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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Everyone buys a bike to chop up. That's cool and I do that too but I wanted to build something from the frame up (all of it!) that was different in topic AND in execution. I started this to help, no, force me to set up my tools correctly and use them with some precision. Enter the board track racer. Often replicated from an old bicycle with a Chinese 2 stroke, you just don't see many that really look the part. Once studied, you see these were more than just bicycles with a motor though the similarity can't be denied. Where bicycle parts could be used, I often went another way. Originals racers were stripped down so obvious bike parts (stem, wheels, etc.), external cables/controls, brakes and battery all must be omitted, concealed, or fabricated to be better for the application.
I wanted a replica that made others do a double take.
I recommend taking on a big project like this. It makes you think outside the lines and forces you to learn the tools - not just look for the end result.
Here are a few shots of how it has progressed:

Planning it out using a light box and a side shot of the 1915 Cyclone. I actually scaled it to 93% so I could use 26" Worksman wheels (rolled rims with 1/8" spokes!)


A few parts to start out. An old fork and some loaner wheels for mockup. Tubing is .120 DOM - overkill but as it gets heavier makes me feel better. Such a fork was too narrow to work as-is.


A jig is only as good as your measurements. For a one-off, it doesn't have to be repeatable or complex - just straight! These tubes were bent with a conduit bender.


The rolling chassis.


Insert engine - Vanguard V-twin and mock up a tank. The 12 HP motor should really make it haul - faster than I want to go. Those wheels won't cut it and that stem just has to go - too much like a bicycle!


The tank tacked up. I did one tank in 18g and used a MIG for all of it. I have successfully welded thinner. This top tube was bent with brake conduit bender as well. To the bottom right is a bracket used on the original road frame as a leaf spring mount and rear brake linkage mount. Originally I fabbed it for looks and to help support the bottom bracket but I will use it for my brake linkage now as well.


Made some heavy brackets. Again, thin off-the-shelf brackets just don't look right. Add enough short cuts like that and it'll look like it was easy to do!! Another detail throughout - turn all the markings off exposed bolt heads. Used AN washers 'cause they are thicker and look the part.


The stand was an engineering feat in itself. Another skill practiced a lot - brazing. The bottom 1" or so are solid plugs to decrease the amount of wear on the tubing.


See how the stand swings forward and cradles the chain stays? I love that!
I used a 3/4" jackshaft and motorcycle chain(remember bicycle chain would look like a bicycle chain) and heavily modified the rear sprocket - drilled the lightening holes and mounded it to a modified HD freewheel. I'm using the Comet 40 series convertor which has a clutch on the crank and a variable sheeve out back for a broad gear ratio. It also uses a 7/8" belt to look beefier than other options - all in all not cheap but will really make it go!

Internal throttle plans, real Mesenger seat, and rear drum brake will help keep it motorcycle-looking.


Here are the "engine plates". Once again, I was forced to learn a new skill - engine turning. You can take a project like this to about any level and learn so much from it.
More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!


Here's where she stands. Blurry but it was late at night.
Now with a better stem fabbed up and ready for throttle, brake, and real seat. This is a plywood mockup seat but I tried the largest Brooks saddle and it was still just too small looking. Again, another "short cut" commonly taken that would just not look right. I will order a Mesenger repro. Quite expensive but as my wife said, "If you are going to do it, you might as well do it right." Did I get lucky or what guys?
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

Wow!! That looks awesome man.

You've done a great job throughout the build and it's good to see that you've been able to rack up even more skills than you already possessed.

Keep us posted with this!
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

wow a 'board tracker' that looks like a board tracker and not some fucked up sporty with 21's
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

clean clean clean! except for that vanguard motor, but i have faith.
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

This is one of the coolest projects I've seen on here. Great job, can't wait to see it finished!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

Thanks for the feedback. I was hesitant at first about the motor as well. It wasn't used because I just had it laying around - I searched for one of these. As with everything else, I've really had to look outside of the box. I was undressing these things with my eyes! I did remove all the shrouding from than engine. I hoped to reveal the "twin" look. I just couldn't have a regular-looking lawn mower engine and a larger V-twin would not have worked in the looks department either(both have been done and I didn't like either). I considered building a different case for the crank but I do want to get this thing done! These engines are used for many industrial applications and even some serious racing(Formula 600?) I can't remember but I think it works out to 400cc. I saw one at a local bike rally in what was called a "Mustang" - a 2/3 or so chopper - looks maybe '80s? It had a big chrome dome over the flywheel. I wanted mine as raw looking as possible.

I removed the oil filter(which stuck way out to the side) and built a bypass. I have since turned down those bolt heads too. Barely visible, you can see I turned down some of the unused bosses on the side of the case.

Without those silly shrouds the fins on the flywheel would no longer be cooling so I converted it to less of a meat grinder! Might be harder to start but, with the heavy clutch on the other end of the crank, overall weight reduction isn't too much.

Much narrower than before. That "countershaft" has been shortened to the final length as well.

The beginning of the internal throttle. Doesn't need bearings throughout but that makes me think this thing out more. I've used this board for info on my options and you guys are really inspiring. Remember they were doing this 100 years ago!

I have learned/am learning that when you start from scratch, "good enough" develops a different meaning - it becomes a direct reflection of your abilities but even more so your motivation. Except for the frame, I think I've replaced every part at least once with something I had to make.
I have also done a lot of side jobs to perfect my tools to work better. I replaced some bushings in my Chinese lathe with bearings, modified a tube notcher to work properly, and made many little tools, etc. Most importantly I took the time to start setting up operations like a machinist would instead of hacking it(which works but I never liked to do). My confidence with fabrication has really increased and I owe it to this project and the encouragement I get from others - like you guys. I'll keep posting pics.
There are things I would do differently but that's what fuels our next project isn't it? I already wanna start on another and make my own engine or modify a B&S with difference cylinders and external OHV valvetrain.
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

wow, simply wow!!! without a doubt one of the coolest build threads i have seen come along here in a long time. i always wished i had the skills to pull off something like this! keep up the great work and updates!
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

Thats really, really cool.
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

Thats some nice work. Looks great!

"wow a 'board tracker' that looks like a board tracker and not some fucked up sporty with 21's"

Just what I was thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

Horror, Yes, I'm not sure if it was before or after I started this but I've followed it for a while. I really like his other projects too. His site probably encouraged me to do things with some precision as much as anything else. I saw his seats but I think they are a little plump around the rear(insert joke here) compared to Larry Heilman's seats. Thanks for the reminder.

Bigdumbhead, You do have the skills if you have the motivation. That's the difficult part - staying into it even when you are sidetracked looking for parts, other help, or learning a skill to apply to your project. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey! Jump in!
 

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Re: Winter Project - Board Track Racer!

Hey - great skills.. And those white tires! When did you start this? It looks like you're posting retrospectively? Must have took some time? Good stuff..
 
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