Cafe Creme - my Boardtracker project.

Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
Gentlemen, I thank you for your kind words - I have to say ......... it's good to be back !! More precisely, to be in a condition to be back. There were some very low points in the past two years when I wasn't certain about my future, and some times - not even caring ! - Thanx for the link Velodrome - priceless !

Even though time is inevitably running out [ 74 in March ] I do not want to compromise the vision I now have in my head for my project. I have 2 friends looking out in France for the Motobecane model that I missed - unfortunately the timing was wrong - I'd just been diagnosed with the serious decline at the same time the bike was available. However, that bike is exactly what I have in mind. Together with my 1917 "La Francaise" Diamont NOS tank and other goodies. Yes, that tank is over 100 years old and NEVER been on a bike ! I missed the Enfield engine during the same period through prevaricating ! I'm still erring towards a small Vee Twin - 125 / 250 Virago maybe. I have my supercharged / Nitrous KZ750 [ when finished ] if I have the need for speed, so small capacity works fine for this project.



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Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
Hi Ludwig .... I'm back again .! Thanx for the headsup on the parts link. They've actually got the oil tank transfers [ later model ] 12 euros a pair !. I'm going to keep the OEM patina of my tank - after all it's taken 100 years to get that way ! And on top of that - the tank is brand new - never fitted. It is a piece of history in it's own right. I've also got an original metal headstock plaque - 15 euros.

If a suitable donor doesn't come up in my price range [ not huge ] then plan B is to get a modern wire wheeled small capacity roller and get girder forks either made up or OEM. As the frame will see some serious surgery anyway, it's a possibility. I'm currently eyeing up an early Suzuki B200
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Harold_B

Active Member
May 23, 2012
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Grand Rapids, MI
I'd be excited and somewhat envious (ok, a lot envious) if a 125cc twin build made its way here. That engine was never offered in the states and never seems to be available. I'd love to get one myself and the next best thing is watching a quality build. Good luck on the Motobecane.
 

Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
It seems in the couple of years my project has been on the back burner, the prices for olf French bikes and Motobecane in particular have really shot up !

Incidentally Harold, the same guy had a more or less complete bike [ restoration ] for sale at the same time . I missed the auction end - but that is a viable alternative with some girder forks for "the look" !!
 

Beachcomber

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Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
So where did those 4 years go ???? Well, a recurring Kidney issue, divorce, and finally last year - Covid aid me low. ! All fixed now and back on track.

I had a brief flirtation with a VF400 engine for the project, but in the end the water cooled lump just didn't fit in with the look I wanted. In the interim, I did get the frame and forks designed and the forks are nearly completed. I've made a simple jig to build the frame and I was just about to jumpstart the project when a 125 Virago lump with 23K genuine miles on it came up for sale ! [ last week ]. The forks are based on BSA Bantam legs and yokes / headstock and I'm using a Honda 125 21" front wheel. I have the 18" era wheel from the same bike and another 21" rim to be laced up.

Hopefully the engine will be with me next week and I can finalise the frame plans. My La Francaise Diamant tank GOT STOLEN from a workshop where I had sent it to be soldered / brazed together.

I also had a lot of trouble in getting back onto this site .... hopefully now all fixed.
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fasteddy

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2009
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British Columbia Canada
Hello Beachcomber,

Great to see you back again. When I saw you were posting once more I immediately thought about the fun you had finding your thread and getting it going.

Obviously it's been a rough 4 years. Then someone manages to steal your rare gas tank. That must have been an interesting conversation with management.

The fork looks great. Nice blending in of the parts to achieve a vintage look that will handle well. The 125cc V twin with that few miles is excellent for the build. Not many of those in someone's garden shed.

Once again, welcome back.

Steve.
 
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Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
Thanx for he kind words Steve. In adition to all the other squitter over the past 4 years or so - I had my PC attacked with a ransomeware virus and lost virtually all my data ! I had to start over with a laptop and the latest Windows ..... nightmare foe a computer Neanderthal like me.

That tank is toxic as it must be surely unique and has 2 serial numbers both of which I have photographed.

I had three attempts at designing a period looking fork that would work and have proper adjustability. i was fortunate in that the RAM shox I develped have the ability for mounting mods. That shock is a one off ! What can't be seen are the FOUR internal bushes per leg [ stock is 2 ] to give additinal stability.

Hopefully progress will be more speedy now !!
 

indian22

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2014
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Oklahoma
Welcome back to the forum and it's a nice build to share with us. The 125cc Virago is a nice choice for a classic build. I collected parts for a 250cc Virago a years back but decided the motor too large for my purpose and taste. The 125cc I think would suit just fine & I look forward to watching your build progress.

Rick C.
 
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Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
My original plan was to supercharge the VF400, quite straightforward once I can outsource the machine work. However the blower { Eaton ] is going to be too large a capacity for the little 125. However, it was mainly for the "look". I'll have to do some calculations to see if I can underdrive the blower sufficiently [ and efficiently ] as it's the period look I want. Plan B will be an SU carb on a swan neck manifold.

I'll be up the garage in the next day or two to check out the viability of the blower.
 

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Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
The Bantam fork legs are finished at last. They now have 3 bushings in each leg [ standard is 2 ] to cope with extra weight / performance. Also the Honda wheel spindle has been modified to fit into the Bantam bottoms and spacers made up. Next job is to assemble the front end complete and mock up the mountings for the Shock and adjust the front hoop length so we can get the weld bungs installed.
 

Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
The forks have been fully mocked up and work has begun on fabricating the front support hoop - bracket mounts and weld bungs for the adjustable clevises. We're also fabricating the top mount plate for the shock top mount. Feel like we're making progress now.

I also bit the bullet on the rear wheel. I got a pair of Honda enduro rims - 21" front and 18" rear. Even with a tall profile tyre the rear just didn't look right - So now it's another new hub brake assembly - this time from a Suzuki TS125 trailee - and a 2 3/4" x 21" rim. Already bought the 21" tyre and now they WILL look correct. Just got to find someone who doesn't want me to remortgage the house to have the rim laced up.

I also played "whatif" with the 1 1/4" SU carb and found a sweet spot for it - just got to find someone to fab the manifold now.
 

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Beachcomber

Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
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Redditch [UK] and Reichenau [Saxony ]
Here's some goodies I collected a few years ago when I was contemplating building a Boardtracker.

The 2 gallon petrol can will be used as the actual fuel cell mounted low behind the engine and the tank is a dummy [ shape to be modified ] and all the squitter will be hidden underneath - battery, ECU, fuel pump, coils, etc. I have another fuel can which has been cut down to give about 1 1/2 galls.

I've found someone that can do realistic Brass powder coating. Carb body and float, tappet covers and a few odd bits.
 

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