Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lacing Wheels

This went better than expected. My only experience with lacing was the bicycle wheels I destroyed when I was a kid – and an aluminum motorcycle rim I tightened out of round. Older, more experience, whatever…..I did alright this time. I won’t go into too detail as there are some great videos online that show you how to do this correctly.

I completely rebuilt the hubs before lacing, installing sealed bearings all around. I purchased stainless Buchannan spokes and followed on-line advice to apply never seize on all threads and where the nipples bear against the rim. After truing the rims with a pointer to be finger tight, I broke out the dial indicator. I was able to get the rims within .01 of a nominal spot for a .020 total indicated runabout (TIR). The exception is where the end of the rims are welded. This added .015 to the run out for .035 TIR. Side to side was also about .030 for each rim. I measured this off of the inside of the rim. Proper offset was achieved by loosening spokes on one side and tightening ones on the other an equal amount. After proper alignment and offsets were achieve I tightened the spokes evenly all around until I could get them to “ring” the same as my other bikes.  I went around the rim 3 – 4 times. After I ride them a bit I will recheck tightness. They look very good, spin well on my jig and I am quite pleased with the results. 

The "Before" picture

The rim laced and ready for "truing"  

Indicating run out and adjusting spokes. 

Rubber mounted and ready to balance. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Reproduction Chrome Parts

The Hornet was in pretty rough shape, bent parts, broken parts, and many missing parts. In my quest for replacements I purchased some parts that needed to be repaired and re-plated, ones that were good as is, and reproductions which is what this post is about. One thing I found out is that re-plating a chrome part is more expensive than reproductions. I also learned that while some reproductions were quite good, others were not. I ordered “Made in England” reproductions thinking they would be of similar quality to the originals. This was the case in some but not others. Here is what ended up with.

The exhaust pipes had excellent chrome and shape. The only issue is that the holes were tap drilled too big. All of the 1/4 – 26 BSC holes had about .005 of threads in them. The 5/16-26 holes were alright. I found out the holes were close to a 7 mm tap drill and decided to modify them in this manner. I will need to make custom screws for the heat shields but that will work. The supplier gave me a discount for keeping the pipes. They have been a good supplier to me for many years and I wanted to work with them.

The handle bars were excellent reproductions that were made by Les Harris and purchased from British Cycle Supply in Canada. They do not have the serrations like many reproductions.

The fork covers were excellent reproductions “Made in England” and bought from Classic Bike Parts Cheshire in the UK. The only difference I can see from stock is the lack of the air hole in the bottom rear of them.

The exhaust heat shields were a “Made in England”, ordered from an English supplier, disappointment. The shape was off and they have a orange peeled copper tone to them. I will look for an OEM part that needs re-plating to go with the one I have.

The rear fender is a “Made in England” bought from Britain part. It looks great on the outside and all the holes are in the right spot. If you turn it over it looks pretty rough. All of the crimps are very poorly done and there are heavy burrs that were not removed from the fender cutout for the chain guard. I would like to remove them but am afraid it will rust if I take off the chrome plating. Maybe I am getting to picky worrying about the underside of a fender but I am not sure if I will buy another one. I think this would push me toward spending more money on re-plating an original.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Steering Head Rebuild

This was an assembly that went together much easier than expected. I have always wanted to install tapered roller bearings and this was my opportunity as the original ball bearings were shot. Some were even missing. I purchased a set of SRM bearings from British Cycle Supply and found a set of drifts (tubes) to install them. I also made a drift to install the cups in the frame. Another thing I found helpful was a driver I made to turn on the steering head nut. This made the job easier and helped in my quest to keep the bike scratch and gouge free in its assembly. 

New bearings ready to be installed in the frame. 
The drift used to drive in the cups is in the background. 

Driver made to install steering head nut. 

The bearings turn smooth but the final judgement will come after it is ridden a bit.