Old Guys Simplex moto-peddle bike

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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racie,
I should not speak as if I know much anything about a Simplex. I don't other than thinking they are very cool. No doubt you have researched them as much as you can and have a good idea of what is and isn't available and what kind of options there are. Your truck version of the Simplex is a fine example of making something different from and perhaps better than the original, yet still very much in the spirit of the original Simplex. I've been following your build thread and look forward to future progress. And now we have this thread to follow as well. I'm quite sure I'll never have a Simplex of my own so I'll content myself by watching what you guys do with yours. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!
SB
Thank you Silverbear for all your input and your interest in our individual builds. You have a passion for what not only you do but the work of others. You are an encouragement to all of us in our hobby. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying when you speak I listen and learn!! Your comments are always welcome here. Rick C.
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
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You are kind, sir. Regarding the old trucks, another interest from an earlier time in my life. Used to have a 38 Chevy pickup cab on a 4 WD Jeep wagoneer frame with a Chevy 283 engine, a 46 Chevy pickup, two 41 Ford Pickups, 41 Ford panel truck with stained glass windows in back and a 69 Mustang. Not show stuff, just liked old trucks. I remember dragging the 41 panel truck out of the woods when I bought it. Glass was gone and a tree had fallen on it in the time it had been retired for twenty years or so. No serious rust anywhere... a little surface rust was all and this is in wet country, rainy in the summer and buried in snow in the winter. All of which suggests a whole lot better quality metal in the bodies than what is being used today.

Now that I'm a geezer I'm too old and poor to fool around with trucks. Too beat up to have Indian ponies, too. (Used to have a herd of LacLaCroix Indian Ponies.) So, now my ponies and pickups come in the form of old bicycles to play with. Fun.

I admit that I felt a temptation to bid on that Simplex, But after a tough arm wrestle with meself I resisted. No new projects! Finish what you've got, old bear. I'll let you guys get the skinned knuckles and rust in your eyes, then give a "woohoo" when you ride off into the sunset on your Simplex ponies. Pictures, please.
SB
 

indian22

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Great memories of old iron in your life Silverbear, I've been going through your Hiawatha sidecar thread, only a half dozen pages in but holy cow! I confess to being in love with the idea of side cars yet never built or even owned a side car equiped cycle/bike/scooter. While living in Houston I became aquainted with some of the Pasadena chapter Bandito MC members one of which was as good a motorcycle painter/fabricator/tuner as I've ever encountered. His personal baby was an 8 valve Indian mounted in a 1930 Scout frame with sidecar. Museum quality. I tried to buy it many times without success. It remains my dream bike!! A canoe for a sidecar...priceless concept that you've brought to life...big thumbs up as I catch up on your posts! Rick C.
 

Ludwig II

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Jul 17, 2012
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If you ever have a ride in charge of a sidecar outfit, you should know, it bears no resemblance to a bike apart from the controls, and steers like a car that's been in an accident.

Accelerate and it wants to drift to one side, shut off and it goes the other. Use the back brake and the sidecar will want to overtake you.

All of these properties/deranged abnormalities can be used to help you get round corners in far more of a rush than you would expect.
 

silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
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northeastern Minnesota
Rick,
I'm glad you like the canoe sidecar. It was one of those brain farts that actually turned out well. The price was right, for sure. My local town is the primary launching point for ventures into the million acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness(BWCAW) so there are canoes everywhere in the tourist season. Probably half the cars in town have a canoe on top, so when the Wonderdog and I ride through town it pretty well stops traffic which is a hoot. She knows she's cool and gets a lot of barks from caged dog tourists. Ha!

Ludwig has it right about the alien world of sidecar handling. When Steve (fasteddy) first took his Monarch with Chris Craft boat sidecar for a spin he ended up in the ditch. My first run with the canoe sidecar very nearly ran me into a tree. I kept expecting to lean into a curve. It doesn't work that way. The first few ventures down the paved road leading to the nearby state park felt dangerous in spite of no other vehicles on the road and super slow speeds. I didn't like it at all. But after giving it some time and accepting that we now had a new rule book I started to get some confidence on straight runs and a better feel for turning corners. And after that there's been no looking back. Three wheels is at a lower speed than two, for me at least, and corners are negotiated with a good bit of respect at much lower speeds than a two wheeled bike. No upsets, no accidents. Someone more daring with younger bones less brittle than mine can no doubt zip right along on three wheels. For fasteddy and me, we're off like a small herd of turtles, barely raising any dust at all. Showing off is fun!
SB
 

Ludwig II

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Jul 17, 2012
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You do realise you're depriving yourself of the fun of careering down the road with the chair in the air, shouting for help as you weave and wobble all over the place?
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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Ludwig thanks to both you and Silverbear for the great insight into the wonders & terrors of sidecars. As there is quite a lot on my plate already, I'll place any thoughts I might have had about starting yet another project to the side & continue working my way through your past posts on the subject. Rick C.
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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The serial number is on the bottom of the flat area right behind the fork tube.
Racie I did find the serial # 16683 on the bottom flat of the steerer tube.

As I have a CG150 engine on it's way, along with other items from the far east I'd like to ask if any of you guys or gals have experienced delays on shipments due to the port of Los Angeles strike?

The photo is of the Huth tube bender that I use to bend DOM and stainless tubing up to 3 inch stock and as small as 1 inch....has served well on many projects over the last 7 years.
 

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indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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Just a clarification on the Simplex frame, after checking the Simplex frame registry it is clear that my frame is not a 1941, as I was told by the former owner, but a 1957 model.

The CG150cc 5 speed engine I've selected has been used in the excellent California Scooter version of the classic Mustang Motorcycle, along with 200cc & 250cc version available. Any of these motors will be a snug fit in the Simplex!

I've also decided to go with the Monarch Megafork dual spring with disc brake tabs. This fork allows mounting of up to a 2.75" tire width, but I'll probably go with 2.5" or a bit less quality bicycle tire with a vintage look. Not overly concerned with DOT ratings. I don't cruise at more than 30mph on my other bikes at any rate & if I have a need for speed...well I have other transportation for that.

Starting to get a few parts in...headset came in yesterday, so I'll start frame clean up this week and next hope to finish by late March or early April but engine arrival may slow things up, all else seems to be readily available.

Rick C.
 

Ludwig II

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Jul 17, 2012
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I said it before, the Honda CG copies are excellent motors fro pulling away from a standstill or uphill. Everybody I know advises running and warming the engine gently for 10mins, then drain the lot and put an ordinary Western mineral oil in. Run for few hours use, change, check the centrifugal filter (l/h side, behind a big hex head cover) and clean out any gunge, glop, debris and dead animals. Repeat for about 1,000 miles of running. You can then treat it very much like a Japanese engine.

It might now be made to Japanese standards, but don't take chances.

Also! Use the clutch when going up and down the gearbox. The selector shafts do like you to.
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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Thanks for the advice, I'll print it on a post-it and stick on the refrigerator (my favorite appliance). I'm cautious during break-in at best and paranoid at worst (if they really are out to get you...are you actually paranoid?)

Oriental manuals are quite bad if included at all. Your step by step is valued.
Rick C.
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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What headset did you get? Price??
Butch I'm using the VP components headset for classic bmx bicycles #VP-H755CP on ebay I think it was $16. free ship. Included photos of the new chromed set & the original Simplex top and bottom steer races which I will re-press and use with the new headset parts...excluding the new steer races. 1" correct but the new races are 2mm too wide to press into the head tube. The included fork race is also good to go on the 1" threaded fork tube. The problem I've found in looking for headsets is that not all the critical measurements are listed and good luck finding someone who will take time to measure or knows how.

Second photo shows the bearing installed in the top Simplex race, not shown is the included fork race.

The bearings and all other parts fit perfectly on the existing Simplex head races. If your original races are bad or are missing then avoid using this headset & look for one that has head races that measure about 30.55mm +- .02mm. P.m. me if you need more info, glad to help. Rick C.
 

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Ludwig II

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Remember, you may not be paranoid, but it doesn't mean they are not out to get you.
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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I spent some time thinking about how little room I have to work with on the Simplex frame. 15" vertical between motor plate and bottom tank strap. I was told today. Since I don't have an original tank, I looked in my parts bins and found several peanut tanks not used from engine kit stuff I seldom use. Had two unblemished 2 liter tanks with caps that fit in the stock Simplex frame like they were made for it. Quite simple to make brackets to first co-join the two and then bolt to the upper frame tubes. Will photograph when I have some time to better show what I've poorly described. By eliminating the stock motor plate and lower tank support, coupled with the smaller tanks it appears I'll gain 4.5" to 5" of room. The 150cc has a side plug design so just maybe the little bugger wil fit.

One problem partially addressed & possibly solved which leads me to placement of the lower bracket for peddle power and step down gearing for the motor drive side. Sta-tru weels came in wide w/disc up front and coaster rear, along with some misc. wide axles, heavy tubes etc. Some progress then wait. Happy happy! Rick C
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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SB a pair of peanuts it will be & after a trial fit & measurements a 20" height motor will fit. I recently saw a Gravely T mounted (40 cubic inch +) engine that is "massive" mounted in a Simplex frame which mounted a barrel gas tank crosswise under the stock top tubes...looked fantastic, to replace the stock Simplex tank.

Parts coming in: Chrome steel 12g stainless spokes Sta-tru 26x wide, disc up front and coaster rear. I've used these and Workman wheels on several builds, nothing but good to say about either brand quite heavy & rugged.

Dropouts in the Simplex rear require a 1/2" axle so the coaster axle is a 3/8" fitted with a BMX style 14mm adaptor (thread-on) I'll open up the 1/2" Simplex frame drops slightly to accept the 14mm adaptors. The axle shown in the photo is an extra wide 210mm, needed to mount bicycle wheels to the wider Simplex frame.Adjusters shown Bmx stle and rugged single bolt style adjustments.

Shipped today - a pair of 2.4" flame tires & Sunlite dual springer with disc tabs, 1" threaded tube. So some parts are moving as other arrive. Custom Rich Phillips leather saddle is in the works...something like the bobber look on my Indian Navaho board bike, but a bit larger with a different tooling pattern.

I'm serious about modifying the 1930's design Simplex to a moto-peddle chain driven design, more on the order of what a 1910 American Simplex could have looked like if such had been constructed (other than a European 1902 Dutch Simplex). I envision the peddle bottom bracket as a reduction drive carrier.

The early Indians, Harleys, Schwinn/Excelcior etc. were peddle assisted even the V twins for many years and were built on bicycle style frames. Not too much of a stretch to imagine an early period Simplex.

It's warming up a bit this afternoon and forecast for 60s and 70 degree weather through the weekend. Hope to get some work done while it's pleasant. Rick C.
 

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silverbear

The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Jul 9, 2009
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northeastern Minnesota
Good to see things getting sorted out. Great to know the engine will fit and you've found a simple solution to the gas tank problem. I'm looking forward to seeing things attaching themselves to the frame, finding their way home.

I try not to engage in envy, but I wouldn't mind trading weather with you for awhile. The past few nights have been in the -20 degree range which gets old pretty quickly. I don't suppose you'd be willing to trade. That's what I thought. It could be worse and has been in years past. The worst so far this winter has been around -32, but most winters will see it hit -40 a few times. The record in my lifetime was about 15 years ago when it hit -63 or -64 (can't remember) on the thermometer. That's not wind chill. Insanely cold. Lethally cold. Hard to get comfortable sitting on the wood stove. Glorious summers make up for it, though. And the days are getting longer. Grandfather Sun looked like a goner for awhile there, but is getting stronger every day. Spring is just around that great big corner up ahead. Mid May in my part of the world.

I hope you'll have plenty of photos or even a video of the day you and your Simplex pony go riding off into the sunset. That'll be something!
SB
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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Hey Silverbear, you sitting on the wood burner? I'm of the opinion that no matter where we live someplace else seems more attractive. Forget Mn. in the winter and june too cold and no see ums too viscious!! I'll just stick to the desert.

You know the problem with waiting for parts? We keep building in our heads. I've got Simplex brain mixed with Chevy nerves and Ford intestines. It's getting hard to keep it all in harmony. I found myself looking for a sawsall & sharp blade today as if chopping something into smaller sections would help. Instead I worked on getting the steering setup for the 1946 Chevy & now the wheel turns both wheels. During all this I was thinking about lowering the two bottom tubes of the Simplex frame, just over thinking while waiting for parts & too many projects going at one time.

Stay warm, at peace and in harmony. Rick C.