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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought this little CB250/350G Frankenstein bike (250 frame, 350 engine) a few months ago as a project bike to tear down and rebuild to learn about bike mechanics and customisation. It looks like this (yes, some philistine painted it Cadbury's Purple and put girls pushbike handlebars on it):



But, when I'm done.. it'll look like this! (well, hopefully):



I'm about to head off to Europe for 3 months so progress will be slow, but I have managed to get the gauges done. Copper-plated the original housings, new brass faces (yes, I stuffed the numerals up, long story, but will be fixing it at a later date), and new needles from an old clock. They kind of give the 'vibe' of what the rest of the bike will be hopefully!



Frame, tank and guards are all off at the sandblasters at the moment, hopefully have them back this week.

Really looking forward to getting stuck into this bad boy!

Cheers,
Andrew
 

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Sensei
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Also, be careful when "dropping" the front end.....
It changes the steering geometry, and the tire/fender can strike the frame.
As pictured is a little too much to be safe......
 

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Yes sir - I do enjoy a good steampunk bike build - my CB750F went a little bit that way, with brass fittings here and there, but not quite as far as you are going. I like the gauges already - and I have those brass hand grips in my box of parts (from India off eBay).

Good luck with it - and check out the 'brass goggles' steampunk forum for inspiration.
 

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very nice gauges!,

I agree with what Steve says. these 350's handle very nicely in stock trim...you'll be hurting handling capabilities and ground clearance dropping the front end that low. in race trim the common range is to raise the rear by about an inch and lower the front by 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

it'd be a shame to do all that nice work then crash because you didn't have the proper ground clearance going around a fun turn
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey all

Yeah, that was just the bike I used for the concept drawings. I'm planing to leave it at stock height initially, then have a bit of a fiddle. But I don't plan on changing much as far as height goes.

And yep, I've already got those brass hand grips (if you can call them that). And the Carbide front lamp is on it's way! Planning to probably get another smaller one for the tail light too.

Will post some pics when the bits start arriving!
 

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When I were a wee lad (coloquial yorkshire as I'm off to Leeds tomorrow for work, I need the practice :lol: ) my grandfather used to tell me about the carbide lamps he rode with, also the belt drives slipping in the wet.
Thats a cool outline though I'm not so sure how effective the carbide light is when compared to a modern light, but for sure you wont blow any bulbs ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Had a go at the engine over the last few days... From this:



To this!



In just 5 short days. For a free, no obligation trial, simply call 1-800-ELBOW-GREASE and quote your credit card details.

Got the frame back from the sandblasters too, just having at it with the angle grinder over the next week or so to get it ready for copper-plating.
 

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I try to use carbide headlamps exclusively when I am spelunking (though there are some caves that don't allow them). I think they have several advantages... Extremely cheap to operate (as long as you buy the carbide by the 50 gal drum full), they don't blow bulbs if you drop them, they keep you warm, and the light is more widespread and diffuse, rather than shining out in a sharp beam. It's much easier to see things in your peripheral vision, even though they don't stab through the dark quite as far. Parts are getting difficult to find now, though... The last company that produced them (it was in the UK) shut down in the mid-90s...

I don't think a carbide light would be very good on a bike... If it was small enough to carry fuel for, the flame would either go out in the wind or have to be so large that you'd use up all of your fuel in a few minutes. If it was large enough to provide a decent operating time, the fuel chambers would be inconveniently large.... >_>
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey leaf, I'm just using the housings of the Carbide lamps, gutting them and replacing them with electrics. Though interestingly enough, they did use to use Carbide lamps on bikes before electrical ones. Though I doubt they were going very fast, or very far!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
And speaking of carbide lamps... the one I'm using for the headlight arrived the other day:



Mmmm... brassy goodness. And the original electric light will fit inside it perfectly.

Have also managed to get the tank and fenders all rubbed back to bare-metal ready for clear coat. Does anyone have any suggestions for clear-coating bare metal?
 

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Smoov said:
Clear coat ? powder coat those bitches !

Even better - electroplate them in copper or brass...

... or leather wrap them.

Just keep thinking - what would they have made this out of in 1900?

(Love the carbide headlamp too - very nice piece).
 
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