Hi from the UK - INDIAN Board Tracker tribute, my first build

PeteMcP

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Jun 27, 2017
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Hi folks....

....from a new forum member located in the UK. I just finished up construction of my first ever motorized bicycle build over last weekend - so I thought I'd join this forum and maybe post some photos showing how my INDIAN Board Tracker tribute bike turned out.

Truth be told, I was mainly inspired by the quality and look of the Sportsman Flyer products - but after I did the math it didn't make any sense to go that route. Importing everything into the UK was simply too prohibitive what with all the shipping and import taxes - especially so after the value of UK Sterling fell 20% against the US Dollar following the Brexit vote. Soooo....how to aim for the 'look' of a Sportsman product - but still keep the build budget more realistically grounded. Important, given that motorized bicycles are not even road legal in the UK. (Hopefully that won't be too much of a problem for me being located in the very rural Northumberland countryside where I can't recall the last time I saw any police).

First up, I should make clear my build didn't start life as a bicycle. Instead I sourced all the parts used for this project from eBay or via mail order. My initial purchase comprised the frame/forks/tank which came via cnolmotorsport in China. I discovered these items while surfing on US eBay and dropped them an e-mail, optimistically asking if they would ship their products to the UK. They replied by return quoting a mere $30 for airmailing these bulky items to the UK from China. Deal or what?

Their light and strong ali frame is a re-pop of a 'fifties Schwinn Panther. Unfortunately, early on during construction I had to remove the frame's welded-on front motor mount 'cause it resulted in the motor's aftermarket high compression cylinder head fouling the upper frame member. Their springer forks are all but identical to Monark's - only less pricey. (I'm on a budget, remember!) And it must be said their gleaming polished stainless fuel tank is a work of art - shame I always intended to paint it.

My engine kit was another unexpected eBay bargain from a private UK seller whose motorizing plans failed to get off the ground. It arrived still in the factory packaging - a snip at less than half normal advertised price. I'm never usually that lucky!

Anyone might assume my bike's adjustable drop handlebars look like the ones offered by Sportsman but look closer and you'll see they were fabricated from nothing more than two cheap pairs of bars and 4 x sets of ali mirror brackets bought on eBay. Those eBay bargain bars cost less than 3 quid a set (really!) and the plated ali mirror brackets were under 3 quid a pair. Hard to believe but those cool-looking bars ended up costing me less than 25 quid in total. And there's more...offcuts from the bars were used to fabricate the set-back zee'd seat post. Waste not, want not.

Check out the photos showing how my INDIAN wannabe turned out. Questions?
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Fire away and I'll be happy to answer.

I had a lot of fun with this first build and learned a lot about what NOT to do by watching umpteen youtube videos and postings on forums like this one. Lots of useful hints and tips there.

Can say for certain plans for my follow-up build are already brewing.

Pete
 
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5-7HEAVEN

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Aug 2, 2008
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Pete, your bike is truly awesome!

I'm glad you were able to purchase the parts without paying too much import fees.
 

PeteMcP

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I'm located in rural Northumberland, about an hour's drive north of Newcastle.
Our house is presently for sale and we're hoping to move to our place in Spain as soon as it sells. At least I will be able to use my INDIAN replica legally when we move there. That's the reason I built it.
Co-incidentally, I don't suppose you're the Brummy guy who's posted the motorized bike videos I've watched on youtube?
 

Ludwig II

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Jul 17, 2012
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No, that's not me with videos. Have you got links for them?

As for an hour north of Newky, so close to Scotland so far from God!

My own constructions have been delayed through a malignantly nagging sciatic nerve, I hope to be back at them soon.
 

PeteMcP

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Jun 27, 2017
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No, that's not me with videos. Have you got links for them?

As for an hour north of Newky, so close to Scotland so far from God!

My own constructions have been delayed through a malignantly nagging sciatic nerve, I hope to be back at them soon.

Check out the Brummy guy's youtube vids posted by BritishTechTV. I checked-out his vids on motorized bicycle carb troubleshooting and needle adjustment.
Get well and resume building/riding soon...
 
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Ron344

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That's a very nice build for your first BTR, I'm sure the next one will be better. I'm working BTR #5 I can't seem to stop building them, there just too much fun!!
 

Ludwig II

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Jul 17, 2012
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You commented on illegality of motorised bikes here, the good news is that VOSA and DVLA have guidelines that would allow you to either register as a moped (more trouble than it is worth) or as a Low Powered Moped. 16mph flat out and no more than 1kw power output. Easily fitted ;) restrictor throttles or stops in the carb can be used to cap performance, and there is no requirement for anything other than good quality tyres. Easily removed lights from Poundland get you round that obstacle. Road legal can be done.
 
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PeteMcP

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Ludwig,
Good advice. I'm familiar with VOSA's requirements for MSVA testing, having submitted my replica Morgan 3-Wheeler kit car back in 2015. It passed the test with flying colours. Being motorcycle derived - it was powered by a Moto Guzzi LeMans 1000cc V-twin engine - it was eligible for MSVA (Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval). So I know for a fact the test requirements are thorough, strict and yes, costly. You and I also know that submitting my INDIAN Board Tracker replica for the same test criteria would never be worthwhile. It would fail miserably on several counts - not least because it's bicycle braking system falls way short of the standards required for what is essentially a motorcycle. Plus, if I had to pay to register it, obtain road fund licence and MOT test it, I might just as well go out and buy a motorcycle or moped off the shelf. That was never my intention. I simply built my INDIAN replica for the sheer pleasure of creating it from scratch. I just like building stuff. And with luck I intend to enjoy riding it when we relocate to Spain - hopefully in the next couple of months if our UK house sells. In the meantime, I'll clock-up some miles riding it on rural Northumberland's all-but deserted back roads - of which I'm spoiled for choice.
 
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Ludwig II

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Rural Northumberland is very probably low on police patrols. The only risk is police motorcyclists being trained, "for safety's sake", on near deserted B roads. They bravely take themselves on the A684 and other highways, I've seen them. And they smile, knowing how they are protecting the public by swinging through the bends in clean air and glorious sunshine.

The brakes, the Low Power regs you'd get away with, but as you say, for what it is and how long you'll use it here, why bother.
 

PeteMcP

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WORK PROCEEDS TO TRY AND MAKE MY BIKE'S ENGINE LOOK A LITTLE MORE VINTAGE AND LESS GENERIC.

Faux crankcase work underway - next up an attempt at some dummy pushrods methinks....

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Ludwig II

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If I can find it, there was a fake pushrod 2 stroke on one of the old rat bike forums. The builder also produced a fake Villiers type magneto cover with a chopped up saucepan. It looked better than it sounds.
 

PeteMcP

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BUILD UPDATE...
Dummy Push Rods now installed. The pull-start's casing was the perfect place to drill and mount them. Rods are 5mm dia. stainless rod tittified-up with bits-n-bobs from my scrap box, topped off with springs hand-wound from 1mm dia. brass wire.
None of this adds any horse power of course - it just makes my steed's motor look a little different from the crowd.
Headlight on a racer tribute? For no better reason than to help drivers see me coming.

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