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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you might have read on my "Stone Free II Project" thread I'm an old school bobber and chopper man from the 1960's and I'm building a tribute Street 750 bobber in honor of my older brother that passed away last year. Both the Street 500 and Street 750 are virtually a perfect fit for the "old school" bobber/chopper style of the 1960's when virtually any motorcycle from 250cc and up was often turned into a bobber or chopper.

Yes, all of the "old school" bobbers and choppers of the 60's were air cooled engines but there was a simple reason for that. There were no good water-cooled motorcycles in that era.

For those that don't know the difference between a bobber and a chopper the primary difference is that the bobber basically retains factory geometry while choppers increase the rake/trail of the front wheel for extended forks. In the 60's the choppers generally had 8"-12" extended springer or girder front forks. Both were stripped down motorcycles often with engine performance upgrades.

Anyway, since I have to create a new frame for my Stone Free II project, and having a background in tooling, I've partnered with a friend to produce after-market bobber and chopper frames for daring individuals that just can't "leave well enough alone" and want to make statement riding. We're also partnering with a motorcycle radiator company to have a "custom" radiator designed for the project (the stock rectangular radiator didn't "work" for me). We'll also product the wiring harness that will be required to run through the frame because that is always a pain in the rear for anyone not used to making up motorcycle wiring harnesses.

No one else to our knowledge has gone off on this tangent but the new Street 500 and Street 750 bobbers and choppers will offer a low cost alternative to the current custom bobbers and chopper. Our goal is to be able to provide the platform for a chopper or bobber that, taking a stock motorcycle and using many of the parts from that bike, can be be built for about the cost of a new Sportster (basically about $13,000 or so). Of course a person can spend more but to have a unique Harley-Davidson bobber or chopper for about 1/2 the cost of even the lowest priced larger choppers and bobbers is really cool IMHO.

The company (Stone Free Manufacturing) is only two weeks old and we haven't even started actual prototyping yet (held for a new Street 750 and Street 500 for our prototype bikes) so bear with me. Of course as I work on building both my "Stone Free II" tribute 750cc bobber and another 500cc chopper prototypes I'll share pictures and information.

I'll also offer as much advice for anyone that's interested in doing this on their own including those that want to build their own frames. We just think that having an after-market frame will make it easier for someone to build a really cool 500cc or 750cc Harley bobber/chopper because of the work involved in producing a frame. Creating the frame is at least 50% of the work in building a custom bike while just assembly is much easier.

It is all very exciting to say the least. I sort of feel like Star Trek where we're "going where no man has gone before." LOL The truth is my partner and I have built so many show motorcycles and have so much background that this is just the next evolution of our creative skills. It's going to be way too much fun.

StoneFree
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Missed this the first time. Looking forward to your build :)
I'm dying to get my hands on the Street 750 for my Stone Free II Project. That not yet being available I'm working on the matching old school Bell helmet based upon a helmet my brother had in 1970 (that was the inspiration for the name of the build project). Other than that all I've been able to do is locate after market parts like the headlight, speedo/tach, girder front forks, etc. for the build once I have the motorcycle.

I just created a FaceBook page to address this tribute build project where I will be posting about the "Inspiration" behind it and when the build starts I'll be updating it whenever a milestone is reached even if its just a little milestone.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stone-Free-II-Project/788241841201051

In addition to building a custom Street 750 rigid frame chopper I've also become interested in building a personal Street 750 trike in the future. That's probably a year off but it will also be a lot of fun.
 
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I'm dying to get my hands on the Street 750 for my Stone Free II Project. That not yet being available I'm working on the matching old school Bell helmet based upon a helmet my brother had in 1970 (that was the inspiration for the name of the build project). Other than that all I've been able to do is locate after market parts like the headlight, speedo/tach, girder front forks, etc. for the build once I have the motorcycle.

I just created a FaceBook page to address this tribute build project where I will be posting about the "Inspiration" behind it and when the build starts I'll be updating it whenever a milestone is reached even if its just a little milestone.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stone-Free-II-Project/788241841201051

In addition to building a custom Street 750 rigid frame chopper I've also become interested in building a personal Street 750 trike in the future. That's probably a year off but it will also be a lot of fun.
Cant wait to see that build go down!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cant wait to see that build go down!
I'd be counting down the days until I get my hands on the Street 750 if I actually knew the date my dealer will receive them. As it is I'm generally looking at about 3-4 more weeks based upon the general "mid-June" anticipated date.

I have "cash in hand" and the sale manager is a friend so I'll know within an hour of the time the truck unloads them and will probably have the purchase (paperwork) complete before mine is even out of the box. LOL
 

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Looking forward to the build!

Just keep us in the loop as soon as you get the phone call please!
 

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I'd be counting down the days until I get my hands on the Street 750 if I actually knew the date my dealer will receive them. As it is I'm generally looking at about 3-4 more weeks based upon the general "mid-June" anticipated date.

I have "cash in hand" and the sale manager is a friend so I'll know within an hour of the time the truck unloads them and will probably have the purchase (paperwork) complete before mine is even out of the box. LOL
Nice! It's all working out well for you, at least you have it better than some do, always good to know someone.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice! It's all working out well for you, at least you have it better than some do, always good to know someone.
With only two exceptions I've been a 'cash' buyer my entire life. Of course that also meant that I've only had one new motorcycle (my 2007 XL50) and one new car (my 2012 Fiat 500) in my life as well. I've just never liked personal debt because I hate paying interest. Even with my XL50 it was only a $3,000 loan that I paid off in about 6 months and my Fiat is an interest free loan.

I'm also 65 and have been able to hide a few nickles and dimes in my mattress over the years.
 

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Nice to hear you got a FIAT. We owned 2 FIAT cars, one way back in 1977 before my birth. Nice cars I would say but like to know how you find 500. Seen some on my visit to USA but rare.
 

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The only Fiats I ever see are the 500 and I'm not a big fan of them. I think that there are other small city cars that look better. Are they considered good quality vehicles though? I think I'd choose a smartcar over a Fiat 500.
 

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A Smart car seems to me to be a dumb buy. There are cars with larger passenger compartments that cost less and get better fuel mileage than the Smart car.

I could not even get behind the wheel of an original Fiat Cinquecento. No room! I haven't tried the new one yet but there are a few at work, including a Abarth. I think the jury is still out on their quality.
 

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I agree on the smart car statement, always found them to be a waste and rather just get a fuel efficient petrol 4 door, at least that way you can still get great fuel economy and still have a really versatile vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
While the term "cafe-racer" was coined in the UK because the riders "raced" between cafes the actual motorcycles were an evolution of the "bobbers" that were modified factory motorcycles and "bobbers" existed wherever people road mototcycles. At the same time that "cafe-racers" were getting a name for themselves in the UK the same modifications were being made in the US the late 1960's.

In the Los Angeles area we had "cafe-racers" doing "Mulholland Drive" (a winding road through the coastal mountains) as early as the mid-1960's often congregating at the Sagebush Cantina on the weekends. I've been at the Cantina on a Saturday when there were easily 100 "cafe-racer" motorcycles parked there. It was a very popular rest stop (serving pitchers of ice cold margaritas on hot summer days).
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Let the Street 750 Tear-Down Begin

Today my Street 750 went on the rack and it's last days as a production H-D motorcycle are over. It will never again be a "Street 750" but instead is going to be a highly modified motorcycle based upon the Street 750.




The photo provides a good look at what the motorcycle looks like once the "stuff" is removed to see the bones.

Today's focus was on removing all of the primary components basically from the back of the gas tank to back of the motorcycle. We're looking at what the best approach is to converting the stock motorcycle into a faux rigid (swing-arm) custom Street bobber. Finally being able to see the "bones" was important and now we're pondering what the best design would be for making the change. Our mutual thoughts (my partner Matt and I) are to cut the frame at the rear of the large down post that supports the swing-arm and replace the frame from their back creating a faux rigid with a hidden mono-shock. This allows lowering of the seat as well as providing the necessary structure for a conventional fender and sissy bar.


Of course Matt is a racer so the hidden mono-shock was his idea and, of course, as we wrapped up today he asked me to consider air suspension (as if I didn't have enough to think about LOL).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I love it. I wanna go for a bobber look too so keep the pics coming.

As you can possibly tell from the tear-down photo we could simply cut off the frame aft of the spring/shock mount, add a cross support for a standard rear fender, mount a seat, replace the mid controls with front controls, change the handle bars, add a springer or girder fork with a pizza-cutter rim/tire (etc) and almost call it good but it doesn't lower the rider's seat enough IMO.


I'm looking at a much more significant change that will create the faux rigid look that is common today. Hiding a mono-shock as opposed to exposes shocks/springs for example. This will require a major cut to the frame and replacement basically from the pivot point of the swing-arm aft.


One thing we found of significant importance is there is a ton of empty wasted space below the battery. We can move the battery and electronics down a lot allowing for a much lower seat. Our mod will probably result in the top of the battery being below the bottom of the battery on the existing stock configuration. Someone else mentioned that pulling the battery is a "Mo-Fo" on the stock bike and it's true. We want an easily accessible battery that the stock bike doesn't have. We also want to keep access to all of the electrical components easy.


Right now I'm pondering the photograph so I can envision what we actually need to do. 90% of a modification is planning the details of the modification because the actual "build" isn't all that hard. I'm thinking I need to design a really good "rear configuration" so that simply chopping the existing frame and welding on a new rear frame creates the "bobber" configuration is where I want to go. Keep it simple but also make it a perfect street bobber when complete.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One thing I really like on the stock Street motorcycle is the gas tank. It's a beautiful design for a bobber with an excellent painting surface. It doesn't work for an old school chopper that screams "peanut tank" but for a bobber it's perfect.
 

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As you can possibly tell from the tear-down photo we could simply cut off the frame aft of the spring/shock mount, add a cross support for a standard rear fender, mount a seat, replace the mid controls with front controls, change the handle bars, add a springer or girder fork with a pizza-cutter rim/tire (etc) and almost call it good but it doesn't lower the rider's seat enough IMO.


I'm looking at a much more significant change that will create the faux rigid look that is common today. Hiding a mono-shock as opposed to exposes shocks/springs for example. This will require a major cut to the frame and replacement basically from the pivot point of the swing-arm aft.


One thing we found of significant importance is there is a ton of empty wasted space below the battery. We can move the battery and electronics down a lot allowing for a much lower seat. Our mod will probably result in the top of the battery being below the bottom of the battery on the existing stock configuration. Someone else mentioned that pulling the battery is a "Mo-Fo" on the stock bike and it's true. We want an easily accessible battery that the stock bike doesn't have. We also want to keep access to all of the electrical components easy.


Right now I'm pondering the photograph so I can envision what we actually need to do. 90% of a modification is planning the details of the modification because the actual "build" isn't all that hard. I'm thinking I need to design a really good "rear configuration" so that simply chopping the existing frame and welding on a new rear frame creates the "bobber" configuration is where I want to go. Keep it simple but also make it a perfect street bobber when complete.
That actually sounds like a lot to me. This is my first bike so I'm really a newb at all of this, but I plan on learning fast. Please post pics as you go so I can see what kind of process you use. Also on the Street 750/500 fb page there are some pics of the bobber style bike the mad and it looks like they also removed the radiator and everything. Check it out. https://m.facebook.com/home.php?refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F&soft=more
 
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