Springer Front Fork on a Heathkit Boonie

#21
The fork plates aren't real hard to make. If you can get some flat stock, you can trace your old plates, use a cutoff wheel and flap disk to finish it off. Use a bi metal hole saw in a drill press for the 1 1/8" holes. Tubing can be bought at Alro metals outlet and they can cut to size. Smash the ends of fork tubes with a shop press and weld 'er up.
 
#22
I am glad you are hesitant to cut off the original bars. I think it looks great as it sits.

Do you really expect to get that much difference in handling, to justify going away from the still close to original look ?
 

cfh

Active Member
#23
Pat, i was at alro today! i agree making the triple fork plates probably wouldn't be that difficult. but i'm not ready to abandon the original set up just yet.

Robert the problem with the stock Handlebar set up now is that because the springer front end brings the front end up a couple inches, the original bars now sit back too far. Since they are not adjustable, it's a little odd.

I put a new Cheng Shin tire on tonight, and i like the results. It's the same size as the original Goodyear, but has a more round profile. At this point, weather permitting, i'm going to ride the bike tomorrow and see how it handles. How the stock bars feel, how the changed geometry handles, and how that new tire works. Then i can figure out if i need to lower the front end a bit, or change the bars, or widen the front end.

 

cfh

Active Member
#24
Rode around today. The increased length of the front forks really does help with handling. I’m sure the front tire helps too. The handlebars though do in fact suck. They are just too close together and they really do not help. I think I’m going to cut them off
 

delray

Well-Known Member
#25
I notes one of the biggest problems with some of the vintage bikes they come with the wrong tire set up . for example some vt super bronc's came with a turf tire on the front. making the handling very poor. some the guys have gone to a rounded knobby tire making the bike 10x better. on your bike your kinda limited on tires for the front, that rounded tire you use will help a lot better then the old flat tread design. might want to also look into a better rounded tire for the back.....

seeing the bike is on the chopping block, yes the stock handle bars for that bike are terrible when it comes to handling. they need to have a forward bend in them to help control the handling. on most bikes that have that straight back design tend to have chopper bike steering affect.
 

cfh

Active Member
#26
Cut the old bars off and installed the block and the new bars. Wow what a difference! the bike actually handles really nice now. The rear tire's squareness seems to be minimal with the new front tire, the raised front end, and the new handle bars. It's a nice handling bike now. I'm sure with a better rear tire it would really rock. But for right now, i'm quite happy. just need to line things up and finish welding the front end, get the front finish fixed, and install the front fender.

 

cfh

Active Member
#29
On the lower tubes, how it is sitting now, it will stay (the geometry). If you look closely at the picture, you can see the lower tubes are a bit too long. So yea, they will get cut when i take it all apart, and finish the welding. I will post the final measurements when i get done.
 
#30
I bought the new handlebars and handlebar block today. I'm just a bit hesitant about cutting the original bars off the triple tree. I know they are terrible bars, a bad bend for any sort of speed or handling. I'm just a bit nervous because once i cut them, they are gone forever! And it will change the look of the boonie...
Where did you get the handlebars and block?
 

cfh

Active Member
#32
Got the Heathkit Boonie Bike with front springer suspension all wrapped up. I like it. Some notes...

1. From the bottom of the front tubes to the bottom of the lower springer cup ended up at 9".

2. The front 5/8" bolt to hold the triple tree to the frame needed to be tapped 5/8-18 for about an inch more, and then about an inch cut off to shorten it (because of the removed spring the neck bolt is shorter).

3. On the bottom of the triple tree I welded a fender bracket. It's 3" below the bottom of the triple tree. The fender also needed to have cutouts to clear the springs.

I would love to find another front fender, as the one i have (although a boonie fender) has been cut in length. cfh





 

SAT

Active Member
#33
A local guy named Frank sells them. He has a website it's www.oldschoolminibike.com

Here's a link to the exact handle bars... but i could not find the aluminum block on his website.
http://oldschoolminibike.mybigcommerce.com/minibike-hi-rise-handlebar/
Frank has always been good at returning calls when I leave a message. He has a bunch of inventory that isn’t on the web site. I visited with him at the September Studz mini bike show and swap in Romulus. He is doing business from his home now.
 
#36
it's been done before and you being a newer guy your not going to find any old posting real easy. not sure because of way the new forum is or what? somethings I try to find from the past and just can't find them very easy.
because the search feature here is nearly useless. I can sometimes find what I want by searching from Google (the google search engine on the site fails me most of the time).

The mods look good @cfh. I like it! How's it ride? I rode my first Hilltopper and never looked back. They suffer from the same tire issue as the Boonie (square tires), but that's easily fixed.
 
#37
because the search feature here is nearly useless. I can sometimes find what I want by searching from Google (the google search engine on the site fails me most of the time).
Or because the majority of the current posters don't bother reading other posts. That's been said already.

The search function on this version is twice as good as the last. I'll leave it at that.
 

cfh

Active Member
#38
I took the boonie bike out today (sunny and cold, 25 degrees!) Actually took is back on the trails too. It rides much nicer now. But the original square rear tire is probably the last thing that really needs to be tackled. It handles much better with the front end raised a bit (and the new round side tire.) But it's no Harrison. Much better though. Before i felt the bike was not ride-able, it just handled like crap. a huge improvement.

Also i forgot to mention the 11/16" rods i used were 13" long...
cfh
 

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