First post, new hobby, Felt 1903 build

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Harold_B, May 25, 2012.

  1. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Hello from West Michigan. I have recently started my first build.

    A few months ago there was a blurb in Wired magazine about the Dylan motorized bikes. I had no idea these could be made so sharp looking but I assumed that if they were doing it and charging what seemed like a lot then it must be what the market will tolerate and there must be other manufacturers. The bikes at Sportsman Flyer are incredible and the Phantom Ghost Cruiser at Phantom Bikes is a real looker.

    My typical approach to this sort of thing would be to research the topic for months on end until I know every detail of what I want to do. Recently I took my Dad to the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI. He mentioned that he was getting a little bored with wood working projects and that my Mom had suggested he buy a car to restore (!). He was thinking that was a little too big of a project at the moment. I mentioned the conversation to my wife and that I thought a BTR inspired MB would be a fun project for he and I to work on together. "Do it now. Do it now or you'll regret it." She said. She did not have to tell me twice....

    So here's what we're building:

    The Bike:
    A Felt 1903 Cruiser that I found on sale at Ypsilanti Cycles
    Replacing the Jerry Springer Fork with an Abraham Linkage (and all the threadless stuff that goes with it) from Suburban Bikes
    Rebuilding the front wheel with a Sturmey-Archer drum brake hub*
    Adding a NOS headlight from an old BSA*
    Adding a NOS horn from an old Norton*
    Flipped the bars so that they are now "Up on the Downside" bars just like the Deep Six
    Using a pair of 70's NOS Suzuki brake / clutch levers (instead of the mountain bike levers from the salvage) which include brake light switching*
    Adding a NOS Harley tail light and stop light with plate illuminator from the '30s*
    Adding a pair of 70's NOS Suzuki 5" round mirrors*
    Adding a Briggs and Stratton NOS gas tank mounted behind the seat, likely on a rack
    *required by MI SoS DoT to meet Moped laws

    The Engine and Drive:
    A salvaged China Girl 48cc from CL
    Billet Aluminum parts and expansion chamber from Sick Bike Parts
    Engine Mounts and Chain Tensioner from KW Machine Works
    44t Sprocket and Mount from Sportsman Flyer

    There will be more but that's what we have so far. I keep referring to this as Phase I where Phase II will be procuring plans for a "Howell" V-Twin and up scaling it to 50cc and replacing the China Girl.

    Thanks for creating the forum and thanks for having me!

    Harold
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum. Share some photos of your project when available.
    Good luck to you and your dad. Have fun, ride safe.
    Tom
     
  3. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Thanks for the Welcome! Progress is being made slow but sure....
     

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  4. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Active Member

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    I love those Felt bikes. Keep posting pics. :)
     
  5. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Still fitting up parts. Slow but sure....
     

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  6. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    I've been reading about expansion chamber design and it would seem that my desire to route the exhaust somewhere other than under the frame will undermine the effectiveness of the chamber. So, my challenge is still routing somewhere other than into the tire, into the gas tank or at a fuel line, in the path of the pedals, or interfering with he standard. Not pointing at my leg would be great too. I'd just like to have it look like it belongs there. Tomorrow is another day I suppose.
     
  7. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    More progress. Fitting up parts and routing cables. Discovered that fiberglass header tape does not stretch to conform to the expansion chamber and that the carbon black description doesn't just apply to the tape but to your hands after messing with it a bit. Other than that minor snag, the bike is getting closer to finished. Rec'd the Ridley brake arm and installed which allowed me to align the chain properly. Rear fender screw was sloppy due to a loose insert so off came the fenders front and rear. I had installed a pair of Suzuki 5" mirrors but no matter how I positioned them they looked ridiculous. Straight up gave the bike a Pee Wee Herman look and angled down made the bike look like a depressed water buffalo. Off came the Suzuki mirrors and they were replaced with some universal Cafe Racer style mirrors. Much better.
     

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  8. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Just about there. Need to wire up the battery, charger, lights, horn, etc but I'll do that after I am certain it is running like it should. I had to have the cylinder decked a few thousandths as the cylinder and head were not sealing. The surface of the cylinder looked like a potato chip. Ordered a pair of Continental Town and Country "tyres" to replace the discolored cream Felts. the bike sat in the display window for a couple of years and one side of the tires is dark cream and the other a light cream. The Conti's are 85psi as well which will lower rolling resistance once they are here and mounted. Other stuff to do soon: modify and mount a pair of saddle bags, build a layback seat post, build and mount a battery box. The Abraham Linkage fork is on back order at Suburban Bike but they are keeping me informed. It'll be a nice surprise when it finally comes in.
     

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  9. george_n_texas

    george_n_texas New Member

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    That's a real nice build if I had deep enough pockets I'd invest in morini or at least a Dax 9HP engine but that's an easy upgrade later. That is one classic build hats off to ya!
     
  10. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Thanks George. I want to be able to register it as a Moped and in Michigan that restricts the engine to 50cc or less and no more than 2 hp. Otherwise I'd find a way to pay for it. I've been selling off my cycling stuff on eBay and Craigslist to cover this or close.
     
  11. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Got it stared this weekend. I suspect the carb will need to be re-jetted play nice with the SBP expansion chamber but for the most part it runs OK. Managed 27 mph with my 44t sprocket and most import to me is that I don't stall on the hills. Wouldn't have mattered if I had a less dorky looking helmet since there was no getting the goofy grin off my face while riding (or for several hours after).
     
  12. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Continental Town and Country tires came in today so I replaced the cream Felt Quick Brick tires. The website had said that max pressure was 85psi but the decals with the tires said 50psi recommended and 65psi max. I went with 60psi which is still about 15psi higher than he Felts. The bike handles better and is a little quicker although a little rougher ride. I really like the look with the black tires over the cream though. Next I want to order some black bear trap pedals to replace the white block pedals.

    Also went to the SoS Office today to see what I need to do next to get a Moped cert. Once the lights are wired I'll need to have it inspected by the police. Not only are they looking at the integrity of the bike they want to see receipts for the components. No problem, I have digital copies and a costed Bill of Materials.
     

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  13. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Nice build, nice thread. Welcome to the forum. What's your dad think of the bike so far?
    SB
     
  14. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    Thanks. The build has been fun for the most part. A few surprises that I could have done without but I've been able to learn more about the engine and all from it. My Dad thinks it is looking pretty sharp. He has been doing the welding for me and we bounce ideas back and forth for how to keep the build clean. He has the parts and a plan for a layback seat post but that will wait until his cataract surgeries heal. He's a tough guy but welding with a patch over his eyes isn't in the plan. No hurry. Spending time is the primary goal and getting a nice MB out of the deal is a bonus.
     
  15. Harold_B

    Harold_B Member

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    I've added the Bear Trap pedals (silver instead of black) and I've been slowly getting the wiring done. Very slowly. I've also been buzzing around the block a few times trying to get a better idea of how to make the bike run better. Every few miles I take a few minutes and check the bolts, etc. I had a seat bolt drop out his weekend from vibration and that makes three including a front wheel nut and rear chain cog bolt. All very exciting but avoidable with some Loctite.

    I do still have a sputtering issue (the bike, not me) as can be seen on the front engine mount. The cylinder has been decked, the gaskets are new, the bolts have been re-tightened a number of times to the point I'm concerned I'll strip them if I go any tighter. Not to thrilled with little two stroke. Any suggestions where to look or a link would appreciated.

    Reconsidering the V-Twin and I'm thinking about a horizontally opposed twin like an old Douglas or Indian Model O. Just curious but has anyone ever tried mounting one of the larger displacement RC airplane engines on a MB?
     

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