Ruby’s New Frame
This is what Ruby looked like after the last race. She had evolved over 4 seasons at the track and in the Excelsior Factory Race Shop, and she had become more complex than originally planned. For example, does a race bike really need two oil tanks? Absolutely not. And so, I took her apart to begin the long-awaited make-over.
You can clearly see the frame here. This will now be known as the “Mk.1” version. I did feel a little sad about what I was going to do next . . .
Frame is in the jig.
Held in the jig, I cut off the front half with a hacksaw. The new head tube has been bolted in place.
Andrew Schuil at Pacific Bending in Maple Ridge took care of the different bends. I chose 4130 tubing with a 1.0″ OD and a .095″ wall thickness. At this stage, I’m not sure what the final frame will look like. Andrew calls this “building as you go,” and I agree with that philosophy.
I tig-tacked a strip of steel flat bar to help stop vibrations, then used a hole saw to cut the mitre for the head tube. Frame is still firmly held in the jig. Hole saw spins at about 150 rpm.
Insert the head tube and tig-tack in place. The instrument and fairing mounts have been added too.
With the frame bolted to the motor and transmission, the diagonal side tubes are added. You can see where I want the carb to go.
It took a few hours to tig-weld the frame. I think it will be quite strong.
The left side down tube has been added. The mitreing at the head tube was a wee bit complex.
The welding is complete, so now the head tube is clamped to the milling machine table and the spindle is being dialed into the head tube. Nothing stays round after welding, therefore I need to bore the head tube for a small press fit to hold the headset bearings.
Headset bearings are installed, and the frame is done. That whole process took 88 hours. Is this the world’s first one-sided frame? I didn’t plan it that way at all . . .
And so, this is the start of Ruby 2.0 (2 point oh!). Ruby’s going to be new from the waist up. She’s very excited!
I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for reading about Ruby.