Softail Frame Fabrication

by Ian Loveday
(Northants UK)

Swing Arm Joints

Swing Arm Joints

Swing Arm Joints
Softail Frame In Jig

I just wanted to build my own bike and make as many of the parts as possible. So far I have made up the jig and frame in the pictures.


The frame is based on the plans that I got from this site.

The neck rake is 45 degrees because I like the look of long front forks. I will be building my own Springers for the front.

The rear swing arm joints I made up on a small lathe. They have needle roller bearings and stainless steel pins.

I machined the pins so that all that is visible when tightened them up is a 19mm circle. I think that they look good, and will make the joints for the front springers the same.

The top shock absorber mountings will also be the same.

The neck tube was machined from a solid billet and is very strong. There is a lot more to do yet but thought that some people may get ideas from what I have done so far.

I am using a Sportster 1200cc engine and gearbox.

Comments for Softail Frame Fabrication

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 19, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cool frame
by: Mark

I am very interested to hear how this frame rides as I too purchased the plans to build. Very unusual soft tail design. I can't say I've even seen a pic of a completed one on the web. Good luck.

Jul 03, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
How long
by: Anonymous

It took about 5 months . That included turning all of the joints and headstock tube. It is not finished yet. I am at the moment making the front springer forks having just finished the engine mountings. The project is a hobby so the time it takes really does not matter . Thanks for the input as I complete another part of the build I will be posting the pics on this site.

Jul 02, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
how long
by: Anonymous

how long did it take you to build the sporty frame,and excellent job!!

Apr 24, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
No shock shocks
by: pantail

Looks great,you made it your own too.Just wane t to mention shock option.I have an Pan in a 1984 Harley fxst factory bought frame in late 1984.I like it but suspension got rough,Tried new set,went to torsion bar with dampner shock. Still bottomed and not good on back and neck & neck is worst. I did research online and found shotgun shock and HDforum gives praise to it. It's 1 piece, hence shotgun shock. I talked with JD the owner and he is building one custom for my bike. It seems building a custom app for just about any custom ride. He has 86 and up ready to roll and takes about a week or 2 to get custom one out.You can talk to him like anyone you ever wrenched with,no fooling. Give him a call. Very cool, glad you did,so just do it.Good Luck! Pan Ken

Apr 17, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
NYC
by: Anonymous

THAT FRAME LOOKS COOL

Apr 13, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks for comments
by: Anonymous

Will stick with needle bearings as most sports bikes rear suspension use needle rollers so should be ok for custom bike.

The shocks will be on display and chromed and will use the same fitting as the rear swing arm .There are spacer rods fitted in place on picture .

Thanks for your comments

Regards Ian

Apr 13, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
needle bearings?
by: Cracker

You may want to revisit the needle bearing idea and go back to a bushing. Minimum angular oscillation that the needle bearing would see is the worst application for them. Needle bearings like to rotate a full 360 degrees and they like to rotate in the same direction. Bushings in this application would give you the greatest longevity. Bushings are designed to handle this type of application.
Your design is otherwise very clean… and the lines look great… good luck on your build!

Apr 13, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Hide the springs?
by: Tyler

Will you hide the springs or show them off and make them look like a hard tail that really is a soft tail?

Apr 08, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Nice!
by: Torch1369

Nice look'n frame. I like the way you did the rear joints. Keep us updated! I gotta update my two builds. When I get a bigger shop I'm gonna start making my own parts too.

Torch

Apr 06, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Sportster's engine
by: Anonymous

Excellent choice of engine.
Interesting story.
And good luck in your work!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Bike.