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YADBS - Stage 8

and now we are moving into stage 8. and the jump from 7 to 8 is rather huge, and you will agree with me when you look at the two planned mods

o extend the swingarm
o ditch shocks, switch to hardtail

now obviously i have some explaining to do and lets take the first one.

Extending the swingarm

i just have a vague memory of how we came to this. it was around this time when we finished fixing the tranny issue, and decided to continue and do the best we can. so tom keeps talking about the swingarm and suggests that why dont we try extending it. but we all have a mental block about the whole thing. we have this idea in mind that its not easy, its too messy, too complicated etc etc. and to top it, we dont see anyone else runing such a config. its such a logical step and if the top guys and the mechs are not running it, then there must be a technical issue and who are we - small time guys with limited access to tools and facilities - who are we to have hopes in that direction?

but tom says lets try and so ok here we go. we have two options - one is to fabricate an entirely new, and longer, swingarm. two, extend the stock swingarm. disadvantage of the first one was the difficulty involved. and advantage was, we could use say aluminium, good quality aluminium, for the fabriation, and that would give a major weight advantage. but soon we ruled it out and settled for option two.

now tom has a cousin back home, a real genius in mechanical engineering (IIT grad), and so if we can get hold of a stock swingarm, we can send it off to him and he promises to do the work for us. so one day i set off to the gujli (junk yard) out here, and very soon im able to locate a stock RD swinger and soon its mine for 500rs. and that evening we send it to over to toms cousin.

within a week the modified swingarm is back. we are a bit anxious as we got to pick it up. there was a critical point that ron warned us about - where the swinger arms end, they should be separated by the same horizontal distance. we open the package and its a damn neat job. its been extended by 4 inches, and the arms look fine, too. but we cannot be sure till we take the old swingarm off the bike, put it alongside the new one, and check. so next step is to remove the old swinger, and boy it took some work.

to cut a long story short - an hour of tapping, whacking and banging with various utensils of varying weights, the stock swingarm refused to come out of the frame. call up ron and we hear demonic laughter - been there done that. we would need to haul the whole thing - frame swinger and all - to a hydraulic press to get the swinger removed. the day has just started and we are already happy.

so we toil for a couple of hours removing very damn thing from the frame.

soon the forks and wheel go off, and its just the frame with the swingarm stuck obstinately inside.

jaggu comes around with his ikon and we load the frame into its boot - its a neat fit. and so we are off to the hydraulic press. but the day turned out much easier than we thought - the swingarm got pushed out just easy and soon we were anxiously running outside to align the two swingers to see if they matched or not.

if thats not a match, then what is? so the day has reversed its nature and we are all happy. we keep them alongside and check the length difference.

now meanwhile there is work on jaggus ikon and some welding needs to be done on the header pipe. there is a welding shop right next and so that gets done. actually while all this is happening, we are going ahead with the hardtail plan as well, but its best kept as a separate topic.

soon the happiness subsides as we take a realistic look at the remaining work. we need to get the new swinger onto the frame and for that we need new swingarm bushes. after that we need to take it back and start assembling everything. not an easy job. and then after that what about the chain, can we use the stock one. then we need to worry about the new angle of the shocks (or rather the struts, since we are moving to hardtail) and so on.

so we waste no time and go get the swingarm bushes. and the new swingarm gets inserted into the frame and yes its the press that did the job. meanwhile jaggus Ikon is done and we make our way back.

back home in the living room we start off. the front forks and the wheel go in easily, and then we push in the rear as well. from this pic you can see the extra section added to the two arms of the swinger.

we spend some more time with the assembly but soon realize we are stuck - the stock chain is not long enough. we plan to get a new chain and add a few links, as needed, from the old one. idea is to get over to JC road and get a new bullet chain since its the same size. we also needs to get an extra chain lock and link, since now the chain will have two locks. thats because we will be effectively joining two pieces - a whole new one, and a smaller one from the old chain. anyway but its late by then and so thats for the next day.