Monday, November 24, 2014

Diesel Land Speed Racer Mk2 Part 1 - Building the Rough Chassis

Because of time and budget issues, I unfortunately had to take this season off from land speed racing. I swear that I spent most that time productively: finishing dozens of small projects, fine-tuning my race bikes, and catching up on the to-do list. However, it is definitely time to kick back into high gear and build some racing hardware. It has been a while, but *drumroll* it's finally time to get back on topic: alternative fuel speed records. 



Don't worry, I haven't (totally) lost my mind. This carcass may be stripped and beat, but there are good strong bones to start the build with. This sad pile is the remains of a 1979 Harley Davidson Sportster Ironhead. I bought the frame, the forks, and....not much else off of craigslist (for far too much). You may be wondering "why a sportster?". It's not particularly light and would seem to be useless as a competitive race bike, however this chassis has one very important feature: a MASSIVE space in the frame for a big engine.

The first step was to put together a rough rolling chassis from whatever I had on hand, as well as further ebay and craigslist searches. I happened to have a pair of decent rear shocks on the shelf, so I machined some bushings so they would bolt to the sporty frame.

I traded the "king" tank for some rear fender brackets, and installed a peanut tank from my collection on the frame. It just happened to be the perfect fit!

Next up, I found cheap dented fenders on ebay, as well as a steering stem bearing kit so I could remount the forks.

My best parts score so far has been a pair of lightweight cast-aluminum 19-inch wheels. I picked them up off of craigslist, as well as a set of clip-on handlebars, and loosely assembled the rolling frame.

Finally, I machined a quick-release bolt for the swingarm pivot, so that it can be easily removed immediately before the race.

Stay tuned here for more progress on this ill-advised hobby of mine!