Modified V-Star Chassis


October 5, 2011

Modified V-Star Chassis

By bungking

Not all of the custom bikes we work on are always from Milwaukee, like most anything in the custom industry there are always customers with a wide range of interests. Some of our customers because of cost, reliability, sentimental value, or many other reasons have a vision of building something out of the ordinary. In this case we had a customer who wanted to take is V-Star to the next level and turn the chassis into a more 70’s styled chopper by adding more rake, a few more inches in the backbone, and a few more inches of rise in the neck. All to create that 70’s style rake with that long front end. To help make the backbone more appealing and give endless options for a gas tank, the backbone was replaced with a single 1 5/8″ tube similar to aftermarket HD chassis.

I braced up the factory frame before lopping off what was not needed, be sure to brace around all of the motor mounts so the relationships of the holes do not change. During the original welding process a lot of spring can be created in the chassis and with out bracing simply cutting into the tubes can cause a large amount of distortion. After the neck is cut free I cleaned it all up grinding away any remnants of the old tubes or weld beads, and mocked it back up in our jig in the requested location. You can reuse the stock neck if you can find tubes made by your manufacturer of the correct length or you can always search the HD aftermarket for one that is set up for Harley front forks. There is usually a lot more aftermarket choices for front ends in the HD market than from the Japanese manufacturers.

After all of the tubes are welded into meet the neck it is time to create a gusset to help support everything. A little gusset can go a long way to creating strength and stability to your welded assembly. It also helps spread the load of pressure and stress over a larger area thus creating more strength. It is also important to use a thicker wall tubing for the backbone, especially when running an extended front fork. A wall thickness of over .187″ is recommended, I have seen many .120″ wall backbones on aftermarket chassis crack completely in half during the big chopper boom in the late 90’s and 2000’s before manufactures started to figure this out.

The customer also wanted to turn back the clock a little bit as well and turn this straight leg frame into a wishbone, so I bent up some tubes to create that look of a wishbone . All and all this took an ugly chassis with little to no choices for a fuel tank into a very universal chassis that could make you mind wonder with all the options.

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