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Flynn's_61 09-10-2019 02:42 AM

Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

I'm trying to build one. They ain't Sporties. 1969(ish) Servicar flathead w/the Solo intake and a Mikuni carb. Aftermarket "re-pop" frame. Haven't measured it. Do I need to? DNA springer. The ad said it was 2" under but it looks like 3-4 over. Need to learn to shorten a DNA springer I guess. 21" front 1960's hamburger drum, 3/4 axle. I'm using money I should put back into my home, but instead after losing all my possessions in one of those damn trendy California wild fires I'm buying FREEDOM.

So I got out with my newish truck, and clothes I had on. Grandpa's spectacles with my own prescription lenses were in the glovebox.
Later I saw some stranger guy that saved his hot-rodded old-school triumphs (they looked like dirtbikes but I looked hard, it was unit British engines,) and I was so proud and envious of his genius.
Bike's fits in the back of a truck.

I am under 40 years old and have no legal riding experience, never owned a motorcycle license and never really practiced when I had my permit on public land.
I've ridden 3-wheeler ATV's. I rode my Triumph short-chop on public streets and private lands with insurance but no license and received a scar for being so inconsiderate.

It's important to me to learn how to ride on Harley's little twin,
I own all the major parts-

Maybe a Norton or Pre-unit is a better choice?
They're faster.
But... Naw. I want an Indian.
But that ain't happening, so, we go "lil' twin,".
(I'm a smaller man and want the option of pushing my old-school broke down ride home. Tows get expensive. Anyways, Lil twin,).

Maybe pics later.

VonWegener 09-10-2019 01:15 PM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Good luck in your endeavors Flynn!

Ratso 09-10-2019 02:40 PM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Oh man. I know how stupid "Sorry you lost nearly all of your possessions" must sound, but I'll say it anyway.

Thing about (say) a Nortoon vs. a 45" is, owning the former will make it easier to think positively about a trans-Sierra road trip, or for that matter about going any significant distance. Then there are further questions of capability (brakes and good handling) and aesthetics (elegance vs. its opposite) and the other question, which is: are you okay with pissing blood and walking funny long before you get old?

None a my business, of course, merely my very subjective two-tenths of a cent worth.

Flynn's_61 09-12-2019 12:47 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Thanks VonWegener!

Ratso- Thanks man, it's weird. I had like 5 cars (hot rod/custom) projects and a bike project. And my record collection was TITS. The thing is my 45 is going to be a perfect bobber (in my mind). I plan on running over-sized acorn nuts on the heads (which is something I've never seen in real life) and a bunch of other cool, little touches. I'm sure I won't be doing anything "new", but it will be stuff I haven't seen put together all on one bike. If I can get it done that is!

Flynn's_61 09-12-2019 12:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Back wheel was 19", didn't seem to fit. Now I've got a 16" w/a tire that won't seat

VonWegener 09-12-2019 01:23 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

3 Attachment(s)
I'm seeing excellent proportions here. I'd go 18" rear wheel and if I can help you with parts I will gladly supply you with what you need near my cost to help offset mother nature's wrath.
Regarding Ratso's Norton/Harley 45 debate. I love Nortons. I had a Commando. It was a great motorcycle. Easy starting smooth ride. I have short legs. I hated that she was so tall. It was uncomfortable. If they were lower I'd own a commando scrambler in blue factory metalflake with the high pipes.
Now while a 45 with less than than half the horsepower of a Norton is no screamer they do reward the rider with that low RPM torquey grunt Harley feel. I'm sure you will love it Flynn.
Pics are of Jeff Leighton's blue 45. A wonderful machine. Dan Weston's panel painted flattie from 1958 and Germany's Bernard Elflein's magnificent 45 chopper. Class all the way.

Scott McKelvey 09-12-2019 08:10 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)


Originally Posted by Flynn's_61 (Post 2062556)
Need to learn to shorten a DNA springer I guess. 21" front 1960's hamburger drum, 3/4 axle.

FYI- because of how the springer articulates, you need to get creative with that drum so that the backing plate is free-floating and move as the springer cycles up and down.

Ratso 09-12-2019 04:08 PM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

I misunderstood your first post -- thought you were still weighing which bike to build. Your 45-so-far looks real good. The less you surround it with, the more prominent, i.e., better focused, the engine will be. I mean, for instance, I wouldn't run the stock tanks.

Richard D 09-14-2019 02:07 PM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Are you sure you trust a DNA springer?

TATER 09-14-2019 03:03 PM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

You are almost there! Transmission and some leftovers from friends garages and its ready to go.

Black and Decker drill + Cresent wrench = Done

Sporticus 09-15-2019 08:20 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Second what Scott said about the front drum. My former 45 has/had a Honda CB350 front drum which was fine, I never tried the Sportster drum, though. A few observations - I had this on both the track and registered on the street. The 34 mm Mikuni is the way to go. Others here will disagree, the I thought the Linkert was a PITA. The power is more than fine around town and occasional jaunts on the slow lane of the highway, but I wouldn't try much more than that. The engine is stone simple, and you can still get NOS parts wrapped in WWII era newspaper. You can get new hot cams, strocker flywheels, heads, cylinders, etc. These were dirt cheap at one time (before my time) but prices are a little crazy now for nice stockish examples. The stock three speed sucks and doesn't like being ridden in anger. I wasn't brave enough to try and rebuild mine myself, but I know it's a lot more challenging than a four-speed BT tranny. Also, avoid the later electric start Servicar transmissions with electric start. I can't remember the cutoff year, but they didn't have provisions for kickstart. If you haven't bought one yet, for the cost of a transmission and rebuild, you won't be far from buying a Samwell (probably the maker of your frame) brand new four-speed (looks identical on the outside). Did I mention how much I hate the three-speed? This was the only bike I've owned with a suicide clutch, and left turns from a stop took some learning. I used the stock 45 pogo seat, and added a valve spring (outer) from a Chevy 427 after bottoming out the pogo and compressing my spine a few too many times. Never tried one, but I heard some negative stuff about the DNA springers. I had a V-Twin repop and it was fine.

JasonMcElroy 09-15-2019 11:22 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

I love this place.

Learned some new things today.



richbob 09-16-2019 01:28 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

me too
i need that chevy valve spring.

Sporticus 09-16-2019 11:03 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)


Originally Posted by richbob (Post 2062688)
me too
i need that chevy valve spring.

This site has a number of valve spring dimensions listed - it's where I got the dimensions for the 427 spring. There weren't a lot of springs with a large enough ID to fit around the 45 seat post. I can't recall where I was able to buy only one spring, though. It might have been the same company.

Ratso - I wasn't crazy about the stock tanks, either. I used narrowed WR style tanks. You can get good, high quality ones from Samwell for a price (they won't need any additional work, though), or eBay and the like. If you end up using a separate oil tank, as opposed to the stock right side tank for oil, you can go with narrowed fuel tanks and make your life a lot easier.

Ratso 09-16-2019 06:37 PM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Separate oil tank looks nicer, too. IN MY OPINION. Ahem.

garyv 09-24-2019 12:37 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

You might find some interesting reading here

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the above

Larry Ritchey 09-25-2019 10:11 PM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Hey Flynn. There is a guy in Davis that lives and breathes Norton. You want to go that way I will give you his email. I worry about fire also. I live in Pine Grove.

Flynn's_61 12-13-2019 10:30 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Hey thanks guys I appreciate all the support, opinions and suggestions.

Internet has been spotty lately (I lost my connection for some reason?), so I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like.

*I am rethinking the DNA springer
*I scored a 50's-60's Triumph pre-unit trans
*Not sure what rear wheel to run. I have a Triumph sprung hub, which I would prefer to run, but I'm having fitment issues with it (re: axle isn't quite wide enough,) and am debating trying to get an XS 650 rear wheel instead, but then I'll need a brake-crossover set-up.

****BUT the biggest stumbling block I am having is getting a front pulley made. I've gotten a triumph dry clutch/belt-drive combo, and now I need to find a machine shop capable and willing to mate the two, or I have to drill/tap the old sprocket to the new pulley, or...? Maybe there's another option I'm unaware of? I'm not sure it's steel either (might be aluminum?) so that's been fun.

I need the front sprocket so I can align the transmission and rear wheel.

Any idea's?
I bought an aftermarket pulley, which I think is actually for a big twin, because it sits too low on the output shaft and the tooth count doesn't match up.
So, that was frustrating.

Flynn's_61 12-19-2019 01:40 AM

Re: Harley big twins? WTF is a "little twin'? (novel)

Changing things up- Pics soon!

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