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Thread: '27 JD Cut Down Project - SWAN

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I've seen J cutdowns with modified knuckle tanks, and Super X tanks. I think that is an area where your creativity, and resourcefulness can run wild. Low budgets have also produced great works of art. Throwing money at a bike isn't a guarantee of quality.
    Thank you Eric for hopping on board my cutdown/bobber whatever choo-choo train! i welcome your thoughts! i have to admit i really like the flowing graceful look of the standard frame and tanks over the actual Finnegan Speer cutdown frame. and i like the look of the standard battery box filling in the space between the seat post and rear cylinder. i made a decision on the wheels. i sent my rear hub to Buchanan's. they are going to lace one of their 21" aluminum (black anodized) Sun rims, a 2.15 (WM3) and when the time comes, i am going to fit a 21" front wheel with disc brake off something like a 125 or 250 modern-day MX bike. the tires i am going to use are Kenda 90/100-21 657 Challenger's. the mounted diameter of the tire is 28.1", the height and width is 3.7" which i think will go good with my desire to have a look reminiscent of the teen's-early 20's era wheels, 22" i believe. i really like the skinny bicycle look of the large diameter rims/tires... not sure what i would use for fenders, something very plain and smooth. or maybe with a bead running down the middle. there are some interesting fenders on the internet. i will post pics of the Kenda's and the interesting fender i found, but i imagine i need to find a fender that is 21" to fit the radius of the tire even if i am only using a shortened length.....? if any of you guys have ideas, please feel free to share them with me! about all i know for sure is i want the overall appearance to be parts used from the teens to no later than pre-WW2 with exception to modern rims/tires and front brake, so i guess that would also mean a modern front wheel from a dirt bike but with a WM3 rim to accommodate the 90/100 Kenda. also, i think i forgot to mention, my primary finish on the majority of the ferrous parts is Parkerized. i Parkerized the rear hub and the generator frame, end caps, etc and i think they all look really sharp.

    105-0131d_1_1.jpgk657f.jpg
    Last edited by Steve Swan; 01-10-2019 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #32
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    just got my PEEK treated manifold/nuts/nipples back tonight from one Mr. Tom Cotten. Thank you Tom! for the carb on my custom project, i am using the spare DLX38 that Tom rebuilt a couple years ago.

    20190110_201333.jpg

  3. #33

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    Steve,
    FYI, Dales channel at wheels through time has some good information on modifying a frame into a cut down,

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by aumick10 View Post
    Steve,
    FYI, Dales channel at wheels through time has some good information on modifying a frame into a cut down,
    Thanks for the tip, i'll check it out!

  5. #35
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    I've thought about your project, Steve, and I would give serious thought to leaving the frame un-cut. Personally, I have only seen a few 'cut-downs' that I liked. Most look freakish to me and look like way more work than reward. I think they were the chopper of their day, but again, I don't see any frame modification advantage that couldn't be achieved more easily by tire size, and fork dampening. Also, I have always liked the length of JD tanks compared to VL tanks and think that gave the JDs their sleeker look. If anything, making the tanks narrow would achieve the custom look better that making stock tanks shorter. Real cut-downs have become a historic period mod, but real bikes are super scarce and it seems a pity to ruin a stock frame to make something that never actually existed from back in the day. I think justification would be there if reproduction frames were available, or if pieces of frames were combined to fabricate a cut-down.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  6. #36
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    Eric, thank you for candidly sharing your thoughts; exactly the thoughts and ideas I am looking for. I have been searching the internet for pictures, stories, etc of cut downs and the more I look and the more I contemplate, I really want to build this project out of stock parts. Not necessarily factory original parts, but stock parts from, before and maybe only slightly after the 1927 era. I am with you on your thoughts about cutdowns; I really do like the sleek factory “fleet as a flier” look of the mid to later 20’s era, albeit I think “fleet as a flier was used in Indian advertising from the teens… I have always liked stock bikes and back in the day, was a hard core “make it right” anal restore like factory original kind of guy. So, I am most certain I shall likely not be making any radical modifications, but on the other hand, will fabricate as need to to get the aesthetics that appeal to me. In any event, I have always been of the sort that when I see a rusty or damaged part, I see a motorcycle. This have decided this project is not going to be a cutdown or a bobber; it is going to be a custom, maybe something like some dumb farm kid (like me) pieced together with limited knowledge on a shoe string budget. As garish or ostentatious as it seems, I really am stuck on going with the 10”1915 forked Model T headlight and the 13” 1926 Model T Sparton horn. Brevet Brigadier General William H. Withington of Sparks and Withington was a U.S. Civil War general who had two sons, you can read more here -

    https://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/i...ksons_spa.html

    I love 1800-1876 US history and thought it would be kind of fun to throw in that tidbit on Sparton; Sparton is alive and well, if you Google them, you will find that they make high end laptops that are designed to work even if dropped off the Empire State Building. In any event, I think if I do it right, the horn and headlight, albeit a bit “loud” will work out ok. Attached is a picture of Rick Ulreich’s ’29 bobber, this is the direction I see myself going, but will make some significant departures from original when it comes to wheel rims, tires, and a front brake. I just ordered a new reflector for the headlight and a couple of other parts from Lang’s. The horn is a beauty, I cleaned the armature, oiled the bearings, and what a wonderful sound it makes. Everyone i honk it for breaks out in a big grin or good laughs. In any event, thanks for your thoughts Eric and I sure do welcome hearing from anyone else and also anything of interest related to this custom project I am gathering parts for.

    Rick Ulreich 29.jpg20190115_163408.jpg20190115_163434.jpg20190115_164009.jpg20190115_163613.jpg
    Last edited by Steve Swan; 01-15-2019 at 06:22 PM.

  7. #37
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    I think your spirit for this project is right on, Steve. Like any custom bike, there are limitless possibilities, but the combination of parts is critical to an aesthetically balanced, and beautiful motorcycle. Of course that is in the eye of the beholder, and is at the whim of the builder. As the builder, you have to hope that your virtual vision is just as beautiful in reality. I think that is not that hard to achieve because there are many other bikes to look at, and you can develop a successful template from what other builders have done before. At the end of the day, you have to trust your own vision, and do what makes you happy.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by exeric View Post
    I think your spirit for this project is right on, Steve. Like any custom bike, there are limitless possibilities, but the combination of parts is critical to an aesthetically balanced, and beautiful motorcycle. Of course that is in the eye of the beholder, and is at the whim of the builder. As the builder, you have to hope that your virtual vision is just as beautiful in reality. I think that is not that hard to achieve because there are many other bikes to look at, and you can develop a successful template from what other builders have done before. At the end of the day, you have to trust your own vision, and do what makes you happy.
    when i saw the size of the fully 10" T headlight, it shook me for a few seconds! the same can be said for the automotive Sparton! it might look like motor company sacrilege to some and out of proportion to others, but i think i can pull it off. i have toyed with the idea of cutting down the trumpet on the horn, but until i actually have everything mounted the way i think it should be, i will not modify any parts. want to try to make things work aesthetically as they are without going toooo crazy. i really am excited about going with aluminum Sun rims and the modern Kenda tires. with the front disc brake, there will be a few major but not overpowering touches that will add to the practicality of the bike and yet be at least somewhat reminiscent of the 20's era i want to try to be faithful to.

  9. #39
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    so, here are a few pics i've come across of bike's that i am attracted to. each of these bike's have remained faithful to period factory parts. so far, it certainly appears i am going in a bit of a different direction, using old car parts, modern rims, tires and front brake. Hi Alan!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Steve Swan; 01-15-2019 at 10:54 PM.

  10. #40
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    Cutdown is lightweight, no light, no horn, more lower with more speed.

    IMG_1576.jpg

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