69 "Lil" Indian

Mini Bike & Go-Kart Parts

#1
I've been gathering up ( Hoarding ) "Lil" Indian parts for some time now and haven't had much time to really get a good start on any of them. Well, as a Christmas present to myself, I had my '69 "Lil" Indian frame sandblasted and powder coated light blue ( RAL 5012 ). The frame turned out real nice but there are a few areas on the fork plates I may have to address. After seeing Kyle Moody's "Rarest Mini Bike in the world" ( Hahahahaha ), my plan is to pretty much do the same with this one. Normally I wouldn't copy someone else's build but something about that bike made me say ( To myself of course ), "I gotta have one!". I'm going to use my NOS Westbend 820 after having the recoil, flywheel cover, backing plate and cylinder/head shroud powder coated gold. I am going to use a set of original 4" mag wheels powder coated gold to match the engine. As for the rest, I will be using Hunt Wilde ribbed grips and Dia-Compe BMX levers for controls. I also plan to have an original style seat re-done to be 2" thick along with a white seat cover. It's going to take some time to get the rest of the stuff I want but at least I'm off to a good start by having all the major components.


Blue_69_Lil_Indian_01.jpg
 
#5
Got my original "P" marked fork bolt, nut and spring cleaned up today, not bad for being over 50 years old. I'm still on the hunt for a chrome spring. Karen, get that sewing machine warmed up, I'll be in the market for an all white seat here shortly... I hope!.

69_Lil_Indian_Bolt_Spring.jpg
 
#9
On my way home from having the frame and forks powder coated, I noticed there were runs on the fork plates. Of course they had to be right in front, right on top. I have been thinking about trying to fix them myself for the past week but didn't want to make them worse. I also didn't want to mess with them, then try taking it back to the powder coater because then they could claim it was my fault and charge me more to fix them. So today I gave them a call, and they told me to bring them back in. After about three hours, I received a call saying they were done. I went back to get them and now I'm a lot happier, they're still not 100% but they are 100% better than they were. I couldn't wait to get home and put them on, along with my Hunt Wilde ribbed grips and Dia-Compe MX levers. After seeing the silver levers on there and the black seat with white piping, I'm almost inclined to keep this seat on it and polish my wheels rather than powder coating them gold. I also have a NOS US 820 Kart engine that has a black shroud with a white decal that has US 820 in black, I think that would really pop with the black/white seat. I think the black, white and silver approach may be steering too far from the old school look I'm going for though, maybe folks here could help me decide.

69_Grips_Levers.jpg
 

Lizardking

Active Member
#10
Looking good Tad! Imo White engine or plenty white details on engine, grips and cables. White, polished or cast alum powdered coated wheels. Oh and some white leather gloves if you go with the white grips!
 
#11
Looking good Tad! Imo White engine or plenty white details on engine, grips and cables. White, polished or cast alum powdered coated wheels. Oh and some white leather gloves if you go with the white grips!
White cables for sure, I've done the white grips before, too hard to keep clean. Then again they weren't the white Hunt Wilde grips, although I do have some of those too. I like the white wheels idea, just haven't implemented them on anything yet. I've been thinking about using chrome levers instead of the Dia-Compe MX levers. After seeing them on the bike, I think they make it look to much BMX and not enough vintage mini bike?. As for the white gloves, I'll definitely need those just to touch it!. Thanks for the compliments and suggestions, they do help keep me motivated while spending hours cleaning the crud off all the old parts. You just never realize how cruddy this stuff is until you try to clean it off!.

-A2M
 

Lizardking

Active Member
#13
On my way home from having the frame and forks powder coated, I noticed there were runs on the fork plates. Of course they had to be right in front, right on top. I have been thinking about trying to fix them myself for the past week but didn't want to make them worse. I also didn't want to mess with them, then try taking it back to the powder coater because then they could claim it was my fault and charge me more to fix them. So today I gave them a call, and they told me to bring them back in. After about three hours, I received a call saying they were done. I went back to get them and now I'm a lot happier, they're still not 100% but they are 100% better than they were. I couldn't wait to get home and put them on, along with my Hunt Wilde ribbed grips and Dia-Compe MX levers. After seeing the silver levers on there and the black seat with white piping, I'm almost inclined to keep this seat on it and polish my wheels rather than powder coating them gold. I also have a NOS US 820 Kart engine that has a black shroud with a white decal that has US 820 in black, I think that would really pop with the black/white seat. I think the black, white and silver approach may be steering too far from the old school look I'm going for though, maybe folks here could help me decide.

View attachment 273539
I'm looking at your bars in this picture and the white grips would compliment your seat really nice Imo!. Just look and picture the white grips and gold levers to compliment that nice decal on there.. White wheels would make your bike Snap Crackle and POP !
 
#14
Started a little wheel cleanup today. For anyone ever doing a set of Lil Indian 4" mags themselves, be prepared to work your A$$ off!. I have owned around 10 sets of these things and let me tell you, they are THE worst cast wheels I have ever worked with!. They are dirty, nasty, full of flaws like nothing I have seen before, I swear they used mortar mix to cast them in!. Here's a few shots of before, during and not quite but almost after. The previous owner painted over the dirt with that nasty fake chrome paint. After stripping the paint, I let them soak in a bucket of parts cleaner, then starting with #0 steel wool and working my way to #0000. These things were never meant to be pretty, they are just mini bike wheels after all. In the last picture you can see how nasty the castings are, you can see the high spots, low spots and flaws due to PI$$ poor casting techniques. I still haven't decided if I'm going to sand the flaws out or just leave them in their nasty but original glory but a whole lot shinier. For those wondering how long it takes, it took me 5 hours to get one wheel half from picture number 2 to picture number 3 and this was a nice set.

69_Wheel_01.jpg 69_Wheel_02.jpg 69_Wheel_03.jpg
 
#15
Going with the polished look or just testing? Imo if your not going to sand the casting imperfections away then id leave them like the first one.
 
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#16
Going with the polished look or just testing? Imo if your not going to sand the casting imperfections away then id leave them like the first one.
I'm gonna polish this set out and if I don't like'em, I'll blast and powder coat another set. Believe it or not, this is one of the best sets I have worked with ( or seen for that matter ). The picture makes it look worse than it is, when you start polishing them to this magnitude, every thousandths of an inch in the imperfections look like craters!. The sad part is, the inside is nicer than the outside!.

69_Wheel_04.jpg
 
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#18
Looks Awesome!! Can I ask where you purchased the motor mount? Thanks !!
I purchased the engine mount from classickartshop.com , http://www.classickartshop.com/products/engine-mounts/ they have a pretty good selection of reproductions but as with anything in this industry, the market is small and they are usually small runs, once they're gone, that may be the last time you see it. They pop up from time to time on eBay, one guy had polished ones but he seemed to have disappeared, ricksrelics was his user name, maybe he got in trouble for re-popping them?.
 
#20
Got my original "P" marked fork bolt, nut and spring cleaned up today, not bad for being over 50 years old. I'm still on the hunt for a chrome spring. Karen, get that sewing machine warmed up, I'll be in the market for an all white seat here shortly... I hope!.

View attachment 273419
How did you clean em...
Ive got 67 all original wvwn 3hp Briggs ...wanted to clean all the bolts before reassembly..Thxz
 

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