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Thread: Spokes

  1. #1

    Default Spokes

    Is it my understanding that Stainless or zinc spokes can be substituted for cad on 1950s-70s Harley's? I hope this was the right forum to ask this question. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
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    1,001

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    Dear Otis, this is my thousandths post on the Forum and I wasn't expecting it to be on spokes. For some while I've been concerned that stainless spokes with modern nipples (e.g Cameron sets) were being penalised on restored bikes, which otherwise allow 'best available repro'. I took this up with Don Dzurick at Oley this year, he took it to the AMCA Judging Committee, and I understand they held firm to their original ruling. I would rather be riding than beadblasting 40 spokes per wheel, so all my restored bikes are losing a full point in judging - a quarter point per wheel for shiny spokes, and a quarter point per wheel for incorrectly shaped nipples. And that's if you remember the Schrader valve cheaters, which would also cost you a quarter point a wheel. If you're trying for 95 points Senior/Winners Circle, a fifth of your total leeway has gone on what I would consider perfectly decent wheels.

    The technical point here is that original Harley spokes and nipples had 40 tpi threads, while the modern ones are 32 tpi. This means you need either a full set of originals or a full set of repro spokes/nipples for each wheel. My hard core restorer/judge pals say you can scour the swap meets for original spokes and nipples and then get then cad plated as originals. But cadmium is now illegal in many countries, and by using original spokes on restored bikes we are denying them to owners of original bikes. I'm still a bit sore on this topic, and look forward to our Chief Judge jumping in and putting us straight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    245

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    Hi Otis.
    The information you need can be found in the Judging guidelines which can be viewed in the events section of this web site.

    You are correct that stainless spokes can be used to replace original cadmium plated spokes providing they are shaped like the originals and they are bead blasted to simulate the original finish.
    Unfortunately its unlikely you will be currently be able to use them on a 1950s Harley unless you are prepaid to use incorrectly shaped nipples which would be subject to a 1/2 point deduction per wheel

    The rules and guidelines are for all makes of bike not just Harley and the ability to use stainless steel for the spokes works well with numerous other makes of bike because the nipples available look similar to the original nipples used.

    Correctly shaped spokes are available in stainless steel for Harley and providing you remove any embossed letter on the head and bead blast them to simulate cad there would be no deduction for using these,Unfortunately Harley used a distinctively different shaped nipple from other manufacturers, OEM nipples will not fit the stainless spokes available because of the difference in the thread pitch and nobody is currently making nipples that look like the original Harley ones. So unless some one starts making Correctly shaped nipples that will fit stainless steel spokes soon your only option is to use incorrect shaped nipples and stainless spokes or OEM spokes and nipples. I see them from time to time on Ebay and at swap meets .You may be able to reuse and restore the ones that were on your bike,

    Bikes that are judged in the AMCA system must look exactly how they were when they were delivered from the factory to the dealer, this means that all visible components must look exactly like they were when the bike was new this includes spoke nipples.
    There is NO rule that says BEST AVALABLE REPRO.Steve might be mixing this up with the rule that allows reproductions to be used providing they ACCURATLY REPLICATE the original part.

    Pete Reeves #860

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,181

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete reeves View Post
    Hi Otis.
    The information you need can be found in the Judging guidelines which can be viewed in the events section of this web site.

    You are correct that stainless spokes can be used to replace original cadmium plated spokes providing they are shaped like the originals and they are bead blasted to simulate the original finish.
    Unfortunately its unlikely you will be currently be able to use them on a 1950s Harley unless you are prepaid to use incorrectly shaped nipples which would be subject to a 1/2 point deduction per wheel

    The rules and guidelines are for all makes of bike not just Harley and the ability to use stainless steel for the spokes works well with numerous other makes of bike because the nipples available look similar to the original nipples used.

    Correctly shaped spokes are available in stainless steel for Harley and providing you remove any embossed letter on the head and bead blast them to simulate cad there would be no deduction for using these,Unfortunately Harley used a distinctively different shaped nipple from other manufacturers, OEM nipples will not fit the stainless spokes available because of the difference in the thread pitch and nobody is currently making nipples that look like the original Harley ones. So unless some one starts making Correctly shaped nipples that will fit stainless steel spokes soon your only option is to use incorrect shaped nipples and stainless spokes or OEM spokes and nipples. I see them from time to time on Ebay and at swap meets .You may be able to reuse and restore the ones that were on your bike,

    Bikes that are judged in the AMCA system must look exactly how they were when they were delivered from the factory to the dealer, this means that all visible components must look exactly like they were when the bike was new this includes spoke nipples.
    There is NO rule that says BEST AVALABLE REPRO.Steve might be mixing this up with the rule that allows reproductions to be used providing they ACCURATLY REPLICATE the original part.

    Pete Reeves #860
    Pete!

    Please explain in further detail how "simulated" and "ACCURATLY" equates with "exactly".

    Thanks in advance,

    ....Cotten
    PS: "events section"??
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 09-13-2017 at 05:58 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    245

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    Hi Tom.

    Do we really need to split hairs and analyse every word ?

    In this context "Simulated" "Accurately" "Exactly" equates with "Looks like"

    The judging guidelines booklet can be found on the first page of this web site under the events column.

    Pete Reeves #860

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,181

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pete reeves View Post
    Hi Tom.

    Do we really need to split hairs and analyse every word ?

    In this context "Simulated" "Accurately" "Exactly" equates with "Looks like"

    The judging guidelines booklet can be found on the first page of this web site under the events column.

    Pete Reeves #860
    That's pretty ambiguous to me, Pete!

    Especially when it comes down to judges' personal opinions.

    Blasted stainless is readily distinquishable from cadmium, so it is by no means "exact".
    Paint can "simulate" it more "accurately", and acceptible according to the handbook.

    So shouldn't blasted stainless be a fault?

    ....Cotten
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 09-14-2017 at 10:27 AM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

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