BEN’S RUDGE: FRAME UP

Classic Bike (UK) - - Classic Workshop -

STEP 1 FORK PREPA­RA­TION

The first job on Ben’s bike was to as­sem­ble the frame and forks. There’s a lot of fid­dly bits on a Rudge fork – but hav­ing been through it with my bike, I al­ready know what goes where.

STEP 2 LAT­ERAL LINK­ING

There’s a lot go­ing on with the top fork link, which in­cor­po­rates a hand-wheel­con­trolled fric­tion damper. It works by crush­ing the fork legs to­gether slightly, which is a bit weird...

STEP 3 THE BAR BECK­ONS

Once as­sem­bled, I checked the frame by in­sert­ing straight bars through the axles and the rear en­gine mount – if the bars lined up, the frame wouldn’t be far wrong. Great, they do.

STEP 7 GET­TING IT SNAILED

An­other nice idea: the 500cc mod­els have snail-cam wheel ad­justers. You sim­ply loosen the axle nut and twist the wheel spin­dle, which is con­ve­niently pro­vided with a tommy bar.

STEP 8 A BIT TOO BEEFY

But, just like most of us, Rudge put on weight in the mid-’30s. This big metal plate is a bit much, just to hold the tool box; so are the mas­sive chess-piece pil­lion footrest hang­ers...

STEP 9 QUES­TIONS, QUES­TIONS...

... and come to that, how does the tool box go on? There are four holes, but only one threaded lug on the plate… and this mys­tery big bracket. Time for some de­tec­tive work...

STEP 13 CRACK­ING ON

The rear mud­guard is in per­fect con­di­tion, apart from a few sur­plus holes and this long crack go­ing down the mid­dle. Holes have been drilled at ei­ther end to stop it spread­ing.

STEP 14 DAM­AGE LIM­I­TA­TION

I de­cided to weld on the in­side to min­imise dam­age. I did it a lit­tle bit at a time in or­der to keep the heat down, oth­er­wise the guard may be­come brit­tle enough to crack again.

STEP 15 FIL­ING SYS­TEM

I also welded up the ex­tra holes. To dress the welds and achieve a flat sur­face, I find fil­ing is much bet­ter than grind­ing. When us­ing a file you have more con­trol and feel.

STEP 4 COAT COU­TURE

Ben wants a func­tional, non-shiny, paint job, so I used my favourite gar­den-gate satin brush paint. Spray satin looks too uni­form, brush satin gives a more au­then­tic dulled fin­ish.

STEP 5 GET­TING A BIT CRANKY

Be­fore I can get round to bolt­ing the rear frame to­gether, this cu­ri­ous piece of metal needs to go in be­tween the rear en­gine plates. It’s the crank ad­juster for the pri­mary chain.

STEP 6 AD­JUSTER MINUTE...

The con­nect­ing link on the ad­juster at­taches to one of the gear­box through­bolts, so turn­ing the crank moves the gear­box for­ward or back to ten­sion the chain – a clever idea.

STEP 10 DO­ING IT BY THE BOOK

The small holes match up with two on the box and the strap lines up here. Just as well the Rudge En­thu­si­asts Club has parts book of­fi­cers to help you work out what bits you need!

STEP 11 TH­ESE TOOLISH THINGS

One hole left and the the la­bel says ‘tool­box sup­port stay’. It at­taches to the pil­lion rest, so it’s prob­a­bly fair to say that the Rudge tool­box is some­thing of an af­ter­thought!

STEP 12 SMART PARTS

The scruffi­ness of mo­tor­cy­cles com­pared to cars was an is­sue at the time the bike was built, prompt­ing Rudge and oth­ers to start clean­ing up, fit­ting en­gine cov­ers and more pro­tec­tive mud­guards.

STEP 16 HAV­ING YOUR FILL

Fil­ing flat means you only need a light coat of filler to fill in the odd pit in the sur­face; an­gle grind­ing can leave dips that need thicker ap­pli­ca­tions of filler, which can sink un­der the paint.

STEP 17 MOV­ING ALONG NICELY

Don’t get too ex­cited, Ben – there’s a long way to go on this project yet, but at least the bike’s back on its wheels and has moved on a long way from its years un­der­neath the bed.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.