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1956 KH project

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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:03 pm

1956 KH project

Nowhere near as shiny as Dave's, but here's the KH project currently mocked up in what I guess you'd call a KRTT style configuration. This rear end (with the correct shocks) will likely be swapped out for a rigid KR-style setup.

This engine came as a complete unit a couple of years back, and the other parts have come in various loads and lots since. Wish I could keep the groovy paint job, but the XLRTT tank needs a little work.

Still a way to go before it runs - fingers crossed it won't take too much.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21629196@N03/2265449397/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21629196@N03/2266238598/in/photostream/

How DO you post an image to this forum???
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45Brit

Posts: 1419

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:16 am

Re: 1956 KH project

shiny is nice, but anyone doing a project as advanced as one of these is ok in my book
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:05 am

Re: 1956 KH project

Awwww look at the engine, how could one not love such a donk...seriously though, most of the hard work is being done by others while I try to learn as much as I can along the way. Please stand by for lots of questions...!
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Dave56KHK

Posts: 71

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Northern IL, USA

Post Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:32 am

Re: 1956 KH project

Looks like a cool project! It should be lots of fun. I have a couple friends who did their K's up in that style and they have a blast with them. To post a picture copy the location of your photo on flickr, hit the Img button and paste the location in the middle. Do a preview first and it should be good to go.
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:29 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

Ok - thought I'd add the pics in here seeing as I've learned how!

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Image

Also another of the KH underway at a fellow board-member's shop - what an amazing place. That's one fast and well-maintained KR there sitting behind my ratty looking lovechild.

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Image

I've had a set of nice KH cylinders pass through my hands recently, forgetting completely that the fins on this bike are a bit beat-up. Oh well. I'm not sure if the exhaust valves are the stock size on these - they are bigger from memory? Frame is a nice 55 that I am likely about to cut the coil / tool box / oil tank brackets off to mount a horseshoe tank. Seems a pity to cut on such a nice near-unmolested frame and I may run this with a stock oil tank until I have all the parts on hand, and see what materialises in the meantime. Don't suppose anyone has a cheap oil tank and 56 frame do they? :)

Wheels are nice rounded H-rim Borrani - I will swap them out for an identical set but non-chrome hubs, and laced to a full-width later drum brake on the front. Handlebars are a one piece Flanders flat track bend in modified stock risers. Pipes (not pictured) are a KR-style bend, made for the KH. I have the earlier style skinny 14.5" shocks on hand awaiting rubber grommets, and I hate the fact that they're not on the bike already for these pics!

I may transfer this tank across to the sportster, and replace the one on this bike with a first model XLCH tank. Can't wait to get stuck into fettling the engine once it's road ready!
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Dave56KHK

Posts: 71

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Northern IL, USA

Post Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:12 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

Don't cut that frame. Those baby's are rare unmolested. Looks like a fun project.
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thefrenchowl

User avatar

Posts: 584

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:18 pm

Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Post Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:53 am

Re: 1956 KH project

Suicideshovel:
and laced to a full-width later drum brake on the front.


DON'T!!! from my 25 years experience, the 1/2 width hub brakes much better than the full width... And don't ask me why, I haven't got a clue...

Nice project anyway, do you hope to have it on the road this year?

Patrick
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45Brit

Posts: 1419

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:10 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

I would make a similar comment about the 8" half-width and full-width SLS BSA front brakes, I was once told it was because the spindle for the actuating cam is shorter and twists less under load. I don't know if that's true?
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:14 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

Now that is an interesting comment that I didn't expect - the half width brakes perform better than the later full width drums?!

I wonder if it is due to better cooling or ??
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thefrenchowl

User avatar

Posts: 584

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:18 pm

Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Post Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:30 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

Yep, Suicide shovel,

1/2 width brakes better, don't fade as bad... Just something I was bound to notice since I exclusively ride 50s or 60s Ks or Sporties.

As a way of improving my full width one on my XLRTT, I've had it relined last year with race linings, plus machined in situ to the drum... but haven't used it fully, so not bedded yet, can't tell you if it will be improved!!! T'will certainly wear it faster due to softness of race linings...

Patrick
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

I've been tinkering with the KH over the last couple of days, and a little progress has been made. Mounted the aluminium horseshoe. Switched to longer shocks from an early CH, and tried out a later model fender I had lying around - need to bang a few dents out and fix a small crack. Also changed the mag over to an earlier fixed-mount style from a 58-61 or so CH. The rear of the seat needs to come up about half an inch or so yet and will be hard-mounted. Front fender was a cheap, pre-cut item. There's still some work to do, so it is yet to be painted. It is a bit(!) much to look out now with the various clashing paint schemes, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless!

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Cheers,

Simon
Last edited by suicideshovel65 on Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nick55KH

Posts: 121

Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:51 pm

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:44 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

It rocks bro! It's tough as... Keep going it's a winner. Are you going with a long back fender or high like this? High is smokin’ I will say I feel the later tanks like these, makes them look too top heavy... have you thought about the real thing? Go on you'll love it. You can buy cheap replcas in the exact K shape (J&P) that will be a lot cheaper than a $800 original, I took a close up of my original to tempt you:

Image
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

Hi Nick55KH,

I do like the original tanks, and will fit one to the 54KHRM also underway. I really like that 56 "flash" paint scheme though! I think this bike is pretty close to how i want it though - sort of a stripped down, close-to-period street bike.

I am doing some mods to the frame for that 54 bike, but almost have the chassis ready to go. In lieu of the the original KHRM shocks, I will go with the early skinny 14.5" shocks and a similar bobbed fender - that will be my more stock-looking bike, done like a period racer.
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2634

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:27 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

suicideshovel65 wrote:I am doing some mods to the frame for that 54 bike, but almost have the chassis ready to go. In lieu of the the original KHRM shocks, I will go with the early skinny 14.5" shocks and a similar bobbed fender - that will be my more stock-looking bike, done like a period racer.



Any original KHRM stuff ya have I have a friend who can use it. He has two '54 KHRM's restored and is looking for parts to do another. Have you ever found any production figures on the '54 KHRM?
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:56 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

Hi Chris, I think I'd actually be going to the Texan gent for parts - not the other way around!
Not sure of production figures, but they seem low.
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45Brit

Posts: 1419

Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:29 am

Post Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: 1956 KH project

keep the pics coming, this looks interesting...
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2634

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:19 am

Re: 1956 KH project

suicideshovel65 wrote:Hi Chris, I think I'd actually be going to the Texan gent for parts - not the other way around!
Not sure of production figures, but they seem low.


The Texas Gent is the one looking for KHRM stuff.
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:18 am

Re: 1956 KH project

Image

Image

Note: everything is still loosely bolted together for fitment only, so some tinware looks a little crooked.
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Nick55KH

Posts: 121

Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:51 pm

Post Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:19 am

Re: 1956 KH project

Suicide, you've got me thinking about mine now... it's been 20 years as a stocker but what you're doing looks really tough. The front fender did you cut that up of did you buy it after market. The taillight? KR pipes did you get them bent up or? Think I'm going to follow suit in our summer this December... Keep posing any pics, it's great to watch it evolve! Best, Nick.
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suicideshovel65

Posts: 217

Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Post Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:50 am

Re: 1956 KH project

G'day Nick, thanks for the comments. The bike has gotten away somewhat from what I had originally intended, which was a KR replica of sorts. Until my hard tail arrives I've mocked it up as you see here, and do like the tail light on there. It's an original Sparto - you can pick the repros up pretty cheaply now.

The fender was bought in that form - I'd been wanting a bobbed fender if I was going to run one at all, and this was perfect for the bike. I prefer not to cut up OEM stuff unless there are other things wrong with it, so I find myself tending to buy "pre-loved" items and finishing them the way I want to. Once its bobbed you can't really tell what it was anyway!
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