Cafe Creme - my Boardtracker project.

Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
New here guys, but not new to biking. Been building Cafe Racers and Specials since the late 60's.

Until recently I have been involved in the design, manufacture and sales of my own brand of replica Sports cars. Porsche, Jaguar, Cobra and some one -offs. Retired in 2000 and have kept my hand in since carrying out engineering design consultancy to a couple of former business associates - again in the replica car industry.

Bikes have always been my hobby though, and since my retirement, I've been able to put more time into that. Several BMW Airhead Cafe Racers, Japanese CR's and Flat Trackers, some Streetfighters and currently a 60's Brit style Cafe Racer based on a Yamaha TR1 V Twin and a BMW K100 Streetfighter - both on their way to completion.

A couple of years ago I came across "Boardtrackers" and I've become more and more interested in the genre and when I ended up with a couple of spare TR1 donors - a Boardtracker seemed the logical way to go !

I have a specific idea in mind for the frame style, and the powerplant will be lifted complete from the TR1.

After a year of collecting various parts together I tripped over a 1920's "La Diamant Francaise" petrol tank in excellent overall condition - just surface rust. That was when the blue touch paper was lit and I started collecting 1920's parts with a vengeance - like brass hand oil pump, lamps, various Brass do-dads a Desmo Brass fire extinguisher and other trinkets.

That said, the bike has to be practical daily rider, so there will be a compromise as to brakes, wheel size, etc. Regrettably cost also comes into the equation, so the wire spoked XS650 wheels I already have will be shotblasted, powder coated and put into service, albeit with skinny tyres.

I'm still undecided about the front end - again costs mean it will be teles of some sort - unless Vincent Girdraulics come up for £100 !

Again undecided as to braking - drums for looks, or disc/s for self preservation. I'm thinking of going down the route of a pre - '72 rolling chassis with V5 to give me drum brake - and tax free title.

One thing is certain - the colourways - Cream for all the main parts including wheels, engine and Coffee for the frame and accents - hence "Cafe-Creme".

So there we are - just about to pull the donor down [ 17kms total mileage and sweet as ] and start mocking up the parts. I've contacted a couple of UK frame builders, but their costings range from -"just out of my pocket" to "Omigawd, are you serious ? "

As an automotive chassis designer of some 50 years experience, the design is not a problem - I really need a build buddy !

I'm hoping to gain more ideas and inspiration from this site.

 
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biknut

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Sep 28, 2010
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Sounds like this hobby will be right up your alley. A lot less expensive than what you've been into in the past though. Board track racers are a very popular style, so a lot of people will be able to help you. Personally I'm more into modern custom bikes, like lowriders, and choppers. I'm looking forward to seeing your creations. I've got to warn you though, motor bicycles are extremely addictive.
 

Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
Sounds like this hobby will be right up your alley. A lot less expensive than what you've been into in the past though. Board track racers are a very popular style, so a lot of people will be able to help you. Personally I'm more into modern custom bikes, like lowriders, and choppers. I'm looking forward to seeing your creations. I've got to warn you though, motor bicycles are extremely addictive.
Yes, I can see that - I'm already planning a 250 Twin with "proper" wheels and etc. - also looking at a Puch rolling chassis !!

I just WISH I could weld and machine etc. Since I retired from business [ 5,000 sq. ft and 4 guys working for me ] I've had to rely on favours from pals.............. you know how that goes !

Ooops nearly forgot - here's the style 'ish of frame I looking at.

 
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biknut

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Sep 28, 2010
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What are laws like where you live? Will you be able to ride on the street? Legality is a big issue for a lot of people here. Each state treats motor bicycles differently.
 

Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
What are laws like where you live? Will you be able to ride on the street? Legality is a big issue for a lot of people here. Each state treats motor bicycles differently.
Yes - street riding is not a problem [ UK ], providing the bikes meet the MOT regulations.

We couldn't get away with no front brake, although there is a daylight MOT which means we can ride in daylight hours with no lights - a brake light is OK in this instance. Also we would have to run mudguards back and front.

If the bike is a radical / new build then there is a further test required - the MSVA, although these regs look set to change in the next few years.

Like most regulations - there are grey areas and scope for a little rule bending.
 

harry76

New Member
Apr 16, 2011
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Brisbane, Australia
Welcome Beachcomber, looking forward to seeing more of your project.

I absolutely love that Union bike and sidecar, I have a poster of it on my wall and is one of my favourites.
 

dracothered

New Member
Jul 25, 2012
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Howell, MI.
Well, thank you both - things progress slowly around here - mainly from short finances and having to farm all the specialised work out !
If you can start learning how to weld, as that will help down the road in your builds. Looks like you have been bitten and will love the builds as much as what you did before.
 

Ludwig II

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Jul 17, 2012
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I have a friend who builds his own bikes up, and he's taken a course at night school in welding and it's been a cheap investment that's saved him lots of £££.

Drilling, sawing, straightforward enough, milling and turning are things you'd have to farm out, but lateral thinking can get you round things sometimes, making up assemblies in welded plate etc.

Don't buy an Aldi/Lidl drill stand, I've known a couple of people with them and they don't run true, the drill wants to move sideways as it goes further into the metal.

For stubborn nuts/bolts, you don't have to have £££ air tools. Get one of these instead:

http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/2308...ixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&adtype=pla&crdt=0

They work brilliantly and are fine so long as you're not working all day with them.
 

Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
Ludwig - too long in the tooth - too many family commitments to go back to school - even for something as useful as that !

When I say I "can't weld", well I can stick two pieces of metal together. Would it be as neat as I want on my project? NO. Would I trust my life at 100 + mph on it? NO.

I have always gone for professionals in any field I am not 100% accomplished at. That's why in my business days, I did the designing and engineering - and I employed top craftsmen to do the building.

I DID tack this spaceframe together - a design I made for a Porsche 550 Spyder replica. Then the pro stepped up and welded it. Made all the more difficult as he was German [ Saxon actually ] and spoke virtually no English and my German is about the same. This was at my pal's workshop in Saxony.
 
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Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
And just to finish up on the designing vs welding - here's a recent consultancy job I did for my pal at Realm Engineering [ Cobra / Jag replicas ].

My brief was to redesign the front chassis section to accomodate a supercharged V8 Jag lump. The criterium was that if the engine fitted and the bonnet closed and needed no mods - the car would go into production alongside the normal straight 6 versions - it did.

I designed the framework, cut and fettled the tubing and tacked it into place - then along came the Lloyds coded welder to do the biz.


 
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