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Chopper & Bobber Talk Talk about your Sportster motorcycle chopper or bobber!!.

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  #1  
Old 22nd January 2010
wandrur's Avatar
wandrur wandrur is online now
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Lightbulb So here's the idea... (for a chopper)

I've been toying with this idea for the past few weeks, maybe a month or two, and here's what I've come up with--I'm really feeling the urge to build a chopper. Now, I have no welding skills nor do I have easy access to learn such things, so I'll be working primarily with piecing together a bike that fits the description of 'chopper.' Certainly I have been around here long enough to have experienced the disagreement (bitching and moaning?) over what constitutes this or that or whatnot, so let's avoid that if we can. Which brings me to the details...

I'm likely picking up a 1999 1200 XLH this week with a little over 12000 miles on it for $3200. All I have to do is call the dealer and say yes, and I will probably do that tomorrow. If not this bike, then it will be another down the road. However it works, I'll part everything else out and sell it to try to recoup some expenses.

I want to go the Paughco rigid route with this. I'm loving the Swedish style frame, specifically the 4" up (downtube stretch), 2" out (backbone stretch) with a 35 degree rake. Edit: I'm going with the wide tire frame that allows a 180 with a belt or a 200 with a chain. For the front, I'm looking at going with a narrow Springer that is 9" over stock, also Paughco. I will be using a front brake and my understanding is that I have to use a Springer specific rotor, caliper, and whatnot, correct? Forgive me...I'm new at this, so I'm learning as I go.

As for the engine, I'm thinking about contacting Dan at NRHS and seeing what sort of suggestions he might have for me to make this a mildly hotter bike.

I plan on putting this together over the next year or so as time and money allow (more dependent on money than time...grad school squeezes both, but more so the money thing ), so I've got time to tweak and twist the setup.

Estimated prices (rough, as I haven't shopped around--these are straight from Paughco):
Swedish frame: $1000-1500
Springer (complete): $2000
Brake kit: $350
Springer 3/4" axle: $115
The rest: God only knows

So, I come to you asking--What do you think? Do you have any advice, encouragement, discouragement, laughter, parts outlets, or any other useful things to say? Thanks!
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The project bike:
1999 1200 XLH--Currently on indefinite hold... Custom Led Sled frame--4" up, 2" out; Baker/Vulcan chain conversion; Buell 17" rear wheel...
http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s...d.php?t=708796

Last edited by wandrur; 22nd January 2010 at 19:10..
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  #2  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Sounds like a good plan I really like the paughco frames. EBay is your friend I think if you take your time and shop around you will be on the right track. Remember building it is half the fun so take your time and enjoy it. And post pics!
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  #3  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wandrur View Post
I've been toying with this idea for the past few weeks, maybe a month or two, and here's what I've come up with--I'm really feeling the urge to build a chopper. Now, I have no welding skills nor do I have easy access to learn such things, so I'll be working primarily with piecing together a bike that fits the description of 'chopper.' Certainly I have been around here long enough to have experienced the disagreement (bitching and moaning?) over what constitutes this or that or whatnot, so let's avoid that if we can. Which brings me to the details...

I'm likely picking up a 1999 1200 XLH this week with a little over 12000 miles on it for $3200. All I have to do is call the dealer and say yes, and I will probably do that tomorrow. If not this bike, then it will be another down the road. However it works, I'll part everything else out and sell it to try to recoup some expenses.

I want to go the Paughco rigid route with this. I'm loving the Swedish style frame, specifically the 4" up (downtube stretch), 2" out (backbone stretch) with a 35 degree rake. For the front, I'm looking at going with a narrow Springer that is 9" over stock, also Paughco. I will be using a front brake and my understanding is that I have to use a Springer specific rotor, caliper, and whatnot, correct? Forgive me...I'm new at this, so I'm learning as I go.

As for the engine, I'm thinking about contacting Dan at NRHS and seeing what sort of suggestions he might have for me to make this a mildly hotter bike.

I plan on putting this together over the next year or so as time and money allow (more dependent on money than time...grad school squeezes both, but more so the money thing ), so I've got time to tweak and twist the setup.

Estimated prices (rough, as I haven't shopped around--these are straight from Paughco):
Swedish frame: $1000-1500
Springer (complete): $2000
Brake kit: $350
Springer 3/4" axle: $115
The rest: God only knows

So, I come to you asking--What do you think? Do you have any advice, encouragement, discouragement, laughter, parts outlets, or any other useful things to say? Thanks!


Sounds like a cool chopper! I would do some shopping for a different frame. Paughco has been around a long time and I thank them for what they have done in the aftermarket industry. But,,, I wouldn't buy one of their frames again. My first one was a swingarm Big Twin frame,I bought in 1996. The one I have now Is a Rigid XL for an EVO, and I bought it in 2006.
Both of these were bought new from an independent shop where my wife worked. The first one had issues with the tank and dash mounts being crooked, and the welds were not pretty. Took a lot of prep before paint.

The rigid XL I have now was even worse. Top motor mount off by 3/8 "
from being centered between cylinders. How the backbone ties into the seatpost and rear top frame rails was/is a f@#% - up! design.(The backbone is higher than the rearframe rails in the seat area) You have to make a custom seat pan or run a spring solo seat.(that still bottomed out on the frame) And last but not least! The frame geometry resulted in a major ground clearance issue. A tad under 3" in the rear and 3-1/2" in the front. I rode it like this for a year , then I cut off the back bone 3" in front of seat , also cut off and replaced the seat post, seat area, and the top rails of the rear section all the way to the axle plates. Re-working the frame got me 4 and 4-1/2 " ground clearance, 3" longer wheelbase, and I was able to move my oiltank 3" back from the rear cyl. Just sharing my experience with Paughco frames. There are some nice ones available in the same price range.
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  #4  
Old 22nd January 2010
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wandrur wandrur is online now
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Dr.F--I'll definitely be surfing Ebay. And posting pics along the way.

billy bob--Thanks for the testimony. I've read around of a few people getting questionable frames from Paughco, though I've heard the same about Flyrite and Krafttech, too. Krafttech had one frame that looked similar to what I'm looking for, so it's something I'm considering. Thus far, though, the Paughco has been the only one that's jumped out at me. But I'll keep shopping around. Paughco seems aware of some of the placement issues, too, since they mention repeatedly that buyers should test fit everything before painting or otherwise dealing with the frame.

Good stuff. Keep it comin'. Any suggestions for pipes are welcome, too.
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  #5  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Not in line with you wanting a rigid, but I thought I'd mention the Swedish FXR chopper frame for XL's by Chopper Guy's It is bad ass! Their frame,swingarm, and patented rubber mount motor mounts run around $2400.00.

Their standard FXR - XL frame is what I would like to switch to.
(I would pay the extra $ and have the rake changed to 32 deg, 2" stretch-backbone, and the swingarm stretched 3"-4") Money is the same as the Swedish-$2400
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  #6  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Ivé said it before, don't buy a Paughco. There Junk. I got ripped off with one
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  #7  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Buy something cool.. like a Flyrite..
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  #8  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wandrur View Post

So, I come to you asking--What do you think? Do you have any advice, encouragement, discouragement, laughter, parts outlets, or any other useful things to say? Thanks!

All I got is some encouragement! Awesome!
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  #9  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Have you considered a different springer? Paughco is rather overpriced..to me. You can get a good springer for waaay cheaper.
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  #10  
Old 22nd January 2010
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Oh, also, I'll be going with a wide tire setup, 180 with a belt. One of the things I liked about the Paughco is that the wide tire frame allows for the 180 with a belt or a 200 with a chain. I edited my original post to include that info. But, as always, I'm up for suggestions. That's why this is only in the planning stages--I want the oracle (i.e., forum) to feed me knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xllent01 View Post
Buy something cool.. like a Flyrite..
Flyrite is definitely in the running, so long as I can find the style I'm looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles: View Post
Have you considered a different springer? Paughco is rather overpriced..to me. You can get a good springer for waaay cheaper.
Yep, I'm open to suggestions on the Springers. The Paughco ones were just the ones to which I had immediate access in terms of catalogs and such. I've been discouraged from the DNA Springers already. But I'm open to suggestions.
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