1967 BSA Flat Tracker

Deus Ex Machina hosts an annual Bike Build Off occurring on the same date in Sydney, Australia; Milan, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; Bali; and Venice Beach, California. Adam was invited to participate in the Professional Builder class in Venice Beach, California. Thinking he had 4 weeks to build a motorcycle worthy of the Bike Build Off philosophy of “the most with the least” while highlighting his abilities, given the demands of owning and operating a small business, he actually ended up with 9 days to build this bike from the ground up. Working on customers’ bikes during the day, he spent some very late nights to finish this bike in time to drive straight through to California to meet the 7am roll-in at Deus on Saturday, September 25, 2016.

This is a flat tracker, meant to go as fast as possible on an oval track, often only 1/4-mile long, meaning there are very short straights before you’re leaning into a turn again (always going left). Adam built this bike as the ultimate flat tracker, leaving only the essentials and making all of the custom components, except the frame (chromoly), from aluminum.

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Late-night welder…brought to you by Luke Padgett.

Both the shifter and rear brake lever are located on the right side, to give the rider control while their left foot is on the ground during those left turns. This is actually one of the reasons Triumph had the gear shift on the right.

This motorcycle won Best Race Bike at the Venice Beach, California Bike Build-off and is now a contender for the best globally, based on a People’s Choice vote and against the winners from the other 4 locations.

Although the motorcycle was built to meet a show deadline, Adam races it, as it was meant to be used.

 

Specifications:

Frame: Custom built by Speed Deluxe Vintage and Bespoke Motorcycles from 0.035″ and 0.065″ chromoly

Fuel tank: Custom built by Speed Deluxe Vintage and Bespoke Motorcycles from sheet aluminum

Oil tank: Custom built by Speed Deluxe Vintage and Bespoke Motorcycles from sheet aluminum

Seat pan and tail: Custom built by Speed Deluxe Vintage and Bespoke Motorcycles from sheet aluminum

Front end: 1971 and newer Triumphs and BSAs; the lowers and triple trees are aluminum, compared with steel in the earlier models, making this is the lightest front end Triumph produced

Front wheel: Brakeless, spool-hubbed

Engine: 1967 BSA B25 Barracuda (chosen for the high compression)

Pinstriping and sign-writing: Chastin Brand

Frame powdercoating: Justin Shipp (Silent Cycles)

Relic Moto Vintage Show

Since we moved to Chattanooga in late 2013, we’d been tossing around the idea of holding a vintage motorcycle show, in the spirt and feel of Oil Stained Brain in Melbourne, Australia, where Adam first showed his 1968 Triumph TR6, The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, and The Handbuilt Show in Austin.

In 2015, we decided to go ahead with the show, knowing there had been nothing similar in the Southeast. We set the date (September 19, 2015) and searched for a suitable venue in Chattanooga and finally settled on The Camp House because of its beautiful interior, stage at the front, great food, availability of drinks, and awesome outside patio. Given the space, we limited the number of bikes to 30 and sought submissions for a curated show. Not knowing what to expect, we placed an ad on craigslist and posted on instagram, seeking submissions for vintage motorcycles that were not required to be show worthy, but rather unique, interesting, and conversation pieces. We were super excited to receive emails from as far as South Carolina in addition to local owners and others from Nashville and Atlanta, for 16 different makes, ranging from 1929 to 1980. We had one of very few LaRay motorcycles and a Motorcycle Cannonball 2014 survivor as well as a dedicated Honda CB show on the patio, ranging from a CB305 to a CB750. The bikes were amazing, and the owners were fantastic!

The art from Conrad Tengler of Black Sheep Forge, photography by Luke Padgett (@severalpictures), and original series of paintings created specifically for this show by Paul Friedrich (@paulfriedrichdotnet) complemented the range of motorcycles.

We would like to thank everyone again for their participation, and we look forward to the 2016 show! The date and location are still TBD, but we will keep everyone updated.

To keep up to date on the 2016 show, follow us on instagram, facebook, or on the blog, and make sure to check out some of the photos from the 2015 event:

Surprises while Sanding with Scott

 

 

Hello out there to everyone reading this in Internetland. My name is Scott, and I’m the vintage motorcycle service tech at Speed Deluxe. I needed to sand down and strip the paint and bondo off of the fuel tank from my 1948 Panhead chopper as part of my rebuild. I decided, with some persuasion from my boss Jamie, to document this procedure. Sit back, crack a beer and laugh at me, my first attempt at sanding and what I discovered waiting for me hiding underneath.

Here’s what I started with: a custom fabricated “alien tank” with some sketchy-at-best weld and repair jobs.

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First, I removed the tank badges. (Note the AMF name being run upside down because…well, read up on your Harley history.)

photo 5

 

Next, I put on my stylin’ safety equipment that included a face shield to protect my meal ticket, a respirator to protect my lungs and work gloves to protect my digits.

Safety gear

 

Then, I got crackin’! The tank began to reveal her secrets to me…

photo 2 - Copy photo 3 - Copy photo 4 - Copy photo 5 - Copyphoto 1 - Copy (2) photo 2 - Copy (2)

 

Check out the metal warping and all-around gnarlyness in that last pic. The boss-man, Adam, said it was more than likely due to someone heating and hammering the metal in an attempt shrink it.

photo 3 - Copy (2) photo 4 - Copy (2) photo 5 - Copy (2)

 

After getting all of the old paint and bondo removed, I closely inspected the entire tank with Adam only to discover we had a LOT MORE repairs and time to put into the tank than previously estimated. Since we’re on a pretty tight build schedule of a couple of weeks, Adam suggested that I instead try to tackle the repair job during winter and simply use a different tank now. We both agreed that since Speed Deluxe usually follows a “Built-not-Bought” credo, we should go ahead and plan out what kind of tank we would build from scratch.

Next week: HOW TO BUILD A COFFIN TANK!

 

Transitions

We’ve been fairly quiet on here lately. Through the first months after opening, we would have people stop in and ask if we serviced older bikes as well as build them. Given the slow process of builds and limited interest in them to start, we realized that we needed another revenue stream to help keep us going. So we picked up some service work, helped a few people get their garage builds or garage finds going. How do you balance what you want to do (building bikes) with the necessary work to stay in business, in terms of both time and money? Adam and I realized that there was a demand for work on older bikes, be it service or more major repairs/updates, and that he couldn’t do all of it and keep everything moving on a good schedule. In the meantime, we had a number of people stop in wanting to work in a shop like ours. We finally decided to take the plunge and bring someone on to help. Scott started with us a couple of days a week until we felt ready to commit having a full-time employee. He’s now been with us for a month, and it’s working well. The dynamic in the shop is good. We have things rolling through. We’d like to thank all of our customers for their patience during our time of transition.

We also realized that the godaddy web building tool wasn’t working with our vision of our website, so we bartered for some web development. It’s taken some time and isn’t quite the finished product yet. But, Scott, Adam, and I will be blogging on a regular basis now. So, please check back to read about what’s happening in the shop!

Until next time,

Jamie