Now we re ready to install our new mounts. The picture on the right shows our old and new for comparison.

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1 Well I didn t have a chance to write last week so we have a little catching up to do. Last Sunday I started out with setting up a jig to weld in the mounts. The jig is made out of a old fork tube that I milled square. The tube is milled to be about a quarter of an inch over the width of a stock swingarm. The extra space is to allow me to use a thrust bearing and hardened spacers to reduce drag and side-to-side movement. I have already converted the swingarm from the mushy rubber bushings to needle bearings and this will complete the package. This seemingly small upgrade makes a noticeable difference in the way the bike handles in a aggressive corner. I made this kit for the BSA. I haven t seen a kit for the older frames, but Tom Sharp (Sharp Enterprises) produces them for OIF bikes. I have one of his kits in my 71 Lightening. Little upgrades to the suspension on the older machines not only improves the bike under aggressive riding but will improve the daily ride-ability and it doesn t take the measures I m going to.

2 A couple of things to do before I can start welding. First we need to finish cutting out our mounts. Cutting a radius with a one inch blade can be a real pain but with a few relief cuts I m able to get it close and then clean it up on the belt sander. One more trip to the mill. The area at the pivot point was thinned down to the stock size of the mounts, the new plates are a sixteenth thicker. The holes are just for looks. Now we re ready to install our new mounts. The picture on the right shows our old and new for comparison.

3 Once the mounts are bolted to the jig I spent a few careful minutes centering the mounts in the frame and using the laser again, bringing it to the new height. Now that it is placed correctly, I tacked them in using a tig welder. Before finishing off the welding, I installed the swingarm to check fit and to make sure everything was straight. The degree wheel shows the measurement across the axle.

4 After I finished welding on the swingarm mounts, I moved on to the neck. I d like to say this is highly technical, but it s not. All there is to it is having the ability to twist the neck and a way to verify your repair. This is the rig I made for straightening necks, it allows me to control the movement. Then it s just putting in the time, plus some heat. And yes that s another fork tube. I have a hard time throwing away good steel. Well the hard part is over, and honestly I was cruising alone and forgot to take pictures. The last part that needs attention is the shock mounts. A close inspection revealed that the hoop the mount is welded to is bent where the rear peg used to be. A simple pull. Once it was brought back, the shock mount lined right up. Ever notice that the rear fender on the a lot of our rides never seems to be in the middle of the bike?? So I made sure I straighten out the fender mounts.

5 So here it is Laser straight and almost ready to go. There s still a few things to do, broken fender mount, box in the neck and add some gussets to prevent twisting. So one more day before it gets blasted and painted a nice euro red. I haven t decided on the final look of the rear sets. Ok two days. This is actually a pretty big project if you haven t been down this road before. I have. A lot of what you have seen in the pics I ve tried and failed at before. So if your going to give it a shot, don t worry about oopses, shit happens. That s the great thing about steel; it can be fixed. If nothing else, I hope I ve shown that you really need to look twice at the frame of a new project. Making sure that you have a straight, safe foundation will give you a more enjoyable ride once you re on the road. If everything works out, I should be showing this one off at the Run to the Sun. So folks what are you playing with today? That old Brit still sitting under the tarp in the garage? Riding that modern one because it s got a button on it...boringgggg. Time to get back on the road. It s warm out today. Till then, Pat

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