March 2000 Bike Feature   
Home / Features / Geronimo Part 2
    Geronimo! -Or how to build a hotrod Chief on a shoestring. Part 2.
   By Grizzy
 Click here for Part 1!
The Start   
Engine cleaned, loosely assembled and precariously balanced in the cleaned up frame – surprisingly not a bad fit!  Those hideous springers were made of solid bar and weighed as much as the engine and frame put together.  You will see the springs off them later.   

Number 2 & 3   
Note the seat springs, yep, the only thing worth saving off them springers.  Z650 wheel and gearbox sprocket lined up and engine mounts done.  Foot pegs made, handlebars bent, butchered Norton tank and cardboard kick start quadrant.   

Number 4 & 5   
The M21 forks needed shortening as they had been made 18” over stock and the YDS2 Yam wheel fitted in them, brake and clutch peddles done, gear lever made, air intake box done – more on that later.  The front guard bracket is made from stainless steel scrap – that was as tough as kryptonite – I burnt out a Bosch drill on it.  It must have been a very funny sight to see me running around the garden with it held aloft, burning like an Olympic torch.  Note metal kickstart quadrant this time.   

Number 6   
Brand spanking new heads oh yes!  The engine all assembled and the brightwork done.  Gear box to do – snug fit isn’t it?  You can see the kickstart shaft carriers that share the same bracket as the gearbox, the front brackets have a tube welded between them to stiffen the front half of the lower frame without stressing the engine cases.   

Number 7   
Starting to look like a bike now, but still about 18 months to go before we scare the life out of Natalie and the cat!  In case you’re wondering, the pipes are central heating lagging – excellent stuff for sorting out exhaust pipe runs.  The dimensions are just about fixed at this stage with an overall height at the handlebar of 37”/.940 metric.  The length, wheel spindle to wheel spindle, is 62”/1.575 metric.  The seat height is 27”/.685 metric and handlebar width is 29”/.750 metric with 4.5” fork trail (.115 metric) and as much engine and gearbox weight mass below wheel spindle height as possible.  All aids in an attempt at the goal I was after, which was a small, light, manageable, bobber-styled, blatting iron!   
 Number 8   
You can just see the kickstart shaft sticking out the back of the clutch cover.  It now has a square end to accept a Sportster kicker with the pedal swivel back to front.  The clutch lift lever is a cutdown 9/16 spanner and the air box is a BSA Bantam flywheel cover with the Indian script fret-sawn out so that the Linkert can breath through it.  I have made the head steady out of sprung steel riveted to a mild steel bracket so that the stresses from the frame don’t pull on the engine.  Vincent used to do similar to this with a sliding bracket on the rear head.   

Oh yeah, Moen.  Guess what the four spare brackets are there for on the front down tubes?  (Grizzy & I had been talking about superchargers, so my guess is a surplus WW2 Spitfire cabin blower, but I may be wrong... Moen)  
Not bad for a junkyard special that has, so far, cost me about £2,500 and 8 years of head-scratching.  There are 101 things like the tail light being the front fender war bonnet light with the face dyed red and making rivets for the rear mudguard out of wood screws with the slits brazed up.  Mouse mats used for seat padding.  Lining up the flywheels with a straight edge and feeler gauges, making all the gaskets out of brown paper or Cornflakes packets.  But it all becomes an itinerary and boring.  So if anyone is interested and want to know more, can they e-mail through the VI Website or mailing list?   
I hope I have shown that there are alternatives to big buck restorations, not that there’s anything wrong with museum pieces if that’s what turns you on.  But I find it sad that Indians have now reached the status of “dollar on the hoof” rather than fun on the road.  As Moen said, “rolling your own ain’t a bad thing if it keeps another Indian ALIVE”.   
I have joined the Vintage Club this year as they have a road class in their sprint events so we will see if Geronimo can stand a bit of gentle persuasion down the strip!  I will keep you posted.

  The Start
Number 2
Number 3
Number 4
Number 5
 Number 6
 Number 7
 Number 8
 The (ex-) BSA Bantam clutch cover!