Showing all posts by Mac McConnell
FXR rear end

I was lucky enough to get the FXR with a fat rear end in it already … however this has caused all sorts of issues with clearance for a rear mudguard and nothing I have will sit over the rear tyre and still squeeze into the frame. I didn’t want to do the whole small mudguard thing and so whilst playing around with the bike I decided to junk the whole mudguard idea and instead go for a tail unit instead which should give the whole bike a more aggressive look. Enter a fibre glass unit from evilbay. Far too narrow for the American bottom sized frame so it was cut up the centre and re fibre glassed with strengthening plates. Once I’m happy with the strength of it it’ll be time to pretty it up.

Seen below as I’ve started peeling off the cardboard ‘mould’

Hours of filling and shaping (stupidly in the garage as it was so cold ….. and covered everything) and finally it started to look like it might actually work … time for paint. I went for the same gun metal grey as the XS was being sprayed in both for simplicity cost and I actually well love gun metal grey.

After receipt of the paint the centre console (also painted) was reunited to the tank with it’s new digital rev counter mounted. It looked a bit bland so I added a splash of carbon fibre to perk it up a bit.

Time to address the seats (need to do the XS too). 1mm metal bought and shaped, foam cut to suit and cap in hand to my lovely daughter to fire up her sewing machine to make the cover .. still more to do – watch this space.

the rear of the Harley has the indicators fitted into the frame tubes at the rear. So without cluttering up the rear with lights and number plates – where to put the rear light/ brake light?

New seat …. not much more to do now … just need the engine back (looking pretty)

Harley Choke

One of the many jobs I wanted to do on the FXR is to clean things up including the choke cable. On my sporty I made an adaption plate to mount the choke next to the carb – so seemed natural to make another for this bike.

Can you tell what it is yet?

Saw this in a popular furniture outlet as I was wandering zombie like behind a trolley. Saw it, wasn’t sure what I’d do with it but thought it’d look good on a bike…. somewhere.

Loving the look but will have to see how far it protrudes before I decide to use it.

Moving On

Things are moving on (a little faster than expected) meaning that I’ve had to jiggle stuff around to create space. The XS frame went off to paint along with the tank, tail piece and front mudguard and the Harley frame went off to powder coat, The XS frame came back sooner than expected and so is down in the cellar….. as much as I’d love to build it there’s little point as I’d have to pull it apart again to get it back up the stairs, so I’ve got as far as I can. I’m assured that the engines only a few days away from completion, the frame for the Harley will be back this week and …. the ‘sporty’ is due back (the fault was found to be a cracked carb and a faulty coil) this week …. I know “no Biker ever said” but I really do have too many bikes …. time to find some storage!

FXR Project.

I was finally able to convince ‘Oaken shield’ to part with his bike that he’d had sat in his garage for seven years.

Having started to break it down its obvious that he’d already put some work into the project but as happens to the best of us, time and funds dictate a different path in life …. so my gain ….. Hurrah.

This is my first venture into “Big Twins” and their ‘interesting’ engine/gearbox arrangements (the sporty was so much easier) … and who thought of having the gearbox as part of the rear swing arm?? Anyway the bike is almost stripped and as the frame has seen better days it’s time for a visit to the powder coaters and the engine will go off to my good friend John for him to go over it with a fine tooth comb to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises.

I’m unsure exactly what I am going to do with it yet …. I am assured that the frames for these bikes are well sought after so I’ll probably use the grinder somewhat sparingly and go for a mild custom / refurb job. I have been told by my good lady that this is not to be a keeper ….. but the more I’m working on it the more I like it…….. Ummm.

Ok – Soon established why this bike has never been fully stripped down … evidently a “common problem” is that, through poor maintenance, the swing arm shaft ‘welds itself’ to the inside of the gearbox housing through which it runs . It was obvious after a few delicate slaps with a hammer that it wasn’t gong to budge – so what next? For those of you (that included myself until this week) that are unaware .. the swing arm runs either side of the gearbox that in turn bolts to the engine which is suspended solely by a rubber mount at the front of the frame … So how to progress???

Immovable object?
So … Undid the bolts that held the Motor /Engine and disconnected the oil lines then lifted out the engine.
Then with some ‘wiggling’ managed to remove the gear box with the swing arm still attached.
Plan is now to leave it on its side and drizzle penetrating oil down the shaft (fnarr fnarr) and then after a day or two introduce it to my copper hammer and see if it budges. If this doesn’t work, Heisenberg has promised to visit with his Acme Chemistry set.
Frame – free of clutter – ready for a coat of Bright Stuff

Freedom !!

Following a visited to the marvellous and talented Mr Chris ‘Cooperman’ Cooper, He managed to undo what 34 years of mother nature and poor design had done to the shaft servicing the rear swing arm (that runs through the gearbox housing).

After what seems like forever of soaking in all manner of oils, fluids, acids, snake oils and bodily fluids, then heating and freezing (then repeat the above over and over)… then hitting it with a variety of hammers …. we placed the offending item(s) onto Cooperman’s 15 tonne press and I was a little upset (given the effort I’d put in) that it ONLY took six and a half tonnes to get the shaft to part company with the ally casing – with, I must add an alarmingly loud bang! A few extra slaps with a hammer and the bearings we free. Happy bunny!!


Frame back from powder coating …….. Hadn’t really thought this through so for the time being this and the XS project are living in the cellar / bar.

Couldn’t resist

After seeing what Heisenberg has achieved with his XT / Honda hybrid I must admit that when I saw this on evilbay I had to have it ….. even though I have no idea what I’m going to do with it yet. A trip down to sunny ( yes it was sunny) Bournemouth and greased the palms of a lovely fella called Andy it was time for chips on the sea front before bringing this lot home. Now ….. what to do???

Monkey – done

My boy done good. He dragged the monkey bike from where I’d left it in the garage to “finish it later” , cleaned up the charging system, re wired it, put new points and condenser and after much head scratching ( as none of the wiring colours were anywhere near matching). The little bike fired up. Josh took her for a few circuits of the garden and nearly trashed it against a discarded Belfast sink!

Not sure

Finished the front end of the Harley with the more ‘back friendly’ bars , R1 forks and the indicators within the headlight (as I keep snapping the bar end ones off) …. but I’m not sure about the light. Unlike Heisenberg, I like small…. he gets his from light house bring and buy sales.

“Lets go outside”
Bit of a stretch

My R1 front end came with a right scabby (Red) mudguard which needed some repairs. As most paint shops are currently shut …. and me being impatient, (once the item was solid again) I thought I’d have a go at vinyl wrapping ……….. Bl**dy Hell ………… what a palava….. it was like psycho meets blue peter …. not for the feint hearted. Anyway after much swearing its finished and although I may say so myself …. not a bad finish.

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