First things first, if you can’t use a mig welder, this isnt for you. If have a welding friend, then cut away. Im not going to explain all the details about supporting the bike while you cut on it. Im not going to tell you how to link the two parts together.
We won’t be going over how to grind and weld. Basically, if you can find it in a video, you are not going to find it here. There are small, very important, details that the videos fail to show. We will be going over those details. We will also cover my pick for the top three hardtail kits.
FIRST, WATCH THE VIDEOS. Watch the pros. Learn how they do it. Come back here, and learn the missing details.
Let’s cut! The first cut is to free up the back part of the top, and the fender support. This cut needs to be made TWO INCHES DOWN from the factory bend in the frame. It is important to have the two inches. You will slide your kit into this section. The second cut is the same on the other side.
Next we are going to make our third and forth cut. This will completely remove the section from the back of the frame, that supports another rider, and the fender. You can pick where you want to cut. This really doesn’t matter. The only thing I would take into account, you have to make, and weld, a cap onto this cut into the frame. For me, a round cap is easier, so I left some if the round tubing.
The next two cuts are very important. They need to be done right. If they are not, you can ruin your frame. These cuts remove the top of the bottom section of frame, that incases the the tire.
Our fifth cut is THREE INCHES UP FROM FROM THE FACTORY WELD ON THE BACK OF THE FRAME. In the videos, they never show where most of the measurements are pulled from. You dont want to pull from the back of the frame. It is curved, and can mess up your measurements from one side to the next.
The sixth cut is to repeat the same process on the other side of the bike. When you look down on the frame, this will keep your cuts in the same area. Look at my cuts. They are not straight. Your cut doesn’t have to be, us a grinder to fix them.
Cut number seven removes this part of the frame. This cut removes the back mono shock mount. You can leave part of this mount. We can use that to hand a battery box, if we decide we dont want an oilcan.
The installation of the hardtail is pretty much covered by the videos. The only other hard thing to do, well the pipe that goes in between the two side pieces of the frame kits. You are going to need to notch it out so that it goes around the side pieces. This looks better, and is stronger. This can be tedious, if it is new to you. If you make the choice to bend your own pipe, it needs to be bent at a 25° angle. It needs to be around 15 inches long, and have at least 7 inches above the bend.
If I am going to rebuild a bike, it is going to be a Shadow. The look is very impressive, and they are all around great bikes. Building a hardtail doesn’t take years of experience, or a huge shop.
Thanks for the read! Next time, we are talking about the top three hardtail kits!