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Discussion Starter #1
A couple of threads got me thinking about featherbed chassis and then of course wanting one to play with.

Reproductions have been mentioned here on a couple threads so those in the know...please dish.
Who make's 'em?
Thanks in advance..
 

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You may want to give Denis a shout.
Here's a link to his website, the guy has cred and history, go read about him...
http://cmrracingproducts.com/index.html
Here's a taste...

Denis Curtis
Denis Curtis, CMR owner, was born in Lincolnshire, England in the late '40s. He served an apprenticeship with a local engineering company called Ruston-Bucyrus Limited and became a Jig and Tool Design Draftsman. He attended a local Technical College during this time and gained a Production Engineering Degree with the City and Guilds of London Institute.
Denis was influenced by many racing motorcycle frame builders of the 50s, 60s and 70s, including Ken Sprayson of Reynolds Tubing and his work with many top riders of the era like Mike Hailwood . Other influences include Colin Seeley with his solo and sidecar frames and the Rickman Brothers and their Metisse frame kits for all types of motorcycle sport. Also of note was Alf Hagon with his V-Twin JAP Sprint Bike, and the Eric Cheney Organization whose Motocross frame exploits were of the highest standard.

Denis Curtis started building and modifying frames for road racing and sprinting (drag racing) in 1965 in the UK. His first projects used Velocette and Vincent engines. After emigrating to British Columbia, Canada in the early 1970's and working and road racing for Fred Deeley Limited, he started his own manufacturing shop called Curtis Racing Frames in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

Curtis Racing Frames operated from 1973 to 1977, producing motorcycle frame kits for all type of racing and street activities. There were a total of six employees. The shop was just across the road from the Fred Deeley Yamaha HQ, which later became Yamaha Motor Canada. The racing division of Fred Deeley Yamaha and Yamaha Motor Canada were frequent visitors to our shop. We enjoyed a close working relationship with them and also with Clarke Simpkins Honda, the Honda motorcycle distributor in BC at that time.

Here is a selection of links to pictures of some of Denis Curtis' exploits with motorcycle racing and motorcycle frame building from before and after 1970 when he emigrated to Canada.
 

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+1 for Curtis. I had one of his original Triumph/BSA chro-moly dirttrack chassis from the early 70's. It was unique in that it had two sets of engine mounts. The frame would accept either a Triumph 650/750 or a BSA 500/650 motor. Anyway, Denis does beautiful work.
 

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You can try Randy at framecrafters.net. I believe he can make a featherbed chassis. I raced his Triton years ago and know he still has it in his shop. I think somebody on here got one of his custom chassis this winter. I had him do the welding and bracing on my CB350frame and swing arm. His work is excellent. He is in Northern Illinois.

Ken
 

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unity equipe - they specalize in norton featherbeds and make repros of both the racing frames and the street frames. All frames are brazed and made from 4130 cromoly. In addition to the frame they also have everything else that goes along with it like the tank, the seat, wiring, forks, you name it. Probably the most authentic frame you are going to get.

http://www.unityequipe.com/html/home.html

Dresda - makes featherbeds for cafe racers. You can get the frame setup for everything from a norton motor to an HD and everywhere in between. A plus is that he can supply you with a rolling chassis ready for the motor to drop in. Used to be a better deal when the dollar was up but seeing as how he is uk based a rolling chassis will probably cost you $5K by the time it gets here. All featherbeds are made to order.

http://www.dresda.co.uk/

Although they don't advertise it, Harris in the UK makes replica frames for most of the great racing bikes. The one they do advertise is the H2R frame but they do have a modded featherbed racing frame or at least the jigs to make one (be warned the last time I spoke to them it was 5 years ago). For what they cost you might as well have them make you a modern custom frame around your engine. Also Uk based.

https://www.harris-performance.com/website/frameset2.htm
 

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be warned - an origianl featherbed frame in the states will cost you anywhere from $900-$1200 for the bare frame. A brand new one will probably be just as much if not more (thank you unfavorable exchange rate).

Building anything high performance and british is not a cheap proposition.

Norton atlas bikes have featherbeds and will take a 750 motor if you get a later one (non ES2). As project bikes I have seen them hovering just around $1000. Might be your best bet to get an atlas and start from there.
 

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i think i heard somewhere one time (basically, i'm likely talking right out of my ass, but...)that some of the early suzuki frames were essentially an attempt to knock-off a featherbed platform.
 

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If you want to go over the top, Bakkerframbou in Holland make a featerbed frame in titanium!! I would suggest you win the lotto before calling them. Unity's featherbed run 1000 pounds Stg. which is a bit over $2000. A friend in Ireland contacted Unity for a replica rolling chassis. All the bells and whistles minus engine and trans. Came out at $16,000. All of the above is waaaaaay out of my league. I have a line on a '56 featherbed frame. Haven't been able to find out much as yet but if it works I shoud have the frame for around $150.
 

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Please entertain the ignorant, but what exactly IS a featherbed frame?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd feel kinda bad about an original since I would be gleefully creating more blasphemy. I'm not much for 'restoration' or the sublimity of any motorcycle but just the same.......

Besides...I'm probably going to hell for planning ot stick this XR lump in the Seely.
 

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well it's really easy to adapt most anything into them without having to cut the original mounts and hey........ if it's good enough for the POMES in the land of UK.......

hard to find an original Domi or Atlas bike these days

I hate the earlier widelines preferring the slimlines. I am pretty sure all the cool kids have been programmed to like the widelines. Bleh.

The stock swingarms suck and to date I've yet to see what I consider a viable and useful taper bearing swingarm conversion for one

so I made my own and fitted up a more useful oil bag Triumph swingarm to two of my Fbed bikes

you'll also need to get real and be prepared to put an actual backbone in to brace the weak headstock

do it in 4 inch tubing and it will hold nearly 3 quarts of oil




a fbed is a duplex cradle frame that handles quite well, is very light

but needs serious swingarm and headstock help if you like sticky useful tires and aggressive riding

HD copied it for racing, made 200 frames to homogulate(sp?)....... and the idiots still inserted those silly heavy cast tomahawks making it less than rigid and overly heavy

didn't work well for them so I suppse they decided all the bru ha ha about the Fbed was a myth since they never attempted anything reasonable for a sportster frame until 79 and that took 5 years to get right
 

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and I can't say I recall any of the vintage UJM frames being anything near as pleasing to the eye as a Fbed

maybe some worked better but I don't recall many of them that I'd think had nearly as cavernous room for an engine/trans

which is why a unit triumph looks lost in one

they were made for a comparatively longer engine/tranny combo

which is also why say....... an XS 650 or many other UJM engines start looking weird in them

easy to set them up with 53-54 inch wheelbase

A guy named Summerton? has a really cool with with a bevel drive type 15 Jawa in it

awesome bike and quite unusual
 

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I just happen to have a Dresda Swing Arm in my parts inventory for a CB750. Sorry it's not for sale - it will end up on one of my project bikes....
 

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well show it to me

I'd like to see if it's typical of all the other big name timken bearing swingarms I've seen for the fbed

besides I don't want one for a CB anyhow but I'd still like to see up close details of what Dresda puts it's name on

here is the timken bearing setup I made for my bike

fully adjustable from side to side and no shims or hoping required to adjust preload



 

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i've got a slimline featherbed frame that i may let go for the right price.... email me if your interested
 

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For those who asked - photos of a Dresda Swing Arm. (let's see if this works...)





 

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looks great and substantial even

what size is the spindle? 20MM? It looks smaller than that but I am thinking the rear axle is around 20mm and the spindle looks the same size.

and what does it use for bearings? caged needles or simple bushings? Hardened steel bushings?

Thanks for sharing it.

There was a reason I didn't do a box section on mine...... not sure why but it wouldn't be nothing but a thing to do one.

Something about skinny wimpy fork tubes and reservoir shocks kinda thing.

Anyhow, cool piece.
 

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oh and another thing about Fbeds

the rear engine mount/swingarm mount plates are incorrectly welded perpendicular to the tangent of the tubing

not the end of the world but bad form just the same

and it does make dealing with the swingarm and real bearings something other than just straight forward

also............ for as large a lump as you can stuff in it

the bottle neck at this area

is a rather decisive limiting physical constraint

ie....... just how much can the counter shaft sprocket be offset from the geometric centerline???

answer....... not much!
 

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quote:Originally posted by catboy

i think i heard somewhere one time (basically, i'm likely talking right out of my ass, but...)that some of the early suzuki frames were essentially an attempt to knock-off a featherbed platform.
The Suzuki TR500 racing bikes used featherbed knock frames. There was even some speculation that the first few were original featherbed widelines stuffed with Tr500 motors. These are different bikes from the street bike T500.
 

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Hackasaw;

I cannot be 100% sure, I believe it's using a harden steel insert. Not sure about the 20mm - it is the same size as a cb750 swing arm bolt - what ever size that may be. My only complaint about the swing arm is I'm not real crazy on the design of the adjusters for the rear wheel. This is the only reason I don't have it mounted right now on one of my bikes. I'm going to redesign the adjusters before I mount it on a project bike. (Yes it will be painted and look pretty too...)

seeya
 
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