatar
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    hey mate. ive got no imagination at all - any chance of posting some inspiration pics? what do you mean by the "whole new level"?
    never play leapfrog with a unicorn

  14. #14
    Member HotelBushranger's Avatar
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    Whatever it's going to be, I'm already salivating over it

  15. #15
    Member Mizer's Avatar
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    Was so impressed with the last one Skitzo......(have subscribed).......looking forward to the finished product. Well done on your last effort I'm sure this will be another winnar

  16. #16
    Member GUE57's Avatar
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    Thats awesome, apart from the ape hangers. I can't beleive how much better it looks without the stickers.

    Looking forward to seeing it after you've added your personal touch.

  17. #17
    Member SideBuRn's Avatar
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    Old rigid Choppers are impractical, I am an internet hater. Are you offering rides to convert the nay sayers? Realy looking forward to seeing this progress, like everyone has said this is going to be a very nice build - *subscribed*

  18. #18
    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the positive encouragement guys, but don't start subscribing and expecting lots of updates just yet!

    I probably won't pull this thing down this year. I've what looks like 2-3 weeks of degreasing, cleaning and polishing to do just to make it presentable and bring it up to scratch, lots of exposed wiring to clean up, probably swap out a few minor ugly parts for nicer ones I have lying around (have some nice brass risers left over from my blue bike to go on), and taking care of mechanical issues over time. I'll definitely pull all the covers off that belt primary and the pulleys to fully expose it, at the risk of chewing off the lower edge of my jeans

    Just looking forward to riding now, and making lots of loud noise with it and pissing off the neighbours. I know squat about HDs so I have a lot of research to do before I starting poking out and screwing things up.

  19. #19
    Member monsta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Skitzo View Post
    I'd never ridden a bike with an open belt primary before, and boy oh boy, it whines louder than a jet plane full of poms!!
    hahaha


    funny enough, if I was going to own a harley, I'd like it to be a ridgid as well...
    many years ago I rode to Darwin with a heap of mates on Harley's and one of the guys was on a ridgid. He didn't have as many dramas as the others. Loved em ever since.

    sweet project...

  20. #20
    Member Broms's Avatar
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    congrats, a nice find and tough looking bike as it is.

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