Downtown Red Rat Ross

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
Moderator
Jul 22, 2007
1,135
13
New London, CT
www.bareiss.net
Hey folks, decided to give the buildoff a shot!

Better a little bit late, than never right?

Our subject today is an early-70s Ross girls frame, given to me by a guy at work. Saved from the crusher, as all good projects are!



It has some of the rustiest rims on the planet, but decent paint on the frame. I've been calling it a '71 but its date is unknown. Not sure when they started stamping "BMA" stamps on the frames, maybe that helps date it.



Since I saw it, I thought this small frame would make a cool custom chopper- honestly the first thing I thought about! This buildoff has made me focus my thoughts and we kicked around a few beers, and a few ideas last night... plans started to come together!

The bike will be inspired by those beautiful 1930's and 40's BMW motorcycles, the R models, R51 and R61 specifically. Many of these were built prewar, and into the early 50s with similar styles.



During the war, most were built for German army reconnaisance and messenger use. Civilian models look a lot like the military versions but with some style- pinstripes, flared "aero" fenders, and saddlebags.



We'll have to see where the build goes.

The original paint might be good enough to save, we'll see.

One of the surprises in store for this is a set of original Ross fenders I've just received back from my father, who's cleaning out our old house to sell it. I took them off and stashed them under the porch in... 1978? Built my "nerd" Ross coaster into The Death Machine complete with frame graphics in silver. 8)

I'm hoping to achieve something worthy of inclusion here, with some classic chopper style mixed in with the 40's fat fender look.

Totally looking forward to the build, and given what you guys have created in the past, I'm prepared to be "shocked and awed" by your creations. You never fail to amaze me!

Best of luck to all the builders!

--=={{Rob}}==--
 

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
Moderator
Jul 22, 2007
1,135
13
New London, CT
www.bareiss.net
First update

After a lot of discussion of how to achieve the "BMW" look, I'm finally starting to get some parts together.

I have a set of red rims, bought off Ebay over a year ago. They came with Stomil Polish made BMX tires, knobby, huge, heavy and almost too stiff to be removed from the rims. A pair of vintage Trelleborg whitewalls finish off the look after a lot of fighting to save the paint and lose the old tires.



My brother found a Columbia Scamp at a yardsale last month, for a few bucks. It's a convertible bike. THe convertor bar is designed to look like a tank. The tank splits in half. Works out that it's exactly the length of this little Ross from headtube to seat post...



So many more ideas for this one, we will have to see what makes it into the final design!

Good luck to all, hope you enjoy the pics.

--=={{Rob}}==--
 

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
Moderator
Jul 22, 2007
1,135
13
New London, CT
www.bareiss.net
FOund it at the waterfront

I think it was pulled out of the ocean as part of a beach cleanup.

If you can see the spokes, they are just stubs, completely rusted away from the hub.

The rust bubbles on the main frame are about 1/2 inch thick.

I bet a 30-yr old Schwinn would have done a bit better than that Next-type bike. Still, salt water and big tidal currents will do a number on anything in a hurry.

--Rob
 

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
Moderator
Jul 22, 2007
1,135
13
New London, CT
www.bareiss.net
It is my bus!

Lil' rat rod said:
interesting looking bike! im sure it will look sweet when its done!

p.s. is that your Bus in your avatar? heres my 1972: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v318/ ... C02158.jpg

cleaned it up a bit since that pic but you get the idea!


Funny how VW people tend to be bike people too!
It's a 70 Station Wagon (Deluxe, Microbus, Samba, whatever
you care to call it). All the seats, all the windows, all the chrome.
And it came off the road earlier this year for some serious
windshield area rust repair. Otherwise it is VERY solid as it
came from San Diego.

Here's a couple of good pics of it:






Yours looks like a keeper too! Though opinions differ about the
color, it is original! Tell the Schwinn folks it's "coppertone"!

Take care
--=={{Rob}}==--
 
Sep 1, 2006
178
233
27
Fort Wayne, Indiana
im not to crazy about the color either ( its called Seirra Yellow) but it will have to do for now! some day down the road it will be white on dove blue! i love yours too never seen one those colors before but i like it! good luck!

Jon
 

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
Moderator
Jul 22, 2007
1,135
13
New London, CT
www.bareiss.net
Nothing to see here

The paint color on the bus is something it picked up before I got it. It's getting repainted the original Montana Red with white roof. It is supposed to be red right up to the drip rails.

Though lately I'm thinking flat black with red rims, keep those narrow whitewalls and moon hubcaps though... 8)

On a more on-topic note, a guy I work with dropped off another parts bike for me today. Black late-60s Raleigh tourist style mens 26" bike. Generator front hub and the coolest headlight- it will be the headlight for my BMW project. The leather saddle may find its way onto the bike as well if I can mount it the way I want.

Also a really nice rear fender reflector. That'll go straight onto the project. Slow but it's progress. More pics to come, I got a week off coming up and nothing better to do than build bikes!

--=={{Rob}}==--
 

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
Moderator
Jul 22, 2007
1,135
13
New London, CT
www.bareiss.net
Long Time No Update!

Well I've been lax in my duties of getting pix of the Ross buildup.

I apologize and would totally understand if you'd given me up for dead!

There's been some tremendous progress and the bike is nearing completion. Just in time, I know, but hopefully it's worth the wait.

I've been trying to incorporate elements of a WWII or early-50's BMW motorcycle into the build. There are some design items in the BMWs that just jump out at you as being different from many other types of motorcycles and of course from any bicycle designs.

With any luck, I'll capture a few of those elements into something that looks like perhaps a WWII bike being ratted out in the 50's or 60's!

Follow along some of the design steps I came up with. I have to admit it became larger than a 1-man project. I enlisted the expert and insane welding talents of my friend Justin. He's generally got twice as many projects as I do cooking at one time. Together we just finished up a '68 Orange Krate buildup from a bare frame, and last year he built this stretch limo rat out of a Bratz bike:



So he's well qualified for 2-wheeled craziness and generally will sign onto any project, no matter how radical. His father builds custom one-off V-Twin motorcycles... I don't know where he gets it from! :roll:

OK what am I gonna do to keep a stock frame and achieve the long low profile of the BMWs?

How about we build a rear frame extension? Something that looks like the BMW vertical shock rear suspension and repositions the rear wheel up and back a bit. That's a great idea! Sounds easy too? Um...




A lousy girls' 10-speed called an "Ascot 10" was unceremoniously relieved of it's rear stays. A quick measurement revealed that the huge seat post diameter would actually fit OVER the Ross seat tube:




It would require a little welding to strengthen it up, as apparently the original was brazed? How did it ever stay together? Same construction at the dropouts, which were cut off to the right length for this little project:




The BMW has this very noticeable vertical member in the rear suspension which has the shock absorber in it. A couple of pieces of steel tubing from work look about the right size:




The steel is mounted with a nut, welded up inside the tube. This captive nut is bolted to the original dropout with a short bolt. I think it ended up being a 5/16 on one side and an M8 on the other...




This evolved over a couple of weeks including an attempt to actually make working suspension inside the tubes. It got too complicated to be practical. Fitting and shaping the rear dropouts consisted of heating and flattening the tubes, forming them around the pipes, and welding them in place:






After one was built up, the rear wheel was bolted in to align the other side. The hardest part of the job was replicating and fabricating the second side to be the same:





With the wheel removed, you can see the whole assembly. It's completely removable from the frame as a unit.





More to come real soon!!!

--=={{Rob}}==--
 
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