This is a full on build from the ground up. All aluminum frame from scratch. Front fork from scratch. Modified wheels and hubs. Engine mounts, seat, gas tank, controls and so on all built from scratch. NO bolt on magic like the TV guys! Even the engine is a 1937 that had to be rebuilt. Guess where... you got it right here at KNIGHT SCHOOL. The small 98cc two stroke engine produces just this side of no power, but is cool and looks good and will haul this little bike around at about 45MPH.
The fork is a hand built girder out of a .75 inch thick bar of aluminum. Fully machined in the KNIGHT SCHOOL machine room with NO plans. We used a method of machining both sides at once so they would fit each other, but it does not require a set plan. More of an artistic approach. OLD SCHOOL for sure. It is becoming a lost art. Here at the school we do most everything by hand. It teaches the art at a fundamental level. After that understanding has been reached the students can make the leap to modern methods and machines more easily then going the other direction. Check out the raised squares for strength and looks. The neck bearings are from a mountain bike company that specializes in really durable parts. Plenty of strength for this project.
Check out the rotor on this little hub. I had to machine the hub a bit to accept it, but there it is. The wheel is originally off of a Suzuki 80cc dirt bike. The tires are old Pirellis I had lying around from a simplex or something. The fork has a good two inches of travel in it. When a larger one is built for a full size bike, it will increase to about four inches.
This is the beginnings of a gas tank. Its design is good, but may not make the final cut. We may go with a more rounded design as this one has a sixties square look to it.
This is the lower section of the frame. We put the rear wheel stay tubes through the cross brace and will eventually weld them to the brace, but not until everything fits well. The arrow points to the foot peg "notch" that has not been cut yet. The two outside tubes will be bent in to meet the center tube and welded in place to make a nice "arrowhead" shape under the engine. This will also increase strength of the frame. The top of the engine can be seen in the lower left.
Here is the engine. I took this from a parts bike I had that was a 1937. Note the intake port on the side of the cylinder. Typical early two stroke design.
Below is the right side wheel mount complete with recessed channel for the nut. This makes a clean look. These parts were made from a 1.0 inch plate aluminum. Note I have not put a rear brake on it yet. I am building small cable pull calipers to match the small rotors. I think both brakes are going to be fixed to one lever on the bars eliminating the foot pedal for the back break. A nice clean look and plenty of stopping power for a bike that will not weigh more than 100lbs.
These are the internal, reverse levers we made for the NSU. The lever itself is a 90 degree angle that pulls a cable out toward the end of the handlebars from the inside when pulled in. These are a cool part for any bike and as is with the fork, we are testing them on the small bike to prove the concept and then we will make full size parts for a large bike.
Check out the "clubman" style bars. Yes they are mounted that way to lower the grip height helping the rider to lower his front reducing wind resistance! You think your LS 650 needs less wind resistance, what about the venerable 98 NSU Quick motor?
We are thinking of using an Indian racer seat from the teens on this project. Here is a rare photo of a lot of them built in the famous SADDLE SHOP in Edgewater Fl. If you look at the fourth one to the right you will notice it is slightly smaller than the others. The larger ones are Mesinger racers and the smaller is the Indian racer. Wooden seat pans, built at KNIGHT SCHOOL for the Saddle shop. Covered in leather and shipped all over the world to collectors of fine motorcycles everywhere. Email me for contact information on the Saddle shop.
More as we progress!