Things are starting to shape up since our last post on Pavel Malanik’s very ambitious project to recreate the 1909 North London Garage record holder. After finishing up the frame, he next moved on to building the front fork. It was assembled from machined pieces of alloy steel and hand made fork tubes, which were formed over a tapered spike he machined. The seams on the tubes were welded and they were then bent to shape.
Just above can be seen the fork during the process of building, assembling, brazing and welding its joints together. As with the frame, a considerable amount of time was spent sanding and hand-finishing the assembly after brazing. A close-up photo showing it installed on to the frame can be seen below left. Having finished the engine, frame and front fork, the next logical step was to move onto to the wheels and axles.
The hubs for the wheels were machined from alloy steel stock. Just above can be seen a hub close to taking its final shape in the center after being machined on a lathe. Next they are then mounted into a chuck mounted atop an indexing head in the milling machine for precisely locating and drilling the holes that will locate the spokes.
Pavel wisely choose to make up two sets of wheels with both clincher and straight-side rims. He has built a set for original style clincher tires for display and a pair that will take straight-side tires. The later are much safer, and a tire is less likely to come off of the rim if there is an issue with one when he runs it on the track. Two pairs of hubs and complete wheels can be seen on the left and right above. The axles, spacers, bearing retainers and other hardware he machined can be seen in the middle photo.
With the huge 165.62 CI (2714 c.c.) V-twin engine mocked-up in the frame, the intake manifold was next fabricated. This project required cutting slices out of the tubing and bending it to fit a scale pattern with the desired curves. After welding and finishing the tubes and fabricating a flange for the carburetor, it began to take shape. Two couplings and a pair of packing nuts for the heads were then machined. The finished assembly after a good detailing can be seen mounted on the right above.
Since the original machine was only used for short record runs, it originally had a very small gasoline tank that might have held about a gallon of gas. It was fabricated from a piece of steel tubing and machined ends. On the left above, the cone-shaped front can be seen being machined in the lathe. The center photo shows the mostly completed tank. The photo on the right shows a fabricated tube with beaded ends and all the fittings necessary to contain a pair of modern coils. It mounts just behind the gas tank and looks exactly like the original.
Below you can see just how far he has come with the construction. Most of the fabrication of the bike is done but there are still many smaller items including the handlebars, controls and hundred other little details to attend to. We look forward to covering the rest of the project and seeing the finished motorcycle. You can view the entire series here on three pages, which show the amazing project from the beginning.