No. 3 build ready to kick off...

Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Battery box completed. Used 5" dia. aluminium tube for the shell, stainless louvered vent fascias repurposed as end caps, and a Munsen Ring and Hospital Bracket as frame mounts. Locating brackets for the louvered end caps brazed inside aluminium shell using Alu-build300 rods and my MAPP torch.
Front brake and speedo cables now installed.
Bespoke 27" dia. steel rear mudguard rolled to shape by a UK craftsman using the original machines and tooling. Shame I had to cut it down to get the 'bobbed' look. Can always use the offcut on another project.
Oh... and my new Covid mask arrived arrived via DHL from India! Courtesy of eBay. ;)

DSCN3928 (2).JPG
DSCN3930 (2).JPG
DSCN3932 (2).JPG
DSCN3927 (2).JPG
DSCN3940 (2).JPG
DSCN3937 (2).JPG
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Going for the full speedo, lights arrangement means it's pretty difficult to conceal a wiring loom.
Having decided to power this build with a very low mileage Skyteam Ace 125 motor, and wanting to keep everything 'plug-n-play' friendly as possible, I purchased a spare Ace wiring loom, key ignition switch, regulator/rectifier, flasher relay and CDI unit from ooRacing, the official Ace spares stockist. Also treated myself to a mph speedometer - which I suitably modified by spraying its black plastic enclosure antique brass and the addition of some aluminium rivets to the chromed bezel. Made a card template for the panel needed to locate the ignition switch. This will be one of several panels I'll have water-jet cut from steel.

Soon as I saw the loom I realized the biggest problem was going to be concealing its electronics and umpteen multi-pin connectors. Most of the connectors will (or be made to) fit within the headlamp's shell. Might have to get creative there. Unlike on a regular motorcycle, on this build there's no convenient space under the tank or saddle to conceal wiring or electronic components, so I also needed to come up with somewhere near the rear of the bike to hide a couple of the larger items such as the CDI and flasher relay along with the connectors for the rear blinkers and stop/tail lamp. The answer was to create a faux oil tank, using one of umpteen different sized cast aluminium enclosures made by Hammond - more commonly used for musical instrument effects boxes. The 'oil tank' is secured to the seat post via a pair of stainless saddle clamps and a brass filler cap sets it off nicely. Later on I'll plumb-in a couple of copper pipe oil lines to further enhance the faux-ery.

DSCN3966 (2).JPG
DSCN3975.JPG
DSCN3963 (2).JPG
DSCN3965 (2).JPG
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Working on the shifter linkage which will transfer the 125cc motor's left side foot shift to a right side hand shift.
The bearings & collars on the main shaft will fit through a pair of waterjet-cut plates that double-up as the rear motor mounts. These plates will also hang beneath the motor's crankcase, linked between the front motor mount and the frame's bottom bracket, substantially reinforcing the frame.
DSCN4033 (2).JPG
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Begun silver soldering the reinforcing gussets to the frame. Didn't really want to have an unsightly weld bead attaching these parts - so opted for silver solder instead. Plan is to go with a clear lacquered bare metal frame (but I'm keeping my options open, so that may yet change...) with a little patina to suggest age.
Planning to weld the dropout reinforcing brackets in place because I can hide the weld bead on the inside of the frame. My wire welder is in storage, along with most all of my other workshop tools following 2019's house move, but workspace in this small apartment is at a premium so I couldn't use it here anyway - so I've convinced myself I can justify purchasing one of the latest tech mini hand-held welders from AliExpress, at a price point almost half (inc. free shipping) what the few UK sellers are knocking them out at.. Worth checking out the videos showing these little beauties in action. The results are what persuaded me to pull the trigger and purchase one. Can't wait to give mine a tryout. I'll report my findings here - but I'm already 100% convinced my weld beads won't end up looking anywhere near as uniform and perfect as those pictured in the advert's blurb.

DSCN4044 (3).JPG
s-l1600 (3).jpg
 

Attachments

  • weld bead.jpg
    weld bead.jpg
    129.2 KB · Views: 56
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Quickest ever LED vintage lamp conversion. Didn't even have to alter the vintage nickeled Powell & Hanmer lamp itself in any way whatsoever. Conveniently, the USB rechargeable LED light's plastic body was a snug interference-fit into this particular lamp's reflector ring after sawing/filing off its pair of moulded-on lugs designed to secure the rubber retaining strap. The light's on/off switch is easily accessible via the hinged, flip-up red lens on the lamps left side. Total of 10 minutes work, if that.
(Alternatively, the LED light could be attached a little further back to the lamp's rear reflector disc using double-sided adhesive, which would allow the light's beam to illuminate the lamp's red/green sidelights).

DSCN4041.JPG
DSCN4040 (2).JPG
DSCN4035.JPG
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
OK, what the heck have pet identity tags got to do with bikes? Nothing... but everything can be repurposed, right?
Ordered these brass and aluminium plaques online on Sunday evening from a local engraving company here in the North East UK, and received them Tuesday. First class service, first class product. Perfect details for my ACE's gas cap and floorboards. Added a few rivets in keeping with the rivetted vibe going on with this build.

DSCN4061.JPG
DSCN4064.JPG
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Progress, after a period of relative inactivity. Finished-up silver soldering the steel reinforcing gussets to the ACE's drop loop frame earlier this week. This enabled me to loosely install the 125cc Skyteam Ace motor into the frame and get it upright for the first time yesterday. Big day for me today, seeing the build get to the roller-with-motor-in-frame stage. I've checked the chain line and it's spot-on. Just need to fabricate an idler sprocket so the lower chain run avoids contact with the chain stay. That's no biggie. Sadly, the carb's original longer velocity stack has had to be shelved 'cause it fouled the battery box - but OORacing here in the UK came up trumps with a suitable substitute. Just ordered their shorter 34mm velocity stack which will fit the available space perfectly. Next job is to mock-up the engine cradle from card. Cradle will sling under the motor, incorporating the rear engine mounts which will tie it to the seat post. The cradle will fasten securely to the lower bolts of the front engine mount, adding substantial strength to the frame's integrity. The cradle will also include mounting holes for the bearings in which the layshaft for the left side foot shift to right side hand shifter linkage will locate.
When I'm happy with the card mock-up, I'll draw-up the parts and have them water jet-cut from 3mm steel.
Won't be watching much TV tonight. Probably find me sat astride the ACE making Brrrm, brrrm noises....! :wink1:

DSCN4072 (2).JPG
DSCN4074 (2).JPG
DSCN4077.JPG
DSCN4079.JPG
DSCN4082 (2).JPG
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Couldn't resist fitting my ACE's alternative wide, pull-back bars featuring inverted levers and longer cables to see how they look. I love both the dropped board tracker style handlebars and these pull-back bars, but the pull-backs will definitely be more comfortable on longer rides. Big fan of how swapping between bars gives the ACE a pair of entirely different personas. I'll pair the board tracker bars with a lovely Mesinger saddle (my nuts will thank me!) I just purchased from Czech leather craftsman Tomas at leathermotorcyclesseats.cz after coming across his advert on a Facebook page devoted to Antique and Hand-made cycles.
Wasn't too sure at first about the largish aftermarket speedo I bought for the Ace, but I reckon it looks perfectly in-period mated with these bars. I've seen some vintage bikes with large gauges, so this one doesn't look out of place. Conveniently, the speedo's mounting clamps double-up as somewhere to bolt the regulator/rectifier.
That shorter velocity stack for the carb showed up from OORacing in today's mail. Fits the available space perfectly.
DSCN4093.JPG
DSCN4094.JPG
IMG_20220103_141622.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Needed to establish if the footboards I purchased from AliExpress worked as intended on the ACE build, so their mounting holes were enlarged from 14mm to 16mm so they fitted onto the ACE's footpeg mounts. Once installed I could adjust the footbrake mechanism to suit. Turned out perfect. Footboards definitely giving the 'Roadstery' vibe. The only downside was the fold-down kickstart lever fouled the right side footboard, so I've shelved the lever. I'll try sourcing an alternative lever if I can find one that works for me, but a kickstart isn't really something high on my list of priorities on the ACE which has an electric starter anyway.

Was very interesting working with Tomas Adamek in the Czech Republic as my Mesinger saddle took shape. Good to his word, Tom's photo's and videos allowed me to have a say in achieving just the right amount of patina to the saddle's final colouring. Tom's a superb leather craftsman - and a dedicated biker - who's handiwork I can thoroughly recommend.
DSCN4101 (2).JPG
DSCN4102 (2).JPG
Mesinger saddle.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
239
Reaction score
754
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Working on more small, but necessary, details.
EBay came to the rescue with a substitute kick start lever from a pit bike which doesn't foul the foot board.
Replaced the over-long original Skyteam side stand with a shorter, adjustable alloy one - but even at its shortest setting it was also too long, so the answer was to hacksaw a few centimeters off the 3-piece stand allowing the bike to rest upright safely. I know a centre or rear stand would suit this vintage style tribute build better but for now the side stand will suffice. I have a rear stand somewhere in my storage unit which I may get round to installing further down the line.
New 126 link chain temporarily hung just to check the chain line and verify I don't have to notch the rear mudguard for clearance. Plan is to use a 16T idler sprocket fitted to the pedal shaft in the frame's bottom bracket to help steer the chain from fouling the chain stay. 5/8" bore 420/14 idler sprocket is presently winging its way to me from the US. Still need to lose a link from the chain and fit a tensioner.
DSCN4107 (2).JPG
DSCN4108 (2).JPG
DSCN4105 (2).JPG
DSCN4106 (2).JPG
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top