|May 2000 Bike Feature||www.virtualindian.org|
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For a while I had known that the kicker would hit the exhaust system in it’s downward arc. There was some discussion on one of the mailing lists regarding the procedure for bending a kicker, but it confused me and left the feeling that I’d end up with a brittle piece of metal that would break off at the first kick. So I’d better leave it to an expert. I did take it down to my local Harley shop, but the guy was also scared to deal with it. So I decided the experts were whoever was on line that weekend on the VI list. After asking them repeated lame questions about the process I suddenly felt the testicular fortitude to go for it!
There is a very heavy block of steel with a hole in the middle that I use as an anvil. I inserted a steel shaft, through the kicker and the hole in the anvil. The arm of the kicker projected out more or less parallel to the ground. Fired up the “flame wrench” and heated the area to be bent. Then I stuck a large Phillips head screwdriver in the hole usually occupied by the pedal bolt. When the area of the bend got to a dull cherry, I could feel the kicker begin to move a little. Applying light pressure I bent the kicker to where I wanted it.
Then I grabbed the kicker with a set of channel locks and hauled it into the kitchen and pitched it into the oven, previously warmed up to 300 degrees on bake. Turned off the oven. This was to allow the kicker to cool down slowly. Don’t know if it helped the kicker, but it allowed me to assert my territorial rights to the kitchen equipment (they’re jes’ more shop tools to me, honey!).
Oh yes! Forgot about quenching. Since it was after noon and I read that all blacksmiths quench, I quenched. Went right over to the refrigerator and pulled out a cold one. A toast to all the VI listers who helped me through this!
Warning! Do not quench your kicker or it will become brittle and fall apart (or so I’m told). Let it cool slowly.
INSTALLING THE KICKER
When the kicker was cooled down, I took it into the garage, cleaned it up on the wire wheel and shot a couple of coats of primer on it. Later I painted it black. I had not been satisfied with the previous Copy Cad coating.
The next day I gathered up the kicker, the washer lock ring. For some reason I felt like reading the service manual (TM-10-1485). Here is what it said:
THE KICK STARTER
The kick starter on a motorcycle corresponds
to the electrical starting equipment provided for starting the engine.
Its operation is extremely simple and operates on a ratchet gear principle.
As the kick starter is pressed downward, it meshes with the kick starter
gear, which turns over the transmission main shaft and, through the clutch
and primary drive, turns over the engine flywheels. The kick starter will
not operate or turn over the engine if the clutch pedal is in a disengaged
position; it must be in an engaged position in order to turn over the flywheels
of the engine.
The lock ring was a pain to install. I used two small screwdrivers. Held it in the groove with one and worked it around and the rest of the way in with the other.
INSTALLING THE HANDLEBAR CONTROLS
My handlebars came with the bike. I did a little repair work to fix up some old damage, then dropped them off at a chrome shop. There is a little warning in Kiwi’s catalog that I read and promptly forgot. It says not to re-chrome the sleeve area or the control sleeve might not fit afterwards. Naturally I forgot all about it when I dropped off the bars. But I remembered when the bars came back with the control areas nicely chromed (the threads were not chromed, because I sent the nuts in with the bars…)
This was really my problem to fix, so I decided to sand off the chrome, copper etc. After speaking with a couple of people, I picked up a good tip from Walt. He suggested wrapping the control ends in sandpaper and using a string to twist the sandpaper around rapidly.
I bolted the handlebars to the workbench. With emery cloth I made a bunch of small circles and taped with duct tape. 2 long sockets made nice handles for the string. Then all I had to do was sand for a few days until I was back down to a diameter that would work. That meant that all the chrome and all the copper were gone. Then I used compressed air to blow the metal dust out of the handlebars just in case it wanted to interfere with my horn button or clog up the controls.
Now I could get on with the control installation itself. The best write up in my literature was the KIWI Indian Parts catalog 4th edition, which tells you all about it. After you read this go get their catalog and look at their pictures, the picture in your parts book and some of my lovely photos and it will all be as clear as…!
The control wires are constructed of a control wire that slides inside a spiral wound casing. This is covered by a cloth “cover”. Putting the cloth covers to the side for a bit. I laid a piece of rug on my spare workbench (the trunk lid of my Camaro project). The handlebars were laid on the rug upside down.
First I installed the horn and light switch wires. It would be tough to push the wires through the handlebars if this were to be done after the installation of the controls. In fact the light wires were tough anyway, but I got them in by using a fish. Take a thin strong wire and duct tape the first wire to it. Go back an inch and tape the second wire to the first and the fish. And so on with the third wire. Then feed the fish through. Pull the fish slowly through and you might succeed in getting all the wires in, unless you are too strong and leave the wires and duct tape inside your handle bars.
I installed the wire and casing from the center of the bars and pushed through until the spiral came out the handle. Then I installed a control cable lock nut and spun it down the casing a bit. The casing upper stop (circle with ears) went on next. Then I unwound a piece of the spiral so that the casing could not be pulled out of the casing upper stop. The control cable lock nut was then tightened up to the casing upper stop to mash the casing upper stop firmly against the unwound a piece of the spiral. I pulled the wire out of the casing. Next I made a slightly less than 90 degree bend in the control wire, and placed it into the hole in the block. I took my block and pin and lined the groove in the pin with the bent wire. Then I set the whole mess in my bench vise and pressed the pin into the block. I lubricated the control wire with Lubriplate and inserted it back into the spiral wound casing.
After putting the cloth covers on the spirals, I installed the clips that keep the spirals from pulling inside the handlebars. Then I installed the handlebars onto the bike. The cables needed to be carefully placed in the approximate positions where they would be clamped to the headstock. I could not locate a correct control wire casing frame clip, so for a buck I bought a pack of five similar ones at an auto parts store. These will be replaced someday. The cable was clamped to the headstock, leaving enough slack to turn the handlebars all the way in either direction. The throttle wire cable was also secured to the head usinng a throttle wire casing cylinder head clip. This fits under a head bolt. The cloth cover, casing, and control wire were carefully cut to the correct lengths and the control wire was attached to the carburetor. On the distributor side, the setup is supposed to be similar, using an ignition wire casing crank case clip at the lower end to hold the spiral still. I did not have this. I ran the spiral through the L bracket on my distributor and secured it on both sides with control cable lock nuts.
After this was all done I took the sleeves off of the bars and spewed a lot of Lubriplate all over anything that looked like a moving surface.
INSTALLING THE SADDLEBAGS
I bought brackets from Michael Breeding. These were fairly heavy and contoured to match the tops of the bags. Took the bags over to Gonzo’s one night and we marked and drilled mounting holes in the brackets to match the holes in the bags. The original bag holes were not exactly the same spacing on each bag, but we were wise to that and marked the mounts and bags left and right. Then we quenched.
There was still a concern that the bags might bounce against the bike and rub off the paint. Since I didn’t want to be riding around on a rubbie bike, I picked up some ¾” steel stock and drilled a hole at the end to be bolted down with the side fender mount bolt. I used a suitable size washer to center the hole to be drilled and to scribe the curve on the bottom of the stock. Then I ground a semicircle on the bottom.
I mounted the bag holding brackets to the package tray using ½ inch standoffs. Running the piece of ¾ inch steel behind the mount, I clamped it to the mount. After checking the angle with a carpenters square, I brazed the strap on. Now I have a 3 point mounting system and it doesn’t show much. I painted it black, mounted it on the bike.
PUTTING A CHARGE ON THE BATTERY
My battery is one of the replica 29 amp-hour made in Indian jobs currently available. It came dry and needed to be filled with battery acid. I went to the local NAPA store and they filled it for 2 bucks. After letting the battery sit over night, I charged it for a day on my Battery Tender. Every day or so I have been hooking up the Battery Tender to keep up the charge. I also charged the battery with the end propped up on a 2x4 to simulate the bike on a kickstand. Some fluid came out. I guess it was overfilled. Better on the 2x4 than on my battery tray!
Time to quench. Later.
Heating and bending the kicker