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If I do not possess a certain skill or tool to make something I need.... I will trade work with that person.
Sometimes it takes a team to make it happen
 

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Discussion Starter #43
If I do not possess a certain skill or tool to make something I need.... I will trade work with that person.
Sometimes it takes a team to make it happen
Yeah, I do that. Currently got a Ford Capri in the workshop which I`m stitching a pair of front wing sections in as a trade for machine work the guy did for me.
Swings and Roundabouts is a term used over here. Still working on it, just on a different ride.
 

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My Dad plastered houses for a living. There was never any spare money. I learned very early in life that if I wanted something I had to figure out how to make it myself. I still work that way and a lot of the stuff I make is crude by comparison to a CNCed piece. Most of the shit for the sidecar I have to make anyway for the simple reason that no one makes them. I'd like to ask a question. Does anyone out there HATE having to go to someone to get something done? I hate and I mean absolutely hate having to stand there while my neighbor weld some aluminum for me. I can't afford a tig welder so he does it (and he does it with enthusiasm) for me. But I hate standing there with my hands in my pocket while he welds. Just drives me crazy. To the point where I'd almost rather do without the part.
Welding for me is a complete no go. Years ago i served an toolmakers apprenticeship and during my training I'd sneak into the welding booth and ask the crusty old welders ( different journeymans card/trade) to let me try stick welding. I was a complete failure, for some reason I just could not get the current, puddle and flow correct. Never got an opportunity to try TIG or MIG. So the occasional welding go to the local shop, gets done correctly and the cost isn't that significant.
 

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Welding for me is a complete no go. Years ago i served an toolmakers apprenticeship and during my training I'd sneak into the welding booth and ask the crusty old welders ( different journeymans card/trade) to let me try stick welding. I was a complete failure, for some reason I just could not get the current, puddle and flow correct. Never got an opportunity to try TIG or MIG. So the occasional welding go to the local shop, gets done correctly and the cost isn't that significant.
Makes me wonder if the crusty old guys were very helpful. Definitely a knack to it, but with a good instructor and a bit of practice you could run a decent bead. Vertical or overhead takes lot of practice and the correct equipment. I used to work in M/C shops, but hated snowmobiles so I'd look for something different during the winter. Spent one winter welding swather frames together. Got to the point where I could weld horizontally reasonably well and sort of vertical. Never mastered the overhead and never got to practice it on the line. Not a career I wanted anyway. If you do want to weld, MIG is probably the easiest way to go. It's just that you need a reasonably good machine or it makes it a pain to learn on. I hope to sign up for a TIG course a the local trade school that runs on Saturdays, just to give me an idea of whether or not I should spend the money on another welder and what sort of welder I need.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
My old MIG welder is getting a bit tired now, I bought it when it was almost new in a liquidation sale when I was 19. It seemed a lot of money then, but its been a fab piece of kit. I can weld 1/2" plate down to bodywork stuff with it and its really seen a lot of work. Wire delivery is still precise and smooth and I cant imagine not having it. If you can drop on the a nice old welder, they can often come up pretty cheap and still work better than a lot of new stuff.

I bought a new Fronius Mig Braze machine for welding Boron Steels a few years ago (£6k) and a panel guy still preferred to use my old Murex. Got a nice single & double sider water cooled, inverter spot welder with pneumatic tip pressure laying in the workshop if anyone wants to trade a Tig set!
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Is there really an "average build"? It think it depends on what you're starting with...
Yours is most definitely not an `average build`. Still envious of that lathe by the way, especially as a birthday present!
 

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Just to bring this thread back on topic a second I am going to drag out some old pics of some crappy honda.....







This is my brother's 1979 CB750F. This is also the last bike I could consider as being a "completed project" where chasing a career, a marriage, a child, or just general life did not get in the way. It started out as a rattle can green street urchin that did not run bought for $350 on a street corner in Brooklyn. It didn't run because the previous owner had installed 3 feet (not exaggerating) of coiled fuel line under the tank connecting the 4" gap between the petcock and the carbs. Although it ran, stopped, went, and everything worked, it leaked out of every seal (except the base and head gaskets), wallowed like a marshmallow in turns, and tried to slide the rear out due to el cheapo cheng shin tires that had sat for several years outside in brooklyn baking in the sun.

I gifted the bike to my father as he had always wanted a DOHC cb750 and he in turn gifted the bike to my brother upon getting his license. In truth it is the family rental and if you come to visit and have a motorcycle license this is most likely what you end up riding.

So how long did it take? 6 months. Start to finish. We outsourced the seat and the paint, swingarm bushings because I don't have a press, and had a professional tune done to the carbs after I couldn't get the thing to idle cold (it still doesn't and I am told it never will - it is just how they are). What did we do in 6 months? All bolt on stuff which would make it pretty close to the average hipster build. The only regret I have is that although we did almost completely disassemble the bike, we did not take the engine out of the frame to paint it and as a result it looks kind of meh up close. We put new shocks on it (13" which lowered the rear because my brother wanted to flat foot the bike), did a cbx look paint job, new fork seals, new swingarm bushings, caliper rebuild, master cylinder rebuild, 1/4 fairing, new coils, new pulse ignitors, new tires, superbike bar, bar end mirrors, K&N filter in the stock airbox, and then painted and polished what was left

this is a pic from about 2006:






So done right? Then how come it looks so different from the pics taken last year?

Well since 2006 I had to install a new rotor, stator, and another set of coils plus wires. Also a regulator, rectifier, and another set of pulse controllers (because it turned out the other set was used). I then replaced the signals when my father snapped off one of the stock front ones putting the bike in the garage, and my brother broke a rear one backing into something (in the 2006 rear shot you can see the black tape holding it on). Then we put on a set of vipex shocks off my old cb900F when my brother and father started to complaint the bike handled like a pig and was too low. And briefly I installed a bassani pipe but removed it when they complained it was too loud. I taught my brother how to use the polisher my father had but never used to polish his blades (he is a stuntman and a swordplay choreographer) and as a result we installed the polished cb1100F lattice foot plates. My brother and father hated the bar end mirrors so I fished out a set of period correct 1980's GP mirrors and installed them, and both were happy. I still have a full dual piston caliper upgrade with 1982 rotors waiting to go on but since I no longer live in NY progress on the bike has slowed. so that is from 2006-2013 and it was constantly evolving as three people rode it semi-regularly (and lots of strangers once or twice) and I doubt it will stop. So the answer is 6 months or 9 years depending on what you consider "finished".

The point I always try to make with the newbie hipsters is that you don't need to "build" or "fabricate" or chase some stupid look. Here I have a nice bike that is all bolt-ons and is a blast to ride through careful parts selection. It looks great and get compliments from almost everyone (for some reason the hipster cx500/cb450T riders snub it). Are there things I would have done different? sure. And when my father stops riding and my brother lets it linger we may restore it again and do things proper. But for the mileage it delivers it has been a fantastic bike. BTW I have kept all the reciepts on this and I would hardly call it a bargain. For what it cost to do over time I could have bought a new sport standard motorcycle or at least a 1 or 2 year old used one.

What's planned for 2015? well my brother did just score a set of boomerang comstars in 18" front and rear.....
 

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Putting my Norton together took about a year or so. Mainly due to lack of money. Living in a tiny apt. didn't leave a lot of working room.

 

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I seem to be able to tackle one little project on my project during the 10 days off I get a month. I'm gone the other three.

Last month I pulled the triple clamps off, visited my bike shop friends and used their crown race puller and bearing setter. This month, I'll see if the holiday allows me the time to build a bearing cup press, so that in December, I can maybe refit the rest of the front end....

I think I want a non project bike...
 

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now in juxtaposition to my previous post....here is another shitty honda:

78_Fighter_right_side.jpg

78_fighter_back_left.jpg

These pics were taken back in 2006 when I purchased this bike from Royal Shakespeare Company Actor James Gale exactly as you see it. Actually picking up that bike was an adventure in and of itself because it was me and ROSKO in his van in a really sketchy part of Brooklyn chewing toothpicks and searching for a bathroom in which I could have massive diarrhea (and we found one that not only lacked a door to the stall but a door to the outside world so a bunch of homeless guys cheered me on as I forcibly shat liquid onto a bathroom wall). Anyway the bike had a dubious history (was a lightly modified stocker of unknown origin with some dunstall parts), had lived outdoors under a tarp, was further modified by a mad englishman to emulate the cb750 superbikes of his youth, unknown mileage (speedo was cashed at 35K+ miles with the trip odo permanently stuck at 666). But it ran, it was loud, it was reasonably fast, it didn't smoke, it didn't leak, and it didn't brake down. From 2006 to 2009 I rode it just the way it was, including riding it one trip to mid ohio where the headlight fell off at 100+ mph. In 2009 I decided that having one working gauge in a two gauge cluster was useless so I bought a headlight/speedo bucket from benjie:






Which worked great and I really like.

Right about the same time the E10 fuels here in the states started to eat the original Dunstall fiberglass tank. The carbs gummed up and I stopped riding it. It became regulated to the back of the shed project that I would work on occasionally as time and finances allowed. in 2012 I added these gooseneck clipons because I hated the drag bar:



A drag specalties speedo from the 70's that had never been used (no photo), a VFR rear wheel, dual piston caliper brakes from a 900F, a GS1100 alloy swingarm, a carb rebuild by jaguar (excellent job), and planned to add a set of marzocchi strada shocks, a fork brace, a glass fender in the front, and other bits and bobs. I also sent the seat out for upolstry. As of right now it still does not run, and I haven't seen it in a year and a half. In the entire time I owned this bike I bought and sold a GS750, A guzzi CX100, and rebuilt this sporty with my dad (still unfinished):



I also got married, had a kid, moved to ohio, got my career back on track, tired to go back to school, had two friends pass away, work on my Jeep, fix my sportclassic, etc.. so in otherwords life.

In reality if I had nothing on my plate the bike should have taken me 6 mos. But it has taken me 8 years so far to turn a great running bike into a project. Too bad I'll never sell.
 

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These took over just over 300 hours, 3-4 months each. A lot of that time was spent polishing. Includes lots of tea, fag breaks, and stopping to listen to Pop Master.
 

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I'm actually building one in 1 month, I figured I spent about 8 years and probably 30,000 on tools so that I can build all the parts for bikes, I should put all that stuff to work and see just how fast one can go together. I think the more you build, the less time things take, but the better they turn out, also, investing heavily in good tools and the knowledge to use them to their full effect shortens the work time by a lot. I also get a lot of disrespect from the hipster crowd for "trying too hard", apparently investing heavily in tools and practice time isn't fashionable haha
 

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It doesn't fit in with the instant gratification our current society favors.

I have regular dreams of being in a big old drafty bare brick building offering Moto and bicycle work. But the reality of "the easiest way to make a million is to spend 2" shakes me awake and back to reality.
 

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I have regular dreams of being in a big old drafty bare brick building offering Moto and bicycle work.
When I win the lottery I'm going to find some small town somewhere and buy a 100+ year old building right on mainstreet, buy it, and set up shop. Build whatever the hell I want, bikes, cars, boats, and not sell a fooking thing. If you want to come in and BS that's fine, but I spent enough time working retail to know I don't like dealing with the general public very much, and I've put up with fake deadlines way too much the past few years to give a rip what John Q Public wants next week so he can make it to the shine and show at Starbucks... and I just won the lottery so no, I don't need your money. Or your attitude.

I'm also going to buy the theater in town and restore that to it's art deco decor. But that's a different thread.

And I should probably stop posting now, between the beer and the residuals from my wonderful trip to the dentist today (Oh, you can still feel that? Wow. Followed up with Um, gee.... ah., you see.. it turns out the permanent crowns don't fit right and, well... sorry... guess we'll put the temp stuff back on and can you come back Friday for a repeat experience?) I'm not in the best of moods/conditions to be posting...

Oh, on topic.. hmmm... they're never "done" but if you can build one in under a year it's either not your first and/or it's not nearly as nice as you think it is...
 

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But you could hardly equate it to some of what is going on now.

Same with the Rickman Bros, Seeley and others?
I thinks it equates very much to today's "scene". Dunstall took a Domi and bolted on chrome headlamp, clip-ons, fiberglass tank and seat, swept backs, goldies (and later his own design) and rear sets. Viola!! The instant cafe racer. I can't remember what the retail price was back then but Dunstall was able to sell his cafe racer for just 35 pounds over Norton's retail price. Rickman made some beuties and as far as I can remember Seeley made a few Condors but that would hardly compare with what Dunstall did.
 

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I thinks it equates very much to today's "scene". Dunstall took a Domi and bolted on chrome headlamp, clip-ons, fiberglass tank and seat, swept backs, goldies (and later his own design) and rear sets. Viola!! The instant cafe racer. I can't remember what the retail price was back then but Dunstall was able to sell his cafe racer for just 35 pounds over Norton's retail price. Rickman made some beuties and as far as I can remember Seeley made a few Condors but that would hardly compare with what Dunstall did.
Maybe in the 1970's but depending on the bike and what you paid for but even then they were more than just a bodywork kit. However Dunstall started by buying the Norton Domiracer program in about 1962/1963, and put together two model 88 racers for the 1964 Daytona 200. Dunstall had been a Norton dealer since 1961 and when the works program liquidated he took over selling the spares to racers and building complete bikes. In 1967 he became a mfg. most of the 1960s dunstall dominators built by paul were either race bikes or high performance street bikes. Were they built to a formula? Yes, although it has been said no two are exactly alike. Were they instant gratification in that all you had to do was drop off a pile of cash and pick up a bike? Yes but they were not cheap. Were there road bikes that were just all his parts bolted to a stock atlas or dominator? Yes but even those came with swept back exhaust, new brakes, and alloy wheels, and by 1967 they were production class eligible.

While i agree that Dunstall certainly gave the market what they wanted, and may even have beem the origin for the current business model, the difference was that Paul was a racer at heart and all his 60's stuff had origins in racing and was meant to be functional first. I seperate this from pauls later work around 1968 when he begain to really enter the styling market with things like the Norton American and the commando based touring bikes.

I dont necessarily have a priblem with instant gratification in the parts supply side, however i do have an issue with parts made for racing vs parts made purely for style. At the very least dunstall parts, well the Norton parts anyway, were race parts people used on the street bikes and the had a functionality because they were made (sometimes crudely) to fill a specific need. Parts made now for instant gratification are style parts, while pretty, they dont address the need the same way and therefire are most times the inferior solution.

I should add in here that while Dunstalls home market wanted complete bikes, the US market really wanted the parts, esp the high performance norton racing stuff. Complete bikes from dunstall wouldnt make it to the US until 1973.
 
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