'DECOLINER' build underway...

Jun 25, 2017
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After discovering Jim Henderson's TRM Spaceliner build thread I was impressed enough to take a crack at building my next motorized bike using one of his grp Convertible tanks. I recently corresponded with Jim and was told the tanks were in stock for immediate shipping. Deal done!
At about the same time I had scored what I hoped would be a compatible frame - a vintage 26" ladies Hawthorne - on US eBay for a bargain price. Shame that shipping and import duty cost almost twice as much to get it to me here in the UK. But I reckon at the all-up price I paid, it was still a bargain.
The TRM tank arrived a week after I ordered it. As a more than satisfied customer I was impressed by both the undeniable quality of the grp tank mouldings and by Jim's prompt and courteous service and excellent communication.
By good fortune, my Hawthorne frame showed up the very next day - so I wasted no time getting my second build underway. First up, I stripped the frame of its (non- original) paint then straightened-up its bent drop-outs. The antique frame is in great shape and I'm a big fan of its brazed construction. So much so I may just be tempted to go with a clear-coated bare metal theme.
I spent a lot of time marking and cutting the TRM tank halves to make sure they were a snug fit on the frame. This time proved well spent. The pics show where I'm at at this point. I'll keep you posted as the build progresses.

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FORK INSTALL...
My plan is to use curved modern suspension forks - but to modify them to a springer design. Here's the 'before' shot showing how the box-fresh forks look when installed.
As with my first build, I'm again opting to go with a Sturmey Archer 70mm X-FD drum brake up front.

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Jun 25, 2017
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FORK-n-WHEEL PROGRESS...
Found time to do a little more on my DECOLINER this week. Sturmey Archer drum brake now laced into front rim. Coaster braked rear rim added. Both shod with 2.3 Fat Franks. Began converting forks to faux springer. Tank now primered awaiting top coat - which will be Citroen's Nocciola Bronze metallic, applied after I track down suitable lights to install. I've also cut and shaped the tank's polished alloy trim strips.

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Jun 25, 2017
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MOCKING-UP THE MOTOR MOUNT/TIN WORK
Now the TRM tank has been painted and clear-coated, I've begun playing around with card mock-ups in an effort to create the motor mount and some suitably 'deco-rous' tinwork to compliment the tank's flowing lines.
Note that this time round I've opted to use a 50cc pocket bike motor with a 3.25:1 gearbox attached. Together with a 54 tooth final drive gear, this will give decent bottom end acceleration and a cruising speed around 35mph. That's the theory anyhow...

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Jun 25, 2017
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MOTOR MOUNT DONE...
Fabricated the motor mount this morning. Even better, the sheet aluminium I ordered from eBay showed-up bang on time in today's mail - so I can carry on with cutting the mount's ali panels to shape this afternoon. Pics show how the mount attaches to the motor and installs in the frame. Stay tuned for the next update which will hopefully show my DECOLINER's ali tinware in place.

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MOTOR MOUNT's TINWARE DONE...
Finished-up cutting the pair of aluminium panels for the motor mount and drilling them and the frame ready for rivets. Pics show the panels and motor mount temporarily secured in place with Cleko pins. These ali panels will soon be painted/riveted to match the tank...

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Jun 25, 2017
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Jim,
Jury's out on that. I do really like the shiny brazed frame as is, but still undecided whether to leave it clear-coated bare metal, or paint it Nocciola Bronze metallic to match the tank and motor mount. Let me sleep on it for a while...
 
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EXHAUST/MUFFLER MUSINGS...
I'm happy with my choice of 50cc mini moto engine for this DECOLINER build - but the one major draw back with these is the very limited range of exhausts available - all of which feature expansion chambers - featuring fixing flange studs 38mm apart. I trawled the interweb over the weekend noting every kind of mini moto exhaust and amongst the few choices available there is only ONE which will fit my needs. Be aware that I DO need to route the exhaust manifold upwards to avoid fouling my own design motor mount. I purchased the exhaust you see in these pics and it's the only one which does this. All others I've seen have manifolds and expansion chambers which hang down vertically under the engine - so none of those will fit my particular application.
Pics show the motor with exhaust attached loosely bolted to the DECOLINER's frame on temporary urethane bushes. It will eventually sit on 4 x rubber anti-vibration pads I've just purchased via eBay. Thing is, I'm dubious about the exhaust's current route one one count - it locates the muffler right where I intended to have a one or one-and-a-half litre cylindrical fuel tank hidden inside a leather tool bag suspended from the rear of my Brooks saddle. I suppose I could always re-site the fuel tank and bag so it's suspended ahead of the handlebars..? Failing that, my best option may be to customize the exhaust.
(Also worth me saying I did originally intend housing a collapsible i/v type fuel cell inside TRM's grp tank but soon discounted that idea right after the tank arrived, when it became apparent the bag size I could squeeze in there would severely limit the bike's range. And Jim at TRM has already confirmed he won't be offering a larger dedicated fuel tank option for his Spaceliner tank).

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DECOLINER's FRAME PAINTED...
Well, I bit the bullet and decided the frame would look better painted Nocciola Bronze metallic to match the TRM tank. Now it's done, I'm glad I did. In the attached photos I've posed the polished alloy trim strips on the tank to show how they finish it off.
Motor mount and polished alloy panels now permanently attached to the frame. Motor now mounted on anti vibration rubber pads and is adjustable left/right via oval fixing holes to aid chain alignment when the time comes.
Tackled some other small jobs...
Sorted the rear sprocket. My mini-moto engine uses a T8F 8mm chain which is much smaller than regular bicycle chain, so I needed to solve how to attach a matching 54T rear sprocket to the rear hub. I figured the easiest solution would be to use a cnc'd alloy 3-point sprocket adapter and mark/drill the sprocket to suit. Worked a treat. Pics show the sprocket and adapter in place - Now I just need to swap-out the adapter's blackened countersunk screws for some stainless button heads.
Also pleased with my choice of handlebars and quill stem. Although I may yet cut the bars same as I did on my Indian tribute build. Not yet decided...
By pure luck I found some correct diameter steel rod in my stash to make a seat post. Opted to go with another eBay sourced 'pre-loved' vintage Brooks saddle - this time a sprung version. Looks nifty and a good colour match for the tyres.
Next job? Exhaust. I've cut up the mini-moto pipe I purchased and I'm busy drastically re-working it. Basically I binned the tail pipe and muffler and kept the manifold and expansion chamber. I've cut off the manifold's flange and need to re-weld this to a slightly shortened manifold so it doesn't foul the new motor mount. I'm using a custom-fabricated flexible stainless Polylock pipe to route the exhaust over and round the motor and back to a new tail pipe. The aim is to fabricate an exhaust which looks purpose designed rather than an afterthought. Workin' on it...pics to follow soon.

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