Sunday, 21 May 2017

Flat Track progress

Since the first round of the DTRA at Rye House in April 
I've managed to get two practice sessions at Stoke Speedway, while at Rye House I really didn't feeling confident on the track. Being around other riders made me feel nervous incase I made a mistake which would endanger them. I don't want to be THAT guy who would cause a crash from going out of control, so getting out on the track at Stoke Speedway has been really helpful in improving my riding and building my confidence with the bike and riding hard on a speedway track. 

The second session there I started to pick my speed up and feel confident.

After getting to do lots of laps on a Speedway track I was really looking forward 
to racing at Round 2 at Peterborough. 

Sami and I made the road trip from South Wales up to Peterborough friday afternoon ready for the weekend of racing. We had a really good camp set up amongst the other riders, there is a really good vibe at DTRA races which is refreshing coming from other forms of motorsport.

Heading out onto the track for a heat race.

The first heat race really didn't go the way I want it to, struggled with line selection 
and getting up to pace. Second and third heats went a lot better with 4th in both, good starts and getting on the pace with a couple good battles along the way. I was really disappointed
not to make the main in the Thunderbike class as that was my target for this round.

Bike all cleaned after Round 2, I've decided to strip the thing down and
make it my own.
Look out for the bike at Round 3

Keep an eye out for 170 at the next round!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

FTH Leather products

We've had a few top notch products created by local leather worker Fred. These leather
products are made using the best quality leather available.
The detail in these pieces are incredible.

Go to our online store to treat yourself to one of these or all of them!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Dirt Track 2017

First round of the DTRA has just happened,we had an awesome day and got to catch up with a lot of friends.

Need to get some proper numbers made.

Felt pretty good heading out for practice having ridden the bike a couple times on the beach over winter

Unfortunately a speedway track is completely different animal, my performance wasn't where i thought or wanted it to be.

Photo:James Boddy

Took me until the third race get into the flow of things and get my speed up to somewhere decent, after coming to blows with the wall. Looking forward to the next round month to make up for such a poor showing. Will be getting a lot of laps on a speedway track before the next round.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

April 1st

April 1st we will be realising a new line of products.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Operation Tank

A few years ago I came across this tank at a swap meet and had to have it, even though it had a few dings in it and some filer, that didn't really matter. But I had no use for it, so I put it on a shelf in the lockup, leaving it there to wait for the right time. And that time is now.
I've always liked the shape the wessel tank has and the flow it gives a bike. After getting this new frame into its roller state I threw the tank on to see how it sat.
But how it sat was way too low on the frame. For me it didn't follow the lines from the bars to the seat, so it was time to cut the tank up and make it how I wanted it.
First up was to cut the original tunnel out. Once I'd done that I could see there was a bit of rust internally, so I took a bit of time to clean all of that out, and as the tunnel was apart I knocked the dents out for the inside too.
That tunnel was in a bit of a sorry state so I decide to make a new one, picking up some fresh steel so I could bend the sheet. I didn't have a bender or rollers for doing this job so I did what I could.
I used a piece of round tube I had that's the same diameter as the top tube of the frame, and clamped that to my work bench over the top of the steel. With a bit of force I managed to bend it round for the new tunnel.
Now I had a nice new tunnel I needed to sort out what height I wanted to sit the tank at.
I decided on something of a mid height, which seemed to fill the gap from handlebar to seat real nice.
With moving the tank higher away from the tunnel it also left a good size gap at the front. So I made a nice little template of the gap,
Cut it out of steel,
Then bent it up in the vice to match the shape of the tank.
I then got that all welded in nicely to fill the gap.
I'd been thinking about different ways on mounting the fuel tank, as I wanted to do something to hide the mounts so they didn't distract from the shape of it.
I decided to run the mounts through the frame straight into the tunnel of the tank, and started this off by making two threaded bosses to weld onto the tunnel.
Next up was to make two bosses to run through the frame, with one end counterbored to allow an Allen Key bolt to hide inside.
I drilled two holes in the top tube for the counterbored bosses to be fitted into,
Leaving the top side of the bosses protruding from the frame so the threaded bosses in the tunnel have a square edge to bolt down on when securing the tank.
With the bosses tightened down I next drilled two holes in the tunnel to fit over them.
To give the tunnel extra support when the tank is full of fuel I made a secondary tunnel that will sit at the top of each boss and also weld this secondary tunnel to the original one. This will help to prevent the tunnel flexing.
When the tunnel was in place I was able to put the shell of the tank over the tunnel and cut off the excess steel.
When I had the tank securely in place I was really happy with the positioning.
I'd already decided to do a bit of metal work on top of the tank, again trying to push my abilities. My idea was to run an S shaped bead from the fuel cap down the lower part of it. I started by making the shape out of welding rod to give me a vision of what I could achieve.
I went for 8mm round bar to make the shape as I wanted it to be an impact kind of feature. Again not having any professional bending equipment at the lockup I used what I had lying around to bend the steel rod for the top arch.
I noticed one of the spare chucks for my lathe is roughly the same diameter as the arch on the original shape I'd mocked up, so using one of my bigger G-clamps holding the rod to the chuck I was able to get the shape I wanted.
After a fair bit of bending and hammering I finally got to this stage.
Once I got to there I decided to smooth out only one side of the rod on the outside edge, leaving the inside of the rod visible.
I decided I wanted to use the weld to create a smooth transition from the tank to the top of the rod.
Using my MIG welder I went about filling the area. I was excited about this process at first but, honestly, I soon regretted it was a very time consuming process of welding and grinding, followed by more welding and grinding.
There are still a few small holes in the weld that I have used to fill the area though, so I'll use filler for these spots before going to paint.
To finish the tank off I decide to buy a new fuel cap and engrave it with my clothing company logo.
Now I've finished the tank, my next job on the list is to mount the rear fender and make a sissy bar. Hopefully this won't take too long so check back soon for the next update.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


After getting the downtube in place I put the engine mount templates on the jig only to realise that due to the steepness of the angle in the downtube the engine mounts were too close to the frame.
So I moved the engine and transmission templates back an inch to make enough clearance between the engine and downtube.
Then next I had to set up the seat post, which I’d taken the angle off my stock frame for. Once I’d gotten that tube in place, I was able to get the top tube sorted but, as with the downtube, there was a lot of cutting and grinding in order to get the top tube shaped just right to fit the neck of the frame.

When I’d gotten the front triangle set up I was able to make templates for the engine and front transmission plate mounts.
I made these out of cardboard first to get the correct shape, and I also made a template for the gusset that I’m going to put at the neck of the frame, and another for the supports that I’ll place under the engine mounts.

With the templates sorted I was then able to cut them out of 12mm steel plate.

The next step for me was to weld up the front triangle when I was happy with all the angles and sizes.
Once this was done I started work on the rear triangle – I’d already decided to shorten the rear end by one inch.
I’m using the dropouts from a Harley Davidson Softtail frame as they were easy for me to get hold of.
I mocked up the lower frame rails first to ensure that the dropout axel rail was parallel to the jig.
Then I mounted the upper rail of the rear section. I found these rails a lot easier to set up compared to the lower rails as the dropouts were already in place.
When I was happy with the position of the rear rails I was able to make the rear transmission support stands.
As the downtube rail will be running under the engine and transmission, the support stands needed to be made a lot taller than the stock ones, so I machined them to match the machining already done on the neck.
Then it was time to finally fully weld the whole frame and mock it up as a roller!
It felt so good to get the frame off the jig so I could see it with the front end and wheels on.
I then couldn’t resist mocking the tank and seat up to give me an idea of the riding position.
So I’m getting there. I’ll post more soon!