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Thread: 1965 Triumph Chopper

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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    1965 Triumph Chopper

    Certainly has been a few years since I ran a bike project thread in here, after two prerious builds. But I took a break for a few years to go through some big life changes and upheavals, and to dabble in old cars again - realizing a childhood dream of owning a Shoebox Ford (see avatar pic).

    Well the car has since moved on, and I've missed bikes the whole time and the desire to build another Chopper is back and stronger than ever, and I'm very excited to take on a new Chopper project, albeit my biggest challenge yet. Of my two previous Choppers I much preferred the Triumph over the Harley, in terms of being different, cheaper, simpler unit engine/gearbox setup, easier for rego, and the ride, so I'm doing a Triumph again.

    This time I'm starting with just this front frame loop which an acquaintance picked up at the Northam Swap meet many years ago, and has passed through the hands of three other people I know before I got my hands on it. It's a 1965 Triumph Thunderbird frame, for a 650cc "unit" engine. I think this frame has been passed around long enough, and now deserves to become a bike again. I've never in my life started a project from so little, so this will be a very big long term project, so don't expect regular updates for a while because finding key components like an engine, front end and real wheel will be big tasks.

    I've taken the frame down to the inspection centre at Welshpool and confirmed that numbers in the neck are all good and legit and that I can build this into a bike, and that it will be licensed as a 1965 Triumph when I do, so I bypass the ICV dramas and even ADRs being so old.

    The plan for this one so far:
    • Hardtail rear end (goes without saying for me)
    • Spoked wheels: 16" out back (with drum brake), 19" up front
    • Girder front end!!
    • All sheet metal to be fabricated, including Gas Tank, Oil Tank, Front Fender, Rear Fender
    • Handlebars and exhaust will also be custom fabricated
    • Another wild hand tooled leather seat
    • Bike will be built to be 100% legal and able to pass any engineering and pit inspection as is


    Last edited by BlackFZR; 31-10-2017 at 01:18 PM.

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    Member Commander Keen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmo View Post
    Why be a cunt about it?

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    Owned by one of the blokes in Melbourne Cafe Racers

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    Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Indian.

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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    Well the hardtail I ordered from Trojan Classic Motorcycles in Sydney (http://www.trojanclassics.com/) arrived last night and it's a thing of beauty.

    The hardtail was made by The Factory Metal Works in the US (https://www.thefactorymetalworks.com/) and is a thing of beauty. The fully TIG welded hardtail has 6 inches of stretch (moving the rear axle 6 further back than stock), and 2.5 inches of drop (moving the axle higher than stock, to lower the bike).

    Amazing precision piece and it just lined up absolutely perfectly with the bolts holes in the frame.







    Last edited by BlackFZR; 31-10-2017 at 01:19 PM.

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    Member Crobbo's Avatar
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    Lol talk about starting from nothing.
    In sterquiliniis invenitur.
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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    I know a lot of Triumph Chopper aficionados think a hardtail with 6 inches of rear stretch is a little too long and looks unbalanced, and that 4 inches is the ideal length, but I'm 6 feet tall and will need the room for me, and the crazy rear fender oil tank ideas I have planned.

    If you ask me, as a bare frame this looks pretty balanced.

    Next up will be cleaning up the front half of the frame (sandblasting), removing any mounting tabs that will not be needed and replacing that poorly cut out cross tube with probably a neck gusset instead.





    Last edited by BlackFZR; 31-10-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crobbo View Post
    Lol talk about starting from nothing.
    What are you talking about, he's got two bits of metal zip-tied together! That's at least 4 sumfinks.
    Ryan

    Quote Originally Posted by Aufitt View Post
    Try Para045, he definitely sounds all gooey in the fork for ya
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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    Well unfortunately PhotoBucket has killed the images I previously posted in this thread, and the posts are too old for me to edit them and replace with images hosted from a new location. Oh well...

    Anyway, I've been lucky enough to score a complete engine/gearbox for this project. Unfortunately the top end has been disassembled but it's all there and in great nick with no broken fins on the head or barrels, plus I scored some new 40thou over pistons and two carbs with a choice of Mikuni or Amal. Engine is a 1971 Triumph T120R 650cc from a Bonneville, with right side shift 4 speed.

    Next up I need a back wheel, which I haven't had any luck finding yet, as I want a spool hub drum brake rear wheel.







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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that I was lucky enough to be able to buy back the gas tank off my previous Chopper, without a single imperfection in the paint!

    Unfortunately it's too wide for this bike, and not the design direction I want to go this time, but it does look good sitting on the frame and helps quickly made my pile of parts look more like a Chopper project.






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    Member roomandu's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... after seeing your pic from the rear El, I would say that the tank looks to be a pretty good size all round.

    Paint looks bloody swish too
    "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for ..."

    Epicurus

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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roomandu View Post
    Hmmm.... after seeing your pic from the rear El, I would say that the tank looks to be a pretty good size all round.

    Paint looks bloody swish too
    Yes it looks the perfect size sitting there and compared with the engine width, but where I'll be sitting and where my legs will be due to mid controls, my knees would be pressed hard up against the rear sides of the tank at all times.

    Besides I've got some weird sharp angular lines I plan to bring to this build that will be a very different look. Appreciate the input though!

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    Member BusaSteve's Avatar
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    Dont forget to not use the rear brake to change gear!
    Smoke me a kipper...I'll be home in time for breakfast
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    I'm not a fan of the peanut fuel tank shape... something elongated (or molded?) would be Mi2c.

    S.
    Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Indian.

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    Member roomandu's Avatar
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    Ahhhh ... see why that tank is not what you'er after now.
    Stilll ... I would probably mount the tank on a wall or in a workshop somewhere, just to admire that paint, hehe.
    "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for ..."

    Epicurus
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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    I just scored another key hard to kind piece of the Chopper puzzle today. I found this very rare P&P Girder front end for sale in Queensland, and it finally arrived in the mail today.

    It's a lot longer than a stock Triumph front end, so I'm looking forward to mating it to the frame to see how high the bike will sit at the front, and how far forward the wheel will be pushed, and if all in within acceptable limits or if something will have to be chopped.

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    Member BusaSteve's Avatar
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    Looking good!
    Smoke me a kipper...I'll be home in time for breakfast

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    Member Sprint's Avatar
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    By the looks of the frame, might need some cutting/raking out?



    S.
    Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Indian.
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    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    I'm not sure yet Sprint, I won't get the change to bolt the front end to the frame until tomorrow and then take some measurements. Even then the measurements won't be accurate until I get wheels and tyres on to see how it finally sits.

    The big issues I have is coming in under the 550mm rule. If we're over that, we'll have to chop the frame and stretch it upwards to pull the front axle back.

    Stay tuned...
    Last edited by El Skitzo; 02-11-2017 at 09:20 AM.

  20. #20
    Member El Skitzo's Avatar
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    Well as mentioned in the previous post one of the issues with choosing a frame/front end combination when building a chopper in Australia is a limit on the maximum distance the front axle can be out in front of the bike, which we nickname the 550 rule.

    Basically the authorities when inspecting the bike as it sits on the ground, will drop a line down vertically from the centre point of the headstem/neck (when viewed side on), and also drop a line down vertically from the centre of point of the front axle, and the horizontal distance between the two can be no more than 550mm, as shown in this image:


    Hence why you don't see any real long "Swedish Style" Choppers like you've seen on American Chopper TV shows on the roads in Australia.

    This is going to be the big challenge I face with this girder front end on my little Triumph frame, given the front end is so much longer than a standard Triumph front end, and apparently a couple of inches longer than a standard Harley front end.

    So I had a chance yesterday to quickly throw the front end at the frame and get a few measurements...

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