Login | Register
SearchMy Stuff
My ProfileMy PreferencesMy Mates RSS Feed
2
Reply to Topic
Author Discussion

splodge s4

Original Poster:

1,392 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
After restoring the Kuwahara ET last year I really wanted to get going with another project. It had to be either a Chopper or a Grifter. Any bloke in their late 30's and 40's will always remember these bikes & you never had one yourself then your mate would have. The Chopper is an icon of the 70's. Because of this though prices are still pretty high, for a rusty pile of bits your often looking at least £100 on eBay, complete bikes never seem to sell for less. The mk1 & mk2s are much more sought after than the recent mk3, Choppers just have to have the gears on the frame & the mk3 had a twist grip (apparently for health & safety reasons).

So after a few months looking I found a bike in bits & because it looked bad & wasn't built up I managed to get it for a bargain £51. It was basically a frame & forks with seat & cissy bar & crank & then a box of bits, a complete bike except for headset bearings, the original advert pic on ebay:



Then having a closer look back home



And the bits


It was in a sorry state but perfect for a resto, everything had a light covering of rust, the front wheel was pretty bad, I didn’t want to buy new bits for it though, clean it up & keep it original, the tyres needed replacing though but everything else was just going to get a good scrub & the frame & forks a respray, more pics:





So after stripping it down the only problem was removing the cissy bar. It was rusted in & although I wacked it with a hammer for 2 days, heated it up so it expanded it still wouldn’t come out. I managed it though by turning the frame upside down, placing a trolley jack in the cissy bar hoop then a bit of wood from the jack to the frame. Raise the jack & out it popped.

The small chrome bits went straight into the ovenpride bag & left to soak over night whilst the wheels & handlebars had a good scrub with alloy wheel cleaner, they came up pretty good after the first clean



And the small chrome bits after 24 hours soak in oven pride & a good scrub and the rear mud guard came up really well considering how bad it was. It’s still badly pitted but its original & still looks chrome.



Now the frame, it had been sprayed before so no probs stripping the old paint & getting it down to bare metal.



I wish I took the crank out completely but never mind, first undercoat then sand down again



Another couple of undercoats then ready for the Fizzy lemon yellow. I didn’t really know what colour to do it, a mate had a purple one when we were kids, everyone remembers red ones but yellow seems to suit the 70’s look so I went with that. According to a Chopper website Ford Signal yellow is a 98% colour match so I went with that.



A few days watching paint dry meant I could crack on with the other bits, the seat came up lovely with just a good scrub with leather cleaner, there was only one small split & didn’t really need repairing, and also the pedals, before & after shots





The Heron Raleigh badge was pretty bad but I really didn’t want to replace it. They are made of brass & riveted to the frame, that’s what I love about these bikes, how much did that cost back then, modern bikes now just have a sticker. I gave it a good clean & was amazed how good it came up...& to think I nearly replaced it with a modern painted one



So back to the frame, the stickers arrived so I sanded the frame so it was a nice matt yellow & got sticking, once they were on I gave the frame & forks a good couple of coats of lacquer, it was starting to come together





The gear selector cover was buggered. Again I thought about buying new but thought let’s try & repair it & if that fails then fork out for a new one. Not only was it broke in two but chunks were missing from each side at the front. Using a bit of card from a Wiskas cat food box (perfect width!) I glued the bits together then gave it a thick undercoat.



Then spray matt black & stick on the sticker, good as new



So now the bit I love, building it. I was missing some headset bearings, unlike modern bikes where they are in a race these are all free so when you take the forks out they drop out, hence they had been lost. My local bike shop gave me a bag of about 100 for £1. When they are covered in grease they are a lot easier to fit



Then cracking on to get it together, new brake cables, new tyres, wheels cleaned again & it’s pretty much there




I’m pretty happy with how it came out, I could have bought lots of new old stock bits but kept the cost down buy repairing & cleaning. In total the bike was £51, stickers £22, tyres £20, spray & lacquer about £20 so about £110 all in. All that’s left is to get some handlebar grips & rivet the Heron badge to the headtube, the rivets should arrive today, & yes all 3 gears actually work! Job done.



& for the next project, the other icon of the 70’s....Mk1 Grifter



Hope it brought back some memories biggrin





thetapeworm

5,851 posts

126 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all

Great write-up and a nice project, thanks for sharing - brings back some memories of my old metallic purple and red ones smile

Conian

7,959 posts

88 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
I had a purple one smile

Good work, what will you do with it now? How much are they worth in this good a condition?

E31Shrew

5,249 posts

79 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
Super job. Had a Mk 1 new when I was a nipper. I think it was a MK1 anyway as it had a normal gear selector and not the T bar version. Yellow too! Only problem was that I was then 14 , 5ft 9 and looked just a smidge stupid. All my mates had by then graduated to racing bikes with zillions of gears

Parrot of Doom

23,075 posts

121 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
That's inspiring. I think I'll have to close the browser in case I spend money!

My sister had a yellow Chipper so there were yellow ones around. My mate had a purple Chopper (snigger), whereas I had a mauve Grifter. I broke the togglechain on my gearshift so for ages used a spoke to change gear, until the spoke snapped and stuck in the hub.
Advertisement

OneDs

1,570 posts

63 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
Another great one Splodge, I appreciate the non-NOS, reuse and repair route you went through.

Have you ridden it yet? it must feel quite alien to ride a bike with such a position nowadays, when my sister had one when I was a nipper it felt quite natural, indeed so did my Tomahawk which was the junior version.

splodge s4

Original Poster:

1,392 posts

124 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
Conian said:
I had a purple one smile

Good work, what will you do with it now? How much are they worth in this good a condition?
Thankyou! No intention to sell it, just going to keep it for mellow rides into town for a few beers in the summer. Cost is a funny thing, in good nick they often sell around £250-£400 on ebay. However one recently sold for just over £2,600 eek but it had never been used, the pedals were still taped to the seat & still in its original box straight from the factory, a complete one off.

OneDs said:
Have you ridden it yet? it must feel quite alien to ride a bike with such a position nowadays,
Yup, I've been up & down the road testing the gears. Nearly came off when pedaling hard in 2nd & it had the sturmey archer nut crunching slip! As for handling, its comfy, even for a 40 year old adult, at speed though it does wobble a bit if you stand up & swerve from side to side, its like a speed wobble but you suddenly relise the bike is wobbling & not you anymore. Its quite hard to straighten up again. Good fun though & im looking forward to covering some miles with it.


mattviatura

2,996 posts

87 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
Slip gear on a Grifter taught me a harsh lesson as a young un.

Conian

7,959 posts

88 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
It's even cooler that you're going to keep and use it!
And so useful down the pub... 'hey baby, fancy a ride on my chopper?' biggrin

Bebee

3,086 posts

112 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
It's taking me back! It's 1973 and had a yellow chopper for my birthday, lasted one day as it was stolen the next day! frown

Always wanted a Grifter, as I wanted to change gear at the handle, never got one though, we were poor, got a Griffith in later life though wink
edit to add> you have done a fantastic job there mate, nice one!

Edited by Bebee on Monday 29th November 17:54


Edited by Bebee on Monday 29th November 17:55

Jimboka

3,832 posts

91 months

[news] 
Monday 29th November 2010 quote quote all
Nice job, reminds me of my pride & joy in the 70s!. I had a Mk1 then in an orange colour. A neighbour restores & collects the original Raleigh Choppers, he actually owns a dropped handlebar sprint model, still in the shop packing, never assembled!.

BliarOut

60,084 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st December 2010 quote quote all
FYI (and you probably already know) that colour was called Fizzy Lemon biggrin I know because it took me two years to get my folks to buy me my dream bike for xmas...

vrooom

3,583 posts

154 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st December 2010 quote quote all
Awesome!!! I like that! I had purple chopper. my first bike!!

Boshly

2,104 posts

123 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st December 2010 quote quote all
Jimboka said:
Nice job, reminds me of my pride & joy in the 70s!. I had a Mk1 then in an orange colour. A neighbour restores & collects the original Raleigh Choppers, he actually owns a dropped handlebar sprint model, still in the shop packing, never assembled!.
I had a green dropped handlebar model, was bought it new in 1974 for £24 if I remember correctly. Absolutely loved it. Had it shipped to Baghdad (where I/we lived) and it was the only one there for years, a real talking point!

Would love one now but I'm sure my kids would look at it incredulously smile

Beautiful job OP thumbup

splodge s4

Original Poster:

1,392 posts

124 months

[news] 
Wednesday 1st December 2010 quote quote all
Thanks for the comments guys thumbup

I've just refixed the Raleigh Heron badge with new brass rivits, i think it looks better than a painted badge!






aka_kerrly

7,504 posts

97 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th December 2010 quote quote all
WOW that is so dam cool, do you go on retrobike forum, those guys would love it!

You will need to get a Raleigh Mag Burner for your 80s resto as these are becoming very popular again. I can't believe I chucked mine in the skip years ago after a wheel bearing failed, im such a muppet banghead

dave

Coco H

4,229 posts

124 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th December 2010 quote quote all
I am really impressed how did you get the pedals clean? I have got a 1970s claude butler racing bike sat in the shed - the local bike shop said it needed to go to the tip. But I would love to restore it for sentimental reasons though some of that is beyond me.

splodge s4

Original Poster:

1,392 posts

124 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th December 2010 quote quote all
Coco H said:
I am really impressed how did you get the pedals clean?
All the big chrome bits (handlebars, wheels, mud guards) were covered in Simonz alloy wheel cleaner, left to soak for a few minutes then given a good scrub. A hard bristle brush is all I used, then soak again & scrub. I did the pedals the same way as I was a bit worried about ovenpride ruining the rubber blocks if I put them in the bag with the other small bits.

The alloy wheel cleaner is very acidic, get it on your fingers & you start to feel in burn, good at getting rust off though.

I've now fitted the handlebar grips so its just waiting for the summer & some long rides in to town for a few beers smile

aka_kerrly said:
You will need to get a Raleigh Mag Burner for your 80s resto as these are becoming very popular again.
Heres my Kuw that I restored last year, I was mucking about with a pair of Skyways! Very 80's biggrin





Edited by splodge s4 on Thursday 9th December 16:40

mattviatura

2,996 posts

87 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th December 2010 quote quote all
Will you stop posting pictures of that bike please.

I am deeply jealous.

neil_bolton

17,109 posts

151 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th December 2010 quote quote all
hehe at the slip gear memories on a Grifter :stillwinces:

Chap. Does Mary know you had it on her kitchen table? >fnarr<
2
Reply to Topic