Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions K-Models RUBONE (& anyone that can help) on your -54 KRTT front wheel

RUBONE (& anyone that can help) on your -54 KRTT front wheel

Posts: 336
Location: Kirksville Missouri United States
What spokes do you use?I picked up the front hub yesterday at the Davenport swap meet.The part # near as i can make out is 43614 54R cast inside the hub.The backing plate has 41661-54R cast on the inside of the plate.The guy i got it from was wrong on the inside dimensions.It is 8" and the complete brake assembly out of my full width sportster drum fits perfectly.It's shoes are 1.5" wide X 8"
Anyway on to my problem what spokes do you run with these hubs?The beveled holes the spoke head rests in is about 1/16th" narrower then a sportster hubs spoke holes beveled edge.I have several sportster hubs and wheels and this conical hub does have narrower beveled holes.Also the small end looks like it laces exactly like the back hub on a 60's sportster.The large side however has the spoke holes arrange in groups of 2.It is 3/4" spoke hole center to spoke hole center between this group of 2 spoke holes.The problem i'm having is that the 10 groups of 2 spokes are spaced 2 1/2" apart measuring from the first group of 2 spokes nearest spokes center to the next group of 2 spoke holes nearest center.So the 2 1/2" is on center of the spoke holes nearest each other.So 10 pair of holes 2 1/2" apart.I'm wanting to lace this to my shouldered aluminum 18" sportster rims but have no clue what spokes i need.Is your hubs spoke spacing the same as i've described mine?
Any help is really appreciated,and definitely need............

Posts: 391
Those spokes are specific to the Racing wheel. The spokes are unlike any other H-D spokes. Also be aware that the Aluminum rim used on that wheel is different than other H-D aluminum rims. It is drilled specifically for those wheels and carries a different part number than the rim for the flattrackers and than the rim for the street bikes. I can provide all the part numbers for you. Your best bet would be Buchanan's to make spokes for you. I have the competition parts books but of course there are no pictures or diagrams in them unlike the regular parts books. Also, the aluminum rims did not exist as a factory part until the '60 season, previous to that they were all steel. feel free to contact me for more info.

Posts: 336
Location: Kirksville Missouri United States
Rubone when you say to feel free to contact you do you mean by email,private message,or here on the forum.You wouldn't have an extra spoke i could borrow as an example to provide to buchanons to have a set made would you?This is going on a stripped down 45 stoker so i don't really want or feel the need to buy a set of hard to find wheels for a restoration or anything,if i could have buchanons drill me a set of shouldered aluminum 18's for a reasonable price.Alternately,as crazy as this might seem i'm thinking about reproducing a few of these so i can run one on the front and rear of my 45.I know it sounds crazy for a wrench like me that part times at a machine shop to even think about reproducing this hub.I have a friend that i've known since he was a kid that has a technology degree with an emphasis on machinist something or rather.The short of the story is he works at a very sophisticated shop that has millions of dollars of machinery.He said if i brought the hub up there he could use a machine that started with the letter f to automatically record every dimension of the piece he places in it.Then he just through computer transfers that information into a multiple axis mill that will duplicate it.The upside is i can get it done for the cost of materials if i'm patient and wait until he has time to fool with me.I think if i was going to go to all that trouble i'd have him duplicate the spoke pattern and circumference of an early steel sportster rear hub on the small end and the common spoke pattern and circumference of the 8" sportster front brake drum i have onto the large end and incorporate those changes into the piece to be milled.He told me once if i could dream it he could duplicate it.If i had him make a hub with these revisions i could buy a set of stock 18" rear wheels spokes and use 1/2 the set on each wheel,and have buchanons just shorten a set of spokes that were on the 19" wheel i took the 8" front brake drum out of to use on the big sides of the hubs.
Any and all advice,parts sources, can provide would be great.I have the harley part numbers for most if not all of the pieces associated with this hub and brake assembly.I know these hubs are HIGH dollar so i'm sitting here wondering what i should do.I really want the conical hub,even if it's a duplicate,on the front and rear of my bike.Well thanks for reading this book,if you do :) any guidance you can provide would help immensely.

Posts: 332
Location: north central Ma.
If he's got one of these it would be easyer to repop BUT you still have to massage it to get it just right. and the OE unit was a casting not a billet so theres more ishues with doing corect.

NextEngine's 3D Scanner

"Smok'in the competition NOT Tobacco"
"Transplant organs, Don't bury them!"
Why dwarf? 5/8 scale race cars!

Posts: 336
Location: Kirksville Missouri United States
44Dwarf You are correct as you know about the originals being cast.The guy i was referring to that is going to help me if he can find time works in a R&D center of a major company.Their machine building looks more like a lab then any machine shop i've ever been in.I'm not at all familiar with automated machining equipment.I can just turn the handles on an old manual bridegport and chuck up material in the manual lathe.The shop i part time at has a lathe with a 10' bed that is so old more then half of it is made from castings.It's dead accurate though.He also has a couple smaller lathes, he has the big one for turning large diameter items,and shafts to long to fit in the standard length lathes most of us are familiar with.The friend that owns the machine shop i help at has been a apprentice then machinist,shop owner for 50 years this year.
Josh the friend that works in the R&D machine shop operates machines that actually call him on the telephone if they have a problem at night.I know one of them is a edm or something like that.
We have a place about 90 miles from me in Quincy IL that does lost foam casting that makes their molds from some sort of foam.If i can get and authentic looking piece machined for a mold i'll look into the cost of them casting some of the hubs for me.I have a foot in the door there as Jim the machinist i work part time for as well as a machinist i know in Quincy both know the guy that owns the place.
If i take this project on i'm going to make some revisions so it will take stock sportster front drum brake spokes and be able to use any 40 hole rim drilled with the harley spoke pattern.It will look authentic to most as in my 25 years messing with old harleys i'd never even held one of these hubs in my hands until this past Saturday................


Entering my customary "wet blanket" mode:
Casting it is far, far more complex than tracing it with a 3D machine.
Someone has to actually make the male model from that, and then several female molds from that, then insert the liners, then pour it, then machine it, thread the holes, seat the bearings.
Just a guess: the first one will take $20,000 (paying yourself and your friends nothing, and getting the material for free) and a few years. If you make 2, it's $10,000 each, make 10 it's $2,000 each, etc.
Do you expect to sell more than 100, at $500 each? That's what you need to make money (not including liability insurance, incorporation, accountant, storage).

If you're really going through all this trouble (and since it won't be a Harley part) consider using the 1968-70 Brit 2LS 8" backing plate and shoes - cheap, work well, easy to get.

This is similar to the well-known (and 100 year old) analysis of raising chickens.
1 chicken is a pet
10 chickens is a 4H club project
1,000 chickens is a full-time job
100,000 chickens is bankruptcy
1,000,000 chickens is bankruptcy, but slowly
1 billion chickens is Tyson - that's how many you need to make money

Posts: 336
Location: Kirksville Missouri United States
The voice of reason i understand, you're not at all being a "wet blanket".The funny thing is i sold 2 of 1968-70 British 2LS 8" brake assemblies complete hub and all with a triumph project less then a year ago.I'm just kicking things around at this point and was preparing to take them to the R&D shop for an opinion.I have no plans of getting into business selling these, i have a business degree actually and was a successful contractor for a couple decades.I do not want anything along those lines.
Maybe i will just move on to another path with this idea or try to source all the parts i would need for a complete front and back H-D conical wheel.That would leave me pricing spokes,rims,and various other parts if they are available and within the average mortals financial reach.Thanks Panic it looks like you saved me some leg work with a little reality check here.....
Last edited by greg1 on Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.


If it's only for you and a few friends, 3D modeling and CAD/CAM is cheaper than casting but you still need the cast-iron or steel liner (or spray something in there). I have no idea how to do this, since contact between the liner and casting is critical - it's supposed to be shrunk in when cast. A simple mechanical insert won't transfer heat well, and must be much heavier (reduce distortion), and contact surface increased by finning, ribbing, grooving the liner OD and the casting ID.

Posts: 336
Location: Kirksville Missouri United States
Panic all i really want is one for each end of my bike,i'm to the point i might just uses the manual lathe to rough in a piece of 6061 to general dimensions.Then put the90 degree rotary table on the bridgeport, punch holes for the spokes mill the fins for appearance sake with a ball end cutter after laying out the pattern.This is a stroked,kh topped,stripped down motorcycle based on 45 cases and frame.It doesn't have to be original or perfect,just suit me.I was wondering earlier if i can insert a steel liner like i insert races.Put the liner in the freezer until it shrinks as much as it's going to,and heating up the hub in a powder coating oven to 400 degrees or so then pressing the 2 together.As you know this works well with various types of bearing races.Anyway my original intent was a couple hubs for my project..........discouraged.........

Posts: 591
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi, Greg,

To follow on from our emails:

No one can machine this hub in a lathe or miller because it's cast with a sand core inside to get 2 walls with an air space in between:



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