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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When the new Street 500 and Street 750 were announced I was excited because I'd believed for years that Harley needed mid-size motorcycles but I didn't anticipate owning one. I have my '07 50th Anniversary Sportster (1200) that is an excellent mototcycle and have no plans of ever selling it.

I grew up in the 1960's often working (and learning) from my older brother that was an AMA flat track racer and custom car and motorcycle builder. It was the Golden Age of Bobbers and Choppers (ask me the difference sometime) and I loved them both. In 1969 Honda introduced the new CB750 four-cylinder that was an exceptional motorcycle because of the engine. My brother jumped on it and produced the first rigid frame choppers for the Los Angeles market in very early 1970 A picture is attached of my brother next to the prototype - sorry, no side view - but I've attached a picture of a Honda 750 chopper from someone else. He called his 750 choppers "Stone Free Choppes" because he was a Hendrix fan that loved that song. For him is was about riding motorcycles.

Last Thanksgiving my older brother passed away and at his memorial were many of those personal things from this time in his life (e.g. the picture plus is racing boots, helmets, trophies, etc.) and it reminded me of the many hours we put in building custom show motorcycles and cars.

Being inspired by the choppers and bobbers we were involved in building, and with the introduction of the Street 750 that is the same displacement as the Honda 750 he used, I've decided to build a custom bobber similar to the illustration in the last attachement. It will be a tribute bike to a great person that loved an built many beautiful motorcycles when he was young.

So I do have plan now for a Street 750 and it will be nothing like the one at the Harley dealer when I'm done. It will be painted like a helmet he painted (photo attached) in pearl white, blue, red, and black with gold leaf and it will be called "Stone Free II" (as in "also").

It is going to be a wonderful project built from the heart to honor my brother and eventually it will be left to his oldest grandson (now just 22). Hope to have it done in time for Sturgis this year.

Stone Free
 

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This sounds like a great project for you to take up. It is great that you are going to make your Street 750 something special. How exactly are you going to go about painting it like the helmet you've posted here? Are you going to d o it yourself, or get an artist to do it for you?

We will be very interested to see how this project comes along. Best of luck.
 

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Touching story StoneFree, please keep us in the loop with how the project progresses, would love to see plenty of pics along the way. :D

My condolences for your loss but i suppose nothing will be able to separate you from the memories and experience you soaked up tagging along with big brother..

Glad to have you along for the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This sounds like a great project for you to take up. It is great that you are going to make your Street 750 something special. How exactly are you going to go about painting it like the helmet you've posted here? Are you going to d o it yourself, or get an artist to do it for you?

We will be very interested to see how this project comes along. Best of luck.
While my older brother painted all of his motorcycles and his helmets I never picked up that skill from him. He even painted a couple of my motorcycles. I am going to try it for Stone Free II project. What the hey, all it requires is a touch-up gun and I've got that. The shield and Zig Zag man in gold leaf are just a matter of being good at masking. I'm more concerned with the pin stripping that will be required than the masking and painting part. I've never done pin stripping at all but I have painted lots of things in the past. It will be a challenge for sure.

Of course if I screw it up then off to the sandblaster and the paint shop. LOL I'll give myself one chance to do a perfect job but in the end it must be perfect. I do get the chance to practice on a helmet though because I'm going to copy the helmet.
 
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Touching story StoneFree, please keep us in the loop with how the project progresses, would love to see plenty of pics along the way. :D

My condolences for your loss but i suppose nothing will be able to separate you from the memories and experience you soaked up tagging along with big brother..

Glad to have you along for the ride.
My brother really was an exceptional person that lived 100% everyday burning the candle at both ends. At age 70 he just burnt out and left nothing on the table. I learned so much from him not just about motorcycles and cars but life as well. I both miss him and don't miss him at the same time. In one sense he's gone and in another he never will be.

BTW an intersting side note. He won many first place trophies for both cars and mototcycles but it was only a couple of years ago when I won first place with a motorcycle in a show. It was for a 1976 Harley-Davidson SS-250 restoration (picture attached that I've shown before). He was very pleased and proud that I managed to build a motorcyle that won first place because it "made me equal" to all of his first place wins. There's nothing better than "being first" in anything we do. My SS-250 has won first in every judged show it's been in which is way cool.

Stone Free II also has to be a "First Place" motorcycle when it's done so every effort is going into meeting that goal.
 

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My brother really was an exceptional person that lived 100% everyday burning the candle at both ends. At age 70 he just burnt out and left nothing on the table. I learned so much from him not just about motorcycles and cars but life as well. I both miss him and don't miss him at the same time. In one sense he's gone and in another he never will be.

BTW an intersting side note. He won many first place trophies for both cars and mototcycles but it was only a couple of years ago when I won first place with a motorcycle in a show. It was for a 1976 Harley-Davidson SS-250 restoration (picture attached that I've shown before). He was very pleased and proud that I managed to build a motorcyle that won first place because it "made me equal" to all of his first place wins. There's nothing better than "being first" in anything we do. My SS-250 has won first in every judged show it's been in which is way cool.

Stone Free II also has to be a "First Place" motorcycle when it's done so every effort is going into meeting that goal.
Honestly I'm the oldest of three brothers and that life long camaraderie is something I hope my brothers and I will be able to enjoy. The youngest is just finishing up college so we got a ways to go :D

Your SS is downright gorgeous and it deserves every single win its earned, heres to hoping the same fate falls on Stone Free II!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Honestly I'm the oldest of three brothers and that life long camaraderie is something I hope my brothers and I will be able to enjoy. The youngest is just finishing up college so we got a ways to go :D

Your SS is downright gorgeous and it deserves every single win its earned, heres to hoping the same fate falls on Stone Free II!
My bother had a saying (one of many) that "There's our reality and there's mom's reality" and "mom" referred to anyone but us. Share that "reality" with your brothers. It is something very special that brothers can share that no one else has a right to.

Stone Free II will make the "winners circle" as I'm working with the same person on this project that I worked with on the SS-250 project. I'm good but he's anal-retentive. Things like ensuring all of the heads of the bolts are parallel to the grould kind of anal-retentive. He completely rewired the SS-250 and the wire harnesses were beyond perfect. I can do a lot but he ensures that the final touches are perfection. We work very well together as a team and that's really what it takes to win a show.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Sometimes one thing leads to another

When the inspiration touched me to build the Stone Free II tribute motorcycle I tried to find an after market frame manufacturer willing to use my motorcycle to build the frame. It wasn't that I couldn't do the work because I've done tube development before. It was just a lot of work that I hoped to avoid. Well I contacted the largest after market manufacturer of Harley frames and they weren't interested. In fact they said they wouldn't be interested for several more years.

No biggie. As I said tube development is not a problem for me. Of course to build a frame you need to build a weld fixture to keep everything where it belongs. No problem either. I've built weld fixtures and worked in aerospace where tooling was one of my areas of expertise.

Of course I'd also have to prototype the tube geometry and create a CAD model so the bending shop could bend the tubes. Of course I don't want stock exhaust pipes so I have to develop those as well as the frame tubes. Not a problem there for me either.

I also needed a source for a custom radiator because the large rectangular stock radiator won't cut it (I already have a source).

But what do I do with all of this work when I'm done? I'll have a weld fixture, the tube bend data, as well as an exhaust system and even the wiring harness design as well as many parts sources that I will use. So what do I do with all of this knowledge, tooling, and other things that I have to deal with just to build one motorcycle?

Well, sitting around with a close friend, fellow motorcycle builder, and business expert we wondered if someone else could benefit from what I'm doing. Is there anyone else out there that would also be interested in building their own custom Street 500 or Street 750? We were sure there are or would soon be....

If they have the space, equipment, knowledge, and time they could do just what I'm doing. What if they don't? What if they don't know how to prototype a frame and created the CAD model to generate the bend data? What if electrical isn't their speciality and they don't know how to make a good wire harness? What if they can do all of this but don't have the time to do all that it take to build it from scratch?

Well, we thought about that and since the #1 Harley after market frame builder wasn't interested we decided to form a company to provide parts like the frames, exhaust pipes, and electical harnesses for those interested in building their own custom Street 500 or Street 750. That was two weeks ago and we're moving forward with that enterprise. We will not only provide parts but also share our knowledge as well for those that want to customize their Street 500 or Street 750.

Since this is an offshoot of the Stone Free II tribute project we've decided to name the company Stone Free Manufacturing.

Of course we're along way from being able to produce and sell parts because the Stone Free II build is going to be the prototype development motorcycle and I can't really start until I have a Street 750. As I've noted here the Stone Free II will actually be a bobber and so we're also going to build a Street 500 chopper as well so we can offer both rigid bobber and chopper frames.

I've already started to build my website for the company but it is far from being complete. I just wanted to get it up so that the search engines will start to pick it up. That can take weeks but I'm willing to share peek. Just cut me some slack because I'm not a website designer and it isn't complete so some links don't work because the pages haven't been created. But with that said drop by and check it out. You can send me an email if you want from the Contacts page (I do have that working LOL)

Stone Free Manufacturing
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's been quite a while since I posted on the Stone Free II Project so I thought I'd bring people up to date a little. One significant change was the decision to replace all of the chrome (and silver) with copper plating. I've been working on our first actual part that will be used which is an MCL-5400 Dakota Digital speedometer by having the parts copper plated prior to assembly. Finally accomplished that and the speedometer arrived this morning.








While it's just one minor part that will be used I believe that the beauty of the copper plating is stunning and to imagine the entire chopper all decked out in copper as opposed to chrome, in my opinion, validates our decision for this change. I can't wait to get back to work on the chopper next week!!!!
 

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The copper plating looks real good. Visualizing what a copper plated motor guard, mirrors, axle and swing arm nut covers and sportster horn cover would look on a gloss black 750.
 

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It's been quite a while since I posted on the Stone Free II Project so I thought I'd bring people up to date a little. One significant change was the decision to replace all of the chrome (and silver) with copper plating. I've been working on our first actual part that will be used which is an MCL-5400 Dakota Digital speedometer by having the parts copper plated prior to assembly. Finally accomplished that and the speedometer arrived this morning.








While it's just one minor part that will be used I believe that the beauty of the copper plating is stunning and to imagine the entire chopper all decked out in copper as opposed to chrome, in my opinion, validates our decision for this change. I can't wait to get back to work on the chopper next week!!!!
The copper plating looks beautiful. Really great, but isn't it relatively more delicate than chrome plating? What about tarnish and Will it have as long a life as chrome?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The copper plating looks beautiful. Really great, but isn't it relatively more delicate than chrome plating? What about tarnish and Will it have as long a life as chrome?
Chrome is much harder than copper plate but I don't plan on abusing the copper plate. While the chopper will most certainly be used it will never be a daily rider. First and foremost it's a show bike. Yes, copper will tarnish (oxidize) over time but being basically lazy I'm having the copper plating clear-coated with lacquer. I may change my mind in the future and actually want it to oxidize (oxidized copper can also be beautiful) in which case I can chemically strip the lacquer from the parts.
 
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Chrome is much harder than copper plate but I don't plan on abusing the copper plate. While the chopper will most certainly be used it will never be a daily rider. First and foremost it's a show bike. Yes, copper will tarnish (oxidize) over time but being basically lazy I'm having the copper plating clear-coated with lacquer. I may change my mind in the future and actually want it to oxidize (oxidized copper can also be beautiful) in which case I can chemically strip the lacquer from the parts.
Go for it man. I am sure your bike will turn out to be a real beauty. Waiting to see the final results.
 

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The copper plating looks real good. Visualizing what a copper plated motor guard, mirrors, axle and swing arm nut covers and sportster horn cover would look on a gloss black 750.
One of our considerations was the possible mixing of chrome/silver and copper and we decided against it because they would conflict with each other. That's why everything that is chrome/silver is going to be copper plated with one exception. The rotors have the problem that the brake pads will wear any copper plating away but I'm considering copper plating them where to pads don't ride on the rotor. Not sure if I'll do that but it is a possibility to just mask were the pads ride and plate the rest. Even the engine bolts will be removed and plated in copper though. We will be painting the engine turquoise (the paint scheme is turquoise/white that is iconic of the late 50's and 1960's) as opposed to polishing it to a bright aluminum finish. The frame, girder forks, handle bars, bolts, wheels, fwd controls, etc. that are typically chrome or silver metal will all be copper plated. Not sure about the exhaust that may be plated or have black ceramic coat on the outside. I'm leaning towards plating but need to talk with the plater about the heat of the exhaust. It's going to be pricy to do but worth it in the end (IMHO).


Of note the completion date is not later than the end of July as we have contractual obligations to be at Sturgis in August. I hope to have it done not later than June and maybe sooner. I'm working on that goal and things will be coming together rapidly in the coming months as finishing the chopper has taken precendent over developing products for Stone Free Mfg.
 
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