1962 650ss Build

t ingermanson

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Wow! That is a biggie! Filling it with anything other than helium will be a major contributor to weird handling! Better to blame the equipment anyway...

I agree with @swooshdave in that the hurdles to a stock bike are almost too high to accomplish realistically. There are never too many well-built cafe Nortons out there!

Kevin at nortonraceparts.com is a good guy (bloke?) with good parts at reasonable prices. He's always treated me very fairly.

Those brakes are really good, but should be checked and set up by someone who knows how to set them up. After that, it'll be much easier to maintain. Looks like NYCNorton wouldn't be too far away.
 
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Dec 30, 2018
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It’s honestly amazing how fast time can go by. I’ve had this bike now for over two years, and I had a feeling it was going to take a while. I’m now really pushing myself to have this thing done by March of 2022. March 31st. I think it's possible.

After my first posting about this bike, and the past two years have gone by, I understand what some of you were saying. “Don’t paint the frame” has been ringing in my mind. Of course, I went ahead and painted everything I could get my hands on because it was so satisfying and felt like progress…

For some experience is only gained by failure. This project has also been an incredible test in patience, and it's amazing how hard it is to document the process. Maybe that also comes with experience.
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Of course, now I look at the amount of scratches and chips in my paintwork, and how shitty it is in some areas and I chuckle. I also didn’t really take into consideration at the time that some of the tabs had to be taken off, and that additional brackets and tabs would need to be put on. I’m going to save the tabs that I take off, mostly because I’m a young hoarder. I do feel bad about taking them off, but I’m not making a chopper.


I am now taking the advice to mock up, and build the entire bike to running and functioning order. Then strip it back down and paint it. I have yet to decide if I will powder, or paint the frame. I’m really drawn towards not having to worry too much about scratching it. I will be outsourcing either option. As for most of the other alloy parts on this bike I'm going to leave them as is. I don't think I want them to have a super super mirror finish. Some of the parts that are on the bike are older, and I feel like have cool patina. Even if they've been vapor blasted they still show age. Here is the bike in its current mocked up form.
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Rear sets, and fenders are now fully mounted too. No photos of that yet. It feel good to have things actually bolted to this frame, and not held in place with zip ties.

For the motor. The crank has been reground, and the cylinders brought to .20 over. I used Richter Machining (https://richtermachining.com) He did a fabulous job, and it was quite quick. I’ll be reassembling the lower half with some nice internals from Jim Schmidt of JS Motorsports. Going to go with the stage 1 cam, and street valves. Lightened pistons, and the Carrillo rods. The internals of the stock engine were all pretty shot to shit. With what looks like one of the pistons exploding. Cylinder head should be back to me soon from Mr. Comstock.

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My plan will be to build the gearbox first, then the motor. Just cause I'm waiting for a few more parts to be delivered. Everything for the box is cleaned and ready to go back.
 

Fast Eddie

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Wow that’s looking nice!

Two pack or powder is another great debate. Powder can be fabulous, but there are way more powder coating shops than there are GOOD powder coating shops! Unless you go to a proven coater, I’ll guarantee the stuff will be hideously thick.

My personal opinion is that unless it’s a desert sled / dirt bike, you just don’t need that much chip protection. Two pack is much thinner, glossier and much more traditional looking. But that’s just me.

JS 650cc pistons will be SO light, that motor is gonna be SWEET.

Great front brake. Perfect tank (I hate the humongous jobs).

If you don’t like polishing, you could consider what I did, use fine scotchbrite and go for the satin / brushed look. I like this look so much I’ve done it to two of my bikes now, and it’s super low maintenance too. See pic below of Scotchbrited Commando.

So long as you keep at it this will be done by March, definitely doable.

But do please update us more regularly!

Carry on.


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Dec 22, 2006
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That tank shape is very nice. What is the capacity?
The 650ss is a fun ride, quick revving for a long stroke engine.
They were the World's Fastest Production motorcycle in 1963, according to the Guiness World Book of Records.
A lot of different types and brands of engines have been put into the Featherbed frame.
I suspect that the 650ss is the best of the bunch.

Glen
 
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Here's a little teaser to perhaps add incentive-

A quick roll on to 120 kmh GPS, 75 mph.
Doesn't take long at all.
My BSA would still be lumbering thru first gear!

 
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Dec 30, 2018
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If you don’t like polishing, you could consider what I did, use fine scotchbrite and go for the satin / brushed look. I like this look so much I’ve done it to two of my bikes now, and it’s super low maintenance too. See pic below of Scotchbrited Commando.

So long as you keep at it this will be done by March, definitely doable.

But do please update us more regularly!

Carry on.


I do like the look you got here with the scotchbrite. My initial thoughts were to see if I could keep the vapor blast finish on the covers, but they mark too easily. But thats a smart way to get a similar look, and something that you can touch up easily. I like that.


As for the tank capacity, I'm not sure, If I had to guess it's probably right around 3 gals. If not a little bit more.
 
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