Dana's Mono Shock Build - A Woman Has Needs Too.

Dana wanted to step up from her Buell Blast to a bike capable of going on the highway, but was leery of a bike that weighed more than she thought she could comfortably handle. I convinced her that if the weight is low in relation to the total height of the bike the bike is much easier to handle because the riders legs and hips are balancing the bike upright when the bike is stationary rather than having a high center of gravity that requires a lot more upper body strength to support the bike.

I had bought this bike that some else had started , but it had some design faults that had made finishing the bike impossible, that's why the previous owner sold the bike.

The positives on the bike were: a brand new Twin Cam A motor, which has the oil tank under the transmission helping to keep the weight low in the frame.

Because the oil tank was under the transmission, the seat post was able to be cut down about six inches. This made a for a low seat height. When combined with a low center of gravity, it could be a bike a women could easily ride, using their lower body strength, which proportionally is greater than that of a man.

The glaring fault in the frame was the rear suspension or lack of it. The bike was built with an air bag to support the weight of the rear of the bike and to make the ride height of the bike adjustable, similar to air suspension.

The bike also had a nitrogen filled shock but no shock spring and it's only purpose was to provide controlled rebound and dampening for the air bag.

Sounds good in theory. but simply it did not work. The rear suspension would not support it's own weight let alone the weight of a rider and passenger.

The suspension was collapsed all the time, making it not much more than a rigid frame.

The frame was also butt ugly, with a huge series of 1 1/2" tubing, triangulated to serve as a rear fender support.

After cutting those off, I weighed them they weigh 31 pounds. We'll find a much more functional and cosmetically appealing way to mount the fender at a quarter of the weight of the mass of tubing it previously had.

I'm also cutting out the supports and mounts for the airbag and the nitrogen shock and replacing them with a single aluminum housed coil over monoshock with adjustable bounce and rebound.

The shock is an aftermarket shock used for street rods, it has 3 1/2" of travel, which is significantly more than a stock softtail.

It weighs half the weight of the mass of the airbag, supports, brackets and shock that I cut out and I think it will provide far superior suspension to a stock softtail, sit low, I mean real low, like maybe a 18 or 19 inch seat height, and look real neat.

Gonna make some ultra radical sheetmetal so the bike looks bad ass but it will have the reliability of a twin cam and my plans are for it to handle like an FXR. If it all comes together, its a big winner.

I have been buying old chopper magazines from the 60's and 70's on eBay over the last year or so. These old mags are full of great looking bikes with radical sheet metal, colorful paint jobs, innovative stuff for the day. The articles on the bikes can be a great inspiration and a tremendous source of knowledge.

Update: 07/21/2004

I have pushed the build completion date up on Dana's bike so it can be shown at the Las Vegas Bikefest in September, the 16th thru the 19th, 2004. That gives me less than 80 days to complete this bike to get it ready to put on display in the Envy Cycle Creations/StreetWalker Exhaust booth at the Cashman Center Vendor Village.

We're happy to announce that Envy Cycle Creations/StreetWalker Exhaust is a sponsor of this years Las Vegas Bikefest. Check out our display, see Dana's Bike unveiled during the bike show, my bikes; Envy & Xcess will be on display along with the entire StreetWalker line of pipes.

Our banners on the Main stage in the Cashman Center Vendor Village will direct you to our booth.

Update: 07/26/2004

I've been working my ass off trying to get this bike ready to go to paint. I think maybe I've been locked in that shop too long with no sunlight and no outside contact. But I sat it on the floor this weekend, stood back, looked at it and questioned where I was going with it.

I want it to be teutonic and Geiger-ish, but I'm afraid it looks like it belongs in the bat cave...too much?

When the paint is applied, the bikes gonna be black with candy apple magenta metalflake tribals, black front end and candy apple magenta powder coated wheels. Not your run of the mill park and swap scooter.

 

Build Photos


"Smokin"


"Everything Cut Away"


"Setting The Wheel and Tire"


"Tank Mock Up"


"Tank Mock Up"


"Working The Wanker Wheel"


"If That Kid Don't Shape Up..."


"Roughing In On Planishing Hammer"


"Side Panel Ready"


"Welding In
Tank Side"


"Welding In
Side Panel"


"Tank Weld Complete"


"Tank Weld Complete"


"Dana Sitting Pretty"