Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

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Re: SHED MATTERS 2

Post by clogs » 09 Jan 2016, 07:12

Hi all, I'm a newly to the site.......all the best for the New Year......

Question....anyone out there with a girder forked motor cycle.......I need some measurements of items used in g/forks.........let me explain....
I'm building a replica 4cylinder (in-line) 1930's Indian motorcycle.....needing to fabricate the frame and forks.....most of the material is in stock and almost ready to start......I want to get an average length measurement of the top fork links (where the friction shock is fitted) I'm using two Norton 16H fork springs......
The reason I ask is because I'm not in the UK at present and there is nothing that old here to measure for myself.....
any help please....
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Re: SHED MATTERS 2

Post by Stanley » 09 Jan 2016, 07:24

Welcome to the site Clogs. I can't help but who knows, there are people out there who might be able to do something for you. Good luck!
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Re: SHED MATTERS 2

Post by plaques » 09 Jan 2016, 12:00

clogs wrote:I'm building a replica 4 cylinder (in-line) 1930's Indian motorcycle.
This is a pretty ambitious project and will need a lot of thinking about before getting the hacksaw out. Most people would start by looking for a heavy weight frame, say an old Enfield which they may be able to butcher. Girder forks normally have a single central spring tapered at both ends. Again these varied from bike to bike but can be found in some of the 'Old Bike Mart' magazines. Your forks will need to be of a heavy weight design which are now getting like hens teeth. Sorry to say I know people who have worked wonders on old bikes but have balked at building frames and forks from scratch. Something to look at. Indian

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Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by PanBiker » 09 Jan 2016, 15:32

Welcome to the site Clogs.

I have started this new topic so the bots and crawlers can index it across the internet, It may draw more attention.

I have also taken the liberty of moving the first three posts on the subject in here.
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by Tizer » 09 Jan 2016, 16:55

Happy New Year, Clogs, and welcome to OGFB! I know little about motorcycles and my first thought when I read your posts was that you must be very brave. Then I looked at the web page that Panbiker Plaques linked, saw the Indian in those photos and realised why you want to do it. A bike to die for! I hope your project goes well and you get all the extra information you need.

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by PanBiker » 09 Jan 2016, 17:10

It was Plaques that provided the link Tiz but never no mind. A lofty project to take on but agreed that it would be worth it if you have the expertise and wherewithal to bring it off. As a lifelong bike enthusiast I wish you well also Clogs. Probably an anathema to you but you will probably guess what my last bike was. :grin:
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by clogs » 09 Jan 2016, 17:46

thanks for the replies......
bike's have always been special to me......my first Indian, 750 V twin I've had for over 40 years.....the engine came from some moron that cut a a KTT Velo to make a chopper with this Indian engine...all that was left was the motor so that was put away for rainy day....he was gonna scrap it....wasn't cheap even then......met another guy with a spare frame etc but no engine.......well it's taken all this time to get around to getting it together.....frame etc has been to the stover's, seat recovered etc etc......
so thinking it may see the light of day this summer.....

as for the 4cylinder been collecting parts for years, as u'd imagine it's tough to get anything and nothing is cheap..... did manage to get a good deal on a proper speedo for less than a £1,000...yep no mistake on the price.....they normally go for £1500 if they are not to mashed up....ouch......well I'm in so deep I'll have to build it now.....hahaha.....

I met an old guy (long gone now) who used to repair and fabricate m/cycle and side car frames.....I bought all that was left of his frame fittings, u know those forged elbow's and T's.....have at least enough for 2 frames......after this'un is done will build another but a quick for me....will bump it up to 1400cc.....her indoors will get this one......the wheels are being built now, just need to find an ally/bronze foundry to cast a few parts.....
would like to have an ally sump but finding it impossible to make the pattern that'll come out of the sand.....prob be made from wax......that'd b no prob but I want 2......
anyone know how to use a 3d printer, suppose that's the best way to make a pattern.....guess I'll need to learn how to use auto cad to make it work.....dam I hate this electronic trickery....
all this is made harder as at the moment I'm staying far-far away with no outside facility's but I do have a nice Bridgeport J and a Colchester Student to use.....

is there a place for motorcycles within this forum.....?

oil on ya shoes=bee's in ya hair............clogs

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by PanBiker » 09 Jan 2016, 18:19

clogs wrote: is there a place for motorcycles within this forum.....?
I have just added a new sub forum for Motorcycling in the Hobbies & Other Interests section. Feel free to add any relevant topics you wish.

New sub forum - Motorcycling
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by plaques » 09 Jan 2016, 18:48

Clogs, its sounds like you really mean business plus 4 or 5 years to spare. Nothing is cheap today especially Indian stuff. The attachment below is from my last visit to Stafford. Things were getting out of hand then. This one was priced at £12000
P4270016AC.jpg

Since then my bike building pal died consequently bike building has never been the same. My own 1930 New imperial is only a lightweight so any dimensions from this would be misleading. But if you want just say so. I will ask another pal what he has got but we are all a bit long in the tooth now for much active work.
I've long suspected that PanBiker is a fan of that other USA bike manufacturer which I will not mention by name. Best to keep mum.
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by PanBiker » 09 Jan 2016, 22:29

plaques wrote: I've long suspected that PanBiker is a fan of that other USA bike manufacturer which I will not mention by name. Best to keep mum.
You would be mistaken then Plaques I prefer four cylinders.
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by Stanley » 10 Jan 2016, 03:17

All I know about Indians is from that splendid film, 'The Last Indian'. I once owned a BSA 2 stroke Bantam, ex-WD.... Luckily I was too busy wagon driving to get into bikes.....
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by plaques » 10 Jan 2016, 08:59

PanBiker wrote:You would be mistaken then Plaques I prefer four cylinders.
That's all right then. All is forgiven. You would like my Square Four. I remember seeing my first Harley just after the war. A motorcycle and sidecar. Running boards and reverse gear and all that. Thought at first it was a tractor. Unfortunately, I still think of them in this vane.
Back to Cloggs girders. A scan through the net shows they are popular with the chopper brigade. Another nasty motorcycle development.
Probably where the idea of using two Norton springs came from. I'm of the old school, if you intend to make a 'replica' then keep it as near as possible to the original. We are all nutters in our own quiet way.

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by clogs » 10 Jan 2016, 13:59

Hi again, please ask anybody you can for dimensions.....

I like the style of Norton 16H forks although with a few exceptions they are all pretty much the same..........
I need twin springs BECAUSE of the weight......it'll be an extra 2/3rd's the weight of the standard Norton.....also you should know on this model of forks the spring does not readily compress in a straight line, on these forks they tend to roll backwards from the parked position......
the coil springs are being made now from Stainless Steel by a very clever spring man in essex........in fact almost every coil spring I have made is St/steel.....mostly because they are on show and fitted to vehicles that are only driven in the sunshine.....
My other on -going project is a 1929 Citroen 1/2ton pick-up truck.....cab off, ground up resto. ....that will be my daily driver......luckily I don't get out much....hahaha.......
as for modifying a Hvy/D frame, with this type of engine layout it's easier to start afresh.....been planning this build for a long time, have tried for years to get original frame and forks but they are just impossible to find....
mind you I did find an incomplete original set of forks that was badly damaged, I just watched them sell on a popular website for almost a grand.....see what I mean, just gotta do it yourself.....
anything mechanical that's before 1970 is OK with me, car's,tractors and bikes......mind you some of the modern tooling is so much better than the glorified bed spanner's that were made .......I do have a 40year old 14lb sledge hammer that works a treat, had at least 3 new shafts...hahaha....bit like granddads broom.......
as for time, I do have a small=holding to work and theres always other peoples junk to work on but basically I'm retired but busier than I was at 21......hahaha....
thanks fro the help and glad to be a member......never did so good at school but writing here is fun......will learn how to post a photo and then you can see what I'm up to.......
as for Plaques photo, nice bike.....a bit over-priced but where are u gonna get another one..!!!!!!! you could get a nice Indian Scout for that money tho.......
as for the 4 cylinder Indians, last year a 1934 Indian 4, all original with history, running, driving and road legal, been stored in a barn in California by the second owner.... went under the hammer for close on £90,000.....considered cheap........
thats why I'm building my own......if I hadn't bought my junk all them years ago I'd have a bit more time on my hands right now......mmmmmmmm, spare time, whats that........hahaha.........
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by PanBiker » 10 Jan 2016, 16:02

Posting images, best way is via the Gallery, have a look at this thread written when I was finding my way round the new site.

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Another minor tip, if you go into your user profile (link at top of the page) you can set up a signature line for your posts with a byline if you wish.
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by plaques » 10 Jan 2016, 19:00

Clogs, There are quite a number of factors that will influence you girder fork design so before you commit yourself to a particular set of sizes just list down what you are trying to achieve, wheel size, travel, spring(s) type, headstock length and diameter, etcetera.
Here's my old 'New Imperial'. The forks are original.
P7190104A.jpg
A close up of the forks while it was still in work.
P5160004AC.jpg
Try to give us a rough sketch of what you are trying to do. Or do you you have something in mind that you can point to?
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by clogs » 17 Jan 2016, 06:21

Hi again, will move this over to the Motorcycle section....
thanks Clogs

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Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by clogs » 17 Jan 2016, 07:50

Thanks for interest (plaques) and here's a rough guide to details of the girder's....
I'm away from home at the moment and the sizes pretty close......but nothing is set in stone anyway, that's until everything is home and laid out.....
To start, the top frame tube will be around 90mm x 2mm, with the headstock tube turned from solid 75 o.d. giving a wall thickness 8-10mm, so as to limit distortion when TIG brazing the frame together......obviously don't need any trouble with the bearing fitment.....
the top and bottom yoke's will milled from solid (steel), steering tube also solid (en16) bored to allow for a friction steering damper.......this'll be pressed into the lower yoke at around 10ton's with a ring nut underneath just 4 good measure......
the steering tube will have the same length as Norton Commando but it'll be 35mm diameter instead of 25......reason for this is this bike will be around 50'ish % heavier than say a 16H Norton/Commando and with the jarring effect of the girder fork movement it'll have to be tough.....definitely no breakages here....hahaha......springs are polished Stainless Steel wound wire, as per standard (16H Norton) i.e. 7.6mm wire x 16.5 coils x 255mm long.......set either side off centre line.....
not to worried about weight on or around these items as it'll have a 1000cc motor pushing this bike along......definitely no slouch.....load's of bottom end torque.......tyre's are old'ish pattern but modern sticky rubber.....
Now to the fork blades......main tube is 50x25x2.75mm flat sided oval and the bracing tube is 25x2mm.......main tube will be cut 380mm'ish from the bottom with a slitting saw taking out triangular section.....the wheel spindle socket (en16) fitted into the tube and then the gap rolled together and MIg welded, with the socket brazed in.........the main tube will then have a rolled forward arc 80-100mm from the centre line then braced with the 25x2mm tube as per normal.....
the fork blade tubes will have 160-180mm on centres ......this will depend on the actual sizes of the front hub, spacers etc and to allow for the brake backplate fixing......I won't have any definite size's until the new wheel's are back in my paw's...
Rims are alloy with st/st spokes and chrome on brass nipples, all mirror polished.....as for steering angle's it'll be the same as Commando, not to fast more for touring/cruising .....

Generally the whole bike will have that just cleaned/degreased look as u'ed expect from a thirty's something, no polished cases etc, just a few st/steel parts polished with some copper pipe and brass fitting also polished for good measure......
st/st fixing everywhere except for high stressed fixing's...the new casting's will be deflashed and lightly sand blasted, the pan saddle (original) has been covered with old stressed leather (ex school gym vaulting horse, dyed and polished) now looking like a good oiled up original......the headlamp I'm really proud of,found it in a old car boot (Brocante) in France...it's a Marchel from a 1920 Citroen....all brass and Nickel plate....ooooh.......you see I've been getting these parts for years, be nice to get my arse on it finally ........it's been a long time coming.......

I did do a rough out drawing, life size on 2 sheet's of plywood of whole the bike.....I'm just old fashioned, no chance for auto-cad with me....it'd take the rest of my life to learn how to use it....hahaha.....

by the way I run a "J" head Bridgeport and a Colchester Student lathe plus a nice metal cutting band saw and 7 pillar drill's.....180 Oxford and 480amp stick plus a 180 MIG welder.
just need to justify the cost of a TIG welder.....any suggestions, I'd like new but guess it'll have to be a used one....anyone on the forum that buy's and sell these welder's....? or perhaps I could tack the frame together and get somebody there to TIG braze it together.....

from all this you should know I'm very happily married, her indoor's allow's me my eccentricities and supports all these crazy projects.....I just tell her that when I'm dead she can sell all this crap and make a few quid...hahaha.....

Out of interest, on my bucket list, I will be riding from Southern Europe up to London, then air freight the bike to the USA.....probably Washington then a slow trip across the States taking in Daytona speed week, then on to Sturgis and finally riding thru Yosemite and the Painted Valley on the way to Los Angeles (where I used to live) to find some old friend's....
Glad I'm retired, what ever that is......hahaha.....

onward and upward....clogs.....and yes I do wear em......mine were made by an old guy (sadly passed on) in Skelmersdale, Lanc's..........

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by plaques » 17 Jan 2016, 08:50

By moving from 'Construction Hobbies' to 'Motorcycling ' the posts have lost a bit of their continuity. Possibly motorcycling is easier to remember. Could someone look at this?
On any serious welding or brazing, that is where a failure could result in pain or serious injury, I always turn to the professionals. Fortunately there is an excellent small firm on Fleet St, Nelson who will try to accommodate my bits and pieces at a very reasonable cost. Back to your forks. Its looks like you have almost decided what design you're going to follow. I'll measure up the New Imp just to give you some idea of the pantograph ratios'

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by plaques » 17 Jan 2016, 10:13

Clogs. Before I rush off to do some measuring, too cold to go out just now, you may be interested in this site, Girder Forks. There are one or two tips in there that are worth thinking about. I've never been a fan of 'choppers', alien things for the eccentric bespoke people.
The item below is an extract from the site link.

There really aren�t any limitations on how long Girder links can be. Some sport bikes with cutting edge technology use links that are almost 18� long. Old Indians used links that ranged from 4 to 4.75 inches. 60�s era �customs� had links that were in the neighborhood or 5 to 5.5 inches long. I personally think that shorter links handle better and try to keep my designs in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 inches center to center of the attachment points.

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by PanBiker » 17 Jan 2016, 10:25

There we go gents, I have merged the two topics, the posts retain the same original order.
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by Tizer » 17 Jan 2016, 10:42

plaques wrote:I remember seeing my first Harley just after the war. A motorcycle and sidecar. Running boards and reverse gear and all that. Thought at first it was a tractor. Unfortunately, I still think of them in this vane.
My father was an armourer in the RAF in WW2 and spent a few years in South Africa helping in training SAAF men. When he arrived in Kimberley he was pleased to find that Harley's were used for getting about the aerodromes which were more spread out than UK airfields. I looked on the Web and found this information about Harleys in SA during WW2. It's surprising how many were sent there and most, of course, would have gone straight on to North Africa. The text below comes from this web site: HARLEYS IN KHAKI

After the outbreak of the Second World War against Germany in September 1939, two South African motorcycle companies, Nos 1 and 2, were formed by the then recognised and previously named ‘Armoured Vehicle Battalion’ of the Union Defence Forces. Simultaneously, the Defence Force purchased motorcycles (mainly BSA’s) from existing dealers in the Union. These were augmented by the acquisition of other machines of various makes commandeered and bought from civilian owners. By June 1940, when Italy declared war against the Allies, a third motorcycle company, No 3, had been formed and 93 motorcycles and 30 motorcycle combinations were by then mobilized for each company.

Two months later the Union Defence Forces placed a massive order for 156 drab olive-green 1200 cc Harley-Davidsons with side-cars and 2 350 750 cc solo machines, to be delivered by the factory in Milwaukee, USA. This was followed in April 1941 by another huge order of one thousand 1200 cc Harleys with side-cars and another thousand 750 cc solo machines - making this a formidable total of over 4 500 Harley-Davidsons purchased by South Africa to help fight the war, a very sizeable order by any standards. Apart from the 1 156 1200 cc Harleys with side-cars supplied to the Union Defence Forces, only another 200 were ever built during the Second World War (and these were supplied to the US Navy Shore Patrol). Another unique feature of those purchased by South Africa was that they were built with side-cars fitted on the left-hand side.

Training of enlisted riders for No 2 Motorcycle Company was done at Voortrekkerhoogte and subsequently at Zonderwater, and at Voortrekkerhoogte for No 1 Company. One of the instructors was no less a personality than the well-known Springbok motorcyclist and holder of the South African speed record on two wheels, Vic Proctor. (He later established a world speed record of 280.9 km/h at Kaalpan near Hopetown in 1949. Unfortunately, this record was never acknowledged.)

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by clogs » 17 Jan 2016, 16:29

Well thanks one and all,
seem's like we're getting somewhere......never been a fan of chopper's myself, this'n will be strictly stock dimensions.....as for welding etc, been doing it all my life...now 66.......have built frames before but had to use gas, oxy/accet.....not very good at all, as everything is liable to twist and move and with the price of gas, phew.....I wan't to use TIG......will try to find an old photo to show how good it is......happy to pay a pro if I don't get a TIG for myself.........had been guessing around the 3-4" links myself, only because the shorter they are the less leverage......beside's the arc at the fork bottoms will pretty much give me the trail I need.......will use an average of the caster/trail angles that the N/Commando and the Beemer R75 uses......easy.....
as for my design, it wasn't to complicated really....would have bought a set from India, £350 out of flee bay ........but they just could't be made stronger and the single fork spring is just not such a good idea......

I lived near Krugersdorp SA for quite a while, I took two H/D's down there, one was an Electra glide and the other was a bored and stroked drag bike.....both got nicked, along with my complete tool kit....loads a money.....shame.....had to come home and start again.............
never heard about these old H/D's tho.....Tizer......would have been nice to have found one as a barn find.....always hoping ....hahaha..... all the bike's probably got dumped at sea like all our kit when the Brits left Aiden etc.....
I'm sorry to ask for help but over here there's nobody and have not seen an old'n for years.........
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by plaques » 17 Jan 2016, 22:02

Clogs, Using the sketch from the above site.
Forks 1.jpg
the New Imp forks uses links of unequal length, but unlike the diagram the top ones are 92mm and the bottom 86mm. The distance between the the top and the bottom pivots nearest the head is 198mm. and the outer distance, the moving bit, is 190mm. This is only a very slight difference in link length and on such a crap bike it makes you wonder why they did it. The change to the trail would be minimal. All the connecting pieces are forgings so that brazing to the fork legs is minimal. Welding, tig or gas, will alter the properties of the material detrimentally so I would try making the 'forgings' out of solid if you have the machinery to do it.
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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by clogs » 18 Jan 2016, 15:45

thank's "plaques" for that......
there are no forging's around for the fork's and had already decided to go the solid route, even for the link's......it'd be a good excuse to get a few more cutters for the mill.....haven't any decent ball or round over cutter's anyway....
I'm kinda hoping to keep both links the same as the frame and forks will be made as a set....so hopefully there will be some juggling room.....probably with ur old,...New Imp, they probably just modified/cobbled up what frames/fork's they had in stock.....like now it just cost's to much to tool up for something new....as it's a fairly light-weight machine they kinda stretched the limit's a bit of what they could just get away with.....
keeping everything simple, read cheap you only have to look at Brit/Leyland, they must have had the best sticker company in the UK.....Austin, Morris, Riley to name but a few.....History does repeat itself....
still trying to up load photo's.....
cheers clogs

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Re: Replica Indian Motorcycle Build

Post by PanBiker » 18 Jan 2016, 16:28

There are no instructions for the Gallery so these notes may help.

Find a suitable category in the Gallery, click on New Image then Browse to find your picture and then click add. You will be taken back to the browse window where you can add another image if you wish. You can repeat this to add up to 10 images, when you are done click Continue. All your images will upload to the Gallery and you will be given the opportunity to rename and add a description if you wish. When you are done click submit.

To add an image to a post, its a good idea to have the gallery open in a separate tab. Open up the image in the gallery.

Copy the image URL from the top box in the gallery when viewing your image. Place your cursor in your post where you want the image to appear then click the little mountain icon on the second row down in the post editor. Paste the URL copied from the gallery into "enter link for image" and then click "Insert into Message".

The post editor will auto resize the image to fit in the post.

It sounds complicated but it is'nt, it's just like riding a bike once you have done it it's dead easy.
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