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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-10-2016, 05:53 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
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Old School Choppers

What is up guys I would like some chopper advice.

I have a 1989 883 that this winter I would like to build into a chopper. I really dig the choppers that Sugar Bear made those long and low choppers with those wild curvy rockers on the end of those springer front ends. I am just starting to plan our my build so I would like some advice on frames and rake. Also I would like some advice on the springer front end. Is Sugar Bear the only one who makes those wild rockers I like how they look, plus I like that I read how those springers handle really well due to how they deal with rake, tail, and tire flop. I would like it long but not like 12 feet long. I would probably like it between 8 and 10 feet long chopper.

Any advice on the frame kit I can buy I want hard tail and would like to know what type of rake I need to make this bike so that the bottom of the frame is parallel to the ground. Also makers of springers with those radical rockers that are nice and curvy along with Sugar Bear. Any advice on length of these would be great or how I can figure out the rake I want myself.

Thanks Guys for all of your help and everything,

Peace
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2016, 03:04 PM
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Bike Year, Make, Engine: building an S&S shovel, ridin' a Yamaha
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If you like the look of Sugar Bear Springers then I would just get one, they are highly regarded for working well, and looking cool too. They ain't cheap, but any good springer that size is gonna be kinda pricey, even really old rusty ones. You can see their version here:

Products | Denvers Choppers

You can also see the approximate rake and frame setup that they are typically used on.

I ordered both my frame and springer from Paughco and was very happy with the quality of both, as have the people who know more than me who have checked out my bike.

"Long bikes" is one of the terms used for choppers like that. They typically have more degrees of rake than other styles of choppers. I would say 40* or 45* would be what you'd see.

One thing you can do is buy a cheap clear plastic protractor at the office supply store and use it to measure rake on bikes. You just overlay it on a profile (side view) of the bike (hopefull at or near 90*) and line the straight edge up with the level bottom of the tires and read the rake angle right off it. If you do this with a few bikes you like the looks of you'll probably figure out how much rake you want.

The other two frame measures that are important are stretch, which are both measured in inches. The two stretches are "up" and "out". "Up" stretch is measure of how much higher the top of the head tube is above the stock location, and "out" stretch is the measure of how far forward of the stock position the head tube is.

People who like low and long bikes, like the digger style often do something like 3" out, 0" up. The "Denver Chopper" look (like I said sometimes called "long bikes") has quite a bit of both up and out, as you can see from the pictures on the link above. Paughco lets you take their basic frame and specify some of these dimensions (or pick between a large number of variations, actually).

My bike is a big-twin, not a Sportster, so I used a different frame than you would. I wanted it low and compact, but with aggressive rake. I got a 0" up, 0" out 40* rake frame.

Getting the frame level, I agree that was really important to me. I didn't know a lot so here is what I did. It took a long time, I'm sure there is a smarter way to do this, but it will work and give you success.

I bought the frame I wanted, bought the wheels I wanted and mounted the tires on them. Then I put the rear wheel on, and put blocks of wood under the frame until it had the stance I wanted. Then I took a long piece of wood and put it through the head tube (where the forks would go) and measured the distance between the bottom of the head tube and the wheel axle. I called up Paughco and asked them which springer would result in that distance being what I wanted, and was told how to figure that (and determined which springer would duplicate the length of wood measurement.)

I ordered that, and it fit perfectly and gave me just the stance I wanted. This was slow, because you order, wait and then measure, order and wait again. But I was (am) not in a hurry and was more concerned with getting my >$1000 springer order correct.
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low and long just like the 70s
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:16 PM
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I believe this is a "Zero Choppers" or Japan/Las Vegas build. It has about 40* of rake, and a couple inches of "out" stretch, but not any "up". The frame is a "gooseneck", one common way to get long and low frames. I'd call this bike digger-styled, but it's not a full-on period correct digger.

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low and long just like the 70s
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:19 PM
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Having built a bike with zero stretch in any direction I now know what that's a pain in the ass with 40* of rake. At that angle the bars are intruding on the space where the tank is and it's just really tight to squeeze everything in. Putting a couple inches of stretch in makes for a nice look, and makes it easier to fit everything. A lot of custom tanks don't fit on stock length frames, and require a longer backbone. (In my case, much cutting and welding ensued to make the tank fit).

Here's a more "Long Bike" style, with up and out stretch:

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low and long just like the 70s
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:24 PM
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This is an Indian Larry chopper, I believe. He was well known for using near-stock rake and frame dimensions, as he prized having good handling bikes, and felt that the near stock dimensions made for the best handling. (Others disagree, or want to trade off comfort for handling, etc.) So this is something like 30* rake, no strech. (Maybe not exactly, I'm eyeballing it here).

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low and long just like the 70s
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:34 PM
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Bike Year, Make, Engine: 62 XLCH
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I did my build with a 1962 XLCH Ironhead (900cc)

I used the Harmon Spirder (Sprung Girder) front end. It's 12" over and from the early 70's. I also used the Paughco Hardtail Frame with 40* rake.

Here's what it looks like.





Here's a list of the changes I have made to get where it is now.

Year and Model: 1962 XLCH
Engine: 900cc V-Twin HD
Transmission: V-Twin 4 speed
Clutch: Barnett 9 plate Kevlar.
Frame: Paughco Model 120B Rigid Sportster 40* 1 1/2" stretch
Controls: Custom Forwards including footboards, not pegs.
Carb: Keihan, vintage 1976-1978
Aircleaner: Vintage - of unknown origin.
Front End: Harmon Sprung Girder - Vintage unknown (early 70's?)
Front Wheel: 21" 40 spoke with Avon Roadrunner 90/90H21
Rear Wheel: 16" 40 spoke with Avon MK II 5.00x16
Exhaust: Paughco Model 719B2F upswept fishtails
Tank: Custom Coffin. Custom duel fuel outlets with a remote fuel valve mounted on the left side between the jugs. The tank was just too close to the rockers to install a petcock.
Oil Tank: Custom Wrap-Around modified from vintage.
Brakes: Rear Drum - Stock, Front - None
Electrical: Converted to 12V system. All new wiring routed through 3/8" metal brake line that was welded to the frame during construction. Custom Voltage Regulator mount between the down tubes up front.
Turn signals: Are You Joking?! This is a '62! NONE!
Paint: Base coat is a modified 2004 Chevy Dark Green Metallic. When the paint was mixed, the grey metal flake was left out and dark green pearl was added. After the base coat was laid down, the flames were masked off and the gold flake shot. Then multiple layers of clear were applied. The whole thing was then wet sanded and masked again for the green candy which was applied to the flames and then the whole thing was cleared again.

All Custom Parts were built by David “Stick” Seale
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http://www.FreedSpiritsMC.com

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