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  #21  
Old 01-08-2012, 09:42 PM
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Tedious details were worked on this weekend. You know, the kind of things that you keep putting off for one reason or another. I think one reason these things got put off was the possibility that I would discover real bad news; like something requiring a lot of money and/or professional help to turn out right. Well- no bummers but I did go through a lot of grinding and cutting wheels.

I should have taken a true "before" picture to show just how bad this part was. This is a picture of the bottom of the front of the frame backbone tube where the forks bolt on. When it is all together a U-joint will come out of this tube to drive the front wheel. I'm told this was a weak spot in the early Trailbreakers. This one broke like many of them but the PO didn't spend a lot of time on the repair. He just wrapped it with plumber's tape, (soft metal strapping with holes every half-inch) and filled it with welding rod. What I started with a couple hours before this pic was a fist-sized glob of metal with a king-pin boss buried somewhere inside.
Well, I finally found the boss and got the excess metal ground away.
Luckily for Trailbreaker owners there's a machine-shop owner back East who happen to be fond of these things and he makes all kinds of CNC up-grade doo-dads. Those two real shiney shoulder studs and bushings will replace the ugly ones to the right.


Here's a shot of the almost finished repair. It should finish nice and be a lot stronger than stock. The bolts are threaded in to keep welding spatter out of the threads. While I was working in the area, I fitted two pieces of round stock into the remnants of the frame down-tubes. I figured it will be much easier to attach the new tubes than plain butt joints.



When I pulled the garage pics off the camera tonight I found a reminder of why I'm doing this thing. This was New Year's Eve this year. My GPS said I was 8 miles from the Husky Memorial.
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2012, 09:21 PM
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When I started this thread I titled it "Rokon" TrailBreaker. Once I started looking at this thing and researching, I started to feel this was a very early Nethercutt Trailbreaker- and I edited the thread to reflect that feeling. Some expressed doubt that I had found a Nethercutt as they are fairly rare.
Brief part of Trail-Breaker history: JB Nethercutt bought the rights/patents from the original inventor but soon sold out to new owners which became Rokon. Mr. Nethercutt is best known for his company that makes a profit and still exists: Merle Norman Cosmetics.
Well, today I needed the fender for some mock-up fitting so I chipped the mud off it. When I rubbed the smear off the old lubrication sticker I could read the name at the bottom. Kinda cool.


I wanted to make a rack for the front and it turned out to be more work than I thought. Since I don't have a tubing bender that will make tight 90's on 3/4 steel, I had to make up the corners from flat stock. Those flat semi-circles became like curved square stock.


I taped the parts and my squares to the workbench and tacked it up.


My goal for this weekend was to get the engine cradle tubes in place. The set-up and head scratching took a lot longer than welding the tubes in.


It felt good when it was done. The last thing I did before shutting the garage door was to sit the ATC 125 engine in the frame just to look at it. I'll charge the camera up and take a shot of it with the engine in it next work session.

Feel free to make fun of my choice of handlebars. Sometimes when I go to the motorcycle junkyard my imagination works overtime. I went with the Triumph levers because they are real long and and I could use the leverage. This thing only has hand-operated brakes.

Last edited by Tracker; 05-07-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:41 PM
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I kept to simple goals this weekend. #1 was to get the foot-peg pivot mounts and gas tank mounts on the new engine cradle tubes; since they proved to be straight and stayed straight after replacing the rear support tubes.
Trailbreaker front pegs have to hang a few inches below the frame since there is so much ground clearance. To keep that from being a problem, they also pivot backwards, (up) when they have to. I still have to add the extension (cardboard in the pic right now) and the actual pegs. If anyone is trying to picture the riding position; yes, it is like a Harley with hi-way pegs. If I need to stand on pegs for tight maneuvers or a steep climb, I'll use the rear folding passenger pegs. Your feet don't work any controls on a Trailbreaker anyway.

With these frame details done for now, I had to tackle the rear miter box. I already had to make a tool to take off the end caps and there was no doubt I had to have another fairly specialized tool to get it any farther apart. The name of the tool I needed was a "Clamshell" puller so I hit a couple auto and tool places figuring to rent one.
Wrong. I don't think it is necessary to actually know anything about tools and mechanical stuff to get a job at such places these days but I managed to keep smiling as I talked to the people behind the counter. So I guess I get to make one.

Drill some holes in the right places on a piece of 1/4" scrap.

Weld on some nuts; screw in long bolts; install under an old pinned-on sprocket; turn the bolts slowly and evenly.......

..Then repeat the process with an old clutch (better support) to get the second bearing race to let go of the housing. Next session I'll turn the housing 90 degrees and do the same to get the other shaft out. I was pretty glad to see everything inside was in great shape with almost no wear. I don't think this thing had ever been apart. With any luck, it won't ever be apart again, either.
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:58 PM
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Durn Marty, you a better constructor or an artist…..just asking.

Pretty impressive bud.
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  #25  
Old 02-20-2012, 10:52 PM
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As a builder, you have us all beat. My kind of welder, too. (wooden sawhorses, guess how many fires I have started?)
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  #26  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mainjet2001 View Post
Durn Marty, you a better constructor or an artist…..just asking. Pretty impressive bud.
Thanks. It's a creative outlet that gives me something in return. I'm making it a point to add mods that make it less or un-desirable to Trailbreaker collectors. This one's a keeper so I want it to be right.
Quote:
As a builder, you have us all beat. My kind of welder, too. (wooden sawhorses, guess how many fires I have started?)
Again, thanx. Funny you should mention fires.
If you look at the pic where the miter box is clamped in the vise, you'll see I have the wooden jaws in. Well, it took a bit of torch heat on the aluminum case to help that bearing to crack loose. When it popped loose, I was so busy patting myself on the back that I didn't notice the small blaze in the vice. My quench tub by the grinder doused it pretty quick.
I lit the garage pot-belly, had a seat, and rinsed the grinding dust out of my intake.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:05 AM
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shoot you even use the same thing to put the fires out with that i do. when i used to wear canvas sneakers there were quite a few times i was under the hood, focused, and then it became harder and harder to ignore that i had a foot that was really, really getting warm.
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  #28  
Old 02-21-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracker View Post
I lit the garage pot-belly, had a seat, and rinsed the grinding dust out of my intake.
Now that thar's funny....
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  #29  
Old 02-29-2012, 09:03 PM
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Next task was to make decisions and start adding motor mounting iron. I wanted the main platform under the engine to be nice and stout so I cut it out of some 1/4" I had.


Since I gave in and bought a propane BBQ, the old brick built-in hasn't seen much action. I cut up the old cook plate to make these mounts but I still have a grate if a nice Porterhouse needs that special touch.


I knew there was no way I could come close to cutting the main mounting plate and "bulls-eying" the 4 mounting holes. It is tapered front to back and beveled on the edges to fit the tubing contour. So, I made a separate plate that would bolt to the engine, then cut a hole a little smaller than that small plate. Once I got the big plate welded to the frame tubes, I bolted the motor to the smaller plate, set it in place, and welded it to the big plate. I worked out pretty good. These four bolt holes are how the foot peg assembly attaches on the ATC trike. The case lugs are huge so it should be more than strong enough to be one of 4 motor mounting points.
If anyone is wondering, the first chain (of 3) will be adjusted by moving the engine. It will get a little complicated because all the mounts will have to be adjustable, as will the exhaust and air filter plumbing.


I couldn't resist sitting the engine in place just to gaze at it for a while. It sure is ugly still. I'm not doing any sand-blasting or painting (flat / cammo) until I'm sure the building and welding is all done.
When I first started talking about this project I got all kinds of suggestions about what kind of motor I should put in. In looking at it now, you can see why I chose the motor I did. I didn't want to give up any of that 14" of ground clearance, 28" seat height, electric and rope start, dual range tranny, 4-stroke quietness, and unmatched reliability.
I'm starting to sound like a Honda commercial....

Last edited by Tracker; 05-06-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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  #30  
Old 02-29-2012, 11:08 PM
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You doing a fantastic job so far
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  #31  
Old 03-01-2012, 01:50 PM
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Durn Marty, you trying to be just like Von Dutch, not the pin stripe part but like the time he made a motorcycle from scratch......

Which leads me to ask....do you do pin stripping?
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  #32  
Old 03-01-2012, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Mainjet2001 View Post
Durn Marty, you trying to be just like Von Dutch, not the pin stripe part but like the time he made a motorcycle from scratch......

Which leads me to ask....do you do pin stripping?
Not the real thing. Those guys are awesome. In 1977 I watched the guy next to me paint "Cha-Cha" on Shirley Muldowney's pink Bell Star. He was one of those artists.
I keep a supply of 1/4" masking tape though.
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  #33  
Old 03-02-2012, 01:49 AM
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You know the man known as Von Dutch would have rather been working on guns. The best painters I have known like Fat Albert (care taker at a school camp on the central coast of calif now) and Neil Averill seem to burn out on it and end up hating it. Al says it just kills him not to be able to do anything original or think of anything. So he DOESN'T I guess.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:02 AM
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You know the man known as Von Dutch would have rather been working on guns. The best painters I have known like Fat Albert (care taker at a school camp on the central coast of calif now) and Neil Averill seem to burn out on it and end up hating it. Al says it just kills him not to be able to do anything original or think of anything. So he DOESN'T I guess.
Good points Andy. When the motivation to be creative and original comes from money, you have to be careful. I understand what happened to the guys you mentioned. I do what I do for me, as a personal challenge for personal rewards. The more care, thought, and effort I put into a project, the better results I get; and the better I feel. Doing it for money or doing it per someone else's specs doesn't work for me.
I can't wait to use this thing. It's going to haul my old butt to places I wouldn't walk to; then haul me and various dead things back to camp. I'm already designing a single track trailer in my mind.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:17 PM
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I had several 'honey-do's" to attend to this weekend so I stuck to simple details on the bike. In all the pictures of Trail-Breakers I've looked at, I have seen several with different kinds of chain-guards on the front drives. I don't think the early ones like this one had anything.The newer ones have huge plastic guards that covers the entire front driveline. I didn't want to go that far but I did want something to cover the upper end. I like the idea of keeping assorted foliage and possibly flailing body parts out of that sprocket.


The wife caught me hard at work cleaning the rusty innards of the gas tank. I've tried a lot of different methods but this one works best when the tank is really rusty inside.
I rig up a make-shift hand cranked rotisserie and put various mediums inside. I start with 2 pounds of dry-wall screws and a bottle of "Lime Away" or "CLR" tub and tile cleaner. This particular stage was dry pea gravel, which is why I have the ear muffs on. It works out good when done toward the end of the day when one wants to keep working, but needs to replenish the body's fluids after a hard day of welding and grinding.
With about an hour of turning slow and changing directions at each stage a tank will look really nice inside when you are done.

---------- Post added at 08:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:12 PM ----------

Last edited by Tracker; 03-11-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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  #36  
Old 03-18-2012, 08:56 PM
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Originally, this bike didn't have much of an electrical system. It will need a battery now so I had to find a place to put it. I made the battery holder part of the lower rear motor mount.
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  #37  
Old 04-01-2012, 11:59 PM
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Early on in this project I made a couple rules. One of them was that nothing could be shiny. Now it's not that I'm trying to ride under the radar or go for the stealth/cammo look; I'm trying to avoid having "looks" become a build priority. Since this thing will require a lot of new fasteners, (they tend to be shiny) I needed to knock down a little glare.
The rusty vinegar I used as part of the tank cleaning steps turned out to be pretty good at taking the shine off new cadmium and zinc-plated fasteners. One to two days is all you need to get the look. Any more and you risk taking the plating all the way off- which wouldn't be good.
That chain looked like chrome before getting pickled.


It's been slow going but I finally got all the motor mounts finished today. Lots of thought go into the process before parts can be made. Then in my case, many of them have to be made twice; since I'm no expert at this stuff and I sure don't have the right tools.
The upper left-hand mount is a Honda ATC part from the donor bike. A little modification and a piece welded to the frame backbone tube worked out real good. You can't really tell from this pic but the whole engine can be moved up and back about an inch.
In looking at the milk crate in the picture, I'm reminded that it's getting close to kick-stand time.
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  #38  
Old 04-08-2012, 08:16 PM
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Ms. Tracker hinted that if the bike had passenger pegs she might be willing to partake in some boondocks pinicing.
I didn't tell her that I've planned from the beginning to put rear pegs on for steep climbs.
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  #39  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:29 PM
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Just don't ever let her see you using them for your original intentions!! Fats and I were friends since hs. I watched him take a motorcycle tank out to a curb and smack it against the concrete. He came back, handed it to the owner and said "I think I put the dent back right were it was." The customer was unhappy with the final theme. The work quality was very good, but it wasn't what he had in mind. The painter felt he had something better in mind, and probably did. The guy left thinking Al had been breathing too much banana oil, I am sure.

I think that was the beginning of the end.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:44 PM
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I decided to ride motorcycles this weekend instead of work on them. I had never been to the charcoal kilns in Death Valley so we swung up there to have a look. Pretty impressive. I was expecting a handful of little adobe huts, not 10 massive stone and mortar structures.
Each one of these are about 20' across and 20' tall.
There's lots of things to see and places to ride to in DVNP - If you are on a street legal bike. Needless to say, the Trail-Breaker will never see the park.

Last edited by Tracker; 05-16-2012 at 09:22 AM.
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