How the mighty have...

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mdt-son said:
What's wrong - is the rim bent or has one of the spokes suffered a rupture? You may discuss with an alloy rim specialist - it's incredible what they are able to do to salvage a damaged rim / wheel.
-Knut
Hi Knut,
The wheel is fractured in a couple of spokes. Might not be obvious from the previous pics. Have a look at this:

bBnA


and

Dhot


There are cracks in some of the other spokes as well. Going to talk to my bro who's a specialist at welding aluminium and see if he can do anything. Think it's way too far gone though.
I've got the receipt for the wheels kicking around somewhere. Seems they were brought into Aussie as generics and could then be machined as either Honda4, Kwaka9 or Commando. There weren't any other bikes worth riding in them days!
 

mdt-son

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Ouch! Thanks for posting. This looks like a textbook example of a tensile rupture, but there probably was some major axis bending involved as well (hub rotated vs. the rim).

You may not know that welding of aluminum will decrease strength considerably, depending on alloy by as much as 50%. You would need a complete post-weld heat treatment to restore strength. So, even if it's possible to restore a fractured wheel, it will be much cheaper to find a replacement. Good luck with that!

-Knut
 
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Aluminium oxide acts like anodising when it is dyed. It holds oil just as well. If you are welding and old component and what to avoid porosity in the weld, you need to remove the oxide layer with chromic-phosphoric pickle, rise with water, dry the components in an oven - then remove the new oxide layer with a clean scratch-brush just before welding.
I would not repair a broken aluminium wheel, and certainly not a magnesium one.
 
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Thanks Al, but it's not anodised, it's only gold paint from a Bunnings rattle can. Produces a good result though. That wheel's never going to be on a bike I'd ever ride!

Anywho on to more recent developments - good news and bad.

Bad news is that my knee hasn't healed-up as it should have by now and the surgeon is not best pleased. Not possible to get out-patient rehab at this time due to covid, so they've managed to get me back into rehab as an in-patient. Looks like another 4 weeks of intensive therapy to see whether that makes any improvement. S'pose this isn't a bad time to be doing it, though I've had plenty to keep me occupied around the house.

Good news is that I heard that an acquaintance down the road had some old Commando bits that he might be interested in selling and that I might get myself over there and make an offer.
This is what I found:

3CVM


Early Mk2 850. Only 15,000 on the clock. Cup washer on the oil pump had split, running a big end. Has new rods, ground crank, 1st oversize bores and new pistons.
Just needs the motor to be re-assembled. Also needs new tyres and brake fluid and so on, but is in really great condition.
So, I bought it with the insurance payout for my old banger. Too good to be a donor, I'll put her back together when I get back out of hospital.

Still looking for a frame!
 
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I have got a fat neoprene O-ring in where that cup washer should be. I've often wondered about that. There is no pressure indicator, so how would you know ?
 
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I have not been on the forum for quite a time. After restoring my Commando I took on some other bike projects. First time back here I saw this thread and as I read your first post I shuddered. It was 48 years ago next month that I had a similar encounter. An unlicensed, unregistered driver blew a red light and, well the inevitable happened, I found myself barely comprehending what was happening. I wound up on the road in flames , the fiberglass fuel tank had split open dousing me with fuel and whoosh, lit off as I sailed over the hood. I spent the next three months in Boston Naval hospital recovering and hoping to save my right leg. So, I can actually understand your first post and what you have been going through. As a smart man once said, this too shall pass. Good Luck and God bless.
 
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Yesterday marked one year since the accident. I decided to celebrate my survival by taking my first ride since that fateful day. Only up and down the street on a borrowed set of wheels, but I wasn't bothered at all by being back on a bike or nuffin, despite the shitty weather and an unfamiliar bike. Behold the mighty machine that got me back on the road:

U2xI


Recent 12 month surgical review didn't go as well as I'd hoped and they want to get me back under the knife to remove all the metalwork in my knee and give the scar tissue a bit of a clean-out. Not ecstatic about that, but should be able to get a bit more leg bend out of it which should see me back on a "real" bike.

Gotta say thanks to all the gang here for support given. Thanks all.
 
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Glad your improving Dave.

One day I'm riding down the on-ramp to get on the hiway and I spy a fast moving 2 wheeler in the far left lane, so I crack the throttle and I am doing about 80mph to get up even with this guy who is 3 lanes over from me,... I look over and to my amazement, he's on a Scooter with little wheels doing 70mph in the passing lane on the hiway... I could hardly believe that a scooter with those little wheels could go that fast, much less the rider have the balls to get on the hiway in the left lane and be passing cars...

Take it easy on that scooter Dave. No wheelies or burn outs, mate!
 

N0rt0nelectr@

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Hi Knut,
The wheel is fractured in a couple of spokes. Might not be obvious from the previous pics. Have a look at this:

bBnA


and

Dhot


There are cracks in some of the other spokes as well. Going to talk to my bro who's a specialist at welding aluminium and see if he can do anything. Think it's way too far gone though.
I've got the receipt for the wheels kicking around somewhere. Seems they were brought into Aussie as generics and could then be machined as either Honda4, Kwaka9 or Commando. There weren't any other bikes worth riding in them days!
I seem to remember that Pete Kogut had the same problem when he rode out to Durango for the 87 Rally. Went to clean up his bike and discovered a crack in one of his custom cast wheels. He got a very good welder to repair the damage and he rode it home to New Hampshire.
 

N0rt0nelectr@

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Glad your improving Dave.

One day I'm riding down the on-ramp to get on the hiway and I spy a fast moving 2 wheeler in the far left lane, so I crack the throttle and I am doing about 80mph to get up even with this guy who is 3 lanes over from me,... I look over and to my amazement, he's on a Scooter with little wheels doing 70mph in the passing lane on the hiway... I could hardly believe that a scooter with those little wheels could go that fast, much less the rider have the balls to get on the hiway in the left lane and be passing cars...

Take it easy on that scooter Dave. No wheelies or burn outs, mate!
Coming back from the 89 Norton rally in Canada I saw a bike coming the other way. When we passed each other we both did a double take. Me on the Norton and he was on a Honda Hilux in the middle of nowhere in eastern Nevada.
 
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The reason Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation ceased making magnesium wheels for motorcycles, is that somebody used an imported one as a pattern and did not allow for shrinkage during the casting process. The result was that one broke in service and there was a product liability dispute. A well known racing identity was involved. That broken wheel in the photo might be magnesium from CAC, Fisherman's Bend.
 
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After a two month round of discussions with VicRoads, I was given back my (medical suspension) bike license. So, just a month shy of two years since the accident, I was back on a bike. Straight back into it with no confidence crisis, all good. Knee pretty sore after 45mins on the Triumph XRx and I headed for home. Might not ever be able to get enough knee bend to ride a cafe racer again, but really - a small price to pay. I will rebuild the smashed Norton cafe job in time and have the Interstate to give me any missing Norton fix when that's reassembled.
Thanks again to all here for the support, been a long and difficult road to ride.
 

Fast Eddie

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After a two month round of discussions with VicRoads, I was given back my (medical suspension) bike license. So, just a month shy of two years since the accident, I was back on a bike. Straight back into it with no confidence crisis, all good. Knee pretty sore after 45mins on the Triumph XRx and I headed for home. Might not ever be able to get enough knee bend to ride a cafe racer again, but really - a small price to pay. I will rebuild the smashed Norton cafe job in time and have the Interstate to give me any missing Norton fix when that's reassembled.
Thanks again to all here for the support, been a long and difficult road to ride.
Uncanny. I was only wondering about you and your progress yesterday !

Pleased to hear the status Dave. As you say, small price to pay considering what could have been.

Reckon I’d be selling the crashed remains as a project personally, move forward rather than look back etc.
 

Onder

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Hats off gentleman! Well done you!...nice to be back amongst the living eh? :-0
 
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Yeah cheers Eddie,
took 30 years off and on to build the bike and a millisecond to wreck it. Can't persuade myself to part with it and it doesn't hurt me to have it around. A lot is salvageable, maybe even the frame. I'll continue to strip it and then start over. I hope a rebuild will be as cathartic as a part-out, even if I have to buy a whole new frame.

Thanks Onder,
yep, it is good to be back on a bike. Any bike really.

Here's a pic of muggins and my roped-in wingman Dan the Man on his Hawg.

LuRf
 
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